On Saturday, time had come to say goodbye to Slovenia. The journey from Ljubljana to Zagreb is not very far, but was still good for a few surprises. Another good surprise finally was the old town of Zagreb and the many good restaurants.
My body had decided to take the early train from Ljubljana, which meant to get up before 7 and be quiet in order not to wake up the roommates. I was once more impressed by the Asian mentality of getting up early in the morning and waiting for a long time for the breakfast buffet to open.
At the train station I bought my ticket to Zagreb and proceeded to the platform. The sign indicating the next train was more confusing than helpful, because at one time it showed a 6:20 night train and then the 8:15 intercity train, which I was supposed to take. The Slovenian announcements didn’t really get me any further without the help of a nice Croatian guy. He also had troubles understanding, but at least could derive the information that the night train had 150 minutes delay and the intercity had 30 minutes delay. The issue was, that the two trains should arrive at about the same time, which usually does not happen. But usual is not for this trip. Once a train arrived, everybody boarded train. The Croatian fellow asked the train staff and they indicated we should get on the train. The Slovenian seem to be a very pragmatic people, since they just coupled the two trains together…
Once in Zagreb I started looking for the Hobo Bear Hostel. The staff gave me a lot of valuable information about where to get good food, where I could change money and where interesting sights and markets are. Next thing on my agenda was a walk around the old town, discovering the shopping mile, the market place, the beautiful cathedral, another church and the streets with all the restaurants and bars, where the people meet in the evening.
My first place to go on Sunday morning was the Britanski Trg, where I only meant to eat breakfast. On Sundays there is also an antique market taking place, so that made my first visit of a market for the day. A second, much more impressive market was to follow later on.
Since it is a Marathon weekend in Zagreb, the tramways do not run as usually and I had to find a stop, where I could get on a tram, after having bought a day pass. For both activities and had to the support of an older Croatian woman, with whom I do not have a language in common. I am glad I picked up the word for train station in Croatian, which did help a lot in this case.
The second market of the day was supposed to be a flea market where you could buy anything. What would you expect? The first thing I saw, that is being traded on this market, are cars. Private people sell their old cars to other private people. Next stop were used car parts, from radios to lights and ventilators. This market takes place on Wednesdays and Sundays and people really sell anything for cars and household, utilities and tools, clothes, and so on.
On the market, I once more realized how well we really do! If we need a part, we go to the shop and buy it, if something is old and to no use for us, we throw it away. The Croatians on this market function differently: not only do they sell functioning parts, but also single spare parts as small as screws and washers. Every piece is sold individually, so there is no need to buy a packet of 100 pieces if you only need one.
After my excursion to the market, I briefly watched the finishers of the Zagreb marathon. This made me think about the one time I ran a half marathon four years ago. Fortunately there were more drum groups along the way back then in Dresden than here. People walking around in the city couldn’t have cared less about the runners.
My plans for the next few days now are to visit the Plitvice lakes tomorrow, before leaving Croatia for Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I would like to visit the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar. Let’s see how this will work out, since I do not yet definitely know, whether there is a bus connecting the Plitvice lakes to Bihac…