Belgian chocolate in Lika

Belgian master chocolate-maker Christine Scholtes-Covic fell in love with Croatia’s picturesque Lika region and decided to make a life here. She opened a small Chocolate workshop in small village Rakovica.

“I don’t know, maybe I am a little crazy, but I came here on a holiday to see the Plitvice lakes, and I fell in love with the beautiful nature and clean air…so I decided to come and live in Croatia,” she said.

Read a full article here.

The Day After (snow)

Magical frozen forest is a great scenery for relaxing after work… to steady your mind and calm your senses.

Since Sljeme is quite close to our house we hike there quite often, almost every day. Today I started at Lagvic and hiked to  to Graficar, 864m above sea level.

Enjoy in pics and if you come to Zagreb call us and will take you to this great hike.

Walk after work – Sljeme

Yesterday was an amazing day for walk in the forest.  Sun was shining and the temperature was unusually high for December.

There is also a new part (even for me…;)) on educational mountain trail Miroslavec between Sestinski lagvic and  Kraljicin zdenac, bypassing bridge that colapsed.

The trail was really muddy and I met only few hikers on the way to Medvedgrad…

Anyway, my recommendation is to take walks on Sljeme during the whole year…

20 Must-See Statues Around the World

Our friend Corinne Reidy sent us an interesting article entitled, 20 Must-See Statues Around the World that you can find here.

We have visited some of the mentioned sculptures Statue of Liberty, David, Statue of Zeus, The Pieta,Hermer and the Infant Dionysos, Abraham Lincoln and Discobolus….

…others we plan the see in the next couple of years… enjoy..

Unique bear sanctuary in Kuterevo

In a small village Kuterevo (map) is a sanctuary for young bears. Baby bears, who due to accident or poaching, have been separated from their mothers and are too young to live independently found home in Kuterevo, on the slopes of Velebit in Lika. Such bears, nurtured by people, never manage to acquire skills necessary for an independent life and they spend their life in the sanctuary Kuterevo, a unique project in the world.

Croatia is rich with bears, according to the scientists approximately 800 to 1000 bears live in Croatia. You can visit Kuterevo through the whole year, but since the bears are hibernating from November to February it is better to save the trip for a spring, summer or early autumn.

Interesting fact: bear’s newborns have 350 g and are smallest among mammals

Plitvice Lakes – every day

…another great day at the Lakes…

Today our guests were Jade and her friends from London; and Nadia & Damien all the way from Melbourne Australia. It was of course hot and crowded but again we had a great time and enjoyed this great natural monument.

Here is  my first snake picture… Ms. Watersnake who lives in the Lakes. Don’t be afraid…it’s harmless..;)

I strongly reccommend to everyone, who has the time, to walk along all 16 lakes. Don’t miss the oporutinity to see all of the upper Lakes because it is the best way to get the whole picture of this perfect beauty.

On ourway back we stopped at Rastoke – the Millires village or the Little Plitvice. There we have visited Baka and her old mill. This place is part of our excursion to Plitvice and my experience tells me that guests are loving it…

p.s.

we also saw Niko Kranjcar on the Lakes :)

Plitvice Lakes – absolutely must see in Croatia

To be honest among all one day trips that we offer, trip to Plitvice is something that goes without the any kind of promotion a whole year. Of course, in the spring and summer is the peak, but we have guests for Plitvice even in January when the lakes are covered with the snow and it’s not easy to hike there. I calculated that we are taking guests to Plitvice on average 5 times per week, I’ m sure you can imagine how often is that for a ZagrebCity guides. ;) I recognize almost every trout, I’ll start to give them names just for fun…;).

The other day our guests were Luis and Leticia from Mexico, who currently live in Barcelona; Kian i Lim from Malaysia, currently live and study in London; and Ivana i Uros form Srbija. Itinerar included  Rastoke (small millers village) and Plitvice….

I love to hang out with guests because, at least for now, we had super nice and interesting people from all around the world. Dear people welcome to Croatia!

Btw, every pic that you take on Rastoke and Plitvice is fantastic…check this…

What to bring on the road trip

1. Medicines – painkillers, pills for flue, cream or spray for mosquitoes and vitamin C – since we were changing places, temperatures and altitudes we were all sick at some time

2. GPS – but be aware that you have to update GPS for places outside the cities – in our case we should have done that when visiting Arizona

3. Paper towels, tissues

4. Fridge – for food that you have to take for hours on the road, and in all national parks, plus water and beer

5. Knife, fork and spoon (might be very useful)

6. Hiking shoes, hats, winter cap and clothes for all kind of weather

7. Travel insurance – in Croatia we bought Uniqa since you can do everything on website in 5 minutes and for 23 days we paid 333HRK which includes travel health insurance up to 50.000 Euros, accident insurance and permanent disability 10.000 Euros, death due to an accident 5.000 Euros and luggage insurance 500 Euros.

8. All confirmation papers for all booked accommodation

10. Cameras and other equipment for taking pictures and taking videos

11. Along with passport you should bring another document with your picture, in case you lose your passport (or it gets stolen) you’ll need another document to confirm you identity in the Embassy (best thing driver’s licence)

Things we have learned in USA

1. On the intersection you can turn right even if you have a red light, except where there is a sign that is forbidden

2.  On the intersections without lights there is a sign stop on all four streets – and everybody without exception really stops on the sign. The first to pass is the first to come…

3. In USA there is a car pool lane –it’s a lane for vehicles with two and more persons in the car…usually traffic in this lane is much faster

4. Best fast food (if you re into fast food) is In & Out (I think only on west coast)– they actually make fries from fresh potatoes

5. Very good bier (similar to Corona) is Pacifico (and for girls Bud Light Lime)

6. Food in USA is cheap only if you eat burgers. Everything else at least half decent is expensive. I  paid 3 nectarines 7.80$

7. Be aware that on every price you see you have to add tax, plus tip in restaurants (18 – 20%), bars (1$ per drink), taxi (10- 15%) etc.

8. Shopping is good – go in USA with literally empty suitcases

4 days in Los Angeles

The place that we rented is again good and in a good neighbourhood. Absolutely, if you are travelling in a group of four rent a private flat – much cheaper and very comfortable. However, we are not really fond of LA. Things that you can like in LA are the beaches. We have been on Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Beautiful long and wide sand beaches – amazing.

Ocean is not really for swimming because it’s cold, especially for people from Croatia used to 25C. Of course, some of us did swim and the temperature was 20C. Moreover, even though the outside temperature is high wind is strong and cold so the feeling is not very good if you are wet.

Regarding the other sites…Hollywood Boulevard, the street with the famous stars called Walk of Fame is…hm…disappointing. Nothing really special to see besides those stars that also don’t look special.

Sunset Boulevard is parallel street with Hollywood Blvd and both are basically the same. Shops for tourists and few palm trees…;) Beverly Hills and Bel Air are nice places if you want to see nice properties, I said properites not houses since most of them have high fances and houses are not visible from the street.  Everywhere in such neighborghood stopping is forbiden at any time and there are no sidewalks. Meaning, if you are not going in to one of the houses it’s not place for you to be.

Approach to Hollywood Sign is closed, but we succeeded to come to some place to take the photo.

Getty Villa – famous philanthropist made a museum which is nice to see. By all means, much better than Hearst Castle if those two are comparable. Hearst Castle does lend some work of art to Getty Villa, but in Hearst everything is without any order and combined in really strange way, while in Getty the art organized in meaningful units.

We also went to check Downtown, Broadway and Little Tokyo and honestly you should avoid that part of the city. It’0s not worth it not even to see Frank Ghery Disney Concert Hall…Literally, nothing to see besides skyscrapers and abandoned buildings and shops.

Griffith Observatory is a nice place with a great view on LA and with telescopes to explore the planets and the sky.

At the end – in LA spend time on beaches…and enjoy.