Sat 10th August.
Zagreb. Day two.
I hadn’t given much though to the amount of time I’d been on the trip. Early on I was counting every week and it always surprised me how long I’d been on the trip. Two weeks, three weeks, FOUR WEEKS, a month. Six weeks two months, then it didn’t matter. But when I was staying with Hrvoja and Zizek I began to give it some thought again. I found a figure like sixteen weeks or something that I seemed a lot and realised that I had been on it more than a hundred days and it had passed me by while in Italy.
I was planning to be back by around September 20th, meaning I had about six weeks left. I was really looking forward to getting back, seeing friends and getting on with things. Another thought came to me while I was talking to Hrvoja about cycling and the trip. I started to wonder if I could get to Istanbul instead of doing what I had planned. That would then mean getting a series of trains up to Berlin, where I had a ticket to a festival and friends to stay with and I might not make in time. But I thought that would be a real achievement. Rather then a big lap of Europe, having gone to Istanbul. Hrvoja was encouraging me to through all caution to the wind and go for it, but I was more sceptical. There was a lot I had wanted to see on the way back up to Berlin and at this stage I was toying with going to Budapest. Initially having planned to get the train there from Zagreb and cycle back, I realised I had enough time and if I put in a few good days, I could get there on the bike.
I dismissed Istanbul as it would’ve been very stressful, very hot and I wouldn’t have had much time once there to see it or enjoy it. But I had now decided to try to race out to Budapest in a four days. Which would be the largest distance, in that period of time for the trip. 345km by road (214 miles) in four days. I knew I was fit enough, but it now meant long days of riding back to back.
Given the uncertainty about the weather and another storm they offered to put me up another night. I really wanted to get going, but felt they had a point. Also given that we were trying to fix my mattress and that glue took 24 hours to dry, the was the decider.
They helped me plan a route out of Zagreb and get onto the roads I needed to be on. We talked about animation, artists and designers we all liked and watched videos for part of the day before deciding to go to a film festival going on by the lake nearby. We got there in the evening and the festival had been called off due to the storms. We went to the lake, went for a swim and had some food and beer. The Hamburg beer they loved. On the way back, Hrvoja mentioned a getting a Cevapi, which was a Bosnia and Herzegovinian type of meat in bread with onion. We took it back to the flat and dug in to the greasy meat treats with a delicious bight red sauce. It wasn’t a delicacy, but it was interesting, like a good kebab in a pitta with raw onion.
Something else Zizek introduced me to was Kefir. It was a strange yogurt drink made from white fungus from mushrooms that grew. You would tear a bit of this white stuff off (kept in fridge) put it in a jar and fill it with milk. Leave overnight and consume in the morning. It was a strange yogurt-like bacteria drink, that took a bit of getting used to and was apparently very good for you. Originally from Tibet.
I called my sister on Skype and went to bed.