It turned out that our odd looking but cosy little hostel in the Croatian burbs had its own “private bus service” (man with van), so we got a lift to the tram stop in the morning.
With only 3 photos remaining on our Kodak Funsnaps disposable, we were starting to get a bit antsy about our lack of camera but the bus driver (man with van) dropped us right outside an electronics shop. After setting off an alarm and a pretty confusing exchange with the sales man we finally got a new camera with the price inexplicably reduced twice during the conversation, despite a complete lack of battering from our side.
Zagreb had a very arty, young vibe with a super cool graffiti wall running into the city, loads of interesting architecture, a funicular, a huge bustling market and a tonne of museums.
The Museum of Broken Relationships was as bizarre as it sounds but was really more of an art installation than a museum with loads of items from broken relationships – from underwear to wedding dresses, all with an interesting, funny or sad story to accompany them. Wandering around the museum, I looked around at one point to see that I wasn’t the only one with a tear in my eye – all the other people in the room were also sniffling and wiping their cheeks with tissues (except Nev, he has a heart of stone).
The Tecnika museum turned out to be less emotional but even more bonkers. One section had an entire wall of fire extinguishers.
There were also sections of the museum for agriculture, energy, astronomy, mining and transport as well as a random section with sewing machines, different types of lamps and some live bees. Most of it was in Croatian, so we weren’t really 100% sure what was going on but the entry fee was only about £2, so we were happy to just wander around pointing and laughing at things.
Whilst waiting for our Kodak funsavers to be developed, we decided to treat ourselves with a new t-shirt each from a cool (and really cheap) little Croatian t-shirt shop called Lega Lega. We ended up in the shop for over 45 minutes chatting to the girl behind the counter, a good half hour of which the girl spent counselling Nev on his t-shirt buying decision process. She was really sweet and gave us a little notebook in which she wrote us a Croatian word she’d been chatting to us about, so we didn’t forget her advice. Cute.
That night, we didn’t get much sleep when a massive group of really young and/or really drunk and extremely annoying British gap yar idiots turned up and were banging around and arguing until past 5am, then a HUGE storm started with huge cracks of thunder and torrential rain. Despite the rowdy yoofs, we were pretty glad to be in a proper bed instead of the tent and in the morning, continuing to value our lives more than our need to cycle, we got the train out of Croatia to Budapest.
There were no lifts or ramps in the train station so we had to carry our bikes up and down two flights of stairs. Annoying, but way better than braving the Croatian roads again.
After some confusion about which end of the train to get on (only one half of the train was going all the way to Budapest), we followed the throngs of backpackers onto the train, our bags being carried by a lovely British guy we met called Andrew who had been inter-railing around Europe for a couple of weeks. We spent the next 7 hours or so chatting, laughing at the snoozy girls in our carriage and playing the good old fashioned childhood game of waving out of the train to see how many people in cars waved back. I got 4 waves and one (middle) finger.
Quite a few delays and train engine changes later, we eventually arrived safely in Budapest and immediately decided it was the coolest city in the world…