Trip Start Apr 01, 2011
73Trip End Jan 26, 2012
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I have not figured out if we just happened to show up in Zagreb on the most awesome weekend of the year or if the 4 days we spent here are just normal life in Zagreb. We picked up a bunch of maps and guides to the city and headed into the down town on a Saturday morning to follow the 90 minute walking tour of the lower town that was on a map we had. It took us almost 5 hours to complete the 90 minute walk because of all the cool things we saw
Our next day started out similar with a trip in to town and a 60 minute walking tour of the upper town. This time we were able to complete the 60 minute walk in only 2.5 hours. In that time we watched a changing of the guards ceremony in front of the cathedral, saw a few historic buildings including the oldest operating pharmacy in Zagreb which has been in business in the same location since 1355 and visited a farmers market where we were able to pick up another picnic lunch. Since we had such a great time at the park by our hotel the previous evening, we decided to head back there again with our picnic. We were saddened to see that the stage was no longer set up at the lake so we just ate our lunch and started to read but then we heard music so we went for a walk. It turns out that the stage was just moved over to another area of the park and this time in addition to live bands, they had a BBQ competition and more food tents to go with the beer tents. The bands playing were different than the night before and the music was again very lively and completely in Croatian but it was still a lot of fun to hang out on a wonderful summer night, clap when the locals did, and pretend that we had a clue about what was going on
Our last day in Zagreb was spent mostly planning our bus ride to Plitvice Lakes National Park the next day and finding a place to stay that was close to the lakes. After a few trips between the tourism office to get information and McDonalds to make use of their free Internet, we were able to arrange a place to stay that was in walking distance to the national park entrance. The entertainment for the evening was again at the park next to our hotel and that night they were showing a live broadcast of an opera being performed in Spain on a giant screen that was set up on a floating stage on the lake. The opera was all in Italian but they had English subtitles so we were able to follow along. The opera was being broadcast live to cities all over Europe as part of a “Day of European Culture,” and I found it a little interesting that the subtitles were only in English. I guess that the people in Europe who don’t understand Italian or English just have to miss out on the culture.