Tag Archives: journey

The language of Croatia

The inspiring language of Croatian can be originated back to the 9th Century, when the Old Church Slavonic gained the official status of a religious language. The Old Slavonic and the Local Dialect then developed into Croatia, by using the three alphabets, Latin, Cyrillic and Glagolitic. As years passed on, other countries such as Serbia and Slovakia influenced the Croatian language.

Nowadays, Croatian is spoken in many regions of neighbouring countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Serbia and Austria.

Here is a small list of necessary words and phrases required to get around in a Croatian speaking country:

  • Hello – Bok
  • How are you? – Kako ste?
  • What is your name? – Kako se zovete?
  • My name is … – Zovem se …
  • Good morning – Dobro jutro
  • Good afternoon – Dobar dan
  • Good evening – Dobra večer
  • Good night – Laku noć
  • Have a nice day – Lijep Vam dan želim!
  • Yes – Da
  • No – Ne
  • Help! – U pomoć!
  • Please – Molim
  • Do you speak English? – Govorite li engleski?
  • Parlez-vous français ? – Govorite li francuski ?
  • Hablas español ? – Govorite li španjolski ?
  • Can you help me? – Možete li mi pomoći?
  • How much is this? – Koliko je ovo?

Obviously, I am not a Croatian speaker, but I am hopefully going to visit Croatia this summer, so I figured that I should help others perhaps vacating there soon as well as myself.

If any of the above phrases are incorrect or could be corrected / added, do not hesitate to comment below!

Have any of you been to Croatia before? If so, comment below!

– Navigatio Travel

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Most Favourable Spanish Seaside Towns

Spain. What do you think of? The tapas, or the fiestas? The La Tomatina Festival or the Flamenco? But did you think of the beaches? Or the quaint little fishing towns which are perfectly placed everywhere? Even if you did, or if you didn’t, this blog post will be great for you. Who knows, it may even inspire a small trip to one of the seaside towns featured in this post… read and find out!

Of course, it would be nearly impossible to include all of the towns but I shall just include my personal favourites, enjoy!

  • The Costa Brava Coast (Catalonia) boasts plenty of gorgeous resorts, so it would be unreasonable to not include more than one so I have to mention Begur and of course Calella de Palafrugell. If visiting Calella de Palafrugell, remember to explore the little cove of Cala el Golfet.
  • Interested in Mallorca? Check out Deia, and be sure to try out some of their local delicacies.
  • The La Tomatina Festival occurs annually at the end of August in a small town called Buñol (Valencia), however a small seaside resort nearby named El Saler, situated close to Valencia, is highly recommended. It also boasts plenty of sand dunes, perfect for the little ones. 
  • The Bay or Biscay also withholds San Sebastián. If visiting, be sure to visit the Playa de la Concha and the Playa de Ondarreta
  • Tossa de Mar is another Spanish Gem, again situated on the Catalonian Coast, and this historic fishing village is full of history and has plenty of life. The ancient castle is also well worth a visit. 
  • Another fishing village is Nerja, and again is perfect for any budding photographers and is full of history, culture and of course the traditional Spanish beauty.
  • Or are you looking for a larger, more city like town ? Would Malaga tick the boxes? 
  • Another large city is Barcelona, which as well as being on the coast, is famous for the art and architecture, especially from the artist Gaudi and the popular Sagrada Familai Church. 

Of course, the list could go on. 

Have you been to any of these places, are there now, or are planning to go in the future? Have I missed out a place which you believe should definitely feature? Just comment below!

-Navigatio Travel 

Turkish Delicacies

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I just mention “Turkish Delicacies”? Kebabs? Those sickly Turkish Delights in wrappers that you find in your local supermarket? Anything else? Well, I can assure you, Turkish Cuisine is one of my favourite cuisines, te spices and aromas that fill all of my senses can back me up on that, and I invite you to read my favourite Turkish Delicacies and to perhaps comment your own.

  • Turkish Delights. The real Turkish Delights, that contain pistachios, or nuts, dates or hazelnuts, you name it. You are bound to find one that suits your unique tastebuds. If you are in Istanbul, i recommend going to the Spice Bazaar to select your individual Turkish Delights. 
  • When I visited Turky, I was a meat eater (I am now a vegetarian) and I loved the traditional döner kebab. The Döner Kebab is a type of Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, which I recommend entirely!
  • Meze is another of my favourites, it is very similar to Spanish Tapas, so a selection of small dishes (calamari, salad, cheese, yoghurt with garlic and cucumber) generally served with an alcoholic drink. Depending on which place you go to get your Meze, the courses will be different. 
  • Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is traditionally Turkish, dating back to the Ottoman Empire. 
  • Similar to Baklava, Tulumba is a popular dessert found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. It is a fried batter soaked in syrup. This Turkish Delicacy, is very similar to Churros or a similar European Dish. 
  • Feeling thirsty? Why not try the common Turkish Apple Tea? In basically every restaurant or shop, Turkish apple tea would be on show. Perhaps people drinking it, or people about to drink it… everywhere. 

As I visited about three years ago, (2013) I obviously cannot recall every dish I tried, but these are the ones that have evidently stayed in my mind for many years after.

Have any of you tried any of these dishes? Or are there any that you have tried and adored but have not featured in this list, please comment below!

Thanks for reading.

-Navigatio Travel

Turkey 

So, a couple of years back, (pretty sure it was in 2013), I spent a week in gorgeous Turkey. However, I have since acquired a new phone as my old phone broke, parting me from my photography I took on my travels. Therefore this post will not be full of photos, as I have no personal snaps, but alas may contain an occasional Google Images (most probably photoshopped) photo. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post, and please feel free to comment or like, or even just wait in anticipation for the next blog post. Enjoy!

Istanbul. This extremely cultural city, hosting a variety of historical events, ranging from the Roman Times to the Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. During my stay in Istanbul, I remained in the Otel Fuar Hotel, which I reccomend highly; they supplied the yummiest food (such as spicy lentil soup) as well some as the comfiest beds I have ever stayed in. 

The first day consisted of visiting the legendary Blue Mosque (pictured above (as I mentioned before, courtesy of Google Images)), Sultanahmet Square, Basílica Cistern, Ayasofya Müzesi, Chora Museum and the Spice Bazaar. 

Luckily I kept all of my leaflets I received over the course of my cultural stay, so am able to use this information in my blog. The Blue Mosque was built between 1609-1617 by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga upon the order of Sultan Ahmed 1, who became King at the young age of 14, and Sedefkar was only 19 when he was ordered to build this historical aftifact. This Mosque is a masterpiece built with the understanding of the Great Architect Siman in the 17th century. 

The Blue Mosque also contained a hospital, a madrasah (higher education institution), a soup kitchen, a primary school, a bazaar (market) and a tomb for the members of the Royal Family . As well as this, there is also an individual room called a Muvakkithane, where an astronomer did calculations of the times of prayer and other important occasions in the Muslim Calendar. 

This Mosque is famous for the Blue Tiles (originating from Iznik) and other handmade tiles that adorn the interior walls of the Mosque, giving it its Western Name of Blue Mosque. In total, there are more than 21 000 tiles decorating this splendid Mosque. 

Within Sultanahmet Square, or Hippodrome, I saw the Egyptian Obelisk, as well as the Stone Obelisk and the Serpentine Column, that weee originally brought to Turkey by Emperors and were used to decorate the Hippodrome. These again, were spectacular, and helped me to open my eyes about the culture of Turkey. 

The Basilica Cistern, again, wow. One of the largest of hundreds of underground, ancient Cisterns, that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. According to Historical Figures, people have deduced that around 7000 slaves were involved in the complicated construction of this complex system. The Basilica Cistern provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times.

The Afosofya Müzesi, as pictured above, was again gobsmacking. This ancient Byzantine Church was built by Justinian 1 between 532-537 AD after the Niko Riot, and this museum boasts many decorative mosaics in this church of Jesus and Virgin Mary. 

The next Museum I visited, the Chora Museum, is again a church of the Holy Saviour and is considered to be one of the most beautiful surving examples of a Byzantine Church. Likewise with The Afosofya Müzesi, the interior is adorned with fine mosaics and frescoes. 

The Spice Bazaar, or Misir Carsisi is located behind the Yeni Mosque at the entrance of the golden horn, or bay of Istanbul. This incredible Bazaar sold spices, nuts, teas, Turkish delights, honeycomb, essences and even more. I was lucky enough to find a Turkish delight stand that sold the most delicious treats I have had in a very long time. 

The next day, I visited Gallipoli and Çannakale. I visited the Battlefields and Sites were the Dardanelles Campaign took place (a WW1 campaign that took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between the 25th April 1915-9th January 1916). I also visited a beach that represented the Battle, as well as many graveyards were the never forgotten soldiers now lay. 

In Çannakale, the Asian Part of Troy, I visited the archaeological site of Troy, which is currently more than 4000 years old and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the World. And in 1870, Heinreich Schliemann made the first excavations at the site.

 

I continued my cultural journey around Turkey by staying in the Grand Anzac Hotel, situated close to the coast and boasting brilliant views. 

The following day, I returned to Istanbul to visit the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. 

Topkapi Palce was the first Ottoman Palace to be built in 1466-1478 in the newly conquered capital of the Empire by Mehmet 2, however this palace is not a single monumental structure but a more organic complex made up of various kiosks, gardens and areas spread over the tip of the histórica, peninsula at the entry of the Golden Horn. Then in 1924, the Topkapi Palace was turned into a museum and has since become one of he most attractive and famous palaces/museums in the World. 

Then I arrived at the Grand Bazaar. Wow. Wow. Wow. I thought I had seen it all at the Spice Bazaar, but no. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.you can really picture the immense size and scale, as well as atmosphere, of this cultural experience.

Everywhere I looked, spices filled my nostrils, bright colours and silks overwhelmed my sight and loud chatter weaved in and out of my ears. I, of course, did quite a bit of shopping whilst in there, including a Turkish Bowl, Turkish Scarf, plenty of Evil Eye Charms, Spices,  more Turkish Delights. I was in heaven, it was truly and unforgettable visit. 

I would upload a photo of the Grand Bazaar, but unfortunately WordPress is reporting an error, so I have attached a link to a photgraphic website which represents my still very vivid memories. Grand Bazaar

The next day was my last, so it only consisted of me travelling to Istanbul Airport to catch my late plane home. 

Overall, Turkey was a very eye opening trip, and for everyone who hasn’t  been or is considering to go , I urge you, GO!

If you are there at the moment, please try and find a Tulumba, a small sweet delicacy which I consumed constantly throughout my trip. 

– Navigatio Travel