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Croatia

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Croatia is situated between central, southern, and eastern Europe. It has a rather peculiar shape that resembles a crescent or a horseshoe which helps account for its many neighbours: Slovenia, Hungary, the Serbian part of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Montenegrin part of Serbia and Montenegro, and Italy across the Adriatic. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.

Its terrain is diverse, containing:
- plains, lakes and rolling hills in the continental north and northeast (Central Croatia and Slavonia, part of the Pannonian plain);
- densely wooded mountains in Lika and Gorski Kotar, part of the Dinaric Alps;
-rocky coastlines on the Adriatic Sea (Istria, Northern Seacoast and Dalmatia).

The country is famous for its many beautiful national parks.

Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast and a semi-highland and highland climate in the south-central region.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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Many Croatians speak English as their second language, but Italian and German are very popular too(largely because of the large annual influx of Italian and German tourists). People in the tourist industry most often speak quite good English, as does the younger generation, especially in the tourist areas of Istria, along the coast down to Dubrovnik, and in the capital, Zagreb. Elder people will rarely speak English, but you shouldn't have any problems if you switch to German or, in some cases, Russian.

Croatian is not an easy language to learn, but the people like when foreign travellers use it for basic things such as greeting and thanking.

The Croatian language is not identical with Serbian, Bosnian or Bosniak, but is similar. They are mutual intelligible but people in Croatia will usually frown upon attempts to pass words and expressions used in surrounding countries off as Croatian.

There are still many landmine fields left throughout the country. If one sticks to well-trodden trails in the west and also urban areas there is no need to worry, but poking around in the brush is strongly discouraged.

During summer make sure you use adequate SPF to protect yourself from sunburn. There are no ozone holes over Croatia but it's fairly easy to burn in the sun. If this happens make sure you get out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and rehydrate your skin. The locals will often advise covering the burnt spot with cold yoghurt bought from the supermarket.

In case of an emergency you can dial 112 - responsible for dispatching all emergency services such as fire departments, police, emergency medical assistance and mountain rescue.