There are so many things to enjoy about Zadar. Thus I decided to share the three most valuable things I discovered while living in Zadar. This list is not extensive and it might change over time. I am still in the process of discovering the country. Please comment your favourite things about Zadar or Croatia. I am eager to explore further.
Indubitably my favourite experience in Croatia has been meeting its people; locals are amazing here. They are so friendly and kind. Hubby and I have been feeling welcome since we arrived in January. It is important to keep in mind that the first time you meet someone he/she might not be as warm as they tend to become later. This is not because Croatians are not amiable or because they are angry. It is just part of the culture, I would say. They are always smiling, but definitely, they are not as close as Mexicans.
Right now we have amazing friends and when we meet for coffee or food we receive hugs and kisses. At the beginning, it was dobar dan. Little by little, it has been a pleasure getting to know them better. We meet regularly, which takes me to my next favourite thing here: kava.
I am still impressed by how much time a kava reunion might take. I used to live at a different pace. In Mexico City everything needs to be done quickly. There are people waiting, there are places to be, and there are so many things to do that time is scarce. Mostly time for little things, such as coffee.
I used to drink coffee every day. I got to work, started the coffee machine, as I was usually one of the first to arrive, wrote a to-do list for the day and poured some coffee. But then the day swallowed me in the rapidness of the city. Sometimes I could not drink my coffee because classes had already started and it was not considered good manners to have a coffee in my classroom, which is, in my opinion - nonsense. I was the teacher, sometimes I did not care about manners but still, I drank coffee cold because I got passionate about books and forgot about it. Some other days I started class after 8 so I had one hour at work to grade papers and drink coffee.
In Croatia, it has been a totally different experience. I have encountered polako. I cannot claim I know how to live by it. I still find myself trapped in a rush because I feel like something or the other is urgent. My Croatian friends have taught me there is nothing urgent while you drink your kava. In a kava reunion, we talk about the day, our experiences in life, our past and current loves, our readings, and writings, our favourite part of a hiking trip, etc. There are so many things to chat about. The world feels like stopping for us to take kava. Our favourite place for kava reunions is Art Kavana, the staff is friendly and efficient. The kava is delicious and the cakes are something else. When in Croatia please drink kava and polako.
Food is an important part of my life. And Croatia has amazing dishes. I have eaten so much delicious food here that I have gained weight. Our bodies are where we live so we must be loving and gentle with them. That being said… sometimes not so healthy food is delicious and it is kind of impossible not to eat it. I have decided to choose my unhealthy foods. If I am going to give my body something that might not be the best it must be delicious.
I have tried homemade and restaurant food. Obviously, I preferred homemade food, but I am not a trained cook. So, my favourite food in Zadar is the truffle gnocchi from Harbour Cookhouse. You need to try it. It is delicious. It has a strong flavour, so if you are not keen on that type of taste you might prefer to avoid it. I will say it is a big mistake. The rest of the menu in that restaurant is not spectacular, but other good restaurants in Zadar are Bruschetta, 4 Kantuna, and Congo. In Bruschetta you need to try the veal gnocchi, very tasty! I would recommend anything you want to try in 4 Kantuna, I have tried pizza and pasta, nevertheless, my local friends tell me everything is phenomenal, and the selections of wines are yummy (I have definitely tried those). In Congo I loved the hamburgers and gnocchi; the last time I was there they changed the menu and took those out... So pizza there is good, ask it crispy, it is better.
To put it in a nutshell, all Croatian cuisine is amazing. I love peka, pasticada, anchovies… Croatia has so much to offer, always listen to the locals, they definitely know better! And they are awesome! Please eat everything the locals hand you! Drink kava, talk to friends, taste the amazing cuisine… just polako! Enjoy your days here, the climate is getting hotter; summer is coming.
Written by: Alejandra Gotoo