Our search for ziploc bags in Croatia started after Uncle realized that he had forgotten to pack them when we left. We thought that it was not a big deal because one can ziploc bags anywhere these days. We were stumped to find that it was very difficult to find ziploc bags in Croatia. Even the largest supermarkets or stationary shops did not have them! We looked in Zagreb and Split with no luck. We didn’t check Ikea though.
Instead we found this!
Seal your own bag with rubber bands ha ha. We remarked about this to a friend and she told us how her non-Croatian friends could not get why she couldn’t just use ziplocs. This is why!
Next time you go to Croatia, bring your own ziploc bags! Really weird but true!
One day, we went on a trip by car to the nearby islands – Chio, Rogoznica and Trogir. We clearly did not visit so many others and I told Uncle that I will book myself a islands tour if we didn’t go to other islands next time ha ha.
Chio– I didn’t take photos. They used to have a house here.
Rogoznica – They have some family cemeteries there and it is beautiful. I would definitely love to spend my summer here. All the houses are made of stone and I love it!
Trogir – This place is actually an ancient city. It is dead in winter and totally crowded in summer. Almost all the shops except a few were closed. Glad I got to experience it without the crowds. However, it is sad that a little island is empty when there are no tourists. I did see some residents there but I wish these little islands had other things going for them apart from tourism.
After spending few days in Zagreb, we went by bus to Split where I spent most of my holidays. The bus journey to Split is about 5 hours. You could take it if you wish to see the scenery. If you want to maximize your time, just take the 30 minutes flight.
How the scenery changed as we moved from Zagreb to Split:
We came to Split around lunch time and it was perfect. Uncle’s dad picked us up and we had lunch at his parents place. Usually it is Uncle who needs time to rest after a journey but in Split, he was ready to go out for coffee and a walk while it was still daylight 😉 Of course because it is winter and Split looks like this!!
I am quite glad I got to explore Split when there were little tourists. Also, I experienced the government offices as well. I walked downtown every single day and did what a typical Split person does:
Wear Sunglasses. Always.
Go to a cafe on the Riva (It is the waterfront and downtown)
Drink coffee. As it was Christmas time, there were lot of stalls with alcohol. So, we were drinking Rakija a lot too.
Watch people go by and look out for someone you know.
You will always find someone you know because everybody is on the Riva.
Talk to them.
Things I liked about Split:
The Mediterranean weather ♥
Relaxed pace of life
Small town and you are always running into people
An ancient city and I am walking on the exact road which was used about 1700 years ago which I found very cool
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.
I have had a tissue packet with 1 tissue inside for over 2 weeks now. Usually, I finish one packet before I open a new one. However this packet with 1 tissue has been lying around in my bag. I have used other new packets but not this one!
Why you wonder? Because we bought this tissue when I was a holiday! Using up the last tissue seems to me like a part of my holiday is slipping away. I am holding onto it because it is a reminder of the fun I had. I like to believe I am a minimalist and a practical person but strangely, I am emotional about the most unexpected things. Now, I kick myself for leaving behind 6 packets of tissue because I didn’t want unnecessary luggage.
I hope to use it up soon because nothing survives for long in this climate *sigh*
Have a hard shell carry on suitcase and a Handbag/Backpack.
Keep the carry on empty if you are travelling to a cold climate except keeping your laptop.
Take bags with a wide opening because you will be taking things out often. I have travelled with narrow opening but deep bags and it is so annoying to hunt for stuff!
Keep your passport/tickets in the handbag.
Keep your laptop in your hard shell suitcase.
This advice is from Uncle. Other passengers and the cabin crew often push your luggage around and nobody cares if your stuff gets squashed/broken. His laptop was damaged once because of this. My observation is that many people have too much in their carry on.
Keep your winter jacket with your gloves in the pockets in the carry on suitcase once you are inside the airport. Yes, this means you have to open your suitcase at the airport (like Uncle pointed out) but so freeing to walk around. Having it in your carry on means you can wear it at the airport before you step out into the cold after you land.
Do not board your place wearing your winter jackets and accessories. I have seen so many people do this! It is so uncomfortable to sit wearing your jacket and scarf for the length of the trip. The alternative is to hunt for space and squash it in the overhead compartment or stuffing under your seats.
Once, Uncle sat squashed in the middle seat of an 8 hour long flight and he had a Panama hat with him. He could not keep it in the overhead compartment as it would get squashed, it was non foldable, so he kept it in his lap the entire trip! He still has the hat. I would have gone nuts and dumped it in a bag. Hard shell suitcase to the rescue!
Travel Tips for Airport Security Checks:
Do not go through the security checks with your jacket on because they will make you remove everything. It is a waste of time taking stuff on and off. A cardigan would suffice. Keep the jacket in the carry on.
Keep your phone & other electronics switched off.
Do not wear watches with metal. Wear plastic ones or don’t wear one unless you want to be taking it off.
Don’t keep metal objects including keys in your pockets. Keep it in the bag. Takin things in and out is one way people end up losing things.
Wear easy to remove boots/shoes because you will be taking them off several times even when in transit and sometimes even for local flights.
Don’t carry water. Carry an empty water bottle if you must.
*A Flash reference – This is the cafe in the TV series.
Every time I am about to go on a trip, I am a bundle of nerves and so high on adrenaline that I don’t need caffeine ha ha. I am functioning on little sleep but finishing chores, planning, over analyzing and running around like an energizer Duracell bunny.
I don’t like leaving things half done before I go on leave, so I try to clear up as much stuff as I can. This time as I was returning only after the new year, I felt I had to close everything because it would be the new year by the time I am back.
I am often worried that I might forget something for the trip. Logically, I shouldn’t but I still worry. I was all nervous that I would forget some cosmetics before my trip to USA which is ironic considering that I get so much of my stuff from USA. It is not like I am travelling to some far flung deserted place with no access to modern shops. I am almost always in a city/town and I usually do not have issues finding stuff I (may) have forgotten to bring.
Every single time we travel, we vow to travel with less but I don’t know how we always end up lugging large suitcases full of stuff. So much for minimalism 😀
Somehow or the other, my flights end being at odd times like 4AM, so we ended up being in the airport by 10PM this time.
Strangely, stuff I am not nervous about include –
Something happening to the flight I am in
My luggage getting lost
Passing the customs
Having to wait a long time at the luggage belt to collect my stuff