We had to wait for some paperwork to arrive in Zadar, so we rented a car to drive up to Plitvice Lakes national park, the bigger waterfalls park that we missed last year because it is a 2 hour drive inland. We had extra time, so we continued to Zagreb afterwards to see the capitol, which we also missed last year, being 3 hours inland. What a good choice! We found Plitviće totally skippable, especially since we had seen Krka Park last year. Krka was much less crowded and, due to the level of rain, much more dramatic. Here we saw lots of terraced lakes with beautiful water colors and zillions of humans.
Zagreb was indeed an almost undiscovered gem. The number of tourists is on the rise but still not enough to spoil the place and infuse all the locals with that pissed off sense of doom found in the populace of cities long since destroyed by mass tourism. Thank God they can’t pull a cruise ship up here. Zagreb has a very high energy, youthful vibe and one of the most alive cafe societies I’ve seen anywhere. Beautiful and very old buildings mixed with new modern ones in the old town and the surrounded by a growing modern city ringing the old.
The interior of the old city is perfectly walkable, with an orderly system of trams and signage that one would never see in Italy or France. Must be the Astro-Hungarian history. And considering that Zagreb contains something like 30% of the population, one could consider this to be a far more accurate representation of Croatia than the coastal towns that HAVE been jaded by tourists and cruise boats and seem generally pissed at the world. Zagreb hummed. The asshole coastal police most likely never lived here. (ref: Welcome to Croatia post)
A slight packing problem prevented us from running, because bad things happen if a person runs in New Balance on one foot and Asics on the other.
So we just walked and walked and took in Zagreb. A perfect weekend away from Amante!