Well, That was Bloody Awful!

Zagreb, 5-9-13Well, I don’t know if the train would have been better, but the night bus was painful – I finally got to sleep around 3ish, just as we hit the border! Although, I guess I at least got a Bosnian exit stamp for it (so that’s one into Albania, one out of Montenegro and one out of Bosnia, despite having gone in and out of Croatia about six times now).

Cathedral of the Assumption

I got in at about 7 this morning, got ripped off by an ATM (my fault – I picked the option to charge sterling rather than kuna) and then hiked to the hostel to drop off my backpack. I decided that I couldn’t be bothered with a rush hour tram, costing (I think) a couple of kuna when I only had a 200 note. After dropping my bag (and a much needed toilet stop) I headed out for a wander until I could check in.

After a coffee (14 kn, they were thrilled with the 200…) and a bun, I had a bit of a look around. I went through the Dolac market (may have to go back later for fruit), then had a wander through the Cathedral of the Assumption, and then just up and around the Upper Town – including some bloody steep stairs! After another coffee, I wandered to one of the Lower Town art galleries, which had a collection of old masterpieces donated from a private collection of an 18th c. Bishop. It was nice enough, but art galleries just really don’t grip me – but as it was about a pound to get in, and there was a George and the Dragon (I like these), I probably got my money’s worth. Then it was a quick pint, check-in, shower and a fantastic nap, although it took a while to shake the cobwebs afterwards!

George and the Dragon
(I don’t think I was supposed
to take photos though!)

This afternoon I headed back up to the Zagreb City Museum, which was well worth it, tracking the city (mostly in Croation, but with English bits in each room) from pre-history, focussing on the 19th century and very briefly on the 20th c. The same criticism as ever though – it’s been over 20 years, when can we have a serious reflection on Communism? I think Berlin and Prague are the only ones I’ve seen to really touch it, even Russia skirted the interesting bits!

In my wandering through the Upper Town this morning (it slipped my mind in my sleep deprived state), I also had a look at the (relatively, for a museum) light hearted, but slightly tragic Museum of Broken Relationships, which was a slightly odd – especially as tired as I was – wander around donated artefacts from various peoples breakups around the world.

Another cool looking church in the Upper Town

My last day in Sarajevo yesterday was laid back enough, but as I’d thought, I probably should have moved on a day earlier. I had a wander up into the hills (actually only about 800m from the old town, but up a seriously steep hill). Up there was a chunk of old wall with towers, which is now a museum to the first post-communist president of BiH. Just along from there, the Yellow Bastion, while obviously being a teenage drinking spot, offered amaying views along the city.   

After that, I wandered to a bar/restaurant listed in the LP, which apparently served some fo the best beer in town. Being next to the Sarajevsko Brewery, it’s probably not far off! In all my European travels, I think the Sarajevsko Tamno (dark) is probably the best beer I’ve had, better even that St. P’s Baltica 1. It was a bit like a German (or Gordon Biersch) Schwartzbier, but better. Not a fine pint of bitter, but maybe that asks too much from the world!

I had a quiet afternoon after that, a few pints here and there, some tea (not a bad chicken burrito) and a second visit to the Srbrenica gallery to watch some of the oral histories and some of the detailed timeline histories I’d missed. After that, a bit of a chill out, a bit more Voltaire, and then off to the bus station.

And so, a little out of order, here I am.

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