November 11, 2009

Croatia - Day 13

This is the last day of our trip. The weather today is absolutely perfect. It's still cold, but the sun is out and the skies are clear.

We visited the very old town of Kropa, which was famous for its iron work for centuries. The people were very poor and worked incredibly hard. As many as 8 families would live in one house. A family usually consisted of mother, father and 6 to 8 children. The women shared one kitchen. The men and all children over the age of 8 did iron work. Their workday was 16 hours long. Once all the iron ore was used up in this region, the town closed up. This is a war memorial honoring the young men who were killed in World War II. There is talk of destroying the memorial because some of the men fought for the Germans.
The Sava River runs through the town and ultimately into the Danube.
Artisans still do iron work today which is mostly decorative screens, chandeliers, gates and the like. The man below demonstrated making small nails - just like before the war. All of the iron work done here was by hand - not machine. The small spikes he made today would have been put on the bottom of shoes to make walking in the snow and ice easier.

After lunch, we took one more walk around Lake Bled. This picture of the church on the island looks spectacular with the snow capped Alps in the background.

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