Ready for New Year's celebration? Or have you already entered 2010? :) Pork and "french salad" (the French I know have never seen or tasted this salad so I don't know where the name comes from) is the typical New Year's Eve meal in Croatia. Following pork tradition, the photo of Arena and its rib-shaped architecture seems to be appropriate:


Ice circles

We've all heard of crop circles, but have you ever heard of ice circles? Have aliens failed to find a field and landed on Jarun? Or maybe it was Santa doing turns on skates? :)


I'm seeing double

Reflections on perfectly still water on the lake Jarun:



Lake Jarun, partly frozen:


Lake Jarun rush hour

Do I even need to comment on this one? :)


A failed snow angel

Do you have the tradition of making snow angels in your country? We used to throw ourselves onto the snow, but snow angels were something I learned about from the movies (US) and later on, when I lived in the US. Are snow angels particular to just the US or English speaking countries or they go beyond?

Here's what it looks like when we do a "snow angel":


Somewhere over the rainbow...

Xmas day surprised us with many rainbows, double ones as well:

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
A way above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then oh why can't I?

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can't I?

Have you ever seen a place where the rainbow formed near the ground? Check this out:

And double the pleasure:


Swans for Xmas...

Happy holidays to all of you! :)


Nature's art

I've always been fascinated with icicles. Their temporary beauty, quality or quantity... or maybe it's the shine that I love so much. Don't you think nature is *the* best artist?


Who let the dogs out?!

Would you want to be walking your dog in this weather? This photo was taken on Saturday....




Temperature of -9C doesn't seem to bother this sleeping swan at Jarun lake:



Xmas tree

The same Xmas tree, just different POV:


Xmas tree and St. Marko's church

Subtle decorations which blend well with quiet and slower life in the Old (Upper) town include a large Xmas tree in front of St. Marko's church. A bit of snow covers the colorful roof of the church:



We've finally experienced real winter these past few days, with snowfall... not heavy, but enough to bring out those waterproof boots and fill up cars with -20C windshield fluid. Here's a scene from Tuskanac (while I was waiting for a bus tonight around 7PM), a part of the city that's just a few minutes walk from the very center, and yet hidden behind buildings. Already at the foothill of the mountain, it boasts its old residential buildings, villas and parks with an odd night club or two, a modern garage and a tiny old cinema.


Xmas is here...

I guess this plant (Red Poinsettia) is a sign that Xmas is here. And, as every year, there's little chance mine will survive another week or two to see Xmas (I'm really good at killing them quickly :(... poor thing).


Slippery twirl

A small skating rink has been constructed on The Regent (Esplanade) hotel's terrace, much to everyone's enjoyment. There's cooked wine, cheesecakes, more cooked wine and if you had any doubts, even more cooked wine :). It was fun watching kids and grown-ups skate, twirl, fall while we were sipping very good cooked wine:

Again, the photos were taken with my Nokia N87 cell phone...


Broadway in Zagreb

I went to see a musical today. It's not your ordinary musical, but the best bits of all famous Broadway musicals. We got to enjoy Chicago, Grease, Hair, Cats, Phantom of the Opera,.......

This was taken during intermission (sorry, no action photos; also, all photos were taken by my Nokia, so don't expect high quality):

And this is a detail from the concert hall "Vatroslav Lisinski":


Xmas cactus

Just around 1st-2nd week of advent, this type of cactus starts blooming. My mom seems to be a genius when it comes to cacti and orchids and getting them to flower like mad. This one is a baby cactus (its 2nd Xmas):



Sunset... Bonus trip photo: Karlskirche, Vienna

Yesterday's sunset was nothing but magnificent:

PS. Just in case you're getting bored with the identical view, sorry, I'll grab my camera next week. At the moment, I'm stuck at home (until Monday) with mild pneumonia caused by mild case of swine flu. :(

Bonus trip photo: Karlskirche, Vienna - most people on short tours around Vienna miss this church because it's slightly out of the center. IMHO, this is THE church you should see and visit in Vienna:


Secure enough? Bonus trip photo: Plaça d'Espanya, Barcelona

A detail from a residential house in the Old town:

Bonus trip photo: Plaça d'Espanya, Barcelona:


Yellow cuteness... Bonus trip photo: drunken house

One of the many emerging eco-properties/restaurants near Zagreb, providing home made food to die for and a nice change from the crazy city life. This one had a Croatian version of a petting ZOO, with these little fluffy ducklings eagerly awaiting a treat or two:

Bonus trip photo - when construction workers get drunk... This is Vienna's famous Hundertwasserhaus, following the principle of "natural" construction - no need to level anything, matching tiles are non-existent......... check out more of this great craziness on Wiki:


Ghosts... Bonus trip photo: Alone

Finally, real winter is showing its presence. Temperatures have finally dropped from 15-20C to around freezing point. Omnipresent fog lasting until noon or longer doesn't allow us to enjoy otherwise cloudless days. Trees barely show their eerie presence through fog:

Bonus trip photo - a fountain in Schoenbrunn park in Vienna. There was quite a lot of mist in the air and the statue seemed sad and neglected, but somehow wonderful in its solitude:


Old age... Bonus trip photo: got some food?

My really old bird (12 years) is enjoying his time out of the cage. He can't fly anymore (his feathers have been in bad shape for the past two years), so he just sits there. The cage doors are open almost all the time, but he spends most of his time nowadays inside half-asleep or on this branch.

Btw, he's a canary & European goldfinch hybrid with most of his genes leaning towards the goldfinch - hates being held in hand, but loves being on a shoulder, same song as goldfinches,...

Bonus trip photo - again from Vienna's Schoenbrunn park, a squirrel waiting for food. They're quite friendly and will eat from hands if you have walnuts or similar. Its size is similar to their gray friends you can see at every US campus (which also means twice the size of a normal forest squirrel).


Pea soup?

Remember that image I posted for December theme day? Well, this one is looking towards the lake at the identical angle (just not as zoomed in):

I've always wondered why would anyone give the funny phrase, "pea soup", to thick fog, but this photo explains it all.


Sea? Bonus trip photo: Glorious Gloriette

Lake Jarun and its clear water is the closest I'll get to the real sea until next spring...

Bonus trip photo: our visit to Vienna during the advent was also filled with visits to the usual tourist spots. Palace Schoenbrunn's Gloriette is truly glorious (regardless of the fact I've seen it many times):


A candle...

... for the famous and fantastic conductor who lost the battle with leukemia today. I was lucky to have been at his last conducting masterpiece in June this year, which was supposed to have been his comeback after the long treatment.

Vjekoslav Šutej, 1951.-2009., R.I.P.


December theme day: Waiting

... for the nightfall...

This evening showed us all the glory of a wonderful sunset and a promise of relatively clear and starry night:

The photo was taken a few hours ago from my parents' apartment balcony overlooking the lake Jarun.

Make sure you go and check out how other people interpreted waiting: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Ripe figs and a sparrow feasting

Another old one, taken this summer at our holiday house. We have several large fig trees with so much fruit we usually end up feeding all our neighbors, birds and ourselves. This little guy was certainly enjoying mouthful of the perfectly ripe fig:


B-day surprise!

Digging out some of the older photos (September), I stumbled upon this one:

It always makes me laugh, the look on my friend's son's face is priceless! :-D

PS. Sorry for not photo-blogging for previous few days, I went to Vienna for a bit of Advent-Xmas atmosphere... don't worry, I'll include some of the photos from there once I download them to my computer. :)


Sculpture on an empty jogging path

Looking westward along the river Sava: