Zagreb, part two

One day I took a walk through Maksimir park in Zagreb. This park is located on the east side of Zagreb and in area of only 3.16 square kilometers (1.22 square miles) it has a deciduous wood crossed by human made paths, 5 artificial lakes, two pavillions, a zoo and flower gardens. Its construction started in 1794. and the central structure is gazebo (also known as Kiosk), the most notable object in a park. This is where I made above photo. As you may see, a weather was rainy and not much favorable for taking photographs, but I enjoyed a slow walk. It would be crowded if the day was better. Then I have seen only several people. Employees cleaning paths. Two young moms with babies. Older couple. Some sportsmen running their usual circles. It felt nice actually.
As I said in previous post, I knew my vaction would be a walk through the past for me. So I used these few hours to try to recall things that I remember about a Zagreb from my youth. I was 17 when I came there alone for a first time. My friends waited for me at train station and we went to a nearest pub to have something to eat and drink a couple of beers. Back then, there was no age limit for drinking a beer, we were all underaged but no one seemed to care about. And we wanted so desperately to be older. To look older and capable to control our lives. We used to sit there, eating and drinking and life was good. I loved two girls from Zagreb, they were both my summer crushes and probably a reasons why I loved to go there as much as I could. Well, 2 or 3 times a year, that is. I was a schoolboy, with pockets usually empty, but willing to travel and be with friends.
After, we would walk to a center and end up in cinema, maybe in disco or some other pub. Having fun with other people, watching at beautiful girls or having "serious" talks. I needed to plan those trips carefully (did I say I never have enough money?) so, the day after we would go further, usually up to mountain village where my grandmom lived. To a place of ultimate freedom.

Years were passing fast back then and my visits were occassional. Last time before wars started, I went to Zagreb to meet a friend I knew from army. We spent so much time together and felt it would be a shame to just let it go. So I came there in May 1991. and we spent a nice day walking on the old part of town. This was a first time I saw all the buildings I mentioned in previous post – I guess I was too young to care about them before 😛 I remember we were walking from a train station, near Zrinjevac square and along the park on our right side when a bunch of younger girls appeared – dressed in dark, with weird haircuts, laughing loud. One of them was looking at me straight in the eyes and while we were passing by each other she suddenly grabbed my throat, laughed at my surprised face and touched my cheek with her finger. They left in opposite direction while I was still a bit confused and my friend laughing his ass off…

I don`t know why I remembered this. I just did.

I was deliberately walking on that street a day before and to my great surprise found that old pub where we used to eat is still there :happy: I recognised the door and tried to peak inside, to see if the same lady is still there, dressed in black and white uniform, so usual for restaurant employees back then. Wanted desperately to go inside and feel the scent of cooked meal and beer and cigarettes smoke. But I didn`t. I knew I would be disappointed. It is better to remember it as it was.
I looked as I walked away, there were few girls walking toward me. Young and happy with December sun in their eyes.
They payed no attention to me at all 😆

On my way back to Belgrade, ten days later, I spent two more days in Zagreb. My cousins invited me to go to a concert of Neno Belan, a singer who started his career as a frontman of a music band from Split – Djavoli (The Devils). I must admit I was never a great fan of his music but I know a bass guitarist Olja Desic, from Fiumens, a band who is currently playing with Belan. Also my cousins told me that previous concert was great and that was enough for me. It was all a walk down a memory lane, so what the hell… We were in backstage all the time, drinking beer and I must admit it felt great to hear old songs I haven`t heard for so long. I looked at people singing and dancing, most of them haven`t been born when Belan made his first hits. I felt old. But just for a split of a second, I swear 😛
more photos here

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53 Responses to Zagreb, part two

  1. SittingFox says:

    I love the track in that first photo! :up:It's always special to revisit a place that holds strong, positive memories – those past experiences that help define who we are.

  2. thetomster says:

    :up: great one … I enjoyed very much … like a guided tour … memory lane … funny .. there is one in every city …

  3. L2D2 says:

    I loved the guided tour and the walk down memory lane, Dare. Thanks so much for sharing the thoughts and feelings of the young Dare.

  4. gdare says:

    Dirk, I would say that everyone of us has its own memory lane about some place(s) 😀 Thanks!Adele, I like how you put it – "those past experiences that help define who we are." :yes:Linda, now it sounds like you`ve said "young Skywalker" 😆

  5. Stardancer says:

    What a wonderful post, Darko. Very well-written. I felt like I was walking right along beside you, both during your recent trip and down memory lane.Thanks for sharing this.:smile:

  6. ellinidata says:

    Darko,the colors are amazing ! this is the third year you add pictures form the park,no?the bench one is my favorite! thanks for sharing! :up:

  7. sanshan says:

    🙂 Thanks for sharing your memories…

  8. studio41 says:

    "I felt old." I'd say, "You are!" But, since I'm a tad older… 😀

  9. gdare says:

    Star, thank you. Sometimes it is easy for me to write a post like this, I just need to follow my thoughts and there it goes. I try to avoid complications, it is hard for me to explain in English :lol:Angeliki, yes but they are all different parks 😀 Thanks!San, they are mostly nice memories. I try not to recall the bad ones…Jill 😆

  10. Diabolical says:

    Awesome trip down memory lane.. 🙂 girls grabbing you. You getting old. Is all good.. :happy:

  11. rose-marie says:

    Awww, thanks for the tour and the pictures. They go great with the post!

  12. AnitaMargita says:

    Great photos and great park! 🙂 I especially like how you caught misty moments in the first two photos. :up:

  13. gdare says:

    Clint, thanks, even though I could catch a note of sarcasm in your comment :PAna, thanks! Catching misty moments was not a problem, it was a misty day :DRose, thank you for reading :happy: One friend asked me why I make posts with a feeling of sadness but it was never my intention. I try to be as real as I can and with this post I tried to avoid to make it sad. Because I was not sad, just thoughtful. So, photographs has nothing to do with my feelings, I was happy to be on vacation. I guess my friend reflected his own feelings and state of mind that my photos and post started in his mind 🙂

  14. PainterWoman says:

    Absolutely love these walks Darko. Thank you. It makes me feel as if I'm there making the leaves crunch under my feet. I sometimes like sitting on park benches and just listening and watching people; remembering things too. This is why I bought an old park bench for $20 at a garage sale and it is now sitting in my backyard. It was quite rickety and needed painting so I tightened the screws and painted it a cobalt blue.

  15. Spaggyj says:

    Ah, a lovely second part to your Zagreb posts. It's nice to learn history, and to learn history of a friend is a pleasure.

  16. Furie says:

    Strange women grabbing you by the throat eh? :insane: Yeah, sometimes it's best to remember fondly than experience disappointment. But sometimes you really have to try it again.:sst: The more photos link leads to the second page of the album.

  17. gdare says:

    Pam, I use to do that in Zemun, too, by the bank of Danube. It has calming effect and I love my sundays because of it :happy: Do you have a photo of your bench?Kimmie, thank you. Most of my memories from summers spent in Croatia are filled with pleasure :happy:Mik, today when I see a :sing: strange kind of woman :sing: walking my way, I look at her with alertness :left: :PYes, I added more photos in the same album and they are all in the second page :DAadil, you`ve made a point? :left:

  18. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Do you have a photo of your bench?

    Not yet. But I will when I finish it and do a post about it.

  19. Furie says:

    Aadil's wisdom – always short and to the point.

  20. claudeb says:

    This must be one of your best articles yet. Loved the part with the goth girls. 😆

  21. gdare says:

    Well, I have my moments…. 😆

  22. gdare says:

    Carol 😀

  23. gdare says:

    Theresia, I haven`t seen my friend since then, wars started and we lost contact. I know he still lives in Zagreb, but his telephone number is changed.I could try to find him over Facebook, though :idea:Thanks!

  24. There2ia says:

    Nice sharing . . Taking the reader to walk with you. . Even when you remember what the girl did. Did your friend tell you about it? . . .

  25. There2ia says:

    you`re welcome….it would be a lot of fun.and what I still remember about Serbia is the war. as I watched on TV. …..ah bye the way Darko….yo could find your friend…..

  26. gdare says:

    I have just found him on FB and sent him a message. I hope he will remember me, after all those years 😀

  27. There2ia says:

    good Luck! Darko…..hopefully he will always remember about youand a surprise for him to find you in his facebook……..

  28. gdare says:

    Thanks :happy:

  29. There2ia says:

    you`re welcome

  30. Suntana says:

    Darko, your coming up on your old pub hangout reminded me of what a sad sight it was some years back coming up on my old hangout from the 70s … a Pizza Hut. It's the only Pizza Hut I have ever seen get dilapidated like that … to FUBAR status and to the point of being closed. But, if it had been open, I would have wanted to go in for ole times sake.

  31. Suntana says:

    Wow! Darko, I've Blogged about a couple of weird encounters with girls with odd behavior in years past, but I can't say I've ever encountered one grab my throat. Arm & Leg yes, 😆 but not throat. That goes beyond weird. I'd say that enters into the area of aggressive and threatening. I equate her action of grabbing your throat like that and then running her finger across your cheek as conveying, "You know … I could have easily killed you if I had wanted to."Maybe one of the other girls dared her to do something random and bold like that to a complete stranger. Hmmm? Is THAT how you got your nickname "Dare?" Because of that incident where the Goth Chick was DARED to scare the Beejeezes out of you? :eyes: 😆 It's a good thing you didn't know Martial Arts back then. You didn't, did you? Because otherwise, who knows? With a stranger surprising you with a throat grab, you might not have cared that it was just some oddly-dressed young girl. You might have just reacted instinctively and the bold girl might have gotten herself a broken arm courtesy of Darko. :norris:C'mon, Darko, fess up. Admit it. When you saw the young girls THIS time around in the present walking towards you, your flashback made you start loosening up your fingers, then striking a loose stance, ready for possible action as you thought, "Alright, you girls … Go ahead. Make my day! Start something. I guarantee you I will end it. I will be your worst nightmare if you DARE grab my throat!" :ninja:

  32. gdare says:

    Carlos 😆 😆 :lol:But, I must admit you one thing: I was surprised when she did that. I was not a complete begginer in martial arts (in fact I was practicing only Kendo, for about 3 years), but she caught me on surprise. They were all happy and (sort of) looking nice and the least I expected was that. *philosophicaly* One is learning for entire life. Beaty and happiness has nothing to do with deadliness. It could be both. Look at tigers, for instance. They are so beautiful but it won`t be a pleasure to meet them in wild……I got my nickname after I met one of my friends in center of Belgrade and the moment he saw me he yelled: "Dare, Dare zmijski care" which means "Dare, Dare king of snakes". Someone else heard that too and the rest is a history….. 😀

  33. Suntana says:

    WHAT? Females tend to want to :left: :right: strangle you … frequently, Edward? :eyes: And you equate this with GULP! Affection? :insane: Ummm, what kind of situation, communication and / or physical exchanges take place right before these said — strangulationesque affectionate gestures are implemented by these females? :nervous:

  34. gdare says:

    Girls are grabbing for your throat, Ed? Now this is something I would like to read about :yes: A topic for one of your future posts :DThanks!

  35. edwardpiercy says:

    From the historical to the autobiographical. I would like to take a walk down that long path in the top photo. I don't know. The whole strangulation / touching cheek thing seems to me to be a gesture of affection. Or at least that's what I tell myself when it happens to me. And it happens a lot. Great reading. :up:

  36. Suntana says:

    So then at 17 you already had 3 years of Ass Kicking Training, Darko? Except they hadn't covered the — Don't EVER let your guard down for even a second … especially with oddly-dressed, weird haircut-sporting, happy-looking, pretty girls — lesson, right? 😆

  37. gdare says:

    Well, something like that. But I have learnt something after that :happy:

  38. L2D2 says:

    I think you learned it too well, Dare. Thought sure you'd come home with a little Zagrebian tucked under your arm. :p

  39. Words says:

    Great post, and the park is very beautiful. And a very Merry Christmas! :smurf:

  40. gdare says:

    Thanks Words. Merry Christmas to you and yours, too 😀

  41. edwardpiercy says:

    Merry Christmas, Darko. Have a great celebration with your family and I hope your grandmother will be there for it. :up:

  42. gdare says:

    Thanks Edward. I wish a Merry Christmas to you and your mom, too :up:

  43. thetomster says:

    :hat: :wizard: Merry Christmas … have peaceful time, Darko! 😀

  44. gdare says:

    Thanks! Merry Christmas to you and Theresia, too 🙂

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