Zagreb, Croatia -- Just across the square from the train station is the Regent Esplanade which had been built in 1925 as one of the stopovers on the Orient Express as it elegantly wound its way between Paris and Constantinople. We started our Croatian adventure from this recently updated hotel. This is the future for Croatian travel: private capital flowing in to refurbish such faded beauties after their trauma during communist times or in the chaos that followed when tourists disappeared and war refugees flooded these hotels. We took this picture from a lovely fountained park floating above a large (and thankfully underground) modern shopping mall -- another example of capital finding its way into this now stable democracy.

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