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28

Oct
2013

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In Croatia
Travel

By kanannie

Chasing Peacocks And Peahens On Lokrum Island

On 28, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In Croatia, Travel | By kanannie

Peacock on Lokrum Island

Isn’t he a beauty?

Dubrovnik is beautiful, but you’ll probably get bored of walking around the old town and playing guess which Asian country that group of tourists is from after a few days. Because we’re not all from China, you know. When you’re done playing your travelers’ games you should head over to Lokrum Island. It’s a quick and cheap ferry ride from the old town port and a great way to get away from the cruise ship crowds for the day.

Peacock on Lokrum Island

Now that’s a pretty cock!

Peacock on Lokrum Island

What a cock tease!

One of the main attractions on Lokrum are the free roaming peacocks and peahens. We thought we’d have to wear camouflage and stealthily hide behind a bush to spot the elusive birds, but they greeted us as soon as we landed on the island. They are pretty much everywhere so you can’t miss them.

Peacock on Lokrum Island

A pretty white peahen. Peahen is the female of the species. And you thought you’d never learn anything from this blog!

Show off

A junior peacock showing off.

Peacock about to jump from the roof

Don’t jump! You have too much to live for!


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28

Oct
2013

No Comments

In Croatia
Travel

By kanannie

Dubrovnik: The Jewel of Croatia

On 28, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In Croatia, Travel | By kanannie

Driving to Dubrovnik

Driving to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Bridge

Dubrovnik Bridge at sunset

Dubrovnik was the last stop on our “Lesbians Gone Wild: Croatia” tour and as we approached the entrance to the city in our baller rental car I finally realized why everyone has been going gaga over Croatia.

Mandarins along the side of the road

Cheap mandarins for sale along the side of the road

Adriatic Sea

The clear, blue Adriatic Sea.

Steps into the Adriatic Sea

Steps into the Adriatic along the wall

When people talk about how fabulous Croatia is, they mostly mean the coastal cities along the Adriatic Sea. And, they probably mean Dubrovnik.

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24

Oct
2013

One Comment

In Croatia
Food
Travel

By kanannie

Split: What We Did in a Roman Emperor’s Summer Home

On 24, Oct 2013 | One Comment | In Croatia, Food, Travel | By kanannie

The harbor at night.

The harbor at night.

We had our foodie friend with us from New York, and we were missing out on some serious eating in Croatia. With Zagreb being disappointing food-wise and the Plitvice Lakes area offerings being not that much better, the three of us made our way to the coastal town of Split for fresh seafood. This being the Dalmatian coast, we arrived in the city and immediately spotted a Japanese tour group cross the street in front of us and cruise ships docked in the distance. Palm trees lined the main promenade, and people sat outside sipping coffees and cocktails. How did we end up in Miami?

Main boardwalk in Split.

Main boardwalk in Split.

Being the hungry hippos that we are, we dropped off our bags at the apartment and immediately made our way to our first traditional Croatian tavern experience at Konoba Hvaranin. We’ve long stopped trusting any reviews on Tripadvisor, and instead found a review on Foodie International of a konoba recommended by locals so we put our faith in this girl. We were glad we did. After taking sufficient food porn photos, we dug into fresh pasta with clams, grilled shrimp and grilled baby squid with ink sacs inside.

Food paparazzi.

Food paparazzi.

Fresh spinach pasta with clams.

Simple but oh so good.

Baby squid with ink inside.

Grilled baby squid with ink inside. The potato chard mush is awesome.

Grilled shrimp.

Grilled shrimp.

After dinner, we took a walk around the Old Town to digest and more importantly, to have a nightcap. Split used to be Emperor Diocletian’s summer palace. I don’t know anything about him, except that he was the only Roman Emperor to retire and he hated Christians. We walked through the narrow, maze-like streets and finally found Ghetto Club, which was the only gay-friendly bar in Split I was able to find on the internet. Unlike what you would probably imagine from the unfortunate name, it’s a nice, spacious place. We had the whole place to ourselves, but I can imagine this place must be pretty busy in the summer months.

Old town at night.

The empty old town at night.

Fountain at night.

N and Ching-I jumping in front of the fountain.

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22

Oct
2013

No Comments

In Activities
Croatia
Travel

By kanannie

Three Jaded New Yorkers at Plitvice Lakes National Park

On 22, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In Activities, Croatia, Travel | By kanannie

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Blue-green lakes and waterfalls.

I wonder if we’re the only people in the world who went to Plitvice and weren’t blown away by its beauty. Ching-I, N and I drove there from Zagreb in a rental car full of excitement and anticipation. I had seen the photos online of the crystal-clear, cascading waterfalls, and the still pools of blue water surrounded by cliffs. Well, it seems like everyone else including the entire older Japanese population from Japan heard the same rave reviews because they were all there in what was supposed to be non-peak season.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Pools of water with fallen logs, colorful algae and plants.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Cascading water.

The three of us made our way through the waterfalls and lakes on the weaving boardwalk, slowly bypassing gray-haired European tourists with their big DSLRs and hordes of Japanese tourists following young ladies waving JTB flags. As a Zagreb local told us, October is Japanese tourist season in Croatia. Believe me, it is.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

INCOMING! Japanese tour group.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Small waterfalls.

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20

Oct
2013

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In Croatia
Culture
Food
LGBT
Travel

By kanannie

A Queer Time in Zagreb

On 20, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In Croatia, Culture, Food, LGBT, Travel | By kanannie

St. Mark's Church

St. Mark’s Church, the only notable landmark in Zagreb.

If it weren’t for the crazy night we had last night, Zagreb would’ve been just another unmemorable city on our travels. But first, how we got there.

We had planned to meet our friend Ching-I from New York in Croatia, and decided that Zagreb (the capital of Croatia) would be the most convenient place for her to fly into to start exploring the rest of this weirdly-shaped country. After a day of sightseeing around Zagreb, the three of us quickly realized that the city itself really wasn’t anything special. There weren’t any really notable landmarks or tasty food to distract us from the blandness of the city.

Vincek ice cream

Vincek ice cream. Tasty but I wouldn’t call it the best ice cream in the world.

Flowers by the promenade

A nice little promenade in the city center.

Since we spent the weekend in Zagreb, we decided to check out the only “queer-friendly” bar (that wasn’t a club) I could find on the internet. We had some time to kill so we watched “Gravity” in IMAX for a mere $9 (not as cheap as Tallinn, though) and then walked back to the bar.

Café Vimpi is a cozy bilevel bar/café with a narrow spiral staircase that is a deathtrap for drunk people. But there weren’t any accidents that night, and the three of us settled around a small table and were served by the friendly lesbian bartender. Groups of queer people started trickling in, but we’re shy and we kept to ourselves. After a round of 0.5L Radlers, we looked around and ordered Tomislav beers, what the locals seemed to be drinking.

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14

Oct
2013

One Comment

In Croatia
Travel

By kanannie

Roaming in Roman Pula

On 14, Oct 2013 | One Comment | In Croatia, Travel | By kanannie

I <3 NY

Croatia is nice, but I wouldn’t go as far as crossing off NY.

Pula was our third destination in Croatia and one of the more interesting cities, historically speaking. Unlike Rovinj, the action in Pula doesn’t happen down by the water. Actually, there is no action in Pula. It’s a pretty quiet place and we only saw one medium-sized Chinese tour group while we were there.

From what we could see Pula didn’t have much of a waterfront scene. We did walk along the marina area one day and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the fish and fantasizing about how nice it would’ve been to have our fishing poles with us.

Boats at the Pula marina

I want a boat!

Fishing nets

I’d hate to have to untangle one of those nets.

Very clear Pula water

The very, very clear water of the Adriatic Sea. If only we had our fishing poles.

Pula is best known for its ancient Roman ruins including the sixth largest Roman arena and possibly the best preserved of the Roman arenas. The Pula Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders preserved, according to my trusty source, Wikipedia. It was constructed between 27 BC – 68 AD and is older than the Colosseum in Rome. Like other Roman amphitheatres, Pula Arena was used for gladiator combats and fights between death row convicts and wild animals. Nowadays it’s used for concerts; Michael Bolton, Seal, Elton John, just to name a few, have performed there. If I had to choose, I’d rather see a Roman convict fight off a wild lion than see a Michael Bolton concert. As a matter of fact, I’d rather fight the wild animal myself than be subjected to a Michael Bolton concert.

Pula Arena

The Pula Arena is the sixth largest Roman arena in the world.

Pula Arena

View of the Adriatic Sea from inside the Pula Arena

Pula Arena

This is where I will battle a wild lion to the death!

Pula Arena

The wild lion that I will slaughter so I can avoid watching a Michael Bolton concert.

Roman artifacts in Pula Arena

Ancient Roman jars. I think they stored olive oil in them.

Olive oil mill at Pula Arena

Ancient Roman olive oil mill

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08

Oct
2013

One Comment

In Croatia
Travel

By kanannie

Rovinj: A Very Photogenic Town

On 08, Oct 2013 | One Comment | In Croatia, Travel | By kanannie

Rovinj

One of the best views of the old town and the Church of St. Euphemia

We arrived in Groznjan on a cold and rainy day and we left on a colder and rainier day. The original plan was to take a cab to the bus stop in Buje and hop on a bus to Rovinj, but once we climbed into the warm, dry taxi we decided to splurge and pay the extra $35 to have the driver and her teenage daughter take us all the way to Rovinj. This saved us a 2+ hour wait in the rain at the Buje bus stop and a potentially wet walk to our apartment once we arrived in Rovinj. Sometimes it’s just worth it to spend the extra dough.

The rain stopped by the time we arrived in Rovinj so we dropped off our bags at our AirBnB apartment and went out for a walk to explore the old town. Since we stayed in the heart of the old town we were able to explore a good amount of it the first evening.

Many boats in the Rovinj harbor

The port and the old town in the background.

Rovinj pedestrian street

I’m convinced that these innocent looking pedestrian walkways were designed to kill a few tourists every season.

The old part of town, where most tourists stay, is quaint and charming. Its pedestrian streets are all slippery stone, perfect for killing the hordes of elderly cruise tourists who descend upon the small town every summer. If you do manage to survive the walk through town then you can enjoy listening to the romantic saxophone musician who plays everything from Broadway show tunes to The Jackson 5 while you dine al fresco with your beloved.

Sax player at night

A sax player with a giant saxophone.

Grilled calamari

I ate grilled calamari while the sax player serenaded me.

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Chillin’ in Groznjan

On 06, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In Art & Design, Croatia, Culture, Travel | By kanannie

Blue shutters.

Pretty blue shutters on a house in Groznjan.

It’s not hard to find a beautiful place on the Istrian coast of Croatia. We knew we were going to be spending more time on the coast in the coming weeks, so we found a small, secluded hilltown of Groznjan as our first stop.

Picturesque town.

Picturesque town.

Archway.

An old archway leading into town.

We took a bus to a tiny town called Buje on a cold and rainy afternoon and paid an idle old man we found in a café to drive us the rest of the way (about 8.5km on an uphill). Perched atop a hill overlooking farms and smaller villages below, Groznjan is a cluster of the cutest stone houses with a population of less than 100. When the town’s population dwindled and was on the verge of becoming a ghost town, a colony of artists moved in and made it their home and workplace. You can see the artists’ influence on the town in the brightly painted shutters, the beautiful plants decorating the houses and the ateliers dotting the place.

Another gallery.

Galleries on every corner.

Kaya Energy Bar.

Kaya Energy Bar, a nice place for afternoon tea.

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