Chocolate Festival in Opatija

Have you ever been to a chocolate festival? I’ve visited a chocolate museum in Prague and a chocolate factory in Austria but it was only this year that I went to the Chocolate  festival in Opatija, Croatia for the first time.

Opatija is a lovely seaside town in the Kvarner Bay and the oldest tourist destination in Croatia. Many counts and earls and kings frequented Opatija during the Austro-Hungarian empire (19th ct)  when Opatija was the favourite spot for many noblemen. It definitely deserves more attention from the travellers nowadays.

Opatija, Croatia
Advent Wreath in Opatija

The Chocolate festival was held at the first weekend in December (2-4.12.2016) for the eleventh time. Every year the main part of the festival is held in the oldest hotel in Opatija, Hotel Kvarner. However, the chocolate festivities are spread around the whole town including its beautiful parks. There are special menus at restaurants and cafes too. You can also enjoy chocolate wellness & spa programmes at Opatija’s hotels.

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Did you open your chocolate Advent calendar today?

I woke up this morning with only one thought on my mind. It is 1 December which means that I can finally open my new Lindt chocolate Advent calendar. I bought it in mid-October when I was going back from a business trip to Italy. My new colleagues asked me if I bought it for a kid, but no, I blushingly explained, I bought it for myself. Yep! That’s me, carrying a big chocolate Advent calendar back home from a business trip. And I’ll be 33 in 17 days!:) But what can I say, I just love chocolate Advent calendars. The waiting part, the excitement part, the part when you get to open a new window each day which hides a new sweet treat and the tasty chocolate itself. It’s the best thing ever!:)

chocolate Advent calendar

I didn’t really have a chocolate Advent calendar when I was growing up. First of all, I grew up in 80’s and early 90’s in a country that no longer exists, deprived of shopping malls, McDonald’s and a mobile phone until the age of 16. I got my first PC when I was finishing high school. But you know, I had better childhood than most kids today. I spent my days playing outside with real friends. And reading lots of books, of course. Anyway, I’m digressing too much, the point is, there just weren’t Advent calendars and most other things until I was a teenager. So now, I’m making up for some things, like the absence of a chocolate Advent calendar by buying it for myself. And I enjoy it shamelessly. I probably enjoy it more now than I would have when I was a kid!

I used to buy ordinary, plain, chocolate Advent calendars but last year I splurged a bit and got myself a Ritter sport chocolate advent calendar. You can read the story about my last year’s Advent calendar here. I loved it! It was just great!

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Christmas markets in Villach & Velden, Austria

Villach
Christmas market in Villach

Three years ago I took my mum to Austria for a day trip. Our destinations were Villach and Velden and their charming Christmas markets. We both love Christmas markets very much so I decided to ask her and not my boyfriend (now my husband) to join me. Besides my boyfriend and I went to a chocolate factory near Graz (Austria) just a few weeks before this Christmas markets day trip.

About Villach & Velden

Villach is located on the Drau river and it’s the seventh largest town in Austria with a population of around 62 000. It’s got a big Croatian community too so it’s not a surprise that Villach is very popular for shopping and Christmas trips from Croatia. Velden am Wörthersee is a market-town and a popular holiday resort situated at the Wörthersee lake and close to Villach.

Villach
Villach

Villach

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Chocolates & New Year

I hope you’ve spent a wonderful Christmas with your family& friends. Are you already getting ready for New Year’s party?

I love family gatherings even though I feel a bit exhausted afterwards. Probably because I always eat too much and make it my mission to try every single kind of cake there is 🙂  I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t baked anything for Christmas; I like baking and I make mean muffins but somehow I still haven’t done any Christmas baking because we always get so much cake from our families so there’s no point really.

Since it was my birthday a week before Christmas ( I’m now 32! Ouch! ) I got probably a few kilos of chocolates as my present together with other normal stuff and together with Christmas pressie. 🙂 So I’m starting the new year as a newly made chocolate magnate! I wish! 🙂 Anyway, since we got so much cake from my mum we’ll leave the chocolates for the time being and enjoy them after new year’s and my husband’s skiing trip (I’ll be home alone with the cat &chocolates, not a good combo).

Bday chocolate presents
Birthday chocolate presents
Birthday and Christmas chocolate presents

As far as New Year’s wishes and resolutions I wish you all love & health & happiness. I’ve had a good year but I was too preoccupied with an issue that I have no control over to be able to fully appreciate what I do have e.g.good health and loving family &friends and a very cool job sometimes. I don’t want to feel that anxious and frustrated anymore. However, that’s easier said than done but I will try to express more self-love. And hopefully that which I have desired for so long will eventually happen.

Regarding this little piece of blog world that I call my own I can say that it has brought me so much joy! It’s wonderful to chat with other fellow travellers and to explore other blogs and to get ideas for new trips. Where am I travelling next year? I’m not sure yet. I have a few ideas but it really depends on some other things too so I’ll keep you posted. And I’ve got something exciting planned for my readers! 🙂 Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and lots of exciting new trips!

xoxo

Tanja

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Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all joyful times with your family& friends and new adventures in the next year!

I want to thank you for stopping by my little corner of the blog world. I appreciate your comments and likes. I’m happy that I’ve met some new people who share my passion for travel and exploration. I hope you’ll continue to follow my travel stories. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
XoXoX
Tanja

p.s. There’s only one thing I want for Christmas….and it’s not something that can be bought…hopefully I’ll get it by next Christmas..

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A cat & Christmas

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my cat (last year)

Don’t you just love them? Even if they jump on your Christmas tree and knock it down for the umpteenth time. And break a cherished Christmas bauble and destroy the Christmas lights but luckily avoid to be electrocuted by them?Of course, I’m talking about cats!

We’ve got a new Christmas tree this year because our previous one was really old and started to look rather sad and run down. We haven’t put up the new tree just yet but I’m worried what’ll happen once we do. It’s quite bigger than the last one so it’ll have a lot more decorations too. Hopefully my cat won’t be able to knock it down that easily anymore. But if he does, I just hope the tree doesn’t hurt him. And I also hope that my cat doesn’t destroy my lovely Christmas baubles from my trips. I’ve got a few special Christmas tree decorations from Oslo and Austria 🙂

My family’s tradition is to put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve day (24th Dec) but I like to do it a bit earlier, just after my birthday passes. So, the operation Christmas tree will start next week!:) And I’ll decorate the house a bit as I usually do. I still haven’t finished my Christmas shopping because I’ve been away for work quite a lot this month (Vienna).

So, have you got a cat? Or a dog? Do they attack your Christmas tree? Have you already done up your house for Christmas?

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Merry Christmas!
XOXO
Tanja

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