We got the train from Budapest to Zagreb and ended up sharing a carriage with two American guys and two French girls who we got chatting to and became good friends with. It’s so nice to properly chat to people from different countries about their lives, so much of the time when you travel you end up surrounded by other British and Irish people – not that that’s a bad thing!
Some way into our train journey we were handed a piece of paper saying we needed to get off to get a replacement bus for a portion of the route, something that filled me with dread. I had already been worried about catching trains in a foreign country, god knows I’m useless in England. I had visions of missing the bus and being stranded in Hungary’s least-used train station. However we were led a huge, air-conditioned bus, with hardly any people on it and space to stretch out, and arrived at the train station in time for the train to take us to Zagreb.
We stayed at Swanky Mint Hostel which was thankfully a short walk from the station. The whole hostel is really cool and has a very lively bar and seems like it’s quite sociable. You get a free welcome shot of rakija at the bar, but my stomach was not up to that this night. The rooms are all made out of wood chip board which is weird but maybe they were going for ‘edgy’? By this time it was late so we dumped our stuff and went out to get food at Fries Factory which does huuge pizza slices for 10 HRK (~£1). We bought 2 and we did not need 2, but we will never learn. After that it was time for bed so we could make the most of our only day.
The next morning we ate the buffet breakfast at the hotel, which was 25 HRK and the standard European breakfast (where are the beans???) then went to our first stop Muzej Iluzija, the Museum of Illusions. This was 40 CRK and an interesting half an hour or so, there wasn’t loads to do and you’ve probably seen a lot of them before. But it’s worth it for pictures like this really:
Next we went to look at St. Mark’s Church, which has a remarkably shiny and colourful roof and some very serious guards.
As we walked away we heard loads of commotion and saw a massive procession of similarly dressed men, some on horses, some banging drums etc., all marching up to the church. We initially thought it was the changing of the guards but they took the guards and left, we followed them for a good 20 minutes before giving up because it was hot and they were going uphill. I guess we’ll never know what that was all about.
Next we went to the Museum of Broken Relationships. (20 HRK for students, 25 otherwise). This was actually one of my favourite museums ever. It’s a weird concept, people send it objects that are loosely tied to their failed relationships, along with a little story and explanation, in order to really ‘let go’. There was a wedding dress, keys, a suicide note, photo albums, poems and the stories that went with them were really touching and well-written.
It wasn’t just limited to romantic relationships, there were some about broken child-parent relationships as well which were particularly harrowing, the suicide note I mentioned was actually from someone’s mother. There was also a big book where people could write their thoughts and feelings, which made good reading for about half an hour or so.
We got more pizza and fries for lunch (of course) from Fries Factory and went back to the hostel, to hang out at the bar. I believe it’s called ‘Swanky Monkey Bar’ or something and it’s actually rated the 23rd best thing to do in Zagreb.
Previous interrailing post here.
Next interrailing post here.
Find out how much I spent in Zagreb here.