Zagreb (Croatia)

August 14, 2008 (Saturday) – August 18, 2010 (Wednesday):

I feel like I’m back in college.  Middle of the night, term paper just finished, ready to print, when BAM!  You lose all your work and every page is gone.  That is the Zagreb entry.  You are reading the bastardized version of what would have been my greatest piece of writing to date.  My previous entry on Zagreb, Croatia was epic.  It had beautiful prose, drama, comedy, romance and even a little historical satire mixed in.  The plot twists were riveting, as was the character and scene developments.  But alas, it has disappeared into the internet ether, never to be read by a human soul (other than myself).  So instead of that mastery of the english language, you get to read this piece of

In some twist of irony, it is quite appropriate that this entry about Zagreb is not the first choice of posting…just like the destination itself was not our first choice of visit in Croatia.  We would have much rather visited one of the coastal towns along the Adriatic Sea, ideally Dubrovnik.  But since we were traveling Europe via the eurail train pass, getting to Dubrovnik from Verona would have been too time-consuming.  And thus, we chose to go to Zagreb instead.

Going to Croatia and visiting the capital city of Zagreb is essentially like someone going to California and visiting the capital city of Sacramento.  Yes, Sacramento is the capital of California, and yes, you could probably find things to do to make the trip there worthwhile.  But honestly, you probably would rather want to be somewhere nicer like San Francisco or Los Angeles.  So having said that, we sought out to explore the city of Zagreb and all it had to offer.

Interestingly, my original entry on Zagreb wasn’t as harsh.  (Maybe I’m just bitter for losing all that work).  And in all honesty, Zagreb isn’t all that bad.  We spent that first day walking around town, and checking out two of their major structures, the Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Mark’s Church.  We really liked St. Mark’s Church and its unique colorful tile-designed roof.  The roof looks like something out of Super Mario Bros.  (Side note:  I wonder if someone, who is let’s say 10-15 years younger, is reading that reference understands that I’m referring to the original 8-bit Nintendo version of Super Mario Bros. and it blocky graphics and not the Nintendo64 or Nintendo Wii version with its more advanced graphics.  If not, then that reference really wouldn’t make any sense.  Man, have I already gotten to the point where there is a generational gap and I need to more specifically explain pop-culture references.  Sad.  So sad.)

Anyway, other than the churches, we also walked down Tkalciceva Street, with its wide selection of boutique stores, restaurants and bars.  We found a great bar, Medvedgrad Pub, that had decent food and a great happy hour with good microbrew beer.  One of the nice things about visiting Zagreb was its selection of varying Croation/Dalmatian food.  In particular was the prsut (purr-shoot), which is similar to the prosciutto of Italy, or jamon of Spain.  Another dish we like were the fried sardines.  Nothing fancy, just lightly fried and well-seasoned.

A few of the other sights we took in were:

– the Dolac Market – a farmer’s market where we could see the fresh local produce native to Croatia;

– Zagreb City Museum – we spent a good few hours there getting a historical context of the city and of Croatia.  It also had a nice exhibit on the two medieval areas of Zagreb: Kaptol, the seat of the Bishop (where the Cathedral now stands), and Gradec, the free town where tradesmen and artisans lived;

– Mirogoj Cemetery – a huge cemetery right outside Zagreb, with lots of orante tombstones and graveyards.  Wasn’t really worth the time going out there.

All in all, we had a decent time in Zagreb.  But next time we go to Croatia (hopefully), we’ll go to Dubrovnik…and I’ll hit save in my document.

To view more pictures from Zagreb, visit the Photos.

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