Ban Jelačić Square
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Croatian Christmas
Reflecting on my Christmas in Croatia, I can only feel tremendously blessed. Though my flight from Budapest was cancelled, I ended up in a taxi with four other interesting people. Upon crossing the border into Croatia, we handed the officials five different passports. When we arrived around midnight in Zagreb, one of the passenger shared his taxi with me, dropped me at my hostel, and paid my fare. I met two Canadian couples in Dubrovnik who shared Christmas week dinners with me and attended my first midnight mass on Christmas Eve in the old city. And, I found that Zagreb holds a beautiful Advent Christmas season in Jelačić Square. I first came across the Christmas Fair where ornaments, mittens, beautiful crafts, woodwork, and candycanes were sold from all sorts of vendors. I still have a little yellow handmade-paper tree that I purchased from a student. Although, it was cold outside (and the first snow I had on my round the world trip), each little shop seemed to have a warm and welcoming smile behind their wares. I suppose the cup of coffee along the way helped a bit, too. In the evening, I was ready to hop on the rail back to my hostel and noticed a large gathering of people around traditional dancers. When I went to see what was going on, I was offered mulled wine and sausage (hosted by one of Croatia's politicians). I spoke to several people in the crowd about their election and Croatian holiday traditions before finally hopping the rail back to my hostel. Blessed.
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