Zagreb is a nice city. I like it because it’s living–not like a tourist zone, void of local life. There aren’t really many sights to see. I stopped into the cathedral and then wandered around, from the Lower town winding my way to the Upper Town. I drifted into a park where local residents were just hanging around. The park walls were graffitied, there was dog poop in the grass, and an old lady feeding pigeons with stale bread.
This is the Zagreb I wanted to see. So I woke early, checked out of my hostel and walked toward the railway station with my backpack. I stopped at the local market on the way. They had some winter fruits and veggies out and there was a special Ribnika building which sold fish and a separate one which sold meats, cheeses, and bread. There was another kiosk that sold oil and wine. I bought some ham and hard sausage. It was really cheap and tasted great.
Further down the road I passed the Dobry Dom where men and woman in their 50s and 60s were lined up to get inside. They must have been there to get a hot meal. Another block up a man sat on the curb looking down, turned his head up to me and asked for a kuna. I gave him a handful of meat. I wondered if he was drunk and couldn’t get into the Dobry Dom.
The wall along the tracks to the main station is painted with interesting and very colorful street art. At the station, I found luggage storage and stashed my bag for 15 kuna. An old man started to talk to me. He seemed to be one of those old timers who reminisced of the old days. He asked me how is life in America. I said OK and asked him about life here. He got dark. “Not good, the salaries are not high.” he said. I thought he might ask me for a little tip because he was advising me where to put my bag and how much it cost. But he didn’t. He didn’t seem like a beggar, just an older man with more time than money.
After I left my backpack, I used a free city map and followed the recommended route around the lower and upper towns, snapping many of these photos. Most cities have a free map available inside the rail station or at a conveniently located office near the center. My advice is to pick one up and explore any city by foot.
See more cities in my Walk Around series.