HRCroatia

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CroatiaCroatia

Let's be that young when we are old.

"HOLD YOURSELF!" my hostmother translated as we sped around a corner, the car lurching at the hands of our driver, an eighty-six year old woman named Stefanica who had just belted out a string of consonants (i.e. Croatian) before bursting into laughter. In her entirety, Stefanica is 5 feet tall ... read more

danielle hayes

CroatiaCroatia

Cocktails Minus the Molotov

  My ears are ringing. My knee is swollen and there are small black capital letters on my right forearm that spell ATTACK. And to think I wasn't going to go out last night.   When I entered Medika earlier this evening a man pressed a stamp firmly onto my ... read more

danielle hayes

CroatiaCroatia

Baby Fascists to Big Kids: PRIDE PART TWO

BRANKO* IS TWENTY-SEVEN, with slender hips and shaven legs and tonight he is a little drunk. It is Friday, and we are on our way to a birthday party. While we wait at a bus stop, we discuss the controversial Belgrade Pride parade planned for Sunday. Earlier that evening, word had ... read more

danielle hayes

CroatiaCroatia

Baby Fascists to Big Kids: PRIDE PART ONE

"He called our fascists babies," Branko said, explaining how a Serbian friend had scoffed at Croatian extremists at a recent LGBQT event in Zagreb. "He said to wait until Belgrade, that this was nothing." Marching down the street under a rainbow flag in Croatia, a country that is over 75% ... read more

danielle hayes

CroatiaCroatia

My first day in Croatia: Coffee, Cigarettes & Camping

Ivan is the one who picks me up from the dock in Zadar when I arrive in Croatia at 5:30 in the morning. He is my guide for a week of kayaking on the coast, and when we first meet in the grassy area behind Croatia’s customs building, he is ... read more

danielle hayes

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Must Do

Zagreb's flea market: build-a-car and more

danielle hayes

04 Oct 2009

Croatia

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Its worth waking up early on Sunday or Wednesday morning for the Hrelic Flea Market (which is only open these days). If you are not in need of underwear, hardware, musical instruments, back issues of adult magazines, children's books from the time of Tito, car parts, or an entire car, then simply stroll down the gravel aisles of Hrelic and enjoy the sight of such a smorgasbord. To get there from the city center, take a bus over the river and into New Zagreb. A gold horse's head sitting atop a tower of painted tires adorned with tinsel signals your arrival. Check the schedule, as buses stop running back to the city in the afternoon, and its quite the hike back into town--though you could always hitch a ride with a proud new car owner.

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Food

Dolac has it all: figs, flowers, honey, and octopuses

danielle hayes

04 Oct 2009

Croatia

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Located directly behind Zagreb's main square (Trg Bana Jelacica), this market is great for foodies and the budget weary alike. The first floor entrance looks like a modest storefront, but don't be fooled--inside, dozens of vendors are selling fresh bread, meat, cheese, homemade pasta, pastries and more. Upstairs in the open air market you can buy produce, crucifixes and traditional Croatian clothing. There is also a separate fish market--sniff around, you'll find it. After shopping, head back to the trg for a snack and some quality people-watching, or walk a few blocks east to a quiet park behind the monastery where you'll find plenty of public displays of affection. Be sure to go early in the day, as most things close by mid-afternoon and you'll need the full day to digest.

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Music

The ocean is an organist

danielle hayes

06 Nov 2009

Croatia

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The sea song is particularly melodic in the old city center of Zadar. This is due to the sea organ, a seamlessly integrated art installation that makes itself known only when the tide comes in and holes in the stone steps can be heard emitting low drones, an ephemeral song that will never be quite the same. So as the sun sets, sit back and appreciate the organ, an instrument introduced in brothels, co-opted by the church, and now carved into stone between the sea and the sky. (Photo by Michal Kolodziejski (cc))

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Nightlife

Climb into bed with a stranger

danielle hayes

06 Nov 2009

Croatia

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One afternoon in Zadar, while wandering by my lonesome, I met a fellow traveler. We struck up a conversation, watched the sunset over the water and half an hour later I was lying in bed with him. This was not a case of fast track romance. We were at a beautiful bar called "The Garden" with a boardwalk full of beds overlooking the sea. It was the perfect way to end an afternoon of wandering, to rest weary feet, to have a drink, and to enjoy the fresh air a little while longer.

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