capital cities are usually busy, dirty, and smell like pee
. And as far as I knew, the places to see in Croatia are coastal areas, not inland cities. Had it not been on the way between our apartment in Loosdorf, and our HelpX destination in Bulgaria, we wouldn't have gone out of our way to visit Zagreb.
It took me less than a hour to realize I was wrong to underestimate this city
(though it still has the classic eau de urine
scent in more than a few places). We picked up a great booklet called "Zagreb Step by Step," published by the Zagreb Tourist Board, at our hostel. Broken down into the Upper and Lower Towns, then divided up into 19 smaller areas, this booklet served as our guide for a self guided walking tour of the city. It even included several attractions outside of the City Centre that were worth seeing.
As we wandered the streets (and nearby mountain), the vibrant atmosphere and beautiful city sights impressed us
. Here's a few of our favourite shots.
Cathedral clock that stopped during the 1880 earthquake
The cathedral's defensive walls, built between 1512 and 1521 when the threat from the Ottoman Turks was at its height
St Mark's Church
Statue of Ban Josip Jelacic
Croatian State Archives building
Statue of St. George killing the dragon
Blackberries for sale at Dolac market
Climbing Mount Medvednica (Zagreb is lucky enough to have this beauty right at it's doorstep)
Our first Croatian wine and beer
About to enjoy our traditional post-mountain-climbing pizza
I wasn't expecting much from Zagreb. From my experience,