Monday, November 14, 2011

Zagreb! Day 1

Well, we thought it would take two days to see Zagreb, but you can see all the main sights in one day. You can’t go into all of the museums, but most of them.

We started out with breakfast at the hotel at 9. They had cereal, eggs, veggies, cheese, meat, yogurt, bread, pastries, fresh fruit and juice! They even had raijkia (brandy) and champagne to make mimosas (well, had champagne, but it was out when I got there or I would have made one just because). We (Jen & I) then walked to the hostel where we would be spending the night on Saturday. It was a bit hard to find, but some people were leaving and they told us where it was. (Just inside the courtyard entrance on the ground floor). The place is very nice. There are a total of 3 rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, living room (with pull out couch) and bed room with two twin beds. It is a very nice place. VERY expensive, but very nice! They don’t provide breakfast, so we will have to find something to eat.

We dropped off our bags and headed off to our first museum of the day: The Croatian Teacher Musuem. It was very interesting. It showed the different types of instructional material through the ages of Croatian school. We also learned how the instruction of kids progressed since the 17th century, such as globes, alphabet charts, kids work, part of an exhibit from the award winning 1900 world fair in Paris, a fake school room, and a modern artwork. The bathroom was interesting. You could see out into the courtyard and they could see you (if there was anyone there).

Then we walked to the Gallery Kolchi Delvchi (sp?), but got side tracked by the rest of Zagreb with pictures and souvenirs. Lots of random pictures and then we bought some souvenirs. On our way towards St. Marks Church, we passed the Museum of Broken Relationships. It hosts all sorts mementos from failed relationships. Some were hilarious, some were heart breaking. Like the axe. Yeah, you knew it would be problematic when you head the axe. The story kinda went like this. The guy finally invited this girl to move in with him. Then he left for a business trip. When he cam back the girl had moved on with someone else and she said she would get her stuff when she came back. Well, she picked up her stuff in pieces in black garbage bags.

Another favorite: the sign said "2008, I so hoped it would work out."

Right around the corner is st. Marks Church. Basically, you go here to look at the outside, which is good because the inside was closed.

Then we wandered towards the Gallery we had started for earlier- yes I told you we got sidetracked! Jen really wanted to see the gift shop. She was hoping for some cool gifts, but to no avail. We wondered if we should go into the museum or not, and decided that When Would We Be Back?!? So we bought the overpriced tickets and we went in. It was pretty cool, lots of interesting paintings, but other than that not much to see. No one you would have known, or at least no one I had ever heard of.

We were going to have lunch, when we realized there was only one more museum we wanted to see and we would be finished. But on the weekends, there seems to a weird set of hours and things often close early. So we were afraid that it would close early, so we decided to skip lunch and just head to the museum. It was the City Museum of Zagreb. It was a really touching museum. They had an exhibit about the 1991-92 war with Serbia. It had color and black and white photographs and peoples personal stories. There was one picture that has stuck with me. It was black and white, there was a tram in the background with police barriers up. In front, covered with a sheet was a murdered woman covered in a sheet. Jen and I kept looking at them and thinking, wow, it seems so short of time ago, when this war happened. People are still alive, the kids who lived though it. I know this is an odd sentiment coming from someone who is a citizen of a country at war. Someone who saw 9-11 broadcast, who watched some of the first bombs drop on Iraq. Someone who has family who has been in the war zone, knows friends who are going in-knowing they will more than likely be deployed in a war zone. I’ve walked where bombs fell- but that had done some over 50 years before. Never walked some place where a war had been fought while I was alive, but the pictures to show for it. I’m not sure why, but it just made me think. The rest of the museum showed the history of the city: how it was created, shaped over the course of time, and through until the 1990s. This museum also involved some sitting and looking at the rooms to rest our tired legs, it might have involved some laying as well, might have. There were only summaries on the exhibits in English, so we could just sit and look at the pretty artifacts. It also involved contraband pictures (you should know me by now).

Then we headed down to the center and grabbed lunch on the way (pastry shop) and then sat (on a light post) and wrote postcards to our family. We went to the Tourist Information Center to ask about a post office (to mail said postcards) and the Indian restaurant we wanted to go to dinner at that night. We decided to hit up the last main sight, since it was just to the side of the Tourist Info center, and it was the Cathredral of the Assumption. And we got souviners- first place that didn't have overpriced T-shirts! I will not pay $20 for a poorly made t-shirt. $10 maybe, but not $20!

Then it was the long and arduous walk. It was longer than I remembered. You know how you make a bad decision and know relatively soon afterwards? Yea that was me and not taking a tram. The post office we were heading towards was the only 24 hour office in the city. We arrived and waited in line. Then waited some more, then some more. When we finally made it to the front of the line, I was feeling so sick I barely made it though the line before I had to go lay down outside.  

We headed back to the hostel taking a few pictures along the way. There was a group of high school guys who tried to “photobomb” our photo of this statue. Where we relaxed until we were to go meet the other Fulbrights for dinner. At the meeting time, we were a bit early, so we wandered through Vinograd- which is like VinoSkop- a city wine fest. We meet Elizabeth and Jessica, who then said they had arranged to meet up with a few other Fulbrights, but that was at 7:15 and it was only 6:30 now. So we decided to get varino vino, or in Croatian Kumano vino, or in English, mulled wine. One of them showed up late to tell us that the people they were staying with were avoiding them and they were running late. They agreed to text us if we were able to met up later. So off we went to the Indian restaurant (Maharazha). It was yummy and the atmosphere was nice. We stayed for hours and just hung out conversing. At 9, we decided that we wanted some dessert, so we headed back to the center to try to look for some and stumbled across “The Cookie Factory- New American Sweets.” I got a delicious peanut butter cookie chocolate fudge filling. Then we went back to the hostel and just hung out. Jen then watched US football on TV and I went to bed.

You really can see all of the main sights in Zagreb in one day. I mean if you didn’t see all of the museums = easy. If you want more of the museums gie it two days and you are good.

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