We woke up in Ljubljana refreshed! Since the bus wasn’t until 10:45, I didn’t set any alarm and woke up naturally some time before 8. Jelena was still sleeping, so I brushed my teeth and slipped out for a stroll to the market.
Although I read a lot of good things about the market, I thought it was a bit of a snooze. There was a good selection of fruits and vegetables but that was it. Probably a lot of the vendors were on holiday already. However, there was one cool thing I read about on reddit!
It’s a “Milkomat” – a milk vending machine! You can get fresh milk from the farm. That is pretty neat… is what I’d be saying if I liked milk! Also, beside the milk machine was another vending machine.
This one had cheese, yoghurt, and various other stuff. I got some young cheese, which I thought Jelena might enjoy! We haven’t tried it yet. It’s currently in the fridge of our Zagreb airbnb.
Next I walked around town to pick up a postcard for Natalia and mail it and then to grab some water for the bus ride. I headed back to the hotel in time for Jelena to be just getting out of the shower and ready for breakfast!
They had a pretty good offer, except that the bacon was not cooked well enough. Boo! But the sausages were really good and the brown bread was also fresh and tasty. I even had some horrible prunes, to please Jelena and to try to counter all the junk I was about to block my system with. (it didn’t work)
Filled up with the hotel buffet, we returned to our room, packed up, and headed to our FlixBus to Zagreb. Actually, the bus was pretty much brand new and fairly comfortable. It had a toilet and WiFi, with chargers for your phone or laptop. There were also nice sights of the Slovenian countryside out the window.
Our airbnb host in Zagreb recommended some different places to eat and shop. We selected the “grandma” style restaurant, which was right around the corner. She also suggested something modern but we wanted something authentic and time tested! The place reminded me a lot of a Serbian kafana and it was quite crowded. I think they crammed in too many tables. We ordered some things our host suggested and also some other things.
First up was Štrukle, a cheese-filled pasty, which is first boiled and then fried or baked. There is also a version that is boiled only but ours was baked or fried – we weren’t totally sure. Jelena thought it was good. I thought it was kind of a less good version of cheese burek but it was still tasty.
Then came all the food! We got mashed potatoes, veal paprikaš (a stew), roast duck, and mlinci. Of course, Jelena also got a cabbage salad to go on the side! It was all very tasty, except for the mlinci, which tasted like very overcooked pasta. I don’t know if it’s a bad dish or if the recommendation was bad but we probably won’t try it again. The mashed potatoes were really good and so was the stew. The bread was also perfect for mopping up the stew! The duck was annoying to get off the bone but had a really good flavour. All in all, this was a very successful lunch.
After our bodies had some time to cope with the aftereffects of such a feast, we walked a bit around town to burn off one or two percent of the calories we’d consumed and to check out how long the supermarket was open. We went back for a rest at the apartment because neither of us had been feeling 100% in the last couple days, probably a combination of the travelling and our immune systems fighting off an onslaught of germs from the many trains and buses we’d taken.
Evening came and we set out to discover the Zagreb Christmas markets.
We found one that was centred around a giant gazebo thingy, with live music in the middle. The booths all around had sausages, mulled wine, and pastries, but they also each had one unique special dish from Croatia. Jelena went for some kind of salty pastry for dinner but I reserved myself for a sausage with melted cheese and garlic a little later and at another location.
In an effort to expand my readership to also include New Liskeard, I took this video of a guy singing Coldplay. I got a little bored before the main chorus came, though. Whoops!
We continued on to explore the rest of the markets around town!
Jelena took this one – maybe it’s better to be short!
I liked this Christmas tree! It was well-decorated!
Over all, things look very nice in Zagreb. Beautiful buildings and well-decorated Christmas markets… but they are missing the Christmas spirit somehow. A lot of the time, they are blasting extremely loud party music, rather than any kind of Christmas music, and some parts were actually too loud to allow slow browsing or drinking of a hot chocolate. Although, I did get a hot chocolate! The live music was nice but the blasting of bad music on the speakers was not so great. I think they don’t really have a tradition of Christmas or Christmas markets here and made them more like commercialised party festivals.
Don’t get me wrong – we had a great day and a nice evening. The Christmas market just wasn’t as great as it could have been! Oh, I forgot to mention that the sausage with cheese and garlic was amazing, one of the best things I’ve eaten so far on the trip. It was so greasy that I had to wash my hands immediately after. Jelena was not impressed by that!
And so ended day 3. Now we’ve got another day to relax in Zagreb and to check out the markets in the daylight. (sans music)