Sunday, 24 September 2017


Zadar was maybe our unexpected find of the holiday. It isn't exactly unknown, but it is much quieter than Split or Dubrovnik. It also has a walled town to explore, but smaller and less well preserved than the other two. But by being less spectacular it was also quieter and cheaper.

Our airbnb was just in the modern part of town but only 10 minutes walk from the centre.  It was in a distinctly unattractive modern block, but once inside it was spacious and light. Very comfortable and convenient for us.


On arrival, and with a fair bit of daylight to enjoy, the lads decided they wanted to do a bit of physical exercise, utilising the large amount of floor space in the apartment. So I left them doing sit ups and went to explore the old town on my own.

 The main feature, as in most such towns, is the large bell-tower of the cathedral, with a market place in front of it. However, my quarry before being joined by two hungry young men fresh from exercise (and hopefully a shower) was the archaeological museum. This is housed in an undistinguished modern building, but the collection inside is very well presented, both dramatically lit and informatively laid out. Could have done with another half hour, but beggars can't be choosers. I enjoyed it.
A fine larger than life size statue of Emperor Augustus, sadly lacking its head.
 The top floor starts with neolithic items and then goes down to the arrival of the Romans. It introduced me to a whole new civilisation I had never heard of before, the Liburnians.
And some types of object I had never previously encountered, like this ritual vessel, a sort of kneeling cup.

 The Roman section on the first floor is laid out in a series of narrow corridors between dramatically lit cases, all set out thematically, eg religion, army, etc.

This one of grave goods is particularly good example of the imaginative lay out, since you can walk over the glass cases of underground burial remains.

 Well, I had to get a photo of this just for the smut value. The phallus was seen as a good luck token in Roman times, rather than, well, you know.

The ground floor then contains less spectacular medieval exhibits.

 Having spotted the arrival of my companions through the museum's large windows. I met up with them and for the one time on the holiday tried to insist on a particular restaurant. As I said, there are times where one wants to go for the most impressive looking place, and so we duly went to Bon Appetit. I think it is fair to say no one was disappointed with my choice. We ate outside with views out to the islands. The food and service was excellent.

The problem with going anywhere with young people and their electronic devices....

And the views got better as the sun wet down...

 As the sun came down, the moon came out.

 Time for dessert? I think so.

 Inevitably after a genuinely lovely meal we went for a stroll down the waterfront. Zadar has two modern waterfront attractions. One is a sea-organ. Basically wave action pushes air through underground pipes, producing what I can only describe as a baritone wailing sound. There is nothing to see, so no photos. But next to it is "Greetings to the Sun" which is a  series of light-sensitive pavements which accumulate solar power by day and then shine at night. I know the photo below makes it look like a nightclub, but its rather more serene.

Yes, have very fond memories of Zadar. Would have happily stayed another day, if only for a second sunset dinner. But onwards....

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