Just as you would expect, the organisers had also planned to show their visitors the highlights of their capital Zagreb and of the neighbouring region, including the 'Museum of the Krapina Neanderthal.’
On Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon on December 4th, guided by their ‘pilot fish’ (students from the Zagreb Hotel School) and divided into small groups, the participants were treated to a thorough tour of the heart of Zagreb, the visit being entitled 'Zagreb Time Machine.’
A really pleasant walk in the heart of the capital, where in places ghosts of former inhabitants still hover, where the Christmas lights lend it a particular charm, and where on this sunny Sunday some of the café terraces invite you to curl up warm on them.
THE REGION OF KRAPINA AND THE 'KRAPINA NEANDERTHAL MUSEUM’
On Tuesday December 6th all the participants took part in an excursion to Krapina, about an hour’s bus-ride outside Zagreb. It’s a small town, but has an international reputation for several reasons. The first reason is that Comrade Josip Tito was born nearby, as was the first president of independent Croatia – a fact which caused a guide to comment that ‘this was indeed the region of wise men.’
The second reason is that the town boasts the ‘Museum of the Krapina Neanderthal,’ a museum built into a hillside where archaeologists found bone fragments dating from the Neanderthal period. If they had been discovered three years earlier, these bone fragments would have been called ‘crapinensis’ rather than ‘neanderthal.’ It is an ultra-modern museum which traces life on earth from the beginning of the universe, with animated models and explanations from a highly talkative guide.
After a little tour of the town we set off towards the ‘Majsecov mlin,’ a very typical restaurant out in the countryside near Toplice, where the participants were greeted by a beautifully executed medieval combat laid on by a group of actors, the ‘Druzba Vitezova Zlatnog Kaleza .’ And then we sat down for an equally typical lunch served by students from the Srednja School, the service being directed by Mrs Drazenica Jurec.
After all these discoveries, we returned to Zagreb in the afternoon to allow time for everyone to get ready for the gala evening, the high point of these five days spent in Zagreb – five days which will certainly go down in the AEHT annals!