ザグレブの街を見下ろしながらランチ Enjoy Lunch with Lovely View of Zagreb

もう1か月ほど前になりますが、私の誕生日のお祝いにザグレブのレストラン、Pod Gričkim Topom(ウェブサイトはこちら)でランチを楽しみました。このレストランは世界一短いと言われるケーブルカーに乗ってアッパータウンで降りたすぐ近くにあります。

My husband took me to my favourite restaurant in Zagreb called "Pod Gričkim Topom(website)" for my birthday. The restaurant is located at the Upper Town just next to the entrance/exit of "the world shortest funicular". My birthday was April and I wore a coat, but in a few days later, I spent all the day in a T-shirt. The weather in Zagreb in the spring is unpredictable - it could be very hot and dry, but it could be a bit cold and windy in the next day.


The wood tables and antique furniture of the restaurant matches very well with the nature and make very cozy space. The restaurant is situated in the centre of Zagreb, but inside the restaurant is very quiet. I had a great time there with tasty lunch while enjoying green nature and birds singing :)


The prices of their menu is higher than normal restaurants where local people go, but not overpriced I think. So, I realise that most of the guests at the restaurants are non-Croatian people.  If you go to this restaurant for lunch, usually you can find a table without reservation, but for dinner, especially on special occasions such as Christmas and Valentine's Day, definitely better to book a table.


This photo was actually taken more than one year ago, so I look a bit different (mostly because I gained some weight...). The table at the terrace was great especially on a sunny spring day :) I ordered truffle pasta (about 78Kn). The volume of the food was just right for me (and for most Japanese). I often find truffle pasta with cream sauce at other restaurants, but this restaurant served the truffle pasta with olive oil sauce, which was not too heavy and indeed very tasty.


The restaurant is located in the great place looking down the city of Zagreb while enjoying the peaceful time in the nature, has a great service and served wonderful plates. But, you can't leave without having their desert! Every time I visit there, they prepare new desert. So, it is one of amusements of the restaurant, too.


For my birthday, I had a cake of strawberries and Mascarpone cream in a cup of pie. Yummy yummy :P
Enjoy both the view of the charming city of Zagreb and great food at this restaurant when you come to Zagreb :)


弟とクロアチア My brother and Croatia


My brother seemed a bit relaxed after returning to Zagreb from Paris. Zagreb is smaller city compared to Paris, but clean and safe, so Zagreb was cozy place to be for him.


We also took him to the Plitvice before he returned to Japan. He said he was so refreshed by the breathtaking view of the Plitvice and in this great nature.


Since it was the beginning of the tourist season, so there weren't so many people in Plitvice and we enjoyed walking around the beautiful emerald-coloured lakes. While we hiked in the Plitvice, we talked about his jobs back in Japan, about Croatia, about living outside Japan and many many things. To be honest, I think it was the first time we spent such a loooong time together and talked that much.

My brother knows only the very basic English. Although, he tried to communicate with local people in Zagreb with his limited English knowledge. And he was very happy when he could communicate with the locals in his limited English, and even when the communication was done in Japanese and Croatian! I was so surprised and impressed by his attitude. I wish I could act like him - try to talk with local without worrying about limited language skills and about making grammatical mistakes.


We took my brother to the pizzeria Maslina, which is popular to the local people. We ordered "jumbo" size pizza. It was huge! The pizza was very tasty but very cheap, only 90Kn. My brother found out that Croatia has not only great nature and beautiful cities, but also tasty food :)


パリ最終日とパリのおいしいお土産 Last Day in Paris and Sweet Souvenir from Prais


Our flight back to Zagreb from Paris was evening, so we decided to spent the last day in Paris at the Musée du Louvre. We all tried of walking and we just walked through the museum aiming at main features. Although my brother and my husband seemed not really interested in arts before visiting the museum, they seemed to be quite astonished by rich collection of all kinds of arts.


Lots of people trying to catch Mona Liza with their cameras...

パリでの滞在時間が短かったため、お買い物はほとんどできませんでした(>_<) 唯一スウィーツ類をゲットできたくらい。写真は定番だけれど、ジャン・ポール・エヴァンとメゾン・ドゥ・ショコラのチョコレート。

I didn't have enough time to shop in Paris. I only bought some sweets there, like chocolates from Jean-Paul Hévin and La Maison du Chocolat.

メゾン・ドゥ・ショコラはルーブル美術館の入り口近くにあって便利。かわいい缶入りのチョコレート(9€)も発見♥ お土産に喜ばれそう。

La Maison du Chocolat has a shop near the entrance of the Musée du Louvre. I found chocolates in a lovely can. I'm sure my girl friends would love this.


And of course, macarons from Ladurée and tea from Mariage Frères. I chose French Breakfast (tea), which has slightly sweet scent and very smooth and gentle taste. I bought 24 macarons without knowing that macarons have to be consumed so quickly. My recommendation is vanilla, pistachio and rose petal. Especially, the rose petal macaron has very unique taste: you will sense the rose scent in the month, very elegant and very smooth taste :) If you are not sure which macarons to pick, your shop assistance would choose the most popular macarons for you.


パリ2日目 サント・シャペルと凱旋門 Sainte Chapelle and Arc de Triomphe


After a long walk in the Versailles, we went back to the city of Paris, and continued sightseeing, starting from the Sainte-Chapelle. This chapelle is breathtaking! I personally think this is much more beautiful and charming than the Notre-Dame de Paris.


When I first visited this chapelle, I was so astonished by the beautiful and spectaculous view spreading in front of me. The light streaming from the detailed stained glasses and old delicate sculptures make the space more stately atmosphere.



After we enjoyed the Sainte-Chapelle, we had a bit of break at a cafe. We all walked a lot and so exhausted, especially our feet started hurting..:( In Paris, forget about high-heels, you definitely need a comfortable shoes.

Then, we spend a bit of time searching some souvenirs. Walked to the Arc de Triomphe aiming to be on the top of it at the sunset (although it was already 7:30 to 8pm!).


It was already 10pm when it got dark. Time passes very very quickly in Paris. We left the lit up Arc de Triomphe and dragged our feet back to the hotel


パリ2日目 ヴェルサイユ宮殿 Le Château de Versailles

2日目はGare d'AusterlitzからRERのC線、Versailles Rive Gauche行きの電車に乗って、ヴェルサイユ宮殿に向かいました。この線、治安が悪いとも言われますが、私たちが乗った時は乗客の半分以上が出勤途中の地元の人たちで、そんなに治安が悪いとは感じませんでした。

On the second day in Paris, we went to the Château de Versailles using RER C line bound for Versailles Rive Gauche. Some people say that it's not to safe use this line, but when we took this line to the chateau, over the half of the passengers are local people who were on their way to work. So, I didn't feel it was that unsafe as others say...



When I visited Le Château de Versailles before, the famous Hall of Mirrors was under restoration. But this time, I saw the beautifully restored hall :)

Also, compared to the Versailles palace in winter, the garden looked much more beautiful, especially because water flows from the fountain and all the statues are uncovered. The garden looks more lively now.

Le Temple de l'Amour.

We also visited the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. Both have different charms from the Versailles palace. The pink coloured marble gives lovely appearance to the Grand Trianon, it's like a little gem of the Versailles. The Petit Trianon is quite different from elegant and gorgeous palace, but it is very simple and idyllic.


The garden of the Petit Trianon was quite extensive than I remembered... But, the garden replicates the countryside elegantly in the beautiful nature.

The Garden of the Petit Trianon

Versailles is far bigger than my brother and husband imagined. We all tired of walking after visiting the Versailles palace, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and its garden. But, the Versailles is surrounded by beautiful nature, and I think it would be nice to take time to enjoy walking in the vast garden.

パリへのミニトリップ Short Trip to Paris✿

Photo by Daniel Zrno


それが、今回パリに言ったら、あんなに英語嫌いだったフランス人が自分から積極的に英語で話してくれてびっくり∑(・ω・ノ)ノ 前日まで、忘れかけていたフランス語をがんばって思い出して備えていたのに、パリに滞在中、英語が通じなくて困ったなんてことはぜんぜんありませんでした。この7年間で何があったんだろう・・・。


弟の感想ですが、パリよりもザグレブの方が街がきれいで落ち着くと感じたそうです。確かにザグレブの街はあまりゴミも落ちていないし、パリに比べたら新しい建物も多いからかもしれません。ひょっとして、パリに着くなり「スリには十分気を付けて!」と脅しすぎたせいかな・・・(^ ^;) でもパリに限らず、ヨーロッパの大きな街では、人前でお財布をなるべく出さないようにしたり、お財布は必ず隠すようにしないと、知らないうちにスラれるということもあるので、気を付けてくださいね。


Inside of Notre-Dame de Paris


途中、Pont des Arts (芸術橋)を遠目に見たとき、記憶と違って橋がキラキラ光っていて、あれっと不思議に思いました。近くに行ってみたら、恋人同士の名前が書いてある錠がたくさん橋にかかっていました。 う~ん、でも錠がついていないPont des Artsのほうが、素朴だけれど温かみがあって好きだったかな。


 I had a small trip to Paris with my husband and my brother, who visited us during the Golden Week. The Golden Week is a set of national holidays in Japan including Showa Day (the birthday of the former Emperor), Constitution Memorial Day, Green Day, and Children's Day. It depends on each company, but when I worked at a car company, I had 3 of 9 days (on average) holidays in a year, usually this Golden Week, in August and around New Year. Plus, I got 15 days paid-holidays I can use. So, I think work condition regarding to holidays was not too bad as you might imagine.

Also, here in Croatia, the paid holidays should be used in 1.5 years (until the end of June), whereas, in Japan, the paid holidays can be saved for the sick leave in the future, although the number of days you can save is limited up to, e.g. 30 days.

Pont des Arts
Anyway, Paris! The last time I visited Paris was 2005. When I visited Paris this time, I was so surprised by the attitude of French people in Paris towards English language! Back in 2005, it is said that French people didn't speak English even if they know basics unless you tried to speak them in French first. So, before we travelled to Paris this time, I studied a bit of basic French. However, when I spoke to people at shops in Paris, they did speak to me in English from start!! I was so amazed by this change. Though, I tried to speak the very basis French while I was in Paris this time, and I do wish I could speak more.

It takes less than 2 hours by flight from Zagreb to Paris. When I searched the flight between Zagreb and Paris, I couldn't find any cheap flights operated by low cost-carriers, unfortunately... We stayed only 2 nights in Paris, so our schedule was so packed. For my husband and my brother, it was the first time to visit Paris. So, we started from Notre-Dame de Paris, then walk along the Seine river to the Musée du Louvre, further to the Arc de Triomphe along Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
Paris around 9pm

Oh, when I saw the Pont des Arts from a distance, I was wondering why it sparkles. And when I got there, I found so many locks with couples' names on them hanged on the fence, which were not there back in 2005. It was very unique, but to be honest, I prefer the old Pont des Arts without those locks. It looked simple, but warm and elegant.

Paris in early May was colder than Zagreb, about 10 degrees difference. We still needed a thick jacket, but when the sun came out from clouds, it suddenly got very warm.

Paris is packed with tasty food, lovey and fashionable items, beautiful and historical buildings, arts and everything. Paris is very charming and attractive city. I definitely love to spend more time next time ;)


乙女心なザグレブの天気 Fickle Weather of Zagreb




友達と1時間くらい日の当たるベンチで話をしていたら見事に半袖の跡が残るくらいに日焼けしました(>_<) ザグレブは、オーストラリア並に紫外線が強く感じます。街を歩いていると雨傘を日傘代わりにしているおばあちゃんを発見。こんな天気で日傘をさしていると不思議そうに見られるのは確実だけれど、そんなのを気にしていられないほどの強い日差しです。



4月5月のクロアチアは、変わりやすい天気に備えた服装がいいかも。そして、紫外線対策は日本にいるとき以上に気を付けた方が良さそう。 それと、日本とは違ってものすごく乾燥するので、乾燥対策、街を散策するときはお水を持っていくと便利だと思います。

It was a bit cold until mid-April, but the temperature suddenly increased in Zagreb from late-April as if it is early-summer already. The temperature even reached to 28 degrees!

So, in this very hot weather, people enjoy their coffee, cakes and ice cream at cafes :) I really this way of spending time with friends and family. 

But, the weather here in Zagreb since April was very fickle. Around 23-24 April, I needed a winter coat when I go out, but in a couple of days later, I wore a summer dress. The nice early-summer weather continued until yesterday, when the temperature suddenly dropped. In Sarajevo, it even snowed!

I also felt very strong ultraviolet here. I've got tanned in one hour while I was under the sun with having a chat with my friend. I should have put sun cream, but I didn't get used to putting it because I usually use a sunbrella (a parasol) in Japan.

I think maybe it is not common or popular to use the sunbrella outside Japan. In fact, people from Europe, America and Australia might wonder why Japanese women open umbrella. In Japan, most female try to avoid getting tanned. I think it is because they worry about getting stains and winkles on their skin, and because having fair skin is considered as one condition of the beauty. So, in Japan, you will find many skin care products saying "Whitening". Even big-name cosmetic brands such as Chanel, Dior and so on provide whitening skin care products, which I've never seen outside Japan (and other Asian countries).

Anyway, the combination of strong sun, dry weather, cafes and the tram remind me of Melbourne, Australia :)