Today I have the pleasure of writing a guest post for my wife’s blog. Frequenters to this blog already know about the fantastic trip we just took to Europe, and I want to expound on a couple of the highlights for me while we were in Croatia at the beginning of the month.
One of the things that I thoroughly enjoyed was the widespread café culture seemingly omnipresent along the streets of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. It felt as though wherever we were in the city, there was a café with outdoor seating within sight. The coffee ritual there is, by contrast to Italy, much more drawn out. Friends sit for hours sometimes, doing nothing more than sipping great (and I emphasize great) coffee, or the local beer, or puffing a cigarette, and conversing. Ah, I thought to myself upon arriving at one venue called “Oranž”, I could get used to this.
Oranž was, for me, simply the best café experience I had during our time abroad. Modern, stylish seating & tables located outside the café in the middle of the cobblestoned street across from a bar pumping out a funky beat, a dessert selection that included homemade pastries and cakes and plenty of clientele made for an evening that flew by. The hazelnut cake was unreal – truly something that must be tasted by any tourist that finds himself / herself at this café.
However, as great as that night was, the experience that left a lasting impression on my obsessive/compulsive-when-it-comes-to-CrossFit heart, was my pilgrimage to CrossFit Zagreb. After figuring out the Zagrebački Električni Tramvaj, “ZET” and hopping on one of the electric trains that took me to the southern end of the city, I found myself on foot, looking for the Box. I’d called ahead the day before, and to my surprise, the owner’s staff members were already expecting me. The owner wasn’t in yet, I was told, but that I could go on in. I was shown the gym and changerooms and proceeded to do an improvised WOD. Once finished, I went to the front desk and met Sasha, the owner / head coach. We instantly fell into a rapport that fellow CrossFitters will know is unique to this style of activity. The camaraderie that CrossFit helps foster is nothing short of infectious. Over coffee, we chatted about the 2012 CG Open and our experiences with training / bodybuilding that eventually led us to CrossFit. Sasha’s a great guy with a lot of heart, and generosity in spades. He even hooked me up with a t-shirt! (See below.)
Currently, CrossFit Zagreb is operated out of an existing Globo-gym (no disrespect to Globos out there ;)), but will shortly have a space of its own, if it doesn’t already. If you find yourself in the Zagreb area and are looking for the nearest affiliate, do yourself a favour and look up Sasha Grosic. The opportunity to meet and train with him is well worth it.
– Jason Martinko