>zagreb . . . no fancy title
>so i´d been to croatia before, but i don´t think i knew how much like vienna or prague that zagreb really is. architecture and scents and breezes and faces. steeples rose up like a gift to the sky-gods. cafes and churches nestled in little nooks and small thoroughfares. outdoor fruit and veg markets with people competing to sell the sweetest peaches and the juicest cherries. although i feel like i am suffering from a deplorable lack of curiositzy. when i used to backpack three years ago, i would take bus tours, walking tours, audio tours…any tour i could find to help me learn about the place i was in…i haven´t been doing that on this trip. only once in istanbul, that´s it. granted, i haven´t seen any other city that offers something like that, tourism is so new to so many of these places. but i really have been kind of floating in and out of cities.
in this video, i decided i wanted everyone to hear what i´ve been listening to on my mp3 player. so i put my earplugs up to the camera´s microphone and started filming…watch this the whole way through. i spontaneously decided at the end to lift the camera up to the heavens, and it fits with the descrescendo of the song.
in the sticky-calm of the evening, i took a bus north of the city to the mirogoj cemetery, which is reputed to be the most beautiful cemetery in all of europe. the reputation is right. all of the tombs and altars and graves were the most ornate i´ve ever seen and i could not get over the thought, care, and artistry people put into honouring the dead.
driton, who has been to zagreb before, recomended i go to a place called Jarun, a man-made lake complex, where i was able to swim with swans and bronze on the hot stones. the sun was almost laughing at me. old men in speedos, kids slurping ice cream, couple zapping, girls sunning themselves. i lay in the calm waters and floated up, closing my eyes, wishing he was with me.
(an excerpt from my personal journal as i was thinking of driton and travelling to sarajevo…)
“it is a bizarre thing, being on a train for so long, but also calming. i read my book, plucked from the exchange at hostels, and i eat my peaches, sucking down on the meat, trying not to let a drop of juice spill on my chin or thighs. i listen to music i´ve heard countless times on my mp3 player and gaze out at the green beyond the window. little villages and hamlets nestle into the burrow and curve of mountains. sometimes climbing beyond where they reasonably should. the eye immediately goes to the church steeple or bell tower one will inevitably find there. eastern europe is no different from the west. churches are necessary no matter how remote from civilization. except in kosovo. there, the orthodox churches remain gutted skeletons from the war. instead, the eye from the train looks for the mosques. the domes and prayer chants rise high like a steeple. birds nest there like they would in the beams of a church. they don´t pray. birds have no religion. and they live longer than the kosovars.”
i am in sarajevo. more on that later. the 4th warzone i have been to in my life (beirut, berlin, kosovo, and now here.) bullets and motars. beautiful and mine.