Panoramic flight Split to Kornati

My fascination with panoramic flights and desire to see everything from the air, did not end with that flight over Split and Brac. Next destination on my list was Kornati National Park as one of the most attractive places to see from the air in Croatia.

Our flight was scheduled for one sunny afternoon few weeks back and we boarded our Cessna 172 Skyhawk like last time hoping for smooth ride despite fairly strong winds. I am always amazed how easily we get off the ground!

Swamps near Trogir
Swamps near Trogir

Soon, we were flying over Primošten and Rogoznica to reach some of the beautiful islands of Šibenik.

Shores of Dalmatia
Shores of Dalmatia
Islands
Islands

And then the Kornati were within sight …

Kurba Vela
Kurba Vela
Ravni Žakan
Ravni Žakan

All those beautiful islands I sailed among on numerous occasions were now even more beautiful from the air. Although, I must admit I missed that distinctive scent of Kornati present when sailing…

Gujka bay
Gujka bay
Mana Island
Mana Island

And then we started our return…

The cliffs
The cliffs

Marina Piškera must be the most beautiful marina in the world!

Marina Piškera
Marina Piškera

All the way over very pretty Rogoznica

Rogoznica
Rogoznica

…and stunning Trogir

Trogir
Trogir

And again, it was too short (cc 2 hours). And again, it was so memorable. Another smooth landing and I am already making plans for new flights! (and how to include it with our tours in Croatia)

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Zagreb Wine Gourmet Weekend 2012

Zagreb Wine Gourmet Weekend is one of my favorite wine and food shows in Croatia. A great opportunity to see and learn about new trends, wines, olive oils and food but also to meet some old friends and make some new ones.

This year, ZWG was held at wonderful settings of the old Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Zagreb from April 13 to April 15. I decided to visit for one day only due to many other obligations. Early morning drive to was fun and we arrived ready for some food and wine r’n’r.

ZWG 2012
ZWG 2012

But before even entering the exhibition halls, we stopped for a quick “bite” at the soup truck at the very entrance.

The soup truck and Mr. Oz(ren Drobnjak)
The soup truck and Mr. Oz(ren Drobnjak)

Not only that their carrot – ginger soup was awesome but I also got to meet Mr. Ozren Drobnjak who is a mastermind behind the Croatia Restaurant Week. Such a great honor! After just a quick soup, we moved on. There were three halls to visit and a lot of wine to taste. But, I decided to limit drinking to the minimum as one can get drunk way too fast on an event like this. We decided to taste only the wines we did not enjoy before and only if they were very interesting and unusual. But you do know that decisions like that are really hard to stick to on events like this? 😉

One of our first stops was at Bolfan wines and that was a nice experience in inner Croatian biodynamic wines enjoying their Riesling and Pinot noir. This is also one of the wineries in Croatia with most international awards.

Mrs. Ujević explaining the mission of Bolfan wines
Mrs. Ujević explaining the mission of Bolfan wines

Next stop Meneghetti but more for their exceptional olive oils as I am quite familiar with their wines. These were some of the best olive oils I had in a while. Not traditional like I usually enjoy but very picant as obviously, picked very green. Really something I see enjoying a lot with all sorts of food!

Meneghetti - Wines and olive oils
Meneghetti - Wines and olive oils

One of my biggest discoveries were wines from Slovenian wine maker Tilia. And especially their Yellow muscat which is just one superb sweet wine!

Tilia wines
Tilia wines

But probably the best “new” wine I had were the wines from Veralda winery located in Brtonigla, Istria. Although these wines are quite known among the wine makers, this was my first introduction to them and someone should do better PR as these were much better than most of the better known wine makers.

Veralda wines
Veralda wines

Of course, we stopped at the tables of Bibich, Trapan, Tomac, Crvik…and several others but these were some of the wines that really impressed me and I enjoyed the most. I only don’t like that the show organizers are not allowing us to buy some wines as that would be great instead of getting all those business cards and instructions.

Jelačić Square in Zagreb
Jelačić Square in Zagreb

And as the sun was slowly setting on Zagreb, we were getting ready for more food and wine experiences…

Best Restaurants in Croatia – Plavi podrum in Volsko, Opatija

Although I am mostly oriented towards Dalmatia and bringing travelers to  Zadar and south, I also try to push them to other beautiful and exceptional places in the country. Of course, great food is a must for every serious traveler as they rely on my recommendations. One of the places I have been recommending for a while – without actually eating there – was Plavi podrum in charming Volosko.

Volosko
Volosko

So, few weeks back, as I was in the area, I decided to actually go to Plavi podrum and enjoy it on my own. This iconic place is famous for sea food and great selection of wines as the owner, Mrs. Kramarić, is one of the master somellier’s in the country and a well respected authority on wines (and food, of course)

Since I always enjoy fresh local produce, Kvarner scampi (as one of the absolute best what Croatia can offer!) was high on the list- And especially when I saw their scampi menu: Škampijada na Kvarneru!

We started with interesting couvert …

Couvert
Couvert

…with scampi cocktail to follow…

Scamp cocktail with red pepper and orange served with rice chips and pumpkin paper
Scamp cocktail with red pepper and orange served with rice chips and pumpkin paper

All this was accompanied by light malvasia.

As the restaurant was starting to fill up for lunch, we continued with Rainbow tagliolini with scampi, peaches and Istrian black truffles

Just a great spot...
Just a great spot...
Rainbow tagliolini with scampi, peaches and Istrian black truffles
Rainbow tagliolini with scampi, peaches and Istrian black truffles
Scampi on apple cream on reduction of monkfish and foie gras
Scampi on apple cream on reduction of monkfish and foie gras

Then it was the time for a glass of pošip…to accompany Croatian classic: buzara (with lobster size scampi!)

Scampi buzara
Scampi buzara

Overall, all dishes have been masterfully prepared and full of very interesting combinations. Everything quite gentle to follow the tender texture and sweet taste scampi but still quite memorable! Probably the weakest point of the menu was the chocolate dessert which simply lacked that extra touch…

Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse (80% dark schocolate) and chocolate-peperoncino ice cream
Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse (80% dark chocolate) and chocolate - peperoncino ice cream

All this may seem a bit extravagant (for those who are not used to culinary events of this sort) but this was one superb meal that explores various possibilities with one of Croatia’s most celebrated foods: kvarner scampi. Also, this is a great place for dinner.

Plavi podrum has again been voted among top 5 restaurants of Croatia and it should definitely be high on the list of every foodie coming to travel in Croatia

Plavi Podrum
Vl. Daniela Kramarić ~
Ulica Frana Supila 12 ~
51410 Opatija/Volosko ~
tel. +385 51 701 223
fax. +385 51 741 195
All credit cards accepted