Croatian Eats & Finds
Hello from across the pond and then some. Apologies that you are getting a Wed/Fri post mashed into one but between jet lag and then being out exploring all day, it's not so easy to find a time to blog. One more week and then I'll be back and on track.
Pre-trip, I had some tell me that the food in Croatia was nothing special, while others said it would be lots of fresh fish, and wikipedia informed me that a staple was pasta with red sauce. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this so I just hoped for the best. I also came prepared with snacks, as I do just about everywhere I go. My go-tos are bars (usually Quest Bars, though I'm not in the OMG Quest Bars are life camp that some people are), apple-coconut bars from Trader Joe's (those are the only 2 ingredients), and packets of lightly salted, dried edamame- a great protein boost and a little salt which I find helps stave off any light-headedness that I have on occasion experienced due to having low blood pressure, and dried banana fruit leather (there are a few brands that make this). All of these are portable, easy to eat on the go, and lay pretty much flat for easy packing.
The food situation in Croatia is a mix of Italian and mediterranean/seafood. I love a good piece of fresh fish so I've been really happy. The fruit is also incredibly fresh, as are the tomatoes. My only complaints are that desserts are mainly strudel and gelato (not really my jam) and every kitchen is seriously heavy handed with the oil/butter/dressing (which my stomach is not totally on board with). Now that we are on the coast, the views that accompany our meals are gorgeous. It stays light at night until about 9:15pm, which makes dinners particularly beautiful.
Where to even begin with finds? Everything here has been incredible thus far. Despite the country's history and lack of independence until the 1990s, everyone is kind and seems to have a positive outlook on life, a stark contrast from what I experienced when I visited Prague in college. If I had to narrow it down, it would be the following:
The flowers. OMG the flowers. Everywhere, even the tiniest apartments have balconies full of the most vibrant flowers.
The Garden. The Garden is a bar/lounge/restaurant right near the hotel we stayed at in Zadar. It is the only raw, vegan restaurant in Zadar (shocker lol) and is delicious! I wish I could get their Art of Raw salad in NYC.
Greetings to the Sun & the Sea Organ. Right along the water's edge in Zadar are two installations, one is called Greetings to the Sun and the other is the Sea Organ. Greetings to the Sun is an inlaid 22 meter in diameter circle, on the pier, made up of lights and solar cells. During the day, the solar cells absorb energy and at night display a light show. Apparently the energy also powers some of the surrounding waterfront area. (You can read more about it here.) The Sea Organ is just a few steps from Greetings to the Sun. Looking like massive marble steps from the outside, beneath (and not visible) are several sets of pipe organs. As the wind and waves wash through, the air they push goes into the organs and comes up through openings in the pier. The sound generated is at once haunting, beautiful, slightly off-key, reminiscent of Dory speaking whale in Finding Nemo, and completely magical. (You can read more about it here.)
Greetings to the Sun far left and right; Sea Organ in the middle
Have you recently had any memorable travel eats or finds?