Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 12 - I'm on a boat!

We spent the day before we left on a ship that sailed out to a group of islands in the Koronati National Park. It was an all day trip that took us past amazing cliffs, 2 1/2 hours out to sea we sailed up to an island that actually had a sand beach! Spent a couple hours there then sailed back to Zadar. We never do the group tourist thing but this was fun and relaxing and an activity that was really different for us.

So on Monday we woke up early but our boat to Italy didnt leave until 10pm. We couldn't get a late check out so we ate a big breakfast and checked out at 10am... We then tried to get an air bnb room last minute so we could spend the day relaxing, take a shower, etc... But that didn't happen :(

We then decided to leave our luggage at the  hotel and go into town to kill the next ten hours before we checked into the ferry.  Aside from wandering aimlessly around town, we were able to mail out the first batch of postcards, learn that the cinema had long gone out of business, and ate cevapi (it's their version of a hamburger, but instead of a meat patty, it's spiced minced meat in sausage shape. Six links to one huge bun and delicious). Hindsight would have dictated some more advance research before ordering two of them as one could have easily fed us both. Definitely going to seek out an authentic Croatian restaurant when we get back to feast again on these testaments to ground, greasy meat. Here's a pic:
Sooooo delicious...
With time winding down, finally made it to the Garden Zadar. It's your typical Ibiza/Miami open air lounge bar (white decor, palm trees, chill vibe) except it's not typical of Ibiza or Miami at all. For one thing, they have table service, not bottle service, which IMO is a lost art. Also, the pricing was far from outrageous. No unnecessary jacking of the prices. A beer here cost the same as it did everywhere else in town. The highlight of our short beverage break here was listening to a chilled out cover version of 'Born Slippy' by Underworld. Well, the highlight was the view directly over the port, but amazing views are a recurring theme in our adventures, so we threw Underworld a bone in this instance.

Finished our beers, head back to the bus, get to the hotel, pick up our bags, confirm hotel in Rome, head back to port... We're sticky and sweaty from spending the whole day in 95 degree heat. In direct sun. No clouds. Our next shower is still 18 hours awayand across the Adriatic. When you sign up for adventure, this is what you get.

We board the Jardolinja ferry around 8:30pm, just in time to catch the sun setting from the dock. The guide book quotes Alfred Hichcock proclaiming the sunsets in Zadar as the most beautiful he had ever seen; in our last moments there, his proclamation is vindicated.

Just after 10pm the ferry sets sail and we watch the city, Greetings to the Sun and all, slowly diminish into the night, leaving only the glaring reflection of an almost full moon off the sea as our only reminder that we are in fact, still on earth.

You can see the whole city lit up and fading from view, it's an incredible feeling. You see the voyage happening, taking place. It's more exciting than flying and more breath taking than the most scenic train. If I had hair, the wind would be blowing it. Throw in the dissipating light pollution for the addition of stars newly visible to the naked eye, the same stars that have been there for millennia but you have never seen, and you are reassured of your insignificance in the cosmos. One man and the sea is a recipe for perspective. The Old Man and the Sea is book by Hemmingway. Go read it.


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