Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Couple of months ago me and my favourite 'crew' headed down  the royal city of Madrid, without much planning or preparations, at the spur of the moment. I was counting on free wifi as promised, planning to surf through some good blogs on our arrival and do the best we can with the 5 days we planned to spend in this truly remarkable city. To our disappointment, we found out there was no more free internet in our cute little apartment situated in the very centre of Madrid. Out of all people, it happened to me who always emphasizes how important it is to ask  around, read blogs and reviews. Completely uninformed, I managed to eat the world's worst paella, have drinks at the most tourist-crowded bars, wonder the streets hoping to find some cute piece of clothing made by some famous Spanish designer, just to end up feeling disappointed, with bags full of  Italian designer clothes  instead. In order to keep you from doing the same mistake  I did, I checked the streets of our little town and found some cool new places definitely worth mentioning.

In the close vicinity of St Ivan Church, right next to the well known concept store Vino&Ino, there's another gorgeous little store, Bibich Vinery (Vinoteka Bibich). I use the word 'store', cause they offer not only the wide range of famous Bibich wines, but also some 'useful' souvenirs which will thrill you with their taste as well as their design. Home-made lavender products by Sapunoteka, a company from Šibenik, cute cheese packages, home-made brandies, prosciutto packed in envelopes with a cool 'Greetings from Dalmatia' note.

Just across Bibich store you'll stumble upon a little art work gallery. Except it is not an ordinary gallery, and those are not ordinary paintings. It is actually a store supported by Udruga Kamenčić, an organization which helps mentally challenged people. For many years it has been organizing art colonies for professional and amateur painters at the island of Zlarin, whose works are given to the organization and sold in order to provide money needed to keep the organization working. It truly is a memorable souvenir with a warm message from Šibenik.   



Few steps further, at number 5 Faust Vrančić Street, you'll find recently opened organization Škart, which gathers under its roof creative people of different age and profiles. Mostly they are just ordinary people who were finally given a chance to make progress and show it at that same place. Cool pieces of renovated furniture, precious and semi precious stone jewelry, hip chandeliers, designer clothes, hand-made dolls.


Tired from all the shopping? :)
I guess a good restaurant tip would be just what you need right now. Tomaseo Restaurant,  at the very beginning of the seafront, is nothing new, but it has been a good place to eat for a while now, and you simply can't go wrong by choosing it. My friend always points out that that's where he had the best steak ever. As for me, I would recommend  zvancet, and you should also try their orange cake which is like a bite of pure perfection.
If you're wondering where's the best place to spend your evening, chilling out with a drink, listening to some good live music in a nice and cosy atmosphere right on the seafront, you don't have to go very far - just down the stairs from St James Cathedral is art and entertainment bar Azimut. Recently opened but already with an excellent reputation! The name Azimut suits it well cause it has completely changed the direction of social and cultural scene in our town. You can enjoy cultural programs and concerts on weekends and on weekdays as well. If you come here once, you'll definitely come back for more.
The best way to finish your day would probably be chilling out at Banj beach, where you can also have a swim under the moonlight, enjoying the unforgettable view of the old town and St James Cathedral . :)





Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Zagreb - a place to be

Even though this blog is dedicated to Šibenik, I'm sure many of you will eventually decide upon visiting our beautiful capital city. Therefore I decided to share some useful tips and advice from my dear friend Anita Dujić, who is one of the biggest hedonists I know, and who has managed quite well, despite the fact she's not 'a native' there and comes from the island of Čiovo, to find her way around the city and meet all the cool places you shouldn't miss during your stay in Zagreb. Enjoy it!


Zagreb – a place to be
Zagreb is a true European capital, with all the features a capital should have. However, despite the variety of things to choose from, people in Zagreb will probably complain about the lack of them. On the other hand, to a province girl like myself, Zagreb is undoubtedly a good host. Although nothing compares to South, with the smell of sea and pines, I love Zagreb as well, especially in spring and autumn, when it is packed with colours, happy faces and romance.

To all of those who come here for the first time, I always suggest starting with the gastro offer ;) . My favourite two restaurants in the very centre of the city are 'Vinodol' and 'Apetite City', which offer exquisite meals, with carefully selected groceries. When talking about the larger city centre, I choose 'RougeMarin' and 'Lauba Bistro'. If you're already in the centre, and you have a 'sweet tooth', you don't want to miss 'Amelie', 'Velvet', 'Oranž' and of course, the legendary 'Vincek'.
The centre is also an excellent shopping location; In Ilica, the main street, you'll find a great number of stores, especially the high street offer. If you take a walk down the side streets, you'll bump into many interesting places offering unique, vintage and handmade pieces, that you won't see on half of the girls in the city. You'll find pieces like this in lovely decorated 'Iggy' concept store, vintage heaven called 'Ulični ormar' at Jurišićeva Street, 'Vešmašina' at Opatovina 45, and 'Shpitza Boutique' at Lovački Rog.
One of my favourite places to go to for a glass of fine vine, while sitting in retro furniture, listening hits from the 80s, played by DJ Mario Kovač, is definitely 'Kino Europa'.


If you're looking for a dose of cultural uplift, Zagreb has a lot to offer; Starting from Gornji Grad Museum with variety of concerts and repertoires, to Museum of Contemporary Art as one of the best looking and most up-to-date in Europe.
Night life is equally interesting. There's something for everyone - alternativers, rockers, pop fans, hipsters etc, everyone can find a place that suits them, and dance the night away.   

In recent years I really enjoy visiting 'plac' or 'pazar', where I can always find groceries I need, domestic ones as well as artificial, with the best fish market offer in the country, which a coastal girl like me appreciates incredibly! :)

That would be all for now.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Unique people from a unique place



The magic of traveling starts already with choosing your destination. The sweet feeling you get while surfing the net to find the perfect place to visit, the most delicious authentic bite to eat, the most incredible desserts to try (whose main ingredients you would have never even heard about, had there not been for your best friend, Google), always trying to book a room in the very heart of some old city centre.... And than the luggage! What should I bring, is it much warmer/colder than here, how much is enough, is there any chance to put it all in one luggage, should I simply pay overweight or should I invest that money into buying something new and wonderful, from a super-cute shop recommended by a friend, which sells exclusively local designer pieces... What events should I see, what sights and museums should I visit, and last but not least - what are the people like? Are they warm and friendly, or cold and distanced, and why?

I'm sure you've wondered about people living here, in Croatia, in Dalmatia, in this wonderful little medieval town of Šibenik.

I'm not sure what the exact reason is that this small town (about 50000 citizens) produces such great acting, music and sport legends.

Our famous piano player, Maksim Mrvica, used to run these same old stone streets, and today he's known world wide, selling more albums in Asia than Robbie Williams and Kyle Minogue.

Goran Višnjić, the famous actor who, in Vogue's opinion, is Croatia's answer to Tom Cruise, was dreaming about the starry skies of Hollywood right under the roof of Šibenik Theatre.

Baldekin Sports Hall is where Dražen Petrović, known as the Basketball Mozart, was relentlessly training his shooting skills, awaiting for his big chance to come.

And then there are the irreplaceable singers Arsen Dedić, Mišo Kovač and Vice Vukov (makes you realize why 'The Šansona', one of the most appreciated music festivals, takes place exactly in our town).

There's no point in naming all of them here. If I was to start that now, I could've easily written a book (a bulky one!) on the subject.

Is it because of the International Children's Festival, the 4 fortresses built by our ancestors to protect us from enemies, the well-indented coast, the stone streets of a small medieval town, Faust Vrančić, Ante Šupuk, Nikola Tavelić, grape vine, olives, Krka River, Kornati..... Probably it's a little bit of everything. But the fact is undeniable, people here definitely have that special something, the X factor.

 I had the opportunity to look at the photos of an amazing and special lady, still not so famous though. She's also one of the Baldekin kids, who has been living in California for the past 13 years, working as a Director of Communication for a non-profit organization, while traveling a lot and capturing some amazing landscapes across the USA and documenting lives of people. The narrow stone streets of Sibenik have been replaced with wide streets of towns and cities in distant locations, but the beauty of Sibenik remains unique through the viewfinder of her camera.

Don't make me talk too much, for there's no way I could ever describe her and her sensibility, the way her photos can.

As the well-known photographer Ansel Adams once said: 'You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved'.

Therefore, I'm leaving you to meet Gordana Žura through her photos of Šibenik. (check out more at





Thursday, 10 January 2013

Where the spirit of Christmas took me

While I was sipping on my third morning coffee, though it was still rather early in the day, at one of the most amazing locations - City Hall restaurant, situated on Medieval Square in Šibenik, with the view of St James Cathedral, the masterpiece of Juraj Dalmatinac,  a thought crossed my mind - we would probably die of grief if we were to wake up tomorrow and realize there was no more coffee. You can take the fuel from us, no problem, just don't mess with our coffee!! I don't think the catch is in the average quantity of coffee that Croats consume, since we're probably close to the European average, it's the fact that, when we drink coffee, we love to take our time and than some!  I recently read that one of the reasons why Starbucks decided to give up on Croatia, is that people here simply don't like to have their coffee standing. 

To us coffee means  so much more than a simple drink, people fall in love alongside, they divorce, cry, laugh, sign contracts, they discuss neighbour's midnight quarrels with his wife (which are impossible not to hear in those narrow stone streets, with windows so close to one another). Here, coffee represents a whole culture of living.

Therefore, when in Croatia, never take coffee to go. Enjoy it like us, for a while and than some, while deciding what interesting places you'd visit that day. In Šibenik you'll pay around 10 kn (1.20 Euros) for a cup of coffee, and in the very heart of the old city centre, in cafe bar  Giro Espresso, you'll get the best coffee there is. Recently a snack bar has been opened next door to it - Giro Gusto, where you can enjoy a delicious, quick bite  ( tramezzini sandwich, sushi, brushetta bread, tortillas).
                                                (Some winter photos of the streets of Šibenik)

When you're done with your coffee, why not enjoy some shopping? It's always a good way to relax, and this time of year always gives us a perfect alibi for it. I would recommend the art gallery of academic painter Lana Čala Martinović, situated in the vicinity of St John Church, in Faust Vrancic Street. Her paintings show motives of Šibenk in a playful, Lana's way, which will definitely put you under their spell..
                                                                        Lana Art Gallery

                                                     St James Cathedral, one of Lana's favorite motives

In the spirit of Christmas atmosphere, the road took us to Murter, to Boba Restaurant, because we decided to follow the advice of our friend Frane Kalauz, an excellent diver who knows all the best gourmet places. Tartar tuna, tuna on cow curd, lampuga fish and truffles carpaccio, tuna and caper carpaccio, cuttlefish polenta, pasta with crab, monkfish on shrimp tails with truffles, and home made baklava!!! This restaurant should definitely be on top of your must-visit list! Friendly host, top-quality dishes, rich wine list and cosy interior. It's situated in the very centre of Murter, at the island of Murter.  
                                                                    Boba Restaurant, yummy!!

There's nothing better to finish an amazing evening  than a glass of good wine, so we decided to go to Vino&ino, a wine bar that quickly got a lot of good reputation, and where you'll also enjoy the lovely interior and a unique view of St John Church. If you're lucky, like we are, you'll find yourself here right on the 'Vine Tasting Night', where you'll have the chance to taste the wines from famous Šibenik winemakers  and learn something about them. We enjoyed the wines from Sladić Winery, and trust me, the exclusive premiere of barrique Lasina was more than a respectable ending to a great festive day. 
                                                                  Jere having a good time at Vino&Ino