12-20-2022 6:10 AM - edited 12-20-2022 6:14 AM
Have you heard about the 24 Days of SAP Community project? I am excited to take part and share my Croatian experience with you.
Originally, I come from Poland, where I moved from last year to experience the Mediterranean style of life. I want to share how the holiday season looks in Croatia as a newcomer.
As child, I always spent every winter in my grandparents` villages. Although, I loved to visit my grandparents around the year, December time was a special time to me.
I remember a frozen lake near the grandparents` house where I was ice-skating long hours in the dark, brightened only by lights from the house. Being cold outside enough to enjoy a hot mug of tea upon my return and warm up thanks to a kitchen stove, constantly used to prepare all kinds of goodies, like pierogi. Winters brought snow and freezing temperatures that time, so I had proper winter clothes, and had to sleep under a featherbed. Now you have an image what a proper winter holidays looks like for me.
Coming to Croatia in December, I was curious to explore the new way of celebrating this special time. First, I learnt that there would be no snow, at least near a seashore where I stayed, in Dalmatia. For those who are not familiar, Dalmatia is Croatian region located on the very south of Croatia. It includes hundreds of Croatian islands as well as mountains Velebit, Biokovo and cities located on Dalmatian mainland Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Sibenik and Zadar as well as numerous smaller places like Brela.
The temperature is pretty high, so you can wear a jumper and shorts in December!
I was very surprised by decorations: Christmas tree placed in Brela in the harbor or how well a palm tree can pretend to be one being decorated with lights. It really creates a unique experience! (Even without snow and freezing cold).
What amused me the most is that a nativity scene I saw was not in a shed, but in a cave… It makes sense to me, since Brela is at the foot of the Biokovo mountains made of limestone. (See one of them: http://www.sveti-nikola-cilipi.hr/foto-galerija/bozicne-jaslice-u-cilipima-2014-godine )
Probably there are a lot of similarity, less differences, I assume, which I will discover gradually during my stay.
Have you experienced the Mediterranean-style winter on your own? What dishes or hot beverages can you recommend?
Have you ever been abroad during the time of the year and experienced a different climate/culture to the once your used to?
I encourage you also to check my team mates` posts on 24 Days of SAP Community Calendar.
12-21-2022 1:39 AM
Great pictures !
In south of France also it's sometimes strange to see palm trees with christmas decoration !
Here are some recipes from the south (I'm not from there but I do enjoy their food sometimes. More in summer then because in the north where I am, I much prefer heavy food in winter to get warmer 😉 )
12-21-2022 2:58 AM
I think it will take some time for me to get used to the Christmas palm trees 🙂
Thanks for sharing. Each dish looks so yummy! I will definitely take a chance to prepare something from the list. I have been in France only once, so the French cuisine has not been explored yet. Now I have a chance! 🙂
12-21-2022 9:09 AM
Reminded me seeing winter decorations (with a palm in the background on this picture) in the Nice airport during my last trip to SAP Labs in Sophia Antipolis in January 2020, right before the outbreak of the coronavirus...
...which was a very tasty trip!
12-21-2022 8:52 AM
Split is the furthermost south I've been to Croatia. It was in 2014 and the old city was impressive!
Hopefully, the overall situation in Europe improves in 2023, and we will visit Croatia once again going further south this time...
12-22-2022 2:56 AM
Split is now my biggest city nearby, where I do shopping, but still it amazes me 🙂
I keep my fingers crossed to make it happen, @Vitaliy-R . There are plenty to see. I love Brela, because of the close distance to the Biokovo mountains, but also cozy beaches. Check it out before planning your next vacations 🙂
12-22-2022 4:19 AM
I grew up in a Philadelphia neighborhood called Bridesburg, and many of the residents were Polish immigrants (or descended from). One of the local Catholic churches even had masses in Polish.
For a time, while I was in school, I worked part-time at a local Polish deli, and I'll never forget the food -- especially this time of year. You mentioned pierogi, and we sold so much of that, along with kielbasa and kruschiki -- all homemade. I ate plenty of it, too. 🙂
We made the kielbasa inhouse, but the pierogi came from a neighborhood woman who made them in her kitchen. One of my jobs was pulling a little red wagon to her house, loading it up with bags of pierogi (colored ties on the bags indicated the pierogi filling), and rolling them back to the store.
The holidays were the busiest, happiest, and (yes) tastiest times.
Alas, the deli closed many years ago, but the memories remain. My mother still lives in Bridesburg, and we'll be visiting her Christmas Eve. I'll be driving past those old haunts along the way and catching the phantom whiffs of meals long gone...
12-25-2022 3:13 PM
Interesting that you called angel wings "kruschiki". That's what they were called by Polish families in my area in Ukraine: "chruściki" or more commonly "chrust", meaning "brushwood". I never heard this name here in Poland, where everyone called them "faworki" after French "une faveur", or "ribbon".
Thank you for sharing your story, Jerry!
12-26-2022 11:19 PM - edited 12-26-2022 11:29 PM
You should visit Bilgoraj, Zamosc - a part of Poland, where my family come from. My grandmother used to call that way 🙂
And thanks for a short lesson of history. I did not know that "faworki" is a French name!
12-27-2022 6:08 AM
Funny about the spelling. I couldn't remember how to spell it, and "kruschiki" seemed to be the most common form when I googled. But when I was over my mom's on Christmas Eve, she had a box of these... 🙂
12-26-2022 11:30 PM
Wow, @jerryjanda , it so nice to hear that Polish food leaves a such positive footprint 🙂
Home-made pierogies are the best. My mom still cultivates this, being taught by her mother. My grandparents used to do "kielbasa" on their own too and "kiszka", ("kaszanka" as mostly called in Poland), which is a blood sausage.
Mniam! You made me visit Poland any time soon! Do you want to join? 😛
12-27-2022 7:56 AM
Definitely! I'm afraid I don't know any Polish though. I knew some back in my younger days. About 35 years ago, I was able to sing "Silent Night" in Polish. (As a teen, I was part of a neighborhood church group who would visit elderly residents who were shut in and alone for the holidays, and we would sing Christmas carols for them. Some only spoke Polish, so I had to pick up a little along the way...but that was so, so long ago. I've forgotten it all.)