Friday, February 17, 2017

Medieval Zadar and Split - the Dalmatia Coast

Sunday, July 10th, Plitvica Lakes to Zadar  and onto Split

After a breakfast of cappuccinos and plates of cold ham, cheese and bread we leave Plitvica Park and speed along the modern highway towards Zadar. Signage is clear and we make no wrong turns and Art is confident and happy behind the wheel of our new rental car.

Breakfast at Plitvica Lakes

We arrive in the outskirts of Zadar at noon; find a pay parking lot just outside the walls of the old town and enter into the picturesque walled city. The pedestrian artery is lined with ice cream shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan boutiques.

Ice-cream shop, Zadar
Zadar Old City

The guidebook advises that we head for the waterfront promenade. The sun is brutally hot and blindingly bright, reflecting off the creamy stone of the waterfront plaza that features Nikola Bašić’s Sea Organ and Sun Salutation Dial. Sunbathers cool off in the Zadarski Channel and we hear the mournful wail of the sea organ as the tide sloshes into it’s pipes.John takes a quick dip before we continue our promenade across the plaza of the Sun Salutation Dial, a 22 meter circle of inlaid glass plates that collect the sun’s energy and power the harbor front lighting and the Sea Organ. After a quick lunch we climb the castle walls to visit a glass museum before returning to our car to drive on to Split.

Zadar waterfront promenade

Designer, Nikola Basic's, Sun Salutation Dial 
Sun Salutation Dial

We arrive in Split late afternoon without hotel reservations. After getting our bearings in the picturesque walled city, we stumble upon a hostel and inquire about accommodations? The hostel has no availability but within minutes the desk attendant has made appropriate phone calls and a young woman arrives and escorts us several blocks away to two ground floor rooms that she rents. The price is about $70 for a simple three bedded room with gated parking for our car. We settle in quickly and return to the walled city where we stroll the waterfront promenade with the intention of booking a five island tour for the following day. The expansive waterfront is lined with countless kiosks selling a variety of island tours. Choosing which one of these to book is confusing and stressful. Both the types of boats and the itineraries vary and Art is soon in a grumpy mood and tells John and me that he does not want to go to the islands but will spend the following day in Split alone.

Waterfront promenade, Split
Unable to make an island decision we leave the waterfront and meander the back streets of Split. Without too many disagreements we find an outdoor cafe where we eat a light dinner. Refueled we return to the waterfront, choose an island tour and pay the hefty deposit for John and me.

Narrow streets of medieval Split
Narrow streets of Medieval Split

The many outdoor cafes are filling up quickly with patrons wanting to watch the soccer tournament and we hurriedly find three seats at one of the restaurants, order drinks and relax in the cool of the evening.

Relaxing with a beer in Split

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