How was your Christmas holiday?! Dazzling light displays, the smell of mulled wine, the holiday sounds of carol singers? Well, I hope you all had an amazing Christmas holiday! I spent my holiday in Croatia, and it was the best Christmas holiday of my life.

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I am sure you have noticed my best friend if you ever seen the photos in my previous blog posts. I’ve never mentioned her by name before but I would love to introduce her today!

Katja Radosevic!

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Let me give you a brief introduction to her. She is a British student studying MSc in Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Our university runs a programme for Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Not many universities offer the programme, so I am pleased to say she is one of selected pioneers! If you would like to know more about the course, here is the link: https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/masters-courses/procurement-and-supply-chain-management )

Let’s get back to the introduction to her! She was born in England and her parents are Croatian. They still have relatives and family in Croatia. She knew that I was not going back to Korea during Christmas holiday, so she invited me to Croatia. I was so thankful to her when I got the invitation. She didn’t want me to feel lonely on campus, which was so nice of her.

I had met her sisters, Dora and Marta, and her mother before, but I’d never met her father before I got to Zagreb (capital city of Croatia) since he was working in Korea for the last few months. He picked me up at the airport and welcomed me warmly. We had a conversation about Korea on the way to home. I was so glad that he really enjoyed living in Korea.

I stayed their family house in Zagreb, Croatia for eight days. All of her family and friends greeted me warmly. Grandma cooked lovelicious (lovely and delicious!) Croatian food during my stay. I decorated the Christmas tree with her auntie from Switzerland. Her auntie, Rajka explained Croatian culture to me.

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She told me that Croatians traditionally decorate their ornaments in the shape of fruits. They used to be real fruits or preserved candied fruits that were sometimes covered in gold because they didn’t have enough ornaments to decorate.

On Christmas eve, we had seafood. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat during certain times of the year. I did not know that. We had loads of food on Christmas day including the main dish of turkey. I got many Christmas gifts as well!

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During my stay, we visited the Christmas market several times. I was really excited to go there. I read a news story about Christmas markest and it said Zagreb voted the Best Christmas Market in Europe for second year in a row!

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Zagreb was declared the winner after receiving 33,607 votes. Strasbourg was in second place with 19,242 votes.

There was an ice rink in the central city of Zagreb and the whole city was surrounded by the Christmas market! I really like that! I had a few different types of sausages, mulled wine, and saw the lights. It was lovely Christmas holiday. I really want to come back to Croatia for summer time! Thanks to everyone who I met in Croatia for welcoming me. I’m glad to have been able to explore another country while I am studying in the UK!

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