jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 75 [14 Apr 09] – Bled to Zagreb

Posted in Zagreb by jn82 on April 14, 2009

After chilling out in the hostel till after lunch, we made our way to Lesce-Bled train station to catch the Euro-city 211 to Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor. The train ride was pretty uneventful and I spent it battling with poor mobile phone reception and just eventually watching some downloaded shows. This would be our first venture outside the European Union in slightly over two months, so we were subject to passport checks at both the Slovenian and Croatian boarder train stations. The police officers seemed pretty interested with our Singaporean passports, and from this I guess they do not see many Singaporeans taking the train from Slovenia to Croatia or vice-versa. I think this also made them unsure whether Singaporeans needed a visa to enter Croatia (which we do not).

Upon arrival at Glavni Kolodvor, I finally felt like I was in Eastern Europe. From the imposing concrete structure of the maintrain station which was probably built during the socialist Yugoslavia era and seemed out of place and needing maintanence or some updating for the 21st century, to the many scruffy looking homogeneous Croat people on the train platform, this is what I always imagined Eastern Europe to be like, a bit cold, old and unpolished. While Slovenia was beautiful and green, it was very similar to Austria and did not have to essence of the East.

Once out of the train station and walking along the streets, the same feeling remained, but you could also get a feel that the city is now so much more than its socialist past. Everywhere you looked, you could see internationally recognisable brands and fashionably dressed people which would not look out of place in any other European city. If not for all the old buildings and infrastructure, you might not actually know that you were in Eastern Europe. Indeed this is a clear sign of how the fall of communism in the East has led to more homogeneity in Europe over time.

As we got into Zagreb after 5pm, after making our way to the hostel and checking in, it was time to grab some dinner. We headed to this place called Kaptolska Klet, which was both recommended by the girl at the hostel and Lonely Planet for having good traditional Zagreb food. For a starter, we had Zagorska juha, an local soup which had some vegetables and pork in it. It had a pretty nice meaty flavour to it, but was a bit oily. For the main course, we had Teletina pod pekom, which was traditional oven roast veal served with some baked potatoes. The meat itself was very tender and tasty, however it had quite a lot of fat among the lean bits.

Zagorska Juha.

Teletina Pod Pekom.

Looking forward to the next two days of sightseeing in Zagreb.

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