Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hotel Dora

Our arrival in Zagreb was punctual and we set about trying to achieve four tasks: obtain local currency, buy a bus ticket for our onward journey to Split tomorrow, secure accommodation for the night and see something of Zagreb.

The first was easily achieved courtesy of an ATM. The second goal involved a walk of about 6 blocks in 33 degrees Celsius while dragging our suitcases (fortunately still only around 15kg) and (for me) carrying my computer and (for Lynne) some hand luggage. We hugged the shaded spots as much as we could but we were glad to reach the bus station where we managed to buy our bus ticket. We thought we would achieve goal 3 by visiting the information/accommodation office in the bus station. Alas, tourism isn’t so highly developed in Zagreb for them to have one of those! So it was back to the train station where we knew they did have one.

This is a good news bad news story – they only dealt with hotels – again another sign of an under developed tourism destination. Having completed two treks in the sun we decided we would forego a third in search of accommodation and opted for Hotel Dora – in fact that is all they had!

From the map we could see that Hotel Dora was just across the railway tracks and to the left – similar to situation we faced in Ciampano, Italy a few years ago. On that occasion we took a taxi only to find out later we could easily have walked by taking a tunnel. Although we looked for a similar route we couldn’t find it so again, took a taxi.

Later that evening we found the tunnel! It wasn’t too far from the railway station after all. We looked in the wrong place. The ‘tunnel’ was in fact an underground shopping complex so we had to check it out more fully.

Hotel Dora was not all it ought to have been given the prices they charge. It was rated as 3 stars but had a five star price. It seems they have pre-empted the tourist invasion and got in first with their pricing system. It may yet backfire on them! Compared with the many other places we have stayed in, breakfast wasn’t worth getting up early for either. Unfortunately I won’t have a chance to check out the other hotels in Zagreb to see how they compare.

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