The Croatian city of Rijeka was the fourth stop of Cultour is Capital blogger experience. The videographer, Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli, and the bloggers of The Crowded Planet, Margherita and Nick, traveled to live a first-hand itinerary based on transformative tourism experiences, carefully planned by the work of TraCEs TLabs. The objective of this journey is to do a pilot test so that Bloggers live the transformative experience and have a first-hand narration of the adventure in our new and coming soon platform: Game of TraCEs.
Rijeka prepared a 2 days tour in which the bloggers could live the city from different perspectives, such as being close to the beach or by hiking to see the city from the top, as well as enjoying the creativity of the city by appreciating architecture, art and food. The first day the bloggers woke up early to have a wonderful training session near the beach with Aleksandar from Miketa Centre. It was a quick morning routine with slow, gentle movements to wake up their bodies. As the session ended, they enjoyed a swimming in the Adriatic Sea. With all the energies ahead, they walk along Korzo where you can hear the typical rhythm of Rijeka. Thousands of sounds are merging here. And the smells… The morning coffee, delicious pizza or seafood coming from some of the numerous restaurants located close to Korzo. Rijeka does not offer just gastronomy but art, to experience it the bloggers walked around Krušna Ulica, a backstreet completely covered with graffiti and a valuable sample of the creative spirit of the city. Then headed to Placa, the daily market where fresh vegetables are sold from farmers to consumers and fish is freshly caught. After watching all the fresh food, they lead to Konoba Girica for lunch, one of the best fish restaurants attached to a fish shop. In the afternoon, they explored the city and discovered more hidden corners with a guide. They saw an anti-aircraft tunnel, a former theatre, some stunning Habsburg buildings, and even walked down the narrowest street in town. They ended the day with an inspiring sunset walk down the harbor.
Sea and mountains
This second day, they walked 500 steps to Trsat Castle, a special historic, religious, cultural, and building complex consisting of the Shrine of their Lady of Trsat and the Franciscan Monastery, the residence of the guardians of the Shrine. Rijeka is known for the scenery of the sea and the mountains and the bloggers took a hike straight from the city to enjoy the amazing view. Then continued down a Canyon, where they saw the ruins of a paper mill, then up through a forest to some World War II bunkers. Afterward, they had lunch at Konoba Nebuloza, one of the best restaurants in Rijeka to taste the flavorful Croatian gastronomy. The menu was buzara, mussels, and scampi in a garlic and white wine sauce, brodet, and a mixed fish stew served over polenta. The tour, guided by Danilo, concluded by having a sneak peek of Rijeka’s former sugar factory, which is currently being renovated to house the new city museum within the project: Rijeka – European Capital of Culture. Construction is still ongoing, but our bloggers managed to see some stunning old frescoes.
The bloggers shared their point of view of the trip, Margherita from The Crowded Planet said that as soon as she got into Rijeka she felt “immediately relaxed”, adding: “maybe it was because we were staying on a boat, with the sea all around us, and sea has always meant relaxation to me. Exploring the city and trying the various activities gave me a full immersion in the Mediterranean lifestyle.” She also concluded: “As an Italian, this is a concept I’m familiar with – however, being a city-dweller, I sometimes tend to forget to slow down, and my time in Rijeka made me remember that it’s very important to combine activity and relaxation”. The concepts of activity and relaxation seem opposites at first, but in fact, their combination is the secret to a healthy lifestyle – starting your day with a quick workout, going on a sunset hike after work, all while remembering to take some time during your day to catch your breath, enjoy a coffee, or just spending time in nature. Margherita ended up saying “ever since I got back to my hometown I made it a priority to spend at least 15 minutes a day meditating and doing breathing exercises, preferably in nature – and I have my time in Rijeka to thank for that!”.