Since we got back to Zagreb, the skies have opened up. We were dreaming of spending happy afternoons walking everywhere in this fine city, enjoying beers and sandwiches in the parks here, newly greened under trees with their spring foliage, but were only able to do it once, thanks to the frequent showers. Despite that, however, it has been a joy to be back here in this city, which is blessedly flat in comparison to Dubrovnik. We even saw a corgi two days ago, which Steve and I both regard to be the height of auspicious signs.
To briefly illustrate our (mostly boring) activities this past week, we’ve been doing housekeeping and shopping, catching up on the things that we’ve been too busy to take care of these past months. I found a great art supply store half a block from our apartment and went on a shopping splurge, buying a real watercolor pad with heavy watercolor paper (the kind that’s 300 g/m^2), three brushes of varying sizes and shapes, and even blank watercolor postcards so I can draw some scenes for those at home. Price tag? $30 USD. Watercolors have turned out to be a great hobby to pick up — it appeals to my sense of creativity and the steep learning curve has taught me a lot, from how to mix colors to using perspective (something I haven’t done since Mr. Harris’s 8th grade art class) and how to hold a brush. But more importantly, since I find a lot of inspiration in our surroundings, it makes for a beautiful record of our time here. I have to thank Steve’s best friend Andrew, who is an awesome designer, for giving me a push and nudge in that direction! Continue reading Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?→
Written on the ICN 522 Split – Zagreb, Croatia Saturday, April 19, 1:40 – 7:48 pm
Another country, another train.
This afternoon, we said goodbye to Split, Croatia’s second city. From the harbor, we could see Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman ruins that had captivated our attention for three days, as well as the large harbor, which boasted ferries to Brac, Havr, and other numerous islands in the Adriatic. On a clear day, from the Marjan Hill to the west of the city, you can see three or four islands on the horizon to the south, and a hundred miles or so beyond, the eastern shore of Italy.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back another edition of the truly classic terrible apartment photos. As some of you may recall, France was pretty bad, and Taiwan was the original enfant terrible, but Croatia has no shortage either of terrible photographers. Why are we here again? Well, since we have gotten to know and admire every inch of this skinny country along the Adriatic Sea, Steve and I have decided to overstay our original trip to Croatia. In two days, we wrap up our visit to Dubrovnik and journey up the coast to Split, in Dalmatia, before heading back to Zagreb for the rest of April. We just can’t get enough of this country! So to Airbnb it was again to find a new place to stay in Zagreb for two weeks. Along the way, I could not resist gathering a large quantity of truly terrible apartment photos for your viewing pleasure. Here are some photos that truly do not inspire you to visit this country!
The Classic What-Is-This Photo
Let’s start off with a good old fashioned example of a photo that in no way gives you any useful information. What is this? A doorway? A cabinet? How does this black space on the right of what seems like a doorframe change from being negative space against a red door to going right through the floor at the bottom? What am I looking at?? This is an utter waste of pixels and my bandwidth!
We have left Asia after six and a half months of living and travel. The change to living in Croatia is quite a shock for both our minds and bodies. We’ve been adapting rather quickly to living in a European country, as both of us have traveled in Central and Western Europe before, but I have a feeling we’ll be digesting the differences from Asia for a long time. We are turning on the heat in the mornings and at night and apply more lotion to our suddenly dry and chapped skin. We pick up the bread basket at the restaurants we go to, marveling at the fact that we haven’t had good real cooked bread in months. Up and down the streets of central Zagreb, there are grocery stores galore, with everything from cucumbers to Milka to wine. And when we cross the street, we must look left again first after spending more than two months in countries where we had learned to do the opposite (Thailand, Malaysia, India). And nobody is honking! What a relief!
Essentially, Zagreb has been really wonderful so far. The more that Steve and I see, the more we like this city, which has a charming and wonderful old town that is every bit as beautiful and historic but better preserved and less touristy than Prague. There are people and dogs about in the parks, the pedestrian streets that criss-cross its historic center, sitting at roadside cafés, enjoying breakfast and beers and coffee. There are deciduous trees here, which look exotic to us after months of coconut palms, and the pale, early spring is persuading them throwing out small green buds, coaxing life into austere but elegant streets framed with concrete and stone buildings. On our first night here, it was a brisk 8 degrees Centigrade last night or 47 Fahrenheit. (I know, I know, I haven’t been in Chicago this whole winter! But you’d find it cold too if you’d been in Kochi!)