hosting an american; being a tourist in my own city

by - Friday, March 11, 2016

To say that I had fun last week would not describe how amazing it was, because Aubrey, my favourite American person, came for a visit as our schools have an exchange program. It was a week filled with constant going to cafes, eating Croatian food, going out and making the most of her week here.

Aubrey is from Florida and she's also 18 years old, she loves art, likes going to concerts and visiting museums, and as much as I know enjoys our coffee drinking tradition haha. We met a year ago when I came to her home as a guest for a week because our schools have a student exchange program, and that experience changed both of our lives completely.

To start off right, only a couple of hours later after she had landed, we went to my friend's birthday party so Aubrey could experience what our birthday parties look like. We stayed up partying until 2am, because the next morning my family decided we should go visit the Plitvice Lakes, the prettiest thing one can see in Croatia, and let's just say that those couple of hours of driving totally paid off when we were basically the only ones there and we could enjoy the nature in peace.

me, aubrey, ines & sara

Restless, our evening was reserved for a concert by a Canadian artist Teen Idle, but the only reason we went was because my dear friends who form a band called Side Project were their opening act! A band whose genre is described as graveyard pop with an unforgettable mixture of voices and amazing tunes was a perfect was to end the weekend.

Our week started with a tour of Zagreb's city center and the Upper part of town, which made me feel as if I were a tourist in the city I grew up in. The weather decided not to behave, so to escape from the rain we paid a visit to one of the most famous and interesting museums in Zagreb - the Broken Relationships Museum. Situated on the Upper town, it has a big collection of things which people left from their past relationships, from toys and photographs to an axe.

Our school organised a visit to the Museum of Zagreb, and instead of an interesting short tour, we got stuck in a two hour tour with a lady who shouted at us because we were laughing. We kinda gave up after half an hour and then I just went to see everything by myself and the last half an hour or so the rest of the group, besides the teachers and a couple of enthusiastic students, and I just waited for them to pick us up at the end of the museum where we were lying on the couches.. Two hours well spent.

To give them a taste of other parts of Croatia, our school organised a one day trip to Istria where we visited Poreč and Rovinj, two small picturesque towns dating back from the ancient times. The first one we saw was Poreč, it is almost two thousand years old and it is famous for it's Euphrasian Basilica and remains of a temple from the Roman times. Soon after our tour and after we've had something to eat, we headed to our next destination - Rovinj.

After a half an hour ride from Poreč, we found ourselves in Rovinj. Besides Poreč, one of the most visited cities in Istria, most famous after it's St. Euphemia's church situated in the centre of the city, with a statue of the patroness herself over-looking the city.

 Thursday we spent in the best possible way - museum, shopping, and then another museum. First we visited an interactive Nikola Tesla Laboratory in Zagreb's Science Museum where we got to learn about his works. After that we were supposed to go to Samobor, but decided rather to stay in Zagreb and go shopping, and then to MSU aka the Contemporary Arts Museum, which is still one of my all time favourite things in Zagreb. Filled with works of both international and Croatian artists, MSU gives you a view into the art of our times - photographs, sculptures and various installations.

To finish the week off with style, after a lazy Friday afternoon and watching one of my favourite movies ever (What we do in the shadows) we managed to get ready and head out with the group to the theatre where we saw a play called "Kristofor Kolumbo", a drama originally written by Miroslav Krleža, one of Croatia's most famous writers. After an amazing show we were off to one of my favourite club's in Zagreb - Vip. 

The best way to wrap this week up was a group dinner at Sofra, a bosnian restaurant with tons of different dishes specific to the Balkan area, and definitely an interesting experince for our American guests. And then, as if partying for only one night wasn't enough, on Saturday we went out again, this time to Klub. and then for kebab (which is basically a must), and ofcourse, to an afterparty to Team. She had to experience it, okay! But all in all, if you come home at 5am it must've been a good night out.

Packing her suitcase quickly and grabbing something to eat and then rushing to the airport as we had to be there at 7am was how we ended this amazing adventure. From Saturday, 13th February, till early morning on Sunday, 21st February, Aubrey and I shared an extraordinary week together. I am so happy to call Aubrey my friend , and all I can say is that I hope she had a good time here. Hope to see you soon babe!♥

love always,
paula avlon xx

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