The CSI Directors Jane and Michael Roach escaped the New Zealand winter with a fantastic trip to the Balkans – […]
The CSI Directors Jane and Michael Roach escaped the New Zealand winter with a fantastic trip to the Balkans – to follow are their reflections and a bit of an insight into this part of the world that is not so frequently visited by New Zealanders.
Their recent Balkans experience was evidence that preconceptions count for nothing. The footage of the Homeland Wars of 1991-95 painted a picture for our generation.
For 2,500 years the region has been a gateway for trade and defense between eastern and western Europe, northern and southern Europe and the Middle East.
For this reason, the Balkans has been overrun by many Empires over thousands of years. Illyrians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, Austro/Hungarians. Slavs, Italians, French, and even the English (albeit in small pockets). The Balkan communities tend to be established, destroyed and then rebuilt continuously.
In current times, with the Slovenian communities, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro there are Serbian Orthodox religions, Croatian Catholics, Bosnian and Albanian Muslims and Roman Catholicism scattered throughout these territories. Pagan Slavs were often converted to Orthodox Christianity between 7th and 12th Centuries.
This makes for a complex mixture of beliefs and rituals. What they did discover about the Homeland Wars was that there were changing allegiances and regional concerns often took precedence.
The young people today appear to be trying to forge a positive and constructive future and putting the bitterness behind them. Both coastal and inland areas: towns, villages, beaches, mountains, and historic sites are beautiful and interesting.
The economic situation can be confronting. All of the countries mentioned are aspiring to gain EU status (Slovenia being the only existing EU member). Their currencies are very affordable for the NZD and traveling is cheap compared to many other European destinations. Many countries had abandoned developments and their economies still aspire to responsible monetary management.
During their time there it was a tour of many contrasts, incredible history, and scenery, and they met many wonderful people along the way.
No, CSI has not diversified into a travel agency, although Jane and Michael would be happy to share more of their travel stories with you. They’d also be very happy to hear from anyone with Non Destructive Testing requirements – drop them a line on 0800 33 77 67 or email firstname.lastname@example.org