Today you’re going to get a photo-heavy, two-nation post.
Paris was just wonderful. I hope to go back someday. In addition to pornographic baked goods (mine was delicious, by the way), I managed to see quite a few sites.
And here I am, looking awfully darn pleased to be touring a Parisian cemetery. I think I might have had this dopey smile on my face during my entire stay in France.
Sadly, my short visit to Paris had to come to an end. But happily I’m now in Zagreb. I lived here for 5 months last year, so it’s a second home to me, and it has such a big place in my heart. I’ve been busily meeting up with friends, and beginning tomorrow I have a conference to attend.
The gay rights movement has come a really long way in Croatia, but, as this little graffiti conversation shows, still has a way to go.
One of the wonderful things about Croatia is its very active cafe culture. I’ve been pining for these cafes for months, so it is with much satisfaction that I’ve been sitting and having espressos and watching the crowds walk by. An espresso in Zagreb will run about 10 kuna, which is less than $2. And you can sit forever and chat with friends, read, or people watch.
This is Zagreb’s main square, Trg bana Jelacic (and this is the view from my hotel room). Those red umbrellas are one of the flower markets. If you walk past them you’ll be at Dolac, Zagreb’s wonderful market. The downstairs part has meats, cheese, and breads, and the upstairs part has produce and fish. I bought grapes today.
Here’s a slightly different view of the square. You can also get to Dolac by walking through that yellow building in the middle. That’s the cathedral in the background. It’s been under repair for at least 4 years.
The guy on the horse is Josip Jelacic himself. He was a governor of Croatia while Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The stature has an interesing history. You can read about it and see some old photos of the square here.
In February or March, my novel Venetian Masks will be released. A part of it takes place in Zagreb. In fact, there’s a scene right in this square, in which one of the protagonists is sitting at that cafe on the left and leaps over the little granite wall. Why? You’ll have to wait until the book releases to find out!