Manuela: Split 1

202 x 152 narrative

The Adria - I was born in Split Croatia and moved to Berlin, Germany in 1989 when I was 12 years old – just before the war in ex-Yugoslavia started. I lived with my grandmother for three years while my mother was in Berlin paving the way for me to join her and start school there. Most of my school summer holidays were spent going back to visit my gran – we were very close.

During the war most of my friends left Croatia, so summer was the meeting point for all of us scattered to different parts of the world. I would spend all day outside with friends on the beaches and only come back home when I was hungry and had to sleep.

The Adria Sea and its incomparable beauty have spoiled me for life. No other sea can come close to being this beautiful; its calmness causes me to lose myself in it and the balmy temperature makes me want to swim in it forever. The colours of the most beautiful shades of blues, combined with the rough feel of the pebbles on the feet make me feel at home. My heart bursts every time I get in it - filled with love and gratitude, and I feel an instant reconnection to it whenever I come back. Especially now that I live in Cape Town, where the ocean is wild and cold. It makes me love and appreciate the Adria even more!