(This is the 15th post of our Croatia-Budapest trip, June-July 2014)
Friday, June 27
First up, breakfast, at our fabulous hotel. We got there after the tour bus crowd had left, so the repast was severely depleted by the time we got there. No worries, we found things to eat anyway.
And a toy corner for the kids.
Next, we head up to the market, to see what Zagreb’s market is like. It’s set under red umbrellas, which is one of Zagreb’s emblems, seen on different tourist tchotckes.
I’d buy these too, if they already had tomatoes on them.
Little toys for sale. They all seemed to be made in China, frankly.
We’re to meet up Anna Clare and Earl at St. Francis church, a small church up the street from the market. My friend Judy had told me about this, as they had visited it when they went to Zagreb the year before. I was glad I knew about it. Above is the scene carved above the doorway.
Here they are! We wait for the mass to end, then head into the church, the bells tolling and ringing. It was wonderful.
The beautiful blue ceiling reminds me of the small church in Rome, Santa Maria Sopa Minerva.
The inevitable grotto in honor of Mary. While I had a long list of sights-to-see today, I could see that I needed to just tuck that list away, that this was not going to be a touristing day. More like wander, wander, wander, which can often have its own merits.
We wander past the cathedral, but there is a mass going on, so we admire the statue of Mary on her pedestal in the fountain across from the front doors.
We wander back through the market, where we notice this woman in native dress, and snap a photo of Anna Clare standing by another local:
We were able to check off some things on the Rick Steves’ tour of Zagreb, one of which was the Octogon. Here’s our group in the hallway.
This was the “ultimate in iron-and-glass shopping elegance a century ago” and the window over the atrium is gorgeous.
Next up: taking the funicular up to Upper Town, a form of transportation dating from 19th-century.
No time to wander through Stross Market, at the top of the funicular, so we’ll leave it for another day.
Tchotcke seller, but in traditional dress. I give her some money so we can take a photo of her, but passed on the little stuff she was selling.
The Upper Town consists mainly of about 8 blocks of town, with three or so churches. Here’s the Church of St. Catherine, but we can’t see inside. More later. . .
This one is the Greek Church, tucked neatly in the rows of buildings on the main street.
Nikola Tesla, he of the car fame (he championed alternating current), was born in Croatia. He later moved to America.
The alcove of St. Marks, the prominent church on the square in Upper Town with the beautiful tiled roof. This was closed as well. A detail from the door is above.
I peeked inside; we promised to come back to this one too.
We went back down this street (the funicular is at the far end), stopping about halfway to go to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, an amazing museum (but no photos allowed). Typically these naive artists painted on glass in this area of the country, as that was the material they had, so all the strokes are tiny and smooth, and depicted interesting scenes of giant peaches at the base of a peach tree, people harvesting, angels, demons, storm clouds–all stuff of rural life. I’ve taken some photos of the postcards we brought home, so you can see:
I love the lavender and orange cows in the bottom farm scene.
We wander to the site of where Anna Clare and Earl’s car was impounded when they parked illegally and didn’t know it, while buying Bibles for their mission. I snapped a photo of the opposite corner in honor of this event.
We wander to the overlook, a large flat plaza (which feels like the roof of some building below). Anna Clare and Earl have to head off to do an errand for their mission headquarters, and we set our meet-up time for later. We head back up to the main plaza.
Two door handles on the city buildings surrounding the church.
This is the small chapel inside the only surviving town gate, the Stone Gate, which has a focal point of a painting of Mary that “miraculously survived a major fire in the adjoining house in 1731” or so says Rick Steves.
These stone plaques give thanks (hvala) for answered prayers.
Candles for prayers, I assume, then time to find some lunch.
We need caffeinated fuel, as we are already tired and it’s only the afternoon, but I must admit I enjoyed the glass it was served in.
Dave said he wasn’t hungry, looking forward to the pastry he’d purchased and which was in the backpack, but he ate half of our pasta anyway. Blood sugar restored, two newly caffeinated tourists decide to wander on their own. I pulled out the list of things to see, yet rapidly crossed off about half of them, since the time we were supposed to meet up with Anna Clare and Earl wasn’t conducive to getting to the Lower Town, catching the sights and getting back in time. Another time, I say, uttering the Tourist’s Mantra. We decide to stick with the Upper Town instead.
Next post: Two Sets of Tourists Attempt a Meet-up at a Later Time, or Zagreb, Part II
1 thought on “Zagreb, Croatia–part I”
So much to see in Zagreb! The photos and write-up bring back many wonderful memories–the food in the hotel, the beautiful churches, the primitive art, the red and white EVERYTHING.