As you may be aware, Croatia is pretty much my favorite European country. Dubrovnik and the coastline are just amazing. About halfway up that coastline in Croatia is a city named Zadar. Dubrovnik it is not, but we went there anyway!
Normally, my favorite cities are similar to Zadar – smaller, lots of locals, not too touristy, and laid back. However, certain aspects of our trip led to us not enjoying our time here as much as we probably should have. Our poor accommodations seriously put a damper on our attitude toward this city. Now I am no stranger to staying in rough hostels, but the place we stayed was bad. It felt like a hotel for bedbugs and we were invading THEIR territory! Hold on – I feel like there is one crawling on me just thinking about it again. Luckily, we didn’t get bedbugs, but we worried about it the entire time. In addition to the fear of bedbugs, we were nursing some fun hangovers from the night before in Dubrovnik. Add those two things up and you usually don’t get an enjoyable experience, but it is all part of traveling.
Enough with the bad stuff though because Zadar can be interesting. When your claim to fame is a frickin’ SEA ORGAN you can’t not be interesting! No, it is not a body part of the ocean. It is a musical instrument built along the coast that constantly plays music as the water rushes in and out. I found it cool, but I am easily amused. Right next to the Sea Organ, is another architectural object called the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation uses solar power to create a light show every night. Unfortunately, we only saw this during the day. The two objects together are supposed to stimulate the senses using nature.
Aside from the Sea Organ, Zadar has pretty decent shopping, food, and street vendors (where Jen got the longest lasting henna tattoo of all time). It also has some cool architecture and nice views from the coastline. Jen and I ended our night in Zadar by enjoying the sunset along a rocky beach while joking around and skipping stones. Not even bedbugs can ruin moments like that.
So all in all, our trip to Zadar was a bit of a disappointment, but I would not hesitate to go back if I had the chance. I feel like there is potential for a really good time. My final words of wisdom regarding Zadar – stay in a nicer hotel, only visit if you have extra time, and visit before you go to Dubrovnik.