Friday, June 15, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Zadar

Zadar and I broke up today. It was a whirlwind 5-week romance that unfortunately ended just as abruptly as it started. We said our goodbyes at the same place where we first met: the airport.

I spent most of the day moping about the fact that we were leaving Croatia. I really loved living here and wasn't ready to leave yet. It was crushing to think of all the newly-established rituals that were coming to an end: walking along the Riva, eating fresh pastries on the steps of the pekarna (bakery), even toting our groceries back from the supermarket. They were all done. Chances are, I didn't even realize that it was the last time I was going to do these things while they were happening.

View from the Old Town Hostel. This was our very first day in Zadar!
Jim and I had quickly acclimated to life in Zadar. Now, as we packed up our belongings, we were amazed at how much our apartment had started to feel like home. We had been there long enough to get used to having our own place to cook, watch TV, do laundry, and work. Even though we left Croatia with the same amount of stuff that we brought, packing it all up sure didn't seem any easier this go round. It still took us several hours to load everything into our backpacks.

We thought that a fitting way to end our adventure in Croatia would be to share a few highlights of our trip. Enjoy!

Favorite Neighborhood: Puntamika
Puntamika is a leafy residential neighborhood in Zadar. It's known by the locals as the "tourist area," since every house on the block has an apartman (apartment) or sobe (room) to rent.
Put Dikla, the main street in Puntamika
Favorite Beer: Ožujsko
This is one of the most popular brands of Croatian pivo. The only problem? It's really hard to order when you can't pronounce its name!
This photo is brought to you by the makers of Ožujsko!
Favorite Fast Food: Pizza cut
Slices of pizza are cheap and plentiful here. I've sampled them all, and this one's the best! Mushrooms, olives, and pršut (prosciutto) for only 5 kuna ($0.84).
Pandas bake the best pizza!
Best What-the-What? Moment: Metalfest invades Borik
One long weekend in May, the sleepy, family-friendly Borik campground was overrun with long hair, black t-shirts, and Doc Martens. They were all here for Metalfest, a super rockin' music festival on the beach, headlined by none other than Megadeth.
Symphony of destruction at camp.
Cutest Warning Sign: Britva!!!
I'm pretty sure this sign says, "Warning! Killer dog lives here."
According to Google translate, "Britva" means "razor." Huh?
Favorite Im Promptu Photo: How much is that doggy in the window?
I captured this shot while we were dining at Bruschetta in Old Town. I think he was eyeing my pizza!

Best Boat Trip: Riding in the bridge with Darko
Our landlord Darko is a Captain on the local ferry. Here's a picture of the Capt'n in action on our way to Sali on Dugi Otok.

Favorite Way to Spend the Day: Wandering around an island.
Our MO is to find something that looks like a trail and go exploring... in flip flops.

Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Zadar : Mountains, islands, and old towns.
Even better when you can get all three in the same photo!

Our time in Zadar is done for now, but we plan to come back someday. Next time, we'll be sure to stay for more than 5 weeks!