I was not suppose to go to Zagreb. My plans were to get on a train to Vienna, but then I started thinking that I was so close to Croatia, that it didn’t make sense to go up right away. And Plitvice Lakes had been calling me for a while now. And when I went to buy the ticket and it was only 16€ I was like”Hell yes!!”
The train ride had the most amazing view I had seen, going in the middle of the mountains and right next to the river, it was perfect!
Since I’m not used to the thing of crossing boarders and having to show my passport, I was almost sleeping when a guard started to speak to me in some language I couldn’t understand and I was very confused. Eventually I understood he wanted to check my ticket and passport. The thing is, I didn’t remember I was crossing a boarder, so I had no idea where the hell was my passport. He stared at me, impatient, while I took everything out of my bag looking for it. By this time it was not just one, but three guards looking at me and I was starting to freak out and all I could say was “I’m sorry…I’m so sorry”
Once I found my passport I was so happy I yelled a little “YES!” and the guys seemed to finally relax and even smiled at me.
Note to self: remember to have my passport in a place I can easily find.
Arriving at the train station was a bit weird. I knew in Croatia I’d have to pay with Kunas, but I didn’t even know the value of it, which got me to the point where I looked like a crazy person as I was buying a slice of pizza, because people were waiting I was like “wait!wait!” as I took my phone to use the calculator to do some math and be sure how much I was spending.
Since I was the only person at the hostel (again!) and I was feeling more exhausted than ever, I decided I would take a day off. My legs were hurting, my feet killing me, by back felt weird for carrying so much weight, and I just felt I was out of strength to spend a day exploring. I had three nights in Zagreb, so taking a day off would be the right thing to do.
After 32 days of backpacking, I needed to click the pause button.
Next morning I got up at 6am, to get the bus at 7h30 to Plitvice Lakes, but luck was not on my side, and I arrived at the bus station one minute late and the bus was gone. This made me angry, because I really wanted to go to the lakes. I wasn’t feeling like exploring Zagreb, I wanted to explore nature and see the huge waterfalls. But fate did not want me to go this day, and so I decided to do the only thing possible, explore Zagreb
I was disappointed. But I knew I would be. You see, I had seen photos of Zagreb before, and it never really got to me. There’s something missing in this city, something that makes it incomplete. It lacks the narrow colorful streets that I love so much, and for some reason it just didn’t take my breath away, at all. I got bored after one hour of exploring the streets and finding out I had walked the entire city center already and there was nothing cool about it.
And to help my disappointment, it was Saturday and the streets were FULL of people! And when I say full, I really do mean full!
Not sure if you know this, but people in Croatia are tall, like seriously tall, and I was a dwarf trying to walk Zagreb’s streets without dying ran over by crazy crowds. Maybe I should’ve learned to say “excuse me” in Croatian, that would have been helpful.
So, Zagreb wasn’t my thing. Our vibe wasn’t the same and we didn’t understand each other, and it got me bored and I don’t like to be disappointed at a place, because there are a million places in this world that are way too amazing to the human eye, and not liking a place makes me mad because I could be spending my money in incredible places and instead I made a bad decision.
I believe the most known thing in Zagreb is a museum that everybody who comes to Zagreb has to go to. It’ called the Museum of Broken Relationships. Did I go? No, I didn’t. Why? Because I am already a mess trying to figure out my head and heart, and I don’t think reading sad stories about broken relationships would help my spirit in any way. I think it would make me cry for the rest of the day, so I decided to skip it for all the personal reasons I cannot say here.
So,this was Zagreb: being totally alone in a hostel, missing buses, being disappointed, feeling like a dwarf, getting mad, feeling weak and tired, and one night of crying (and I didn’t even go to the Museum of Broken Relationships…Imagine if I had gone there. It would have be the end of the world for me that night!), feeling lonely and needing my friends around.
Solo travel is not easy, ok? It isn’t Paradise and walking over water. It’s hard and it hurts sometimes.It hurts like hell sometimes!! You have to question everything you believe, get out of your comfort zone, be more interactive, do things sometimes you wish someone else could do it for you. It pushes you to your limits, it makes you go throw things you would never have to endure if you were travelling with a friend. It makes you do things you thought you could never do before. It’s a journey, and it’s about the journey itself, the adventure, the problems you overcome, it’s not about the destination. My friends and family keep asking me if it’s pretty, if I’m liking it, if it’s amazing, and the truth is I cannot explain them what my life is right now. It’s like every little thing is an adventure, even going to the supermarket!
I always knew this wouldn’t be easy, and I still wanted it anyway! You have to be super-woman, you have to be strong, because your life depends on it. You cannot stop, you cannot quit!