One night in Zadar
(and the world's your oyster) What, reference too esoteric?
Craving ocean air and the sound of waves, we left Zagreb early morning Sunday to spend one night, two (almost) full days, in Zadar, Croatia. Zadar's tourist website boasts its many (re: 14) celebrities who have visited - they focus heavily on that time Hitchcock visited in the '60s and said that the sunsets are more beautiful than even Florida's. But knowing Jean Reno came once to watch Lenny Kravitz perform is not what drew us to Zadar.
Zadar is the oldest continually inhabited city in Croatia, with evidence of life dating back as far as the Stone Age. It was once a Roman civilization, which becomes evident walking through the town. Roman ruins flower the Forum, St. Mark's winged lions adorn every gate and wall, and clean white brick floors the old town.
But, Zadar is not just known for it's antiquities. Named "Europe's Best Destination" in 2016, a big draw is the 2005 installation by Nikola Bašic is one of many improvements made to the Nova riva (new city coast). The Sea Organ is an experimental musical instrument which utilizes the waves of the Adriatic Sea sweeping up against the harbour walls. A series of tubes located underneath white marble steps draws the water in, and releases a hauntingly relaxing melody.
Zadar is a city many dash through on their way down the Croatian coast, taking a side glance to Split or Dubrovnik. But, it deserves a longer look. I certainly will return - if not for the off chance of bumping into musical performer Seal, but for the surprise dolphin appearances, simply rustic Mediterainnean cuisine, and dramatic jolts from ancient to modern.