Since we are home now and I am catching up on the last places we visited, I am just going to document our excursion by using the captions on the photographs.
Wow, is it windy today! This is the Boro wind we are told and it is the good north wind. The Yugo is the southern wind and it is considered bad and makes people do evil things. I wish there was no wind because wind and chilly temperatures equal brrrrr.
We head out onto the promanade next to the Adriatic Sea. There are some cool things here. One is called the “Greeting of the Sun” and it consists of 300 multi-layered glass plates and photovoltaic solar modules. At night it puts on a light show. It is daytime so it is kind of hard to know what it would look like.
The other attraction is the Sea Organ. It is an architectural sound art object which uses sea waves and tubes beneath a set of marble steps to make musical sounds. When we first arrive it is making low moaning sounds but later in the day it is much higher pitched as the wind and waves change.
We walk along the windy promanade looking out over the sea and to the nearby islands. Croatia has over 1000 islands. We make our way to the old Roman Forum and St. Donatus Church. The church was built in the 9th century and I am hoping we go in, but, no. It is possible that most people are not as avid to see early Christian stuff as I am.
Instead we proceed to the Roman forum which amounts to one column and three stone faces.
The next building we view is the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. The origins of this cathedral date back to a basilica built in the 4th and 5th centuries although most of what is in view today is the Romanesque style church of the 12th and 13th centuries. I am furiously flipping through my “saints notes” to find her. She is not on my list! She is more venerated in the Orthodox Church for being a Great Martyr.
Our guide goes up to the door because we are supposed to be going inside but the door is locked. So two interesting churches that we cannot see.
Next we go to the archeological museum where there are a lot of reliquaries and old paintings. We are told we cannot take a photo of anything. I turn off the sound on my phone and try to take one on the sly. I am caught by a patrolling nun and admonished.
We stroll around Zadar for a couple of hours and then head back to the ship. Here is some other stuff we saw.
Alfred Hitchcock who once came to Zadar said the sunset in Zadar was the most beautiful he had ever seen. John helpfully went out on the deck and took a picture of the sunset. It is pretty nice.
Today we are taking a tour called the Flavors of Dalmatia. First we go into Split and so a walking tour Diocletian’s Palace and then we ride into the countryside to see a working farm which produces organic olive oils, sweets, and cosmetics. The second is basically a shopportunity.
I do not know what my notion of Diocletian’s Palace was but it was certainly not what we saw. Diocletian, infamous for creating quite a large number of Christian martyrs, had this palace built in 305 as a vacation and retirement home. It consisted of a palatial home, a mausoleum for him after he died, and a military fortification.
The palace continued to be used after Diocletian’s death in 312 and was still in use as late as 480. In the 7th century the expelled population of nearby Salona took refuge inside the now abandoned palace and organized a new city building their homes and businesses inside the basement and on the walls. So when you walk into the palace grounds you find a mishmash of shops and restaurants inside. It is kind of weird.
At this point it starts to rain very heavily and we battle our way down the narrow streets crashing into oncoming umbrellas. Our next stop is at an olive oil manufacturer. Along the way we see an Roman aqueduct which is still functional.
We get off the bus at the Stella Croatica factory in Klis. There we have a tour in the pouring rain. We are given snacks, a very fast tour of the olive oil museum, and the main event, time to spend money at the shop. We buy a bottle of olive oil. There are also candies, tapenade, and cosmetics which the owner, Pasko, assures us will make our skin wonderful and eliminate bags from under our eyes. He has obviously spent a lot of money developing the site and the pandemic did not come at a good time for him.
We are pretty weary and wet when we get back to the ship. We take a nap, have our accustomed negroni sbagliato which the bar team have perfected, listen to Allen, the guitarist, and have dinner at The Restaurant.
Our excursion today takes us to two wineries after a bus trip over the mountain and some exploration on our own in Dubrovnik.
Then we proceed to another winery where the owners had nurtured three vines after the devastation of the “Homeland War.” The entire area had been razed by departing armies. We listened to her long story in Croatian which was then translated. I accidentally nodded off a few times.
We have been to Dubrovnik before so we decided to just have a look around on our own. We go to a pharmacy museum that also includes some art, go into an uninspiring church, eat some lunch, and look out over the sea.
Time for a late lunch! It is a pleasure to have a quiet lunch with some of our favorite things off the boat. After a while the lunch food on the boat gets old.
We get back to the boat fairly late in the afternoon. It is good that we do not have dinner reservations until 8 PM. At dinner I order veal Marsala. It is not great. I mention to the server that the sauce does not taste much like a Marsala sauce. He, of course, scurries off to tell the chef. The chef comes out to talk to me. It is the same chef that John complained to about the duck. Now he wants to make something better for me tonight or some other time. I should have kept my critique to myself!