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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Train to Zagreb

Huge and modern Prague Train Station
For the second time this trip, we caught a train. This time we headed for Zagreb in Croatia.  We got up early, and while Jo ran an errand, I bought our tickets at the train station. Our train was leaving so we had to bustle go to the station and get on board. I believe our train trip took us out of Prague, through the Czec Republic, across a path through Austria's countryside, and even through Slovenia.
The scenery ranged from ho-hum to...
... the occasional dreamy castle on a hill - in Austria (center)
Lovely 'Sound of Music' countryside
View from dining car
A little Football (Soccer) going on   
At ever border crossing I was thrilled to hand over my passport to the border 'Policija'. They reminded me of Film Noir adventures in which I ought to have been smuggling Maltese Falcons, Pomeranian Kestrels or other internationally forbidden treasures. Alas, the officers were so polite and friendly they simply ruined my fantasies.  I mean, they might have at least pretended to threaten me with a year in the gulag if I didn't hand over the goods.
Not even pretending to be evil. How adorable is he?
To pass the time on the train, I sat staring blankly out of the windows. I was of course, looking for Claire bait: i.e., birds, horses or wildlife. Didn't see much of any of those. I did manage to get a gawdawful shot of a spotty horse and rider, trotting past horticultural bower in Austria. Not exactly the shot of a Lipizzaner and rider I'd wanted on this vacation, but better than a poke in the eye. 
See the horse & rider dead center? Sort of? Come on, pretend you see them!
While I enjoyed my isolationist, introverted activity (or inactivity) Jo bided her time, converting complete strangers into busom buddies. 
The red-head is not startled, it's just the best of a series of her pix
That's Jo & meself reflected in the glass behind yet another Weasley
That two of Jo's new friends I photographed were gingers is coincidence - or is it? I'll find some intrigue for this train ride if it kills me. Stay tuned for the Mystery of the Ginger Gypsies coming soon on PBS. 

My favorite 'selfies' on this train trip were taken in a peculiar little room. It was exotically fresco'd & festooned with yellow-fruit bearing trees. What was this magical place? You'll have to guess as I'm too much of a lady to say.
'Seated', and enjoying the view
In the late hours of the night, the train pulled into an old style train station, the sort you've seen in old black and white movies in Zagreb: a city of northern Croatia. Yay,  new country to explore!

I mean, did you EVER???
We had no hotel reserved in Zagreb. But we got a recommendation from a fellow train passenger. We disembarked and rolled our weary selves and our luggage across the wide city street to the Central Hotel.

Miraculously we scored a lovely room. We had two beds, one twin-ish, the other Queen sized. I selfishly grabbed the larger bed. I myself am larger and the ensie little so-called twin beds that seem popular here are getting tiresome.  The most striking feature of  the room was stunningly amazing and inexplicable - a square - I kid you not - toilet. Surprisingly, it fit my round bottom.
The room was both modern and a throwback with Art Deco mirror & such, but also a modern TV
And Hurrah for me scoring the larger bed!
Tomorrow we are off south to the Dalmation Coast.

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