Last Dec, I went to Croatia for the very first time to meet Uncle’s family and friends. We had a an awesome time though a bit tightly packed meeting so many people 😉
We stayed in the capital city – Zagreb for 2-3 days when we landed and 2 more days on our way back.
My observations about Zagreb
Note: My comparison points for cities are here in south east Asia and USA.
- It is an interesting place and reminded me of Seattle in terms of weather though the buildings are older.
- The weather is continental and overall looks grey.
- We took the tram and felt the tickets were quite expensive for the cost of living if one buys on a per trip basis.
- Timberland is officially the most popular winter boots in Zagreb because I saw them everywhere.
- People wear mostly dark colours.
- People love to walk outdoors even if it cold.
- There are sensor lights everywhere- in private apartments, malls, toilets of cafes which made my environment friendly heart very happy.
- One of the cab services was quick, easy and effortless to book a cab and with fast service.
- I loved the spinach burek from Mlinar. It is a puff pastry filled with spinach and cheese and is vegetarian.
- Bread lovers rejoice. There is a bakery around every corner.
- Everywhere I go, I spend a lot of time in the supermarkets checking out local stuff and if I can find stuff I use. If you are like me, go to Super Konzum who seem to have everything. Yes, I spent 3 hours there.
- The malls are not crowded. That was so surprising to me because I rarely come across a relatively empty mall here. Never even on a weekday.
- It is quite a homogenous place. I kept my eyes peeled for foreigners or non whites and I saw very few – only 1 family with the woman wearing a head scarf and maybe 3 sets of Asian tourists and maybe 1-2 expats.
- Nobody stated at me though. I get more stares here ha ha.
- The women are overall quite pretty though Uncle claims that this is because a lot of them are from Split, Croatia.
- Most of the women seem to be in the healthy weight range – not too skinny & tiny like here or swinging to another extreme.
- One cool thing I observed was the dearth of fast food chains like Mac D, KFC. Here, every mall has all of them and there are there near every train stop and they are all always full or have a lot of people irrespective of the time of day or night [Yes, I checked for crowds from times ranging from 7 AM to 3 AM]. I barely managed to see 1 KFC and 1 Mac D as we drove by and it clearly was not popular.
I experienced proper snow (tangible something I could walk in and make snow balls with) in Zagreb on the last day of our trip. Snow is beautiful when you look out of the window and you are inside warm and cozy. One would need waterproof pants and jacket for playing in the snow. Snow seems inconvenient for driving, roads etc.
We went to a cafe downtown called Millennium after this.