Zadar is a cool, young, university town with a great historic area. I enjoyed my time here.
The area is clean, pretty, bright, by the sea, has all the restaurants, stores, and bakeries to be desired.
When I got off the bus, taxis were only a few feet away. And the ride to the old part of town where I’m staying was only about $6.
It’s been really simple to adjust to the area and find my way around.
There are pretty areas to stroll along the sea and cool sights like the sea organ where the waves moving over the steps plays music.
All the food I’ve had has been really good here. The best dessert I had was at Art Hotel Kalelarga. Make sure to stop there. Found a bakery that has Börek. It’s addicting. I’ve gotten it twice already with the cheese filling.
There is a very large young population here because of the university. This also means there are numerous makeup, beauty stores all over town. I’ve been able to pick up things I’ve needed and couldn’t find elsewhere and also found shampoo and conditioner that smell like honey.
I loved that there were both a Mango and Zara store here.
I had some great smoked salmon at the restaurant Bruschetta.
When you read about Croatia, Zadar doesn’t tend to be at the top of lists of places to see but it’s a very nice pleasant place to stay a couple days, has interesting history, and cool places to eat and relax.
On the way from Karlovac to Zadar, the bus went through a tiny town in the mountains called Slunj. It was a beautiful area with waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and valleys. Neon green grass and Austrian styled homes. Someday when I come back to Croatia, this would be a nice place to stay when visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Karlovac was near the front lines of the war in the 1990s and many buildings still have damage from the fighting. The streets were mostly empty and not many stores were open.
The town had many Soviet styled block apartments.
I stayed in a room above ŠuŠu Pub which was a short walk from the bus stop.
I’ve been told it’s a great place for beer. There are little bars all over town.
In the neighborhoods in the countryside surrounding Karlovac many homes had even more damage visible from the war.
When the bus crossed over into Croatia, I knew I loved this country. No more congested cities, heavy traffic, or huge crowds of tourists.
Rovinj is my ideal place to be. The bus station is only a street away from the beautiful old part of town. I plan to come back and spend longer here. I could easily stay a few months in this area of Croatia. It would be really easy to get a bus to Venice, other parts of Croatia, and Slovenia from this town. And the surrounding area is very pretty with Pula close by as well.
My hosts were the nicest people I’ve meet on my travels so far. They met me at the bus station when I arrived and showed me around town on the way to my room.
I loved the food I tried here. Many of the restaurants were closed since it was April. It’d be fun to see how different this town is in the summer and fall. Many dishes on the menus around town feature truffles.
Not only is the town gorgeous but you can also bike for miles around the coast.
Cars aren’t allowed on many of the streets in the old part of town. Some paths smell like lavender and there are many cats and dogs walking around.
Between buildings there are steps that go down to the sea.
While I was in Italy I visited Naples, Capri, Anacapri, Rome, Verona, and Venice.
Of the places I went I’d visit Capri and Venice again someday.
If I come back to Italy I’d make sure to stay a week or two in Venice and then see the alps and lakes.
The main reason I loved Capri was because of the incredible desserts in Anacapri. I’ve never had desserts that good and haven’t found any that come close since.
I like Venice more than Capri because there is so much more to explore and I love Venice at night.
Venice is the most visually stunning place I’ve been. When I exited the train station and looked at the bridges, canals, and incredible buildings I couldn’t stop smiling.
Verona was the first place I’ve been that was calm and relaxed. It was a relief to arrive here after Southeast Asia, Rome, and Naples. Verona is the type of place you come to unwind, eat a nice meal, and sip wine. I was very happy to be here.
Took the train from Naples to Salerno and was looking forward to a slower pace of life. My host met me at the train station and walked me back to my room. On the way we stopped at a market and picked up mozzarella. He said the mozzarella from Salerno is special and better than anywhere else.
I’d been traveling for about 30 hours by the time I got to Naples. I had three flights and multiple train rides to get to the area of Naples I was staying. I was excited to finally be in Italy. It was such a change from Thailand and Indonesia.