My decision to try a real Low budget Vacation was more fun than I thought it would be. I just had the goal to relax and find some time to reflect about the past two years of my sabbatical, where I mainly concentrated on my artistic work in a screen print studio. The plan was not to exceed a budget of 350 Euros in one week including transportation, hotel, excursions, food and souvenirs. Guess what? It was much easier than expected.
Why the ancient city from the late Stone Age?
Archaeological finds tell us about a significant growth of economy and culture, interesting but not so much my point of interest, even if I love Roman forums.
But the main reason for my choice were 3 things:
- The Sea Organ – In 2006 Croatian architect Nikola Bašić received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona for his Zadar Sea Organ project.
- The Greeting to the Sun – It consists of 300 multi-layered glass plates placed on the same level with the stone-paved waterfront in the shape of a 22-meter diameter circle. Under the glass conduction plates there are photo-voltage solar modules through which symbolic communication with nature is made, with the aim to communicate with light, just like the Sea Organs do with sound. (source: read more)
- A restaurant called Pet Bunara. Seasonal-reginal-organic food and a secret recipe for fig-cake from the families own fig plantage nearby.
I stayed in the beautiful Boutique Hostel Forum in the middle of the Old Town of Zadar. The best idea I could have. My accommodation had all I always expect from a place out of home: Clean sheets, a comfortable bed including a good cushion, free (and actually working) WiFi and power points (at least two). I had it all! And complimentary Mini Breakfast to Go delivered to my door, which was great because I wanted to have my breakfast next to the harbor daily, to be exact: on the steps of the Sea Organ,
but I didn’t only spend most of the mornings there.
I planned my days around the sunset too, as I didn’t want to miss the very special evening atmosphere at that magical place.
And hundreds of other people thought the same way.
Every Sunset is so very different from the last one, that I started to gave them names like Monet-Sunset
or NIckelback Rock.
Falling in love into the City is easy. The narrow streets with the mirroring stone floors mixed with the smell of sea salt and the bluest sky let you forget that there are any troubles around the corner of your mind.
And the sun does its magic on the ancient walls too. On the right side of the tower you can see the Hostel. Can you imagine, why I loved to have a break on my bed in the afternoon and enjoy the view?
For just 15 Kunas you can climb the bell tower from 9AM to 10PM and you should really consider to do that during the blue hour.
I chose a morning walk up the stairs and enjoyed the birds view very much.
But after sometime I wanted to see a bit of the beaches and took a very long walk along the seaside.
I should have listened to the student who recommended to visit Kolovare with a rented bicycle, because it was really quiet the walk, especially the way back to town in the afternoon heat.
I’m a bit sorry, that I have not taken the time to visit the University more closely. What a place to study!
One little trick to visit the marina on the other side of the old town, which is actually a peninsula, watch out on this small rusty sign:
And for 5 Kunas a tiny little boat saves you from a half hour walk around the town over the bridge …
The Marina side with the famous Maraska Building, you might know from their liqueur Maraschino or Orahovac, the so-called Maraska specialties, is equally interesting and both sides have their own charming places.
What is a holiday by the sea without a boat trip?
Mainly there where offered 3 excursions:
- Plitvice National Park Lakes (I visited the place two years ago),
- Kornati Islands (I want to do that next time, but for a week not a day) and
- Krka Waterfalls (besides I visited the place in the past: too many families)
And then I found a casual 3-hours boat ride to Sakarun Beach on the island Dugi Otok, which you see all day from Zadar. The boat took us sailing towards the islands Tri Sestrice, Sestrunj, Molat, Zverinac,
we passed the remains of a sunken ship, the 41m high lighthouse Veli Rat before we arrived at the protected natural area of Sakarun.
The lagune was wonderful, but the beach with the big (and hot) stones not my cup of tea.
But I enjoyed the boat trip on the sea very much, even if I had wished for a better tourist guide, who would tell some stories during the 3 hours ride, especially for 40 Euros (not Kuna) per person.
Unfortunately I didn’t see dolphins :-(
Back in Zadar I was happy to leave the boat and the sun, because I really not just got sun kissed that day and was up for a very cold croatian drafted beer. But that is another story.
Stay tuned for my next post with all Café and Restaurant recommendations in Zadar. Meanwhile have fun reading my travel diary, I wrote, during my holidays on my austrian foodblog: VanportraitKitchen