music: Mojoj lijepoj zemlji Hrvatskoj by Daleka obala
My country, small but beautiful. Shaped like a flying dove. With green and rich plains on its wings, with high mountains from top of head to the end of tail, with beautiful long coast descends towards the Adriatic sea.
It is beautiful to be a tourist in my country. Where ever you go, you can find lots of great works of nature, still preserved of destroying human hand.
Zagorje, Međimurje and Podravina are three regions on western side, full of green hills with vineyards and vineroads. You can relax there in several amazing spa resorts with warm healing waters. Or you can raft on green waters of two rivers, Mura and Drava. It's also interesting way to go east, towards wide and rich plains of Slavonija and Baranja, ultimate eastern end, reaching river Dunav. Lots of water is making this dark soil so fertile that it could feed a half of Europe with grains. In the far past, there was a sea, Panonian sea. That's why soil is so rich there. The remains of Panonian sea you can find still in a few swamp areas, like Lonjsko polje with thousands of birds nesting there, or Kopački rit with lots of animal species living there. From the east to the west you can enjoy various culinary delights in picturesque villages. And you must see their national costume - it's full of lace and old golden coins! Amazing!
Going down from nothern Croatia, you are actually climbing up! Deep forrests of mountainous Gorski Kotar with fast rivers and lakes surrounded by meadows and snowy hills during winter, only less then an hour from the Adriatic coast. Can you imagine that feeling skiing down the hill with almost 1 meter of snow and watching at the same time the glow of the sun reflected on the sea surface? Well, you can do it on mountain Platak! And in the summer you can find refreshment on hiking trails through the woods and mountains. Or when everybody is going to a seaside beaches, you can go to the lakes with beautiful falls, like those on Plitvice lakes in Lika region. You can climb high hills of Velebit and Dinara, or if you have an interest for speleology, the whole region is full of caves.
Finally, you're going downhills and within a blink of an eye, you will find yourself looking at the amazing blue-and-green heaven. Mountains of Gorski kotar, Velebit and Dinara dissapear in turquoise color of the Adriatic sea, grading to deep blue, but still wanting to cath the last breath, leaving more than 12 hundred islands like a pearls alongside coast. Those island really were peaks of the hills long, long time ago untill melting of ice after the last ice age. The Adriatic sea was then finally shaped and became the most beautiful part of Mediteranean sea. The climate mixture of both mediteranean and mountain type makes this part of the world so pleasant to live - mild winters, but often with a little bit of snow, even on islands, warm and beautiful summers, with hot but never too hot days and warm nights, and sea temperature 23-26°C from june till september. A scent of wild herbs on poor soil is melting in a salty scent of blue water rich with fish - and that's the main scent of traditional dishes from Istria, Liburnia, Kvarner all down to the south part of Dalmatia.
And that, all that is my country. Deep in my heart.