We woke up early, bright and bushy tailed after our day yesterday of literally doing nothing but sitting down on a train! We decided to potter to a little place for breakfast, to change money and to buy snacks. We sat on those high stool things in the cafe and ate avocado on toast and planned our day. Bobo is an amazing planner and she had worked out all that there is to do in Zagreb bon the train journey yesterday whilst I blogged and slept. What a babe!
We decided to join the 11am free walking tour of Zagreb and had half an hour to wander around some of the shops beforehand. We spent this time in an amazing place called Muller. It is basically a beauty shop that stocks everything from Nivea to Chanel. I died a little bit- never before have I seen so many hair bobbles for sale in one location. We purchased some supplies for one of our last nights. You see it is tradition to hold a little pamper evening to towards the end of our travelling. We hair mask, face mask, do our nails, pluck our eyebrows, shower…it really is a life changing experience after 4 weeks of sun and sea water in hair.
We eventually dragged ourselves out of the shop and into the main square to meet our tour guide. I don’t think that I am over exaggerating when I say that 1000 people turned up for this tour…well maybe more like 100. They had to split us in two, families and loved ones were divided, and we had Luca the werewolf. We learnt about the main square and then ventured our way up the hill into Zagreb’s old town. We both fell in love with it instantly. It really is incredibly beautiful. The views of the second hill, with the Cathedral on it are gorgeous, and our cameras really can not do it justice.
We wound our way through the old cobbled streets and learnt about Zagreb’s history- fires, communism, watch a canon be fired, Yugoslavia, the Virgin Mary picture who didn’t burn down in the fire, gas lamps and as our group was about to start the second part of the tour, on the second hill, we were super sneaks and peeled off because Bobo had seen a beautiful little courtyard to have a drink at…the girl just gets me. Fully hydrated we literally walked 10 footsteps to get some lunch. Here we ate bowlfuls of risotto, drank beautiful Croatian wine…I even tried to remember some of the wine tasting tips that Ben gave us last year…and met the cutest waiter in the whole wide world. Somewhere he has picked up saying Yes Please after every single thing a customer says to him. ‘Can I have the risotto?’ ‘Yes Please.’ ‘Where is the toilet? ‘Yes Please!’ ‘We hope that you have a lovely day!’ ‘Yes Please.’ We absolutely loved him and decided to share a desert to spend more time in his company.
We eventually drag our bodies away from him and try to get into the two main churches that are on this hill, but we must have done something wicked in a past lifetime as we both couldn’t open their doors. So instead we go into the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum is world famous and I was a little worried that I had heard so much about it that I wouldn’t enjoy it at all but man was I wrong. It was a little busy when we first arrived so we headed to the cafe to wait. Here we took part in a new exhibition that was happening-Love Letters. You were invited to write a letter to someone/thing you love and to peg it onto the strings above our heads. These were later going to be used in a performance that evening. We naturally wrote one to each other, gave them to each other, and watched the other read it. It was adorable and upped our lesbian couple goals by 1 million percent. Bowen also wrote one to Zagreb and Donald Trump…telling him he needs more love, not that she loves him…or at least that is what she told me she wrote. I wrote a second to Planet Earth and then sat down to read some of the letters. Some were funny, some were vomit inducing, some were super lovely to read.
Our time had come to enter the museum and all of my fears of it being over hyped were settled, it was clear that it deserved all the hype in the world. It really is very simple- people had donated items that were left over from a relationship that had not worked out- parental, friendship, but mostly romantic and told their story. There were a few funny, but most were heartbreaking. Although I came away from it feeling tired and drained I also found it weirdly uplifting too. That it is OK if one path doesn’t work out, relationships aren’t always designed to last forever. Bowen loved it too but also found it draining…I don’t think she had ever read so much before!! We couldn’t recommend this place more. If you find yourself in Croatia then you must come to Zagreb and to this museum! You must, you must, you must…yes please.
Post museum we hit up some bars because we are living our super cool life. The first turns out to be the oldest bar in Zagreb that was built from recycled gravestones. We are literally drinking Aperol Spritzes and iced coffee amongst the dead. It is kinda creepy, I kinda love it. We also have a mammoth discussion about Croatia’s most famous Doctor- ER’s Dr Kovac…I drool.
Our second and third bars were part of a summer thing they have going on in the Old Town- The Courtayrds. Private residences open up their homes and courtyards to the public and turn them into cute pop up bars. Think fairy lights, think bunting, think banging views. We fight our way to the best table in the first bar that looks over all of Croatia. It is beautiful and we could have stayed all day if it wasn’t for our need of food. We wander into all the others to find that the only food they were serving was meat. For two vegetarians this was not ideal. We plodded into the last one with not much hope but much to our delight another cute waiter, who is the most eager person that I have ever met in my life, tells us he can prepare some cheese and salad for us. Perfect we said, we only wanted a small snack. We take our seats at a little table and chairs at the top of a fire escape which looks like we are sat in a cage, but in a cute way, and quickly see our mistake at ordering the large plate to share. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH CHEESE BEFORE IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. There is cheese everywhere. And the salad turns out to be tomatoes, olives and more pickles than should ever be in one place. Also there are some jalapeño peppers that Bobo quickly discovers are too hot for human consumption.
So there we are: two girls and a whole world of cheese to get through. We make cheese and pickle rolls with the bread, we try to eat three chunks of cheese at a time to trick our bodies into thinking it is just one, we chow on down to whole pickles and we laugh more than anybody has ever laughed before. Seriously, this is our Bruce Bogtrotter moment, but instead of chocolate cake, we have cheese. The waiter was so proud that he managed to find us food that we are determined to eat the majority of what he has given us! We barely make a dent before we have had enough. So we begin to get creative as the cheese induced coma starts to kick in. I have a large empty water bottle in my bag that I start filling with left over cheese and pickles so for the next few hours I am literally walking around with a water bottle full of cheese and pickles.
We have to leave as we have our last tour of the day to go on: Ghost, dragons and witches tour. Two hours of walking through dark, Croatian streets learning about its dark past. The lady is dressed like a witch and we adore her! We learn about all things spooky in the company 10 other people which made us a group of 12- a witches coven! Highlights of the tour include entering a graveyard in the pitch black night and having to get Bobo to explain the shadows to me, leaning that the devil can take form in a big black dog and then a big black dog strolls right on past us and seeing Zagreb look all spooky and stuff.
So there you have it. Our 9th day done. It has been another one filled with food, cheese and so much laughter. I can already tell that Zagreb is going to be a hard place to beat. I am in love!