Zagreb: Much better this year

Zagreb Fun Streets

Although we visited Zagreb on three different days last year, I really didn’t appreciate it as Zagreb was in the middle of a major heat wave.  On our first visit I just gave up on the walking and sightseeing, sat in a café and fairly quickly left town.  On our second visit I found an air-conditioned museum with an exhibit of objects from Catherine the Great which was very interesting and nice and cool.  We got a little smarter on our third visit and arrived in town around 6pm (18:00) in the evening.  I could actually walk around and see the town a little.  I enjoyed that visit.  We didn’t spend too long in Zagreb this year as we were hoping to meet up with some friends camping not too far away.  I did really like the city.  It was much more attractive and interesting than I had remembered.  It had the interesting old city, more modern areas and very modern malls.  Enough to have kept us busy longer if we had had the time.

If you look at the picture below you will see that the right bell tower on the cathedral looks a little strange.  It is under construction.  We often see coverings on buildings that are being refurbished. The coverings are a full-scale sketch of the finished product.  In Canada you might see a small picture of what you can expect when construction is finished.  This idea is much nicer. 

View from one church of multiple other churches

Mike and I stayed in a small campground in the town of Samobor.  It was a bike ride or short car ride into Zagreb.  When we stayed in this campground last year we had to leave because the entire site had been rented for a bachelorette party for the weekend.  The owner let us stay just outside his property next to his fence where we could still get electricity.  We couldn’t open our camper fully because tractors and a few cars occasionally used this gravel road.  We opened one slider in the living room and that works fine for relaxing and watching TV in an evening.  I have figured out that while opening one slider makes us into a much roomier camper than the European campers, it is opening the second slider that makes it feel like a real living room in a house.  With our sliders out our room is 12 feet 10 inches wide by 17 feet long  (3.9 x 5.1 meters) which is very comfortable for two.  Last year the owner had told us that he wasn’t renting out his entire campground to one group anymore.  Wouldn’t you know when we arrived on Wednesday, we were told that the campground was fully booked for a team building party on the Friday.  We again moved out for one night.  We could do this because we didn’t need any of his facilities like washrooms or showers.  The other campers all left.  They told us again that this was the last time they ever rent out their entire property.  Mike figures that if one  offers them enough money for the entire place then they will continue to kick the campers out.  Since most campers only stay one or two nights, and even fewer ever return every year, this isn’t a big problem for them. 

The owners were very nice and friendly.  They also own a hair dressing salon in Samobor where I went on our last day and got a haircut.  If we get another heat wave maybe the back of my neck won’t be so hot. 

We met one Dutch couple with three children aged 3, 5 and 7.  We spent a couple of evenings with them and they treated us to a nice dinner one night at the best traditional restaurant in Samobor.  This is a six-month trip for them.  They are considering living full-time in their camper, and home schooling their children.  They told us that home schooling isn’t allowed in the Netherlands so they will have to give up their Netherlands residency and possibly claim residence in somewhere like Belgium or Bulgaria.  This would allow them to keep up their health insurance while they travelled around the European Union.  At the moment, the husband, who works as a financial advisor and can work from the camper is all for this.  The wife is going to have to make up her mind when they get back home after this trip.  My guess is that they will become full-timers.

EU Pet Passport

We had an interesting visit with a couple from Britain.  They had two dogs with them and a passport for each dog.  The passports were extremely expensive to get.  The dogs needed all sorts of shots and I am not sure if the cost of the passport included those shots or if they were in addition.  This couple is thinking about shipping their camper to Canada and touring North America with their dogs.  They asked about any problems bringing their dogs in to Canada.  We said that we didn’t actually have any idea what the rules were in Canada, but we had all heard that they were much tighter in Britain because it is an island and basically protected from rabies.

Mike biked almost 100 km in the few days we were here.  I did half of that.  On one of those really hot days where I didn’t want to leave the RV until later in the afternoon Mike took a very long bike ride on his own.  At one point he crossed a river on a tiny ferry (raft).  He took a photo of his bike on the ferry.  Later in the ride he discovered that his (my) saddlebag was missing.  Mike could tell from the photo of the ferry that he still had the saddle bag at that point.  He had briefly stopped at a McDonalds and didn’t know if he had the saddlebag either when he arrived or when he left.  The saddlebag had a few of his tools, our bike eyeglasses and some of my special drink from Canada that can’t be bought in Europe.

Great Ferry Technology

Mike started trying to figure out what small roads he had ridden on so that he could reverse his course and look for the saddlebag.  He wasn’t completely sure of his route and drove quite a long way until his battery eventually died.  At this point it was starting to rain and he was much further from home then he had been when he discovered the loss.  He called me to come and get him.  Because the bike folds and stores in the back seat this was easy for me to do.  I used Google’s app to find Mike’s phone and that worked great.  I discovered that Mike was more than 30 minutes by car from the campground which surprised me.  When I finally got to him, we drove around on some other roads he thought he had ridden on but no luck.  By the time we got back home my poor husband was damp and exhausted.  Luckily, we were near a large city and Mike now has new saddlebags and new tools. 

We are leaving Zagreb and we are not sure if we are going to Ljubljana or skipping it and heading to the national park in the northeast corner of Slovenia.  It depends on whether we hear from our friends before we get to Ljubljana, so we know what to do.  Either way, we will be spending some time back in Slovenia again.  We very much liked Slovenia when we visited last year.

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