Tag Archive: Zagreb



It’s been 9 weeks. And before then, around 4 weeks of clinic visits and lab procedures. I haven’t had 13 slow and easy weeks in the last few years. A quick check of my busy travel calendar the last few years confirm this. And you know what? If you’ve been under “house arrest” for a considerable time, the first day out heightens all your senses to appreciate the air you breathe, the noise you hear or perhaps the lack of it, the temps that make you sweat or the breeze that cools your skin. The Harbour Square within the CCP Complex is a favorite spot within the metropolis. Antipolo too but it’s too far out and the traffic going there is near-unbearable. So between the waters and the mountains, I longed to instead count the yachts bobbing up and down in the bay.

There are still a few days before the year is over but Bali was def the last trip in 2019. Thoroughly enjoyed with the family despite the intermittent chest pains, which I assumed must have been acid reflux. My guardian angels must have worked overtime to bring me home safely and guided a family doctor to remind me to see my cardiologist instead of a gastro-enterologist. I did, and then had medical attention in the nick of time. After more tests pre- and post-stenting, my cardiologist declared I’m good to travel again. Yey! Two trips lined up for next year, and now working on a possible 3rd and 4th. I am so happy. And thankful for the trips made in the year 2019 without mishap. I still cringe at the thought that any one of these trips could have turned really nasty. I am thankful as I remember.

Same group on 2 separate trips to Brunei and Malaysia

Ticked off a few squad goals including this Hokkaido in Winter!

A third of the fambam in London.

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/05/21/touchdown-london/

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/05/23/one-in-a-million-stonehenge/

Cardiff Castle in Wales

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/06/24/from-london-to-london-2019/

Amsterdam, Volendam, Marken, Giethorn , Zaans Schans, Delfth and The Hague

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/05/25/its-been-awhile-amsterdam/

Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/06/01/touchdown-brussels/

The Cotswolds

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/06/16/the-cotswolds/

Off to Graz, Ljubljana, Trieste and Istrian Peninsula (Croatia

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/08/18/road-trip-through-austria-slovenia-italy-croatia/

A family trip to Bali, Indonesia

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2019/09/05/bali-highs-๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿงœ๐Ÿป

So what’s in the drawing boards this coming 2020? Well, there’s a booked Nile cruise in Egypt, and the South American adventure should soon be firmed up, plus there’s that wedding later in the year in Barcelona. Same travel buddies…. unless of course we start growing tired of each other ๐Ÿ™„. We have yet to plan for that trip to Europe with my soon-to-graduate #aponimamu. And another adventure with my soon-to-retire dear friends. We’ll see. Meanwhile, let’s have a truly Merry Christmas in our hearts and a Prosperous, Harmonious New Year ahead.


We’ve long wanted to visit Slovenia so we drove from Vienna to Ljubljana with a Graz pit stop. Clean and green, plus it’s such a small country offering so much. Lake Bled comes to mind, but Piran stole our hearts. On a Food Trip, we included Trieste, Italy in our itinerary. Yes, that small strip of land off the Adriatic and the Italian border to Slovenia. As home to Illy Coffee, plus the prospect of seafood harvested off the Adriatic and cooked the Italian way, we couldn’t go wrong. Next, the van took us on a road trip visiting the small towns of the Istrian Peninsula. All of these destinations couldn’t have been better. By the time we left Istria and reached Zagreb, we were almost unfamiliar with big city vibes. And Plitvice? That was the highlight of my trip.

Just click on the following titles to the blog links .

From Vienna to Graz, Austria

Clean and Green Ljubljana

A Rainy Day in Lake Bled

Going Italian in Trieste

Driving Back to Slovenia’s Piran

Groznjan’s Art and Culture

More Truffles in Motovun

How Do You Say Rovinj?

Rijeka Off the Adriatic

Opatija’s Classy Vibe

Summery Day in Pula

Finally, Zagreb!

A Near-Miss in Plitvice

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Trip Length: 12 Days

Hotels:

Hotel Galeria

Hotel Coppe

Hotel Jadran

Hotel Dubrovnik


It may sound like a lot of time but it wasn’t. We arrived tired and itching for a bath and scrub from Rijeka, passing Opatija and Pula from the Istrian Peninsula. And the hum and drum of a real city — the state capital, at that — welcomed us late that day. We dragged our suitcases from the parking lot to the pedestrian street where our hotel is, amply warned that the city thieves are busy on the lookout for arriving tourists too tired from a long trip. Ding Ding Ding. Suitcase and all, we managed to walk the block — like we didn’t even break a sweat anytime that day ๐Ÿ™„ — towards the hotel, safe and sound and ready for a bath.

Border Between Upper & Lower Town

Ban Jelaฤiฤ‡ Square

Dinner at Lanterna na Dolcu

Dinner was serious business as we all felt famished after a bath and a change of fresh dry clothes. We glimpsed the Ban Josip Jelaฤiฤ‡ Square and the Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption first in broad daylight and then later, lighted up at night. Both are quite a sight, especially at night when it’s all lighted up. The tram stops at the central square give a touch of nostalgia, though we’ve grown overly careful crossing the tracks from our hotel to the square. As in one needs to look left and right as the trams come in short intervals. There’s a chance to see these Zagreb attractions again in the morning when we do our walking tour of the city. But cameras aside, evening strolls around the city are quite interesting. Our hotel location allowed us to walk to many of the attractions as well as many shops and restaurants. Being a city, the choices are more varied and have a more international flavour. Even the bars are more modern. We passed one where there were no stools, only big fat cushions on the outside floor. Interesting. The Upper Town is even more festive with free film showings “under the stars” — best enjoyed while sipping beers or vinos. But this first night in Zagreb, our sapped energy only allowed a leisurely stroll, a proper dinner and an early night. ๐Ÿ˜ด

Dolac Market

Zagreb Cathedral

Woke up early, refreshed and energised enough to explore around the hotel. We walked past the square, explored the Dolac Market and went inside the Zagreb Cathedral. We even stumbled into a tiny park, another church, and a 30-meter long street mural of Gulliver being tied by petty Lilliputians. We walked away from the Cathedral, its old walls and rounding back, found our way through the steps leading to the market, square, and back to our hotel. By the time we joined our walking tour later that morning, we have clocked nearly the day’s 10,000 steps. We could have been all wasted even before the walking tour began but Luca, our very competent Croatian guide made sure he got all our interest and attention. Such a fine, young man speaking so clearly with his compelling spiels on Zagreb history and trivia.

St. Markโ€™s Church

Stone Gate

We met Luca right under the statue of Ban Jelaฤiฤ‡ in the Central Square. (Trivia: Ban in Croatian means “Governor” and Jelaฤiฤ‡ is the city’s first back in the 19th century.) From here, Luca first brought us to the Upper Town where many of the historical sites are. No funicular. We walked. Rather, we climbed. There’s the Stone Gate, Porta Di Pietra, where the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary is venerated behind iron bars. All whole and unscathed from the fire that burned everything around it. Next we walked towards St. Mark’s Square where 3 important structures are: the St. Mark’s Church, Parliament and the HQ of the Prime Minister. The 13th century parish church is an iconic symbol of the capital, especially with the coat of arms of Zagreb prominently displayed on its colourful tiled roof.

Opatovina Park

From St. Mark’s Square, Luca walked us through a few of Zagreb’s quirky museums. Like Museum of Broken Relationships. And there’s also the Museum of Naive Art on the same street leading to Lotrsฤak Tower where Luca timed our arrival just before noon. He promptly advised us to ready our cameras, zooming in on the cannon at the top of the tower, and to wait till he tells us to stop.

See the video below to check what happened. No spoilers here.

Unlike the little towns we visited, this Croatian capital offers a more vibrant nightlife. On our second night, we found a row of outdoor cafes and bars with many locals and tourists having cocktails and dinners. Old and modern blend seamlessly in the Upper Town where the oldest parts of the city remain. Glasses clink in sync with the ringing of the bells from nearby cathedral and churches within the Kaptol area then ran by the religious in earlier times. Many churches, monasteries and other spiritual centres are located on this side of the former river. Kaptol was then one of 2 towns of Zagreb. The other (Gradec) is just across the now non-existent river that used to divide the 2 uneasy neighbors. Interestingly, the 2 neighbors were connected by what was then called “Bloody Bridge” spanning across the river. Luca brought us to the spot where the bridge used to be — now a very busy road lined with many shops, bars and restaurants. Obviously, the two uneasy neighbors have blended and made peace. โœŒ๏ธ

Bloody Bridge No More

Tomorrow being another day trip (to Plitvice Lakes), we did our shopping after a simple but good Croatian lunch in the Dolac Market of ฤ‡evapi. This Croatian dish is very much like kebab. Luca recommended it, and even claimed visiting and eating here at least twice a month. Post-lunch shopping was a breeze, as we made time for an afternoon siesta back in the hotel. Did my packing too as I doubt there’d be enough time, nor energy, after tomorrow’s activities. So there. Three nights in the Croatian capital but really just a whole day and a couple of nights to enjoy Zagreb. All’s well. No rants here. Tomorrow is another day.