The saddest thing happened, okay, definitely not the saddest but certainly something that I wish wouldn’t have happened until maybe towards the end of this month. I got sick. Thankfully it’s just a cold but it’s never ideal to get sick while on vacation. The only culprit I can blame is that disgusting airplane. Outside of maybe a Greyhound bus, the airplane is the nastiest mode of transportation by which you can travel. Thinking about them now makes me ill. Hundreds of people, carrying all sorts of germs, squished together for hours upon hours in a cylindrical tube pumping re-filtered air through vents. To that poor soul who has to clean those sorry excuses for bathrooms, I pray for you often. Unfortunately, I picked up something and I’ve been nursing myself back to health for the past day, lots of tea with lemon and honey and plenty of Vitamin C. The apartment owner is so sweet and took me to the pharmacy, which is a lot different from a drugstore, and translated my symptoms so I could get the correct medication. Relief is on the horizon! I’m determined to be better by Friday. I have to be, because Friday is a very special day.
Yesterday, I picked out three places for us to visit, all within the Croatian borders and an easy drive away. Our first stop was Lepoglava, which is known for hosting the main prison in Croatia. I know, I know, why would you want to go to the prison yard? And quite honestly, I’m still trying to figure out why it’s a tourist spot. I hear they kick ass at making lace but for me, the biggest draw is the restaurant in the prison city. I was told that the prisoners work both in the kitchen and as servers and that the food is both cheap and delicious. Unfortunately, I will never know. When we arrived, it was like the whole village had shown up for lunch. Families upon families arrived ready to eat and the prisoners, or shall I say staff, became overwhelmed. As soon as I saw the high-ranking Croatian military officers gathering at a table, I knew we weren’t going to eat any time soon and we would have to abort the mission. We were 0 for 1.
We pushed on to Krapina, home to the Neanderthal Museum. Did you know that about 800 Neanderthal fossil remains were found near present-day Krapina, Croatia? We didn’t either, so we thought this could be interesting to see and it was in the general vicinity. Let’s just say it didn’t work out and I didn’t get to learn the tales of the Neanderthals. Plenty of people were walking around the grounds but the museum was closed despite what the internet hours said. We were totally there before 5pm. We were 0 for 2.
Our final stop was Trakošćan Castle, former residence of the aristocratic Drašković Family. We rushed to get there before closing time and thankfully made it. This place is truly a gem with its expansive grounds, private lake and well preserved interiors and furnishings. Situated perfectly on a hill, this castled oozed with superiority, nobility and power. Standing in its glory, I think we were able to capture some of its beauty. We were 1 for 3, not good but not so bad.