On our way to Split and Zagreb

Trip Start Jul 28, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Left our cozy cottage in Hvar at 7am. We thought we were heading to Dubrovnick by ferry. Little did we know the ferry to Dubrovnick does not leave until Saturday. We thought the ferry left daily. Time for some quick decision making. Alett and I decided to catch the ferry to Split then take a 5 hour bus ride to Zagreb. Our next destination is Budapest.. so this is on our way. Debra decided to stay in Hvar longer and catch the next ferry on Saturday. Bon Voyage Debra!

We enjoyed a very scenic bus ride through Croatia. After arriving to Zagreb we experienced the travel day from HELL! Traveling didn't seem soooo fun anymore. We jumped in a trolly to the train station to check times for departures to Budapest. After checking times we asked where the nearest hostel was. Luckily it was very close by. Only problem was they were completely booked for the evening. So we then ask for directions to the tourist center. We walked 10-15 blocks to get there(with our luggage). The agent was very helpful in locating a place for us to stay. ALmost all hotels and hostels were booked...unless we planned on staying in a 5 star hotel. The agent gave us directions to the only hostel with availability. We were un-aware of the obstacles we would encounter upon getting there. We took the wrong trolly 3 times ... then my luggage got stuck in the trolly door. Then we thought we missed the bus station exit so we jumped off the trolly and walked another 2 blocks. It ended up being a mall instead. Then we met an older man that ask us if we needed help. Always be leary of someone so willing to stop everything they are doing to assist you, especially if its a man. This so called man said he would lead us in the right direction. He did lead us in the right direction but the next thing you know he is getting on the trolly with us. Then he wants to carry my suitcase for me. I am learning to be tough.. I told him I can help myself. You will not believe.. this freak of a man had the nerve to tell us the bus staion was in a different direction.. when we had just arrived to the right place. I could see all the buses on the opposite side of the street. Did he think we were idiots?? No longer do I live in a bubble. Never thought people could be so creepy and slimmy. Alett and I quickly found the bus after this aweful encounter. It felt good knowing we were finally heading in the right direction. Well... even though we were headed in the right direction we did not get off at the right stop. We were a mile out from where we were suppose to be. I had to hold back the tears... my entire body was breaking down. I could barely carry my bags. My hand and feet were blistered and shoulders were almost rubbed raw from my backpack. I just kept walking and praying we would find this place soon. As we continued to walk we passed many homes fenced in with rather large ferocious dogs. Alett and I were frightened. The fences were so small. We thought surely these dogs would jump the fence and attack us. We just kept walking hoping the dogs didnt sense our fear. I have never seen so many dogs on one street ready to attack.

Once we finally made it back to our correct stop we saw no HOSTEL! We asked a guy at the pizzeria next to us and he said walk to blocks and turn right. Lets just say we are now officially in the Ghetto. Now I know why there were so many dogs ready to attack. We are now in survival mode just praying we find this place soon. We asked 2 guys on the street and they told us to keep walking straight. We still cannot find this place. One of the guys we asked for help see's we are having trouble. So... he tells us in broken English that he will help us. Instead of going down the main lit street he wants to take a short cut through project housing. I am freaking out at this point. It is so hard for me to trust anyone after our past experiences. This guy actually led us to our hostel, which ended up being a hotel. This guy was an angel disguised with bandages on his face and missing teeth. There are still good people in this world. Never be to quick to judge someone.. you may just be wrong.

Our hotel is actually very decent... very clean. The owner of the hotel even let us call our mother's from his phone. He knew we were distressed. Very nice man! He said we could have free breakfast in the morning and we could sleep in till noon if we wanted.

This surpasses my experiences in Prague and Rome. So humbling... I have had some humbling experiences on this trip. I am grateful for everything I have!

The bits and pieces I did see of Zagreb is beautiful. There are many beautiful buildings and cathedrals. I am hoping to see the city with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Wednesday Sept. 7th

8am Enjoying our little bread and butter breakfast then went right back to bed. Still exhausted. It felt great sleeping in till almost noon. Its much easier getting around in the daytime. We found the bus easily and then took the trolly into the city. We decided to stay one more day... so we could actually see the city. We checked in to the hostel next to the train station.

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. About 1 million people reside here. It is a very swanky city. I have never seen so many attractive stylish people in one place. Lots of eye candy! :) Close to the city center is St. Mark's Church. It is beautiful. Baroque style church decorated in brightly colored tiles. Near the church is the Dolac(market). Here you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The markets are my favorite! You can actually get some nourishment here. Close by you can enjoy the Ban Jelacic Square. There are many buildings lining the square. Many people congregate in this open area. There are trolly's everywhere.. You can hop on and off and get just about anywhere in the city. One day is not enough time to see the entire city. I will definitely come back to Zagreb!
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