I had a 4 hour ride from Pula to Zagreb. When I first got the timetables, the woman said there were no student prices. I asked again when I bought my ticket and she gave me a discount.
I slept most of the way, but whenever I did look out the window, it got increasingly cloudy and foggy. The sun slowly disappeared.
It was nice going back to a city I was already familiar with. I didn’t have to load maps on my phone to find my hostel.
It was weird being back in the hostel that I spent 4 nights in previously. I thought of the friends I made then…it was nice being with the hostel owner. She knew me and we had common memories so we talked about those along with what was currently happening.
I went Christmas shopping for some friends in Prague. There’s an underground mall near the train station. I was craving pizza and there was this cheap pizza place that I went to previously there. So I went, had my huge slice (really, it’s bigger than my face for 10 kunas) and walked around.
When I got back to the hostel I met a hostel mate, C. C is also from the States and is traveling for a while. He was a lot of fun to be around.
We had tea then decided to watch the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One. It was good. There was an Australian couple at the hostel too, they didn’t like it as much.
There is only one thing I didn’t like about it, but due to spoilers I won’t say what it is. But that one thing is a very small part so overall, it was great.
We then looked around the Christmas markets and when we came to the main square we found a concert. It was some humanitarian thing according to a local that I asked in the crowd. There were several bands from this part of Europe, famous here, and they played for a little then switched. It was for 2 hours. We got some hot wine and enjoyed the music. I even recognized one of them. I guess after a month, I was bound to.
As I’m on a bus back to Prague, I need to refresh my Czech a bit. Though some words are similar, they are different. Now, Croatian is on my mind.
It was funny, when I was waiting for my bus, I asked a woman if she was going where I was. She helped me and I thanked her in Croatian. I later found out she’s from Austria so I thanked her in German. I don’t know much else in these languages, but it’s still cool to know SOMETHING and being able to switch instead of just saying thank you in English all the time. Knowing the basic words in the language of the country you are in is polite and a need to.
When we got back to the hostel, we met another hostel mate, he requested to be called Cesar in this blog, who was supposed to have left that day, but got his days mixed up and needed to stay one more night. He was born in Bosnia, but grew up in the States. Needless, he knew the language fluently. He was funny.
The next day, C and I went to Krapina. It’s almost a 2 hour train ride north of Zagreb. Theres only 1 bus and its in the morning so its better to go by train as they are more frequent. It holds a Neanderthal museum. Back in the 1900s, a Neanderthal site was discovered here rich with lots of bones and artifacts. This spot has helped scientists and researchers with past beings.
When we were on the train waiting for it to depart, we were talking about the hostel and new friends. Cesar came up and almost immediately,
“I found you guys!” There was Cesar….on our train….that wasn’t going to where he was going….
“Just wanted to say bye. Oh, the doors are closing. OK bye!”
Then he ran out and waved at us through the window as he walked to his own train, which was departing a little bit later.
The museum was great. Worth a trip. There isn’t much else to do in the town so after the museum we went back. The museum is set up as a timeline. First part was the timeline of the discovery of evolution and Neanderthals in general. Then it delved into the timeline of the Earth- how it started (big bang) to evolution of species and then more specifically our past relatives, besides Neanderthals.
There is a movie in the beginning that shows life scenes from a Neanderthal group- hunting, eating, showering, etc. They used the same characters in their mannequin displays. For example, the woman showering in the film, the mannequin looked like her. There was also a mannequin that had only one hand because in the film it got bitten off by a bear. So it was kind of cool and weird that they kept the theme.
Then they talked about the differences in Neanderthals in the different countries of Europe.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t take photos, but I guess that just makes you go see it yourself :)
The end of the museum leads you outside to see the actual site, but after walking up the hill, we found a site with statues that could have been, but it seemed weird so we kept going to the very top. We didn’t see anything spectacular that would indicate it was the site.
When we got back to the hostel we made an elaborate dinner. It was nice having something “fancy.” As fancy as frozen lasagna can be.
My bus was at 4pm the next day so I waited for the day to warm up then C and I went for a 4 mile or 7 km run (about). It was nice running again since the last time was Zadar. It was also weirdly nice running in below freezing as I got numb and felt like I could run for forever.
C thought his bus was at 5 and so came with me to the bus station. He relooked at his ticket and his bus was actually at 7.30. I’m not sure what he did after I left, but it was a pleasure hanging out with him for the past few days.