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Published: March 27th 2011
St Marks Church
"... the spectrum of colours displayed on the roof beautifully depicts the Croation, Dalmatin and Slavonian coat-of-arms and also the Zagreb city emblem ..."
Zagreb, capital of Croatia and often overlooked due to it's distance from the sparkling coastal waters - it's pretty cool though! We arrived in Zagreb in the early evening and for the first time didn't have anyone at the bus station to tout for our business. It meant a quick flick through the lonely planet to find a hostel - not great reviews, but we decided to risk it. We made our way to the tram line for the usual slightly confused reading of the tram line map (thank god for numbers and colour coding) and then a chilly wait for the right one to come along.
It's not unusual in my life to be involved in random discussions with the occasionally odd person. This just happened to be one of those times, where a (I'm sure very nice) lady started talking to us. I'll admit that despite a rather religious upbringing (or maybe because of it) when people start preaching I get a little nervous and shuffle away and this lady made me want to run. I thought salvation was at hand when the tram came, but unfortunatley no ... she followed ... in fact she followed us all
the way to our hostel (Youth Hostel Zagreb) and then promised to pop back in the morning to show us some churches. Thankfully she left it at the threat or her timing was rather poor as we never had the pleasure of her company again! We organised a triple room (clean, new, fresh ... lonely planet you are sooooo wrong) then across the road for beers and really good pizza.
Day 1 was a public holiday which meant all the museums were closed, so instead of getting cultured Joy, Jonathon and I headed off to spend the day roaming the streets, parks and churches of Zagreb. I love to just wander a city. The guide we had was a local guide and absolutely hilarious! We wandered around the corner from the hostel and the papparazi were swarming. TV/Press Journos just swarming outside a door, ooo the intrigue, kept us guessing for a whole 5 mins! After our walking tour and a touch of food we decided to end the day at the BP Club, Zagreb's famous Jazz club for a touch of local musical talent. We lucked into the annual Hrvatski Jazz Sabor Festival. An entertaining evening, even if
we didn't understand a word of the in between explanations (by the laughter it mush have been good). Just play the music!
On the way back we had to go past the journo collection so in my very shy and retiring way we stopped for a chat (lucky they spoke some English). The daughter of a prominant lawyer had been murdered the day before and the vultures were hovering looking for shots of the family. It at least explained the bold 'Mafiosa' headlines in the paper we had seen all over Zagreb. That's the thing about travel, it exposes you to both the worst and the best that people can be.
Day 2 started with a farewell to Joy who was heading back to Berlin so Jonathon and I decided the only thing to do was to take in some museums. We headed up to the old town and to the Croation Museum of Naive Art (loved it!) and then popped into the Croation History Museum (Exhibition on El Shatt refugee camps) before more aimless wandering. What to do on the evening, but head back to the BP Club for a bit of gypsy swing, absolutely awesome. Loved
it way more than the night before. Humming the tunes it was back to the hostel for a nightcap across the road (bit concerned by this point that the journos are getting used to me and asking how my day is as we wander past, they must have been getting bored!)
Day 3 was home day and the end to an idyllic 5 week period of tripping around with no fixed plans. I miss those days.
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