19th Jul 2012
Days 123 & 124
Happy birthday Philippa!! Spent the day having a wander around. Bit of an odd mix here. Some lovely open spaces – especially approaching the city centre from the railway station – and a few very ostentatiously decorated buildings and interesting roofscapes, but also a lot of fairly bland, even austere buildings. Even the ‘old city’ doesn’t seem that old – although it’s hard to tell the age of some of the rendered buildings, and of course, we’re now used to ‘old’ cities and towns being 5, 6, 700 years old after our time in Italy. The main focal point is the cathedral, but it’s distinguishing feature is a pair of towers/spires and one of them is shrouded in scaffolding which rather spoils the effect.
Had some ice-creams which were very nice, but not quite on a par with the best of the Italian ice-creams. Did a bit of window and souvenir shopping too. Also had to partake of a corn on the cob - I’m a sucker for them - which are commonly sold by street vendors here. It certainly seems that the prices here are significantly lower than France or Italy for a whole range of things from diesel (£1.00 a litre) to food & drink and clothes. And vets.
Yes, just as I thought all our malfunctions were nearly sorted, Tirril has joined in. He’s been shaking his head quite a lot the last few days so thought we’d better take him to see a vet. Was about 40 minute walk, but when we got there we went straight in to see the vet. After an almighty struggle (involving 5 of us trying to hold him still – and not succeeding) which didn’t go down too well with the vet, she just about got enough of a look down his ears to see there was an infection, and wrote out a prescription for him. Vet’s fee - £11 (plus prescription). Amazing. Although I wasn’t too sure that I heard just a hint of glee in the vet’s voice as she told us all we needed to do was put a few drops of medication in both his ears 2 times a day for the next 10 days. Should be interesting.
Went for a nice meal in the evening – very helpful waiter and a nice view of the cathedral as we dined.
Back to full sun today (mid 30’s) after a lovely few days of slightly cloudy skies and temperatures dipping just below 30 degrees during the day. Philippa plucked up her courage to have her hair cut – she’d been getting vexed about not having had it cut for 4 months – I really can’t understand the problem myself. Anyway – all went well and we got our bags packed and checked out of the hotel. Walking wistfully past the corn-on-the-cob vendors on the way to the van – I just couldn’t have held one with the bags we were carrying & Tirril – we stowed our stuff and set off to pick up the scooter…..
….. which had apparently been all repaired and tested. They even offered me the old fuel pump in a box as a souvenir to take back with me! Well – we’ll see. We’re going to stay tonight at a campsite, by the motorway on the outskirts of Zagreb, to give us time to work out where we’re going next, and to do some test-riding of the scooter before we leave the area! Besides, we can only find one campsite east of Zagreb and that’s a long drive away to do in an afternoon.
Called at a large pet store on the way to the campsite to stock up with food for Tirril – not sure what to expect in Hungary (our next destination) in relation to availability of dog food. Prices for pet stuff though, are also markedly below UK prices. Campsite is really just an add-on to a motorway service area but at least there’s some good shade and we’ll be able to sort ourselves out after our brief interlude of luxury. Had our first go at doing Tirril's ears - what a scene. Had to put him in a towel bag we've got, and put his muzzle on before we just got a couple of squirts of medication on target. This is going to be a barrel of laughs for the next 10 days!
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