ZAGREB-1- KRK ISLAND
The Traditional Blends with the Contemporary.
Travelling the length and breadth of Croatia, I have recognised that this Adriatic star is waiting to be discovered by South Asians. One of the friendliest people this side of East Europe, tourists are greeted with great bonhomie. What is notable about Croatia is the Roman conquest that began way back in 168 BC and was fully established after series of wars, by 11 BC. It is this heritage and legacy that Croatia is very proud of
Croatia has always held sway as the Roman bastion for 5 or more centuries. Charting rich history, culture, tradition and trade that is still reflected in modern day Croatia. I was lucky enough to retrace much of the Roman carriageway, apart from Solin (not too far from Split), the other important Roman towns were Zadar, Porec, Pula and later Split.
For Solo travellers this is a safe haven, I deeply regret travelling with a group that just posed for pics!
ZAGREB – I was pleasantly surprised that charting an itinerary which features a varied topography would require a lot of rerouting, adding on cities that matter and link en route for a road trip. Zagreb situated in the central region of Northwest Croatia was the starting point. Arriving in Franjo Tudman or the new Zagreb Airport, the Swiss Airport I was transiting, paled in comparison as also the Swiss Airline!
Zagreb turned out to be a big tourist destination, picturesque landscapes, mountain backdrop that interweaves with the forest giving it that evergreen cover panorama.
The homestay had local police checking in diligently of all the guests who make the first entry spot into Zagreb. Considering Croatia is fast acquiring a foothold as the most tourist-friendly destinations, getting a Croatian visa is a bit of a dampener, as it has to necessarily conform to the precise days of stay there. It’s advisable to hold Schengen visa to Croatia, neighbouring Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia, Romania are all an easy motorable distance away.
I spent 4 glorious days in Krk Island
KRK ISLAND- Few hours from Zagreb, KRK is the largest island in Croatia facing the Kvarner Bay, 30 km from the city of Rijeka. During summer the island’s golden beaches are completely swamped by tourists. Beautiful promenades surround the Bay speckled with gelato ice-cream parlours, restaurants and bars.
Krk was one of the highlights really, this island commands the best viewpoints, pebbled beaches and has a history that connects it to the cradle of Croatian culture. There are references to Krk by the Romans as the golden island.
Croatia is widely known as a country with thousands of stunning islands, the Croatian coast is amazingly attractive. The island of Krk exemplifies that, and it is here that I learnt, about all those red tiled houses that one can spot from below and admire, so quintessentially Europe, is actually a steep climb to reach. Be warned if you are taking up a homestay high up in the hills, the view is breathtaking, walking downhill to the town square is fun, but it’s the climbing up that knocks you down!
Head towards Krk Island square, which is where all the action is. Gastronomy is part of the culture, heritage and tradition, Krk Island has enough and more of everyday life to offer any discerning tourists.
The traditional Burek made of baked filled pastries or puffs made of thin flaky dough is available at all Patisseries. The most popular of the fillings and my favourite were goat’s cheese and poppy seeds, Yum! Neighboring Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia also make similar versions.
One of my favourite, most intriguing restaurant/bar at the KRK Square was Volsonis. I was so fascinated that I forgot my drink, I didn’t even bother to order food, instead, I got hold of the handsome waiter to explain the history and prime location of Volsonis as the biggest bar lounge of Krk.
It’s a genuine archaeological site and walking through transports you to the Roman era. Situated in an enormous 2000-year-old Roman archaeological site underground, the original place had to be dug out all manually so deep, that some parts of Volsonis are under the sea!
The bar lounge is split into many sections, some going as low as the rock extrusions dripping sea water into a channel. There are secret passages, rooms with well laid out tables, very exquisite romantic settings, a huge tv was a bit jarring to the ancient underground towers and corridors.
The romantic garden was also referred to as the secret garden. The two Venus’s altars were fit to be in a museum, each section of Volsonis exuded astonishment and wonder.
I didn’t stop at just one visit here, every visit was a new discovery and the food was simply divine.
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