After waking up this morning and loading our bikes quickly we sat to take our breakfast. There we had a conversation with the owner of the hotel who told us about the road trip he had done in 2002 with his wife and their bike. By looking at us they recalled their own memories, but as they told us, all that now they belonged to the past as their priority for the present are their children and other obligations.
It was about 9.00 a.m., time to say goodbye and leave. We took some last pictures of the wonderful valley and we got started. In order to get to the highway we got the 211, direction to Ljubljana and before we get into the city we followed the signs to Zagreb. During our trip to the Slovenian motorway we were impressed by the vast and unfinished countryside. Finally Slovenia is a huge valley
After 150km and one hour and a half we arrived to the centre of Zagreb and started our exploration in order to find accommodation as it was the second destination of our journey for which we hadn’t made a reservation. After two or three attempts we followed the advice of a receptionist who had explained to us that we had to avoid the centre of the city in order to find a more economical hotel as in the centre of the city, most of the hotels were quite expensive. He suggested us a specific one* as the ideal solution. It took us only 5 minutes to find it due to our GPS. Finally we got a big and beautiful room in a good price, in the third floor but without lift.
After taking a small rest we started exploring the capital of Slovenia, quite in a hurry as we could spend only one day there. First we visited Drazen Petrovic’ Museum. It was very impressive on the outside with the statue of this great basketball player and the photos with the t-shirts of the teams in which he had played. We were not that lucky because, as they told us, the museum was in a long period of renovation. It was such a pity because the visit in this museum was the main reason for which we had planned to visit Zagreb
After that we headed towards the centre, we parked the bike and we arrived to the central square of the city (Jelacic square). Zagreb was the capital of the Yugoslavian Republic of Croatia and since 1991 is the capital of the independent country of Croatia. Its population is about 975.000 inhabitants and the main vehicle of transportation is the tram.
In order to start our exploration and see the city sights, we consulted a city guide which divided the city in two walks and included important information for every monument. For every walk it calculated how much time it would take us to make it. For the first it estimated about an hour and for the second one hour and a half. Finally the first one took us about two hours and a half. During this stroll we visited the impressive National Theatre, some museums (Archeological, Mimara Museum and Museum of Natural Sciences) and some universities before we stop to the Botanic Garden which was full of rare plants. It was the ideal place to take a rest in a quite and refreshing place in the nature. Later, we passed through the central railway station, some historical buildings and squares with impressive fountains and big gardens where many youngsters were taking a rest under the shadow of the tall trees.
It was a really beautiful city that deserves visiting it and enjoys its beauties. One thing that impressed us is that during our walk we didn’t meet any tourist. Maybe because the capital of Croatia is not near the sea so it’s not a tourist destination, by the moment that this country has many other cities near the sea and some islands too.
One more thing that we noticed is the difference in people’s behaviour in comparison to Rieka and to the cities of South Croatia that we had visited last summer ((Dubrovnik, Split, Ζadar…).We wouldn’t say that they were not polite but their behaviour was a bit more distant which made a big contrast with the smiling Croatians we had met before.
As we finished our walk we sat eating and after that we went to the hotel to take a rest because the afternoon we wanted to go back to the centre and continue our sightseeing. Unfortunately it was already getting dark so the only thing we did was to visit the impressive Cathedral.
Afterwards we passed through the main square taking a glance to the trams which passed one after each other and we savored a nice ice-cream. Finally, we decide to return to the hotel as the next day we had to drive a lot…
*Hotel Slisko: Our room was very beautiful and modern as the walls were painted in many different colours. The only negative thing was that the hotel didn’t have a lift so we were obliged to carry everything…