Previously, we arrived belatedly into Zagreb to begin our vacation.
Tuesday 26 November
A few morning hours in Zagreb before departing for Ljubljana, Slovenia.
I spent a day in Zagreb in the spring of 1987, and as we strolled into the center in the winter of 2019, I realized with sadness that after 32 years very few firm memories remained. In fact the only solid recollection of my previous visit to be conjured here and now is a stint drinking draft beer outside the train station restaurant. It’s possible I ate food there, too.
That train station eatery no longer exists, but the vacant space inside can be easily spotted. I’d have been seated outdoors behind the protective bus canopy to the right in this photo.
Two hours isn’t enough time to learn very much, although in the sense of atmospherics, Zagreb’s central zone made a deep impression. Architectural styles range from a handful of pre-19th century icons to 19th-century standard Central European, and from Slumlord Bauhaus in the Yugoslav period, right up to new construction of the past 25 years.
Our biggest memory of downtown Zagreb on a winter’s morning in 2019 almost surely will be the market, outdoors as well as indoors, and vibrant to the point of pulsating. Combined with the decorative preparations for Christmas occurring on and near the main square, it’s indelible.
By noon on Tuesday we were at the train station, having bid farewell to the Hotel Esplanade …
… and ready for the two-hour ride to Ljubljana.