Part 12 - Zadar, Croatia
Part 12 - Krka & Zadar
We had been thinking a lot about what we would do on this day in Zadar. Right on top of our list were the waterfalls in Krka National Park. But we were undecided whether we should go on such a long excursion on the last day of our cruise. In the end we decided to play it by ear and see what the day would bring.
The Constellation had docked outside Zadar at a forlorn pier in the middle of nowhere. A shuttle was offered at USD 15.00 per person for the transfer into town, which would take about 20 minutes by bus. We left the ship under overcast skies and meant to take one of the taxis waiting at the entrance of the port – just to be more flexible and to see what the drivers would offer. As soon as we had reached the exit, we were approached by a young man who offered to take us to places including Krka. Obviously he had our full attention, and we asked for the itinerary. He offered to take us to Skradin, from where we could take a boat to the National Park. At the park he would give us as much time as we wanted. Afterwards he’d drive us to Zadar, wait for us there and take us back to the ship in the afternoon. It sounded perfect! We quickly agreed on a price of EUR 125.00 for the whole day and off we went. We were really happy, as we were going to see the waterfalls after all.
The journey through a region unknown to us lasted about an hour and went by quickly. In Skradin, our driver took us directly to the pier - where we watched the boat take off. Too bad, just missed it. Our driver suggested to take us directly to the park entrance rather than wait for the next boat, which was perfectly fine by us.
A few minutes later we reached a big parking lot, bought two tickets for the park and boarded the shuttle bus which took us into the park.
The bus stopped directly at a foot path leading to the waterfalls.
The path consisted mainly of wooden gangplanks leading over creeks and small waterfalls into the woods.
Accompanied by the ripple of small creeks, which alternated with the loud rush of various waterfalls and the chirping of the birds, we enjoyed the walk through this beautiful nature along the wooden planks of the trail.
Soon we got a glimpse from above of the great waterfalls, which were still below us.
The trail led directly to the big pool in front of the waterfalls. Here, the air was filled with the fine spray and the roar of the falls. From time to time you could hear the cheer of some youths who were brave enough to swim in the surely still chilly water.
We stayed here for a while, watched the goings-on and enjoying the beautiful view. Then we crossed a wooden bridge to the other side of the waterfalls, from where a few steps took us closer to the upper level of the falls .
We took the steps back down again and climbed over rough and smooth on the bank on the other side to take a few photos from a different angle.
Slowly we made our way back to the stop of the shuttle bus. The sun had started to look out from under the clouds more often and embellished the hike, as the path now presented itself in a magnificent play of light and shadow.
In addition, there were always new views of the waterfalls and the now turquoise iridescent water.
There were so many occasions where I gave in to temptation of taking pictures and capturing the sights and sounds on video that I’d like to show them to you in another clip. Take 3 minutes and join us along the way...
Very happy that we had managed to visit this great park, we waited for the next shuttle bus that took us back to the parking lot, where our taxi was waiting for us. The young driver seemed very pleased that we had enjoyed it so much. On our way back we talked with him about the country and its people and what he was doing outside the season
This way, the hour’s drive went by very quickly. Before our driver dropped us of at the Sea Organ and the “Greeting to the Sun”, he told us where he’d wait for us at the other end of Zadar’s old town.
The „Greeting to the Sun“ is a piece of art by architect Nicola Bašić and consists of three hundred multilayered glass slabs wich are embedded in the paved street promenade in a circular pattern. At sunset, lighting elements are activated, which are installed in a circle and which generate an effective play of light that follows the rhythm of the waves and the rhythm of the sounds of the nearby Sea Organ.
The organ is 70 m (230 ft.) wide and consists of stone steps leading into the sea. The sound comes from little openings in the steps. Underneath the steps, there is a total of 35 tubes of different lengths and width with pipes at their ends. The waves press air into these tubes and a stone duct under water serves as resonant cavity. This is how, by dint of the sea, “natural music” is created.
Accompanied by the sounds of the Sea Organ we followed the promenade towards the center.
On our way we found the old Roman forum and the church of St. Donatus with its unusual cylindrical form.
Crossing the forum we passed the church and reached the cathedral of Zadar in the next street. It’s the biggest cathedral in Dalmatia.
Somehow, after all the beautiful experiences of nature in the morning, we didn’t really feel like city sightseeing any more – also, it didn’t quite click between Zadar and us. So we just went down the main street towards the city gate.
We found a café at the end of the street, where we sat down and used the free wifi.
In order not to keep our driver unnecessarily long, we crossed the Five Wells Square to the city gate and went to a small boat harbor behind it, where he was waiting for us.
One last time on this cruise, the Constallation was waiting for us. Once on board we quickly packed our bags and then spent the sailaway on the veranda of our aft cabin. For this occasion, we had invited our English friends Judith and Stuart to share with them our welcome bottle of champagne, which had been waiting in the fridge for this perfect opportunity.
For our last dinner we met with July and Colin from Wales at Blu. Afterwards, we said good bye to our waiters, had a last drink at the Sky Lounge, which was almost empty, and walked back to our cabin across the deck to take one last sniff of sea air.
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