25th June, Tuesday
Robert drives us to the old town of Zagreb, from where we walk to the historic inclined lift near the Lotrščak Tower.
It costs only about the equivalent of € 0.60. You can pay neither by card, nor in €. We do not have Croatian currency `Kuna` yet. Unfortunately the extra bus tickets from Valentina are not valid here.
The next departure is imminent when the ticket seller looks into my long face and emphatically throws a soft but jagged “Gogogo…”. So we hurry in the aged rail vehicle of Austrian production.
This feels like remnants of Socialist Yugoslavia. The extremely comfortable ride takes barely a minute, climbing stairs only slightly longer. At the top, more and more tourists gather near the stop at Lotrščak Tower.
Today is Croatian Independence Day; we are in the middle of the city and have heard and felt in our stomach for 142 years the everyday (!) shot about the city at 12 noon.
Yes, they do that everyday. Even while war. You could hear it all over Zagreb, so the latest everybody is awake will be noon. After that we are able to watch a historical military parade. There are many soldiers to secure the center at this important day.
Now it’s down to the Grič Tunnel. It is pleasantly cool there. We drink freshly squeezed juice and run to a nearby park.
Lucia and Daniel pick us up, we drive up the mountain in a local recreation area where we take an excellent traditional lunch in a simple tavern. The salty, swirling dessert is almost bursting our tummy, and so we go up the mountain to the monumental TV tower over Zagreb at 1031 m above sea level. It was built in 1976 under socialism, 169 m high, still in operation – although now very dilapidated. Unfortunately, visitors cannot enter. The planned panoramic restaurant at 80 m altitude was never opened.
We enjoy the cool air and the view before we return to Valentina and Robert to taste the second sweet dessert, poppy and walnut cake. For men, cold beer follows the other; while the ladies drink ‘bambus’. Robert fixes the broken tent pole with Kay; let’s see if it will work. Before the alcohol makes us too lethargic, M&K plan the final route tomorrow and book a cheap hostel. Then we enjoy the last evening together until 11 pm, watching the glittering view of Zagreb.
Bye from Zagreb,your H1