New among old...

A modern-style Hotel Dubrovnik in the center of Zagreb is squished between older-style buildings...

PS. I will be offline (or stuck with a terrible signal for mobile internet) for the better part of the next 2 weeks... I'll do my best to post a photo or two whenever I can.



Random lion statues/reliefs in Zagreb... because we have so many lions running around the city... :-D


Just a fountain...

Just watching this fountain while the temperatures reach high is refreshing:


Slaying a dragon...

As I mentioned already, there are quite a few statues in Zagreb with brave men fighting&slaying snakes, dragons and other creatures.

When it comes to slaying a dragon, this has roots in old Slavic mythology. As much as a dragon represents "evil", it is also a life's necessity and a foreteller of something good to come. After reading stories about dragons it is easy to see parallels with the usual human behavior - from strength, viciousness, to kindness (e.g. if someone helps the dragon or its offspring).

In one of the stories, it is stated you had to kill a dragon in order to have spring and to get things growing/green again after a harsh winter.

This statue is in front of the Stone gate, the entrance to the Old town:


A detail from Zagreb and turquoise heaven

All lamps in Zagreb's Old Town are just like these:

In case you were wondering where have I run off to past weekend, here it is (the island of Pasman and National Park Kornati):

I snorkeled:

Swam for hours here:

And to get to NP Kornati, we used T-Rex :-D :


Frogs, funiculars and emptiness

Today's photo:

Don't ask me what that's supposed to represent... :)

Because I might not be able to go online over the weekend, here are two extra photos:

A small funicular in the center:

And yes, the city is still empty:



I saw this dog in pretty much the same pose today for 5th or 6th time since last year... the photo is relatively old, but I guess the owner isn't changing his routine while going for groceries in a nearby store.



In case you get lost, our misbehaving youth wanted to make sure you know which part of the city you're at with the following graffiti:

I should also mention our word for center is "centar"... the space here in the graffiti is merely an artistic expression.

We have several spots in the city where ugly walls (e.g. the one separating train tracks from the residential buildings and streets) were intentionally turned into graffiti walls. Not the ugly graffiti, but true art expressions. I support such things with all my heart. However, when vandals write any type of graffiti on a building/facade several centuries old... I would make them clean it with a toothbrush, then give them a fine at the level of the restoration cost and then put them in jail for at least a year so they can think about was it really all worth it.

What is your take on graffiti in your town/city?


Zooming in...

This statue is in front of State archives building. It's a statue of Marko Marulic (16th century), famous poet and novelist...



While her parents were at a nearby cafe's terrace, this cute girl was chillin' and people-watching on top of the Sun statue (in the center):

I can't count the number of times I wished I was able to steal at least an hour of my time to do the same! :)


State archives and owls...

This is a building of what used to be National University Library, but is now the main Croatia state archives. The building dates back to 1913 and represents a piece of work by Rudolf Lubynski (early secession style):

The owls overlook the surroundings from each corner of the roof:

This building is right across the Botanical garden and is open for visits. Of course, there's a virtual walk as well.


Foreigners in Zagreb :)

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to recognize foreigners or pinpoint the region of the world someone is coming from without hearing them speak first? My favorite past time is guessing where all these foreigners roaming around Zagreb are from. We've had a huge influx of US, Spanish and Japanese tourists in recent years. These two guys stuck out of the crowd... don't ask me why - cowboy hats? Relaxed demeanor? Too happy and not uptight to be anywhere from Europe? Something in their faces made me think they're either Ozzies or Kiwis. What do you think? What part of the world would you put them in? :)



Botanical garden: miscellaneous

Tiny sunflowers:

A Japanese plant with many small yellow flowers:

A turtle posing:


Botanical garden: water lillies

Monet would have really enjoyed this part of the botanical garden....


Stroll around the Botanical garden

In the center of the city, there's an oasis with local and world flora - the Botanical garden, dating from 19th century. It was established as a part of the University (Natural sciences) but has become Zagreb's hidden park, a wonderful place to take a walk in these hot summer days.
A pond with several types of turtles, different fish and other fauna/flora:

These trees' natural habitat is in Florida (marshes):

A fountain:



Summer has definitely arrived in Zagreb - usually this street (Mihanoviceva, next to the Botanical garden) is full of life, people, cars, trams (also packed with people). This is what it looked like on Saturday around 10:30AM, while everyone's at the coast:

Kind of spooky, huh?



The street vendors are back, selling cooked or grilled corn... yum!


August 1st Theme day: Night

Six years ago, as a part of my PhD (astronomy) I was sent to the Canary Islands (La Palma) to do a set of 8 nights of observations on a telescope called Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT). I had no technical help for the last 5 nights and was operating the telescope on my own, which is not the case on larger telescopes. After I got used to operating the telescope on my own, I took time while the telescope was taking images and went out of the dome. The darkness was palpable, but as my eyes got used to the darkness I was stunned by how incredible the night sky was at that elevation (2500m above the sea, and only 5% humidity). I had a feeling I could touch every star in the Milky way... that's when I realized my childhood dream came true.

Soon I got used to that small time frame when I had everything set up for the night's work and got out next to the dome to watch the sunset and other telescopes:

Remembering those 8 nights always make me melancholic about leaving astronomy...

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