CROATIA – Zagreb

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Hi All! My close friends and relatives know how much I love travelling and how I try to spend each and every minute of my life discovering new cultures. Still, I always had to squeeze these holidays within the limited hours of weekends, for I had to work. So, there were times where I only had 24 hours to explore a magnificent city. In those times, I did not have the chance to visit all 30 recommendations listed by TripAdvisor and felt the need to consult someone, who has had the experience to visit these places. This is why, I will try to explain in this blog, clues to a well-managed trip and will help you to get to see much within the shortest period of time. Hope you enjoy!

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a beautiful city by means of its locals and the culture surrounding it. By the time I was in Zagreb, they have had recently joined the EU thus were still using their own currency, the Croatian Kuna. Still, there were many shops, willing to accept Euros, so I suggest exchanging a little amount right before you leave the airport.

erik-jan-leusink-149453.jpgAfter I landed in Zagreb, I headed to the Hostel Shappy, where I was going to spend the next couple of days enjoying a comfortable bed, feeling home. Hostel Shappy, is nothing like a hostel, and you get to live the comfort for the best price. It is very modern and is located at the heart of the city. So, you do not feel you have to spend the whole day outdoors, refusing to return to the hotel until you get exhausted, for you know you can stop by anytime, get refreshed, and leave again.

After I left my luggages to the room, I headed to the area called “Gornji Grad”, where you can choose amongst many restaurants or stores. For me, the priority was not shopping. I liked spending money on entertainment and food, and I still do. This is why, I entered a random restaurant and after , I was ready to start exploring.Maksimirske_jeseni_2014.jpg

Park Maksimir After the lunch, I headed to the Park Maksimir, a huge park full of oxygen and trees. The park is a relaxing place, with its visitors laying on the grass and chilling. There is a big zoo in the park, hosting all sorts of species in their own fake habitats. There is a whole different exhibition of snakes and sea creatures. It’s a must see…img021041.JPG

Museum of Broken Hearts Our next stop was a museum. Still, one should not think of a boring, trite museum, for this place is nothing like a history or fine arts museum. Museum of Broken Hearts consists of donations by people who suffer from love. These people donate objects that remind them of their pain or relationship and share their experiences with the visitors from all around the world. These objects are exhibited in glass boxes, next to a concise explanation note of what it is. The stories are enchanting. There are thousands of them ranging from a hand-written letter full of lipstick marks to a t-shirt donated by a lady who has lost her loved one in a car accident. The museum makes the visitor question love, and realize real love actually does existbroken-relationships_wide-77bca2814d2a15536b087b1e6f363c217c92beae-s900-c85.jpg.

After these two visits, I went on to search for a nice spot to dine. Boban Restaurant was the place that I ate the best lamp dish till then. The restaurant is a historical one, with lots of bricks in its decoration. The prices are quite cheap, and the service is very good. Following the dinner, I went to the Mansion Bar upon recommendation. I should admit that Zagreb is not the best option when it comes to night life. So after a drink, I went back to the hotel, a little devastated.

St. Mark’s Church In the morning, St. Mark’s Church was the first spot to visit… The Catholic Church is famous for its beautiful roof, with Croatian and Zagreb flag ornaments. The Church is actually pretty small in contrast to its huge look in pictures. To my chance, I found myself in the middle of a Catholic Wedding ceremony when I entered the Church. I watched the amazing and prosperous ceremony, until the bride left the building scattering rose leaves all around the isle. 006-DSC_1406.jpg

Samabor Festival My close friends and relatives know how much I enjoy attending costume parties and music festivals. So, I found myself on a bus, leaving for the festival, the minute I heard about this festival. Still, This is a seasonal occurence. So, you might not be able to attend this colorful festival, unless you get to visit the city in March. The Samabor Festival is a day of joy for the locals, and everyone, regardless of the age, puts on a costume and conquers the narrow streets of Zagreb. The most popular singers perform on the stage and the Croatians sing their favorite songs along. I could enjoy the event for half an hour only, due to the sudden gust of rain. I had to run into the first store I saw was open, and to my luck, it was a winery.

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Filipec Winery I had to stay in the Winery for almost an hour, until the rain settled down. In that 1 hour, I had the chance to meet the owner of the little store, and the old man told me the story behind his business. The eldest man of the Bermet Family, was producing the wine all by himself. Mr. Bermet was even seeding his own grapes instead of buying a bunch in stores. He explained the production process of a bottle of wine and how it requires patience to keep the distilled liquid in barrels for days. I left the store feeling confident with 2 bottles of wine in my hand, that I was to take home as a souvenir.

Together with the wetness, I was very exhausted when I returned to the hotel. I decided to stay in for the night for I was going to be heading to Sarajevo early in the morning. I went to sleep, with all the beautiful memories of Zagreb on my mind, hoping to return soon.

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