Captivating Croatia: Zadar and Krka

By Lynn Strough

Travelynn Tales

 

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Welcome to this week’s chapter in the ongoing series by our world traveler, Lynn Strough. It’s time for more Croatia…

Renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the countryside and get around. The roads are good, and directions are easy to follow. My friend Beth and I drove from Plitvice Lakes National Park a couple of hours down to the small city of Zadar, which is near another national park called Krka (yes, that’s how it’s spelled, although it may seem to us English speakers to be missing a vowel or two).

 

Zadar is filled with beautiful churches and other old buildings, as well as some interesting Roman ruins. It’s lovely old town is a great place to wander around in, just meandering through the alleyways. It’s small enough where you can’t really get lost, and if you do, the sea is right there to reorient you.

 

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‘Greeting to the Sun’ by Nikola Basic

There are two points of special interest overlooking the sea, both by the same artist, Nikola Basic. The sea organ is a sculptural musical instrument played by the tides (water pushes air out of tubes under long cement stairs) where you can sit and listen to what the sea has to say, while watching the sunset. Also created by Basic is Greeting to the Sun, a solar-powered interactive piece that you can walk (or dance!) on, made up of hundreds of solar panels that soak up the rays during the day, and put on a colorful moving light show at night.

 

 

 

  • Zadar is filled with beautiful churches and other old buildings, as well as some interesting Roman ruins.
  • The lovely old town is a great place to wander around in, just meandering through the alleyways.
  • It’s small enough where you can’t really get lost, and if you do, the sea is right there to reorient you.
  • Nikola Basic's 'Greeting to the Sun' is a solar-powered interactive piece that you can walk on, made up of hundreds of solar panels that soak up the rays during the day...
  • ... and put on a colorful moving light show at night.
  • Zadar is a city full of both old and new. Side by side, two doorways may have entirely different entry systems…
  • …and one of the favorite pastimes is the ancient art of making lace.
  • Wooden walkways lead you over the river and around the falls at Krka, past vast vistas and cozy shaded corners.
  • You’ll see madly rushing waterfalls...
  • ...and the small, still beauty of a single, elegant flower.

 

 

As far as accommodations go, you’ll find there are more “Apartmans” than hotels or B&B’s in Croatia. An apartman is usually a room in somebody’s home, or sometimes a whole apartment, and they are quite affordable. Both in a village near Plitvice and in Zadar, we were able to find two-bedroom apartments that could easily sleep four (or more if someone sleeps on the couch) for a total of around $55 per night. So if you’re traveling on a budget, Croatia is a very affordable place to visit. (I also think Apartman is secretly a new superhero waiting to be born — picture a guy with limbs that pull apart, similar to those toys with elastic strings.)

 

15Not far away is the small town of Skradin, which is a gateway to Krka National Park. Skradin is worth an hour or two on its own, with charming narrow streets hugging the hillside, a church worth a look inside, and restaurants and shops that tumble down to the sea, where you can catch a boat up the river to Krka.

 

There is much debate about which national park is preferable, Plitvice or Krka, and I have an easy solution–go see both. They’re both stunningly beautiful, full of bright, blue-green waterfalls, but they’re also very different. For one thing, you can swim at Krka right near the falls, which is forbidden at Plitvice, although you aren’t allowed to jump from the bridge.

 

Zadar and Kryka are affordable and gorgeous. Consider a visit there. I think you’ll love what you’ll find.

 

IMG_7244-1024x768About Lynn Strough

Lynn is a 50-something-year-old woman whose incarnations in this life have included graphic designer, children’s book author and illustrator, public speaker, teacher, fine art painter, wine educator in the Napa Valley, and world traveler. Through current circumstances, she has found herself single, without a job or a home, and poised for a great adventure.

 

“You could consider me homeless and unemployed, but I prefer nomad and self-employed, as I pack up my skills and head off with my small backpack and even smaller savings to circumnavigate the globe (or at least go until the money runs out). Get ready to tag along for the ride…starting now!”

 

 

 

travelynnlogoAll images copyright Lynn Strough and Travelynn Tales

Reprinted with permission

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