Stellar Saturday Samobor Sojourne - S! - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

September 5, 2020

Stellar Saturday Samobor Sojourne - S!

(A comment about the curious title for this entry.  Blame Suzanne, who seems to have triggered a challenge to see if we can make it through the whole alphabet with descriptions like this.  C, G, T, and now S are covered, but feel free to wade in yourself for any of the remaining 22.  Let’s stick to the standard English alphabet though).

After lying about for a bit in our rather cramped hotel room, we left about five for dinner at Kod Mrve, a creekside restaurant not far from the hotel.

Our room in Hotel Lavica is just a bit more cramped than the spacious apartments we’ve been staying at so far. It’s fine though - has everything essential, including good WiFi and a better than expected breakfast. For a decent hotel in the heart of a town with significant tourist appeal, its 60 euro rate feels quite reasonable.
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Dining outdoors at Kod Mrve. Grilled chicken skewers, chicken with peppers, zucchini and cheese; grilled vegetables, bread, and a generous glass of local wine. A creekside seat in the shade on a hot afternoon is very pleasant. A bargain at 170 kuna ($27), plus gratuity.
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After dinner we stroll along the Lividacia Street, the main avenue through town.  It’s bordered on one side by the creek, and on the other by attractive baroque buildings, cafes and bars, booths, and parks.  It’s Saturday night, and the place is quite lively - and congested enough that we frequently pull on our masks as we walk along.  Samobor is an easy drive from Zagreb - perhaps 30 miles, close enough that I’m sure it sees a significant amount of day tripper traffic.

Self-portrait, Vugrinščak Creek.
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Vugrinščak Creek Is spanned in about a dozen spots by wooden-planked pedestrian bridges.
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Vugrinščak Creek and Saint Anastazia Church, Samobor’s iconic landmark.
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Saint Anastazia Church.
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Another view of Saint Anastazia Church.
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The creekside pedestrian zone is lined by colorful Baroque buildings, cafes and vendor stands.
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Along Lividacia Street.
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Corn vendor. It’s not too late to try an ear from one of these vendors, but not today. We’re both stuffed.
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Along Vugrinščak Creek.
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Duck spotters.
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Along Vugrinščak Creek.
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Beneath Saint Anastazia Church.
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Jen GrumbyLove this photo! Different body language .. same keen interest in what lies beyond the frame.

And a fine-looking church steeple!
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThanks. I was pleased with the girls too, and considered cropping it down to just them.
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2 weeks ago

Continuing on, we came upon one of those unexpected events that make travelling in a foreign land so rewarding: a presentation of a series of folk dances performed in traditional costumes, including singing and an instrumental accompaniment.  Each performance was introduced by a moderator, but spoken in Croatian of course so I have no idea what she was saying or of the cultural context of any of the dances.

The presentation was just beginning as we arrived, and led with a charming, simple dance performed by school children.  This was followed by a group of adult dancers, followed by a performance by a different set, and finally the original set of dancers again.

The adult dances were all spellbinding.  Beautiful costumes, engaging performers, unique and fascinating dances and pageantry.  On all three I began shooting video but then stopped after a few minutes so I could just watch; but ended up frustrated and wishing I’d kept with the video because all three dances built to a climax with the most riveting activity at the end.

Speaking with the day manager at the hotel the next morning, she said that there’s a live performance here on most Saturday evenings in the fall with acts coming in from around the country.  There’s even a jazz festival.  How lucky to have been here on a Saturday night to see this!  

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Accompanists for the children’s’ performance.
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Waiting for their entrance queue.
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Jen GrumbyLucky, indeed, to be in town for these performances!

Love the videos .. especially the dresses and kids dancing off-stage in #3.
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2 weeks ago
Suzanne GibsonThank you for the wonderful wonderful videos with the folk dancing and music! How lucky you were to be there, I so envy you. I used to do East European folk dance and this reminded me how much I loved it - I think it brought a tear or two.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonI’m glad you enjoyed them, Suzanne. It was really a wonderful experience for us too, and now I’m sorry I didn’t manage to video the complete performances.

Rachael and I used to dance a bit also some time ago. Mostly contra-dancing, which pushed the limits on our coordination and comfort with personal closeness. We took a class in Scandinavian folk dances but were failures - the instructor finally gave up on us. We love to watch and listen though.
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