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From: L'Austral cruise review

Day 2: Zadar, Croatia (3)

Zadar cathedral square

From the waterfront, it's a short walk to downtown Zadar and St. Anastasia Cathedral, which was begun in the 12th Century.


Zadar Cathedral tower entrance

It was a hot day--probably around 30° C or 90° F--so we decided not to climb up the cathedral's tower.


St. Francis Church and Monastery, Zadar

Zadar's city center is a mixture of old and new buildings. Some of the old buildings are newer than they look: 65 percent of the city was destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II and reconstructed under Yugoslavia's Tito regime. More recently, during the war of 1991 to 1995, Serbian forces shelled the city and again turned much of the historic center into rubble.

 For a good overview of Zadar as a tourist destination, see Alex Crevar's New York Times article from 2008.


Main shopping street in Zadar

As we walked through the city center, we passed through a large pedestrians-only shopping district with a mixture of local and international shops.


Svarowski shop in Zadar, Croatia

We could have stuffed our pockets with costume jewelry from Swarovsky, that staple of shopping malls and large cruise ships, but we we restrained ourselves and continued onward.


Souvenir shop in Zadar, Croatia

We skipped the chance to purchase a first-name keyring at this souvenir shop in downtown Zadar. (We also wondered how many parents name their children "Bozo.")

However, we did buy a spool of dental floss at a large health and beauty aids store--one of several such shops in Zadar, where beauty and dental health appear to be prized.


Aqua shop in Zadar, Croatia

We saw two different branches of Aqua, a retail chain that has stores throughout Croatia. (Like its counterparts in other resort towns, this shop was heavy on striped t-shirts, dresses, and other clothing with a nautical look.)


Veterinarian's sign in Zadar, Croatia

Being fond of dogs, we liked this sign for a Zadar veterinarian. (Cat fanciers might have felt rebuffed.)


Surf n' fries shop in Zadar

Surf n' Fries, a Croatian fast-food chain, tried to tempt us with French fries, chicken nuggets, chocolate fries, ice cream, and other staples of the local cuisine.


ATM in Zadar

Before we could indulge ourselves, we visited one of the many ATMs in downtown Zadar.


ice-cream shop in Zadar

Next, we sampled the wares at the Croatian counterpart to a gelateria. Prices weren't bad: a single-scoop cone was 7 kuna, or just under a euro.


Ice cream in Croatia

At this shop, as in other Croatian towns that we visited, the displays of ice cream were far more ornate than in the U.S. or Western Europe. Some displays were downright garish.


Water drainage channel in Zadar

A word of warning to tourists: In Zadar, as in many other Croatian towns, pedestrian streets often have water gutters running down the middle of the pavement. This can lead to spills (no pun intended), especially if--as in Zadar's pedestrian zone--the pavement is made of slippery stone blocks.


Garderobe or left luggage in Zadar

Garderobe gate to ferry pier

After you've changed into your high-traction shoes, you can park your suitcase at the public Garderoba or Left Luggage office, which is near a tunnel that connects the inner city with the Jadrolinija ferry pier.


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Ship tour
Gastronomy

L'Austral Adriatic cruise - day by day
Day 1: Venice Departure
Day 2: Zadar
Day 3: Trogir
Day 4: Dubrovnik
Day 5: Mouth of Kotor, Mljet
Day 6: Hvar
Day 7: Rab
Day  8: Venice Arrival

Also see:
L'Austral cruise review (8 pages)