Saturday, July 12, 2014

Zadar, Croatia: Paradise City #3 on the Adriatic

It has been a struggle recalling the day-to-day happenings from exploring the various cities in Croatia. I neglected to keep a detailed journal as I did with other cities. Being an analytical person, I ask myself the question: Why? Why didn't I scribble down every moment from the second I climbed out of bed to the last sip of wine in the evening? I have narrowed it down to this: Croatia was a totally different world. The language, the eastern vibe, the clear blue sea often a stroll away. While some moments were stressful, being by the coast put me a carefree trance. There was no need to articulate every moment - rather it was important to experience each meal, view, and activity as visceral as possible.

The bus arrived in Zadar from Split on Saturday, April 19th, the evening before Easter. As mentioned in the previous post, the drive was picturesque as we drove along the coast. When we disembarked the bus, we walked for about fifteen minutes to the peninsula where our hostels were located. Being in a large group of eight, we had to split up into two hostels. Zadar was hopping considering it was the night before Easter. There is a university there and it's a beautiful and small seaside town. It had a wonderful energy. When we arrived at the hostel, we had to climb 125 steps to the top floor. A sign read "Key Under Mat" as we approached the door. We let ourselves in and selected beds. No one from the hostel staff was there. The entire town had this very laid back vibe. While my friends went out to the bar, I fell into a deep sleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

We spent the next day exploring every inch of the city. One of the main attractions in Zadar is the Sea Organ. It's a musical pipe organ played by the sea - literally. The movement of the waves pushes air through the 35 tuned tubes, and the musical chords depend on the size and velocity of the waves. The harmonic sounds are completely random. Relaxing in the sun upon the elegant white stone steps listening to the sounds of the Adriatic was one of the most peaceful experiences I've ever had. Below is a video:

Zadar: Boats Everywhere
The Sea Organ

The group!
In addition to the Sea Organ, we hit up a few of the beautiful parks, walked endlessly next to the water, and enjoyed each other's company. We visited the Sun Salutation as the sun set; a solar-powered installation that serves as entertainment for small children at night while colors of light spastically hop around a large circle right next to the Sea Organ. The attention to each attraction seems to shift ever so politely as the waves calm down under the night sky and the colorful squares illuminate to present this whimsical art piece.

Jenn on a park bench
Emielia and the sunset
Long exposure light art

We went to Plitvice Lakes National Park the next day. Stay tuned for photos of waterfalls and a story about my encounter with some pleasant Mormon missionaries. "Hello, my name is Elder ..."

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