We rose nice and early to catch our 5am bus from Budabest to Zagreb. Given that it was a Sunday morning, the dregs of Saturday night were still walking around like zombies and hovering around the warm lights of kebab shops like moths to a flame. Luckily we didn’t run into any problems.
We pulled into Zagreb around lunch time and caught a short tram from the bus station to our Couchsurfing host Sarah’s apartment. She was very welcoming, ensuring that we were comfortably settled in, equipped with a map of Zagreb and told us not to buy anything for dinner as she had that all sorted too.
The kindness and genorousity we’ve received through Couchsurfing has been unbelievable. Like many of our hosts, we’ve vowed to open our doors once we’ve returned home to pass on the hospitality we’ve received to other surfers. We left Sarah’s apartment and begun the 20 minute walk into town, but not before stopping at a bakery for a quick lunch.
Anyone that’s been to Zagreb surely knows of Dubravica, a chain of bakeries similar to Baker’s Delight in Australia only a thousand times better. I picked up a quarter slice of supreme pizza for a measly 9HRK (1.80AUD). It was quality too, not to mention delicious.
After lunch we continued into town to explore. Zagreb is quite a small city, particularly for a capital, but very beautiful. We managed to see most of the sights by aimlessly wandering so stopped for a tall glass of Ožujsko beer and a glass of chilled local red wine.
That night Sarah cooked us a delicious tomato pasta which we thoroughly enjoyed while splitting a bottle of red and sharing stories of our travels. Sarah, a Belgian national, was also very well travelled, spending a large amount of time in the Americas and Australia, among other countries. After a good chat we crashed as we were up early the next day to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The next day we woke to a very wet morning. It looked like it had been raining for most of the night and actually didn’t let up for the entire day; not ideal for a five hour trek through a national park. Although the rain was unrelenting and the park was crawling with tourists, the spectacular views made up for it. The water had to be the clearest I’ve ever seen, the flora a mix of lush greens and Autumn reds and bronzes, and beautiful waterfalls around every bend. On a perfect day the park must be mind-blowingly beautiful. We jumped on our bus back to Zagreb tired, cold and wet, Anita aching for a hot a shower.
After getting home, showering, and blasting our boots with the blowdrier it was our turn to cook dinner for Sarah to return the favour and thank her for hosting us. After another great dinner we laid our heads to rest as the next day we were headed to Split to catch the ferry across to Brač island. Hopefully the weather will be on our side this time!