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Sightseeing Zagreb in Croatia – Day 60

8 January 2010 13 Comments

Tuesday 29th September 2009 – Croatia

I set my alarm for 6:30 this morning and was up promptly, showered and dressed and out of the door without barely making a noise and waking anybody.

The air was cool this morning, and there was a mist hovering above. It was a little surreal walking along the side of the river when it was cool and quiet like this. I strolled to the train station, still very itchy, and waited on the platform for the train that was late, again!

We boarded, and set off on the fairly short journey to Zagreb, Croatia. It was a lovely trip today alongside the river. A layer of mist hovered slightly above the river, concealing its beauty from me. Only as we passed by did the layer lift, and the true wonder was revealed to me. Glorious glistening water travelled to the sea on an endless voyage, and I wondered what it would be like to be a drop of water on such a journey, and what new worlds would be discovered along the way.

At Zagreb we got off and I entered the Zagreb train station. However, my usual routine was somewhat disrupted today for a few reasons. The first being the fact that I was treated quite rudely, and all I wanted was information. I try to speak a little of the language but sometimes it is thrown straight back into my face.

I asked one guy something, he told me to go to the girl next to him, she looked at him and laughed. When I asked her she said no in Croatian, then they laughed again. When I asked her again she just put a leaflet in front of me and said nothing. It was a small map of the city. I went to the ticket office for tickets to Venice, and as it turns out, there is only one train a day that goes there, and it leaves at 11:35pm every night. A night trip! With having already booked the accommodation, I decided to go to Venice tomorrow overnight and stay only one night in Croatia. The ticket guy just threw the tickets at me, and my credit card also, which nearly flew off the counter. I don’t seem to get on very well in train stations.

I left feeling a bit sick of this country already, and got bumped out the way on the pavement as I walked a couple of times, which is fairly easy to do with my backpack on my back. First impressions of this place were not very pleasing I have to say.

I carried on walking using the map the information people had given me and eventually wound up in the area the hostel was suppose to be situated. But I couldn’t find it. I walked and walked up and down several streets getting very hot and bothered, but couldn’t see the place anywhere. I even asked the postman who looked at the map with a bemused expression on his face. After about 2 or 3 minutes of just staring at the map, I thought I should prod him to make sure he was still awake, but he just shrugged his shoulders and pointed me in the direction of the city centre. I decided, even though I knew he was clueless, to go to the city centre anyway and ask the tourist information people. (Not in the train station).

As I retraced my steps to the centre, I immediately came to a small brown box on the side of the road. I say small, it was big enough to be a tiny office, and that’s what it was. It is for Police use. They sit in these boxes during the day for reasons I’m unsure of, but it was a big relief for me either way. I poked my sweaty head through the small window and said hello. I proceeded to point at my map at the hostel icon with a confused look upon my face. The Policeman looked puzzled himself, and phoned his office for guidance. A little while later he ended the conversation and began to lock up the small office. He then walked me to where he was told the hostel would be, which was incredibly kind I thought, and took me straight there. I said thank you as best I could and he was on his way again. At least the cops were helpful here. The hostel, incidentally, was nowhere near where it was suppose to be, as shown on the map.

The hostel itself was nothing more than a house, and the signs didn’t indicate that it was an HI Hostel, which is what I have been using up until now, but it was the right place. I rung the bell and was greeted by a friendly face. Check in was painless, although not the usual formal way, it was more personal, more friendly. I like how you get this from smaller hostels. You don’t get the quality of the bigger places, but you get more quality of service, and you feel more at home. I was taken to the room where I dumped my bag and made my bed. Being very cautious now, I checked around the bed for bugs, but found none. It looked OK.

All being done, I got some pointers for sightseeing on the map by the reception guy, and headed off back into the city. As I was leaving the next day I thought it best to do as much as possible today. I looked around the park nearby, then used the map’s tourist trails to see all the main sights. There was plenty to see. As it was lunch time now I thought I should fill my tummy before I venture off too far. I was around the area of bars and restaurants, so this was as good a place as any. I got a pizza in a nice little place, sitting outside in the cool breeze, sheltered from the hot sun. The pizza was great and set me up well for the days walking I had ahead of me.

Many things did I see along the way, and much pretty architecture. Lots of important buildings as well. I found myself lost once or twice, but this is the norm now, and it means I see a little more of the not so touristy bits that I otherwise would not have seen. But as the day went on I got tired and started to make my way back to the hostel again. I had seen everything I wanted to see today. A particular water feature they have here is quite cool. It has a periodic water jet that fires water into the air, not high, then releases the pressure to let the water crash down. It repeats itself many times until the cycle ends, and all is still. Except the water inside the fountain, which swings from side to side like a little wave pool, never quite stretching itself enough to tip over the sides and onto the floor, no matter how much I was willing it to.

Back at the hostel I sat for a while, then nipped to the shop before it closed. I got a sandwich and ate it in the hostel as I wrote my diary and surfed the web. A couple of other guys joined the room late on, then went straight back out again. I figured as it was now late that I should go to bed, so I did.

Click here to view more pictures from today, and throughout my trip around Croatia


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13 Comments »

  • Scotty Stevens said:

    Shame they are all so rude! Looks like as interesting place, though 🙂

  • dan said:

    It is a great place, though. I think I may have been a little ratty due to the bites and the hot weather, which didn’t help with my overall state of mind much 🙂

  • Morten said:

    Unfortunatly you have some quite rude people here, the rude once i meet is normally people working in public places, i am not sure why it is like that, maybe they are just fed up with what they are doing?

    Event at the coast where people live from tourism you still have people bahaving like shit, but luckly it is only a few, most of the people down here are actually very nice, so i guess you where just really unlucky in Zagreb.

    Cheers, Morten

  • dan said:

    Thanks for your comment Morten,

    I’m sure if I had been there longer, or seen more of Croatia I would have been more lucky 🙂
    There are good and bad wherever you go, I liked Croatia though.

    Thanks again, Dan

  • Morten said:

    Glad to hear the last part (-:

    If you get the chance to go here again, you should plan also to visit the coastal area, which is completely different compared to area around Zagreb.

    Anyway I forgot to mention I think it is an awesome project you have going, I had a look around you page, and must say you really experience some great stuff, I wish I had the guts to go on trip like that!

    How long time do you plan the trip to last (I didnt see you mentioned that anywhere)

    Thanks, Morten

  • dan said:

    I shall definitely visit Croatia again, and i’ll take your recommendation to visit the coastal area. Is this where you are based?

    I really appreciate your comments, thank you, and I did have a great time. I’m home in England currently, but I have plans to finish off Europe this year some time. On the way down I do hope to see places like Slovakia and Croatia again.

    All I can say is, just do it, if you really want to travel. All you need is a bit of money, the rest falls into place. You meet so many like-minded people along the way who will give you advice on where to go, or where not to go. I put it off for a long time before I finally picked up the courage to do it. My first trip was in New Zealand, and I loved it. All I want to do is to travel now.

    Thanks for the advice, and I hope you do travel one day, you will not regret it 😉

  • Morten said:

    If you should pass by here again, please let me know upfront, as I also run a Croatian news blog, where i could post about your world trip.

    Regarding me going on trip I think it is to late for that, I now have to kids aged 6 and 9 which have the highest priority, so I guess I will have to wait till I get in the cruise ship age

    Do you have any e-mail subscription to your blog, if so i would like to follow, as I am not so good in using RSS feed.

    Morten

  • dan said:

    I would very much like that, thank you, i’ll let you know when I am coming back to Croatia. The cruise ship idea is a good one 🙂 Im sure you will have a lot of fun, but kids take priority you are right.

    I dont have an e-mail subscription set up yet, but I will soon. I update this site every 2 days with new diary entries, and i’ll be starting my New Zealand diary entries very soon, so keep checking back.

    I had a look at your site, and will make a post about it linking back to your site. I will look forward to reading it in more detail over the coming days.

    Take care,
    Dan

  • Morten said:

    Excellent Dan, just let me know when you will be back i will then publish story on my news blog http://www.croatiablognews.com

    As soon as you have E-mail subscription running, please notify me.

    Kindest regards

    Morten

  • dan said:

    Morten, e-mail subscription is now up and running if you are still interested 🙂

    Kind regards

    Dan

  • Morten said:

    @Dan, of course i am, i already signed up (:

    Brgds, Morten

  • david said:

    zagreb

    By the sound of it you had a great experience on your travels to Zagreb, the city itself, as im sure your aware has some great places of interest. The coffee bar culture and cosmopolitan feel is additive for me and i visit there frequently.

  • dan said:

    I loved Zagreb, but as usual, didn’t spend enough time there. I would love to go back and see more of this great place

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