Grad Velika Gorica

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    • Day 148

      Chur to Zagreb

      November 22, 2021 in Croatia ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

      Pünktlich um 21.01 Uhr brachte uns der Zug gestern von Chur nach Sargans. Dort mussten wir umsteigen. Danach fuhren wir mit dem Nachtzug direkt nach Zagreb (13.5 h mit Verspätung).
      Martina war sehr müde und schlief schon bald ein 😴, während Müggi noch am Fotoalbum arbeitete und einen Film bis um 1.30 Uhr schaute. 👀🤪
      Wir hatten das Abteil für uns, so konnten wir uns ausbreiten und sogar hinlegen.
      Am Zoll wurden unsere Pässe dann zwei Mal von Polizisten kontrolliert. Einmal von der slowenischen und einmal von der kroatischen.
      Als wir heute um 11.15 Uhr am Bahnhof Glavni Kolodvor ankommen, müssen wir zuerst einmal Internet suchen, um zu schauen, wie wir zum Autoverleih Green Motion kommen.
      Müggi holt Bargeld (Kroatische Kuna), um die Bustickets zu bezahlen, Martina wartet währenddessen beim Gepäck.
      Dann fahren wir zuerst mit dem einen Bus etwa 30 Minuten. Danach warten wir 28 Minuten auf den zweiten Bus. Nochmals fahren wir 15 Minuten, bis es dann noch ungefähr 7 Minuten zu Fuss bis zur Autovermietung geht.
      Wir sind sehr froh, als wir endlich dort ankommen. Die Übergabe unseres Dacia Logan verläuft unkompliziert.

      Es geht anschliessend 23 Minuten bis wir das Zuhause von Ivica (das ist der Papa unserer ehemaligen Nachbarin an der Masanserstrasse) erreichen. Wir werden sehr herzlich von ihm in Empfang genommen. Er erklärt und zeigt uns alles. Dann gibt es einen Schnaps für alle - selber gemacht, wohl bemerkt. 🥂 Wir fühlen uns von Anfang an sehr wohl hier. 🙏

      Im Anschluss an unser Treffen gehen wir einkaufen. Beim Bezahlen schenkt uns eine Frau, die hinter uns steht, einen 15% Gutschein. So nett und zuvorkommend. 😍

      Beim Zurückfahren machen wir noch einen Kaffeestopp im LaSaDa Cakes und Caffe. Dort bestellen wir unser Fotoalbum von Portugal über Ifolor und schreiben diesen Blog, denn hier haben wir Internet.
      Katarina, unsere Nachbarin, informiert uns, dass wir an einer Tankstelle für wenig Geld eine SIM-Karte erwerben können mit unlimitiertem Internet. Wir gehen nachher mal schauen, ob wir eine solche finden (vielen Dank für den Tipp Katarina).
      Falls es nicht klappt, haben wir die kommenden 3 Nächte kein Internet (also keine Sorgen, wenn wir uns nicht melden. 😉).

      Den Abend gestalten wir gemütlich mit Kochen und lesen. Auch geht es früh ins Bett, sind wir beide doch etwas erschlagen.
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    • Day 43

      Addy's Birthday, Croatia

      July 12, 2022 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Addy turned S E V E N in Croatia! Her celebration began on the 11th, but her birthday is actually on the 12th.

      Happy birthday Adalynn Elissia! This girl is full of spunk & jokes. She's thoughtful, generous, colorful and fashionable.

      On birthdays we let the birthday girl choose what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We borrowed this tradition from our North Carolina cousins. Addy wanted a cinnamon roll of sorts for breakfast, bread with lots of butter, cucumbers & grapes for lunch, and a steak with lots of butter for dinner. As a toddler, she would find butter and sneak it by the handful. We finally figured this out when she left cute, tiny finger marks one day.

      We had to figure some food things out quickly, because we were in a new place, on foot and we were "not in Kansas anymore Toto." She was hoping for a vanilla cake, but they seem to put chocolate in everything. We mistakenly booked a place with a kitchenette, instead of a full kitchen for two weeks, so we could not bake her one. We were on the hunt for this birthday girl.

      I'm jumping a bit ahead, so let me back up. We arrived via overnight train and started with an early morning walk through the graffitied city of Zagreb. Our train arrived before 0600 and our expected walk was about four miles away. It seemed as if every part of the city that was reachable from the ground had some kind of graffiti on them, but some were kinda artsy. Several graffiti markings made it clear they were over covid restrictions, all of which have been lifted now.

      Then as we made it to the edge of town, we stopped in a lovely, green space that had a giant playground and huge trees. A pirate ship that they captained for a bit, slides, spiderweb climber things, a treehouse to explore, hammocks, swings and more. It reminded me of White Rock Lake with a smaller lake.

      We found this fun place called Amazinga along the way, so we popped in. This place was a mash up between Shenanigans and Urban Air with trampolines, obstacle courses, VR games, bounce houses, bumper cars, rock climbing and a "pizza master." We appreciated that no one else was allowed to cook the pizza and it was very tasty. Addy was excited that this place started with the same letter as her name. They played so hard that two out of three fell asleep.

      A bus and fifteen bazillion steps later we made it to our cottage just outside the city. It is a very cool place and the owners are so friendly. They have given us tips for fun things to do with our kids around town and invited us to have Turkish style coffee with them. We essentially have our own tiny house tucked away from the city with a kitchenette, a dog our kids can enjoy, and an outdoor play area.

      Since we are quite a walk from most things here, Seth gave in to his girls and got a CAR on Addy's actual birthday. The girls kept saying "Addy got a car for her 7th birthday!" Ha ha. And it seems silly, but this car was the means to this momma being able to do what I know to do to make her birthday special. We searched many places for cake with no luck, but Seth saved the day with this car. We ended up finding a great grocery store with a buttery, vanilla bundt cake for Addy! Yay!

      We never found a cinnamon roll, but she was happy with a fresh, buttery croissant. And Seth managed to find this awesome place for steak that had horses too. It was a lovely short drive through the country side with purple mountains in the distance. The place was called Cowboy Western Ranch Restoraunt. We felt a little cliche eating steak here, but it was stinkin' amazing. On top of this incredibly high quality, perfectly cooked 42 oz steak that was unbelievably well priced, the grounds offered horse back riding on certain days, a playground and an obstacle course in the woods. We could have spent all day here!

      I think she had a memorable 7th birthday in Croatia. Now to sleep for a day after all that travel!

      Next up...
      Our conversations about traveling north or south are quite comical. They go something like this - "We need to plan, because we leave in seven days." Seth says " Don't worry. It's going to be a surprise. I haven't even told myself yet.". Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I wanna cry. Luckily, that day it was laugh. Learning to roll with it.
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      Happy 7th birthday, Addy!! Much love, Uncle Ace, Aunt Sharin, Eli & Ava ❤️


      Happy Birthday a little late, and I know it was a HAPPY day, just because it was YOUR birthday, and you make every day that way!


      ...another amazing photo

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    • Day 44

      Velika Mlaka, Croatia

      July 13, 2022 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      We are still in Croatia... The language here sounds more Slavic than our previous spot in this country. In Croatia, they seem to really like to add the letter J and L to words whenever they can. This makes sounding things out for me impossible. Different, but similar to how the English language makes total sense when you try to sound things out. Ha ha!

      We are staying here for two weeks after that long bit of travel waiting on Seth's passport stuff to finish up. We are still needing to stay out of Shengen countries to ensure we do not overstay our visa days. This spot has been so great, especially with a car for excursions.

      As I mentioned before, we basically have our own tiny house with some extras. The kids have all this garden and courtyard space to play. They have a trampoline, scooters, balls and a golden retriever on the premises. In addition to that, there are flowers, berries, wild plums, and spices growing all around. We get fresh hydrangeas every few days for our dining table too. Demi found a lavender, rosemary and curry plant. Then she made her own floral arrangement of things she found around the property. All these wonderful plants attract bees and mosquitoes. Although we are teaching the girls to not freak out over bees, currently they do. The mosquitoes love me! The girls and I do our best to squish the mosquitoes guts out.

      We have also had the pleasure of meeting new people from several countries. The girls have played with several groups of kids from Croatia, Germany, and Denmark. Their favorite part would definitely be getting to play with other kids.

      One day we took a little excursion to a local lake called Cice Beach (pronounced Chee-Chay and means uncle in English, if my translation app is correct). It was small, but warm for swimming and had a rope swing. I prefer small with littles anyway, so I can keep a closer eye on them. Demi definitely enjoyed the rope swing. Addy and Mabel focused on catching fish and hanging on to Seth. This fresh water lake was very blue, but not as clear as the sea so the girls stayed much closer to us in hopes they would avoid all the sea monsters and sharks.

      Coming up next, I get stung by a bee on a mountain and Demi tries to feed her shoe to the fish in the most gorgeous lake I have ever seen! Also, Seth and I keep hunting for a place with a pool or kids waterpark for our next stop. When searching the interwebs for house with a pool, so many random things pop up. Such as places that list a pool, but don't actually have one, water pumps, wells, pool tables or just the sea. I'm thinking this plan to find a pool might be a bust.
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      Demi gathered and arranged her own bouquet of tiny flowers!


      Mabel found a nice dog! Golden Retrievers really are the best!


      is she pretending to be a puppy?

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    • Day 53

      Last Days -Velika Mlaka, Croatia

      July 22, 2022 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

      Last post from Croatia, for now...

      We had read that people in the Balkan countries were very kind, friendly and hospitable. This nearly two weeks stay has proven that to be true. The owners of the home we stayed in just outside of Zagreb were very considerate and made us feel at home. They checked on our girls while playing, baked us cake, gave us parting gifts (an angel to keep us safe along pur travels and a Stari Jansen keychain) and had coffee with us.

      We also had to go to a doctor, which I was really nervous about, but as usual, God totally took care of us. I found a list of doctors that speak English near us from the US Embassy website. The doctor checked on Demi for a bad bladder infection and on Mabel regarding her allergy cough. We have had Mabel on an inhaler daily for a few months now. We are trying to remove wheat, dairy and egg from her diet. I say trying because traveling causes us to encounter new things constantly and we have to figure each ingredient list out in another language. We try to stick to oatmeal, tortilla chips, honey, fruits, veggies and meat. I think it's helping.

      The doctor was thorough and friendly. He even took the time to talk to the girls to make them feel comfortable. I really like it when doctors do that. He prescribed what we needed and gave us an extra script for both girls, because we are still traveling. He must have felt my momma concern in the midst of all the unknowns of how the medical system works in each country. He put my concerns to rest and we appreciate having a backup script just in case. Another encounter with this region's kindness.

      Well, we spent our last few days taking it easy and it got hot!! The high on our last day neared 108 degrees.

      The girls used their creativity to design a doll house with beds, blankets, couches and more. I love that they just used nature and other resources around them to make the day fun! The best kinda fun - outdoors and imaginative!

      We hit the Cice Beach one more time and had it all to ourselves. We got pool noodles this time and that added some extra fun. We brought peanuts in their shell for a snack and the girls enjoyed making fairy boats out of them. They also cleaned rocks for a cool rock display. I love watching them play!

      We enjoyed our time here and all our excursions in Croatia. The Guesthouse Stari Jasen tiny house is a great place to stay! We will have to pass through again to catch a train sometime, but for now we say Tschüss, Chao, and Bye to Croatia.

      It took hours of research for us to decide to head further southeast. We ruled out the train system, because they have a terrible reputation. Big buses were kind of an unknown for us, but did not sound great with kids. Car rental companies have lots of rules about which countries you can use their cars in. We had a hard time finding one for our next country. Seth finally found a car rental place that would allow us to cross multiple boarders, so off we go continuing our adventure in a fancy rental.
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      sweet smile


      they play together so nice


      what is that on her hand

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    • Day 65

      Goodbye Stari Jasen

      August 3, 2022 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Goodbye Stari Jasen!

      We stopped one more time at the tiny house in Croatia, because this city is a big train hub. It was so nice to be able to call up Stari Jasen and be somewhere familiar after our previous stay was double booked. There is just some comfort about being somewhere you know and having a washer for our dirty clothes!

      Adalynn lost her lost tooth (literally misplaced the one that fell out in Italy) while here last time and they saved it just in case we came back through . She was thrilled. Too kind!

      They also had a kitten arrive and decide to call Stari Jasen it's home. The girls so enjoyed playing with and snuggling this kitten.

      They also enjoyed playing with the owner's two sons. They played catch, tag, road bikes and wrestled. Wrestling with those boys was Mabel's favorite part.

      Lots of tears leaving this time, because they felt they really made friends, it felt familiar to come back to a place we spent two weeks before and they wanted to keep that kitten. One day we will need to get these loving girls a cuddly pet.

      We dropped off the car, walked to the bus stop, road the bus thirty minutes then waited for our train to arrive. While we waited Seth found the first cinnamon roll type treat since Addy's birthday, so they obviously got to enjoy a pastry.

      We opted to sit by a fountain and have cappuccinos while we waited on the train. The girls were playing horses, neighing and running around the fountain. The girls were carrying these unusual tiny round mints we got in Germany. They were strong mints like Altoids, but came in a clear tube with liquid that kinda popped when you sucked on it. Well, somehow Mabel squirted one of these tiny mints into Adalynn's eye. Oh my goodness, what a scream! I cannot imagine the pain! Poor girl. And Mabel felt so bad.

      We made it on to the train and we were off!

      After about a month with a car and a month of trains, I would say they are both good ways to see Europe. Cars are great for seeing more green spaces, smaller cities and things away from the city. If you want to see the major cities and touristy things, the trains are nice (just maybe avoid the Balkan region trains if you like clean bathrooms, AC and organization of some kind.)
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      oh, no!. mint juice in the eye! what a painful experience for both girls!


      I laughed when I read, ..."if you like clean bathrooms, AC and organization of any kind."


      Beautiful, happy travellers!

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    • Day 28


      September 28, 2021 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Die Stadt Jajce ist wohl die einzige Stadt weltweit mit einem Wasserfall. Wir sind sehr viel Auto gefahren heute und haben einen kurzen Vormittagsstopp in der süßen Stadt eingelegt. Und der Wasserfall macht schon was her.
      Da wir Bosnien und Herzegowina heute verlassen haben, wurde noch mal ein Börek gekauft und Brot für selbstgemachte Döner. Die wurden dann bei einem traumhaften Spot verspeist.
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    • Day 55

      Last farm visit

      August 17, 2019 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Our local tour guide today was the Leader of the Noble Community of the area we visited. After all of Croatia's occupations by other countries all the "nobility" have left is a small "castle" and a handful of native pigs. They no longer own their estates as they were taken off them by the Soviets in the 1990's.
      Native Croatian Pigs. Were nearly extinct but now looked after by a volunteer group in a national park.
      Traditional lunch at a restaurant.
      Free time in Zagreb. Tea in city then a nice evening walk home
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