Blonde in Greece #1: From Croatia to Greece

Agnieszka walking in Zadar, Croatia

What do Balkan countries have in them that people want to stay there for a long time? Is it the beauty of nature, tasty dishes or the hospitality of people? In my country, Poland, this region is referred to as a Balkan cauldron, a place where you can find everything and everyone (all kinds of beauty, numerous religions, different problems). Maybe it is this diversity that makes the Balkan region so attractive.

Agnieszka walking around Ugljan island in Croatia, a Balkan country
Turquoise sea around the Ugljan island in Croatia

Why Balkan?

When people asked me why I chose Croatia for my Erasmus, I replied that I was never in a Balkan country before and thus I am curious about its cultural flavours. Then I got the answer that in this place you will not get to know the typical Balkan culture because this region is more directed towards the Italian culture (Zadar Region, Dalmatia). Let us not forget that in each country, the region is not only places but also people. For this reason, during my Erasmus stay, I have also met a lot of people who are closely connected to the Balkan culture.

After finishing my Erasmus, I felt like I am still not finished with my explorations of the Balkans and I wanted to know them some more. Thus I am now in Thessaloniki.

In front of Hagia Sophia church in Thessaloniki


In both countries, the main motive of living there is the word “slowly”. In Croatia, it is „pomalo”, while in Greece it is „siga siga”. Whether in a store or in an office or in any other institution, they have time for everything. People coming from another part of Europe may be disturbed, but this is how it is, and we have to adapt to it, instead of expecting that the culture adapts to us (but: the cars on the street can be fast!). The second similarity is the ritual of drinking coffee. People start to drink it in ten minutes while having a conversation and suddenly they find out that this contemplation over life took them several hours in the surrounding world. In Croatia, they mainly drink espresso or latte macchiato, while in Greece frappe is the most popular variety of coffee, especially in summer.

 In 1964, Alfred Hitchcock wrote:
“Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida, applauded at every evening.”

Visit the Balkans!

I think that when it comes to the Balkan countries, your feeling can be either love or hate, nothing in the between (but with time, hatred turns into love). The best way to find out is to come and check it out by yourself.

Where will my next Balkan journey be? For now, I am planning to visit Albania. After that, we will see…

-------------------------------------------------------------- SHARING IS CARING! --------------------------------------------------------------



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