Part One – Zagreb
This trip was different. DH and I both needed an escape from the “sandpit” (if you don’t know, we live in Doha, Qatar), and it’s oppressive over 100 degree (F) temperatures with random days of high humidity and/or sandy crunchy air thrown in for good measure, hectic work schedule (for him), and the overwhelming beige-ness that living in a desert brings. We wanted to visit somewhere that had a bit of city, a bit of (some form of) democracy, some pretty water, and some hiking amongst greenery.
Europe it was – despite July being peak season.
So, we packed off to Croatia for a week knowing absolutely zero about it. For me, I knew nothing other than Pinterest said it was pretty, the Dalmatian Coast is known for seafood, and it’s close to Greece. DH has been really busy with work lately and flew in blind. We both *thought* it was part of former Yugoslavia but didn’t *quite* know if our world history was correct – spoiler: it is, go public school.
I also purposely failed in planning this vacation aside from picking towns and procuring most of our accommodation, hence the different-ness of this vacation from all others where I’ve got the fun scheduled in.
I read a crap-ton of blogs, came up with bullet points for each town + a couple restaurant and cafe options for each + an alternate plan for each area, and let the winds take us where they may (in a structured guidepath).
And you know what?
I didn’t die.
I didn’t hyperventilate about not being able to see everything X city could possibly have to offer while DH throws a hissy about being pressured to see too much once. This has happened – most notably, when my A list plan for Scotland got changed and we didn’t get to see Skye (which I’m still unhappy about, even though we had a great time poking around Loch Ness).
I was fine.
And we did most things on the list, I think. Could have dealt with a bit more history and culture lesson, but that’s what the internet is for.
We stayed busy while shuttling off to bed at 8 or 9 each night. And we ate fantastic food, drank some killer local beer – and found some really neat spots along the way, with enough time spent in traffic one afternoon that we got to learn a little about the history of the place whose sheer abundance of beauty we’d been goggling at all week. Go, us! We weren’t rushed,
we I didn’t over-plan, we weren’t stuffing food in our faces to eatitall, and although DH still needed a vacation from his vacation, we had a relaxed but still physically demanding (from walking) time.
On to the pics!
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, and one of those really cool old European cities. You can see in spots it’s former communist past, but more than that – the buildings are beautiful, the streets are bustling, and the arts scene is vibrant. The food is also delicious, as it was absolutely everywhere we went while in Croatia – even the touristy areas.
Just a small selection of the great stuff we ate:
Most was definitely not paleo ;x.
The plan for exploring Zagreb was loose. Walk around, see some shit, hit a market or two, make sure to make it to old town. Eat food. Drink beer.
Luckily, that’s easy to accomplish here – the streets are all pretty, the city is safe, and Google Maps works great everywhere.
This is what happens when you have two photographers in the family:
They capture different and sometimes better angles on the things you see. Which is perhaps the best part about having a dual-camera family.
Our home away from home in Zagreb, Lobagola B&B:
Lobagola was our favorite place we stayed during this trip. It’s clear that travel is important to the owners and they really know what amenities are appreciated while on the road. That, comboed with really cool art taste + a killer local guide/art history lesson, really comfy beds, and a focus on local and fresh foods for breakfast and you’ve got a great base from which to explore.
And that was Zagreb Pass 1 – we briefly visited Zagreb at the tail end of our trip, and stayed in a (slightly) different part of town – you’ll see a few more shots at the end of this trip.
Stay tuned for the next leg of our Croatia journey!