I was in Zagreb/Plitvice from Nov 5-7.
I was finally going to the place that I had dreamed about since studying abroad 4, almost 5 years ago. Tammy, Tina and I woke up early to begin our 8 hour trek to Zagreb by taking a nice walk to the train station. We hopped on the train, them in 1st class and me in 2nd class (thanks, Eurail…) and I was just amazed at the foggy, rainy, mountain scenery at we passed. At one point, we were in the clouds since they were so low. And snow couldn’t have been more than 200m above our heads. We had to switch trains at one of the last villages in Austria so we could make way through Slovenia into Croatia. I even got 2 new stamps in my passport! (one from Slovenia saying I left the Schengen area and one from Croatia since they aren’t part of it…yet) I love how full my passport is getting 🙂 we arrived to Zagreb around 5pm and since we were at the same hostel, Hostel Shappy (I booked the same as them), we made our way and walked over into the downtown area. As I’ve said before, travel really takes it out of ya, so we were pretty wiped by the time we got there. Luckily, the place was super clean and pretty empty which was welcoming. We went to the local grocery store and bought some food for dinner and lunch the next day. We also made arrangements for a minibus to pick us up to take us out to Plitvice Lakes so we didn’t have to worry with bus schedules. We called it a night since we had a big day the following day.
Hold on while I let this out….AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I was so flipping excited to go to the lakes that I barely got any sleep the night before. The bus driver picked us up at 9am and we made the 2.5 hour journey out there, stopping at this incredible small village full of waterfalls. We arrived around 11:45am and the driver was going to be leaving at 4pm, which basically gave us 4 hours in the park. We all wanted to do a bit of a walk, so once we had purchased our tickets, we started walking on the upper rim of the waterfalls and around the lakes. We made it all the way up to the beginning of the upper lakes before heading back down and to the ferry that would take us across to thee other side of the rim (we would have hiked, but we were pressed for time). We made our way through the waters and to some great scenic points before coming upon the Big Waterfall (yes, that is its real name) where we stood in awe of how incredible it was. Unfortunately, we had to skedaddle to make the bus back to Zagreb, but I got some amazing photos of it all.
After our return, Tina was pretty exhausted, so we hung out back at the hostel while Tammy and I headed out to this wine festival that we had been told about. We arrived to the big tent and hung out, listened to traditional Croatian folk music and sipped on our hot wine. We walked around to find some food and wound up getting huge things of curly fries for dinner. Wine + fries = diet of champions. Since they would be leaving early in the morning for Munich, we went back and fell asleep.
I woke up to an empty room, which was nice, but strange. I checked out and decided to get a better look at Zagreb before I left at 12:45pm. I went to the church and checked out the main square before grabbing my stuff and heading to the train station to catch my..bus. Yeah, the rail track is under construction, so we had to take a direct bus to Split. Ha! I split for Split. The bus ride was quiet, so I was able to get a few things done including reading an entire book and figuring out my remaining time in Europe.