Tag Archives: Zadar

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Colmar in Alsace – Zadar in Croatia – Saint Valentine’s Day in Paris

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In this week’s Blogger Round-Up, Carolyn from Holidays to Europe takes us to Colmar, which is one of my favourites places in Alsace, with its picturesque canals while Chasing the Donkey gives us an insider’s tour of Zadar in Croatia with it’s famous Sea Organ. To finish off, Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris gives us lots of unique ideas for Saint Valentine’s Day in Paris. Enjoy!

A Short Guide to Colmar, France

by Carolyn from Holidays to Europe, an Australian based business passionate about sharing their European travel expertise and helping travellers to experience the holiday in Europe they have always dreamed of

colmar-franceWith only a couple of days in the Alsace region of France, I didn’t have much time to spend in Colmar but in the few short hours I was there, I quickly realised why it is such a popular town with tourists from all over the world – it is absolutely gorgeous!

Thanks to its history as a major trading post and river port in the 16th Century, Colmar is one of the prettiest cities in France. Wealthy merchants built spectacularly colourful houses alongside the canal, and even today, centuries later, they ooze charm. With a mix of French (the window shutters) and German (half-timbered facades) architecture, the houses of the former trading areas of Colmar are a reminder of the heady days when wine from the neighbouring Alsatian vineyards was shipped along the canal. Read more

What to see in Zadar

By Chasing the Donkey,  a Mum & wife, now Australian expat who packed up her very typical Aussie life in May 2013 and shifted it along with her Croatian Husband and Son to rebuild the old house they inherited in Croatia & make it their home.

sea_organ_zadarBe sure to to make a stop in Zadar if you plan to explore Northern Dalmatia, it’s a great destination to spend  time in, its a great choice to use as a base to see Plitvice, Paklenica or Krka National Parks. So, what should you see while you’re in Zadar?  We’ll there is no doubt that you’ll enjoy drinking coffee overlooking the Grand Roman Forum that is over 2,000 years old and the Church of St, Donatus among the many sights – but I guarantee you’ll end up being drawn to 2 of Zadar’s most unique attractions. The Sea Organ & the Greeting to the Sun. Read more

Love is in the air: lots of unique ideas for Valentine’s Day in Paris

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

valentineWhether you’re single, married or divorced, there’s a lot happening in Paris on February 14:

Feel like a star – For Valentine’s Day, the RATP is offering you and the person of your choice a FREE glamor shot. Five Harcourt Studio photo cabins will be available from 12:00 – 6:00 pm at the following stations: Gare de Lyon, Denfert-Rochereau, Villejuif-Louis Aragon, La Motte Picquet-Grenelle and Jaurés.

One minute to “spread the love” at the Louvre: At precisely 14h14 (2:14 pm) on February 14, a flashmob will gather in front of the pyramid at the Louvre to kiss their lover, best friend, stuffed animal, dog or bicycle. Couples, families, friends – everyone is invited to share a minute of love. KISS Flashmob in Paris event page. Read more

My Croatian Itinerary – Part 5: Sibenik, Zadar & Plitvice

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We left Dubrovnik for Zadar on a Sunday morning at the end of July and it was already very hot. Along the way there were countless vendors selling fruit and vegetables, often with makeshift showers to keep their watermelons cool! We stopped and bought figs, grapes, tomatoes, capsicums and olive oil.

Waterfront café at Zadar
Waterfront café at Zadar

We ate our lunch at a covered picnic table in a very modern service station with a stunning view of the surrounding hills and reached Sibenik mid-afternoon.

Some of the sculpted heads on Saint James' cathedral
Some of the sculpted heads on Saint James’ cathedral

None of the tourist frenzy here. The town is built directly on the edge of the water with boats moored next to the waterfront cafés which all have an excellent view of the islands opposite. We walked up the hill in the heat through a maze of little streets to Saint Michael’s castle then down again to Saint James’ Cathedral, Croatia’s most important example of Renaissance architecture with its lovely portal, beautifully carved baptistry and 71 sculpted heads. Black Cat later told me this was one of her favourite places in Croatia.

Waterfront café at Zadar
Waterfront café at Zadar

Our next port of call was Zadar where we had booked an apartment with easy parking and a terrace, just opposite Saint Donat’s. However, as luck would have it, when we arrived, the parking lot was entirely cordoned off for a major music festival that night! We waited in the car for the owner and envied the people in their arm chairs on the waterfront arrived but when she finally got there, she talked to the policeman and in the end we were able to park just in front of the building for the two nights we were there. The terrace turned out to be at the rear of the apartment looking out over everybody’s washing and cars! The inside however was very modern and spotless. It also had wifi.

Land gate and lions in Zadar
Land gate and lions in Zadar

We had dinner in a restaurant called Bruschetta near the water front recommended by the owner which was very pleasant. We had intended to go cycling on the islands opposite, Pasman and Ugljan, but the return of my turista meant that I spent most of the next day inside while Jean Michel checked out the sites and did some food shopping. In the evening, we visited the beautiful 9th century Saint Donat Byzantine church, the “land gate” with its lion and five wells. Apparently I’d missed the tourists and found it very pleasant and family-oriented.

The Greeting of the Sun which changes colour as the light waxes and wanes
The Greeting of the Sun which changes colour as the light waxes and wanes

After an aperitif, we joined the local population of Zadar to watch the sun set over the Sea Organ and check out an intriguing attraction by the same architect just next to it called The Greeting to the Sun, consisting of multi-layered glass plates and silicon cells and forming a marine compass which changes colours as the light waxes and wanes. It’s actually a small power plant that is also used to light up the entire waterfront.

Stunning upper lakes at Plitvice
Stunning upper lakes at Plitvice

The next day, we headed for Plitvice Falls, one of the highlights of our trip, which I have described in two previous posts (Sunday’s Travel Photos and Cycling in Croatia). We stayed in a lovely and very reasonably priced apartment up in the hills (it even had a barbecue!) with a very convenient access to the lower lakes which enabled us to avoid the crowded car parks and hordes of tourists. I didn’t visit the higher lakes because of my turista, but Jean Michel took the boat and bus next day and joined the crowds of visitors. Having seen both, he said that he definitely preferred the lower lakes so we visited them again before we left the next day for Porec.

Bruschetta Restaurant, Mihovila Pavlinovica 12, 23000 Zadar
Zdravka Evceg, Vjekovslava Mastrovika 4, 23000 Zadar
Stanislav Mihinjac, Apartmani Lipa, Plitvice Selo 6, Plitvicka Jezera 
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