Photo Of The Day: Coca Cola Everywhere

Like the golden arches, the green-backed mermaid and the swooping “Just Do It” check, the red and white Coca Cola logo is that ubiquitous symbol of American capitalism that’s near impossible to escape abroad. Flickr user Kurt Schmidt captured today’s Photo of the Day on the Cvjetni Trg in Zagreb, Croatia, achieving the vintage effect with the help of Instagram. He must have read our recent editorial about whether the mobile editing application is bastardizing travel photography, because he apologized for using the filter: “just liked it!” he wrote in the description. But in this photo of such a classic icon, it works.

Have you encountered symbols from home in the places you least expected? Upload your travel shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

A Few Mediterranean Sidewalk Cafés Can Make Travel Personal

MediterraneanIn popular cities of the Mediterranean, mobs of tourists come by bus, train, air and cruise ship. Looking to see famous destinations with their own eyes, perhaps fulfilling lifelong dreams, they clamber for the best view. During the summer, many visitors point and shoot only the top of iconic destinations to avoid photos that include the herd. But on a recent trip to the Mediterranean, we found some of the best shots at ground level while sitting in a sidewalk café.

The sidewalk cafés of Mediterranean cities are a great way to create lasting memories that may never be repeated again. Breaking away from the throngs of tourists visiting Dubrovnik in Croatia and Rome in Italy along with other must-see locations, time spent at local cafés was precious.

If we really want a good look at any of these places, we can Google just about any destination for uncluttered images of whatever we want to see without even going there. Get off a lucky shot during peak tourist season and that’s all the better.

Taking the time to sit and drink it all in at a sidewalk café has made for a more personal experience when traveling, an experience that photos can also capture.

Check this photo gallery that has many of the sidewalk cafés we enjoyed.


[Photos- Chris Owen]

In Istria, Hunting For The World’s Most Delicious And Smelliest Treat

The rotund man standing before me on the dirt path was wearing olive-green military fatigues and held a sharp, bladed object in his thick, oversized right hand. He looked unhappy to see me. I was late. His hands – pudgy and exaggerated – seemed like the result of an unlikely sculpting partnership between Michelangelo and Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Standing beside him were two dogs, Jackie and Duna.

Ivica Kalcic, 56 years old, looked like he had become what he has dedicated his life to: a pasty version of a giant bulbous white truffle. “Let’s go,” he said, wasting no time. He unleashed the dogs and they darted up the path into the leafy, dark forest.

I was in Istria, exploring the less trammeled interior of this peninsula in northwestern Croatia, and had signed up for a short truffle hunt. Along with Alba in northern Italy, Istria is what the Caspian is to caviar or Mexico is to the mustache: a foodie goldmine, hiding nuggets of earthen deliciousness so expensive that to cherish them might be asking for the guillotine in some future revolution. It was black truffle season and Ivica, 56, has been traipsing through this forest nearly every day for the last 40 years (white truffles, the season of which is in the autumn, are the pricier kin to darker-hued subterranean fungus).

Though Alba may get more attention for its buried, edible fungus treasures, it was in Istria where, in 1999, the largest white truffle ever was discovered. The three-pound truffle, valued at $5,000, was found by local truffle hunter Giancarlo Zigante and listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Zigante soon after opened a mini-chain of truffle shops as well as an eponymous eatery just up the road from where I was traipsing with Ivica and his dogs.

I doubted such a prize would be found today but soon enough, Jackie, the more experienced of the two hounds, was digging up dirt. Ivica waddled over, pulled the dog away, and began hacking at the earth with his pick. A few seconds later, he held up the prize: a golf-ball sized black truffle, which he says will fetch him about thirty dollars. A few minutes later, Jackie was digging up another. And another. And another. So much that I wondered if they had been planted for my benefit.

Whatever the case, Ivica, doesn’t have to go very far for his paycheck. Just up the road in the village of Livade and in the shadow of the majestic medieval hill town, Motovun, is Giancarlo’s restaurant, Zigante Tartufi. A few hours later, I was sitting at a table in the front room, scoping out the menu. If whatever dish you order doesn’t already have truffles in it, the waiter will be by in a second to grate some on. Even my ice cream had truffles in it. “We go through two kilos on a busy day,” he told me, as he was grating some on to my shrimp-stuffed ravioli. The food at Zigante was good but risked appearing gimmicky, like an all-garlic restaurant. It’s hard to blame them. After all, this is truffle heaven. A minute later, the waiter set on my table something that looked like a plaster cast of someone’s brain. It was a rendering of the world’s largest truffle.
Afterward, I felt like a walking, breathing truffle myself. So much so that when I got back to my hotel, a dog walked by and I wondered if it was going to lurch for me. Surely truffles were oozing from my pores. It gave me a long look and kept on trotting up the street.

Photo of the Day: Spring comes to Croatia

Around the world, signs of spring are starting to appear. You smell it in the soft scent of pollen. You feel it in the positive energy emanating from people who have spent the winter in hibernation. And you see it in the tiny flower buds sprouting everywhere you look. Flickr user Gordan Renic perfectly captured the first signs of spring in Zagreb, Croatia, with this Photo of the Day, aptly titled “a gentle takeover.”

Do you have your own photos of spring’s awakening? Upload your favorite shots to the Gadling Group Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day: Highlight of the show

Photo of the day

This Photo of the Day, called Highlight of the Show, comes from Gadling Flickr Pool member mmusnjak. Captured using a Nikon D90, the photo is described as a “winter sunset near Zavižan hut in North Velebit, Croatia. The sunset was worth the three hour hike through the snow.”

North Velebit National Park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve in Croatia known for its geomorphological phenomena – the pits. There are more than 150 pits discovered, out of which the most famous is Luke’s pit, discovered in 1992.

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as Photos of the Day.