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Thursday, June 13 - Last day in Zagreb

Zagreb Zoo, dinner with Natalie’s first host family

sunny 88 °F
View Much to Celebrate 2019 on Rowlandfamily's travel map.

First, since I’m betting the grandparents have been worrying - No, the kids did not go out last night - I think they wanted to, but they were as tired as Tim and I!

Today we took it a little easier than the last few days - the time change, heat, and SO much walking caught up with us. We went to breakfast on Tkalciceva street, sitting outside under umbrellas which is SO common here. Many of them have mist spraying out to help keep patrons cool.

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After breakfast we took the tram to the Maksimir Park area, and spent a couple hours walking around the zoo. It’s kind of a small zoo but had some cool animials, some of which we’d never seen before. Then we spent some time walking around Maksimir Park, and relaxing on benches there with a cold water. Maksimir Park is 780 acres (all of the green in the map pic), right near the heart of Zagreb- pretty amazing. What I found more amazing was how clean and safe it felt (and Natalie said it really is very safe).... I don’t think that if some of our larger cities had parks that size, I would want to go anywhere near them. :/

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We then took a tram closer to city center, where we ate lunch at a place Natalie knew about - it was delicious - then got a gelato and walked to our apartment to rest, start packing, and freshen up - we were invited to Natalie’s first host family’s apartment for dinner at 8pm.

On the way out for the evening, I took some pics of the entrance to our apartment - I’ve never seen anything like it, but here it is very common for the stores to occupy the front area, and other things (smaller shops, some restaurants, and apartments, to be in behind. You can see that here:

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To get to their apartment, we took a tram then walked. They are a little out of the main area of the city, but still very much in the city, There, after a toast with Rakija - “Zivjeli” (sounds like gee-va-lee) “to life!”), we had another typical Croatian meal - appetizer of cheeses, bread, olives, and prosciutto, then for dinner we had a wonderful salad, cevapi that Amir grilled served with a couple different toppings that I can’t name but were delicious, and onions. All the while we enjoyed lively conversation about exchange (Faris, 18, was near Lansing while Natalie was there), moms (apparently a lot of mom-isms are international, go figure;) ), and a wide range of other topics. When we left (about 11:15pm), it was down to a cool (my word only - the rest thought it was great) 74 degrees.
Here is Natalie with Amir (dad), Latica (sounds like La-teet-za, mom), and Lena (sounds like Lay-na).

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And here are the pics Amir took of all of us:

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Tomorrow we leave Zagreb, by rental car, to head for the coast, starting in the north and working our way down over the next week, ending in Dubrovnik. From there we fly to Thailand!

Posted by Rowlandfamily 15:00 Archived in Croatia

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