Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nothing Says Christmas Like Citrus Fruit

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

So here in Croatia the weather is somewhere in the 50's during the day and 40's at night. Its gorgeous outside today and here is a view of the beginning of our sunset:

We all have our traditions and here, children go caroling from house to house on Christmas Eve. The carolers are then given oranges or apples by the people they visit unfortunately the youth of today has ruined this great tradition of healthy snack offerings by demanding money. Now coins are giving out to the carolers instead. Granted the largest coin in 5 Kuna which is about 87¢ but still…

You may be wondering about the title. There are a lot of oranges here. I mean A LOT! Every ones trees are just now ripe enough to pick so they are the over all Christmas decoration. Here are some of the decorations on Stradun in Old Town:
The Sign for the Christmas Market 
The Christmas Market 

This is what I meant by lots of oranges

Stradun at night

There are arches like this on every street off Stradun

And here are Zack and my Christmas decorations:

Look what I made! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Cable Car

There is this great cable car that gets you up the mountain for about 35 Kuna or $8 and it goes at an incredible pace. I went up with Maggie when she came to visit and we reached the top in about 3 minutes flat. From the top you can see all of old town (which I can see from my balcony but at an angle), Lokrum Island and most of the other sections of the city usually only filled with locals not tourists. They are Lapad, Gruž, Babinkuk, and Ploče (not to be confused by the gate of the same name). Here are the pictures enjoy:

Side note…

Apparently construction workers in Croatia are actually on time. Now if we had known when they where coming it would not have been such a shock, but a whole crew of men were at our house ready to put in new doors and windows at 8am. Our landlord’s son woke us up saying that they where ready to start with us. We quickly got dressed and moved things out of the way so that they would have a clear path. The landlord’s son came back and said they would start downstairs. Its now 1:45pm and they just started working on us. Zack didn’t have to get up early for the first time in about a week. So what I’ve learned from this is that although builders are on time, no one knows when their coming and don’t check with them first to see where they want to start, so don't expect any sleep.

Since I was up here is what the day looked like at 8am.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Franciscan Monastery & Pharmacy

Construction of the Franciscan Monastery began in 1317 but was not finished until sometime in the 1400’s. Adjacent to the Monastery cloister is one of the oldest, continuous pharmacies in the world (it has been functioning in the same spot for 694 years). The Pharmacy now sells current medicine and is fully equipped with modern gear. This however does not prevent it from proudly displaying its past. Lining the walls are beautifully painted jars that use to house remedies for the patrons. Luckily the Monastery has a Museum that displays both their own collection and that of the Pharmacy’s. Here are a few pictures so you get a feel of how everything looks.

This is a priest smoking in a corner... he was trying to hide but we saw him. 
The Cloister...

and its fountain

A grapefruit tree.
The Pharmacy's Museum Collection

Old mortar and pestles used to make remedies.
Scales to measure ingredients.

The weights for scales.

Medicine Droppers 18th century.
(There was lots of trade with Venice so blown glass could be made to order)

Prescription Book with 130 recipes.
18th-19th Century

Medical tools.

Semen Cardamomi consists of the dried ripe seed of Elettaria cardamomum (L.) recently removed from the capsule.
Used traditionally in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, colic, coughs, fainting, fever, rheumatism & stomach cramps. 

 The Pharmacy now...