Friday, August 13, 2010

Sleepy in Sleepy Zagreb

I arrived back in Croatia, in the capital of Zagreb, after a not so restful, 10-hour overnight train ride from Sarajevo (do they really need to check tickets three times AND cross the border in the middle of the night?).

It actually wasn't so bad thanks in part to the Berliners with whom I shared the compartment (and the young local boys that entertained us for the first hour- I hope the one's dive from the Mostar bridge went well).

Everyone told me to skip Zagreb, but I went since the Museum of Contemporary Art that opened last year was very well reviewed. I don't understand why everyone bypasses the city- it is super cute, like a mini Vienna.

Sure, there wasn't much going on, other than sitting in their beloved outdoor cafes, but it made for an enjoyable couple days. It is really peaceful (aka quiet) and the architecture, wide streets and landscaping are very pretty. It also had some good, healthy restaurants for a change- green veggies, yay!

I did hop the tram (without validating my ticket- I couldn't figure it out) to the new museum, which was cool, despite the fact that I couldn't figure out how to get in or out of the building- the automatic doors refused to open for me. I blamed it on being sleepy from the train ride, but I do think I may be getting a little less quick as the NYC edge softens.

The building was very modern and kinda interesting, mainly because it had a slide that was art and amusement all wrapped up in one, plus the guy insisting on giving me student admission which is always nice for the ego ;-)

The huge plus, the museum was across the street from a mall that housed a movie theater and mega supermarket. It was a land of plenty!! First, I saw "Inception" on the most enormous screen- my third movie in over 4 months (I used to do that in weeks)! What did I miss when they spoke in Japanese? (It was subtitled for the Croats, of course.)

After the movie I went looking in the mega market for peanut butter, something I have been unable to locate since leaving Africa (go figure). Alas, PB, complete with a picture of the Statue of Liberty!!!!!!!! :-) I don't get why the Euros find PB so disgusting when they eat Nutella for breakfast.

My tram ride home was a little bit of a fiasco since the tram didn't exactly go in a loop as I thought, but I found my way back and got to see another random bit of the city (I really must have been spacey that day!)

The other highlight was a drink with Ken and his girlfriend, who happened to be in Zagreb from NYC one night-- pretty random, but it was nice to see a face from home (and one that I hadn't even seen very recently at home).

After a couple days wandering about the pretty upper and lower towns it was time to finally bid Croatia farewell.

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