November 8 – 12, 2018
Zagreb, Croatia was a wonderful surprise. It was our last stop on the European continent before making the big transition to Asia, and had the cozy chill and delicious smells of fall. We got our jackets out, even hats! There was a holiday market and I drank delicious hot white wine. We fully unpacked, purged, assessed, re-packed again, and ate lots of hot soup, bakery bread (and more French Toast) as our excitement and nervousness levels built up.
Stretch break on the drive from Split to Zagreb
Warm clothes pulled out from the bottom of our packs and more noodle soup!
We jogged to and around the big City Park – it felt like Central Park, Green Lake, and Hyde Park all rolled into one. Kind of like how Zagreb itself felt like parts London, Munich and Paris. But 100% Croatian, based on our sense of this wonderful country developed over the past month.
Now having a more solid itinerary for the next couple of months in SE Asia, I did more research on vaccinations and considered our length of stay (~4 months in the region) and activities (cycling, running solo, some remote guided trekking), and decided we should get rabies and Japanese encephalitis shots. Both are very rare conditions for travelers to SE Asia, but if contracted, have quite dire outcomes. Zagreb has a fantastic travel clinic – it was the simplest (though not cheapest) preventative medical care I’ve ever experienced, with great staff who put the kids at ease. We did our first rabies dose and I got a second Hep A dose I’d needed to follow up on. We’d be able to get the next dose for rabies and the JE shot at Bangkok’s Travel Clinic, part of a large Tropical Medicine research and care facility. The family wasn’t super excited about it – Annabelle relays her experience here – but it gave me a bit more peace of mind for the next stage of our journey. And we all know that when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.
We got all caught up on the blog (for once!) and talked a lot about what we loved, and what surprised and challenged us in Europe, and what we were excited and anxious about for the new adventures to come. We probably couldn’t have been any more nervous, or ready. Time to move onward!