No sleep till Monfalcano

Zagreb/Somewhere in Slovenia - 02/01/2010

The 5:30 bus had ceased to be an option so our only way of reaching Italy was now the late train, really late. We had purloined a map of Zagreb with walking tours but Budget Rent-a-Car were kind enough to give us a driving tour of the city during the dropping off of their car. After returning the vehicle in more or less the same condition as we received it (missed calls suggest they may have discovered the wheel), time was our most voluable friend. And so we walked. We took in scaffolded cathedrals (and came out the richer, thanks God) and colourfully tiled churches. We promenaded endless, repeating, boatless waterfront and still the hour of departure did not come. We enlarged Zagreb's 'free tram' zone to cover the greater part of the city and still our time here was not done. The theory of relativity states that a being's perception of time is relative to the list of available activities in the city in which they are stuck. All that being said the only city I can think of that begins with a Z proved to be an attractive if unnavigable place, fortunately spared from the worst of the Balkan ravages in the 90's.
We counted down the final few hours drinking Macedonian red wine on a bench in the park in the finest hobo style. Our train was not a sleeper, in every sense. Wedged into a six seater room with a morose and teary English couple, a silent Slovene and an amiable Bosnian Serb we relayed the stories of our adventures to a rapt audience of one. Jovanna (the Bosnian) in turn told us of the Eastern European countries she likes (at last count none) and the difficulties of free movement imposed by suspicion of her country of origin. This was duly borne out by the intense scrutiny given to her passport by the border police. The pleasant discourse went someway to mask the debilitating effect the day had had on our bodies and our final country lay ahead of us over the pitch black Slovenian horizon.

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