Saturday, November 01, 2008

Croatian Update #3

hi there....i am back after a crazy three weeks since my last update....
i went to the coast with the 6th, 7th and 8th graders, and went to 
munich,
germany
 for oktoberfest....& of course i have been exploring zagreb to get 
to know it better for when all of you come to visit :)  plus, later this 
week we are on october break....and i am headed to vienna with four other 
women i teach with....my first time....i am very excited....so things over
all are going well....


i finally also started to focus a bit more on my teaching & curriculum...
i decided i needed to see the big picture of the year & now can focus 
more on all of the topics i will be covering....my trip with the kids was 
great....i got to know a lot of them better as well as the super cool middle 
school team i teach with...very excellent people....the kids
surprised me & got me birthday gifts as my birthday fell during the trip.
it was very sweet....and the coast again was amazing....it was bit too 
cold for swimming...so i am not sure if the water in istria, the coast 
area we were in, was a salty as the last place...bt it sure was as 
beautiful....and i have been told i haven't even come close to being in 
the most beautiful spots....can't wait to get there....on this trip with 
the kids we visited a school (roc) where they study the ancient croatian
language and alphabet (glagolithic alphabet), the smallest town, according
to the guiness book of world records, in the world - Hum, a coastal 
town with an ancient roman arena - pula, a great seaside town with an
ancient basilica - porec, an old mining town on a hill with an excellent
view - labine....we stayed on the coast in a quaint town known as rabat...
it was a fun filled trip with lots to see and do...the only thing that was 
tough was all of the bus riding....but i saw some amazing sites, as you 
will see in the pictures below....


then i was off to oktoberfest, where i met up with two of my friends from 
romania - kathleen and bonnie....we stayed with excellent friends of 
bonnie's right in munich and enjoyed two days of craziness....i never have
seen so much beer in my life...plus i really didn't understand the sheer
magnitude of oktoberfest....yes...thee are ten tents - which hold upwards
of 5,000 people each for beer...but outside of the beer tents there is a 
huge festival going on with rides and games & food and fun for the entire
family....one of the coolest things about oktoberfest was seeing the older
couples in their 70s and 80s, dressed in drndls and lederhosen, going to
the beer garden for a some beer and tradition...we made it into a tent on
friday....from about 3pm on....and on saturday we couldn't get in due to 
the crazy people that had started dinking at 9am....we couldn't get in a 
tent throughout the day and early evening....instead we were outside of 
one of the tents at the beer garden....and it was a beautiful sunny day 
so it was perfect....but i have to say if i go back, which i hope to do
as it was such a blast, i would try and reserve a table for the nights i
knew i would go downtown to the tents....they are where its at....the 
ooohm-pah-pah bands were great fun and the atmosphere was sooooooooooooo
darn festive....it was incredible....if you ever get the chance....do it
you'll love it....


on to the pictures....the first shot is my zagreb art shot...the cool 
thing about this shot is that it is of my friend's from the ice amy and 
stefan who stopped by for two days to say hi on their trip around the 
area eastern european trip...they are standing with one of the most 
famous croatians of all time - nikolai tesla...and his story is pretty 
cool....what a smart guy....amy and stefan enjoyed their time here in 
zagreb and i was very excited to have my first house guests....

that week another friend was in town - rick from bucharest....he came to 
the school as a consultant for outdoor education and team building...
we had a fun two days together before i hit the road with the kids...so 
good to have seen him :)

the next two shots are from the first town we stopped in called roc...in 
this town they teach their kids to use the old style croatian alphabet
as well as modern day croatian...the kids from the school worked with our
kids, which was really cool to watch...they knew how to speak english and 
they taught our kids the glagolithic alphabet....the second shot from this 
town was this cool sculpture on one of the buildings...i just really liked
it :)


from roc we went to hum (pronounced hume) - the smallest city on the 
planet and it was way quiant...the next two shots are from there...the 
first is from the bronze doors to get onto the city - if you look at the 
top set of letters you will see the glagolithic alphabet symbols and the 
bottom set are modern day croatian....the second shot from this town was
one of the houses people live in....they take great pains to make their 
town quaint and cute and very clean :)


the next shot is a view from the town we stayed in- rabatz...look at that 
crystal clear, cold, salty water....simply stunning....again you can see
how hilly 
croatia is....again, it was stone beach, no sand to be seen...

the next shot is from pula - where they have an ancient roman colesseum you can wander all through....we brought a rope and the kids actually played tug-o-war, and the rest of the visitors cheered them on...it was tons of fun....
from pula we headed to prosec and saw one of the oldest basilicas in this part of the world that is excellently preserved....it is an UNESCO site and quite amazing....they have a mosaic of a pregnant mary - one of the only in existence on the planet...

and the final shot from my trip wth the kids is of labine - a hilly mining town...its a pretty shot of the countryside....very hilly and quaint little town..
the next shots are from oktoberfest....the first is kathleen with ron and bonnie...all in traditional dress...nope, i did not dress in a drndl...not for me...but i wore a traditional hat that my grandfather wore when he went to oktoberfest many, many years ago...as you can see it in the next shot of me and ron and one of the HUGE pretzels they sell there....YUMMY!! the food and the beer were amazing...even for a veggie like me :) the next shot is me carrying some of the 1 liter steins....wowowowowow...it was incredible to see men and women waiters carrying between 12-18 of these at a time....talk about impressive....it blew my mind...i am holding just four and they are heavy....what a work out....the next shot shows you just how crowded the tents were...and this is what the waitstaff has to work through with the beers in their hands....it was mind blowing!!!!




the last shot in this series is me on the second day outside at the beer garden....we had a blast and met some cool folks to drink and "cheers" with....all in all i am sooooooo glad i went...i loved it :)
okay...another update has been told....thanks to those who have emailed
to answer one question....someone wanted to know if i am missing anything
from home they can send me....what's really interesting this time is that
they have just about everything i need - i have found tabasco, tortillas,
tofu in many flavors and even black beans....plain black tea is missing, 
but i am picking some up in austria this week...i even found some peanut
butter here....in many ways the stores have more for me than romania...so 
i am not missing anything as of yet....

i hope all of you are well and enjoyed this installment...happy fall and 
here's to the changing of the colors...the trees are incredible...drop
a line if you wish and more will come your way in the next two or three
weeks...peace out...dani

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heyyy Ms.Di !!!!! I miss you soooo much. science at AISB isnt fun anymore.... i miss you sooo much!!! you were the best science teacher i have ever known , i wont forget you ms. di!

nice to see tht your having fun in croatia!!! and everywhere else in the world!!

Maria Sas

ps. my email is maria.peach@yahoo.com

William Storey -- said...

Hey Dani,
Hope you are well. We've enjoyed your blog! Berlin is a fun city and we are enjoying our adventure in expatriate pedagogy.
Alan and Stacy

dani said...

hey there alan and maria...thanks for hecking out the blog....maria, i will put you on the e-mail update list an thanks for your email address....
alan....can't seem to figure out how to get in touch with you....shoot me an email if you get the chance...glad to hear berlin is going well....
danid7@yahoo.com

hope both of you had happy holidays and i wish you all the best in 2009!!!! peace out....dani