I was truly blessed to have met Manja over 15 years ago, when she guided one of my tours for a group that I brought to Croatia from the USA! We instantly bonded and everyone on the trip fell in love with her as well!
Manja will always go out of her way to make sure that everyone on our tours has a GREAT time and is eager to assist with special requests. She can find “anything” one may need including traditional costumes; homemade Slijvovica; lost luggage and new clothes; Kremšnite cake in Bled; Morčić earrings from Rijeka; and most importantly a long lost relative in Croatia or Slovenia!
After our trip in 2016, she earned her new name “Magic Manja”. She tracked down relatives for 70% of the people on our bus of 40! With her GPS in hand; she convinced our bus driver to travel in areas that only a horse and buggy should be allowed. It is always an adventure to drive through the small villages; off the beaten path and watch the locals come out of their homes wondering what this large tour bus is doing? Little do they know that we were there to find relatives for someone in our group. Last year, we stopped in front of a little house in Bubnjarci, where an elderly lady in her black dress and babushka sitting on the porch. Manja asked her if she knew of the Ivanis family name and that we were looking for any living relatives. Much to our surprise, this lady was the actual Grand-daughter of the Grandfather (born in 1886) that we were trying to find!
Later that day we were traveling to a cemetery in Laslavici to find grave markers for Vinski family. We took the bus as far as it could go, stopped and began to walk up the hill. There was a house with 2 ladies working in the garden, Manja asked if they knew the family name and once again we were surprised to find that they were actual cousins of our guest AND this was the house that her father grew up in as a little boy! Everyone in the group began to weep tears of joy!
Another amazing adventure was taking the bus on a very winding, extremely narrow road into the mountains to try and find a lost cemetery for the Mikesic family! We searched for hours and were getting ready to give up when Manja decided to pull up “Google Earth” on her phone and search via satellite! She pinpointed what “looked like an old burial area” and off she went with the family. They hiked down a mountain, through the shrub, fields to actually find what was left of this little cemetery! YES – the faint head stones revealed their relatives that lived and worked in this area in the early 1600’s!
I truly believe that Manja and her guardian angel are “Magical”! She is not only an amazing guide, but a very special friend to me and my family! I know that her new adventure with “Manja Travel” will be a huge success! She is truly loved by all that meet her!
Manja, I look forward many more great tours of Croatia, Slovenia & the Adriatic!
Katie Bolf & Steven Schroder