8:30 am departure from the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park and drive back to the coast road to head south toward Split. Our first stop is the oldest Slavic town on the Adriatic Sea, Zadar.
Zadar was once a famous cultural center. Above is the Riva, seaside promenade popular for strolling and seaside viewing.
On Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, Zadar is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. The Cathedral of St. Anastasia is Roman Catholic and the largest church in Dalmatia.
Croats did invent the necktie/cravat, so to be a true Croat you should wear a necktie with an image of a dalmatian on it – the Dalmatian is a registered breed from the area.
As you stroll to the end of the Riva and dock area you see this enormous circle that is actually solar cells. It powers varying beams of light at night that come from the holes you see in the foreground. This is part of a grand public art project that includes the Sea Organ.
The organ looks like steps descending to the sea with rectangular holes in front. It’s an enormous “instrument” that is played constantly by moving water beneath and the wind. The sea and sky were quiet today so you had to get down and listen to the melodic…and haunting sound…. No butts about it!
Now an absolutely beautiful drive down the coast along the blue, blue Adriatic with views of lots of the 1,246 islands and Rocky Mountains on the left. The cumulus cloudscape is a painting by a master.
The next stop is Trogir, a center of art activities and meeting place of scholars from around the world. It’s known for its preserved mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque buildings.
Attracting labor to these areas is very difficult. The factories, ship yards and ports all need help, but it’s not very attractive for laborer families. The apartments are very small and rules saying there will be no elevators in buildings up to four stories tall aren’t a draw. Some of that is changing.
We finally make it to Split where we have a wonderful group dinner in a restaurant near our quaint boutique hotel. This Dalmatian meal; Octopus salad, antipasto, braised veal, grilled sea bass, chocolate crepes, flan, good local wine…and actually a good group of local musicians and singers. Long, fun day. Some sleep and ready to do Split tomorrow.