Having just returned from a three week holiday in Croatia and the UK, I felt it only fitting that my next blog post highlight the best that Croatia has to offer in terms of sustainable living.
Unfortunately there’s not much.
After travelling around for two weeks I found only a hint of a ‘green’ lifestyle in Zagreb, the country’s capital. I was introduced to two out of the three vegan/vegetarian restaurants through the local Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga studio – Divya Yoga Centre (where else would I find out this information?!).
I would just like to say that if you are a meat eater then Croatia is a must, you really will be spoilt for choice. For the veggies, Nova Restaurant is a lovely spot on Llica Street. Based on macrobiotic principles, it has been open for more than 18 years and their mission is “to show their guests that natural vegan cuisine can be transformed into a delicious versatile and fun way of eating.” I highly recommend their bean stew with bread-coated seitan ‘steak’.
Vege Hop is another, albeit very small, vegan gem. Tucked away in a rather obscure alleyway off Llica Street, it has a strong Krishna influence (literally paintings all over the walls) and the food is simple but tasty. We could not get enough of their choco soya fruit desert (so much better than it sounds).
From what I could gather there is only one natural/bio dynamic store kicking around – Bio & Bio (very original). While small, it seemed to stock pretty much everything one would need to get started on a natural and sustainable path. And there is one located right next door to Nova Restaurant.
Now I know yoga is not strictly about sustainable living… but I simply have to mention the Divya Yoga Centre. As an Ashtanga yogi we tend to make it our mission to hunt down every yoga studio available to us on our travels, and it did not disappoint. I took a few Mysore classes in the small but truly humble and tranquil space above a bustling city street, but it was Zrinka Denic’ Mati’s Vinyasa class that I most enjoyed (I made a point of not missing it on my return to Zagreb at the end of my trip). She gives a tough yet meditative class, and while all in Croatian, I found her instructions and method of teaching both encouraging and reassuring. Thanks Zrinka!