Zadar late at night
Zadar Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
September 5th, 2009 – by: cneoridium
I'm really going to have to come back to Zadar, it's such a cool place! When we arrived late in the evening it was still bustling with people. Some leftover tourists at the end of the season, but mostly locals it seemed, trying to get in as many evenings on the shore as possible before winter.
With only a couple hours to explore we headed to the Old City, a maze of narrow alleys and limestone buildings sticking out into the harbor, surrounded by a high, thick wall. Back from the days when the Turks would come swarming over if you didn't build it big enough.
A huge boardwalk has been constructed along the whole seawall after the area was extensively bombed during both world wars and the homeland war. They've done a really good job and now the whole city hangs out there at night, enjoying the harbor lights and strolling up and down past ancient fortresses and the busy harbor. Zadar is known for it's interactive installed art. First came the Sea Organ. This is basically several hundred meters of sidewalk (the thing is huge!) along the seawall that plays music. Waves and tides enter special chambers build into the wall, forcing air up through a series of tuned tubes and out through little holes in the sidewalk. The organ reflects the mood of the sea- when it's calm, slow, discordant tunes play as small swells run along the wall.
Next came Greeting to the Sun. This is a huge circle of glass, probably 40 meters across, set into the boardwalk. During the day you can probably see down and notice thousands of small solar panels. At night it comes alive, with colored LEDs and lights. Like the Sea Organ, it's linked to the harbor which controls the light patterns. Not directly, but as the computer generated patterns sweep across the surface like a giant screen saver, the sea controls the color, speed, and configuration. There must be some pretty interesting algorithms interfacing the sea to the lights, but the effect is amazing! I could come down every night and stand in the lights without getting tired of them. It's big enough that you're immersed in the light and movement, much different than watching some light show at a distance. It feels like you're standing in glowing sea with currents swirling around you.
Around midnight, we reluctantly started the long drive back, eventually falling asleep in the back while poor dad drove us home.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!