We were excited to get going this morning after a lovely dinner at Purger a good local restaurant. Purger is a slang word to describe someone born and bred in Zagreb.
It rated well on trip advisor and wasn’t far from out hotel, Zagreb Palace, or from the park where the little stalls were getting lively with drinkers and dancers. Purger is a little dated in decor. More 1980’s than now! But the food was great. Good local food. Veal seems to be very popular here and Steve had sauted veal with garlic! I loved my dish of cabbage leaves stuffed with lamb and pork minced meat swimming in a lovely paprika sauce. Served over mash it was real comfort food and so different from the fish dishes I enjoyed on the island.
After a very good breakfast we hit the streets went to the local fruit & veg markets with the gorgeous red umbrellas.
Bought a new cap and decided on a city bus tour to get to the rather spread-out areas of the city. It was disappointing! The driver drove too quickly and the commentary by a local women was so heavily accented and so fast we could hardly understand it.
There are many lovely buildings. Not as old as they appear because of the earthquake in the 1880’s but they are grand. Then there are the communist style – plain austere and uninviting. Then there is the street art. I think when countries embrace street art or graffiti as we call it the result can be fantastic.
We got back about 40 mins earlier than stated ‘on the brochure’, so decided walking was the way to explore the old town and joined in on a few walking tour groups to get some information.
The Stone Gate, built in Middle Ages, houses a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We passed houses with spiked domes on top. These were to stop the witches from landing on the roofs! There were stories of witches being hunted by the locals. Those poor women – the ones with a mole ( a sign that they were a witch) – were automatically killed!
Couldn’t resist a visit to Kravata – a tie shop famous for its tie made using the colours and design famous in Croatia. The necktie was invented here in Croatia! The Croatian women used to make triangular scarves ( or kravats) for their men to wear when leaving for a war. They tied them around their neck for good fortune and so they would return. The Croatians served as mercenaries for the French – hence the “cravat” and the fashion item!
We recovered from the Museum by walking past the funicular into the Strossmayerova park with its beautiful views back over the city. It was here we sat on the park benches with whimsical things hanging from the trees – witches, hoops and flowers and had some lunch. Again a sausage and beer for Steve!
Then I couldn’t resist the Museum of Broken Relationships. It was recommended by my swimming wing woman, Betty. At first I though it was about relationships lost through war. But no, it’s regular people talking about a love they lost. Each story was accompanied by an item that meant something to them. Oh there were some sad stories.
We continued walking along the path, stopped to look at the view from over the stone fence and spied The Art Park tumbling down the hill. Such a great use of space. Straw animals and lots of street art.
Then a spot of shopping for me while Steve went to the Model Train exhibition!
We continued walking until a storm hit which sent us all into bars and restaurants. There are so many outdoor cafes with padded seat pads that the waiters were kept running bringing all the pads inside. By the time we got a drink the sun was back out!
Craft beers are a big deal here in Zagreb, as they are in many parts of the world. Steve was getting excited about trying another one so we found The Craft House and he sampled two different India Pale Ales. Of course while we were there right near a church we saw a wedding!
Now it’s rest time before dinner at Bistro Fotic a recommended restaurant not far from our hotel. PS. Just back and it was great. Yum cutlets for me with minted peas and feta. Pepper steak for Steve.
Zagreb is proving to be a great place for a few days – summer being the best time to visit.
Watch out for my 10 best things yo see and do in Zagreb.