A change of scenery
22.08.2012 - 24.08.2012 35 °C
We’re in Zagreb now and it’s lovely. It’s different being in a “regular” city, as opposed to the very old and touristy ones we’ve been in for the past week. Zagreb does have a section that’s 1000 years old, but it’s not like Split or Dubrovnik with city walls and fortifications. The newer part looks very European. The museums here are beyond comparison to any of the others we’ve seen. On our first day we went to the archaeological museum here and it had three floors, including and Egyptian exhibit, a Greek one, a Roman one, and an Etruscan one with a mummy! We also saw the Croatian history museum which had an exhibit on about the Homeland War, it was tragic learning about the destruction and violence that went on here only 20 years ago. The subject’s still very touchy here, I think, although less so in Zagreb than in Dalmatia.
There’s also a very old and beautiful cathedral here. It’s massive, and they’re in the process of restoring it. The new parts look great, but they’ve left a couple of pillars untouched, which is really neat. It’s definitely in need of repair. It’s about 600 years old, but on the sign outside the cathedral they made sure to mention that the disrepair is a result of the disrespect shown for Catholic sites during the Yugoslav era.
Overall Zagreb is a great city. The museums are great, the shops are good, but I do miss having a beach to go to half way through the day. It’s just as hot here as it was in Dubrovnik – 38 degrees sometimes! There are enough air conditioned buildings that we always find a place to cool off, though. Another bonus is free washrooms! There are far fewer tourists here than in the other cities we’ve seen — I’m starting to understand what people mean when they say “don’t go there, it’s too touristy”.
The culture here is really different, there are cafes everywhere and it seems like all people do here is shop, smoke, and go for coffee and drinks. Anytime of the day the cafes are packed with people drinking; most of the places don’t even sell food. It seems like smoking is legal just about everywhere, although the drivers a lot better here than anywhere else. Anyway, we’ve had a great time but we’re packing up yet again. Next up is Ljubljana.