Zagreb exists two times.
There is Zagreb and there is Novi Zagreb.
In fact, these two cities have nothing much in common, except for the name.
Zagreb is old and seems to be a city that just woke up after years of sleep. There is lots of old and beautiful houses, small and big ones. Some have been very carefully restored, some seem are slowly rottening and some are abandoned, decayed seem to be waiting for the next windblow in order to finally collapse.
In Zagreb, there is a lot of parks, churches and especially tourists. The streets are filled with cafes, which are always full, at every time of the day. There are stores and small shops and the whole town sems to be pumping with live.
In the middle of town, there is a hill, on which you can find two of the most famous churches of Croatia. The gouvernment, the parliament and the biggest university of Croatia are in Zagreb. It is a wondeful city and every man, women and child who comes to the Balkans should have spent some time there.
Nobody needs to see Novi Zagreb and nobody wants to, not even the people who live in Zagreb. If you ask a Croatian what a good thing about Novi Zagreb is, he will say its "the small distance to Zagreb".
In Novi Zagreb, none of the houses is older then 50 years, but they are all falling apart. The balkonies are rusting and the colour is coming of. The houses seem to be so tired, that they are about to collapse. In Novi Zagreb, the men are sitting in the parks, underneath the trees and are having heir third beer at ten in the morning. Their skin is not brown, its black from sun and dirt. Its the type of dirt which stays on your skin when you earn your living with your hands.
In Novi Zagreb, no one is ever on the streets. The streets are loud and dusty and unstandably full of cars and trucks which are on their way to Zagreb. Even though ther are lot of differences between Zagreb and Novi Zagreb, the two cities have some things in common.
In both cities, its hot. Very hot. Unbearably hot.
Its so hot, that the wild fruits, which grow on the side of the street are allready dried, when they fall to the ground. There is so many of these wild fruits, that nobody would ever have to go to a store to buy some. Still, they fall on the sidewalk and turn it into a sticky mass, with flies and bees all over.
Between Zagreb and Novi Zagreb flows the Sava.
Both cities are directly on the riverside, but nobody ever goes to swim in it. Now, in the summer, the Sava is not even a river anymore. From the bridges, whih connect Zagreb and Novi Zagreb, one can see the bottom of the river. The water is so shallow, that you could walk from one side to the other without getting your pants wet.
In some spots, the water is totally gone and the rubbish, which the poeople of Zagreb and Novi Zagreb have thrown into the river, can be seen as a reminder for the people, that everything comes back at some point.
Zagreb is a wonderful city. Novi Zagreb is a world in its own. It is a world full of people from the croatian villages, who wanted to move to Zagreb, but never made it across the bridge.
I made it.