Monday, March 13, 2017

Sightseeing: Zagreb

My flight to Zagreb passed fine but I had to wait 7 hours for the second flight to London, so I decided to leave the airport and head into the city. It would be a new country and capital visited. As unfortunate as the situation was it was nice to have a silver lining. With nowhere to leave my case it did mean I'd have to drag that along with me.

The bus into the town is directly outside the airport, and like Macedonia there are cashpoints by the airport exit to get you some cash. It's worthwhile breaking the notes you get by buying water from the gift shop next door. 

The drive into the city was fine and takes about 30 minutes. We had a nice day here, weather wise.

There are some statues along the route as you head towards the bus station. This is Veceslav Holjevac, a famous mayor who brought the city through Socialism and helped encourage the city of Zagreb to grow.

From the bus station it was a short walk north-west towards the hilltop that I'd chosen as the direction to walk in.

Communist style tramming.

The main cathedral is a huge twin-spired building that dwarfs most of the city.

At the top of the hill outside the cathedral.

The gold statue opposite is the Fontana Bogorodica

A random piece of art I spotted on one of the building exteriors.

Another city market. This is the Dolac Market which looks to be one of the hearts of the city.

A statue close by.

It was quite early (I'd arrived at 7am and got into the city before 9) but there was an obvious mix of old classic style architecture becoming home to modern food and retail stores. These are all at the bottom of the hill
There is a funicular railway that could take you to the top of the hill from the shopping streets up into the old town, but it was Monday and as with a lot of tourist attractions Monday is the day things close for maintenance. So I took the stairs.

Some old church which looks like it could be in Mexico.

The main draw in the old town is St Mark's Church famous for it's pictoral roof tiles.

Gothicy stuff around the entrance. I think given the mixture of style that this must have taken several hundred years to complete.

A couple of statues around the old town. I like the snake wrestling one.

I also found a couple of pieces of art done by French artist Etien. The whale would have looked great had the sun not killed the illusion effect. 

This is how it's intended to look. It's a shame I couldn't stick around to see it. 
(photo taken from here)

Less obvious is this anamorphic piece on the floor. Having been walked over in the 2 years since it was painted it's easily missed. 

This is is how it looked on day 1.
(picture taken from here)

From the old town towards the cathedral

An attraction that was open was the Museum of Broken Relationships, a strange selection of single items that mark the break up of various global relationships. There are lots of stories to read, some more amusing than others.

The stories around these items were the ones that stood out. I won't spoil them here, you'l need to visit. The museum does go on tour so if you don't visit Zagreb you may still get the chance to see these. 

A strange sign, "bar" and "bar"?

I liked this.

More Rita Ora. Local(is) girl does good. 

I didn't want to risk spending too long in the city and missing my flight so after a quick breakfast I headed back towards the bus station to catch another coach back to the airport.

An open space along the way.

Walking into the sun I soon made it back to the station. I had bought a return ticket from the outset so getting back wasn't difficult although I did get an odd look from the bus driver as it was he that had driven me out earlier in the day.

and I was back at the airport, in very good time, so that I didn't repeat the previous day's mishap.
Zagreb's visit was extremely brief and unplanned but I liked the bits I visited. Croatia is a country I'd like to revisit, I've always had plans to visit Dubrovnik so I will no doubt go back another time.

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