There is not that much to do on a Monday in Zagreb, Croatia. Nonetheless, I was here because I had really wanted to go to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, so I set out to explore the city as well. First off, I needed to take care of my nasty, stinky laundry that had not been in a washing machine for a whole month! Luckily the laundry place was right by the main cathedral, so after dropping off my laundry I had a look at Zagreb’s main cathedral which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The outside has been completely redone in the last few years, so it looks really nice and new. The inside is done in the Gothic style, but not all that impressive. There are no great paintings, just some impressive stained glass imported from Germany in the 1800s. Overall, like other cities whose focus isn’t on religion, it was a bit of a let down as the main church. The walls surrounding the cathedral intended to protect it from attack during the Renaissance were interesting, though, and in very good shape due to constant restoration as well.
My next stop was Dolac Market, Zagreb’s gigantic outdoor farmers market. I loved it! All organic food for a good price. I got 6 big apples for the equivalent of about 1 dollar. Then I walked up up up towards the Upper Town in order to see St. marks church; the best feature there is the colorful roof tiles in Croatias colors. On the way there, I passed through the Stone Gate, one of the last Medieval gateways to the city which now serves as a shrine to Mary. I headed to the old Medieval Tower, now known as the Burgler’s Tower about 5 minutes before noon. I waited expectantly with many others for the cannon to fire at noon. The church bells started and right about the 12th bell, the cannon fired. I think it scared every tourist there. It was so loud and sudden! I definitely must have jumped.
After the cannon fired, I decided to hike up to the top of the Medieval Tower for a panoramic view of the city. Since the tower is already located in the upper town, I didn’t have to do too much work to get an impressive view out over Zagreb. I could see the city spreading out before me in all directions. Next, I took a quick peek at the Strossmeyer Promenade before visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum has won awards for being unique and eccentric and it’s easy to see why. Basically people donate items from their past relationships along with a story explaining the items significance and why they wished to give it away. As a whole, it’s kind of depressing while at the same time bring entertaining and kind of funny. I definitely had mixed emotions about the place.
I headed back to my hostel to cook lunch and cool off with one of Croatias local beers. Pan and karlovacko beer both have lemon varieties, which are light and refreshing during the summers heat. At some stores in Croatia, beer is cheaper than water! After lunch, I relaxed for a bit before hitting the main shopping streets in town. I did a good amount of shopping in the AC, but no buying. Then I picked up my laundry and hauled it back to the hostel, where I attempted to use the old computer before giving up after it took an hour to download about 20 pictures to Facebook. I made dinner then went out to the grocery and the ATM. I’m going to bed super early tonight because tomorrow I’m going to wake up to do a 6am early bird cycle your of the city!