Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
79Trip End Aug 26, 2010
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I checked my big bag then, when I got to security, I realized I still had my utility knife in my pocket. I had my backpack and camera bag, so I put the knife in my backpack and checked that as well. Shortly after I checked it, I remembered my rule about never checking anything I wouldn't want to fall six feet, and my laptop was in my backpack. I made the rule when I was talking to a person who worked for a manufacturer of baggage handling systems. He said there was a major US airport (he said the name, but I forget, and if there's one, there may be others anyway) where the bags went through a 6-foot vertical drop. Luckily, both Dubrovnik and Zagreb airports were small enough that the bags went straight to baggage claim from the tarmac, without being sent through a maze of conveyor belts and sorting, so my laptop came through unharmed.
I think there was some Croatian celebrity on my flight because a woman
asked to take his picture and he said yes, but looked bored and kept
texting on his cell phone. If he had known the woman, I assume he would
have at least made an effort to look up, if not smile. He looked like
some sort of actor or athlete, and he had a nanny for his kids. I hear
celebrities have those...
The flight itself was fine. It was one of those where the plane took off, the stewardesses served drinks (only water) and a snack ("pepper cookies", I think they were gingerbread with paprika, apparently that's a Zagreb specialty), then the plane landed.
The plane was really the obvious choice of travel. There was no train line down to Dubrovnik. A local said there had been one at one time, but he was unclear about what had happened to it, something about the Communists. (The internet said a line from Sarajevo closed in 1976, but didn't give a reason.) I did have the option of taking a bus. If it were to run on schedule, it would be a 10 hour bus ride, so I'm thinking 13 hours at least in reality. There were other reasons I chose to fly, for example the flight was only around $12 more than the bus, but really 10+ hour bus ride was all I needed to hear.
Now, I've moved to the land-locked portion of my trip. (I passed the harbor on my way out of Dubrovnik and saw a yacht there I had also seen at Hvar Town, the Choo Choo out of Georgetown. If they were following me, I definitely lost them.) On first impressions, the area around Zagreb seemed much flatter and more green than the coast had been. The city itself reminded me most of Reijka, with lots of interesting architecture from the Austro-Hungarian era that could use a good scrubbing.
For some reason, probably because it was close to the old town and the bus station, I booked a 4-star hotel. Usually, I was 2-starring it, because when I have a car, my first criteria was price, and parking of course. When I'm using local transport, I usually chose by location.
Despite the hotel rating, the room was really small, like Japanese hotel room size. But it was fancy. The hotel was ISO Certified in Food Safety Management. I ordered room service. There was a 30% service charge, but it only came out to $1.50 since food in Croatia was relatively cheap. Later I may jump on the bed. There's no banister for me to slide down, though.