After more than 20 visits and a brand new Croatian address, it's time for TCN's Ashley Colburn to tackle a seemingly impossible task - learn Croatian.
The European Coastal Airlines summer continues, and arguably the most popular route so far is the daily connection from Resnik near Split Airport to downtown Pula in Istria.
With a bus connection taking 11 hours and the seaplane just one, it is little wonder that the route - which includes a spectacular flight up the coast, flying low over Zadar, Sibenik and the Kornati islands - is a main attraction of the airlines. For tourists wanting to island hop, the chance to connect from Istria to Dalmatia in an hour is welcome, but more and more people are using it for the convenience of transfer for their everyday business.
Celebrities such as singer Oliver Dragojevic, for example, who flew to Pula this morning, a comfortable way to get to Istria ahead of his concert last night. Here is Oliver, pictured with ECA boss Klaus Dieter Martin.
He was preceded by another celebrity frequent traveller, Emmy and Golden Pen winner Ashley Colburn, who has probably covered every inch of Croatia in the last few years. After enjoying her maiden seaplane flight to Split last night, she enjoyed a drink with ECA marketing director Jan Albers before expressing her gratitude for the service on Facebook:
Had a wonderful experience flying on a seaplane yesterday from Pula-Split! Finally a service that is not only EXTREMELY convenient, but a beautiful journey!
So where does a jet-setting successful travel show producer go for a week-long holiday in late February?
It was great to catch up with Ashley Colburn over a cold one Brasserie on 7 yesterday, to find out how she is coping with the meteoric career which all started with that Emmy Award-winning promotional video of Croatia.
I have been feeding my wanderlust vicariously through Ashley's Facebook page, as she has been filming in Jamaica, Hawaii, Peru, Switzerland, Bosnia, Mexico, as well as plenty of travel around America, before heading back to her beloved Croatia for a week's relaxation in and around Split.
It was great to catch up after our 11 days filming of Legends of Croatia last summer, and there were plenty of great projects in the pipeline to discuss.
And Ashley's incredible travel pace is matched by her output. Here is the trailer for the new show, Paradise Found. Introducing Jamaica.
When I first moved to Croatia I must say I was very disappointed with the food. I know that sounds crazy especially coming from an American living in a country where it's citizen's sole purpose for existing seems to revolve around food, but it's still one of the things I miss the most about the US. Don’t get me wrong Croatian food is incredible and I consider myself very blessed to live in a country with real organic food and a constant abundance of it, but it’s the variety of food that I find myself longing for from home and embarrassingly, but not surprisingly, fast food. Just as the variety of restaurants was slim to none several years ago before Split’s gastronomic scene skyrocketed so were the options for fast food. The arrival of McDonalds coincided with my own, but contrary to popular belief not all Americans eat it nor would I ever be caught dead doing so in the States. As a Californian I have the best taste and highest standards when it comes to fast food thanks to a little place called In-N-Out only available on the West Coast.
I was already 6 years in here and gave up all hope that I’d ever recover from my In-N-Out heartbreak and fall in love or even just like with another fast food place in Croatia. They always say that love finds you when you least expect it and then suddenly out of nowhere last Spring in Split the heavens parted and like a beacon of shining light Wrap & Go Snack Bar came into my world. I know that sounds dramatic, but anyone who has been deprived of their favorite foods for long or moved away from California knows that’s exactly what it feels like to find a replacement. Opened by another one of those amazing Craussie women that are doing some awesome things in Croatia, Wrap & Go may be a small establishment, but it has big ideas and a brand new concept that is changing the familiar face of fast food in Split.
As one might assume based on their name, they take wraps seriously and are most famous for making them fresh, healthy and fast. They offer the biggest ones in town with fresh ingredients and homemade sauces. The best part? There’s actually a wide variety of them! Yes, you heard me, variety, fast food and Split all in the same sentence. With 9 different kinds of wraps you’ll have your work cut out for you trying them all or even just picking a favorite, which I’ve yet to accomplish despite my weekly visits there. They offer two types of grilled and fried chicken wraps; my favorites being Tzatziki with feta cheese and Caesar with hard boiled egg, but many others obsess over the Sweet Chili. Meat lovers can choose between BBQ Steak with grilled vegetables or Mexican with ground beef, melted cheese and sour cream. There’s even seafood and vegetarian options as well with Seafood Skampi, Tuna Tartar and Veggie.
As I mentioned I haven’t managed to try them all or get sick of them for that matter so I haven’t given any of their burgers, chicken burgers, ciabatta sandwiches or salads a chance, but the option is there whenever I'm ready. Where else in Split can you get a fresh, healthy and take-away Caesar, Tuna or Greek salad? Nowhere that I’m aware of or that I would trust to be nearly as good. Quite possibly the most exciting thing about Wrap & Go? One word: breakfast. Well, let me elaborate a bit more, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos, which definitely can’t be found at any other fast food place. Another foreign concept in fast food joints and smaller establishments throughout Croatia is the option to pay with a credit card, but since Wrap & Go is all about providing more options they offer this one as well.
As someone coming from not only the country that invented fast food franchises, but also a state with the best one in that country I consider myself a bit of an authority on the subject. Another person even more seasoned in eating on the go is my fellow Californian and travel guru Ashley Colburn who considers Croatia her second home and always makes Wrap & Go her first stop when visiting Split. She even has cravings for it while she’s back home in California in the presence of the almighty In-N-Out or on one of her weekly globetrotting adventures around the world. So I think it’s officially safe to say that Split and the whole world became a much better and tastier place the day Wrap & Go was brought into it. It's behind the yellow HNK Croatian National Theater so be sure not to miss it if you're in Split!
For more info follow Wrap & Go Snack Bar on their Facebook page.
There are many foreign writers blogging about Croatia, and many lists of top 5 and top 10. Here is one from an American who knows the country a little better than most, TCN's Golden Pen and Emmy Award winner, Ashley Colburn. What are the ten things which are really WOW Croatia?
There are an increasing number of foreign travel writers and journalists visiting Croatia, but few venture further than the sexy coastal hotspots of Istria and Dalmatia. One notable exeption is Emmy Award winner Ashley Colburn, who is getting to know Croatia better than many locals. Here are her top 5 spots in Croatia away from the coast.