I Kiss You! I Kill You! - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

November 27, 2013

I Kiss You! I Kill You!

I now remember the German's name. He is on the TV. Serge! I call out. Look! He's, I point toward the guy on the screen looking like a youthful Mel Gibson, the spitting image of the German guy staying here at the weekend. On yeah. Serge agrees. He does look like Falcon. So that was his name, I say. Strange guy, Serge adds. Extremely handsome too.

This hostel I'll miss. Without a doubt the most comfortable. It's brand new. Everything works well. And the cleaning staff do a stellar job. The receptionist Martina has a warm smile and is always ready to help. And Lille, a gorgeous woman who works in the evening. Today when she saw me, she shouted something in Croatian, translating it: I kiss you! I kill you!.....I could go on.

Now a week in Zagreb and I'm warming to the people. Everybody is kind and friendly. I've been told by various people it's the same all over the former Yugoslavia. The one down side is the beer is naff, which is perhaps a good thing, as I was drinking too much beer further north where there is good beer. Like Hungary, Croatia and other Balkan states produce good wine, not that you'd know it, as they don't really export. Unlike Hungary, it's expensive to buy in a bar.

The weather is deteriorating with the first flurries of snow. I keep watching the weather on the net. Today it is plus four here in Zagreb and minus one in Sarajevo, which I think I could cycle to in four days, when I do leave and get back on the road. It's hard to forego the comfort of a good hostel this time of year.

I've hung the tent out to dry and had the sleeping-bag out to air. And washed the clothes in the wash basin. Today I took the bike up from the hostel's laundry in the basement, out to the car park and wiped off all the road grit from the last day riding in the rain. I oiled the chain, checked the gears were in sync and the brakes centred.

My room is on the fourth floor and the lift is on the third and going up. It's faster to take the stairs, good exercise too. I spring up the final steps and am upon the fourth floor landing, just as the lift door slides open and out steps the young man who had been waiting below. He smiles and comments, you're as fast.

Later, downstairs in the living area, I get talking with the same young man. Again I don't remember the name, but he comes from Anatolia in western Turkey and is in Zagreb representing his university. Some European scheme to bring the youth of different nations together to promote friendship and understanding cross cultural divides. He had bother with his bag not turning up at the airport baggage reclaim. He was informed his bag was still in Turkey and because there was some kind of industrial action going on at this time, it would be four days at the earliest before his bag could be flown to Zagreb.

But the president of Turkey was here on a state visit to Croatia. And, as faith would have it, at the consulate, the word that this young countryman was at a lost because he was here and his belongings were still in Turkey, got up to people in high places. He then got a message, that they were flying his bag specially and he would have it later the same day. A happy ending.

Standby for photos: I'll see what I can do.

On top of the hill, which can be ascended via the world's shortest funicular, there's this church. Near here there's a cannon, which is fired every day on the stroke of twelve noon. It commemorates a warning shot fired to alert the citizenry of a Turkish invasion back in the day....
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In front of the cathedral, where I took a bus to Mirogoj, Zagreb's famous cemetery.
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Croatian flag and football scarf.
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Cemetery of German soldiers killed in WW11: Mirogoj.
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Mirogoj: Quoting the broacher: "With its peace and unique atmosphere Mirogoj easily encourages contemplation and awakens the philosopher in us all. This unique graveyard with its specific architecture and artistic values, as well as its historical significances, is one of the most attractive places to visit in Zagreb."
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A special tree: Mirogoj.
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Colonade: Mirogoj
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Mirogoj main entrance.
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I walked through a park on the way back to the centre.
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Time for a coffee.
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