Geographically in a place historically “between” places, Croatia has been host to invaders and kingdoms, socialists and Catholics; and bandied about by Italians and Hungarians. Odysseus was said to have even paused at one of its Islands for a stint, leaving readers bewildered as to why he would ever leave.
“The streets of Dubrovnik are made of marble,” people tell me, forcing me to imagine my own sojourn there to be like King of Thrones--without the bloodshed of course.
Highlights include indigenous wines, aromatic lavender fields and salt-water lakes.
But it is its rich history that pre-dates the Roman Empire, lasts through the Ottoman one and gains independence in the 1990s that makes it a prime place for my brand of treasure hunting.
I am going to start in Zagreb, the capital and home to the Hrelic Flea Market to see what tossed-away objects Croatia has to offer. Reviews of this market have spanned from, “A true junk fest ¬ in a good way,” to “an exhibition of the Croatian reality.” I will go with the latter.
In my mind, I will look for an artifact to transform into jewelry that somehow reflects the dense history with multiple influences belied by beauty and a Mediterranean-style life. Or just have fun on the beaches, Odysseus style…