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September 3rd 2008
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: 45.8069, 15.9614

7-45am. We left Vienna at this ungodly hour, on a day that promised blue skies and warm weather. Our bus headed down Highway 2 towards Graz, a southern city in Austria. We saw the famous Vienna woods in the distance but the rest of the scenery was green fields and small farms. After a brief toilet stop we continued across the border into Slovenia and stopped for lunch at Maribor, the second largest city in this country. The main tourist attraction here was a 400 year old grape vine, underwhelming to say the least. We did have a pleasant lunch overlooking the Drava river, tasting some of the local fare.
Back on the bus we drove to the Croatian border. Here a Passport Officer came on board and at least looked at our passports, but we were quickly deemed OK and so we drove on to Zagreb, arriving about 2-30pm. We then had a break until 4pm when we set out for our local city tour.
The Lower town was not very impressive, especially as the buildings were covered with graffiti. However, our young guide, Nathan, did a good job of informing us of the topsy-turvy history of this part of the world. We drove up to the Upper town and got out at the Cathedral, the Church of St Stephen. The interior of this was grand without being over impressive. The outside was Neogothic and under repair. We then had a walking tour of the area. There are two hills on which the Upper town is situated. Kapitol belongs to the Church and contains mainly church buildings, a convent and monastery. Gradec is the other hill and this is where the public buildings are situated as well as cafes and restaurants. We were taken to the Town Hall, the church of St Mary, and the Church of St Mark which is covered by a tiled roof as well as other monuments.
After the tour we stayed in the town and found a good restaurant for dinner, Agava. We sat out on a raised terrace enjoying good food and some great local wine. Afterwards we walked back through the streets. It was a pleasant evening and we really enjoyed the people watching, then taking our time strolling through the streets.

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