Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunny Morning in Zadar

Bridge connecting Old Zadar with modern Zadar
It was a beautiful morning for our last day in Croatia. That meant we could enjoy Old Town Zadar with at least some sun. We did not have to be at our next destination of Ljubljana, Slovenia, at any particular time, so we were in no hurry to exit Croatia.

So on a nice somewhat occasionally sunny morning in Zadar, what do you do? Head to Museum of Ancient Glass to see glass-making!

Outside the Museum of Ancient Glass
Glass jewelry maker Antonija Gospic made a housecall to the Hotel Bastion that morning to sell C**** P******* some artsy-funky glass bead rings. Ms. Gospic is in residence at the Museum and we were intrigued enough to want a demonstration. So off we trudged. It was well worth it. (Her website is on, where all sorts of artists sell all sorts of things, so check out her virtual "store" if you are even remotely interested. She seems like good people.)

Antonija Gospic works the flame 
Then she blows the glass bubble
She only makes glass beads because, she said, her flame is not hot enough for larger pieces. To see that, we would have to go the third floor of the museum,

The glass bubble fresh from the kiln
The pitcher he is making begins to take shape
To make a vase or pitcher from glass, the level of heat was much much hotter than that necessary for the glass bead work.

After the demonstrations, we toured the collection.

More ancient glass artifacts than I've ever seen in one place 
Green glass receptacle 
Ancient glass pot and a photo of an archaeological dig.
(The pot did not necessarily come from that dig. Could have. But don't think it did.)
I learned that glass is the oldest "manufactured" material and it was first made in the B.C. era. It was prized for the fact that it was non-reactive. What was stored inside the glass receptacle did not react with the receptacle. Earlier pieces were functional, but beauty later became valued:

I like these
We then took a last walk around the city.

Entering from the ferry docks
The tourist hordes were arriving. But the market was happening for the locals.

It smelled nice in here. Better than my local supermarket. Where the produce section doesn't smell like anything at all.
We walked down to the riva.

Zadar riva 
Statue on the riva
At the south end of the riva, near the fosa
I did notice these steps leading into the Adriatic. These are for the swimmers, as people really do swim in the Adriatic Sea here.

Steps leading into the Adriatic
Then of course it was time to follow the crowd for one last look at the Greeting of the Sun and one last listen to the Sea Organ.

On the riva, walking toward the mellifluous Sea Organ
It was crowded. It was a tourist day,

This must be the view of the symbolic "Sun" from the Planet Jupiter 
Sister and B-I-L shooting photos of the scene
Then it was back into the city blocks of the Old Town for a gelato.

The narrow streets of Old Zadar
Yes, I should be tied to the Pillar of Shame for having yet another gelato.

Pillar of shame
We had to dodge truck traffic on the pedestrian-only streets to get to that gelato store where they had the mountains of gelato on display.

Fighting truck traffic to get to the place with the mountains of gelato on display
Incidentally, I got the blood orange flavor, which I've only had as a sorbet before, It's better as a gelato/ice cream. But it's still not as good as the cantaloupe flavor from the day before.

One last photo of the signature picture of Zadar.

The churches of St. Donatus (L) and St. Anastasia (R)
Then it was time to head for the izlaz (Croatian for exit).

Exiting Old Zadar by way of Our Lady of Health church


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