Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Ever considered adoption?

You might be wondering what this is all about. Do adoptions have something to do with travel? Actually in this case there is a link between the two...


During my last trip to the Croatian island of Lošinj (also successfully marketed as The island of dolphins), a sign promoting adoptions caught my attention. As some of you might have already guessed by now, it was not about regular child adoptions - it was about a dolphin adoptions.


As I found out after a short investigation, on Lošinj you can actually do just that - adopt a real dolphin!



After days of swimming and relaxing on the beaches with M., on one of the mornings we decided to visit the town of Veli Lošinj for a change. Among other things, The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation definitely deserves a visit. It is located in the very centre of the town and was our main target of the day.


The place definitely has a strong environmental feel to it. It mainly focuses on local marine life and its preservation. Visitors can interact with many exhibitions, which makes it also perfect for children.


Since it is located on the island of dolphins, the marine centre obviously has a large section dedicated to sea mammals.


If you are planning a visit to the island I strongly recommend you stop at this place. If you do not have a trip for Croatia scheduled for the near future, you can visit their website instead and maybe sometime in the future end up spending your summer as a volunteer with them.


All information regarding dolphin adoption can be found on this direct link.

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Friday, 9 August 2013

Portrait of a lace maker

Mercury and lace. For centuries those were the main two income sources for the ordinary man (and woman) living in a Slovenian town of Idrija. While men were mining mercury, women spent their days making lace. During the last few decades both of those roles have been slowly replaced by alternatives provided by industry and hobbies of modern times.


With constant growth in tourism sector, Idrija has been trying to take advantage of a rich technical heritage, centuries of Mercury mining have left behind. Delicious local food specialities (žlikrofi) and delicate lace products are just some of all the other things this charming little Slovenian town has to offer to a visitor.


In an effort to help Idrija lace reach the publicity it deserves, I recently took part in a photographic workshop titled "Portrait of a lace maker". These are just some of the results I got from a rainy morning photo-session.








Clicking on any one of above photos will reveal them all in a much more flattering resolution.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Architectural details of Ljubljana



Clicking on any one of above photos will reveal them all in a much more flattering resolution.

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Friday, 2 August 2013

Open kitchen in Ljubljana

If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you have probably read a thing or two about Slovenia before.
If you are still not sure why you should check it out in person, here are the top 10 reasons for visiting Slovenia. As I have mentioned many times before, Slovenia is all about diversity - there is just so much of everything packed in this little gem of a country.


Food is no exception. Being tucked among countries with pretty distinct cuisines, Slovenia draws a little bit from each one of them. Throughout history the country has been influenced by Italy, Austria, Hungary and nearby Balkan countries. This is still quite obvious when looking at many dishes popular today.



All those influences do not mean there is nothing originally Slovenian in Slovenian cuisine. On the contrary, there are quite a few dishes with a unique local signature. In fact thirteen unique Slovenian foods and food products are even protected at the European level.


For locals and tourists alike there is a great chance to taste this uniqueness once a week in Ljubljana. There is an open food market set up every Friday from 8.00 in the morning till 19.00 in the evening in the very centre of Ljubljana (Pogačarjev trg). The food market is called Odprta kuhna literary meaning Open kitchen.
The plan is to keep the market running from May till October every year.



A while ago I decided to try out how the market looks and tastes like from the first-person perspective. I went there with a group of friends and I must say we all loved it!


When we visited the market there were some of the best restaurant representatives from many parts of the country. Local dishes as well as some fine international cuisine examples were on offer. As I learned, vendors change quite a lot and even those coming for a few times in a row try to present a different signature dish each time.



There were some delicious dishes I had an opportunity to taste for the first time. If you are wondering which one was my favourite, let me tell you it was a close call. I guess the fresh, lightly smoked sea bass fillet prepared at the Gostilna Krištof stall was my favourite amongst all.



The interesting part of this dish was its preparation. Sea bass fillet was first smoked with beech smoke using a specially designed smoking device. Then it was thinly sliced, placed on a vine leaf and seasoned with pepper, ginger and olive oil. I guess we could call it a sashimi with a Mediterranean-Slovenian twist.



Their restaurant is located in Kranj and if you are looking for a taste of Slovenian fusion cuisine with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients, they are definitely worth a closer look. They might not be cheap, but offer a great food experience with an extensive selection of wines.



Some stalls dedicated their attention to drinks only. There was not a large array of wines, beers and cocktails to choose from, but almost everything on offer was really good.
I tried an interesting variation of Mojito cocktail with White Plum Rakia instead of White rum.


To spice things up a little, there was a group of belly dancers. They put on quite a show!



We succeeded in visiting the majority of stalls and tasted as many dishes our bellies could possibly hold. We all agreed we need to do it again as soon as possible. Maybe we do it even today.


If you happen to be near Ljubljana on a Friday, you should definitely plan a visit to this food market. It is an ideal opportunity for finding your new favourite Slovenian restaurant.

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