Melting in the scorching Croatian Sun

​I would admit that I was too lazy to check where exactly my assignment with Angloville in Hungary would be, so I only realized that our venue is close to the border with Croatia after we arrived there and I checked my location on the map. As I keep a few people aware of my whereabouts I shared my location upon arrival and a few days into my program Julien (my ex) contacted me saying it is time for him to go on a holiday yet again, and that he wants us to meet for an adventure together. He suggested we meet in Zagreb, considering how close I am…and since I didn’t have any plans for my time between my program in Hungary and my meeting with my Aussie friend Pete arranged for the 20th July in Bulgaria, I agreed. A fairly spontaneous decision and hours later Julien had flight tickets and I have done my research on how to get to Zagreb by train.
So on the 8th July I got to the nearest town where the Angloville program was, and bought a ticket to Zagreb on the only train that was leaving 3.5h later…so I had time to relax and invest in more writing for my blog… By the way, I can easily miss out on saying when I get and make the time to write, but I would rather give my readers the reality of being on the road, trying to blog, enjoy yourself and manage your time wisely – because nothing is as easy and smooth as most bloggers make it look like. When people from the Angloville program asked me how I’m getting to Zagreb and I explained that I’ll have a gap of 3.5 hours at the train station, they all said how horrible the time to wait was, but in my head, these 3.5h meant time alone, nothing to miss out on and a great opportunity to write – the same for my 3h journey on the train to Zagreb. So to me, these 6.5 hours were a good amount of time to focus and work and I was happy to have them.
I arrived in Zagreb in the evening. Julien has booked us an AirBnB, close to town centre and since he arrived earlier that day he came to meet me at the train station, I think that despite this being such a tiny thing, it had a massive effect on my experience of arriving in Zagreb and also liking it. Meeting someone important to you after a month of being away from the things and people you love is pretty positive and influential, so I felt at home and relaxed more than imagined when I saw him and I got a big hug!

With no definite plan, and knowing we wanted to go and chill out at the sea side, we spent 2 nights in Zagreb, exploring the city with a map in hand and a booklet with the attractions worth seeing and a bit of information on them. I liked Zagreb, as Julien said it reminded us of Sofia (The Bulgarian capital city), but it was much nicer and cleaner. With a population of around 800 000 people, Zagreb felt big, yet not as busy, crushing and hecktick as Sofia.

The weather was brilliant the whole time, it only went slightly colder on our return to Zagreb, the day before we were leaving Croatia.

Being outside and enjoying the weather, the nice architecture and the walks meant that we weren’t that interested in going into museums.

However there were plenty of nice buildings and museums to visit, but we only went to The museum of torture and The museum of illusions.

The Museum of torture was quite fascinating but it definitely reminded me of the cruelty and twisted minds of humans, some of the devices for torture make you ask yourself how insane people can be – mind you that the church did this to people in the name of God… Fantastic, righ, because that’s the way to get people to believe in a just and loving God?!? Finger cutting machine, leg breaking device, masks of shame, breast cutting sward looking devices, tiny cages, etc. were only few of the devices the church used against those who they did not approve of – that being people accused (not necessarily proven guilty though) of being witches, adulterers, blasphemists, homosexuals, women who have had an abortion – regardless whether it was spontaneous or not… Here’s a pic of one of the most weird and awful devices for torture, however not the most gruesome one – The Judas Cradle.

The issue is – humanity is not done with the torture from the medieval ages, as for instance it is believed that the Judas Cradle is still used in Latin America. The ”developed” west has used and probably still uses torture to exctract information or confessions from prisoners of war, and also – for fun… non-consensual fun though (face palm).

Many would say humans are very evolved and super smart and so on, and I just want to point them to these museums and also to the news and hope they would re-evaluate their opinions.

Anyways, let me show you a couple of pretty churches…

I am glad that me and Julient went to the Museum of illusion to bring the mood up and see the brilliance of illusion and the challenges for the mind… Because my favourite place in Zagreb turned out to be exactly this museum, as me and Julien had great fun there.

 

And yes, we did entertain the idea of going in the Museum of Broken Relationships, considering we are exes, but we decided against it – for some reason looking at other people’s things that represented and reminded broken relationships did not feel quite right, since me and Julien have managed to reconstruct our relationship and change it for the better.

After two days of exploring Zagreb, we were keen to go to the sea side. We decided to go to a sea side town close to us, so that we don’t waste a ton of time on travel, so we headed to Rijeka. The town is small, but beautiful, there were plenty of beaches around town and in the area surrounding Rijeka. The biggest down side was that there were no sandy beaches – only peably beaches or… the other option was concreate, which we weren’t quite impressed with.

We went to Krk island, near Rijeka, but we still were not lucky enough with a sandy beach, apparently there are sandy beaches at the most southern part of the island, which would have added at least another 40minutes to our bus ride…but anyways. The weather was hot, the sun was vicious and I personally couldn’t stand in the sun for long, without falling asleep due to exhaustion or feeling like I am frying up in my own souce of sweat.

I particularly enjoyed the hot nights in Rijeka, the midnight walks on the quiet streets were relaxing, beautiful and nice. It felt like the whole city is for us. I love and missed midnight walks, so I think we unintentionally ticked these boxes and that made my time in Rijeka extra special.

One evening after a long day on the beach, under the scorching sun we went to the castle in town. The views were beautiful and after exploring the castle we sat down for a drink at the bar there. Later on we got really goofy when we stumbled upon a light on the ground and decided to play creeps hahaha!

After a few days at the sea side, a lot of sunbathing and melting in the scorching sun I was ready to leave, since I started feeling guilty for not finding and making the time to work. As much as I like lazying around, I like working too – or at least not piling a massive to do list, which has been the case for the past few weeks.

Despite wanting to go to the Plitvice waterfalls we didn’t…due to the fact that it would have taken us tons of time and the public transport options to there weren’t that good. So we got on a bus to Zagreb after 4 days at the sea side. Julien got on his flight back to the UK and I hopped on a night train Zagreb, Croatia – Belgrad, Serbia, from where I was going to get on another train to Sofia, Bulgaria.

This week was wonderful in a very different, yet familiar and comforting way for me. It provided an interesting transition to my journey to Bulgaria, which is so very much the same each time I go back, yet not very comforting.

 

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