One of the main reasons we were in Zadar, is because we were flying to and from the Dalmatian coast on RyanAir which uses the small airport there. The airport is so small that the rental car windows all close down at 8:00, making us go back the next day to pick up our car. Luckily we spent the night, not far from the harbor, in a small B&B which was very comfortable and easy since we arrived on the late flight.
After picking up our car, we headed straight down the coast stopping at towns, villages, and eating at tasty pig roasting restaurants along the way. We saw Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Makarska, all on our way to Dubrovnik. The roads were easily navigated and it was a beautiful drive.
A Quick Walk Around Zadar
Of course we needed to get back to Zadar in order to fly home. We didn’t leave ourselves much time for exploration. There’s just so much to do along the coast, or meandering over to the islands, or even taking day trips to Mostar and the Bay of Kotor that we just ran out of time.
We arrived in Zadar in the middle of the afternoon with only a couple of hours to spare before heading to the airport to turn in the car and catch our flight. Finding a parking space not far from the number one thing on my list, the sea organ, proved a little more difficult than I was expecting. It turns out that there is a weekend market and Sunday’s are a popular day in town.
We did find a great parking place right along the city walls and jumped out to start our short exploration. We were surprised how many sights there were. Zadar harkens back to the 2nd century BC when it was an important trading post. They traded with the likes of Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks. Being in such a strategic spot increased its chances of invasion.
During the 9th century saw the beginning of construction for the St. Donatus church even though the city was being tossed back and forth by the Byzantines and Catholics.
Across from the church, these men were feeding the pigeons while plenty of younger people lounged around the grounds, taking naps, talking with their sweethearts, and just enjoying the sunny afternoon. There are some activities that are timeless.
Zadar does show the ravages of the war, though. This building not far from the main square is riddled with bullet holes.
However, this was the main reason we stopped in Zadar instead of just heading to the airport, the sea organ. I’d read about it and couldn’t wait to listen to the waves playing music. Built by architect Nikola Bašić, the 35 pipes that run 70 meters long, provide 7 chords and 5 tones. As the waves lap the steps, it plays a haunting melody, one that could easily lull you to sleep. I loved the sea organ.
Have you been to Zadar? Did you enjoy the town, the sea organ?