Hotel Esplanade, located adjacent to the central train station, was built in 1925 for passengers of the Orient Express. Walk into the lobby, and Art Deco is immediately what comes to mind. Cool. It was love at first sight!
Our room (see previous post and captions) was amazing! It was the lovely dining room and breakfast buffet, however, that caused my jaw to drop. There were so many options, I stood frozen, not knowing which direction to head first. On the buffet were only the cold selections, though. For a hot breakfast, there was a menu at the table listing amazing offerings prepared to order by the chef. Yikes! Too many decisions! I didn’t even go there, but Bruce sure enjoyed his daily omelets!
Chocolate is normally my nighttime indulgence; however, I couldn’t resist the bowl of BLACK chocolate spread on the buffet that was too dark chocolate to be Nutella. Spread on top of a chocolate croissant for my breakfast “dessert,” I was in a state of bliss.
Somehow, I managed to tear myself away for our morning bus tour of Zagreb, followed by an excellent walking tour of the city highlights and Old Town. (We needed a good walk after that breakfast!)
A bit of interesting trivia about famous Croatians was learned during our stop to view three murals. First of all, Tesla (no, not the car!) was born in 1856 in what is now Croatia. Nikola Tesla was the famous inventor, best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.
The Goodyear Blimp is a modern example of the airship invented by David Schwarz, the Croatian aviation inventor, born six years before Tesla. He invented the rigid airship with the envelope made entirely of metal.
Finally, there was Penkala, inventor of the ink pen. Slavoljub Eduard Penkala came along later, born in 1871. After inventing the mechanical pencil, he developed the first solid-ink fountain pen. These weren’t his only inventions. He held 80 patents for such things as a hot water bottle and rail-car brake.
Up the stairs from these murals was a great view of the city below; however, drizzly, gloomy skies made for drab photos; so, we returned to our favorite spots over the following two days under sunny skies to re-shoot those pictures. They will appear in a later post.)
After our walking tour, we used the bus/rail ticket we were provided to venture out to Mirogoj Cemetery, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cemeteries. The gloomy skies were perfect for this somber setting!
We found it interesting to see that this massive cemetery inters members of all religious groups, because it is owned by the city. We saw everything from Jewish to Muslim to Catholic symbols on grave markers, and the various religions weren’t segregated.
The grounds and architecture were stunning, and at times, literally breathtaking!
After a long stroll through the grounds, we returned to the Old Town section of Zagreb to explore more of the area. We stopped first at a bakery to pick up some snacks to pair up with a local beer. The bars allow you to bring in food, so we relaxed on the patio while enjoying these delicious local treats!
We enjoyed the atmosphere of the old part of the city. Between the colorful old buildings, cobblestone streets, abundance of outdoor cafes, and people out enjoying it all, it was a great place for a relaxing walk.
Between Old Town and our hotel was a beautiful fifteen-minute walk through several parks that lined one of the main boulevards. We enjoyed the walk several times during our three-night stay in the city, including at night after dinner and a walk around town.