Zadar and Šibenik, August 2021

Our next stop was Zadar, our first town in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, and a very pleasant 4 hr ferry ride from Pula. Our apartment was a 15 minute walk from the old town. Zadar was heavily damaged in WWII (and again in the ‘homeland’ war in the 1990s), and is an odd mix of old and new, where new is mostly really ugly/basic buildings from the 50s/60s.

Speaking of the ‘homeland’ war: that’s the current politically correct term for that war that occurred here in the 1990s, according to one of our tour guides. Previously known as the “War of Independence”, it’s all pretty confusing to the outside world. I also asked many of our various tour guides what Croatians think about Tito, and all seemed to like him, but also said ‘it’s complicated’, and it depends on what region you are from. It sounds like he did a lot of good things for Yugoslavia, and some bad things too.

Besides wandering around the old town, activities in Zadar included a great sunset sail, a bike ride around Ugljan island (a short ferry ride from Zadar), and Christine making an amazing dinner with the fresh truffles we bought in Istria.

One of the ‘must do’ places to go in Croatia is Plitvice Lakes National Park. I agree it’s pretty special, but it was REALLY crowded. Just like many national parks in the USA, August is the wrong time of the year to go. But what can you do. We should have spent the night outside the park and gone early in the morning before all the tour groups arrive.

Next stop is was Šibenik, normally a 1.5 hour bus ride from Zadar, but 2.5 hours due to peak season traffic. Šibenik was the most picturesque town so far, and we had the best AirBNB of the trip (so far). We loved being right in the heart of a 500 year old city.

Other activities in Šibenik included a fantastic 60km guided eBike ride all around the region, and we took a ferry to Zlarin island to swim/snorkel. Speaking of snorkeling: there are no reefs in Croatia, so the snorkeling is not great, but the water is so amazingly clear that you can see everything there is to see very well. We saw tons of sea cucumbers, urchins, and lots of small fish at Zlarin.

Full set of photos is here. Next stop: 2hr bus ride to Split.

Helping out on the sunset sail.
Our apartment in Sibenik.

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