What most locals in Zagreb (like me) tend to forget is that their hometown is quite green, with many options to get closer to nature and off the asphalt. Two larger lakes, one north and the other south of the river Sava that splits the town in half, as well as the Medvednica mountain to the very north, are within half and hour or less for any citizen.
Yet, when we ache for a break from the noise, grayness or speed of the metropolis, we ponder weekends by the sea or in the Julian Alps, or longer breaks somewhere more exotic. And days go by in these daydreams, often unrealized. At the same time, some quite interesting sights await us at, for example, lake Jarun. Nestled close to the river, it was excavated when the gravel was needed to construct the protective embankments of the river, after the 1964 flood. Later turned into a recreation center (with a dab of barbecue spots, bars and restaurants), the lake attracts some people at any time of the year, but most will visit on the first sunny and warm days of early spring, marking the beginning of the outdoors season.
Beyond the busy days, or early in the morning, the lake area is a serene spot where one can enjoy the silence, the flora and the fauna. Besides the ducks and the swans, there are plenty of other domicile birds to look out for. Being a lake, it does offer plenty of reflections, which can be turned into creative shots. Such a place, devoid of any crowds, is also a study of lines, either natural or man-made.
In the summertime, the sun sets at one end of the rowing track, while the Arena Hall on the opposite side of the river dominates the other. Both can make for excellent shots with longer telephoto lenses.