Croatia’s trendy capital, Zagreb

A 6 hour train journey lay in between Budapest and Croatia, despite being a measly 3 hour drive. The train seemed to go incredibly slowly, but it was nice to relax and chat with the others in my compartment – a lovely girl from Croatia and a fellow backpacker from Canada. I spent time updating blogs, relaxing, listening to music and enjoying the scenic route.

We spent quite a while travelling beside an absolutely massive lake – it looked like a popular holiday resort during the summer months. The lake was fabulous, it was so big to the point of seeming like the sea – but we’re inland so it couldn’t be!

The lovely Croatian girl in our carriage directed us towards our hostel. Thankfully Julie, the Canadian girl, and I were staying in the same hostel so we could walk there together. It made a change from feeling totally lost on my first night in Budapest!

The hostel was really cool, receptionist was so friendly and the place had a good vibe. We settled in to our bunks – tiny room but nicely set out and very comfy beds – and headed out for dinner in Zagreb. I also bumped into a couple I’d met in Budapest who had nicely invited me to join them for some of their trip, but I declined as I wanted to comtinue down towards Dubrovnik – but they were so friendly and it was really lovely to see them again.

Zagreb is such a trendy city, I didn’t really know what to expect as it’s not exactly much of a tourist hub, but I really liked it. We enjoyed a deliciously massive salad and a beer each and chatted for quite a while – it was so nice to enjoy some company over dinner as I’d started to feel a little lonely in Budapest.

After a long night’s sleep and a fantastic lie in we headed out for a late breakfast and coffee. After a bit of hunting we stumbled across a stylish cafe which served yummy baguettes and hot coffee. We chilled here for a while and soaked up the atmosphere whilst checking emails and planning the next stages of our respective trips.

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We departed ways for a few hours and I headed off to look around the old town. It’s very compact and full of character. I stopped by the impressive cathedral, wandered around the local market, and meandered along the very steep streets. There is an abundance of cafes and restaurants where many young locals were hanging out and chatting with their friends. I also stumbled across a kind of chapel or shrine that a street went through – most people walking along the road stopped for a second or two to honour God. There were also a few benches and a place to but candles for prayer – it was an odd place.

Next I managed to find what seemed to be the Croation government buildings and a large Church in the middle of the square which had a beautiful coloured roof – with the Croatian crest in pride of place on too. There was no one else around except a few posh cars… It felt a little strange!

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I then decided to check out an odd attraction that I’d heard about – the Museum of Broken Relationships. It has won awards for being such a unique concept, and I understand why. People from all over the world have sent in items that hold some kind of meaning for the relationship that ended in either a break up, divorce or death. Some are incredibly fascinating stories, and others are utterly bizarre. The items range from shoes, clothes and toys; to poems, fakes breasts and photo albums. It’s an eclectic mixture and each has a description detailing the item’s significance. Some go into length, others are very direct. It’s a know intriguing place and definitely worth hunting down if you happen to be in the Zagreb vicinity.

That evening, after booking my last minute flight to Dubrovnik the next day, Julie and I headed out for a delicious last meal in Zagreb. The restaurant we chose was quite highly rated on Trip Advisor but took an age to find and was rather out of the way. It was completely worth the anguish though and we enjoyed a spectacularly delicious dinner that I still dream about now. There were four different meats, lots of fried potatoes and a tonne of yummy roasted vegetables. A fabulous way to end a quick stay in Croatia’s trendy capital.

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