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‘This better be worth it, Ed,‘ Mark grumbled to me in the blackness of the night, ‘This Croatian Airlines to Zadar has to make up the fact that we’re standing in an empty road at 4.30 in the morning.’
The Solution to the Conundrum
The evening before, we were faced with an epic eight-hour bus ride from Pula to Zadar in the morning. We weren’t happy to lose a day in our backpacking trip but it wasn’t until later on that night that I spotted a plane flying over Pula. Could Croatia have cheap internal flights?
A quick browse on the internet revealed that there are indeed cheap flights to Zadar with Croatian Airlines. Two things made us happy.
2. It was only £10 more than the eight-hour bus journey.
Bargain and totally value for money!
So we booked two seats out of Pula and celebrated with a bottle of Croatian beer to taste to our good fortune and my quick thinking.
But there was a drawback you see. The flight was at 6am the next morning and we needed to get to Pula Airport by 5am. Discussing our plight with the staff at Riva Hostel, they swiftly sorted out a taxi for us at 4.30am that would take 20 minutes to the airport. Bish Bash Bosh!
The Croatian Airlines Flight
Soon enough, at 5am, we were sipping our coffees at the airport trying to look alive.
We actually didn’t need to be that early as the flight check in opened at 5.30am and after a quick baggage check in, we were on our merry way in the skies above Croatia to our hot destination of Zadar.
Seeing the serene and morning misted islands dotted in the Adriatic Sea was a wonder to behold from your seat on the 35 minute flight. I really enjoyed the cosy De Havilland DHC-8 400 Series plane that offered ample leg room in two-seater rows, great service and a delightful experience. We wondered perhaps we could use Croatian Airlines to get to every destination. It was totally worth splurging an extra ten pounds of our hard-earned money.
As the flight was also flying to Zagreb after stopping off at Zadar, only six of us got off and was pleasantly surprised to find our bags waiting for us in the airside entrance of Zadar Airport. There was no need to traipse to baggage claim. As it was an internal flight, we also didn’t need to go through security and guess how long we were in the airport?
Heck, it’s quicker than the time it takes to pluck my eyebrows…
Arriving At The Wild Fig Tree Hostel
Only a quick shuttle bus ride from Zadar Airport, you’ll find yourself in Zadar Bus Station, south from the centre along the coastline. Mark and I had already booked our hostel room at The Wild Fig Tree Hostel and to our luck, it was just a 10 minute walk away.
Although it was closed when we arrived (with good reason, it wasn’t 8am yet!), Mark and I felt solace in the comfy sofas on their terrace entrance and slept until they opened at 9am. Just watch out for their scary looking cat and its sidekick.
Dumping our bags seeing as we wouldn’t be able to check in later that afternoon, we struck out for the coast following good advice by the hostel’s friendly staff. There’s a scenic route into the centre of Zadar along the coast and you know what? You should do this. There’s a charming and quiet coffee shop overlooking the Adriatic Sea and you won’t believe how blue the water is.
The scenic walk is 40 mins long to the city centre but it’s worth it anyway as you’ll have perfect spots to sunbathe on the beach if you wish.
Breakfast in Zadar
So as we were ‘Starving Marvin,’ we thought best to grab a late breakfast in Zadar. Now, I won’t go into detail here as I believe this warrants a completely separate post, but the worst table service was experienced here that was just too funny to fathom! I can’t wait to tell you but Mark’s face pretty much said it all here…
So what’s to do in Zadar? I’ve heard great things from Matt of Landlopers about his love for this Roman-esque city. So with his heartfelt words ringing in my mind, I had high expectations for Zadar. It didn’t disappoint. Rather, I actually fell in love.
That’s another post…
Check back soon for part 2 of Day 5!
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