Day two in Croatia – I didn’t get the early start I wanted to because I stayed out incredibly late the night before with my mates. I only had one beer (Negra Modella) at about 10:00pm the previous night, but a lack of sleep made this 30-something year old feel like I had a massive hang-over. I managed to get up (thanks to a phone-call) for breakfast before it ended at 10:00am. I went back to sleep and was woken up again at 12:00pm from knocks on my door. It was not meant for me to rest. Although, I needed to desperately.
I decided to leave my mates and do my own thing. My day started with a walk from the hotel toward the bustling city center. The weather was relatively pleasant and the sun was shining. I walked past the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the Croatian Archives, and former Library. The buildings are typical European-style, they are grand, the architecture is amazing, and unlike many of the great buildings I have seen in London or Paris, the buildings in Zagreb are full of color; there is no way you can miss the orange and yellow hues of some of the buildings.
I was disappointed to find the Ethnographic Museum closed (as it was only open from 10:00am -1:00pm on Saturdays). However, there were several museums in the same area so I skipped on over to the Mimara Museum, which similar to the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion (PA) and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, started from personal collections, but the Mimara can not compare to the Barnes although the building is amazing. The museum space consisted of 4 floors and could easily be visited in an hour. The highlight of the museum was a Renoir piece which was prominently displayed front and center of one of the halls. Other than the art deco, which I’m finding quite interesting as of late, I didn’t find much else of interest in this museum. If you are into pre-19th and 20th century art, then this is the place for you.
After leaving this museum feeling quite ill, I set out for a walk hoping the fresh air would liven my spirits. To my disappointment, many stores were closed. However, I greatly enjoyed the walk. I walked to the British Square to find it empty. On Sunday’s it is full of vendors outside (just my luck). I then walked to the Museum of Broken Relationships.
This museum or gallery was absolutely amazing. They had a coffee bar where I enjoyed a nice cup of water and tea while listening to UB40. “Finally” I thought to myself “Zagreb – I’m finally feeling you”. I felt much better after I recharged a bit and walked through the gallery. I honestly thought it was just going to be trinkets from past relationships. However, it was much more than that. The space held trinkets, but also written statements from the owners about what the pieces meant and in some cases a bit of information about the relationships. There were various themes including Time and Grief. The pieces that stood out the most for me was a watch and a clock with a Skype picture underneath. The watch belonged to a woman who was in love. On the day that her partner told her he loved her, he took her watch off and stopped the watch to the exact time so that she would always remember. She thought the gesture was romantic at the time, but as the relationship didn’t last, she regrets letting time “stand still” so to speak and wishes that she didn’t waste so much time with that man. I’m sure we can all relate to that! The exhibit with Skype touched me the most because I also had a long-distance relationship where Skype was the main mode of communication. The woman explained how she always found herself calculating what time it was where he was (which is something that I did constantly). Additionally she went on to say that they broke up over skype – which I also can relate to.
The overall exhibit really spoke to me as I am sure it relates to anyone who has had a broken relationship. But what was so great about the exhibit was that it wasn’t just about breaking up, it was also about finding a happy space and regaining our independence from a heartbreak which can literally render us stagnant. For many of the individuals, donating the items and writing about it was a means of catharsis, a method of providing closure and healing, and in some cases forgiveness.
After the gallery, I took a ride in a Funicular. It is one of the shortest in the world and took less than a minute to get to the bottom of the hill. The view from the top of the hill was amazing as I could see all the great buildings in the distance and see the vastness of the city of Zagreb. As the sun began to set and I felt a few drops on my face, I decided to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the hotel. After eating a hearty meal and walking back to my hotel, I was completely shattered. I took a nap, had my nap interrupted by my mates who came to check in on me, went back to sleep, raided the mini bar (just some chips and water), blogged, and now I’m off to bed again!
Until next time…