Zagreb, Croatioa–Part II

(This is the 16th post of our Croatia-Budapest trip, June-July 2014)
Friday, June 27

Endomundo Zagreb

When I say wander around Zagreb, I’m not kidding.  Dave turned on his Endomundo app in the morning, and checked it at dinner that night; this is what we saw. Spot #1 is where we met up at the St. Francis Church, #4 is the large overlook, #5 is St. Mark’s Church, and I’m thinking that #8 is the main cathedral.  No clue on the rest.  Here are a couple of details from walking around:

zagreb_basket of flowers Zagreb_cool door Zagreb_DAEtieApparently the Croatians claim that they invented the tie (cravat) so here’s Dave by a giant tie.  No, we didn’t buy it.  Actually we bought pathetically little on this trip.

Zagreb_fabricWe I did buy some fabric.  Well, I went into the store and thought it was a fabric shop, but it was a Home Dec store, and the fabric we’d seen in the window was actually tablecloth fabric.  I bought two lengths off of two different bolts of cloth, too tired to figure it all out, so of course, when we got home, they were too small.  So I turn them at an angle when I put them on the table.

Zagreb Stuck Bus by dbl parked carLoved this scene.  The fabric store is “CENTRA” and on our way there, we watched this tourist bus driver become extremely frustrated over the black double-parked car, blocking his way around the circle.  When we came out of the fabric shop, they were both gone.

Zagreb_pm1a_walk to post officeWe head towards the Poste to mail the postcards.  How to Train Your Dragon 2 was advertised on their small billboards.

Zagreb_pm1b_post officeWhat a great looking post office!  I also purchased some fancier stamps for decorative uses at home.  To get into this, you enter in a main door.  On the right is a market, which we also walked through, and on the left was this glorious post office.

Zagreb_pm2_corn standWe saw fresh corn stands a lot, but it smelled slightly burnt, so we passed on this.

Zagreb_pm3_cathedral alphabetWe successfully met up with Anna Clare and Earl (score one for meeting up without cell phones!) and can finally enter the cathedral.  The whole name is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saintly Kings Stephen and Ladislav, but everyone just calls it the “Cathedral.”  Inside the front door is a wall with some interesting script: the Glagolitic alphabet.  According to our guide book, it originated in the 9th century, invented by Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius as they worked to translate the Bible into Slavic languages.  Their alphabet caught on only in Croatia, and was later adapted in Bulgaria to become the Cyrillic alphabet (still used in “Serbia, Russia and other parts east”). Scenes from the interior:

Zagreb_pm3_cathedral Zagreb_pm4_cathedralZagreb_pm12c_ExteriorCathedral(View out that open door was the tower of the cloisters.)Zagreb_pm4a_silveraltarAlthough it is incredibly hard to see in this photo, this is a silver altar with a depiction of the Holy Family. Mary is holding a needle and thread, sewing. At this point, Anna Clare begins to feel faint while walking through the cathedral, so we all head out to the benches to rest and to give her a chance to recover.  Apparently they had not eaten lunch, and after driving around Croatia these past few days (she has been the only driver), plus a few other stressful experiences, she was exhausted.  So we agree to part to give them a chance to go back to their room and rest, and to find some lunch.  We’ll meet up again at dinnertime.

Zagreb_pm5_random bottle sayingOne of the challenges of being on the go is drinking enough water, and who can resist buying bottles of water when they deliver not only the water, but a lovely pithy saying to go with it?  We share this, and head back up to the Gradec portion of the Upper Town area, because Dave wants to get some more postcards from the Museum of Naive Art.

Zagreb_pm6_interiorGreekchurchWhen we come out, all the church bells are ringing for evening mass.  We realize we can now see inside the three churches if we hurry, so we hit the Greek church first.  We stand quietly at the back, and take this photo surreptitiously.

Zagreb_pm6a_interiorGreekchurchGood thing, too, for this nun kept turning and looking at us, watching the open door (below).  Not too many showed up for mass, and we moved on to St. Mark’s, in the center plaza.

Zagreb_pm6b_greekchurchdoor Zagreb_pm6c_exteriorGreekchurchExterior of Greek Church.

Zagreb_pm7_exteriorStMarksThe sun is dipping down, and shadows creep up the walls of the church.

Zagreb_pm7a_stmarksZagreb_pm7b_InteriorStMarksThe lower light proves fascinating to capture at the back of the church.  Again, they are having mass, so we quietly sit, letting our eyes adjust to the dim light.

Zagreb_pm7c_InteriorStMarksWe then notice the glowing gilt ceilings.  They are quite beautiful.  Because of the church services, we don’t walk around, but feel lucky to have seen these.

Zagreb_pm7e_InteriorStMarks Zagreb_pm7d_InteriorStMarks

Zagreb_pm7c_exteriorStMarksOutside Dave gets a good shot of the tiles on the church’s roof.

Zagreb_pm7d_exteriorStMarksZagreb_pm8_platzsign Zagreb_pm8a_platzsignI think this is about the only picture of us in Zagreb, taken by another friendly tourist.

Zagreb_pm8c_platzsignThis building with all the flags is the Ban’s Palace, offices for the prime minister.  Across the square (where I found that elegant gold curlicue door handle) is the Parliament building.

Zagreb_pm9a_InteriorCatherineChurchWe also head to St. Catherine’s church.

Zagreb_pm9b_InteriorCatherineChurchThere is a sign at the front saying closed for a wedding, but when the fellow in the T-shirt and ball cap (on the left in one of the back pews) pushes past us crackling his grocery sacks, we slip in also. Zagreb_pm9c_InteriorCatherineChurchBeautiful plaster work on every surface.  I would have loved to have walked around, but I say to myself — repeat after me — Another Time.  Visiting this city has been one of the more frustrating visits for me, the difference for what I prepared for and what I was able to see, achingly far apart. While this is a fact of life in all cities, in all countries and on all trips, it feels very pronounced here.  I try to let the stillness of the church seep into me, but all I can think about it all the things left unseen in this interesting city.  

Zagreb_pm9d_InteriorCatherineChurch Zagreb_pm9e_InteriorCatherineChurchI try to mentally cross more things off my Tourist List, knowing that at any time a tourist is but a visitor, missing out on the vibrancy of a city, as the sights and attractions and museums are always a poor substitute for living in a foreign place.  It will have to be. We head to Budapest tomorrow, back on our own.

Zagreb_pm13c_pharmacyIt’s getting time to meet up again, and as we pass by, we stop in the Old Pharmacy to take photos of how it might have looked many years ago.

Zagreb_pm13b_pharmacyLooks like they’ve reserved a cupboard for the new products.  Amazing how garish our modern-day packaging looks when compared to the classic glass and porcelain jars.

Zagreb_pm13a_pharmacyZagreb_pm13_pharmacyZagreb_pm13d_KeyShe holds the keys to the city, apparently.

Zagreb_pm16_sightseeingBehind that waving tourist is the Stone Gate, with the little chapel with Mary’s unburnt picture.  Some more street scenes:

Zagreb_pm10_window reflections Zagreb_pm11a_buildings Zagreb_pm11b_SubacZagreb_pm15_statue in marketZagreb_pm15_building exteriorZagreb14_exteriorStFrancis Zagreb_pm12_InteriorCathedralWe’re early for the meeting, so go inside to look around the cathedral again, with the stained glass glowing in the setting sun.

Zagreb_pm12a_InteriorCathedralZagreb_Rose WindowWe walk up and down several streets, and a couple of times we found a place to eat that had the right combination of prices and food, but then a group would push in past our indecisive quartet and we’d be out of a table.  We finally make it to the large social area of town, a street with large bars on either side, catering to the Happy Hour crowd.  We found a place that would serve us some dinner, and we relax and enjoy looking at the crowds and our last night together.

Zagreb_dinner1 Zagreb_dinner2Next post: A Train to Budapest

1 thought on “Zagreb, Croatioa–Part II”

  1. What an awesome Endomundo map! Go while you can, right? Sometimes this is what it takes to be a truly active, adventurous tourist! I loved reliving our trip to Zagreb through these posts. Didn’t you think that the tile roof of St. Mark’s looks like those little rubber tubes kids form into designs and then bake in the oven to make hot plates, etc.?

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