Inspiration from a Trip to Croatia and Slovenia

In early March we went on a trip to Croatia, followed by a couple of days in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Trips to new places are always enriching and inspiring. There’s beautiful architecture, museums, art from different periods and in different media, markets and so much more, to see, to experience and to taste!

The following are just the tip of the iceberg of the things I found interesting on my trip to Croatia.




Croatia, it turns out, has a long tradition of lace making. In the Dalmatia region, people used flax, cotton, silk, agave, silver and golden threads to create lace. They mostly made lace using the needlework technique (sewing lace with a needle), but sometimes also used small spools to interweave thread. People incorporated lace into clothing, as well as into household textiles. Below is some of the lace displayed in various museums:

In the picture below you can see some of the ways in which people incorporated lace into daily life:

Traditional Clothing

Traditionally, people in the various regions of what is now Croatia used homespun textiles to create their clothes. Outfits differed by region, the seasons, social status and marital status. There were cultural influences from other Mediterranean countries. Below are some of the beautiful outfits I saw in some of the museums. The attention to detail and meticulous hand embroidery were very impressive!

Here are some close ups, so that you can appreciate the work for yourself:


Windows and Doors

If you’ve read any of my past travel posts, you’ll know that I am fascinated by doors and windows. I found plenty of interesting ones in Croatia!

These are some beautiful windows/alcoves in walls:

And here are some doors. I wish I knew the story behind each one, or could be privy to some of the secrets they must have witnessed…

Door Knockers

Ever since my trip to Cartagena, I’ve been paying close attention to door knockers in places I visit. Croatia didn’t disappoint:


Croatia has many old cities to explore. Of the few I’ve visited, Dubrovnik stood out. It was picturesque from every possible angle. The combination of tan bricks, rust-colored tiles and the blue of the Adriatic Sea was absolutely stunning! I must have taken thousands of pictures. Parts of the old city are quite steep, so I also went up and down thousands of stairs…

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Originally, we haven’t planned to visit Ljubljana, but it happened to be a stop along the train tracks to Switzerland, so we decided to stop by. I am so glad we did! Ljubljana turned out to be a delightful city, with a beautiful river, a large pedestrian zone, an lots of interesting museums, parks, cafes, restaurants and shops.

The dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana, and I enjoyed spotting the various forms it was represented:

There were even dragons on some of the utility covers! (And yes, since my trip to Japan I always pay attention to manhole covers as well). Here are some of Ljubljana’s utility covers. The top left is the one with the dragon:

The doors and gates in Ljubljana were gorgeous, too, and very different from the ones I saw in Croatia. They were from a much later period, I think, and were somehow grander:

Trips, especially long ones, interrupt my creative routine. The break is always welcome, however, because travels have a way of providing concentrated doses of inspiration and ideas. My trip to Croatia was no exception 🙂

4 thoughts on “Inspiration from a Trip to Croatia and Slovenia”

    1. I don’t know what it is about doors that I love so much, but they are so interesting! They reflect a place and a culture, the passage of time and individual tastes. And they can be quite different from one location to the next, as is evident by the two types of doors in this post. And what’s behind them is always a mystery, as are the lives they must have witnessed!

    1. I’m a collector of door knocker photos! I discovered them in Cartagena several years ago, and since then I love finding them in places that have them. Some are plain and practical. Some seem to be classics, repeating in different countries. But I also found some interesting and unique ones!

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