Finally, I was able to take a long holiday. Not wanting to stay local (tired of staycations), I took the plunge and booked my first trip abroad after the pandemic took over the world and robbed us from the things we loved the most.
I debated for a fair amount of time whether I should or should not travel. In this case, there were more cons than pros. Having to spend an extra 200 euros in PCRs (I needed a negative result to get to Croatia and I will need a negative test to go back to Portugal), the anxiety of “what if it’s positive?”, the fear of putting people in danger, the stress of things closing up and not being able to enjoy anything…with the only pro being to travel. To feel like me again. To go outside of the bubble I’ve been stuck in living and working in the same place, with consecutive lockdowns cutting me off of anything social or exciting, living in my books or in my work. I simply needed to get the F* out of there, excuse me the expression.
At least, I’ve made it. I’m in Zagreb. And if my next PCR test is positive, it will only mean I will have to work remotely from Croatia. There are things worse in life, wouldn’t you agree? Well, tomorrow I’ll be heading off to Dubrovnik.
I’m so glad I decided to stay in Zagreb for all of these days. When people talk about Croatia, I often hear about Split, Dubrovnik, Pula… and even when I was researching the destination, I saw people asking if it was worth it to stop for more than 2 days in Zagreb. Now that I’ve experienced three days here, I can tell you…well, of course! Or more than 3 days even. Zagreb completely surpassed my expectations… I was not expecting to enjoy this city this much. Perhaps because here it also feels that Covid doesn’t exist… in comparison to Portugal, people here are living. In Portugal, we pretend to live within a cage imposed by rules and more rules that no one understands anymore and yet are too scared to break.
I was greeted with sunshine and 28 to 29 degrees Celsius. With me being quite literally living under a cave (my home office is in the basement), it took me a few hours to get used to it. My eyes were hurting and my skin burning, look what a vamp I’ve become…
The city is simply beautiful, lively and quirky. I love that there are so many green spaces everywhere. And there is so much to do… and I obviously can’t do it all, but I was able to do what mattered the most to me. To be quite honest, my legs are hurting after walking so much. Zagreb is hilly – if you haven’t visited, and if you’re staying in the Old Town like I am, brace yourself for some climbing. Even my butt cheeks hurt a little 😳
One thing that is abundant in Zagreb is coffee. Delicious strong coffee that warms my heart even when it’s thirty degrees celsius. But look and these esplanades… even if you’re not a fan of coffee, how much do you want to sit there, people watching, sipping a nice drink?
Below is the funicular, the shortest in the world it seems. It literally takes less than one minute to take you to the promenade, whilst it takes you 3 minutes to do it by foot… from my point of view, it is a bit useless, but I guess it’s a great alternative for people with physical disabilities.
Some of these streets reminded me of Vienna. Having in mind that Croatia was once part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Hope you enjoyed this first look at Zagreb in today’s post! There is much more I want to show you of Zagreb, but one thing at the time.
Plus, I’ll be posting some of my photos and stories on Instagram, feel free to follow here.
I hope these photographs brought some sunshine to where you are now, and really looking forward to reading your thoughts of Zagreb!