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Two Capitals in one Day - Zagreb & Ljubljana

It seems, Dubrovnik is the departure point for many locations in this part of the world. We had to come back from Bosnia to the city for the next leg of our adventure (a common theme, we will do this again later on). Upon flying from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Zagreb, the capital of the country, we rented a little Renault that had a mind of its own. Every time you opened the door, it chimed a funny tune to announce our presence. First time, cute, 100th time, annoying! While it had a usb port to connect the map, every bump in the road disconnected the map. All as if to say I’m in charge here.

We spent a few hours in Zagreb exploring the old architecture. Unfortunately, the beautiful orthodox cathedral was undergoing major renovations following an earthquake several years ago so we weren’t able to enter. St Mark’s Church located high up in the old town, a very quaint with a beautiful tiled roof was also closed for repairs. Apparently it is frequent site for political ceremonies and other important events.


We wandered through Dolac Market, a lively and large outdoor marketplace, to purchase anything from produce and flowers to clothes. Very colorful and bustling. The one museum we could find 'The Museum of Broken Relationships', which we decided to skip. It was just an overnighter in Zagreb because we were anxious to head on to Bled, Slovenia, where we would be rowing. Next stop, the Slovenian border crossing!

So you can’t always trust google maps when it comes to border crossings. Google very nicely gave us the shortest route – a good thing because it was rush hour and it seemed there was a lot of traffic as well as road construction the other way. We got to the guard gate only to be told in broken English that we needed to turn around – this was a ‘locals only’ crossing, for those with special documents. Our car probably tried to tell us but the voice was speaking Croatian and we didn’t understand. So much for short cuts.

Before arriving in Bled, we stopped in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, situated on the banks of the Ljubljanica river. Lots of history here as the area was settled before the 12th century. There were a few guide boats cruising the Ljubljanica river pointing out the sites to their passengers. The Dragon Bridge was flanked on both sides by imposing flying dragons unclear why.

A delightful surprise was the Saint Nicholas Cathedral. From the outside, the church doesn’t seem to be anything special but inside is quite the opposite. The paintings are exquisite, there is a beautiful fresco on the ceiling and there are many statues as well. Apparently when the latest church was built over 6 years from 1701-1707, many famous architects and artists participated in its creation. It is a real gem!

On to Lake Bled to row!

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