Tag Archives: Croatia

Zagreb street

Wednesday 8th May 2019, 7.15pm (day 2,813)

Zagreb street, 8/5/19

When I was younger, propaganda convinced me that everywhere behind the old Iron Curtain was grey, drab and polluted. This is of course not the case, was never the case. Eastern European cities (see also Prague, Tallinn, more) seem to have this effortless sophistication, a handsome civility that should shame all who voted for the idiocy that is Brexit. Britons have much to learn from such places, the trouble is that 17 million of them said, we don’t want to. (The Croatians have also learned from us though — at least, they have acquired an understanding of ‘the pub’.)

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The Grič Tunnel

Tuesday 7th May 2019, 2.05pm (day 2,812)

Gric tunnel, 7/5/19

One of those photos that looks like I’ve converted it to monochrome, but I haven’t. Zagreb’s Grič tunnel was built in 1944 as an air-raid shelter and, indicating changing times, has since been a flop for the homeless, a site for techno raves and now, a tourist attraction. Am I just to the right of where I should be to get the final arches dead centre — or is it not quite straight? Everything else looks symmetrical enough to me, so I’m claiming the latter.

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Unbroken relationships?

Monday 6th May 2019, 1.15pm (day 2,811)

Zagreb padlocks, 6/5/19

It was Zagreb, Croatia, to where I was travelling yesterday. When I was here just under a year ago I said it was quite possible I would return, and so it has turned out.

Amongst its other charms Zagreb is home to the quite brilliant Museum of Broken Relationships, where are exhibited objects, and associated stories, that represent break-ups of one kind or another whether through desertion, death, infidelity, geographical separation or whatever. The poignancy of that place — and it can truly be said that of all the museums I have ever been to, this was the first one in which I genuinely inspected every single one of the exhibits on display, and with emotional contact too — was highlighted by then coming back to the Lower Town via one of those panoramic viewpoints of the city (one of its churches in the background) where young lovers choose to set a padlock, to represent their undying commitment. It seems so permanent, yet in the end has taken just a few moments in time. I wonder how many of these can still be said to be meaningful. I’m not trying to be cynical. I genuinely hope most of them still are.

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Zagreb airport

Friday 18th May 2018, 12.45pm (day 2,458)

Zagreb airport, 18/5/18

And another picture of Zagreb’s transport infrastructure to mark the end of this week here — the airport being a considerably more modern construction than the railway station. An impressive space, in fact. It’s been a good week and I will probably be back at some point next year.

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Getting ready for my lecture

Thursday 17th May 2018, 4.55pm (day 2,457)

Zagreb lecture, 17/5/18

The reason I was put up for another two nights in Zagreb after the Networked Learning conference was so I could come to give this lecture at the University. A few more people did arrive by the time I started… so hopefully my hosts thought the bother was worth it. I enjoyed it, anyway. Home tomorrow.

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Zagreb central station (James Bond reference)

Wednesday 16th May 2018, 1.40pm (day 2,456)

Zagreb station, 16/5/18

The conference ended today but I am in Zagreb until Friday, and transited to a different hotel in the early afternoon. My walk there took me past the main railway station, a symbolic spot for those who have seen and enjoyed From Russia With Love — the best Bond movie (yes, it is) — as it’s here that 007 meets the evil Grant –the best Bond villain (don’t argue now) — posing as a fellow British agent.

Actually, those scenes weren’t filmed here, but in Turkey: and in the book, Grant and Bond meet not in Zagreb, but Trieste. But this is just detail….

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Pigeons fighting in the rain

Monday 14th May 2018, 11.40am (day 2,454)

Fighting pigeons, 14/5/18

I’m aware this photo could have been taken anywhere, but it happens to be in Zagreb, Croatia: making this the first place to begin with Z that has appeared on the blog in its 2,454 days.

The pigeons of Zagreb, at least, the ones pictured here, may have decided for many reasons to have a fight but amongst those may have been the fact that on this late morning it was absolutely throwing it down with rain, as is visible here (and it’s not always easy to see rain on photographs unless it’s very heavy). I have been here 24 hours now and there’s certainly been copious amounts of moisture pouring out of the sky. I think there are three birds visible on this shot, but I must admit I’m not entirely sure.

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Take-off, Dubrovnik airport

Thursday 23rd October 2014, 4.55pm (day 1,155)

Take off, 23/10/14

Not my take-off, obviously — but we were next in line to head into this rather worrying sky. Mind you, I shouldn’t have been anywhere near being able to take this shot. I had to sit through a five-hour flight delay today on my way home from an enjoyable few days in Dubrovnik. But these things happen for a reason.

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Cheap (Croatian) cat shot

Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 9.30am (day 1,154)

Croatian cat, 22/10/14

I call most cat shots ‘cheap’ because they are just such photogenic creatures, you don’t really have to make a lot of effort to get a decent shot of them. They are beautiful and willing, like all good models. Today in Dubrovnik the weather was far, far worse than it has been in the last few days, cold and stormy, but this little cutie, pictured in the grounds of my hotel, meant I didn’t have to worry over much about the lack of decent light and also the fact that, y’know, I kind of had to work for most of the day.

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Croatian dancing

Tuesday 21st October 2014, 8.45pm (day 1,153)

Croatian dancing, 21/10/14

If it’s the conference dinner, wheel out the folk dancers…. I sometimes wonder whether we should do this kind of thing with conferences in Manchester. You could take the delegates into a local nightclub, pour them blue WKDs and let them photograph the natives as they get down to it on a Friday night.

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