Alfred Hitchcock said that Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets in the world. I say anywhere along the Dalmatian Coast is beautiful!
After leaving family on Cres, we took the ferry to the neighbouring island of Krk to digest. I’m not kidding when I say that I ate more meat in one sitting at Al’s relatives than some of my students have eaten their entire lives back in Africa.
Krk is a summer hotspot for Germans, Slovenians and Croatians alike. Many people thought we were German, but when they saw the car they realized we were French (ha ha!)
We explored some beautiful old towns, and wandered along nearly deserted beaches because we are still in off-season. We even came across a fork in the road, which was actually a statue of the first letter of the ancient Croatian alphabet. The letters are found all along the road.
When we got to Baska, we saw a church waaaaayyyy high up on a mountain side, so of course we had to drive up there. The steep, narrow road with winding switchbacks was worth it, because the view from the cemetery was to die for.
After soaking up some sun on Krk we headed to Zadar, an ancient walled city a little further south on the mainland where Hitchcock was mesmerized by sunsets. A public art installation that mirrors the sun as it sets has been constructed along the waterfront.
“Greeting to the Sun” is made of 300 multilayered glass plates set in a large circle 22 metres in diametre. The installation is in the shape of an amphitheater and is surrounded by stone blocks that represent the solar system and orbiting planets.
Next to the installation is where you find Zadar’s famous sea organ. A set of stone steps runs down to the water and along the shore for 70 metres. Underneath sit 35 pipes of different lengths and diameters with various tilts that make up the inner workings of an organ.
Whistles are located on the pipes that play seven chords and five tones as waves pass through. Holes in the stairs allow sound to come out as you sit and watch the sea.
We had been listening to the eery symphony for a few minutes when Sophie spotted a pod of about eight dolphins making their way past the sea organ. With the setting sun and the Greeting to the Sun beginning to light up, it was an incredible moment captured in time!
On our last day in Zadar we made a day trip to Krka National Park. We headed to Skradinski buk, which is considered one of the most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls in Europe. My cover photo shows one of 17 waterfalls in the area. We walked along a boardwalk that follows the falls with almost no one around.
Skradinski buk is also home to one of the first hydro-electric dams in the world. Construction of the Jaruga Power Plant was completed just two days after the City of Buffalo finished its dam on Niagara Falls. However, electricity was generated immediately at the Jaruga plant, whereas Buffalo’s dam took six months to be fully functional. Not exactly sure how to determine who won that race!
At any rate, the Jaruga plant began to power street lights in the nearby town of Sibenik in August of 1895, making it the first city in the world with hydro-powered lights. We were able to view an old turbine on the site, and gave the girls the short version of how power is generated by dams.
Next stop – Dubrovnik!