A few weeks ago we had a health scare with my little dude that resulted in an ambulance ride to the ER and kept us in the hospital for 3 nights. It was the scariest experience of our lives to say the least. Poor little guy ended up having 2 febrile seizures, 2 ear infections and tonsillitis! The whole experience is a blog post of its own, but the baby is doing great now! He is happy, chubby and back to his devilish ways and I’d have it no other way
Then kindergarten was out for 2 weeks for spring break (in Germany preschool is called kindergarten), there was Easter and then I got sick.
I feel like things are finally *knock on wood* back to normal and so here I am again to write about Zadar
Day 1: Greetings to the Sun, the Sea Organ and Bruschetta
Our first day, we spent the afternoon exploring the city’s shops and historical sights. One of my favorite things to take pictures of in every city we visit are the alley ways. They tell a story of the way people live. Whether there are bikes parked along the alley or children running through the streets, there is a certain quaintness to narrow, cobblestone streets surrounded by ancient buildings. In Zadar in particular just about every alley way was adorned with clothing hung out to dry.
It reminded me of what I’d expect to see in Italy. Which makes sense because Zadar is also a city in the Mediterranean and has a strong Italian influence. The architecture of the buildings was very beautiful and simply picturesque.
After a day of shopping and sightseeing is was nice to grab a coffee(me), an ice cream(Little Wright) and a nice cold beer(Mr. Wright) and sit and listen to the harmonic sounds of the Sea organ while watching the sun set. The Sea organ, constructed by Nikola Bašić as part of the project to redesign the new city coast, is a man-made musical instrument of sorts that creates sounds caused from the movement of waves crashing into large tubes located underneath marble steps.
As it started to get darker we could notice the “Greeting to the Sun” , which is a large circle 22 meters in diameter that soaks up the energy from the sun during the day and at night lights up to the rhythm of the waves. Also created by Bašić, the all-natural wonder truly was amazing. To read about the construction and science behind it go here.
For dinner we ate at Bruschetta, pronounced “brewshketa” by the people in Zadar, which came highly recommended by the staff at our hotel. And no wonder! The food was amazing. The pizza is some of the best I’ve ever had anywhere and is the sole reason I gained a few pounds on the trip. The first time we ate there I ordered a shrimp pasta with green noodles in a garlic and wine cream sauce.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is my idea of good food.
After a long day of travel, walking, sight-seeing and then being stuffed fat with delicious carbs we were exhausted and grateful to have a nice place to stay.
Day Two: Local Cuisine and Ferry Ride to Preko
The second day in Zadar was so warm and sunny we wanted to lay by the water. Though there are beaches, this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for sand. The beaches here are pebbly, which wasn’t a problem for us. The water was clear and beautiful and Little Wright had just as much fun as she would have if it were a sandy beach.
After soaking up some sun we decided to eat lunch at Nikko’s. Though we were warned it was very expensive, we were so curious to try local Dalmation cuisine and the restaurant was located right on the water. I think one of the best ways to truly experience a new culture is through the food. Honestly none of it sounded good: Octopus, Anchovies, Sardines…..uhhhhh not exactly my kind of food. But we ordered the appetizer platter anyway:
And after several large gulps of wine I swallowed a tiny bite of the octopus, but refused to eat the anchovies or sardines. Little Wright ate it up though.
After lunch, we decided to end the afternoon and evening with a ferry ride to Preko. Preko, located on the island of Ugljan, is a 20 minute ferry ride from Zadar. It would have been the best part of our trip had it not been off season. It was so beautiful and such a quaint town. I would have loved to peek into the shops and eaten at one of the many restaurants located on the coast, but such is life when traveling during off season.
Day Three: Exploring Nin
When I did research before our trip, several people had mentioned Nin was the place to go for sandy beaches. Though Nin did have A sandy beach, it was located in a lagoon and didn’t impress me much. The town however was very interesting. It was so tranquil and serene. The town itself was so old and broken down it looked like none of the houses had been rebuilt or repaired after the many wars that haven taken place over the years. Yet still there was a beauty to it all. To see how simply some people live really put our own lives into perspective.
We putzed our way around for a while and then headed back to the hotel to let the kids rest a bit. We stayed at Villa Triana and loved our stay there. The great part about our hotel room was we had two balconies, both with a sea view! I specifically look for a hotel located on the water with a balcony, so that if we had to go back for the kiddos we could still enjoy the scenery.
In addition to being right by the city bus, Villa Triana was also right next to a small grocery store. We bought some juice, snacks and a few beers and were able to sit outside and enjoy the views of the sea with a bit of peace. It was wonderful and I highly recommend this hotel to anyway who travels to Zadar.
Three nights was just enough time to spend in Zadar, Croatia. I loved the culture, the people and how the whole city feel like old world meets charm. Until next time…