“Grostilna 6estica” was our destination – the traditional Slovenian restaurant Xena had told us about. It was really cute inside – like an indoor garden within a conservatory. Tina got mushroom soup within a bread roll and I got some dumpling soup. It was much nicer than that restaurant we care to forget yesterday. Stomachs full we moved onto the station.
We first checked the bus station, the next bus was on Friday. Not helpful when it was Wednesday. It wasn’t looking good. We tried the train station next door and thankfully there was a train, but it would be leaving in 3 hours time. With a long wait happening whatever we did, we decided to see if we could hitch a ride from the main road. We walked past a sign saying Zagreb on the way to the station so it couldn’t be impossible.We walked along the road we believed to be the right direction, but we couldn’t find a petrol station to start at. We took a turn off the road to see if we could work a car park. No luck, so we walked a few metres further past a bush and there was a petrol station. Yay! We started to get into the routine, me making the sign and Klementina trying to grab them whilst they were filling up. However when I turned round Tina was hugging someone. Tina knows a lot of people, but I thought it was unlikely for her to know someone in Ljubljana. I went over to investigate. It was “Lift 7”– the girl who gave us a lift to Ljubljana the first time!! What an insane coincidence. She however confirmed our suspicion that this road was not going towards Zagreb but Austria. We were wasting our time.
Disappointed we sat on the grass outside the petrol station and decided what to do. It was pretty obvious we would walk all the way back to the station and get the train. Our hitchhiking luck had run out. Oh well it was still an adventure.
When we arrived at the station we still had a bit of a wait for the train. We chilled and looked at all the graffiti around us, with Tina commenting that these were real trains because of the art splurged across them.
Arriving at Zagreb we realised we didn’t have any Croatian Kune. We’d have to change some of our euros, however I have a bank card that allows me to withdraw money anywhere in the world with no conversion fee! Plus the exchange rate I get is basically business. It seemed obvious to use this instead as we’d get a better deal. We knew the exchange rate so when confronted with the ATM we selected 2000 Kune at an exchange rate of about 1 EUR to about 7 HRK. If you are good at maths you will see what I just did. The aim was to draw out about 20 euros worth and actually I had drawn out more like 200! What a stupid mistake, especially when I had confirmed with Klementina if the 2000 was correct. What a fool.With nothing I could do about it I sat outside the station feeling stupid whilst Klementina found out how to get to our hosts Maja and Andrea’s place. She came back out from the station saying the people inside were the most helpful ever. They had looked at which buses to get and printed out a Google map of how to get there. However it was not necessary to get the bus as Maja had texted us saying she could collect our stuff and take it back to the apartment if we liked. We waited for a confused face to arrive, and it did, along with another male one. This was Blake, a fellow couch-surfer, from Canada, who was also staying at their place. He was to show us around the city a bit, while Maja ran some errands. Zagreb was much grander and larger than Ljubljana. Unfortunately it was dark when we arrived so the photos aren’t amazing. Blake had been here for a while so knew the area, but not so much the history. This was fine though and we enjoyed seeing everything. We were hungry, but apparently there aren’t that many good eateries in Zagreb, especially when you’re after traditional food. Blake led us to a place he had been before where we had some Croatian beer. Klementina ate some pasta and Blake and I had some Strukli. It was a bit weird, it was pasta with filling inside and something on top with the texture of sugar, but not sweet. It was good, however there wasn’t very much of it. I finished off Klementina’s pasta. We learned a lot about Blake, he had been teaching English in the Czech Republic to gain some money before this. He was now trying to get to Greece, as he was supposed to have left the Schengen area. However, with all the economic riots and things going on in Greece this was appearing tricky. Klementina could help with this though, telling him there was a definite bus or train from Belgrade into Greece. She also said there was a bus from Skopje too. He didn’t know where this was. He was aiming to get to a city near the Greek border to which Klementina enquired about all of them. After much discussion, “Ahh Skopje, that was it!”. Fool.
Blake was also a psychology major which gave us something to talk about later. Klementina also learned that psi (Ψ) is shorthand for psychology as Blake had a tattoo of it on his hand. Blake and I were also joined as he had a ring of St. Christopher and I a necklace, meaning we would be safe on our travels, but we couldn’t say the same for Klementina. This was almost true when Klementina nearly got run over by a tram.Afterwards Maja came to collect us and we picked up some beer on the way. That evening we chatted on the balcony and came to the beautiful conclusion that cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology are exactly the same thing. Which I was very happy about. The evening came to a disappointing end for me as Klementina left for bed and Blake wanted to watch an ice hockey match online, which was not fun for me. Basically alone I also went to bed.