Tag: CroatiaView All Tags
Seems that ex-Lonely Planet editor Don George has a bit more time to write now that he's not planning global guidebook strategies (or whatever happens up in the high echelons of LP). In the most recent edition of RECCE he has a good piece about a visit to Dubrovnik, one of our favorite spots along the Croatian coast--even if it is a little overrun with tourists.
George happily reports that the atmosphere has improved to no end as the war recedes further into the past--his first visit to Dubrovnik was seven years ago, and he can see clear changes like people are smiling more.
Nice to know, and some might also be attracted by his references to some of the beautiful women who walked past his café table. Apparently they had impossibly long legs and impossibly short skirts. In the same breath he mentions delicious ice cream, which is of course more like what we're looking for. Whichever you choose, it sounds like Dubrovnik is a happening--and a happy--place.
Parks / Croatia / → All Tags
This small town wanted to dedicate a new park to something, and while war heroes and wars seemed the more obvious theme, potatoes won the day when the local farmers' union got involved. The park will include a potato-themed playground for kids (with swings and slippery-dips shaped like potatoes), potato flower beds and information plaques educating visitors about different kinds of potatoes. Hopefully some bright spark will also sell fries at the entrance.
Croatia / Tourist Attractions / UNESCO / Lakes / → All Tags
Picture the colors deep green, turquoise, sky blue, aquamarine and azure, and you've got only the colors that cover about 10% of the incredible shades you'll see at the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.
Situated inland between the Z-towns (Zagreb and Zadar), this collection of lakes, waterfalls, forest and hiking trails has been World Heritage listed since 1979, and deservedly so. It's all joined by walking paths, bus shuttles and a ferry or two, making all kinds of days out there possible.
Now one Plitvice Lakes website--that poetically describes the lakes' creation as "a scientific phenomenon"--is so impressed by this natural beauty, it's inviting all readers to the lakes for a New Year's Eve Party. Sixteen lakes, hundreds of waterfalls, middle of winter, plenty of alcohol. This sounds like a slightly dangerous situation to us, but taking an accidental midnight swim (not permitted, just so you know) is one way to appreciate all those colors better.
[Photo: Seamus Knox]
European Union / Politics / Croatia / France / → All Tags
Croatians cannot be happy right now. Despite the fact that the Dalmatian Coast is on everyone's list as one of the top places to visit (well, for this past summer anyway), their accession to the European Union is more in doubt than ever before. Bummer.
After agreeing today to admit Romania and Bulgaria under rather harsh terms--certainly the stiffest for any new member states in the EU--the French PM, Domenique de Villepin asked "How far can we go without rendering the E.U. inefficient?". That's not good for the Croats (or Serbs, Turks, Montenegrins and Albanians), who were hoping to join the EU in 2009. Maybe if they promise to act with more of a French attitude, they'll be admitted? We say, toss those burek and start baking some baguettes.
[Image via Miguel Pereira/Flickr]
· Europe Set to Endorse Romania and Bulgaria [NYT]
World Hum had an excellent interview yesterday with NYT Frugal Traveler Matt Gross. You may remember him as the guy you were jealous of as he traveled around the world on the New York Times' dime. Well, he's back, he's getting married, and he didn't like Croatia.
According to Matt, it just wasn't impressive as, you know, Bishkek or Tirana:
I just wasn't all that excited about anything that I saw or did there. I had a fairly good time and I'm curious to maybe go back three or four years from now to see how it's developed, but that's more an intellectual curiosity rather than from-the-heart desire to return. Everywhere else I felt like I left with so much more that I wanted to do, people I wanted to spend more time with, food that I didn't get a chance to try. Everywhere else seemed so limitless, yet Croatia's ... Croatia. Every town on the coast has it's beautiful little old town with a hill and a church and white marble and terra cotta roofs. I spent two weeks there--and then I was ready to leave.Ouch! Dubrovnik may be Paris on the Adriatic, but it's in no danger of replacing Tbilisi on Matt's list anytime soon. Hope they don't take it too hard over there.
[Image via Meitta/Flickr]
Croatia / beach / → All Tags
Pay attention: We have to add a warning to our recommendation that Croatia's a good summer vacation destination. One Croatian fellow this week had a pretty tricky time of it on the nudist beach Valalta, near Rovinj.
You guys can probably imagine the situation. Take a dip in the chilly sea (and remember it's a nudist beach). Sit down on your deck chair to soak up some rays. The physics here is relatively simple: this guy's family jewels had shriveled up in the cold water, hung down through one of the gaps in his wooden beach chair, then slowly returned to their normal size, until ... until he wanted to stand up.
His testicles had shrunk while in the cool sea and slipped through the wooden slats when he sat back down on his wooden deckchair.
But as he lay in the sun they expanded back to normal size and got stuck between the slats.
He was eventually freed after he called beach maintenance services on his mobile phone and they sent a member of staff to cut the deck chair in half.
[Image via Sapphic Nickel/Flickr]
Deckchair Trapped Testicles [Ananova]
Sweet Summer Rentals [Jaunted]
Croatia / museums / → All Tags
We've already suggested that parts of Croatia are ideal for a summer vacation or at least a fancy cocktail, but now even more cultural aspects are getting our attention. In particular, we're thinking of the Museum of Broken Hearts which opened in Zagreb earlier this year.
Needless to say, it's the first of its kind, and features memorabilia from soured relationships, like broken engagement rings (the engagement, not the actual ring), love letters, mix CDs and empty wine bottles from those sorrow-drowning recovery times. What, no empty ice cream containers?
But if you're not soaking up Croatian sun this summer, don't worry: Broken Hearts might come near you. The museum founders have just announced a world tour that's likely to take in Istanbul, London and Paris, just for starters. Wallowing in other people's sorrows is just what we want to do on holidays.
Broken Hearts On Tour [All Headline News]
Good Fare: London-Rijeka, $57 OW on EasyJet
If there were any question as to whether the Croatia is the new hotness--issues of pricing aside--it' answered with this fare on easyjet, from Luton to Rijeka. There's also a more expensive fare from Stansted to Split, but we won't bother with such an elementary destination.
Rijeka is on the Istrian coast on the Gulf of Kvarner in the north of Croatia. It's the largest port in the country, which means it's a little bit gritty but also more likely to feature the kind of deals that are fast disappearing there. Check out the Boulevard Korzo--it's surprisingly pretty. The watersports scene in Rijeka is also burgeoning, if a water polo vacation is your idea of a good time.
Easyjet's service to Rijeka launches on the 30th of June.
[Image via obfuscator/Flickr]
· Previous Good Fares [Jaunted]