Along the coast to Zadar Croatia
I think today you might find this a bit of a pictorial post.
Words cannot describe the beauty of the Dalmatian Islands along the coast of Croatia.
I came along this 25 years ago in a bus on a mission trip. It was a very different Yugoslavia back then.
The first thing is I decide to take the back road and not the toll road across Istra. Big mistake. If you drive this, take the toll road. The speed limit varies between forty and fifty km I’m most parts. It is a beautiful road. There are speed radars and police hidden, so you can’t speed. But it is slow. Painstakingly slow. And in the end we miss a turn and go to the toll to head through the tunnel. I’d had enough.
We spew out the other side, and we go from green countryside, to the blue ocean before us. It feels like a scene from Jonah and the Whale. One minute we are in the darkness of the tunnel, then before us is majestic blue water.
We stop to have a little picnic and it is a idilic spot. Explorason used to go on and on in Adelaide how we NEVER had picnics. He certainly can’t say that now. Picnics are wonderful and plentiful.
H is free to run around. Below us is a carpeted diving board. He wants a swim, but I know we lack time.
Explorason has an afternoon sleep. The sun is pounding down and burning my hands. We have no air conditioning, and it reminds me we must set out early to avoid this in future.
Traffic can be slow or fast. We see a LOT of these on the country roads. It is like a lawnmower at the front. The farmer doesn’t mind being on the road as he puts along. This guy surprisingly has a safety vest on.
We arrive at Zadar at 4:30 p.m. We were going to stay but coming into Zadar it is an unattractive city with many high-rise apartments and graffiti. So we decide we will pay and park, and then look around and decide. The joy and freedom of our style of travel.
Inside this city holds little resemblance to the old days. You have to search past the market umbrellas and modern stores to see the old.
There are ruins right in the centre. I see not a local person shopping. This place is set up for the tourist.
I’m also dressed for comfort and not style. Stretch shorts for travel, and not really for the photography session. We had kind of thought we would find accommodation, change and come in. But that never happened.
There are a number of old churches and buildings and I daresay a tour would be in order to learn the rich history. But Explorason is not in the mood. He just wants an ice-cream.
We find some old ladies selling crafts and we look at their wares, and they write a few prices down. I wonder how much is hand made. I know going to Bosnia and other countries it won’t be crazy tourist prices.
We find Explorason’s ice-cream. It is a full-on display.
Prices are better than Europe, so he picks his favourite and I can see his face light up. What is it about ice-cream ??
We decide to wander to the markets. We buy a Croatian flag which we use for his education. He must learn the flag of each country we go to – apart from Slovenia where we never bought one.
We drive out of town and head towards Split. We see a man on the side of the road with a sign “APARTMAN”. We negotiate a price and check it has internet and we head down.
It is a lovely little 2 bedroom apartment in a small town. It has off-street parking. We had been to LIDL earlier in the day, so two boxes of groceries came in. There was a fridge, so we unpacked our cool bricks and food to chill. I set about making dinner. Explorason set about using the internet.
Dinner was served under the vines outside. I felt really happy here.
The best bit was the bed. It was the nicest bed I had slept in since before camping. A good quality mattress. And with 3 beds I could spread out myself and have a good night’s rest.
We paid 220 Kuna for this apartment. 5 minutes out of town on the back road to Split. It was 2 bedrooms, off-street parking, kitchen, and bathroom and private outdoor area.
If you go to Croatia, just look for the people on the side of the road with the signs. You get a great deal !
Want to know more about Zadar? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zadar