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!

Welcome to National Park Paklenica, heaven for nature lovers!

National Park Paklenica is one more beutiful natural miracle in Croatia. This park is the most popular spot here (and one of the most popular in Europe) for everybody who loves to climb to the high rocks. It is not a secret that it is a favorite place for the climbers from all over the world. Last weekend I was there with my friends and I reminded myself again how beautiful it is. I was there few times but the last time was maybe 15 years ago.

This national park is located in Starigrad, small town 40 minutes away from Zadar. Park found its place at the southern slopes of Velebit mountain and it has two canyons, Mala and Velika Paklenica. The highest peak here is Vaganski vrh on 1757 m and if you are in the mood for a bit of hiking there’s a trail so you can climb up. Lot of people goes up there every day because of the magnificent view from the peak.

Flora in this park is unique so on your way to the top you will have the chance to enjoy in the beautiful colorful flowers that grow only in this canyons and nowhere else in the world. And the forest, oh, that is also something special to see.

When it is about fauna lot of butterflies, amphibian and reptile species, birds and mammals found their place here. During our stay we enjoyed the company of the donkeys and also one cat came and visited us. 🙂

If you want to spend a night here you can stay in the mountain home which is located just two hours walking from the starting point. There are also few houses where you can rent a room. We did that and it was really a great weekend. Check out the photos!

Weekly photo challenge: orange

First thing that came to my mind when I saw this theme of the weekly photo challenge was this photo. I caught this moment early in the morning, we were on the way back home from Dugi otok, one of the islands of Zadar archipelago. And who doesn’t like orange? 🙂 I love it, especially if it has something in common with a beautiful sunrise.