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 www.facebook.com/zurago.photography)