Brijuni, Croatia


Ann came to Croatia in June and stayed with us for two weeks. This was the second part of the School Connectivity Teacher Exchange. The main purpose of this exchange was to shadow a Croatian teacher, to see what it's like to live and work in Croatia. Ann participated in my school's life completely. She visited classes, talked to the students about schools and life in L.A. and discussed the differences with them.

The first Thursday of her stay was a holiday, so, as it's commonly practiced here, we also had the Friday off and we decided to take Ann on a trip to the most beautiful coast. On the way there we stopped in Karlovac where we were greeted by Marina, one of the heads of 'Domachi', the organization in charge of the project for Croatia. Marina showed us the sights of Karlovac, a city badly damaged in the 1991-1995 war.

We reached Fazana in Istria in the afternoon and got on the boat that was to take us to the biggest island of the Brijuni Archipelago, called Veli Brijun (Big Brijun). There we stayed for three days in the Hotel Carmen. Brijuni is a national park, no cars are allowed, there were not so many tourists, it was all peace and quiet. We rented bikes and rode all over the island, right through the safari park, along the beautiful shores of the island, in between the Roman and Byzantine ruins, across the green meadows with deer grazing, just like heaven. Because this is what Brijuni really is.

We left the island with a heavy heart but with a peaceful mind and arrived in Pula, an ancient city, home to the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in the world. We spent the night in Lovran, a cute little town in Kvarner. We were shown around Lovran, Opatija and Rijeka by teachers who live there and who also participated in the project. Tamara, Drashko and Petar showed us their hometowns from their own perspective, which is more than you can get from a travel guide.