Croatia and Me

TraThis post has been long overdue. I somehow never got to actually sitting down and writing about it. Or maybe, I just didn’t make time. It’s gonna be a long post. Please bear with me. Anyhow, I am so excited to finally share my summer experience in Croatia, with you guys! 😀

I was looking online for various internship projects that I could go for, and I came across this one in Croatia. Living in south-east Asia, Croatia is not the most popularly travelled country to. Or at least, not most popularly known to people here. When I told my parents about it, they were obviously a bit hesitant. They didn’t know much about Croatia. The first thing that popped into their heads was-“is it even safe?” And after staying there for 6 weeks, and traveling all over Croatia, I can safely say it’s one of the safest places to be, and arguably the most picturesque, of the Balkan countries. It’s undeniably beautiful, with the sweetest people you will meet.

I traveled to Croatia this summer for 6 weeks, for an internship with one of the tourist boards in Croatia. And I had such a great time there! This was my first solo traveling experience. It was a mix of emotions running through me as I boarded my flight. I was scared, a bit nervous but most of all, I was excited. Excited to be traveling to what google told me, ‘is one of the most beautiful countries in the world’. Most importantly, excited to have my first solo traveling experience.

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The main city square in Rijeka, Korzo.
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Riva, Rijeka
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Riva at night, Rijeka

I was working with the Tourist Board in Mošćenička Draga (Mosh-che-nichka), an hour away from Rijeka. The idea was to help promote tourism in the Kvarner region, Mošćenička Draga being a part of it. It is a small coastal town, with beautiful pebble beaches, romantic villas and hotels. An ideal weekend getaway for just relaxing, lazing & sun tanning by the beach and pampering yourselves to good food & massages. You can check out more about it here.

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Sipar Beach, Mošćenička Draga
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Starting of Sipar Beach, Mośćenička Draga
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Svete Ivan Beach, Mošćenička Draga

I was staying with a local family in Rijeka, along with one of the other interns for the project, Simona.The best part was that my host was a baker! Pretty amazing huh? Antonia is such a kind hearted, sweet person. I am glad she has us. I didn’t expect Simona and I would be spending so much time together, haha. It was funny how we cribbed about being with each other ALL the time, yet missed being apart. Haha, sounds so cheesy. 😛 Amidst all the drama, getting lost on some random street & finally finding our way back, desperate to go out every night but dreading the walk back home at 4 am in the morning, or simply chilling at our favourite cafe, CukariKafe, which soon became our work space, we had such a great time that I wouldn’t mind doing it all over again. It wasn’t all smooth, and there were a lot of times I felt frustrated and annoyed, but at the end, I guess that’s what made me stronger.

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My favourite photo with Simona
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Antonio and Razdeep, in their natural self.

I still don’t know how my 6 weeks in Croatia flew by. It was such a roller coaster, with all the fun and work. There are just so many places in Croatia that I couldn’t go to, and so many places yet to explore. I was going to skip Plitvice, but I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t. It is the most peaceful and gorgeous place to be. I’m definitely going to be visiting Croatia again. There’s just so much to see and explore.

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Plitvice Lakes

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Street in Rovinj
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Old town in Poreč

THE CULINARY EXPERIENCE

Obviously, I couldn’t leave out this part. I wouldn’t say Croatia has the best culinary experience, but I did have quite a few good meals. Every time I traveled to a different city, I would always look for dessert places first.

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Duchess of Krk, Casa Del Padrone

I definitely think I had more desserts on my trip than savoury meals, haha. Every morning on my way to work, I would pick up a chocolate croissant and a cappuccino from this famous bakery chain, Mlinar. It was sort of a ritual. I really miss that in India since we don’t really have that culture. Moreover, the different vibrant flavours of ice creams were to die for. My favourite combination was the Strawberry/Berry Cheesecake with Raspberry Sorbet. It was heaven! I discovered this stylish bakery, Cacao quite later in my trip but thankfully at least I did. The Strawberry Cake there was so good! Another great bakery find was Cukerin Cafe, which focused on healthy desserts. My favourite was the Seasonal Fruit Tart. It was so light and yet rich. One of the weekends, I travelled to Krk, an island near Rblog12ijeka, where I spent the whole day walking around, trying out different restaurants and sun tanning by the beach. As my customary trip advisor search for dessert places, I came across this ancient bakery Casa Del Padrone. It was the best bakery in Croatia. The Duchess of Krk, which was their speciality was heavenly! Apparently, that was the same cake which used to be served to the Duchess of Krk in the olden days, hence the name. They also had a wide variety of chocolate truffles and pralines, which were again heavenly. It was like a pool of comfort. 

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CukariKafe, Rijeka (One of the most beautiful cafes I’ve been to. Also, our workspace)
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Bakery in Split
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Zijavica, Mošćenička Draga

I think the best meals I had was definitely in Hvar, an island on the Dalmatian Coast.

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Squid Ink Pasta, Zijavica

Fettuccine in white wine-garlic sauce with Shrimps & Truffles at Posteni is the BEST pasta I have ever eaten in my life! I cannot describe how delicious that dish was! ❤ Even the Spicy Mexican Burger at Spice was just amazing. So yeah, overall, Hvar had some really good food. My next memorable meal was in this tiny hotel in Plitvice. It was a typical Croatian meal, made in every household. It was warm, comforting and absolutely delicious. I was so happy with the meal that I ended up ordering all the desserts on their menu, haha. One of my favourite croatian dishes has to be the Scampi buzarra, made of the freshly caught Scampi, even though it’s a big task de-shelling the scampi. If you are a sea food lover and a wine lover (like I am), Croatia is the place for you!

While I was there, I felt like there’s something missing about the whole experience. I thought it could have been better. I wanted to meet more people, and make new friends. Now that I look back upon it, I think it was more about getting to know my own self. It wasn’t the perfect ideal experience I had been dreaming of from weeks. But honestly, I kinda like the reality version better. 🙂

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Just being themselves

 

Check out my video about my experience in Mošćenička Draga: Discover Kvarner

Note: I have so many beautiful photos to share with you guys. So I’m going to make a board on Pinterest and share it soon! Till then, happy reading! 🙂

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