Nin

14 kms from Zadar you can find a jewel-box-like town called Nin. The main reason for its popularity is that it has a sandy beach while the in Zadar is rocky. When you enter the town you will immediately meet the heroic statue of Dux Branimir (I know it kind of sounds like Boromir!). He lived in the 9th century and he tried to decolonize his region from other empires. Throughout history the town has been a center of the Church and served as the home for the Princes of Dalmatia. Its most popular attraction is the Church of the Holy Cross. It was built also in the 9th century in Pre-Romanesque style and it is known as the smallest cathedral on Earth. Other sights are the remains of a Roman Temple in the center of the old town. During our walk in Nin (the town can be crossed easily because its length in only 500 ms!) we found a very interesting statue that looked like a drunk Dumbledore (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter in a place that kind of looks like it were a scene from Game of Thrones… Could this be a coincidence? I don’t think so!). Turned out the statue pictures a medieval Croatian bishop, Gregory of Nin. He did not agree with the Pope and decided to officiate his messes not only in Latin but in Croatian. That must be the reason for his gesture and the fact that he is holding the Holy Bible. The town is also famous for its medicinal paddle and its summer festivals. You can choose from a lot. There is one for fishing, one for the Roman Ages and also one for Salt.
I recommend this destination if you want to have a quiet holiday and spend your days at a sandy beach but still want to wander in a history filled town.

Šibenik

The Renaissance town was already founded in the 9th century to the place where Krka River meets the Adriatic Sea. It is famous for its Children’s Festival since 1960, the festival is held every year in June or July. While we were walking on the streets, all of them were decorated with lovely handmade portraits of children. St. James Cathedral is the most famous of its sights and it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. You can also enjoy the sun and the cool water, if that is what you are looking for at the public beach called Banj.

Practical tips for your visit:
First of all, the town can be easily reached from Zadar or from Trogir.
If you arrive by car, you have to leave it at a public car park next to the sea and the casinos and continue your journey by foot.
There are a lot of steps so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
And have a lot of water with you. You will need it, believe me.
If you decide to book your accomodation in Sibenik, you can take daily trips to either Kornati Islands or to Krka National Park.

Although we only spent an afternoon here, I advise you to visit these things:
St. James Cathedral with the Statue of Jurac Dalmatinac
St. Lawrence Church and Monastry with the Mediterranean Garden
St. Michael’s Fortress
The Count’s Palace
St. Anne’s Fortress
Church of St. Barbara
St. Anne’s Fortress
Town Hall
Channel Harbour

Šibenik and Game of Thrones
Bet you didn’t know that this town is one of the places where GoT was shot! It appeared in season 5 as a city of Braavos. Arya Stark can be seen running in front of the St. James Cathedral, which served as the House of the Many Faced God. You can also see Mandroc as the port of Braavos.

Krka National Park

Trg Ivana Pavla II br.5, 22000 Šibenik
Opening hours: Open every day! January, February, November and December 9:00-16:00; March and October 9:00-17:00; April 9:00-18:00; May and September 9:00-19:00; June, July and August 9:00-20:00
Tickets: 30-110 kn
Click here for more information!

Krka National Park can be found at the Sibenik region of Croatia. It is famous for its waterfalls and also because the most beautiful part of River Krka can be found in the park. The Park lies on 109 km2 territory and can be entered from two towns. If you arrive to Lozovac, you will enter the waterfalls with a bus. If you go to Skradin, you will talk a half hour and 3 km long boat trip. The boats leave from the town once in every hour and in every half an hour back.
For additional fee, you can book a boat for yourself and take a trip that is not restrained by other people or time.

The visitors have a chance to enter some of the waterfalls, but the ground is very rocky, it is not easy to move and the water is very cold. Although this place is very tourist-friendly, make sure not to enter the places where it is not allowed. The hiking route is 4 kms but with a lot of uphill steps and roads.
You can find many relaxation stages in every 10 minutes where you can freshen up or have a picnic. There are many food stands in the park and although they are very expensive, it certainly has a feeling when you walk with a fruit salad in your hand surrounded by natural beauty.
I noticed earlier that fig is very popular in Croatia and I saw many bushes in the park. There are also stands selling the fresh or the dried version of the fruit.
During our walk in the park I saw dragonflies, different kinds of fish and ducks. It is stated that more than 200 hundred bird species and even bats live in the park, but I didn’t run into them during my visit.

Zadar

‘Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.’ /Alfred Hitchcock in 1964/

Zadar, the capital of Dalmatia lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in the middle of Croatia. Throughout history it has been occupied by the Romans, the Greeks and has been a part of the Republic of Venice and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The town’s income comes mainly from fishing and tourism. What if I told you you can study archaeology, Francophone Studies or Psychology at the seaside, you can do it at the University of Zadar. Isn’t that cool?

What are the sights you definitely have to check out in Zadar?

Church of St. Donat
Trg. Sv. Stoshije 4
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 9:00-17:00
Tickets: 12-20 kn
Click here for more information!

The symbol of the town definitely has to be the Church of St. Donat, it’s even embossed in tickets for local transportation. The church was built in the 9th century and was named after Zadar’s bishop who lived in the 4th century. As we were inside people were charmed by the four little kittens who seem to have found shelter in the church. Outside on the square you can find ancient Roman ruins.

Sea Organ
Obala kralja Petra Krešimira IV

It’s a musical instrument that was first established in the world in Zadar and is played on by the waves of the sea.  Next to it you can find the Greeting to the Sun that you have to see at night.

Andy Warhol exhibition
Rector’ Palace –  Poljana Šime Budinića 3
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 9:00-23:30
Tickets: 200 kn
Click here for more information!

There is a current exhibition dedicated to the American pop-art artist, but be prepared because it is only open until September!

The beach
No words needed, just enjoy the rocky beach of Zadar!

Besides from these Zadar offers several kind of boat trips. The organized ones go the Kornati Island and Krka National Park, but you can plan one for yourself. The prices of these are pretty high, a 3 hours trip to a neighbour island costs 1000 kunas.

I advice you to go to the local market that to see the fish and beautiful and fresh vegetables of the local people. Also make sure to take a walk at night.

Bon voyage!

 

Fashion history I.: Medieval noble dresses

As I was walking around in the Castle of Siklós, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing dresses that were displayed on wax statues everywhere. Those big skirts made me think how lazily we are dressing ourselves these days compared to that.

What did I learn from the exhibition?
Velvet, baize, linen, silk, lace and brocade were the most common materials for noble clothes.
There was no difference in the colour palette of men’s and women’s clothing. Green, yellow and red were the most populatar colours.
All of women’s dresses had a massive puckered skirt and the sleeves of the upper gament were getting wider from the elbow to the wrist.
The decorating elements on women’s clothing in general were lace, embroidery and pearls.
Decorated headpieces made the outfit complete. Only maidens could walk in the town with uncovered hair.
Jewelry were made of gold, silver and gemstones.
Men wore tight trousers with shirt and a coat on top of that.
The coat’s margin was covered with some kind of fur (such as marten, sable or ermine).
The accesories of men were the decorated buttons on their jacket.

Spring beauties

After a very long and cold winter, spring has finally arrived. Brace yourselves! The trees might feel confused because it’s warm all of a sudden, but they certainly try their best to catch up.

I had plans you know… Each year I’m visiting the magnolia trees with my best friend. We take pictures and just admire its beauty. Never missed one since I’m in Szeged. This year was different though. They began to blossom very quickly. I wanted to shoot some portraits, I even found a model. Last Monday after work we were heading to the trees on Széchenyi Square. And then there was nothing… There weren’t even petals under the tree.

It made me very sad that I missed it this year, but instead I was shooting pictures of other natural beauties. There are thousands of colourful tulips as well in Széchenyi Square, they are certainly worthy of attention. Then I went to my hometown, Kecskemét for the weekend and took some shots there as well in Deák Ferenc Square and my parents’ garden.

Wishing all of you a beautiful spring! I hope you find beauty around you.

 

Photography books II.: Mihaela Noroc

Mihaela Noroc: The Atlas of Beauty

This 32-year old photographer from Bucharest has been travelling all around the world in the last couple of years to take pictures of beautiful women. Singapore, France, Brazil, Iran, Tibet, Ecuador, Myanmar and Mexico are just few of the places she has already visited. According to Mihaela’s Instagram, she is currently in India to ‘explore the unnoticed beauty which lies in people around us’.
She also tells stories about the women she photographs. What it is like to be working as living statues in Ukraine? What it is like to live with a birthmark on your cheek? What are the days like in a refugee camp? These stories reflect not only the situation of women, but also the world we currently live in. What we only consider today an anecdote will become history tomorrow.

Follow Mihaela on her journey:
The Atlas of Beauty (Official)
The Atlas of Beauty (Instagram)
The Atlas of Beauty (Facebook)