This is the most exotic location I’ve ever run in. I’m coming directly from Schütz-festspiele in Dresden, and that city felt alien with all it’s enormous grey dull boulevards. In Zagreb I feel right at home. It reminds me of all the other cities I like: Rome, Paris, Athens, Zürich. A bit like Oslo even, with narrow streets and hills. And unlike dresden, they take visa card everywhere. And the shops sell organic fruit and greek yoghurt, and the town is full of bicycling young people. There’s free WIFI at the airport, and the espresso tastes great. In other words, I feel like I already know this place. I expected it to be completely mindblowingly different from home. The language is a mystery though.
Today’s route took me through the poshest part of town, with embassies and such, and a church that looks like it’s decorated with Lego. Then I turned left and passed the film festival site and some cafés, and I wandered in the woods for a while. Every time I thought I saw some dangerous Eastern European men, it turned out to be a family with kids and dogs, and every scary dog I saw had a friendly owner.
All the houses on the eastern route look like mansions to me, but badly kept. They would hardly stand a winter in Norway. The climate here is just amazing. It’s October, but still hot and moist like a summer night at home. The parks have a nice smell of rotting pine needles and leaves. And they stack the wood from the trees they chop down in the park.