The vacation holiday in Kupari
After we left Elaine and Sharon in Dubrovnik, we headed south to Montenegro, but first we felt that we deserved a stop in the luxury resort town of Kupari.
Being that we are on a budget for our extended travels, we can't be booking ourselves into 5-star ocean-side facilities, the exact kind of places that hug the beaches in Kupari. These hotels were part of a resort complex that was the place to be during Yugoslavia's communist years, starting with the Grand Hotel that had been built in 1919, President Tito decided that it needed to become a resort location for the military brass to vacation. Starting in the 60's more hotels were built and the town became known for these resorts.
Fast forward to the early 90's, Tito is dead and the new government leaders can't manage Yugoslavia like he could, tensions rise in the country. Then communism starts to falter, first Poland, then Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Russia, and then Yugoslavia itself starts its break up. Slovenia pulls out without any issues, Croatia is not as lucky and the Yugoslav army fights back. They bomb Dubrovnik, and they decimate Kupari. They bomb the resorts they once vacationed in, then came ashore and looted the resorts before setting off bombs in the hotels and letting everything burn.
The shells of the hotels are still standing there as a reminder of the war. The town is easy to miss, it's a quick sign and turn off about midway between Dubrovnik and the airport. The beach is still beautiful and there are locals our enjoying themselves, but all of these hotels are crowded around the bay, massive empty shells of what they once were as nature slowly takes back the land and the resorts continue to fall into ruin.
It is amazing to wander around, there might have been 3 other groups of people exploring the same time we were, all of the hotels are just open, free for anyone to wander and climb around as much as they are willing to do. Some stairways quickly turn dark and without a flashlight we stopped exploring. We also had later plans, it was still a bit of a drive to Budva, Montenegro where we would be staying, so we only allowed ourselves about an hour and a half to tour around. We missed a lot of the resorts, it was more impressive then we had read, and we really wish that we had allowed ourselves at least five hours to really get in and look around.
We only toured the Grand Hotel and a little bit of Hotel Goricna. Reading up on the site it seems like most of the property has been sold off to developers and that sometime in the near future they will start to tear down the old hotels and replace them with new luxury resorts, but the Grand Hotel, from 1919, is being marked as a historical building, and will probably stay as a crumbling reminder centerpiece of any new complex that ends up being built.
That's all I've got to say on this one, the following is just a sampling of the photos that we took as we toured the ruins.