Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Day in Split, Croatia

November 24, Thanksgiving Day

Today we give thanks for all we've been given. Above all, FAMILY is what we are most thankful for. Good health for all is a close second. And, the opportunity to get a good education, to find worthwhile work, and to be in a situation to be able to help others who are in need. Ditto from Sandy.

Not raining this morning, but a little overcast. Prediction for some sun. Thanks for that.

It's a long walk to the Ivan Meštrović Gallery and Museum, and it is well worth the effort. The gallery is in the artist's home overlooking the bay in Split. Marble, bronze and wood sculpture is displayed in the garden and house. Each is captivating in style and pose. He carved 22 wood reliefs depicting events in Jesus' life. They are exhibited in a separate building he had built specifically for them.

This was a wonderful exhibit. He was quite a man. Gave his villa to the Croatian people which is the gallery. Beautiful, touching work. Many sculptures of family groups and the wood reliefs are spectacular. He was in prison for his political and religious views against communism and atheism. He escaped to America, to live in South Bend, Indiana, where he died. So much war due to political corruption rather than people unable to get along.

On the return trip, we stopped briefly at the Archeological Museum. An elaborate display of stonework and gold objects. Beautiful elaborate jewelry.

We had lunch outdoors in the plaza of our hotel. There was a turkey dish listed, but it turned out to be chicken. I ordered it anyway because it was the closest I could get to traditional T'day meal. It came with French fries. Mom had Turkeyday gnocchi with scampi and salmon.

Loved our view from our front window. Shutters are such a good idea. It was like a Monet picture with people walking around with umbrellas.

We made a long indirect trek to the Split Maritime Museum located in an old fort. Models of historic ships and other maritime memorabilia. Split was well known for ship building, but the industry has been almost shutdown because of competition from Korea and China. And, the EU requires Croatia to stop subsidizing the industry for EU membership. No one wants to buy the shipyards (not even for 1 kuna) because they carry such heavy debt.

We concluded our culture day by attending the annual live theater production at the Hrvasko Narodno Kazalište of Ivo Tijardović's "Splitski Akvarel". That's the National Theater, an operetta about Split's evolution over several centuries, written by a famous Split composer.

It was three acts lasting three hours during which we couldn't understand a word, nor very little about the historic events. There seemed to be a lot of parody, kind of like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. The audience laughed and applauded a lot. Very beautiful theatre. Couldn't believe how loud the audience was before and during intermissions. Cast included well over forty people, all very good voices. This production is a sell-out every show!

Had to return home to watch internet clips of the Green Bay Packers. They won 25-17, 17 wins without a loss since last season. Wow, what a team. Just like the days of Starr.

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