“To travel is to find out everything you thought about a country is wrong” And that can’t be truer for Zagreb/ Croatia.
Most people go to Croatia thinking it’s a poorer country, and maybe it’s just because I was in the capital and I don’t mean this in a negative way but it was just as modern and clean as most western European cities.
Day 53: As mentioned in my pervious post (Budapest) I got to the bus station very early in the morning (around 5:15am) to give myself enough time for my 6am bus. However, we were at the wrong station. After finding some other travelers on my bus and asking about 10 different people we finally found someone, within 5 minutes before our bus was to leave, who told us where our bus actually was. Turns out about a total of 15 people were in our situation and we all made it in time.
When we got to the boarder of Croatia around 9am it was freezing. Literally it was 0 Celsius out. We all had to file off the bus into the freezing weather to hand over our passports. I almost thought they were going to have a problem with my emergency passport but I got through. However, there was an indian guy who was denied access so the bus randomly started backing up (they didn’t tell any of us the bus was taking him back to the closest city) so we all had to stand in the cold for another 20 minutes waiting.
Tom picked me up from the bus station in his car, it had been so long since I rode in a car haha. I also met Tom at the Hansen Summer Institute over the summer! We went back to his place where I met his girlfriend, Katarina, who prepared a lunch of cheese, many meats and bread, they were all so good! Then we headed into the city center. We walked through the cathedral, city center, old town area and visited the Museum of Broken Relationships. The museum is full of objects people from across the world have submitted with a short story that represent their broken relationship. There were letters, mementos from first dates, wedding dresses, and much much more. One of my favorites was a heal, just one heal submitted by a prostitute/ dominatrix who ran into an ex and asked to keep the other…
After that we met up with another one of their friends and got some hot wine at a local bar.
That night we went to dinner at a Bosnia restaurant since Katerina is from Bosnia and wanted me to try their local dish. It was SO good, very greasy and buttery called a Cevapi. They also had a band playing traditional Bosnian music which was very very loud and made it almost impossible to hear each other over the instruments.
Day 54: Tom wasn’t feeling too good so we all spent a lazy day in and I was able to catch up on some blogging and photo editing. Katarina also made some delicious spicy potato dish which they called a pic but by American standards was definitely not a pie. Katarina also helped me with my laundry and told me about the current elections taking place, voting would be the following day so I could go with her and Tom to see.
Day 55: We had left over potato pie for breakfast which was still just as delicious then headed off to get me some new boots. Mine had wholes wear through them and I could still wear them as long as it didn’t rain but I was afraid I’d run into some rain in Italy and my feet would get soaked and boots would definitely be more expensive there. After finding a pair we headed into the city center to the voting stations.
After walking around some more of the city we headed to the massive cemetery. They have just celebrated Day of the Saints on November 1st, similar to Dia de los Muertos. Basically family members go to the graves of their loved ones and bring flowers and candles. We were there a few days after so there were still flowers every where it was absolutely gorgeous!
That night the poles closed so the whole family sat around the TV watching the results. They release them every couple hours as they collected the votes and by the second to last results they were tied right down the center 56-56! It was all in croatian so I didn’t understand anything but it was interesting to watch.
Day 56: I made sure to pack the night before since my bus was at 8am so Tom and I headed off for the bus station. It was nice to have a ride and not have to worry about finding public transportation. It was the smallest bus I’d ridden on, I’d honestly call it a van. It only fit about 15 people