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The Secret Gem

Updated: Jan 4

Old and new,

new and old

When does it begin

this story begging to be told


Ancient history

three millennia of war

Many lost in battle

hear their cries roar


This land

must have been mystical

For such men to die

for reasons mythical


Protected by God

driven by its people

In the midst of a hay stack

they have found the magic needle


Hrvatska, the secret gem

sought by many

Bearing the fruits of life

envy of its plenty


Ruin upon ruin

we climb its history

Taking for granted

all of her mystery


Who lay that stone

underneath your feet?

Do you have any idea of his gains

of his absolute defeats?


Blood, sweat and tears

birthed these cities

No lack of story

endless synchronicities


Every man and woman

and child bind

Brought something here

left something behind


So when you walk upon the stone

do not take for granted

Something new to you

is something deeply enchanted


Their energy lingers

those who built, those who defended

And those who carried on

far beyond comprehended.


- Katarina Bučić



When you visit Croatia as a tourist it is easy to get wrapped up in all the awe. At which beach will you swim today? Where are you going to wine and dine this evening? Are there any cool shows happening tonight? Only when I began to live like a local in Croatia did I really begin to become aware of my surroundings.

Every time I walk through an old city, I think about its history, and all of the people who have shared these same streets with me. Who is the man who worked his hands to the bone chipping away at the stone that created these cobblestone streets? These walls that we now take photos along were built to protect, to keep its people in and its enemies out. These ports that we use as docking points to take us on scuba-diving excursions and island tours were once battle zones and for the transport of goods to keep its people alive.

It is a very interesting perspective to keep in mind when exploring these historical places. Everything has been catered to the tourist's convenience and experience, but all this architecture served a very different purpose at one point and not very long ago, might I add. When I explore Croatia, I am reminded why this secret gem was sought after for millennia. This is a country built out of love and purpose. Croatia recognizes its beauty and knows it is undoubtedly magical. It is up to us to hold that same knowing and remember where she began and support where she is headed.


- Katarina Bučić









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