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Adventures of the Jadran

by hidden europe


The Jadrolinija shipping routes of yesterday saw sailings from Venice to Piraeus with half a dozen stops along the way. It was possible to sail direct from Opatija to Corfu or from Venice to Rijeka. We take a look at inshore shipping down the eastern shores of the Adriatic.

It wasn’t only from the Soviet Union and Poland that elegant passenger ships set sail for western waters. In Tito’s Yugoslavia, the need to secure hard currency and a natural desire to see national values and culture promoted abroad deeply influenced the strategies of the two state-owned shipping companies. An exhibition in Rijeka this summer marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Jugolinija, a shipping company which was based in the Croatian city. Jugolinija did much in the socialist era to consolidate Rijeka’s position as Yugoslavia’s premier port and there are many in the city who regret the company’s dissolution in 2002. The exhibition, called Tales of the Blue Horizon , charts how Jugolinija’s network once spanned the oceans.

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In the southern Peloponnese, the island citadel of Monemvasía once enjoyed a key strategic location on major Mediterranean shipping routes. No wonder, therefore, that many have sought to secure control of the rock that is often referred to as 'the Greek Gibraltar'.

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Patrick Leigh Fermor's 1958 book on the Mani region of southern Greece helped put Mani on the map. Today it pulls the tourist crowds, yet it still retains a raw appeal. Guest contributor Duncan JD Smith dives deep into Mani to explore the otherworldly landscapes of this arid peninsula.