No matter how much expert knowledge one has of a certain destination, there’s always room for improvement. More than 80 tour guides gathered in Baška town on Krk island to gain more insight into the renowned historical sites
We’re only halfway into the month of March, yet the preparations for the upcoming season are well underway. New luxury hotels and camps are under construction, hotel groups are actively working on employing hundreds of seasonal workers… everyone is getting ready for the first inflow of tourists we can expect a month of two from now.
One particular group of tourism workers often goes unmentioned in this context, and it’s only right we give them some love. You know who else is busy preparing for the season apart from accommodation providers, hotel staff and waiters? Tour guides.
Tour guides, an incredible group of people who come from all walks of life. You’ll meet historians and art historians, teachers and college professors, legal experts, economists… And while their professional backgrounds might vary, they all share a common trait: a passion for sharing their impressive knowledge to make sure you have a well-rounded visit to Croatia and leave with some pleasant memories. Travelling to a country you haven’t visited before can make for a challenging feat at times. And yes, it’s fairly easy to turn on your GPS these days and get plenty of information on your destination online, but no search engine can replace an experienced professional who will help you get around and serve you with loads of interesting facts and memorable anecdotes along the way.
Tour guides are also champions of the life-long learning concept. After a thousand visits to the Plitvice Lakes or Dubrovnik, it might seem anyone would certainly know all there is to know about a destination, right? Well, not exactly – destinations are transforming and developing constantly, and tourism professionals are required to keep up with those changes. There’s also the added factor of an unpredictable audience, as there’s a good chance every group of tourists will have at least one curious member who will keep dishing out questions on dates and names and whatever else comes to mind. Tour guides can’t really afford to serve an ‘I don’t know’ as an answer, so they constantly build on their knowledge, expanding their factual treasure trove with new information so nothing could surprise them.
Tour guides gathering in the church of St. Lucy in Jurandvor
And so as the season approaches, the guides are getting ready as well, attending some of the purposely prepared educational lectures and tours of prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic coast. One such programme took place on Krk island last week, gathering tour guides from Kvarner in the island town of Baška for the fourth year in a row.
Following a number of lectures on the towns of Krk, Omišalj and Malinska, the guides attended a tour of Baška, led by renowned archaeologist and curator at the Maritime and History Museum in Rijeka, Ranko Starac. He got them better acquainted with ancient, early Christian and medieval monuments preserved in the area, headed by the famous Baška tablet – a stone slab dating to 1100 and bearing an inscription in the Glagolitic alphabet.
Church of St. Lucy in Jurandvor / replica of the Baška tablet on the left
While the original is kept at the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Zagreb, a replica was installed in the church of St. Lucy in Jurandvor where the slab was first discovered in the 19th century. Baška tablet is considered one of the most important Croatian monuments and historical sources – the inscription is the first document to ever mention the name Croatia in the Croatian language.
While the Baška tablet made the church in Jurandvor a fairly popular location owing to its historical significance, the Baška area is home to several other distinguished sites which have not yet been properly introduced as parts of tourist itineraries. Our guides will be prepared nonetheless, having visited the remnants of the early Christian basilica at the site Mirine, and the archaeological site at the chapel of St. Mark in Baška.
Mosaics in front of the chapel St. Mark
This short recap is just a simple reminder that a guide’s work is never done. They strive to learn and expand their knowledge year after year, using their spare time for professional growth and improvement. All so they could provide their guests with quality content only, so the next time you book a guided tour in Croatia, remember all the effort behind your guide’s expertise – and rest assured you’re in good hands.