The Illuminating Lens

Zagreb, Croatia – Croatia/Slovenia Trip – Part 1 – 2023

My two photographer friends and I started and ended our two-week adventure to Croatia and Slovenia, in the capital city of Zagreb!

We landed in Zagreb after a short flight from Frankfurt, Germany.  It was mid-afternoon so we took a car service to the Canopy Hilton and got settled in for our one-night stay!  After a bit of rest, we decided to take a walk around the city and check it out.

We had not done too much research on Zagreb sites as we did not think we would have much time there so I quickly pulled up Google Maps and decided to head toward the huge cathedral that we were soon to learn is typical of most cities, towns, and even villages in Croatia.  They are the center point and usually the most prominent building.

Along the way, though, we found old buildings and modern buildings.

Old Doorway in Zagreb – iPhone 14 Pro Max


Sky Reflected in Modern Building in Zagreb – iPhone 14 Pro Max


We noticed that there was a tram/train system that wound around the city.

Tram/Train rails in Zagreb. Nikon Z8 with Nikon Z 24-200mm lens.

As we walked and got closer to the center of the city and I could see past the tall buildings I realized that the spires of the cathedral were covered with scaffolding!

Scaffolding covered the twin spires of the Cathedral of Zagreb – iPhone 14 Pro Max


Cathedral of Zagreb – iPhone 14 Pro Max

The cathedral was closed and we found out from our car driver the next day that they had had a strong earthquake in 2020 on a Sunday and the cathedral was badly damaged.  Because of the pandemic. no worshippers were present when it happened!

We continued to walk around to see what other interesting buildings we could find.

Ornate tower. Nikon Z8 with Nikon Z 24-200mm lens.


We went looking for someplace to eat and our first meal in Croatia was sushi!  It was good!  As we were visiting “out of season” (something we were soon to learn was not that helpful). many of the larger restaurants were closed.

As it started to get darker we continued to some of the older parts of the city.  This street just pulled me in!

One of the old streets of Zagreb. This was a hint of what we would be seeing in the other cities of Croatia.  iPhone 14 Pro Max


We went back toward the main city square where only the trains come through.

Zagreb’s Main Square – Nikon Z8 with Nikon Z 24-200mm lens.


From there we walked back in the direction of our hotel passing one of the parks.

Fountain in Zagreb park. Nikon Z 8 with Nikon Z 24-200mm lens.


Even though we had been awake for many hours of travel we wanted to get on the new time zone schedule so we decided to stay up and hit the hotel bar.  We each got a cocktail and spent way too much time trying to get a shot of my drink with a moving tram in the image!

Cocktail with tram blur! iPhone 14 Pro Max


Eventually, we were having a hard time staying awake so we went up to the bar to pay.  The manager asked us where we were from and our plans.  When we told him we would be in Croatia for almost 2 weeks he told the bartender to bring a bottle over.  He poured us each a small glass.  It was pelinkovac a herbal liqueur.  It was pretty strong but good and gave us a taste of one of the things Croatia is known for, liqueurs!  The manager told us it was on the house! (later realized it was a brand that was quite expensive!)  This was the start of the great hospitality that we received from the Croatian people that we met over the next ten days!

We finally made it to bed and the next morning we took the car service back to the airport where our Croatian adventure would start!  We met our photographer friend/host, Kresimer, and picked up our rental cars!

I highly recommend a visit to Zagreb.  I will end this series with our final day in Zagreb…so more to come!

My next post will be on our time out in the Croatian countryside in a log cabin and their most famous national park, Plitvice Lakes National Park!

For larger versions of these images and many more to purchase as prints or on other merchandise please visit my gallery: Zagreb Gallery 

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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