To Zadar - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

September 6, 2018

To Zadar

Sardines

With a short, easy ride ahead, we got a leisurely start this morning.  We walked down to the waterfront at eight, raided a bakery and then carried our haul to the bar next door for an Americano, and then another.  From there we walked the short distance to the Jadrolinija kiosk to pick up ferry tickets for the day - a one way ride from here to Pasman Island, and a one way ticket from Ugljan Island to Zadar.  It’s a short twenty miles between the two island ports, with the nearly touching islands connected by a short bridge.

On the way, we’re held up for almost a half hour by a fascinating bit of theater: shipping sardines for export.  I don’t know if this is n every day occurrence here in Biograd or if we were just lucky, but it was as interesting as if we had stumbled upon a colorful religious pageant.  Boats were queued up in the bay waiting their turn to pull up to the dock and collect their cargo: zillions of sardines, loaded and packed in a variety of ways - frozen, unfrozen, and even live.

A sardine hauler, loaded and ready to depart. I’d really like to know more background on all this, but haven’t found a resource yet
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Everyone’s dream job - hosing down the sardines.
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Another bag of fish, brought in by fork lift, craned above the hold, and dropped in as a block.
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Breaking apart a block of fish so they pack correctly
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Jen GrumbyWow ... This might be even more of a dream job than hosing them down(??)
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3 months ago
A live fish hauler
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Pumping a slurry of live fish into the hold
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They don’t just export the sardines here - you can buy them right off the truck.
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Pasman and Ugljan

An hour later, as we boarded the ferry to Pasman, the sardine shippers were sill at it.  If this happens very often, there is an enormous volume of sardines that pass through this port.

We could have ridden a mainland route from Biograd to Zadar, but every resource I’ve seen recommends taking the island route.  Technically, it’s very easy.  There are many crossings per day, depending on the season; each crossing takes about 20 minutes; and the ticket you purchase is not trip-specific  - once you’ve bought your ticket you can just show up and catch the next boat out.

It’s a delightful ride along the two islands. Most of the time we were on streets or paths right by the water, and intermittently were thrown back on the very quiet main road.  Traffic is very light, climbs are all modest, scenery is great.  I’m not sure if there are any significant sights on the island, but we weren’t seeking them out - we were just rolling along, taking in the ambience.  A blissful day.  Let’s let Rachael take us there:

Wheeling out of Tkon, the port where we disembarked on Pasman.
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Taking in a bit of striptease
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Pasman is the first place in Croatia that we’ve seen a significant lizard population. These colorful guys are scurrying around everywhere.
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Bill ShaneyfeltNice photo! Looks like it might be an Italian wall lizard. I'm not too good on European lizards though, so the ID is only tentative.

http://www.reptilefact.com/italian-wall-lizard.html
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltI wonder if you aren’t a bit confused, Bill. You thought that cricket last week was Italian too, I remember. We’re still in the Balkans. Italy is across the water, on the other side of the Adriatic. You might take a look at a map.
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3 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonChuckle!
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3 months ago
Bruce LellmanType your comment here
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3 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonNot so quick, Scott. The Romans brought a lot of things to the Balkans.
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3 months ago
For much of the distance we bike right along the water.
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The village of Pasman
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The spine of the island looks like this - low, rolling pine-forested hills. They look like sandstone, but it’s the same karst formation that forms all of these islands and the Dinaric Alps.
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It’s a sign.
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Road surface varies once you leave the highway, and is a bit primative in spots.
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I’ve lost track, but I think this is Zdrelac.
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The bridge linking Pasman and Ugljan
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Dropping to the waterfront in Kukljica, where we stopped for lunch. Note the dog reaching out for a lick.
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Looking across the strait to the mainland
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We still had some time before our ferry left, so we stopped at the beach in Kali for a short swim.
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Zadar

We arrived at our apartment in Zadar at five, and we’re met on the street by our hostess, whom we phoned after failing to find the entrance on our own (as has been the case almost every night here).  We’re in a fine spot right at the very outer tip of the old town, just a few blocks from the cathedral, the Sea Organ, and the other sights Zadar is known for.  We’re staying here for three nights, so we’ll hold off showing you around for another day or so.

We’re arriving in Zadar twenty seven years later than we had meant to though.  Zadar was an intended stop on our first tour of Europe - the one that didn’t happen.  I had wanted to see Zadar and the Croatian coastline ever since reading of it in Karen and Terry Whitehill’s Europe by Bike: 18 tours Geared for Discovery. They passed through here in the Eighties when all this was still Yugoslavia.  That was our plan too - we were well into the planning stages of a grand tour from Paris to Athens in 1991, when first Slovenia and then Croatia declared independence and the Balkan wars began.  It’s taken long enough for us to finally arrive here!

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Ride stats today: 24 miles, 900’; for the tour: 308 miles, 21,700’

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 308 miles (496 km)

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