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utorak, 28. studenoga 2017.

The Fairy Tale Midwinter Holiday Trams...Moto-Mraz Clauses Invade Osijek Again &...3rd Annual Humanitarian "Zagreb Advent Run" (Photos+Videos)

Well, all the local stabbings, shootings and various botched deals news is boring the hell out of me, (although I have to admit there are some interesting and amusing related mug shots and Twitter selfie pics included in the news, but they're really not all that interesting and amusing actually, Yucko the Clown would have a field day without a doubt though, and strangely it always peaks around these holidays so that's weird, I guess because 'tis the season and all that). But firstly like I've said before, I should make it clear that this is not any sort of tourism post, it's just an informational post for the benefit of the reader because it's interesting and good to know, so on that note here's a topic that I never did before.

Every holiday season, and this year starting from November 27th to December 31st, the annual Midwinter Holiday Fairy Tale Tram will be up and running again in the historic northeastern city of Osijek, a city along the Drava river that's been an important trading and merchant town since medieval times. This popular Holiday Tram is an opportunity for children, and even those young at heart, to experience an entertaining and festive Osijek tram ride during the days leading up to the New Year.

Altogether 3 trams every day from 9 am to 12 pm set out riding organized groups of kindergarden children and other elementary school students, and then from 16:00 to 19:00 leaving from the downtown Ante Starčević square (at the "Magic Wizard's House") all others can enjoy the hibernal magic on the Osijek Fairy Tale trams.

During the 45-60 minute ride Djed Mraz's helper elves and other various fairy tale characters on board will provide entertainment and zany holiday magical fun with various treats, as well as face painting, sing-alongs, magic shows, music, and don't worry Djed Mraz (aka Grandfather Frost, Djed Božićnjak ie: basically the character Santa Claus) will also be there of course, but that's not all boys and girls, don't forget about the balloon shows and real live balloons which you also get to keep, lots of magical holiday balloons and all sorts of decorations, tinsel, lights galore including even free gift bags handed out.

These Osijek Holiday Trams are just part of the whole Winter solstice Advent in Osijek and Holiday Markets & Fair Festivities leading up to the New Year, (aka Hibernal solstice/Midwinter) as every major city and town and even the smaller municipalities have their own Advent Holiday Festivities, markets and entertainment events that takes place. The capital city Zagreb also has similar Fairy Tale Tram rides and they are also the only other Croatian city that still uses electric trams. I dig those trams because they're cool, it's sort of iconic to Zagreb and Osijek in a way like San Francisco and their cable car trolleys. (for those who have no clue about what I'm talking about, just click onto my previous Zagreb Advent Festivities Underway post which pretty well explains everything, (Osijek is a city of about 110,000 so it won't be nearly as big as Zagreb's which has about 1.2 million population but there will still be plenty of holiday events and activities taking place rest assured). The ticket prices for the rides are only about 5 dollars (25 Kuna), so there's no reason to miss out on the holiday Fairy Tale Tram magic, and the balloons, don't forget there's a free treats gift bag and magical balloons boys and girls.

Below are just a few sneak peek views from previous years and some bonus video footage I came across which shows what I'm talking about...

More information:

Related previous posts: zagreb-advent-festivities-are-underway










Warning: Extensive amounts of zany costumes and jingly bells music in some of the videos.

(Interestingly as some supplementary information for those not in the know, during the early 19th century Osijek was even the largest city in Croatia for a time. In the early 18th century as the largest and most strategic free royal city of the Croatian crown lands and Habsburg empire vis a vis the Ottoman empire's Sanjak of Smederevo still a threat found east of the Danube and Drina rivers, for this reason it was intended that Osijek be developed along the lines of other Central European cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Warszawa, Pressburg/Bratislava and Prag/Praha as a civilizational bulwark city, so for a time it was bigger than even the capital city of Zagreb which started to grow more later in the 19th century. Osijek was part of the medieval Croatian Kingdom when it joined in a political union with Hungary in the 12th century, through the later defensive Croatian-Ottoman wars and Habsburg-Ottoman wars centuries and through right up to the Croatian Triune Kingdom into the 20th century. (even playing a part of historic events during the times of the Croatian and Hungarian military leader and statesman Nikola Zrinski). Located in the Slavonia and Baranja region, the earliest recorded mention of Osijek dates back to 1196 so over 800 years makes it a fairly old and historical city, getting its name from the Croatian word "oseka" which means "ebb tide". Tvrđa (aka Osijek Citadel) is the Old Town historic part of the city with nearby gothic and baroque buildings and just like in numerous other towns and cities, the old town sections originally started out as defensive fortresses and the towns and cities grew around and occasionally within them, even after the heavy damage inflicted in the early 90's the Habsburg style star fort and high walls built on the right bank of the Drava river is still standing today and is again a popular place for various fairs, markets and many other events. (approximately 800 deaths resulted in a large portion of the city's population when over 6,000 artillery shells were fired by the remaining Српско-југословенска војска (Serb-Yugoslav army) and their Serb church recruited paramilitary volunteers from Serbia in 1991-92, several Serb sieges aiming to repeat the destruction of Vukovar were fortunately stopped in the outlying rural villages thanks to defenders getting and capturing some weapons and they failed to reach Osijek). Osijek is also known as the greenest Croatian city because of the 17 parks spread across the city. What else? Oh yeah. Osijek is also home to the HNK Osijek (Croatian National Theater Osijek) which opened in 1866 (but with a history since 1735) and it's also the only other Croatian city besides Zagreb that still has an electric trams system in operation as well as city buses (Dubrovnik, Pula, Opatija and Rijeka used to have trams too but they were discontinued in the early and mid 20th century, I like trams though and think they're cool and should have been left, what would San Francisco be without their various trams and trolleys? exactly, just a pointless absurd tramless city). Even more bizarre however, Osijek is also officially the home of Croatia's first beer and brewery dating back to 1664, that's even older than Britain's oldest brewery Shepherd Neame believe it or not, how's that for shocking? (I should do a more thorough and fact filled post about Osijek in the future (including of course local food specialties which are awesome and the restaurants are pretty eclectic and interesting also, gotta love that good ol' hearty čobanac, riblja juha paprikaš, gulaš, kulen, various kobasice and punjene paprike etc) because it doesn't get exposure on the scale of some other cities like I said, so consider this just your impromptu supplementary city of Osijek facts of the day)

What the heck, I came across a whole bunch of interesting rarely seen blast from the past views of Osijek too good to leave in internetland, some of the very first photographs ever of Osijek from postcards especially. Here's a few in the 1890's...

 ...from the Habsburg era an aereal plan view of the mentioned 1712 built Osijek (aka Essegg/Esseg in German and Eszék in Hungarian) Tvrđa Fortress in 1861. The fortress was strategically important for the defence of the town and repulsing attacks and invasions during the latter part of the centuries of Croatian-Ottoman wars and various Ottoman-Habsburg wars, image from the pre-drone era probably.

Location of Osijek from circa. 9th to 12th century, today's Osijek was mainly a small settlement and important bridge over the Drava river during the Ostrogothic Kingdom in the 5th century, but from the 2nd to the 4th century it was a strategic Roman outpost military camp known as Mursa. In the 19th century Osijek was one of the most strategic growing imperial Croatian cities of Central Europe and for a few years was even larger than the city of Zagreb.

This map portraying the 13th century circa. 1225 is another later example of Osijek's location in the larger continental framework, right around the time that the city was mentioned in sources under it's current more familiar version name, so it's a fairly old city.

..and here's a few more rare views from the 1880's to 1905 of the first horse-drawn trams that started operating in Osijek in 1884, even before in Zagreb and actually the very first trams in the Croatian crown lands (aka Triune Kingdom, an autonomous kingdom of the Croatian entities within the dual Austro-Hungarian state ruled by the House of Habsburg), and the first trams within even this whole region of Central Europe, pretty well all trams in the world were horse-drawn at the time btw...

...twenty years after the unification of the upper town and lower town sections Osijek was declared a Free Royal City in the year 1809, so since then there were annual commemorative shindigs at the Gradski Vrt/City Garden Park...

...interestingly there were even curtains on the trams in the 1890's, now that's classy, (probably so you don't accidentally get mud or camelshit on your pants and shoes on the way to the bingo hall)...

...and a few more rare views from the 1890's to 1908. (it was fairly common during the Habsburg era in Croatia and some other countries to have the local language version name written as well as the German or Hungarian version name on postcards/maps). Below scenes during a downtown open market day, waiting for the tram and some guys standing around waiting for the drinking emporiums to open so they can wet their whistle and put a chill on their liver, probably then some Osječko beer, Absinthe or Croatian Pelinkovac shots at the Ouija board table before the fun begins. (that's the way they used to roll back then)










Croatian "Moto-Mraz" Santa Clauses Invade Downtown Osijek

I came across a bunch of other interesting pics from the day after so decided to throw them in also. The local Moto Klub Osijek  "Motomrazovi" (Osijek Moto-Mraz Clauses basically, see earlier explanation) showed up again in downtown Osijek like they do every holiday season around this time. Earlier in the day they were handing handing out gifts at the Osijek Children's Home and then headed downtown handing out other treats and letting the kids sit on their bikes for photos, it's just a part of the humanitarian activities they do during the holidays, as well as other fundraising, visiting sick kids in the hospitals and handing out toys etc. (because they don't just always go around straightening out pointless pussy punk-ass pukeface shitfucko clowns for their own good etc, they do lots of other things also like this for instance). Besides like I've said before many times, I like to inform readers about topics that gets those Croatian summer coastal beaches and islands images out of people's minds, because that's just along the coast and only during the summer season, there's so much more to talk about.

Also, I should note that these "Motomrazovi" are not to be confused with the "Harley-Davidson Bikers" clubs, which are other motorcycle/biker chapters in Osijek and in the other cities and towns in Croatia, (although they can join this Moto Klub Osijek and their holiday "Motomrazovi" activities which includes various motorcycle hobbyists and enthusiasts riding any make of motorcycle, just as long as red and white costumes are worn of course). They also do similar activities at Easter time and throughout the year like I said, it's just all a part of the Winter Solstice Advent in Osijek and Holiday Markets festivities starting up.

Related posts: croatia-harley-days-are-back







Images in no particular order.

Early Preparations Sneak Peak Of Winter Solstice Holiday Markets Festivities In Osijek...

And here's a few bonus sneak peek world exclusive behind the scenes views of part of the upcoming Winter Solstice Advent in Osijek Markets and Holiday Fair I was talking about, and some video footage from the opening. These pics are from last week while getting ready so it should look pretty interesting when things get in full swing and fully lit and decorated. (they're also forecasting snow in the next week so it should look pretty interesting then).

* I should mention though that besides the Zagreb Advent holiday events, that the DubrovnikSplit and Rijeka Advent and market fairs festivities are also going to be some of the other ones definitely worth checking out if in the area, or even if just to experience the interesting non-summer atmosphere, hit the links to find out more.

 Images and more information about the happenings going on in Osijek this year at: and

Bonus world exclusive footage from the official opening, I can practically smell the warm spiced wine and roasted all sorts things from here. (at the 6:35 minute mark you can see one of the mentioned magical fairy tale trams pass by)

Just so I don't have to do a whole separate post and since on the topic, here's some other world exclusive sneak peak views from this year's Winter Solstice Advent & Market Holiday Fairs in the city of Rijeka. Interestingly this season they included historic fortress Trsat Castle again which dates from the Middle Ages and overlooks the city below, but this time they also stepped it up a notch like never before by decking it out in over 110,000 light bulbs. For the opening night there was various drinks, chocolates and snacks available and it should look pretty cool during the planned evening events there in December...

Never before seen sneak peek world exclusive video footage from the opening night, as the historic dragonned Trsat Castle transforms into a light bulbed midwinter mecca and glowing medieval fairy tale castle straight out of a fantasy novel right before your very eyes, but it's real.

...and a few highlights from last year's opening festivities in downtown Rijeka. (at the 24 second mark you'll notice some Croatian Majorettes, yep there is such a thing and I posted about it in case someone wanted to become one, and at the 55 second mark you'll notice they also had a magical train ride downtown too, not as elaborate as Osijek's trams but still). More details about this year at

...& The 3rd Annual Humanitarian "Zagreb Advent Run" Took Place

And as an updated bonus last topic to note, a few days later they held the 3rd annual humanitarian "Zagreb Advent Run", which is not an official marathon but has proceeds and money raised going to the local Children's Hospital "Klinika za dječje bolesti Zagreb", this year over 1300 participants took part in the below freezing temperatures 5 km run which is now a regular part of the mentioned Zagreb Advent festivities. (that's right, I put the sick Croatian kids first even before the Croatian bears, wolves, lynx & dolphins). There are a number of similar costumed humanitarian runs that go on across Croatia during the holiday season also I should mention, below are a few world exclusive pics and video footage from the day. (Images:

Images are in no particular order.

The 5 km run started and finished at the Zagreb Westin Hotel and the running route was mainly in the downtown core, afterwards every run participant also recieved a commemorative medal marking the event.

Related post: over-8000-runners-red-bull-wings-for-life

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