Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rainy Days Sometimes Bring Happy Endings & A Night Train to Zagreb

12/05, Monday

Our bus from Mostar to Split departs at 11:10 with overcast skies. It will take about four hours. Surprise! A movie with subtitles! It helps pass the time. It was funny. John Malcovich was in it and it was like a Peter Sellers comedy.

Our first task in Split is to verify the train schedule from there to Ljubljana. Our plan is to stay overnight in Split and catch the morning 8:50 train to Rijeka. There we have to stay overnight due to a scheduling problem, and catch the next morning's train to Ljubljana.

As we explain all this to the train ticket agent, she offers an alternative plan. Take an overnight train from Split leaving at 21:37 tonight that arrives in Zagreb, Croatia, at 6:05 on Tuesday. Then, take train from Zagreb to Ljubljana, arriving at 14:49, same day. What a great idea! It saves two nights lodging cost, and a wasted day in Rijeka, a place we didn't want to see anyway. And, we can rent a sleeper compartment on the train. That's a done deal! She was a very nice woman and explained everything well.

Now we have several hours to relax in Split which we know well from having been there a week ago. After a good dinner, we have two hours to kill. By good luck, there is a string quartet concert at the Croatian National Theater at 7:30pm. We had been talking of needing a music-fix earlier in the day. This fits the bill perfectly.

Fun walking around a bit and seeing the plazas decorated for Christmas. They had just started when we were here before. Dubrovick had bayberry and oranges hanging in all the arches, which looked really nice.

The quartet consists of two violins, a viola, and a cello performing Bežicević (no idea who he is, but contemporary) and Dvorak. We are treated to a piano quintet of Schubert, too, but have to leave after one movement to make the train. They were very good and the room was beautiful. It was in a small concert room upstairs from the main hall that we were in a week or so ago.

So, what started as a rainy day has brought several happy endings.

We're on the train now, and it seems good so far, compact space, but smooth ride and quiet. We'll see how we feel in the morning. Luckily, the window slides down to open so we can get some fresh air. I (Sandy) then proceed to misplace the tickets, but they surfaced after a hectic search, and we're on our way.

I asked the conductor if I could have some hot water for a cup of tea. He said "Sure, in the morning". Two little, packaged sweet rolls are in our compartment, so I guess I can have breakfast in bed!

We need to read Rick Steves on Zagreb. We had not planned on going there until today. Since it is the capital of Croatia, it will be good to see.

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