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Adventures of a short vet

St George & the Dragon

CROATIA | Wednesday, 4 May 2011 | Views [307]

Another monument to St George - this time slaying the dragon

Another monument to St George - this time slaying the dragon

I settled in for the 5 hour bus trip to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and have decided that is about my limit for a bus trip. My aching knees…and I have short legs!

Once in town I managed to find the right tram, though ended up riding without a ticket as I'd been misinformed that I could buy a ticket off the driver. Luckily they never check tickets (or so I was told at the hostel). A very unfriendly woman on the street refused to tell me where I was as there was no sign, despite the fact that I was pretty sure she spoke spoke English as she replied with “no” rather than “njeit” when I greeted her. This wasn’t a good first impression on the city, though I later realized I really like Zagreb with it’s good tram transport, green leafy areas and laid-back attitude. I managed to get some directions from a friendly girl at a kiosk – tip of the day: always approach the younger people as they are more likely to speak English and are friendlier. Funk hostel was great – brand new everything with an awesome lounge, open-plan fully stocked kitchen and free washing, and cheapest hostel I’d stayed in so far!

The following day I explored the city, wandering past the palace and cathedral, before walking through the massive open-air food market and buying more delicious sugared figs. I walked past the St George statue which is one of the few statues where he is actually paying tribute to the dragon rather than slaying it (they have another version of him slaying the dragon near the theatre) and through the “Stone Gate” where there is a shrine to a painting of the Virgin Mary that survived a fire in the church. It was a bit strange to see people praying in pews with candles in which was essentially a main thoroughfare street. St Marks is a church with an amazing tiled roof and from there I walked down the few steps that follow the world’s shortest furnicular (30m or so). I ended up eating an ice-cream in the main square, Trgbana Jelacica, and watching a massive crowd of people dressed in yellow and black ponchos, with a camera on a crane filming the action. Thinking that they were going to be pelted with something I stuck around to see the action, but it turned out they had to stand in a circle and form a massive smiley face for some sort of ad campaign. Still quite entertaining. On the way home I walked past the National Theatre where students were being led around by their mates while their plaster face masks dried. Very strange indeed.

 

Tags: bus trip, worlds shortest furnicular ride, zagreb

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