Biograd na Moru - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2020

Biograd na Moru

The rains returned in the night, and are still hanging around this morning.  They’re due to pass on in a few hours, but for now it looks rather daunting outside.  

The view from our window this morning. Dramatic!
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We have a short ride today, but it’s complicated by two short ferry rides.  Our destination is Biograd na Moru (the white city on the sea), about 20 miles down the coast.  We could ride on the mainland side, but it’s much better to follow the Eurovelo route and take the ferry to Ugljan island, bike south along it and on to Pašman island, and then take a second ferry back to the mainland at Biograd.  This reverses the ride we took from Biograd to Zadar two years ago.

The issue then is in the timing.  When will the rains end, when do ferries for Ugljan leave, how long do we need on the island, and when do ferries from Pasman depart for the mainland?  A great thing about cycle touring is that it keeps your brain sharp, teasing out solutions to random puzzles like this.  Also good for your social skills, as you cooperatively problem-solve with your riding partner.

Plus, there’s the added complexity that there are two ferries to Preko, the port on Ugljan.  One leaves from the old town, right across the water from us - we can see the ship from our window.  The other leaves from a port four miles to the south.  Both are operated by Jadrolinja, both operate on the same schedule, both carry both cars and bicycles according to the Jadrolinja website.

Hmm.  A tough choice.  The rains are due to end between 9 and 9:30, the sailing we want to catch leaves at 9:30.  What to do, what to do?  For some reason Eurovelo 8 uses the further port; but since we didn’t bring along our bike umbrellas, we decide on the one a few hundred yards away instead.  Pedestrians are just collapsing their umbrellas as we leave the apartment at about 9.

Our timing is perfect. The rains stopped just minutes before we leave the apartment.
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A few minutes later I step in to the Jadrolinja ticket office, request two tickets for person + bicycle, but am rebuffed.  This one, regardless of what their damn website states, does not take bicycles.  We have to bike down to the other port.  The agent looks at the clock and raises her eyebrows in sympathy.  We’ll be too late for the 9:30 sailing, but the next one is only an hour later.

Which explains, I imagine, why Eurovelo 8 uses the other ferry rather than this one.

No matter.  We’ll should still have time on the islands to make it down to Kton, the port on Pašman, before its 3:20 departure we’re targeting.  It will be on the tight side though, so it’s an annoyance.  If we’d known of this we would have left 15 minutes earlier, rain or not.

Off to ferry port #2, we pass through Zadar’s old city one last time.
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It’s a pleasant ride, really.  Four miles along the sea, very little traffic.  When we arrive, two other cyclists are just pulling up to the ticket booth ahead of us.  From Lund, Sweden, they drove down here for the cycling and are staying in Zadar for a few days before moving on to Pag and Velebit.  Today they’re on a day ride to Ugljan and Pašman, and tell a familiar tale.  They too had planned to catch the 9:30 departure at the other port and had the same experience we had.  They must have shown up at that ticket office just after we did.

Waiting for the departure, south of Zadar.
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The ride on Ugljan and Pašman is quite pleasant, if undramatic.  There are about ten miles of beautiful riding right by the sea on minor lanes that pass through every village on the way; and another ten that are on the main N/S highway that crosses the bridge connecting two islands.

It’s only 20 miles, we have a tailwind, and we arrive in Tkon almost a half hour before our ship’s departure.  Time enough for us to sit on the wall and eat a late lunch.

Southbound on Ugljan island, approaching Kali.
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Beyond Kali, our quiet coastal road climbs up to end at the central highway. Steeply.
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The through arch Ždrelac Bridge connects Ugljan and Pašman.
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Crossing the Ždrelac Bridge.
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Still following the Mediterranean Route. Good routing choice, planners!
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 Video sound track: Rosa dos Ventos, by Anat Cohen and Trio Brazileiro

Takin’ lunch on the wall, Tkon.
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Approaching Biograd an Moru.
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We check in at our apartment, and with a free hour until dinner I wander through the small old town.  Very quiet today, and much less interesting than our previous stay here, when a huge sardine hauler was in port and its cargo was being unloaded.

There’s not much open in town for dinner, but we do find a nice place on the waterfront: Restauran Arkada, where we’re offered an excellent meal at a seaside table watching the sunset.

We considered eating in Bistro Europa, just to admire the decor.
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A dog, a cat, and the wash.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesKind of a Where is Waldo cat.
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2 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesKind of a His Master's Voice dog.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen JonesYes! I knew I recognized that look.
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2 weeks ago
End of the day, Biograd na Moru.
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Ride stats today: 24 miles, 1,000’; for the tour: 1,395 miles, 65,700’

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 1,395 miles (2,245 km)

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