Croatian Coffee Culture

I love coffee!  The aroma wafting through the kitchen as I brew my morning cup is amazing.  I do not prepare anemic drip coffee, which is not even marketed here, but a modified type of robust Turkish coffee.  My niece Paula describes it as ‘rocket fuel’ and it is far stronger than the standard American brew.  My morning ritual begins as I leisurely sip my coffee while reading emails.  A wonderful part of my day, morning coffee and reading news from friends and family in the states.

Morning espresso

Morning espresso

I believe my love of coffee is one of the reasons I have adapted so easily to the Croatian coffee culture.  It is a fundamental social activity, often enjoyed best with friends and family but any acquaintance can fill in the gap.   All important life experiences are deliberated over a cup of coffee: falling in love, marriage, divorce, deals made, being hired and fired, favors requested – basically every decision can and is made over a cup of coffee.

Croatian demitasse espresso

Croatian demitasse espresso

Our Croatian coffee culture is completely different than in the United States; here it is a social activity.  In the United States it is about enormous paper cups, jumping into a car and driving to work.  Here we sit and sip from ceramic cups with saucers and always a glass of water, a very small demitasse can last for hours and hours. The preparation and flavor is pure magic in the hands of Croatians. There is never a rush to clear the table and waiters will only come when beckoned, perhaps for another order.  Our typical cafes are filled with people sitting together, sharing and talking, not glued to their iPhone sending messages.

American coffee cafe

American coffee cafe

During the wet cold winter months when the weather is challenging I can fight the winter gloom easily.  Knowing my friends will be there, I feel the pull of our warm, toasty café.  Despite having to wade through the rain, I eagerly head out the door to make my way down to my favorite waterfront café.  Cherishing my ritual, spending hours enjoying a small espresso with friends, is a priceless experience of life here.

Cafe Festival, amazing coffee choices

Cafe Festival, amazing coffee choices

When you visit Dubrovnik take the time to enjoy our coffee culture and savor the experience. Do not be concerned if you are not a coffee aficionado. You may cherish your beverage of choice be it tea, soft drink, mineral water or perhaps a glass of our Dalmatian wine.  The ideal end of a perfect day enjoying Dubrovnik culture should be spent sipping espresso and partaking in a slice of krempita at the Gradska kavana, one of my favorite spots in Dubrovnik.

Krempita

Krempita

“Idemo na kavu” join me for coffee, relax, spend quality time and learn more about our culture.

 

 

 

Dubrovnik Video

A video tour of Dubrovnik, spend the day wandering around the walls and the old town.  Video by Gary Spetz, artist and PBS Host, beautifully filmed and edited.  Click on the bottom to view full screen on you tube.

Dubrovnik Tram – The Early Years

When I visited Dubrovnik in the seventies I often used the local bus service.  At that time buses resembled the old tram which ran in the early days. On 10 December 1910 the first tram began service from the Pile Brsalje to the Gruz, later extending the line to the original Dubrovnik rail station and a second line was added to provide service to Lapad. During six decades of existence the tram carried about one hundred million passengers and was retired 20 March 1970.  The following morning locals took the opportunity to ride the original route from Pile to Gruz for free.  That afternoon the cars were parked at the depot, the gate was locked and it was the finale of the Dubrovnik tram service, replaced by newer buses.

Tram at Pile Braslje

Tram at Pile Brsalje

During my frequent trips to Dubrovnik I often used public transportation which was and still is easy and inexpensive.  As a senior I am entitled to a free Libertas bus pass within the immediate areas of Dubrovnik. I really appreciate that courtesy because it comes in handy to move around the town with ease.  When I returned here six years ago to live, I enjoyed hopping on one of our orange and white buses and riding the entire route.  These bus trips gave me the opportunity to see just how much had changed since my last trip prior to the 1991 Homeland War.

Tram 7 entering Lapad

Tram 7 entering Lapad

Today the Libertas bus service is excellent and covers the Dubrovnik area with many routes.  During the summer months they add the Cabrio sightseeing bus with audio in 10 languages available.  An open air bus similar to the early trams, the Cabrio runs from the beginning of May to the end of October and service is subject to weather conditions.  I always begin the season by taking the two hour tour and each trip is a learning experience picking up interesting facts about Dubrovnik.  Please note that Cabrio sightseeing bus is NOT a hop on hop off bus.  It does make two photo stops in route, one at the Tudjman Bridge and another at Vidikovac on the highway above the old town.  This season the fare is 60 Kuna (about $12) and a great value for the price.

Cabrio Sightseeing Bus

Cabrio Sightseeing Bus

The original number seven tram, which has been totally renovated, is on display at the Zagreb Technical Museum.

Dubrovnik Tram 7

Dubrovnik Tram 7