After the early start yesterday we had a more relaxed start to this morning I had a lie in, then we enjoyed the novelty of a hotel breakfast, before setting out towards our destination for the day: Samobor.
Samobor is a small town, around 25km from Zagreb, in the direction of the Slovenian border. I had read online somewhere that it was supposed to be the best day trip from Zagreb, so was interested to see what it would be like. The town isn't on a train line, so we set off towards Zagreb's main bus station in search of a bus. The internet suggested that there would be a bus at 11.20, but when we arrived at the ticket counter we found out that there was actually an earlier bus at 11.00, which was a bonus. The tickets cost 31 kuna each (less than £4), which also seemed like good value.
The journey to Samobor took around half an hour, although it felt like longer in the very hot and un-airconditioned bus. It wasn't a busy bus though, so at least we didn't have to fight for seats When we got off the bus at Samobor's bus station, it wasn't initially very clear either where the town centre was or what the timetable for the return buses might be. Fortunately we eventually found a road sign to help with the first problem, and solved the second as well when we realised the timetable for each bus was pinned to an outside pillar near to where that bus departed from (as opposed to there being a central timetable on display inside the bus station building).
Following the directions to the town centre, it didn't take us too long to arrive in Samobor's main square.
The main church in the town is yellow (though looks like it could do with a bit of re-painting!)
A small river runs through the town, crossed in various places by little bridges.
This covered wooden bridge in particular was rather unusual.
The internet had said that it was possible to walk alongside the river. We found a path, but within 10 minutes or so we'd come to the end of it.
We turned around back in the direction of the town centre...
...and this time found a longer path in the opposite direction.
There were some lovely views of the river...
...and in the distance we caught sight of the ruins of Samobor castle.
The path we were following alongside the river eventually began to turn upwards into the forest.
As the path became increasingly steep, we realised it must be leading up towards the castle.
It was hard work, but eventually we got there.
As it's a ruin, the castle is free to enter and walk around.
The castle was originally built in the thirteenth century by supporters of the Czech king, who was engaged in a war with Hungary.
The Hungarians soon took control of the castle and the town of Samobor itself.
The castle was occupied until the end of the eighteenth century, after which it gradually began to decline and fall into ruin.
There was hardly anyone else at the castle when we were there, so we were able to explore as much as we wanted.
There were some beautiful views back down towards the town...
...and of the surrounding countryside, which is quite hilly and forested.
I particularly liked the view of the blue sky behind these two windows
The path which we had climbed up on was quite steep, so on the way down we decided to try another path which looked like it might turn out to be a bit flatter.
Happily it turned out that it was, and judging by the number of people who passed us on their way up, this is probably the main route that most people take from the town.
On the way we passed the chapel of St Anne, which was constructed in the eighteenth century.
From there it wasn't long before we got a familiar view: the yellow church in the centre of Samobor.
Soon we were back in the pretty town square once again
Although it was past lunchtime by this point, we weren't really hungry after our big breakfast. That turned out to be a good thing, because although we did walk around Samobor for a while, the only things we could find were cafes rather than restaurants. We decided to catch a bus back to Zagreb, and go out for a meal there in the evening instead