Zadar, Croatia, 15 June, 2013
We spent the morning cruising past the Kornati Islands of Croatia. Croatia has 1446 islands, of which 55 are inhabited (or so we were told – actually every day we get told a different number! But there are a lot of islands. And some of them are inhabited.) It was pretty sailing amongst the islands, and the water was particularly still. In the early afternoon we arrived in Zadar, a coastal town in the norther part of the Dalmatian coast. It is a pretty little town which was extensively bombed during WW2 – they call it the “Dresden of Croatia”. Zadar dates back to Roman times, and there is a large Roman forum, of which very little is left apart from a few bits of marble. There are some interesting Romanesque churches, and a fascinating museum displaying sacred art from the middle ages.
The first thing you notice when arriving in Zadar by sea is a large blue circle on the ground. It is a huge solar panel which is a monument to the sun. There are several smaller circles which represent the planets as well. At night, we were told, it lights up beautifully, as well as providing power to the entire waterfront. Unfortunately we didn’t stay long enough to see that.
Zadar boasts the only sea organ in the world. It is a series of steps of different lengths, connected by underwater pipes. As the water hits the steps, it created a haunting musical sound through the pipes. Unusual and very interesting. It is obviously also a popular swimming spot.
Alfred Hitchcock visited Zadar and famously is said to have claimed that Zadar has the best sunsets in the world. As we sailed away from Zadar it seemed that someone was trying to prove his point, as the sunset was quite magnificent! As of that wasn’t enough, we were treated to the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming alongside the ship for some distance.