A weekend fling with Zagreb


A weekend fling with Zagreb

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Hey Zagreb,

Karen here! Not sure you remember me. We met briefly back in 2006, but we only had a day or so together before I dashed off to spend some quality time with Sarajevo. He and I had quite the time together, although we never did hook up again. He’d been through some hard times, and some of his scars had yet to heal. I still think of him from time to time and wish him well.

Anyway, my good friend Ryan(air) found me flights for something like 30 euros, so I’m writing to say I’ll be coming your way in just a few weeks. Not sure you’re at your very best this time of year, but let’s face it, I’m not either! I’m thinking our little off-season rendezvous should do us both a world of good.

I checked out your bio and profile pics on your so-called official “tourism website.”  Those phrases you use to describe yourself such as “a safe city whose doors are always open; a city with a tumultuous history teeming with interesting personalities; a city that warmly invites all those who wish to get to know it” totally resonate with me. That’s exactly what I look for in a city. 

You go on to describe yourself as the city with the biggest lounge. To quote your own words “The moment the sun appears in the sky in spring, restaurant, cafe and coffeehouse terraces open for custom. Streets become promenades, places to get a cup of coffee, relax or have a business meeting. A combination of Mediterranean cordiality and northern business sense make any visitor feel welcome.”  I hope you can extend me much the same reception, just a few weeks earlier than usual. We can always snuggle under a blanket or bask under a heat lamp.

One thing I like about you already is that even though you’re a capital city, you seem quite modest. Vienna brags incessantly about all its Habsburg-style architecture when you’ve got that as well. Plus, I know that if I want to experience your cultural side by going to the opera or to a concert, you’re not going to charge me an arm and a leg for it. 

Stalker that I am, I’ve gone online to see what some of your previous weekend guests had to say about you. Stephanie and Allison, so-called bloggers, rave about the Chocolate Museum Zagreb. Sounds naughty but nice! They also talk about skating on your open-air ice rink. I’m sure all the tourists beg to do this, but if you could oblige me, I’d be most grateful.

Hope it’s okay that I’ve already gone ahead and planned the menu. Our first meal together has got to be smoky and spicy, cone-shaped Bjelovarski Kvargl cheese for a starter, štrukli pastry stuffed with cottage cheese and sour cream for the main and a glass of luscious red Bermet aromatized dessert wine to finish things off. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

In one of your photos, I see you’re wearing snow. That would be awesome if you could throw on some in advance of my arrival. Or actually, I’d love to see you in the process of putting it on yourself. Don’t worry about laying it on too thick. I have a special outfit I keep just for such occasions.

I’m really looking forward to our date. Brace yourself, Zagreb! Together we’re going to make magic.

Soon to be yours,


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