A few days in Croatia

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I haven’t been around for a while and you know why? We went home for the holidays! After year and a half we went to Croatia to check out what’s going on around there. It was really nice to see everyone, have a beer and talk about all the novelties. Year and a half is a long time and a lot of things happened. Everyone was interested in how’s life here in New Zealand and we were curious in what has changed back home since we left…

img_20170116_101134img_20170110_133828img_20170110_133517img_20170110_133507It was a great month overseas, a bit cold though! We forgot how cold it can get so this trip reminded us that ten degrees under zero and snow is a part of every winter in Croatia. In New Zealand winter is so mild and, you know what, I like that a lot!

Now we are back. After more than 30 hours in the air we landed in Queenstown, ready for the summer season all the way down on the south!

queenstown

Check out here, in my previous posts, why you should visit my hometown and how beautiful Zagreb can be under the snow!

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Always sunny in Zadar – best place to travel in 2016!

Even though I’m on the other side of the globe I was more than happy when I heard that my hometown was proclaimed as European Best Destination in 2016. How great is that?? I must emphasize that in this competition were participating cities like Athens, Milan and Paris and that is what makes this success even bigger. When you visit Croatia, this small town with a population of only 80 000 people, has to be on your route. It is not just my advice it is advice from the pople from all over the world who voted during this competition.

Dalmatia is one of the regions where you can find very nice small towns with a great and long history. Town you shouldn’t miss is my hometown – Zadar. As you arrive you will see that those streets can tell you lot of stories.

Here is a quick reminder why Zadar has to be part of your travel plans in the near future…

Best time to come here is during summer – if you like big crowd. As you can see on my photos there’s nobody on the streets in the winter time but we love that. Zadar has a very long history, it is more than 3000 years old and has so much to offer, especially to those people who are interested in great historical stories. Narrow streets, old buildings and wonderful sights are something that will leave you speechless. St. Donatus church, Roman forum, long walls all around the peninsula and old harbor are just a small part of what you have to see. Today, most of the visitors come here to enjoy first Sea organs in the world – as the sea is hitting the coast Sea organs are playing the music and it is a melody that you can hear only in Zadar. I’m sure you will be amazed.

Let’s take a walk!

This is our small harbour called Jazine. Place where lots of ships find their peace.

This is our small harbour called Jazine.

Our Church of St. Krševan (St. Chrysogonus') is also a monastery church and Benedictine monastery. It is named after patron saint of Zadar and it was built in 1175.

Church of St. Krševan (St. Chrysogonus’) is also a monastery church and Benedictine monastery. It is named after patron saint of Zadar and it was built in 1175.

Most popular street in town, and our symbol, is Kalelarga. It is the main street since the ancient times.

Most popular street in town, and our symbol, is Kalelarga. It is the main street since the ancient times.

This is the old city port surrounded by walls. It is a perfect place for a night walk. I took this photo from the boat on the way back from the islands.

This is Foša – the old city port surrounded by walls. It is a perfect place for a night walk. I took this photo when I was on the way back from the islands.

Zadar seafront is the place where you will experience the most beautiful sunset in the world. Even Alfred Hitchcock ones said that it is the most beautiful sunset that he had ever seen!

Zadar seafront is the place where you will experience the most beautiful sunset in the world. Even Alfred Hitchcock ones said it is the most beautiful sunset that he had ever seen!

Our Sea organs are unique music instrument played by the sea. You have to see this, right??

Our Sea organs are unique music instrument played by the sea. You have to hear and see this, right??

Other popular spot in Zadar is installation Greetings to the sun which is located next to the Sea organs.It uses solar power to create a light show that displays at nigh. Very impressive!

Other popular spot in Zadar is the installation called Greetings to the Sun which is located next to the Sea organs. It uses solar power to create a light show that displays at night. Cool place!

While you are near the sea you will have great view over islands on the one side and the view over the snowy peaks of mountain Velebit on the other side. You have to love this city! :)

While you are near the sea you will have a great view over the islands on the one side and the snowy peaks of mountain Velebit on the other side. You just have to love this city!

St. Mary Church is very old. It was founded in 1066 and it belongs to a closed order of Benedictine nuns. While you are there visit Exhibition of Religious Art - The silver and gold of the city of Zadar.

St. Mary Church is very old. It was founded in 1066 and it belongs to a closed order of Benedictine nuns. While you are there visit Exhibition of Religious Art – The silver and gold of the city of Zadar.

St. Donatus Church, situated on the Roman forum, was built in 9th century. It is also one of the symbols of Zadar and one of the most famous Croatian monuments.

St. Donatus Church, situated on the Roman forum, was built in 9th century. It is also one of the symbols of Zadar and one of the most famous Croatian monuments.

For a little bit of the summer atmosphere check out the video and DISCOVER ZADAR!

Looking forward to read about your impressions after you visit Best European Destination 2016!

Happy travels!

National park Kornati – 2500 sunshine hours a year!

People that are living near the sea or those who are just going somewhere on the coast to spend a vacation probably would love to have a small boat to discover all the hidden coves, islands or beaches. Across the Adriatic you can find lots of places that are just waiting to be discovered. We are lucky because we have a small boat so we decided to look for the secrets of Croatian national park Kornati. We went on our trip from Zadar harbor, we passed under the bridge that is connecting island of Ugljan and Pašman and only two hours of sailing in rough seas was separating us from the real adventure. This group of islands is located in central Adriatic and it is the meeting place of the islands of Zadar and Šibenik archipelago. National park Kornati has 89 islands, islets and rocks. Every part of this natural beauty has something special and because of that it is also called the heaven for boaters.

 

Of course that swimming in this crystal clear sea is must but if you visit Kornati and you don’t dive into that magical world it would be a big mistake. Diving in this part of the Adriatic provide an unforgettable scene. To experience at least a part of this unique feeling, all you need is a snorkel and the mask because the view from the surface is impressive as you’ve delved into greater depth. Once we arrived and tied up for one of the Kornati islands we wanted to climb to its top so that we can check is there any truth in the claim that the view from the belvedere is breathtaking. It is not really hard to climb up but as it was thirty degrees, hat and cream with a high SPF is required because there is very little shade on Kornati – you could even say that it is totally absent. It is difficult to single out one among the many vantage points on these islands. I can’t say that one is more exciting than others. Metlina is the highest peak but there are also Opat, Ravni Žakan and Litnji vrh from where you will have a truly unique view.

 

After a day of swimming and sunbathing somewhere on the islands of Kornati you will probably get hungry. Here you can find around twenty restaurants and taverns where the hosts will be very happy to prepare a local dish for you. If you like to go fishing maybe you can catch something and just ask them to prepare your catch for you 🙂 Fish specialties are something that every guest want to try but if you will have a chance try the lamb. It will satisfy the appetites of the most demanding guests.

Maybe some of you have already visited this part of the Adriatic with a boat and you will agree with me that the best place to spend a night is cove Mir in Natural Park Telašćica. This cove is situated south west of Dugi otok and it is really near the national park Kornati. It is known as one of the largest and best protected natural harbor on the Adriatic coast and that’s why we decided to stay there a bit longer.If you don’t have your own boat you can get here from Zadar and Šibenik. During the summer there are lots of day trips. For travelers who prefer active vacation this is a perfect destination because you can explore the island by bikes and it is also a perfect area for trekking.

Salt lake Mir is one more thing that is making this place even more special. It is 900 m long, 6 m deep and the water is salty because its underground channels are connected with the sea. During the summer temarature of this lake can reach 30 degrees.

 

On the outer side of the bay Telašćica you will see cliffs over 160 meters high so your trip must include the arrival on these rocks. This is an area rich with interesting flora and fauna, and tourists are very exciting when they see dolphins that are often guests here.

More than 2500 hours of sunshine a year, great sea temperatures and indescribable nature are the best invitations to all who have not yet visited this, as many call it, true paradise on earth.

Perfect white Saturday in Zagreb

This Saturday was a perfect day to walk around the streets of Zagreb. Temperature was somewhere around zero, sun was shining and we just had to take our camera and “catch” a few photos. We walked from the lower to the upper town and here you can see which snow scenes did we brought home with us. Enjoy!

Woods around the lake Bundek.

Here we are on the river Sava. This is the view from one of the bridges.