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Dobar Dan! Greetings from Croatia

May 2, 2012

I spent the last week in Osijek, Croatia. The architecture there was beautiful, but scarred from the war. Most of the older buildings have damage from shrapnel and shells. The city was built-up in the late 1800’s-1912 (before the damage from WWII and then the most recent war in the 1990’s) and was full of session details from the art nouveau and art deco time periods. Our house has art deco details which I have really begun to love, so I just ate up all the city views and scenery.

The city of Osijek, the tie stamps are located over my hotel, the old town/fortress and the arena.

We stopped off in Frankfurt, Germany on the way there for what would have been a two-hour delay, but turned into a 4.5 hour delay because of a late arriving plane.

I have not traveled to Europe for some time, so my first impressions of the airport were comical:

  • All of the taxis are white Mercedes – nice!
  • You can smoke in the airport inside of tiny glass boxes about 8′ H x 10′ W x 10’W. If watching people light up in a smoke-filled glass chamber doesn’t turn you off smoking I don’t know what will.
  • The airport is über quiet! No loud and obnoxious Americans there. Everyone was whispering like it was a library.
  • Several bikes whizzed by…yup, inside.
  • I have to say it – at certain points it smelled like B.O. People traveling for hours, combined with some Europeans lack of deodorant makes for a very smelly corridor.

We were pretty much winging this whole trip since my hubby’s business provided as few details as possible about how we were getting there and where we were staying. We ran into the other part of out group in Frankfurt and then flew to Zagreb. Once in Zagreb we collected our bags (they were all there – thank goodness) and then wandered toward the door. We knew there would be transportation, but not exactly what. We must have looked like Americans because the guide found us and directed us to the shuttle bus we road to Osijek for the next 4 HOURS. 

Osijek is very small just a few thousand over 100k people. Life is slow and easy. Budapest and Belgrade are within a few hours driving distance.

I picked up a few words while we were there:

  • Dobar dan: hello/good day
  • Dobra vecer: good evening
  • Hvala: thank you
  • Molim: please/welcome

cobblestones

The pock marks are bullet holes....English graffiti appeals to everyone I guess.

wrought iron massive doors anyone? The handle was at my forehead.

damage from the war

yellow stucco

pink sherbert

headless gargoyles

red clay tiled roofs

The post office - love the color

Juliet balconies everywhere

why did they stop designing buildings like this?

iron links between granite posts around the park

much welcomed shade

Can you believe these have been around for 500 years? Screw asphalt, and bring back the cobblestones.

gorgeous giant doors

I love doors!

I made a few American mistakes – oops! I figured it out pretty quickly though:

  • Do no tip for service.
  • Don’t wait to be seated because you will be waiting for a long time.
  • No one will bring you the check unless you beg for it.
  • All cafes and restaurants are table service only – no standing at the counter like it’s a Starbucks or you will be yelled at.

It is very inexpensive to visit there. Croatia is not on the Euro. The money used is kuna, with 5.7 kuna to the dollar. A three course meal with wine costs around $20.00 US dollars or a sandwich and a drink for lunch is $2.00.  A taxi across town is $3.50 US dollars (no tip). We hardly spent any money at all.

I’m happy to be back in the states but excited to plan our next trip to the Croatian coast sometime next year.  I have many more pictures to share later this week, so check back.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2012 8:26 AM

    Dude, your photos are PHENOMENAL! (I love especially the orange building with the graffiti and bullet holes, but honestly they are all gorgeous) What an amazing experience it must have been!!

  2. Nick permalink
    May 4, 2012 3:48 PM

    That was a surprising post to find on your Blog. Nice Pictures. I have been to Croatia twice (I have family there), although never to Osijek. If you ever want any advice on where to go if you go back, let me know.

    • May 7, 2012 9:19 AM

      That’s awesome! I will definitely take you up on that offer. We want to go back, maybe next Spring. It’s such a beautiful country.

  3. annikams14 permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:51 AM

    Awesome recap and great tips! I hope I don’t make a fool of myself in Europe in June–but I bet I will! 😉

  4. May 2, 2012 5:30 PM

    Beautiful photos! Glad you had a good time. Croatia will go on my must-see list!

  5. May 2, 2012 1:53 PM

    Your photos are stunning! The trip looks like it was amazing… so jealous. Welcome back! 🙂

  6. May 2, 2012 12:54 PM

    Sounds like a pretty sweet trip! Can’t get over $2 lunch!!– how was the food there? As for cobblestone streets, while i LOVE the look, there’s a number of them in Philadelphia and they are the worst to drive over. Your whole car is shaking around and just generally seems unhappy about driving over it.

    • May 7, 2012 9:22 AM

      Ahhh, I din’t think about the driving aspect of cobblestone streets. The food was amazing! I’m a bit of a foodie, so I just loved it. Lots of seafood and pork.

  7. May 2, 2012 11:21 AM

    What an amazing part of the world! The architecture is unreal.

  8. May 2, 2012 8:42 AM

    Wow it looks so beautiful! How lucky you were able to take that trip! Your photos are gorgeous!

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