Zagreb, Croatia Day 54

What a great day! First of all, most people will think I’m crazy, but it rained last night and this morning, and the cool air is such a nice change from the blistering heat. I’ve been hot since Milan, so I was happy for a reprieve.  Zagreb is such  beautiful city! And cheap like borscht! You can really stretch your budget here. I had lunch today for 10 kruna, dinner for 10 kruna, and a café latte with little cookies on the side for 10 kruna. 10 kruna is about the equivalent of 1.50 euro.
My hostel may be a little ways away from the city center,  but their tram system is so cheap and efficient it really doesn’t matter. And despite the bratty soccer boys, this is a really nice hostel. Much nicer than the one in Ljubljana. The room is cute and comfortable and the owners are exceptionally nice and helpful. I forgot to mention yesterday that she offered me a “welcome drink” when I got here. I was boiling hot so I asked if it was cold? She said that it was a nice plum liqueur that was chilled. Well, it was cold, but holy alcohol batman! She told me it is stronger than vodka. Well, I guess THAT’s why my lips are burning then! After I took a sip she said, no, you just drink it all down. So shoot it. God help me I did it, and almost puked. It was so strong, and I’ve never really been big on shooters but I couldn’t be rude now, could I?
The old part of town is close to Ban Jelacic Square (the main square in town) so I headed there to start. 
Just up the stairs from the square is the Dolac Market. It’s an open air market selling mostly fruit and veg, flowers and right beside it is a fish market. Strawberries and cherries are in season now, and I’ve been gorging on them both!
Sardines!
 I made my way up to the entrance to the upper town, the Stone Gate. It’s the last of the town gates that has survived since the middle ages. The site is now a chapel dedicated to the patron saint of Zagreb, the Virgin Mary. The chapel houses a painting of the Virgin that survived a fore in the 1700’s, so it’s now a place of pilgrimage.
This is St. Marks church in St. Marks square. It was built in the 13th century and is in the Romanesque style. The tiled roof and some other improvements were made in the 19th century. I said I wanted to see some cool and different churches, well, this is definitely different!
I found this fabulous little museum called The Museum of Broken Relationships. It started as a traveling show, and now has a permanent home in old town Zagreb. People donate stories and objects to the museum(and the traveling show) and it’s a very interesting collection of broken hearts and most likely for the donators, closure.
A cool little street with lots of bars and cafe’s.
I had a great lunch of grilled sardines and crusty bread. There was some sort of event happening in the main square and all of these guys were wearing sailor type shirts and grilling sardines and squid over hot coals. Over the loudspeakers they had some traditional sounding Croatian music playing… it was pretty funny because it was blaring, and it sounded sort of like synthesized polka…
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This church has been a work in progress since 1094. Between 1512 and 1521 the defensive walls and towers were added for protection from the Ottoman Turks.
That’s refreshing!
Strange and random stencil art… Fred Savage’s brother? Is he really famous over here or something?
My pace right now…
Many of the street names have changed over the years, and restorers cleaning the exteriors of the buildings have uncovered ancient bilingual street names hidden under the layers of plaster. The Croatian name was written in Roman script, and the German version was in Gothic. Pretty cool, eh?
I climbed many steps to get to the top of Lotrscak Tower. This is the only preserved medieval tower left from the 13th century fortifications. The bells of the tower used to summon the people back to town at sunset when the gates were locked for the night.

 

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2 Responses to Zagreb, Croatia Day 54

  1. Michele June 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Too bad it’s not Dan Savage! That would be awesome. 🙂

    Zagreb looks and sounds wonderful, especially the cheap and delicious food. It’s now on the travel bucket list for me!

  2. Andrea June 5, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    It is great Michele! The people are friendly too! It has a real modern old world feel, if you know what I mean.

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