It was finally time to say goodbye to the little hire car that had taken us all round Croatia over the last six days. It was nothing to look at, was terrible for overtaking on any kind of road, had a faulty CD player (which meant constant vain attempts to find half-decent radio) but it sure got us places. Having to drop it off at midday meant that we were limited in what we could do on our last full day in Croatia. As the car hire place was in the old town, opposite the ferry, it made sense to hop over to a nearby island. As luck would have it, Zadar has an island very nearby in the shape of Uglijan (pronounced ‘oog-le-yan’, meaning olive island), and as even more luck would have it the ferry was right there, about to leave. It was a case of ‘get out car, walk across bridge, get on a boat’.
We had little in the way of ‘a plan’ for our visit to this island. No plan to visit any of the towns other than the one right on the harbour’s doorstep, Preko, just have a little wander, have a swim with Zadar old town as the backdrop and that was basically it. And it’s pretty much how it turned out, too.
As with the other day in Rab, the sun was really fierce in the middle of the day and truth be known, there was not a lot to see in Preko. Just a few bars or restaurants and a small harbour. So we continued around to the swimming area. We were looking for a beach, but there was no sign of any sand. That said, the area set up for swimming was a good one so we did what we came to do anyway, sand or no sand! We had to take turns in the Adriatic while the other looked after our usual clutter that we were carrying around (cameras etc).
After the dip, we headed back towards the ferry, stopping along the way at a bar with comfy looking seats directly facing the sea and the island immediately in front of Preko. This was a cocktail moment, if I ever I saw one. A mojito, in fact! We sat, sipped and waited for the ferry to make its way across from Zadar (a car ferry which, it turned out, had escalators to the top deck - that was a new one for me).
Back in old Town, we discovered that the food festival was on again - every Friday through summer - so Manda had another chance to try the fried fish that the street vendors were serving up for passers-by. Salty! And while Manda was trying the savoury stuff, one lucky pooch in Zadar old town was being treated to one of the many delicious ice creams, straight from the pot.
Enough of the snacks, though, it was time to find a place to eat our last evening meal. We headed for the west of the island, to Restaurant Zadar, where we could eat and watch the sun go down one last time in Croatia. Manda had fried calamari, which I decided to try too (and surprisingly liked it - I’m not a seafood person). I’m not sure if this qualifies as Croatian food, but it least it wasn’t pizza again. Oh, hang on ... that was Manda’s dinner. I did have pizza, dammit!