Time to tell you about my experiences of the trip to Zagreb, Croatia. I arrived around 6pm in town and quickly found my place to stay. Right in the citycenter, just as I like it. I was tired of all the travelling and the busy times in the days leading to this. I walked around a bit at google streetview to get sense of direction and already before the trip I realized that Zagreb has a serious graffiti problem. Taggers, no art. Streetview has images of 2011 thought so I must say that I noticed in town the tags were less. Some work has been done but they are certainly around a lot still.
Quickly went to find a restaurant and quite randomly walked into a place that was a bit hidden from the streets. Just my adventurous side of course. I was alone there, maybe people eat later here in Zagreb. In Holland it is such a tradition to have set times for eating, a routine, which has a lot of pro’s, remember when you went out playing as a kid that you needed to be home at 17.30 exactly and you never had to ask for that? Mom would maybe say: Be on time for dinner!! Leaving the time in the middle, because you are suppose to know by now! You would all eat together as a family and then went on with evening things. Ok, we always ate a bit later than most due my father having to commute a lot and trafficjams are a bitch. But yes, in other countries people eat later.
After that a bit of a hike was planned. The long park was my goal. Maybe to scout my photo places for the next day. And so I did. Found a wonderful clock/barometer/thisandthatmeter. My old great grandfather made clocks. So in some way they fascinate me. A beautiful one it was. Then another love came by. A gazebo. How I love them, the geometry of them is so interesting but they aren’t growing wildly in NL. Youth seem to enjoy the place as a gathering for the evening. The youth, a story apart in Zagreb. The park is filled with couples occupying a bench for their feeling and touching an occasional make out session. I wondered why they all go there to do that. Are the families there so strict about it that they don’t feel free to do this at home and need to sneak to a park for that? Im lucky I grew up in a free country where parents prefer the kids to have them safely indoors rather than going on such public places.
The next day I was randomly wandering. I love doing so, because it keeps you from being a tourist. You just randomly walk and trust your guts on where to go. Zagreb is a city you wont be getting lost anyway, it is easy to feel whereabout you are. walked up towards the upper town and saw that church thingy… Kapitol. Too much tourists and going through renovations. I moved away. The whole town is full of churches.
The evening was for some night shots.
Some recordshop hopping was interesting as well. I have been to five of them, did not find anything but had a great time seeing some artists really found their way through Europe. I mean, I found Luv records in a dusty recordstore in south Zagreb. I found Herman Brood as well. Of course really overpriced, knowing that the recordfair is coming in a few weeks where I can simply get them for 50 cents or maybe an Euro. (IF…)
Then walked a bit through the south of the town, some university buildings, not too much interesting stuff, but then it was time to get back into town and do it the Zagreb way. Sit on a terrace with your coat on, drink coffee/tea and eat get some pastries and bread from bakeries that are around every corner. Enjoy life! Was hanging around in town later to see people doing pre-halloween things.
I was aware that All Saints day was celebrated and as I wasn’t sure in what manner that would be I made sure to have enough food and drinks for the day. Everything was closed, even restaurants, apparently they are still very Christian there. I took that lovely day would be great for a longer hike and decided to go up the hill/mountain. As soon as I got out of the center with random walking, did not even have a map with me, I found another gazebo! Lovely!!! So I took the time to lunch there and then walked on. Found some abandoned house in the middle of a street that was full of fancy houses. Weird, but good to look around.
Then I spotted that one house. Very pretty, I thought. Best building I have seen, taken care off and such. my exact thoughts were: “Some really rich people must live here”. And I approached. Looked at a piece of paper on the fench. They have the most hilarious things on these ads around town, so I got curious. Photo of a cat and some Croatian text. Obviously it was missing. Then the name: Saartje. Wait… that sounds Dutch. Looked up and found the sign at the gate: Embassy of Netherlands. aha! well that was a reality check. ‘Some really rich people must live here’.
Then walked on for about an hour and half until I reached the top. Ok, no it’s true the views aren’t too great. The mountain is covered with trees, so not much to see from there. Walked back into town to find all terraces are open. yes… of course! Zagreb people love their coffee to be served at a terrace. Restaurants though, were closed. McDo meal it was.
And then it was the day I went home already. Aaah ok. I had a lovely time here and enjoyed wandering around town. In summer the place is probably even more stunning.