Croatia - Zagreb and Zadar
31.10.2013 - 04.11.2013 10 °C
Over the years we had heard of all our friends sailing around Croatia. Of course we wanted to jump on the bandwagon as by all accounts it is stunning. Unfortunately Autumn is not the best time to do this. It was cold and not really an option for us on this visit. We decided however that we were still interested in having a look around.
First stop was the capital Zagreb. We had a few days here and managed to tick off a few of the highlights.
We strolled around the old city and stopped off for a look at the Zagreb Cathedral. It was a very impressive structure but unfortunately there was scaffolding up one of the spires which really does take away from the view. We would love to come back to see the building without this around the outside.
There were also a few other old buildings and churches scattered around the place.
St Marks church - built in the 13th century
Even though there are many museums situated around the city, the only museum visited was the museum of broken relationships. It is here you can find a collection of knicks and knacks contributed by various people around the world who have had their hearts broken. The range of momentos was vast including fluffy handcuffs, wedding dresses and a frisbee providing plenty of entertainment at the expense of others woe.
For our second day in Zagreb, it turned out to be dia de los muertos - day of the dead. In Croatia, this means that everything closes down for the day in order for the living to go to the cemetery to visit their loved ones who have moved onto greener pastures. We had already contemplated visiting the cemetery as we had heard that it was quite scenic. With everything else closed, it seemed that this was the only option available to us. So off we went to the cemetery along with the other 780,000 members of Zagreb population to visit the graveyard and eat bbq chestnuts. It was quite moving and very picturesque (the cemetery, not the chestnuts - blegh) .
Grand entrance to a grand cemetery
People still remembering the victims of WW1
Government commissioned graffiti wall
Next on the itinerary was the seaside town of Zadar - apparently lovely in the summer!
Upon arrival we were greeted by rain which was not a great sign but never the less, we made the most of our time and enjoyed more of the sights on offer without the fun of swimming.
We did go down to the old town to have a look at the sea organ. This engineering marvel plays delightful organ music as the water rushes in and out. really quite soothing but would be a nightmare if you lived next door. Was a nice way to watch the sun set though.
Also in the vicinity was a sun disk which lights up as the sun sets.
A few more ruins to see along the way and some fabulous fresh seafood lead to a very happy Spam.
Croatia was a lovely country and it is great to see where it has come from since the end of the very recent Yugoslav wars, but to be honest, this country which is steeped in history and recent turmoil, but perhaps it is not as exotic if not sailing around the cerulean waters of the Adriatic. It was a very enjoyable time however and we will come back one day, just in the summer next time.
We leave you with this video which is an amalgamation of our time in Eastern Europe - including Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
Next stop was a week in Southern France with the Withefords. Bring on the cheese and baguette.