Sunday, November 24, 2013

From Rovinj to Zagreb - Croatia's capital October 15, 2013

The last few days in Rovinj flew by.  We had one more visit to the beach, but it was too cool to enjoy.  

Day of the Child was blessed with a few hours of sunshine and the kids took full advantage of it.  But then the sun was gone and withing minutes the plaza was deserted.  We left the following day in the middle of a downpour. 

Exhausted from all the packing and the stress of leaving Rovinj, we left the driving responsibilities to our bus driver and nodded off, waking from time to time to yet another rainy day painting framed by the windows of the bus.

Tunnel after tunnel and suddenly we were on the other side of Istria facing the other eastern arm of the Adriatic.

Yet more tunnels
A grand castle

Pea soup fog

Glorious autumn foliage

And then . . . just a few miles outside of Zagreb the fog lifted, the sky went from gray to blue, and the clouds declared it was time for a picnic.  Weather!

The sky might have been dressed for a summer picnic, but the market (yes! it was one of the very first stops I made in Zagreb) was featuring a beautiful selection of cool weather crops. 

The ladies on the street were sporting their fall line-up.

And these boots seemed to threaten that things could only get worse.  The red shoes, on the other hand, seemed to hold out some promise of warmer times.

Music filled the air from countless guys with guitars and there was plenty of eye candy split fairly evenly between high fashion on the street and folks dressed in regional costume like this young woman.

The funicular zipped us to the top of Gornji Grad.  Views from the top were impressive.

I saved this museum for my next visit to Zagreb, but I can't wait to see what's inside.  I wonder if I might find photos of anyone I know.  

We were on a mission to find the Croatian Museum of Naive Art. We were a bit disappointed.  The quality of the work on display was incredible, but there was not a very wide selection. Additionally, we were disappointed in the materials.  We were under the impression that all naive art was reverse painted on glass. Not so. Many of the more famous works on display in the museum were done on wood or art canvas.  

Oh, well.  It was certainly a learning experience and I was able to more clearly define what I like about the art form when I walked out.  Unfortunately, there were no photos allowed.  The photo above is of a painting I purchased before leaving Rovinj. We purchased some prints of famous works in Zagreb and I'm anxious to have them framed.

After leaving the museum, we went for a long walk.  It felt good after several hours on the bus.  There was so much to see.  How about this St. George and the Dragon?

Posters which spoke of political unrest.  So much of the world has a rate of unemployment that makes ours in the US look like nothing. A lack of jobs almost always brings out the worst in everyone.

 But there were bell towers

And memorials

And chapels

And balconies

And architectural detail

And gardens

 And Baroque churches to keep our minds off politics and on the beauty of the day.

Finally, it was dinner time!  If you are ever in Zagreb Croatia, pay this restaurant a visit.  I guarantee you'll be happy!

For starters, they have great beer.

Leaving the restaurant, we followed the glow in the east.  It wasn't the Star of Bethlehem.  Just the National Cathedral.  A visit inside would wait until the following day, but it was a lovely sight from the top of the hill.  The almost full moon added a dab of romance.

Down about ten miles of steps, we found ourselves in the main square.  Busy, busy, busy!  A short tram ride and a two block walk brought us back to the hotel. It was time to put the feet up and 
get some rest!