I had high hopes for Croatia, unfortunately it was too cold to my liking.
I only ended spending two days in Zagreb. I grabbed dinner with an Australian that I had met in Budapest and his Canadian friend. Unfortunately not many restaurants had room so we had to settle for a patio. It was barely comfortable when we sat down but by the time we had left, it was close to 5C outside and I was wearing sandals and a small jacket and my rain jacket that can’t keep the wind out. I was positively frozen.
The next day, I did a free walking tour with two Indian women from my hostel. The tour was interesting but Zagreb doesn’t have much to see. The tour ended at the Lotrščak tower that houses the Grič canon. The canon has been fired since 1877 every day at noon (except during war times, as it’s not a pleasant reminder). An interesting fact is that the world’s shortest (or second shortest) funicular in the world at 66m long takes you up to this tower. Another cool tidbit is that Zagreb’s cathedral needed new chandeliers and somehow they found free ones that came from a Las Vegas casino. The bishop didn’t want to keep them, but said they’d be installed while they looked for better ones (that aren’t from sin city 😆).
Zagreb also holds a fairly unique museum: the Museum of Broken Relationships. The concept is simple: people donate items with a backstory that deals with broken relationships; be it romantic, friendly, family or country. Some stories were funny, some were very sad. It’s worth checking out if you ever make your way to Zagreb.
Ah yes, and their claim to fame is that they “invented” the tie, which the French popularised.
Finally, I tried some local dishes: crni rižot (black risotto) which is really black and contains cuttlefish commonly found on the coast - it was quite good, and štrukli which is a Croatian take on lasagna… I much prefer lasagna 😅
Having had enough of the cold, I took a bus back to Budapest and magically found a cheap place to sleep for a few hours before my red eye flight to Barcelona 🥳🥳
I’ll still say that Zagreb was more fun than I’d expected and that I managed to learn some things while I was there 😅