Last June, I stretched out my time in Croatia from four days to fourteen, because there was so much to see and do: Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Krka… After days of amazing cultural and natural sites, I got to Zadar and flipped to the party hostel schedule. Zadar was my last coastal stop before heading inland to the fantastic Plitvice Lakes, and I intended to make the most of my time on the sea. So I slept in late in the mornings, went to the saltwater pool in the afternoons, listened to the sea organ at sunset, and danced on the sun salutation at night.
The saltwater pool was the first of its kind I’d seen. It was literally a pool built around a part of the sea, with bleachers along the shore, and an Olympic-height diving board looming over the sea outside the pool. As someone commented before, it’s all the fun of ocean swimming with none of the fear of sharks. When I was at the pool with a few people from the hostel, one of the guys revealed that he hadn’t been swimming in ten years, but now he was going to go try the high dive. The rest of us watched with bated breath as he climbed the stairs, paced the board a couple times, and then jumped right in. Impressive!
Like everywhere else in Croatia, Zadar has several historically important sites, and I kept intending to visit them, but I stayed at a hostel outside of town, and during the two or three days I stayed there, I somehow never made it to the city center before sunset. I’m sure on another trip, I’ll check out the church and cobblestone streets.
This time, I danced in clubs until the music got too unbearable, then I danced on the sun salutation to the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore and the mournful song of the sea organ. The sea organ consists of holes cut into the concrete of the boardwalk, and tubes underneath, which are played by the waves lapping against them and the wind whistling through them. Different tones come from the length of the pipes and the height of the waves. I listened to the random notes for nearly an hour, mesmerized by the repetition and slight variation.
The sun salutation art installation uses solar cells to soak up the sun during the day, and then lights up a giant glass display starting in the evening and going well into the night, depending on how much sun it took in over the day. The lights change colors in what appear to be random patterns–sometimes a block of red, then purple, then all the colors blinking on and off at once. It’s hard to see at sunset, because everyone crowds around, but it’s a different story later at night, as the lights twinkle well past four in the morning.
Here’s a video of the sea organ. Enjoy the soothing whistling sounds.