Amazing Croatian coastline of Dalmatia and Istria
”I da Bog za me nacrta zenu kakvu san čeka
Neka je crta ka posljednju zelju
Ja bi mu reka
Bila bi zjenica u najlipsen oku
Najlipsa zvizda na nebu visoku
Bila bi ka, bila bi ka Dalmacija.”
In the same moment when writing this article, I received the news that famous Croatian singer Oliver Dragojevic passed away. Most of the people will not understand what Oliver represented for Croatia and Dalmatia but this beautiful piece of land was never described better than in his songs. If you have time check it out.
Split, Croatia was the first stop of my journey. After 45 turbulent minutes in the plane, I finally arrived in the country who just passed in 1/4 of World Cup. Since they are not Brasil or Germany this event made residents crazy. After just 10meters from the airport, you could find tons of stores with jerseys of Modric, Rebic, Rakitic and the rest of the team. As a Serb, I was a bit of envy in their success but never contested their skilful game.
The reason for coming was of course not watching a football with 1000s of Croats at Splitski Jardin [which I did] and get wet from hectoliters of spilt beer when they scored a goal [which I was], the reason was the Ultra Music Festival. If you just escaped the puberty and you enjoy to act like sardines in a crowd this is a right place for you. UMF is probably the most famous electronic festival in the world, bringing the people from more than 100 nations to the same spot – ”Poljud Stadium”. Lineups you can check on their website but atmosphere looks something like this:
After the first day, I realized that I am more interested in different things so I decided looking for local kafanas. The best ones are on Riva and I highly suggest to experience them. Prices in Croatia are not like in other EU countries but be aware of Peak/Season prices. Apartments in ULTRA period are Dubai prices but with a good connection and previous Airbnb research, you can manage to find something appropriate. Like in every country taxi drivers might try to trick you when converting tisuce u hiljade and opposite. I had the luck that with me I had my old Dubai friend Darko who tried so hard to teach me Dalmatian culture with a plenty of swears and Krankšvester. Since he will be reading this I need to mention that he was a great host. Also a driver.
Thanks to him I managed to visit the place my father use to talk about when we were kids. Apparently, he scored some good chick there, so everytime he was excited about that. The place is called Makarska and it’s around 88kms away from Split. On the way to there, we spent a day in Omis which is also something which you #mustvisit. Its worth mentioning that castles on the way to there are used when GOT was filmed. There is the urban legend that Khalisi blocked toilet when filmed one of the scenes so all statists need to do their thingy in the forest. [info by Darko] I can spend hundreds of words on describing what you can see there or do but better check my stories.
Few more thing to mention which you need to do when going to Dalmatia:
- Play Picigin on Bacvice beach with Goran Karan.
- Shout on people Shame, Shame, Shame when crossing the streets of Split.
- Use the word Split as part of the word-game. My friend Darko has a split personality. -.-
- Act like Norwegian when watching a game with Croatian Ultras.
- Order Zlatni Pan when everyone drinks cocktails.
- Walk 7km to the apartment when your phone is dead.
- Visit the island of Hvar.
Istria – Croatian heart-shaped peninsula
After huge disappointing news that Karan couldn’t manage to come to Bacvice since he had some concerts, I decided to move on and head to the North of Croatia to place call Pula. [if you read this from Romania hold your laught]. Usually takes around 10hours to reach there but if Shime drives you are there in 4. Shime is notorious BlaBlaCar driver and he was in hurry to watch semifinals of WC. This kind of experience is especially exciting when other car-shareRS figure out that you are Serb and every conversation become awkward. Good thing that Djokovic won Nadal and supported the Croatian team on Instagram so icebreaker was there.
Pula and Istria are completely different from the previous place in my opinion. Other Croats call them Italians and I figure out why once I entered the local shop in Rakalj. Istria was influenced by many empires but managed to maintain their independence and finally join to Jugoslavija/Croatia. Many of these history lessons were given to me by my uncle Ozren. His house is in the place called Rakalj and its perfect place to run away from city traffic, stress and other perks of the modern world. Beaches there are visited only by birds and both local people – Stjepan Hauser and my uncle. If the name seems unfamiliar that’s the guy who plays in 2chellos and he loves to invest in his hometown.
Pula is the only city out of Italy that still have Colosseum from Roman time. It is third biggest Arena and it is a home of many concerts and movie festivals. At the time I was there Pula Film Festival was having the opening but the first day was completely cancelled because of final of WC. The atmosphere there was lit and here you can see it.
Yep, there are plenty of hot ladies as well.
Worth to mention is a place or island call Brioni where former Yugoslav president TITO had a villa and occasionally brought Sofia Loren to show her around. [if u know what I mean]. I had a chance to watch a theatric play under the open sky.
Things to do:
- Take your Romanian lady and show her Pula.
- Get lost in Underground tunnels – Zerostrasse.
- Convince ticket seller at Istria aquarium that you are still a student.
- Play basketball with my brother teammates and breath on machines the next two days.
- Persuade people that they don’t need a car if something is 500meters far.
Check out my next adventure in Brussels, Belgium here.