Open doors to the East

We have been waiting for several months, with clamped firsts and and in full hope. Today it was finally delivered: the baby of Damir Bajs, Croatia's Minister of Tourism. Alas! The baby, with the name "Action plan for tourism", is stillborn.
Let me start mentioning a proposed measure that makes sense. Bajs wants to ease the visa regime for tourists from Russia and Ukraine. Also, some local fees will be cut. But that's pretty much it. It is still being considered whether visa requirements will be suspended for Chinese and Indian tourists too. One out of three people in the world is Chinese or Indian, but Croatia is not sure if it's smart to let them save the Croatian economy (every fifth Croatian euro is earned in tourism). Croatia's VAT rate of 22 percent might be cut next year at earliest, so the Russians and Ukrainians won't come here for a cheap cup of coffee.
I would have appreciated if, for example, Bajs had urged tourist agencies to be more customer friendly, to provide accurate information and, most important, to offer tourists access to Croatian cultural heritage. I can give countless examples of how Zagreb could become a much more interesting tourist destination than the rather dormant provincial town it is now. However, this example is from Križevci, a small town northwest of Zagreb I visited last weekend. You might say: "Who cares about that part of Croatia?" But then you don't know how much Croats expect from rural tourism and how frequently one can see reports on Croatian state TV about the "rich cultural heritage" of town like Križevci (not to mention places without any obvious touristic potential, like Sisak).
Here is a photo manual:
1) If you have no car, take a train or bus. If you are from Africa or Asia, please ignore the few idiots that make fun of you (this is not a joke, unfortunately).
2) Križevci welcomes you in Croatian. "City of history, culture and the Križevci statutes".
3) Walk to the centre. This 35-minute walk will lead you along the socialist history of Croatia. As it is unclear where the centre is, please follow the locals who have left the train with you.
In the good old days, factories provided much more than just an income. So did and do the local tileworks. (Radnik means "Worker")

4) Pay attention to culture and nature. You'll see storks all over.
5) Visit the true treasure of Križevci: its churches. There are normally closed, so you need ask the nuns to open the doors.
The director of the local museum proved to be very kind and helpful.
6) Sit back and relax with a beer.
Finally, have a second beer to wash away your grief over the fact that you couldn't visit the beautiful Kalnik mountain range because there is only one bus per day from Križevci.

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