Zagreb, Croatia

Hitch hiking

I was participating in a hitch hiking race, and after a long day and having made only a few hundred kilometres, my teammates and I were already a bit down. We step out of a car next to a gas station on the western part of the ring, only to be welcomed by about a dozen other participants…

Welcome to Zagreb! You won’t get out.

Apparently the guys were already stuck there for a while.

There’s actually an easy way out of that place! It took us just a moment. Go to the exit, but don’t go thumbing there. Instead, notice there’s a door in the fence. Get outside. Walk a few km south. You want to reach the other gas station, at the other side of the interchange.

You’re welcome.

The Public Transport

The tram network is modern, fast, crowded, and very expensive. Nobody buys the tickets. It’s a fact. The locals are real escape artists when it comes to encounters with the inspectors. Some popular tricks include:

I don’t know of a single person that actually got fined and paid.

On a bicycle

Probably one of the most cyclist-unfriendly places in the world.

That said, once you have that bike thing going, there’s a couple of wonderful places to visit.

The Parks

The river in Zagreb is a big disappointment, but the major parks all have some nice ponds. I’m not sure how swimmable they are though.

The Mountain

In the city where I was born, there is a lower and an upper part, the division in some spots being a real hill to climb. That’s very cool for a country that’s otherwise so flat, it’s name literally means "a load of flat fields".

Croatia is relatively flat in the continental part, with the coast being much more mountainous. Zagreb is situated in these flatlands, however it has exactly one, fully-blown mountain up there.

The mountain isn’t even that big if you’d compare it to Tatry, but it still looks down majestically on the city. It’s like the sun or the moon, it’s a landmark that helps you orient yourself if you take one turn too many, and the view from the top is simply mind-blowing.