"Croatia is famous for it's..." Croatia Favorite Tip by richiecdisc

Croatia General: 197 reviews and 183 photos


Favorite thing: Croatia is famous for it's magnificent beaches and most visitors head there but it was not the season for it and I was too busy heading to the cornfields.

Fondest memory: My time in Croatia was very limited. I was using a guidebook for Central Europe that did not include Croatia so my plans revolved around Slovenia and Poland with Budapest as a link but there it was en route, just waiting to be traveled through and as chance would have it, I had an invite from Croatian VTer Goran to spend a few days with his family. Having read very little about it, I assumed I would wander around Zagreb for a day or two, and make my way to Budapest. Well, that was my plan anyway, but the Eastern European way of doing things is not so clear cut or efficient. The train ride from Ljubljana to Zagreb would have been beautiful in good weather, but it was dreary and I was exhausted from the previous few days hurried sightseeing and lack of sleep the night before. Nodding in and out, I was surprised to arrive in a sunny and more interesting city than I had imagined. I missed my connecting train to Vrbovec and so decided to have a beer and maybe something to eat. My first inclination was to just leave my pack in storage, call Goran to tell him it was too nice out, and that I was off to take photos in the city, but I knew he was waiting at the station and figured I better go according to plan. I?d be back tomorrow and it would surely be sunny. I saw a small café at the station and had my first Croatian beer, certainly nothing to write home about, but the setting was nice and relaxing. I was a bit hungry and noticing a cevapcici stand, I hurried over to sample it and another beer. It was great, cheap, and filling, perhaps too much so. I was now stuffed and in danger of missing the second train to Vrbovec so I scurried off and sighed relief once I found myself seated and on my way to meet Goran. It was a short trip and soon I was being whisked to Goran?s house to meet the family and of course, a huge lunch. Although I?d already eaten, it would be impolite to not have some and it was a chance to sample some authentic local food and besides, it looked and smelled delicious. The house was huge, but simple, and his family warm and welcoming. His mother and grandmother were constantly in the kitchen preparing meals or cleaning up after their labors. They obviously loved it and the kitchen area was their little enclave of the house. My repeated attempts to help with the dishes were smilingly rebutted and I took my place with the men around the dining room table that was the all-purpose social sphere of the house. It seemed my time in Croatia was spent primarily there and though at times I felt captive and not able to do the things I had planned, on leaving days later, I realized how special a time it was, having been essentially a temporary member of the family. After lunch, Goran and I were off to buy the two crates of beer that I owed him from a bet we?d made in the spring during the NBA Finals. And then it was time for the shower in the cornfield I had been promised or shall I say warned about. We stopped to pick up a couple of his friends, both of which spoke no English though the older man spoke some German and I made some attempts to unearth my meager knowledge of the language to communicate as we drove off to the cornfields. We arrived as the sun was setting, the corn rows ablaze in the low afternoon light and there it was, a shower head extending right from the earth and a large wooden tub next to it. It was a natural hot spring and a delightful place for locals to meet and relax at the end of the day. The hot water felt great and sitting in the big tub was much coveted and thoroughly enjoyable. We had some beers and talked little, it wasn?t so necessary in this setting. I forgot about the sunny streets of Zagreb, about eating too much, and ?wasting? time I planned to spend in other ways. I was seeing something that few travelers get to see and more importantly, feeling a part of it rather than looking in. I was in Croatia not as a tourist, but as a visiting friend. In fact, it felt like family.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 24, 2002
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