SWMBO reports from Zagreb.
Zagreb is a city of ice cream parlours, art galleries, pizza counters and shoe stores. Here is a typical block: shoe store, shoe store, pizza counter, shoe store, art gallery, book store, ice cream parlour, shoe store, pizza counter, art gallery. Across the pedestrian street you find the very same thing mirrored. And in between is an endless string of cafés. We’ve eaten a lot of pizza and ice cream since we’ve arrived and we prefer to make our own art so that just left – shoes. And some of the gang desperately needed new ones. SO, this morning we headed to one of the many shoe stores en masse. If you have ever tried shopping for shoes with seven people you will know that you need to steel yourself for the experience. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try it, thank your lucky stars. It took forever, but we finally were successful in finding shoes for Onlyboy (his feet grow about 4 sizes a month it seems) as well as shoes and sandals for Venice. Firstborn didn’t find anything that tickled her fancy which was too bad since one of her walking shoes was eaten by a dog in Graz. Lastborn and Paris got umbrellas.
The shoe saga was so epic that we had time to invent a new game while we were in the store. The game is called, “Rock, Paper, Scissors – Free for All”. You say “rock, paper, scissors” and then immediately say an item. Then you collectively decide who wins. Example: “rock, paper, scissors” jelly bean, sock, lightening. The sock covers the jelly bean but lightening zaps the sock. We played quite a few rounds before the game morphed into “Rock, Paper, Scissors – People”. Same idea. Our favourite combo was Businessman, Obama, Neanderthal, Passive-aggressive. Man, we were in tears! We played three rounds but it was so much fun that we were attracting onlookers who wanted to see who would win. Things were getting a bit rowdy in the store so we stopped.
Fahbio and Firstborn decided to forego the next item on the agenda: the zoo. Firstborn feels sorry for the animals stuck in there and Fahbio desperately needed a break from his nutty clan. We didn’t want to end up as an item and story in the Museum of Broken Relationships so we went our separate ways for the afternoon.
Team Zoo bought tram tickets and hopped on. The animal prison is located 4 kilometres from the main square in Maksimir Park. The park is modelled after English parks of the romantic period and was first opened to the public in 1794, making it one of the very first public parks in the world. At that time, such parks were normally reserved for the noble and wealthy. Maksimir Park is 18 hectares large and is wonderful for strolling. We stopped at the Echo Pavillion, a remarkable structure in which sound reverberates. We spent quite a while screeching and stomping about in there. Then we went to the zoo.
I also feel bad for the animals in zoos. Plus, I am most definitely not an animal person. But you can’t help but be awed and humbled by the diversity of biology that exists on this planet. The humungous snakes. The stick insects. The camels. The tapirs. The pelicans – in the running for most bizarre. And OMG, the lion. No wonder he is called the king of beasts. So beautiful and when he growled and roared you felt terror in your heart.
Lastborn was so excited by all the animals that she was positively shaking. When we came to the electric eel she said, “I wish I was an electric eel.” I asked her if she would really give up being human to become an electric eel and she said she absolutely would. Okay then. Personally, I am going stick with being human. Or maybe lion.
All in all, a great day out. The admission price? A whopping 30 Kuna ($6) per adult and 20 Kuna ($4) for kids aged 7-14. Free under 7. We paid 70 Kuna ($14) for the five of us.