Saturday, December 2, 2017

Zagreb and home…October, 2017

We sadly left Ljubljana and although it was not far, 144 km, we had to cross the border again and get out twice and actually have our passports stamped twice again so it took about three hours with one other pit stop

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and the largest city and we felt more like we were in a city than we did in Ljubljana.

  We were dropped off at entrance to Old City and had a tour and then free time returning to hotel by 3 but we did lots of walking

Again Zagreb has a  temperate climate and felt cold when in the shade and the wind blowing but high today was 17 so it was warm in the sun later on

This is the main square located in the Lower Town, initially the spear was turned towards Hungary because he put down a Hungarian rebellion to the Austrian Empire.  During communist 

Yugoslavian regime, the statue was taken down as but when Croatia became independent again he was resurrected and the sword now pointed towards Serbia

We took a quick funicular ride up into the Upper Town

And got to hear the ear splintering noon hour cannon!!!!!

Chestnuts and I think popcorn

In this area there are lots of museums including the Museum of Broken relationships and no, I didn't make in inside
There is a museum about the famous Croatian inventor.

Also parliament etc is in the square...
I rather liked this window

Every evening it takes about two hours to light the gas street lamps here which would be fun to see

This is the remnants of the city walls and the gate which has become some sort of religious shrine

A balcony I liked below

A shop with Croatian products -sorry folks you are not getting any truffles from me!!!

A locally made egg-Denise ended up posing with this!!!

Now we are at the cathedral

And this is a shrine to the Bishop who refused to make the Catholic Church controlled by the communist government and was jailed etc.

We had lunch, Greek if you can believe, along this popular street full of caf├ęs and bars

Note the menu...I didn't have the Kesar  salata, but I did have a gyro!  After lunch I searched in vain for a gelato.  Now if we had been on the Adriatic I am sure I wouldn't have any difficulty.  Zagreb seems like quite a neat city and we wished we had another day to visit the museums etc.  Oh well...

We were taken to our nearby hotel and worked on packing as our plane was very early the next morning! Then we were taken off to our final dinner with the group.  That part was a bit sad as it really was a nice group of people and a great trip.

It was a lovely Italian restaurant in a beautiful building

I had eaten half my black and white truffled pasta before I took this picture.  It was delicious.

I resisted taking pictures of each course but I knew you would be happy to know that I did get gelato.

It was a beautiful evening but fortunately we were home early because we had to get up at 4:30 am to leave at 5:30

Ned, our tour guide was up ready to make sure we all left safely.

The airport was new and lovely in Zagreb

I loved this sign although too early for gelato for me!

We flew Croatian Air to Amsterdam and it was less than an hour and half flight.  I liked the snack boxes.

In Amsterdam I was fascinated by the beautifully packaged chocolates

and I finally settled on buying these ones, which I gave away (I did keep the fridge magnet).  

We had time for a nice lunch and the nine hour flight home wasn't too bad at all.  I watched a few more movies!

By 3:00 pm I was home, having dropped Sue off at her sky train station  (the miracles of being nine hours earlier earlier here than Amsterdam).
It was a fantastic trip.  I certainly had a crash course in the history  and the politics of that area.  Our only rainy day was the day we were mainly on the bus, and we had really perfect touring weather.  It was a fun group and easy to get along with.  Our guide and driver were excellent, and the local tour guides as well.  And costs in this part of the world are still very reasonable.  We were impressed by the diversity and the beauty and the peacefulness we found there.

Thanks for coming on my journey!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lake Bled and back to Ljubljana

After a scenic 50 minute drive we were in the beginning of Julian Alps at Lake Bled

And onto a boat ride-thank goodness we didn't do this on rainy Sunday

Our destination was Bled Island, the only island in Slovenia-it has a bit of Adriatic coastline we went through on our way to Opatija from Venice but even there there are no islands

Here is a shot of the other boat

This was once Tito's summer palace or home when he was the head of Yugoslavia.  

And here is the main structure on the island, the church, no longer in regular use

Lovely-people got to ring the bell and a couple of people did climb the bell tower but I skipped those stairs

Back in town we could see the alps again…

a pretty day and more stairs…

People were actually collecting leaves (from Florida and Southern California but I knew I would have lots of autumn leaves at home.  I still was happy to get to see the colours though.

It was afternoon tea time and time to sample a cream cake renowned here.

I think Bled might be famous for its friendly cats as well.

it was time to head back to Ljubljana and we caught the sunset from our hotel room.

The concierge recommended a restaurant near where we went up to the castle, but we decided to go to the cafe by the river  we admired earlier with heaters right in the table.

it was just lovely

a perfect end to a perfect day

with us vowing to return to this beautiful city.