It’s been five months since I’ve been home from my latest trip to Europe, so it’s time I finally share the details with you!
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I studied abroad in Hungary in college before backpacking around central and eastern Europe on my own for a bit. Now every time I make it back to this part of the world, it feels a bit like coming home. And that’s exactly how I feel upon my arrival in Zagreb. It’s so good to be back!
I land at 10am and have the whole day ahead of me to explore. Emma won’t arrive until much later tonight, so I’m on my own today. After checking in to my Airbnb, I grab my camera and head out to see the city. I have no plan in mind, only wandering.
Our Airbnb is located about 100ft from the Stone Gate so I start my tour there.
The Stone Gate was originally built in 1266 but suffered much damage from several fires in the 17th and 18th centuries. The current state of the gate dates from 1778. According to legend, during the last fire in 1731, all but one painting that hung in the gate were badly damaged. The surviving painting was of Mary and baby Jesus. The owner of the painting built a chapel inside the gate and today it’s a popular spot for both tourists and worshipers alike.
Down the hill I come to Jelačića Square. This is the lively, bustling heart of the city. I stroll around, admiring the scenes of people heading home from work or coming in to town to meet up with friends.
Eventually I make my way up Ivana Tkalčića street in search of a late lunch. The houses lining this street date from the 18th and 19th centuries and now contain nearly every kind of food you could want. If I was in Zagreb at the end of my trip, I’d be thrilled to try some Mexican or Indian food. But since it’s my first day, I search out something a little more local.
I’m almost overwhelmed for choices. Eventually I settle for a place out of the sun that isn’t too crowded and is serving food at this time of day (mid-afternoon – many places are only serving drinks right now). I order pasta and read my book in the shade.
As I’m finishing up, I watch with amusement as this cheeky little bird steals one of my noodles. So sneaky!
At this point, jet lag is starting to catch up to me so after grabbing some groceries at the store, I head back to the apartment to rest. I feel a little guilty calling it a day so early, but I’m exhausted and I know Emma will want to see everything again anyway.
Thankfully the apartment is nice and cool. The location is within walking distance of all Zagrebs main attractions, and it’s super cute!
Zagreb – I love you already. I can’t wait to explore more tomorrow!