Croatia in Their Words (2)

“Croatia is like an alligator ready to swallow Bosnia and Herzegovina…” Wow! What a description of someone looking at the map of our country…


This article is part of our April 2020 section “Wednesday Word”. Every Wednesday we present some of the travel writers or bloggers out there that have visited our beautiful country recently and decided to share their thoughts and experiences or writers that have explored some aspects of our history, culture or traditions…

For the moment, all guided tours are cancelled, but Rilak’s Zagreb Guide is continuing online. Stay safe, stay healthy and check our April 2020 online sections!

1. Croatia – the land of alligators?

When I was in primary school, our teacher used to say that our country had a shape of a bird spreading its wings. Later on, we used to kid that our country actually has a shape of a croissant – even the first three letters of Croatia and croissant suggest there is a connection (there isn’t). But I never thought I would find this description of the shape of our country: “It kinda looks like an alligator with its jaws open, ready to swallow Bosnia and Herzegovina whole.” Now, I can’t un-think of it when I look at a map:


This description comes from a post Obsessed with Croatia. Check the post to see this author’s obsession with a country he hasn’t visited (yet!) and an unusual way how this obsession started. A trip to Croatia is one of his post-COVID-19 goals. That’s the spirit! In the meantime, we can read posts from those who have already visited Croatia…

2. Croatia only for them

Melian & Ian Tomsett are traveling around the world on their 40ft Lavezzi Catamaran Indian Summer 1.  When I first started reading their post I thought “Oh, no, paperwork…” Like in many Southeastern European countries, our administration sometimes seem impossible – you need to have a paper for everything. Luckily, they got their cruising permits quickly and started exploring our country… They have managed to visit so many marvelous sights, sometimes accessible only by boat. They visited our country in November, which was already off-season, so they managed to spot some of the famous spots without the usual crowds. Their post can be found here!

They are currently in Turkey, stuck in their yacht and unable to move from the city where they docked, due to COVID-19 regulations. Life on a yacht seems pretty enjoyable, but I sure hope for them as well everything will be back to normal soon…

3. Ringing away the evil spirits of COVID-19

Maybe there’s somebody who can help all of us and “chase away” the evil spirit of the virus. The site Wandering off Somewhere is bringing an article about the famous zvončari, the bellmen, and other attraction of the famous Rijeka Carnival.

Rijeka is a city on the northern part of the Adriatic and one of its famous festivals is the Carnival, held every February. The bellmen are part of this tradition. A couple of years ago, I wrote a longer article about the carnival and the bellmen: Their primary task is to scare away the evil winter-spirits and announce with their bells the arrival of spring. Their costumes may vary from a village to village, but typically they have a stripped shirt and white trousers with one or more bells around their waist. Some of them wear exaggerated animal heads, in order to scare the spirits of winter. This is just an extract but if you wish a longer read about the origins of this strange Carnival tradition you can check my article here: Get a mask. eat your meat, hear the dong!


Photo: Roberta F.

Let’s just hope the bellmen this year did their job properly and this prolonged winter will be over soon… Thank you to so many travel writers that have visited our country and written so many beautiful things. And of course, to all those that are presenting interesting historical and cultural facts. In these difficult times, it’s your writing that is helping us to “travel” safely, at our homes.

For the moment, all guided tours are cancelled, but Rilak’s Zagreb Guide is continuing online. Stay safe, stay healthy and check our April 2020 online sections!

slika rilaks

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