We’ve been in Zagreb since Wednesday, and it has been hot.
After having to buy warmer clothes in Prague, this is a bit much. If only we could average out the temperature of our trip, that would be perfect!
We arrived in Zagreb on Wednesday afternoon and made our way to our hostel. We were both pretty excited about this one – after the big places we’ve stayed in otherwise, Mali Mrak hostel looked so friendly. Also very colourful. We were not disappointed on either front. We were welcomed, shown around, and were given a local dinner recommendation – a barbecue place which was so so beautiful, and salty, and glorious.
Because it’s so hot, and because after being away for two weeks we are pretty tired, it took us a while to get going on Thursday. But we eventually made it into town, and headed to the Museum of Broken Relationships, which we saw this tour in Amsterdam but Zagreb is its permanent home. The museum collects objects that are reminders of relationships that have ended, with a little about the relationship itself and why the object is significant. Some of them are mixtapes, a list of reasons to stay in the UK, a champagne cork, but others are ecstasy pills, an axe, a magic 8 ball. It’s fascinating, and heartbreaking, and hopeful all at once. We went from there to find some lunch, and ended up on a terrace, having lovely big salads and fresh juice that came with a glass of ice served with tongs, which I’m sure we all agree is the only way to serve a drink. We then wandered around a bit more, got taken to a cashpoint by a lovely older woman who apologised personally for some roadworks, and tried to go to the Zagreb City Museum. But it was just too hot for us, and neither of us could concentrate, so we went to the Illusions Museum instead. Full of bizarre optical illusions, it’s a lot of fun, but also made us both feel a bit unwell after a while. We went to another place recommended by people at the hostel for our dinner, a pizza place which was glorious. We had small pizzas and struggled to finish them. Also they gave us a bowl of sour cream as a condiment and I am fully in favour of this (which is odd considering I was still very much against sour cream just a couple of months ago – growth!). We got a new roommate late that evening, and she was noisy – Lauren was alright because she was already asleep, but I wasn’t so lucky.
The next morning we got up and out early, so we could catch the tour bus – they run at two hour intervals. The red line tour through the centre of the city was great, and we learned a lot. There was an hour to wait until we could take the green line tour through some of the further-out places, so we got a sandwich and a mcflurry and watched some folk dancing in the main square. The green line tour was interesting too, but unfortunately we both fell asleep at points, so our next port of call was a park for a nap. We went in search of air conditioning and found the Modern Gallery, which was a lovely place to spend an hour – it’s full of Croatian modern art, and it was refreshing to not see work by the same artists we see everywhere all the time. We came back to our hostel after dinner and were invited to join the hosts and other guests for wine in the yard, which was lovely. Everyone was very friendly and we had a great time. It made such a difference from our other hostels, which have all been so much bigger than this, and I’m so glad we stayed here.
One of my colleagues is Croatian and was horrified that we were coming to Zagreb. “Why? In summer too! Go to the sea!” she told me. It was largely a practical consideration – the journey from the sea to Budapest would have been too long – but I’m happy with our decision. While I agree it would’ve been nice to be at the sea, and it has been too hot for me, it has been lovely, and I’ve enjoyed our stay.
We’re taking the train to Budapest this morning, our final city! We’ve heard such great things about it, so I think we’re going to be busy. We’ve also heard interesting things about the train journey (forgotten carriages, replacement buses, and so on), so I’m glad we’re getting the early one because it’s a six hour journey at best… We’re soon to find out!
Read all of my interrailing posts here
<< Ljubljana Budapest >>