Monday, June 18, 2012

Heading East for Easter: Zadar to Split

After the wintry day at Plitvice, we turned south and headed down to the city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.  We spent a couple of days there before continuing along the coast through Split and towards Dubrovnik.

This seemed to be the typical decor of the coastal towns of Croatia.  This is an old church in Zadar.

Along the boardwalk in Zadar there is this little contraption - a sea organ.  The waves coming in force air through the pipes creating a constant soundtrack to your walk along the sea.  It's not exactly ripping Mozart pieces or anything, but it is kind of interesting - only thing is that it doesn't turn off, ever!

Lots of rustic looking side streets in Zadar.

This square in Zadar was cleverly named the "Four Wells" square.

View of a small harbor in Zadar.

The "Lion Gate" - Zadar.

Sunset from the balcony of our B&B in Zadar.

As we stopped in more towns along the coast we kept seeing massive growths of this purple flower hanging on buildings.  Not sure if it's lavender or not.

One of the churches in Sibenik - mugs of individual townspeople that made donations were immortalized in stone along the outside.  It's said that the more you gave, the better your face.

Beautiful garden in Sibenik.

We also wandered across a cemetery in Sibenik that offered some excellent views.

Sibenik

View into the waterway along Sibenik.

Hrvatska - "Croatia" in Croatian

As we drove around this country we couldn't help but notice some of the evidence from the war of independence.  We came across some small villages that looked like the Alamo and had not been rebuilt or moved into since the war - usually because Serbians had lived there.  This is a public building in Sibenik that had visible damage to the facade.

In Split we walked around the quaint little "old town", but other than that the only thing worth seeing is the sculpture gallery "Galerija Mestrovic" - Croatia's answer to Rodin.

"Job" - one of Mestrovic's masterpiece, really captured the agony that he must've felt.

While this Pieta is made of plaster, Mestrovic made a real one from metal that is apparently on the campus of Notre Dame where he was a professor (if anyone can give me an "amen" on that).  Mestrovic moved to the United States in 1946 and remained there until his death in 1962.  He still has loads of work in various places in the USA.

This one was Marisa's favorite.  The carefree nature and facial expression won her over immediately.

My favorite was the Cyclops, cocked and ready to toss this boulder somewhere.


After the museum, we walked down the road another 200 meters to a small chapel that houses some of Mestrovic's wood carvings.  He made 28 of these bad boys along with a huge crucifix that are on display here, illustrating the life of Christ.  I liked this one because it shows all of the ridges carved in the wood.

It was a rainy day in Split, so I can only share one photo to give you an idea of the old town.

I can summarize the Dalmation coast by saying that it's fabulous when the weather is nice and kind of a downer when the weather is crap.  If you plan a trip to Croatia, make sure it is the right time of year.


--Justin
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