Guide to Croatia

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day trips from Zadar - Part One

There are two possibilities if you decide to head North from Zadar. First one is to take highway via tunnel Sv. Rok in direction of Zagreb. Second choice is "old main route". It traces the mountain edge and follows the line of Velebit channel. Road is in more than decent shape and newly widened. It is going through its last days of improvement and repairs as of July 2006.
Departing from Zadar you will pass Crno, Murvica, Policnik (small settlements with picturesque names: Crno = Black, Murvica = Mulberry, Policnik = Palace)That region is known as Ravni Kotari. Tamed nature, agricultural properties, small farms and springs adorn every step in every direction.When you approach Maslenica bridge Velebit Channel starts. Or ends. It is called "Podvelebitski kanal". "Pod" means under and it underlines it's position on the footsteps of the mountain and the ege of the sea line. String of villages, towns and smaller groups of homes follows jagged and steep shore line. Rovanjska, Jasenice, Modrici, Seline...Paklenica with serious (and I mean serious) cliffs and canyons is one of the most wild and most beautiful National parks one will ever see.Paklenica sound dangerous in Croatian. Pakao is hell, but actual name derives from 'paklina'= soft, guey, pine tree tar. Formations in the park are wild, sharp and untouched. At the same time it is a fragile place where just a spark in dry twigs can wipe out everything. In spring time wildflowers, rare birds and change in surfaces can be observed. Summer brings out whiteness, interesting insects(amazing butterflies), lizards and snakes.There are some hotels and private lodgings in Starigrad. Town is long and situated primarily above the road. Tourism is main activity but in manner that left nature undisturbed. There is nothing industrial and commercial like in Greece or Spain. It is rather small and provincial. Excellent choice for expeditions and short trips.