So my past few days have been spent In the Croatian capital City of Zagreb. I arrived late afternoon and had picked out a particular hostel that I intended to head for. As stated previously, the price of everything had plummeted since I left Austria and the hostel worked out at £8 per night. I booked in for 2 nights and was into a 10 man dorm.
The hostel is really nice, with very friendly staff and good facilities; I immediately got all of my washing in to be de-gunged and had a shower and felt sooo much better. I chilled out in the lounge for the night, having some beers and chatting to all and sundry. It was interesting to watch all of the personalities at play in the bar. There was an Aussie guy who was quite loud and you could hear from 3 blocks away; he set a beer pong competition in motion and this then gave him the ability to tell anyone living within a 3 mile radius, exactly what rules he played by (all 900 of them), But if others wanted to play by their rules that was fine…..as long as it was actually his rules though. He played quite well but you always knew when it was his shot, even if you were asleep in one of the beds up stairs.
There were two young English lads who looked about 17 and made you question if their parents knew they were out late. One lad was quiet (wannabe goth type but just to young and spotty to do it justice) and the other was loud and outgoing. When they eventually played the Aussie team, Sweet baby Jesus and the orphans it was loud.
Eventually the two English lads ended up playing a guy from Germany and his Missus. Now these two were SOOO German in their approach to playing….it was scientific, it was well ordered and they knew every trick in the book. Both the Germans were strong players but the guy….woah he was a sniper…never missed! Unbelievably it went to a tiebreaker in which both teams had the chance to snatch victory, but the German coolness under fire took the day. Spoke to the Loud English lad later in the night and the pair of them are travelling around the world…..never judge a book by its cover Millsy and top draw you guys, have fun!
Also in the room was an Aston Villa fan from Solihull nice guy and we got on well, he is also just wandering with no set plan, just going where the music takes him. There was a French guy who was suffering from a tooth abscess, was in Uber pain and popping painkillers like smarties. I eventually ended u giving him some of my antibiotics, as I’ve suffered a couple of abscess myself and they are horrible. There were also 2 Aussie girls who were in my room, who are both in the Aussie Navy; they seemed really good friends and even shared a bed, but I’m not sure if they liked it due to the amount of moving around and moaning they were doing at 3 in the morning?? (Insert ‘In The Navy’Tune)
Operation explore Zagreb.
Again booked onto a free walking tour of the city, but this one wasn’t that good if I’m honest. It was very church heavy (probably because every third building is a church), and I have to say the guide didn’t grip me!
Things I did learn about Zagreb.
1) It has a lot of Churches
2) It used to be 2 separate towns, on two opposing hills. They spent century’s fighting each other, on the bridge that separated them, until one bright spark thought it may be better if the joined forces…..and Zagreb was born.
3) Churches feature heavily in Zagreb.
4) The country became Croatia quite recently, after the former Yugoslavia broke up in the 90’s.
5) Zagrebites love churches
6) You can eat a meal the size of several churches, for less than you would pay for landing on ‘Old Kent Road’, with no houses or hotels.
7) The tram system is brilliant and also appears to be free….at least I never saw any sign saying you had to pay….well not in English anyway?
8) The cities vibe is a good one, its busy, friendly, lots going on and very clean.
9) The Croatians are not fans of the Serbians at all…..the latter tried to assassinate their prime minister years ago using an air strike that destroyed everything but the room the minister was in…….also thankfully / unfortunately no churches were hit either.
10) The free tour was actually free…..well it was if you left before the end anyway.
That night I got a bit drunk again and chatted to like minded people, whilst French dude paced about like a tiger with with a sore head….i really feel for the guy, it’s a horrible thing to have and then to be French on top of that!!!
Even though Zagreb and Croatia are part of the EU, they still have there own currency not the Euro. As you crossed the border from Slovenia you got your passport checked….it was a little reminder that I’m on the periphery of Europe and a complete change is due to happen in the not to distant future. It lets you know that the security blanket is about to leave you and that you need to step up a level and stay switched on.