I was keen to hit the road early today and reach Zagreb for some exploration and most importantly, rest. Aside from my night in Nova Gradiska, my sleep had been quite poor, mostly due to the heat and after a few days it began to affect my concentration on the bike. Sometimes it felt like my mind wasn’t working properly, I’d read my map and within seconds I’d forget where I was going. Or when I felt tired I’d forget to bend my arms when cycling over bumpy roads and end up with sore elbows.
My ride was only 90km today, but I gave myself plenty of rests along the way, just to be safe. My basket was full of new treats too, so eating was enjoyable compared to previous days.
The last 15km was really bumpy and I wasn’t game enough to ride on the tram tracks or try to squeeze between the cars and trams. The footpaths were narrow and I tried to keep my cool for a little longer. When I saw the giant Cathedral, I hopped off my bike and just walked, conveniently through a small cluster of Asian food stalls. I devoured some satay chicken and it was delightful.
My hostel was pretty cool, I had the room to myself and I was keen to crawl into my little pod and recharge. After showering, I went to find Aida, the cake franchise I went to in Vienna, and while it was good, it wasn’t as great as I remembered. Last time I was there with Claire, a fellow solo female cyclist I met (the post for day 13), so I guess I missed hanging out with her more than the cakes. Nonetheless I ate both of the cakes and headed to upper town to look at some museums.
Getting to upper town required me to walk up about three or four flights of stairs, so I took my sweet time while two elderly people overtook me. There were a few different museums and galleries in the area, so I chose something a bit different, the Museum of Broken Relationships. It displays artefacts from all over the world, which people have donated at the end of their unsuccessful relationships. There were a variety of stories and some of them were really tragic, while others were uplifting. Even though it felt a bit strange to peer into the deepest and darkest moments of strangers’ lives, I felt connected, because we’ve all had those moments but find a way to move on and become stronger and better for it.
Afterwards I went on the free walking tour around the corner and it was a really chilled out group. I didn’t take as many pictures, as I was mostly interested in the stories, but the city itself is quite pretty, apparently the architecture is just copied from cities like Prague.
When I headed back to the hostel I met some other people staying there and went up to the roof to chill out and see the view. It’s a shame they were leaving the next day though. I ended up having dinner with Tom, another Australian from the walking tour and called it a night.
The next morning I tried to sleep in, but woke up at 6am sharp as usual, I tossed and turned for a while, then just got up anyway. I had a coffee in the common area and chatted to Victor, a guy from Texas who was traveling for a few weeks with his brother Richard. They were pretty cool and I always find it interesting to meet new people in hostels and catch a glimpse of their lives. The rest if my day was laid back, I checked out some stuff in town and snuck in a nap before dinner.
It seemed like time flew here, I had planned to do extra stuff like see some art galleries or sort out my train tickets for next week, but I guess it’ll have to wait. The weather has cooled down so these next few rides should be nice and easy…