Dalmatian “Galebovi”: What Happened to Famous Dalmatian Casanovas?

Total Croatia News

Experienced Dalmatian ladies’ men brag about their summer ”catch” during the good old days and reveal the much sought-after secrets of their “trade”.

“Find, meet, and seduce” might as well be the motto of the Dalmatian Casanova, or as they’re locally known as “Dalmatinski galebovi”, literally meaning Dalmatian seagulls.

“You have to be faster than other guys, and as clever and energetic as you can be, and take action as soon as the pretty young women step off the bus, preferably arriving from the Czech Republic”

A real “galeb” knows that preparation is key. First, he heads out to the bus station to find out the arrival time of the buses coming from the desired destinations. Then, with his hair all slicked back, shirt slightly unbuttoned to expose few chest hairs, and summer shorts to show off his muscular legs, he moves into action.”

“The first impression is the most important,” says 58-year-old Petar Šararo, a retired galeb and nowadays, a distinguished, polished manager of the Leptir Polyclinic in Zagreb.

“I want you to take a photo of me right here on Kaštelet, near the rocks. This is where I used to pick up girls when I was in my twenties, and would take many of them to škuribande (hidden spots). Well, of course, they couldn’t resist the temptation. Surrounded by agave, tamarix and pine trees with the sea gently whispering in the background, and craving love and adventure, how could they resist!? I specialised in seducing Czech girls, they were, well I won’t say easy. I’d rather describe them as “ready for a love story”. Open, frisky and fiery. The Hungarians came right after them. And then Mojce, which is what I call all Slovenian women,” says Škaro, also known as Fric, for his blonde hair, or Roby, for his resemblance to Robert Redford.

Petar has no problem when it comes to revealing the secrets from his youth. He remembers those times of, what he calls “galebarenje” with joy, adding he does not wish to brag nor hide the fact that plenty of fish were caught in his net, so to speak.

He approached a large number of girls and had worked out an effective strategy, adding that you can never hit on two girls from the same gang. Nor from the same hotel. And never bring them to the same places. Considering that he would have up to three adventures a week, such a mistake would lead to a complete catastrophe.

Dobri den. Pomůžu ti s taškou” I would say to her in Czech with a big smile on my face, letting her know that I was willing to help her with her bags. I spoke a bit of Czech, so that was a plus. Then I would carry her bags, and immediately ask her to go for drinks and a walk later in the evening.

Terraces with live music were all the rage back then, so I would take her to Zvončac, down to the harbour or downtown, and eagerly welcomed dancing stiskavac (body to body),” he says, adding that discretion and a vow of silence were the basic rules which a good galeb followed.

And he wasn’t the only one; 30 years ago, there were a lot of galebs flocking around every big or small town in Dalmatia. Some “operated” in tiny groups, and some, like him, preferred going solo. He says he didn’t like to attract attention, since he didn’t want local girls to notice his seasonal hobby. The worst thing by far would be that a local girl finds out and sticks a label on your back, so that all windows of opportunity close.

Really, when the local girls figure out that you’re a galeb, you don’t stand a chance anymore. It permanently marks you. And to “catch” a local girl and bring her to the škuribanda, you needed a whole season or two! Those girls were the toughest nuts to crack.

So I had a really good time having fun with those who came here to have fun. The Military Resort in Duilovo, Trstenik, Kaštelet, Zenta, discotheques and dances were my go-to places. I also continued wooing girls when I was working in Kupari military resort. And Mojce, my sweet Mojce. I did military service there, in Slovenia,” remembers Petar with a wave of nostalgia coming over him, claiming that nowadays the roles have switched. Women have become galebovi, they are the ones making a move and hitting on men who just stand around and wait.

A well-known restaurant-owner from Bol, Stanko Marinković, also remembers his golden years of bachelorhood and coaxing foreign girls. He remembers it as if it was yesterday; he and one of his friends would walk from the beginning of the Zlatni Rat beach all the way to the cape.

“Stand near one girl, then the next one. Say a few lines, throw the bait and wait for the chosen one to get hooked. A galeb, he says, is the one who enjoys life, having a good time, women, sunsets, romance, food and drinks, hedonism… I started when I was 18 up until I was 26. German, Austrian and English girls were our targets. We would start off in the morning, walk around the beach, often for five hours straight. We would take a look around, searching for the hottest girl, and then go for it, or as he puts it “krenuli u faćkanje”.

Throw in a few compliments, show off a bit by doing some cool jumps and dives into the sea, and flex your biceps and triceps. Afterwards, you would take her around Bol at night, holding her hand so that everyone sees what a hot shot you are. And then – head straight for the moonlight. Saying goodbye was the hardest – heartbreaking and sad – during which some would even dramatically throw themselves into the sea following the ship. But with every new ship, came new girls.”

Then there is Pero Francuz from Split, who doesn’t think of himself as galeb. Better yet, he calls himself Don Juan, adding that guys like him feel that it is more important to charm a woman, spend some time in her company, and show eloquence and seductiveness rather than just take a girl to the hidden make-out spot. He claims that Split in the 50s was full of Don Juans, among which Hajduk players were particularly popular.

“Those guys were the coolest. Don Juan would start on the dance floor, where he would show off with a new woman. But before going to the disco, he would take a girl for a short walk around the Pjaca. It was also very useful to know a few foreign phrases. As for me, I spoke a bit of Russian. Even today, when I see the two strangers taking a selfie, I come (on) to them. Bon jour, I tell them, need any help? Then I stand by one of them while the other one takes a photo. And then the other one also wants to take a picture with me. By doing that, I want to show them how friendly and welcoming we are as people. And they seem to like it. Galebovi and Don Juans have made a lot for our tourism. Too bad they no longer exist,” says Pero Francuz.


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