Friday 23 November 2012

Day trip to Zagreb

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to take a day trip to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Since it is the largest city of a neighboring country it is actually pretty strange I have never visited it before.
I am not counting a couple of times going through or flying from the nearby airport.

Since I arrived quite early I was a bit worried about getting to a scheduled meeting on time due to the morning rush hour. City traffic in Zagreb can definitely be quite challenging. Besides cars there are also trams and buses rushing through busy streets.
Even for a seasoned driver like me this could have proved to be too much of a challenge. At this point I just have to thank my Android powered mobile navigation for getting me to the desired destination on time without a sweat. In times like this it really is a handy tool.

I found a nice seafood restaurant where I treated myself with a great lunch and a good glass of local white wine. Gastro Mare restaurant (on the second floor of a modern building at Trg Petra Peradovića 6) is not cheap but offers great quality sea food. I definitely recommend it.
Unfortunately after a good and relaxed meal I did not have much time left for other things I would love to check out. A short stroll I did around the center was hardly enough to really see the city. I did however get to feel the vibe.

I must say the city center had a really nice and lively feel to it, with all the people walking around on a Thursday morning.

Many cafes with outside tables gave away there is probably quite a lot of action also in the evening. Sadly I could not stay long enough to check whether my predictions were correct.
Similarly there was also not enough time to visit a local museum or two.

With all of that in mind I will definitely return sooner or later to have a deeper look into this charming and lively city.

These few photos were taken near the main city square. Ban Jelačić - a Croatian hero, is watching over the crowds of people from his saddle high above.


Monday 19 November 2012

Akordika group through my lens

Every summer for the last few years there is an interesting festival held in the Slovenian town of Idrija. It is called "Četrtki na placu", which literally translates into "Thursdays on the square".
The stage set on the main town square makes a great venue for events like this. Hopefully there will be even more of them in the future years.

Every year this small festival features different bands, vocal groups and even a theater group or two. So on every Thursday evening in July and August mostly local crowd gathers to listen to event.
If you ever happen to be in the neighborhood during that period, you should definitely check it out. The entrance is free of charge.

Often there is also something on the stage well worth a look. These photos are from a pleasant August evening I spent with a group Akordika. A guy I know plays trombone for them so it was an even more interesting performance from my point of view.

They advertise themselves as Musical theatre performers - a group of 10 talented people who perform popular musical theatre pieces.

Apart from top notch musicians, there is also a group of three dancers adding another dimension to their performances. They mostly perform pieces from various musicals, but also have many other great scores up their sleeves.

They do a great job and I really recommend you check them out if you ever get a chance.

I promised to send them a couple of photos and since some quite nice ones turned out I thought to also share them with you. I hope you like them.


Wednesday 14 November 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Canoe on Planinsko jezero


Monday 12 November 2012

Rain storms hit Slovenia

The last few weeks weather was not too kind to travellers around Slovenia. There were some really nice and sunny days in between the rain storms but when it was raining it was next to impossible to do anything outside.

One weekend ago we had loads of rain for the second time in a couple of weeks in Slovenia. In some areas it did not stop pouring throughout the whole weekend. I am talking serious rainfall - both times up to 250 millimeters of rain in 48 hours (that is just under 10 inches or 250 liters per square meter)!

For the most unfortunate parts of the country this meant the amount of rain in two weeks topped the cumulative rainfall of the past 9 months.

I do not know what is to blame but climate changes definitely come to mind. We could have witnessed quite a lot of these extreme weather situations in the last years. It seems like there are more and more every year and they range from extreme cold winter months to scorching hot summer periods and from summer drought to autumn floods.

Obviously there were quite a few problems with flooding in the last weeks but fortunately we made it through without any serious problems. A few of the nearby roads were temporary closed and a few basements flooded. As the last photo shows, some roads were literally disappearing into water even a week after.

In some parts of Slovenia they were not so lucky - many homes and some industrial buildings were completely flooded and ruined by the water.

I took a few shots when it was raining near the town of Idrija (the first two photos) and another bunch a week later when water in some parts was still draining after a whole week without rain. The last three photos were taken at Planinsko polje which turns from a grass field to a lake a couple times per year due to extensive rainfall.

For the next few days meteorologists are predicting strong rainfall again. I hope this time forecasts are not correct and it will not be so bad...

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