The Croatian Coast is beautiful & dramatic
with a climate that is similar to Greec. The food is typically Mediterranean,
featuring seafood grilled in olive oil with loads of garlic. By staying
in "Zimmer Frei"s and going in October, we were spent around
65 euros for 5 days of lodging. The people are friendly, the scenery lovely,
the food great, and pretty darn cheap compared to the rest of Europe.
So why not go to Croatia? No reason that I can think of.
In between our stint in the parks, we visited
two coast towns, the ancient walled sea town of Zadar and Senj a bit farther
north. Pictures of both are below.
Z A D A R
Zadar is one of the larger coastal cities
in Croatia with a population of almost 70,000. The walled central
area is a gorgeous mix reflecting the different architecture of
the groups who have taken over the city. From Romans to Venetians
to Turks to Austrian-Hungarian. Its all in those walls.:
Those of you who have been to Venice will
notice the Venetian Lion on top of this arch. It was built in
1573 when Venice was in its heyday. While most of the area inside
the walls is pedestrian (the alley ways are too narrow for cars),
the eastern section of the old town was smashed to bits by Yugoslav
rockets during the 1980's, so some traffic is allowed inside.
This wall is the only remains of Roman and
Medieval fortifications. Very old & very interesting. As they
would say in "I heart Huckabees", this wall rocks.
This modern statue sits on the easter side,
where most of the 1980's bombing, and thus renovation occurred.
This is a main square in the old center. A
great place to people watch and have a rest. In the background
you get a feel for the city; it hasn't been all cutsie-d up for
Boys on the side - The school was having a
break as we walked by and I think this pict says it all.....
This is the renovated version of the Square
of 5 Wells, a site originally built by those amazing Romans. It
contained access to a cistern via 5 wells. This was the only source
of of potable water Zadar had up until 1574. Of course wars with
the Turks & Venetians destroyed the water system until 1838,
when the Austrians took over.
Here is another view of the main square &
the town watch tower.(originally built in the late-Renaissance).
The building shows a blend of the architecture as the bottom portion
was built in 1562, but the clock tower is distinctly Austrian
and built in 1798.
Here is the view from our 15 euro per night
apartment. It had a lovely deck overlooking the marina and was
a great place for sipping wine or watching the sunset. (next pict).
Similar view, only different time of day.
Dale and I on the deck.
Here is the "beach" at Borik. While
the coast of Croatia is striking and similar to Greece, it is
lacking in the sand beaches department, although there are a few
Here is a shot from Borik (where we stayed),
looking back at Zadar. Its about a 10 min. bus ride between the
The seafood in Croatia is great. I ate squid
every day and loved it.
This is this very cool old house located the Varos section
of Zadar, which dates back to Medieval times. Anyway, what was
interesting about the general area was that the layout was "distinctly
Medieval" (at least according to the tourist pamphlet that
I lost) in that it was comb-shaped. There was one road that
led through the area at the west end, and all streets ran from
it, looking like the teeth of a comb. No block grid there....
As you walk through Zadar you come across sections of ancient
history, from the Venetian column to the medieval wall, to the
Austrian-Hungarian church tower.
This is left over from the Roman
days, quite cool. Notice any similarities between the two faces?
The narrow streets of Zadar...
A couple walking along some of the small portion of remaining
This was a unique stopping place identified as a "Sea Organ."
Dale and I were quite curious about the name, and it turned out
to be a very interesting stop. The geometric blocks in the foreground
have these holes in them, similar to the openings in a harmonica.
So the wind blows, hits the holes with varying speed & intensity,
and you have this very ethereal noise that comes out. To
listen to it, here is a sound file....
This is some of the Old Zadar from Roman times that is still
being excavated. Quite interesting to watch. Much of it was
just buried underneath the town.
You know you are in Eastern Europe when----
On a completely unrelated note, here is old town Zadar with
a very typical Eastern Europe poster. Notice it is an ad for
Skechers and there is not a foot or shoe in the poster. What
do you think the advertisers are trying to say?
Up the Coast
From Zadar, we drove North up
the coast to Senj. The coastline of Croatia features grate views
of the Adriatic Sea, the various islands just offshore, tiny villages,
and striking cliffs. Its a great drive.
This is a dock at the picturesque town of
Senj. The seafood was great, town friendly and the a pretty waterfront
area that is quite a gathering place for the community in the
Here's looking back at the Senj
waterfront area. Most of the historical larger buildings bordering
the harbor are still intact, and there are actually two castles
in the picture (one to the far back left, the other in the foreground
to the right)
Here's looking North from the waterfront of
Senj. A very peaceful place to visit.
And being part of the former
communist system, you have the ubiquitous hallmark artwork of
Here's a view of the town center. Lots of
cafes & meeting places. I also like this pict because of the
guy in the red, pointing at the pointing guy in the statue. Completely