between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

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mitigating sticker-shock in croatia

Posted by Andrew in EGYPT, CROATIA (November 16, 2007 at 4:28 pm)

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Lets get the hard part out of the way—Croatia was expensive! Especially at this late point in our trip, to see prices like Western Europe in the middle of the Balkans was an unexpected and difficult shock. So If you’ve been dreaming about the out of the way 2-dollar Croatian vacation, sorry you’ve already missed the boat, cause the days of post-communism are long gone round here…
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But we are resilient, no? Por supuesto. With the help of some great couchsurfing hosts, Croatia comes alive. The best stop for sure was on the Dalmatian coast, CIMG5577 j with dalmatian.jpgwhere we stayed with Ljuba and her family in the town of Solin.
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Pomegranates off the tree for breakfast, a constant stream of Croatian porros, and an amazing once-a-year cultural event. In the nearby mountain town of Dugopolje, they were having their annual Klapa fest—Klapa is acoustic singing, sounds a bit like an American barber shop quartet, except there are 8, 10 or more people singing(either all men or all women)
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Click on these links below to listen to some Klapa—its good stuff.

The festival also featured some friendly non-musical competitions:
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Possibly the best part was when the whole town gathered at a huge underground cave, where a Klapa group performed a short song. They sang really quietly so the cave wouldn’t collapse.
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And as luck would have it, Ljuba’s good friend was both a Klapa singer, and host of the before, midway and after parties.
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Ljuba also showed us around the beautiful and historic towns of Split and Trogir.
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And best of all, we got to ride in a Yugo!!
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Slightly less exciting was the Croatian capital of Zagreb. Staying at the home of Martina, a soft-spoken native of the city, we walked around a lot and experienced a couple of days just how I always imagined a classic eastern European capital: kind of rainy, kind of gray, old buildings with great details, and trolleys.
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JESSICA SEZ: We did NOT visit any of the famously beautiful croatian islands. But if you want to try that, I’d recommend finding a friend on

Okay, fans, that’s it for now. We are trying to catch up—Bosnia is next for all you keeping little pushpins on your wall map. In reality, we are now back in the states, recovering and trying to figure out if it was all a dream. If you are in Tampa or NYC, give us a holla–were chilling…
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I’ve also had a few stories published or on air.
Click here to see a Seattle Times article about our trip to the white desert.

Click here for a different story about the same trip; this one in Egypt Today Magazine.

And click here to listen to my first (semi)stateside radio report, about an Egyptian blogger who’s been in jail for the past year, and the movement to have him freed.
It features segments of an interview I did with a cartoonist we met in Egypt, so it still trip-related. Suerte, Kareem…

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