Ta da! Zadar, Croatia

I’m trying to spice up my titles for my posts….is it working?

Zadar is beautiful! I definitely felt some connection to it, at least, after I found my hostel after 30 minutes of being lost.

The bus station is about 2 km away from old town and the directions given to me by the hostel were not the most helpful. I wandered around asking people directions until one lady pointed me to the tourist office.

The info lady gave me a map and directions. I found the place, but the reception doesn’t ope til 2 so I dropped off my bags at the bar associated with it (Tequila Bar Hostel) and wandered around.

Since the city was badly damaged during WWII they did a lot of modernization, which gives the town a cool vibe- architecturally wise. It still has the medieval and Roman feel, in fact, there are numerous Roman ruins “littering” the city. Random pillars and blocks here and there. But there is also a newness or freshness to the place.

Zadar is known for its sea promenade or Riva. It hosts the infamous sea organ and the sun salutation, both created by the same man.

After walking around and checking in, I went for a run and waited for sunset by the organ and salutation as I head it’s really nice.

The sunset was beautiful. I had a discussion about Zadar’s sunsets at my hostel in Sarajevo with one of the hostel workers who is from Zadar. He pointed to a picture on the wall saying that sunset was from Zadar and Zadar has the best.

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“It looks like a painting.” I said.

“It’s a real picture.” He replied very firmly.

“I understand its real, I’m just saying it looks like there are brush strokes.”

This friend also told me about his favorite spot in Zadar. After a few tries, I found it. It was so peaceful. I can understand why it’s his favorite.

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The salutation was hard to see so I decided to come back at night. This is a huge solar panel thing that takes in the sun during the day and all night has a light show. It was so cool. I could have stood there for hours. Plus hearing the organ in the background was awesome.

The organ’s music is made by the waves and honestly, it doesn’t sound that pretty, but it’s still cool nonetheless.

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It was rated number one European city last year. In combination with Zagreb’s Christmas markets, I feel like 2015 was Croatia’s year….

I returned back to my hostel for a shower and dinner. I heard some people about and went to their room to introduce myself. 2 boys from Australia. I invited them to join me tour the markets in town. They said they had been walking and were tired.

On the way to Zadar from Sibenik, I was talking to a Croatian girl studying in Zadar. She was so excited at passing her driver’s test and was telling me all about it. Apart from this, she also asked me about traveling specifically by myself.

“No one wanted to go with you?” I paused. It never occurred to me. I didn’t really ask anyone. I just left. I always get the “are you scared” question and I now reply it isn’t a matter of being scared, but being lonely.

However, I told her,

“If I was traveling with someone, I probably wouldn’t do certain things like talk to you. I would be with them and not as open to meeting new people.”

We like to think we would be open, which might be the case, but it is also hard for an outside person to talk to you since there’s more of you.

Funny enough, I also had a similar question with a good friend from home that I Skyped later that night. She is planning on visiting me and we are both excited at the possibility.

“Will you go with me? I don’t want to travel by myself.” She said.

I usually don’t mind doing things by myself. However, Christmas markets tend to be better with someone. You can get a drink together and enjoy the atmosphere.

But, I went. It was lovely. The main square was so decorated and they had performances. I watched a few. 2 featured young singers. They were unbelievable. I was very impressed especially since they were singing in English.

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The next day I was thinking of going to Paklenica national park, but from my research, the bus didn’t get there till 2 and sunset is at 4.30. That doesn’t give me much daylight. I decided to spend the  day relaxing around the city.

I went to the archaeological museum, which houses artifacts from the area from the stone age to medieval times. I spent over an hour reading the panels and looking at the artifacts. I enjoyed it.

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I then sat at the organ again and planned out the next week. I’m now going to Prague for Christmas and have about a week before the date I’m planning on being there.

I was planning on seeing several towns in the section of Croatia called Istra, but due to down season, I think I’m going to less than planned.

I ran again along the water and then in a big park just outside the old city walls. It was great running for a second day in a row. The water views couldn’t be better. The running and relaxing days seems to be helping this cough I’ve developed.

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Park where I ran

“Amazing what sleep, eating right, and exercise does.” Said a friend somewhat sarcastically. Basically, my body seems to be telling me I need to run more since I get enough sleep and eat pretty alright.

I try incorporating vegetables and less bread into my diet, but often sandwiches and pasta is the easiest and cheapest option. Few times I’ve been with vegetarians and their influence got me eating salads/healthier options, which is great, thanks friends 🙂

My last night, I wandered around the Christmas markets again with a hostelmate. It was beautiful. I then got drinks at the market with the Australians who had rested enough.

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I really enjoyed my time in Zadar, but off to Rijeka!

P.S There is free WIFI in the city.

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