After Slovenia it was time to head back into Croatia and visit the capital city, Zagreb. I had been numerous times in the past, but the last time had been over 10 years ago, so it was interesting to see how the city has grown and developed. Of course, the old centre was pretty much the same as it always has been, but as the bus was entering the outskirts of the city it was impressive to see how much the city has grown, with new modern fancy office buildings and large shopping complexes. Croatia has certainly developed since the first time I had visited back in 2000.
Anyway we had a lovely 2 nights here to rest up, recharge and explore the city before hiring a car and continuing on to Plitvice. Baby A thoroughly enjoyed Zagreb for its water fountains and statues. She was especially taken with the large golden statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the cities main cathedral. I dont know why but she just liked it, so we had to walk past it numerous times. We enjoyed exploring the old upper town, which is the oldest part of the city and has many interesting buildings and monuments. Of course we enjoyed many coffee stops too – Zagreb has a thriving cafe culture and we enjoyed numerous cappucinos on the main square, Trg Ban Jelacic.
Another highlight was the chance to catch up with some old friends who I hadnt seen for a very long time. It was so great catching up with two friends who I had known for close to 15 years via the travel website Virtualtourist (which sadly just closed down recently). Having a coffee and a laugh with Mr B and Miss Z and hearing about life in Croatia from ‘the locals’ was a treat, and I’m grateful for the gifts they gave us too! The wine and grapes were super good!
Zagreb is sometimes overlooked because everyone heads straight to Croatia’s famed coast. I can understand that – the coast is special indeed. But if you have a few days up your sleeve be sure to stop in Zagreb. It really is thriving and it definitely has a positive vibe to it. Its definitely a more uplifting city than it was the first time I visited 17 years earlier.