Zagreb in all was pretty uneventful. No fish based food stuffs were spilt on any clothing and all directions were pretty much adhered to. I guess to start with, we arrived a little later than expected, it turns out the efficiency of German transport does not work outside of Deutschland so our Bahn Bus arrived at Ljubljana about an hour and a half after it’s schedule departure time so we were a little late. We arrived after a pretty smooth border crossing and walked the 25 minutes to the hostel on our warmest day yet. We stayed at Central Hostel, which was what is says and were given a private room instead of the 8 bed dorm. Upgrade!
We spent the afternoon wandering around the Upper Town wandering in and out of the shade until we stumbled upon the pedestrian street Tkalcica that was lined with bars. It was hot, we were thirsty so we sat down and shared a big bottle of an ice cold Ozujsko, all for the princely sum of 10kn (£1). Bargain, we thought until we saw the happy hour sign that sold it for 8kn between 9am and 1pm. Best get up early in Zag!
We wandered back for a quick shower before heading to a recommended restaurant, Nokturno, for what was soon becoming our staple diet – pizza. It was still early enough for us to wander back down Tkalcica where we sat at a bar, Harlekin, all the furniture was made from pallets and the delicious, Croatian Wine was being poured at 8kn a glass!
The next morning we woke and stored our bags in the common room, as it was 10:30am and the staff were somewhere sleeping. We wandered out to the Dolac Market to try and find some breakfast. At first glance it was just an open aired market with a mass of people underneath a sea of red umbrellas buying fruit. We had read there were all kinds of food sold at the market, but all we could see was fruit – and for breakfast – gross! We wandered around the corner to find a very smelly fish market, but again, not what we would consider breakfast cuisine, better than fruit – yes, but just not for our taste! We noticed people walking into what looked like the Public WC’s but noticed some steps below. We wandered in to find and underground market with butchers and bakers (probably candlestick makers as well) so we were on the money. We went to the first bakery and decided to share a slightly salted roll. As we wandered away, something caught my eye… Could it be? We had to check. We ordered it in our fluent Croatian dialect by pointing and saying “That One”. We took our fresh ‘Kolac Cupavci’ and bit in to find our suspicions confirmed… a delicious and fluffy lamington. Cake 1 – Nutritious Fruit 0
We spent the rest of the morning walking up to the top of the Upper Town where we saw the magnificent St Mark’s Church, in a beautiful old square and brightly coloured tiles that made up the roof.
We had worked off our lamington, so decided to wander back to Nukturno for lunch, even though I had tried to convince Sarah that lamingtons are traditional lunch fare. We opted to skip pizza and went for a delicious gnocchi and the most interesting gastronomic take on bruschetta to date.
Running out of time, we strolled back to the hostel via the fish market, where we entered clean(ish) and exited covered in fish juices up the back of legs thanks to our thongs/flip flops. After a quick-baby-wipe-leg-wash we made to the bus stop for our coach to Plitvice Lakes.