One night: Saturday, June 2 to Sunday, June 3
Our next major stop after Zadar, Croatia was Budapest, Hungary. However, we refuse to spend more than six hours a day travelling, so we couldn’t head straight there. Instead, we decided to break it up by spending a night in Zagreb.
Since we only had one night, our list of things to do was compact: check out the Nikola Tesla staute just off Nikola Tesla street, have a pastry at Vincek’s and have a beer at Tolkien’s House. Missions accomplished! Also, there just happened to be this street festival going on while we were there (Cest is d’Best), so we got to check out some cool acts at various squares to boot.
The Tesla statue just off Nikola Tesla street. Seems every town in Croatia has a Nikola Tesla street.
The Tolkien's House bar
The Grounded Sun sculpture got a dung beetle added to it during the street festival
Cafés, grilled food, awesome art
My kind of city!
Lunch near the Dolac market.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The sometimes poignant, sometimes funny Museum of Broken Relationships
Last day in Zagreb?
Scavenger hunt for planets
Yes we are nerdy
Grounded Sun sculpture
Found the scaled model of Venus near the Dolac market.
Gazing at Jupiter
Four nights: Saturday, May 19 to Wednesday, May 23
As we crossed from Slovenia into Croatia on our way to Zagreb, we officially entered the
seventh eighth country of our trip (if we include Monaco). It was also the first time we crossed a Shengen border since our arrival, so it was kind of exciting to experience Slovenian and Croatian border controls. Yes, we are easily entertained.
Zagreb was a comfortable city – it’s not overly dense and the urban plan includes a lot of green-space, which made it nice to explore. We’ve been relaxing a bit more on the trip at this point, so we didn’t plan too busy of a schedule. For museums, we went to the Natural History Museum, which was fairly quaint and hodgepodge. It seemed a bit more like an old naturalist’s dusty attic than anything else. More interesting was the Museum of Broken Relationships, which included donated artifacts from people’s failed or otherwise broken personal relationships. Finally, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which had some really interesting installations as well as a focus on Croatian artists through the turmoil of the 20th century.
We continued exploring the city by checking out a couple of pieces of installation art: The Grounded Sun and Nine Views. It’s basically a scale model of the solar system spread throughout the city! The sun itself and the first three planets were pretty easy to locate in the heart of the city. From Mars onward, it got a little trickier. Since Neptune and Pluto were kinda off the map, the last planet we tried to locate was Uranus. However, after taking a tram to the outskirts of town and probing around the supposed location, we never actually found it.
And of course, there was food to be eaten. Croatia is not letting me down – our first meal was at a brewpub, where we shared a large plate of grilled meats and veggies! Subsequent lunches and dinners were equally impressive, though I wonder if I’ll get tired of delicious grilled foods. I will definitely test that hypothesis! Also, there was one bar I meant to try but never quite got around to. It’s called Tolkien’s House and apparently features a heavily themed LOTR interior plus a huge beer list. Since we’ll be staying in Zagreb one more time on our way out of Croatia, I think I’ll be paying it a visit.
At the brewpub
Pork stuffed with ham and cheese!
Ginormous grilled meat plate, topped with bacon!!