November 2018

Zagreb, photo in Museum of Arts and Crafts. Croatia.
Zagreb, view over the rooftops. Croatia.

Booksa is a book club. Warm and friendly, you must pay an annual fee of 10 kun (£1.20, 1. 35 euros) to join. There is a small library including books in English, newspapers, comfy chairs, wifi and a cafe.

A book is to a man what a binocular is to an astronomer or a microscope to a medical student – an instrument improving observation ability. Matko Peić

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Booksa, Marticeva Street, Zagreb, Croatia.

They also have book readings etc, mostly in Croatian. The staff speak great English. Like all cafés in Zagreb, there is no food on sale, nor alcohol, but the jasmine tea (proper tea leaves) and hot chocolate are fab.

I spent many hours at Booksa – a convivial atmosphere.

Friday

Without realising quite how wet it was, I set off to walk into the city centre as usual (approx 1 hour from Sopot where I am staying), but the rain was torrential. The bus was quick and straightforward although I still had to walk for 20 minutes or so and therefore arrived at the Museum of Broken Relationships in a completely soaked state. The money in my purse in my bum bag was wet and the stamps stuck together!

On the way up the many steps to the Museum of Broken Relationships.
Giving great views of the city.
Zagreb cathedral at night.
The cafe at the Museum of Broken Relationships.
The caterpillar you can see in the picture is a story where the couple broke off one of its legs each time they met. They agreed that when all were off they would marry (at least I think that was it). Only 5 or so were gone by the time they broke up 😦

It is a most unusual and very popular place, particularly frequented by young people. The exhibits have all been donated by the public, made up from a collection of sad stories with connected items and memorabilia. Well curated, there is perhaps unsurprisingly a sombre atmosphere. The cafe is smart with WiFi and expensive. 40 kun to enter (cheaper for students or older folk).

One of the shortest funiculars in the world (according to Wikipedia). Croatia.
I found this in the city centre, leaning against a wall. A witch must have left her broomstick behind on Halloween!

Sunday

I took a river walk – after 2 days of torrential rain, I was happy that it was fine again, though cool and misty. The mountains in the distance had however disappeared.

There were three women walking solo – 2 of us were taking photos!

There are white paths stretching in both directions beside the Sava River. Between them and the banks there are expanses of grass which I guess are often deluged because there are mud covered plants there.

Under the bridge.
Another red line. (See previous blog).

Monday

I walked to the Botanics and they are gloriously free to enter, bijou and bonny.

The first sight of the Botanic Gardens from the underpass – a red pagoda similar to the one in Edinburgh.
Botanic Gardens, Zagreb – palm and fountains.

Here are some slideshows of plants, fungi, flowers, vegetables and the dome with the giant (up to 2 metres wide) water lilies from Souzth America inside it. Despite winter being right around the corner, there was plenty to see.

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I have added more Botanic Garden photos here so that this blog doesn´t take too long to load and look at.

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Cottage in the grounds of the Botanic Gardens, Zagreb. Rambling roses and everything.

Botanic Gardens The Zagreb Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in downtown Zagreb, Croatia. Founded in 1889 by Antun Heinz, Professor of the University of Zagreb, and opened to public in 1891, it is part of the Faculty of Science.

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I was pleased with the colour scheme – the lady´s coat, the houses between the trees, the foliage of the Cyprus.

Zagreb Practicalities

The Privredna Bank: It was dry and warm, and when I got to the counter the currency exchange was smooth and straightforward. I got a much, much better rate of kun to euros than I did in Italy. But. I have almost never had to wait so long for anything. Ever.

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National Theatre, Zagreb. They like yellow buildings here. Croatia.

The Post Office: In contrast there was no queue at the post office and although the willing woman had almost no English I managed to make myself understood. Stamps to the UK cost 5.80 kun for a postcard.

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Evangelical Church, Zagreb, Croatia.

Bars and cafes do not serve food. Many allow smokers inside rather than making them go out, even though most have nice awnings with cosy blankets now in November.

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Getting around: buses and trams both seem to be very efficient. Buy tickets from tabac kiosks, 4 kun each, in advance and when you get on (you can use any door), go right to the front to find the little yellow box attached to one of the chrome uprights. Insert your ticket with the silver part towards you and wait for it to make a noise. Beware! most tabac kiosks are shut on Sundays so you might get stranded without a bus ticket. I asked and was directed by friendly waiters outside the theatre.

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Like lots of cities, Mondays are quiet with many buildings being closed eg Booksa and the Museum of Contemporary Art. However, the Museum of Broken Relationships is open, as are the Botanic Gardens, Maksimir and Gradski Parks.

The Tourist Information office is in Ban Jelačić Square, not far from the man on horseback (below).
Josip Jelačić von Buzim, ban of Croatia (1948 – 49). He was a military man and responsible for abolishing serfs in Croatia so we like him for that.

The Tourist Information women had no information about walks (it was the same in Vienna) but were very kind and did tell me about Maksimir Park, for which I am very grateful.

Maksimir Park, Zagreb, Croatia.
Maksimir Park, Zagreb, Croatia.
Maksimir Park, Zagreb, Croatia.

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