Donkey Racing in Sali, Croatia

A donkey racing festival is exactly the kind of ridiculous thing I will go out of my way to see. Here’s what the annual Donkey Racing Festival looks like in the town of Sali on the island of Dugi Otok near Zadar, Croatia.

Donkey Racing Festival, Croatia

The festival spans three days and includes music, games and athletic competitions. I’m only there for the “good part,” the races themselves. Race Day begins with a parade through town, with musicians playing Donkey Music to wake up all the residents.

Nine long hours pass and I eagerly await the start of the races at 6:00 PM, but apparently we’re on island time. It’s almost 7:00 and I’m well into my third glass of $1.74 white wine when I hear the band returning.

Next, an official-looking guy gets up on stage and gives a really long speech.

Then they play what I assume is the national anthem (or maybe it’s more Donkey Music).

Donkey Racing Festival, Croatia

Then the guests of honor appear, and before I know it, the race has begun.

And ended.

Donkey Racing Festival, Croatia

And that, my friends, is what I rearranged my entire European trip and added about 20 hours of travel time to my trip to experience. The End.


Have you ever arranged a trip around one festival or event? Tell us when and where!

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About Testarossa Travel

Testarossa Travel is a collection of stories about the amazing people of the world and the places they live. Adventurous, funny, and often humbling or downright embarrassing, these stories capture my experiences with authenticity and are meant to inspire readers to get out there and see the world. Each tale is designed to give the reader a true sense of a place, its sights, sounds and smells, and most of all, its people.

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