Posted by: viewfromtheriva | October 11, 2014

Benkovac Fair–the region’s biggest open air adventure


the road leading to the Benkovac "sajam" or fair, was bumper to bumper for miles!

the road leading to the Benkovac “sajam” or fair, was bumper to bumper for miles!

As our readers know by now, Natasha and I really love flea markets, second hand shops and found objects (I even have a collection of stones picked up from places I have traveled to) .  The Benkovac Fair is the biggest of its kind in the region–it’s a town of just 10,000 about 20km off the coast between Zadar and Sibenik, and about 125 km from Split.

Street in Benkovac

With an ancient fort high above and a gorgeous restored center promenade lined with shops, it makes a very nice day trip and the drive is easy and fast.

The fair is held all year round on the 10th day of each month.

As we got off the toll road the line of cars started almost immediately.  At first we thought it was a construction delay, and then we realized that wow, this is amazing!  Our first traffic jam outside of Zagreb!

We parked in someone’s yard (10kn for the day, and of course we could use their toilet!) and joined the thousands who were doing everything from chowing down on whole spit-roasted pig to buying vintage Mercedes parts.

we brought a picnic, but had we known they had whole roasted pig by the kilo we would have stayed for days.....all that was left by 12:30 was the head!

we brought a picnic, but had we known they had whole roasted pig by the kilo we would have stayed for days…..all that was left by 12:30 was the head!

Although most of the fair was set aside for vendors selling all sorts of inexpensive clothes, there was a separate section for livestock (goats were popular), lots of plants and vegetables, farm equipment and local produce. Alas, there weren’t as many antiques as we hoped for, but a working antique French mechanical key wound wall clock was a bargain at $75.

the fair was packed!

the fair was packed!

What’s always a kick at a big fair like this is not just seeing all sorts of wild and woolly stuff for sale, but the kind of practical things people who live in the area need and value–like old but still very usable farm tools, canning supplies, etc.

guitars, a knife set, perhaps some sneakers?

guitars, a knife set, perhaps some sneakers?

As we made our way around, I even stumbled upon a guy selling vintage Mercedes parts–and since mine is 22 years old, the next time something goes awry, I know where to come.

Mercedes-Benz heaven for hard to find parts from the 80's and 90's

Mercedes-Benz heaven for hard to find parts from the 80’s and 90’s

Apparently the fair is even bigger during the summer months, but since today was sort of the “end” of the season, and the weather was gloriously sunny, the place was as packed as it gets in August.

if you have never used a hand made broom made of branches, when you do, you will be "swept away"!

if you have never used a hand made broom made of branches, when you do,  I promise you will be “swept away”!

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