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Banja Luka - Zadar

Trip Details

Road Trip 2009 II
Date: Fri, 14/08/2009
Bosnia, Croatia
Distance: 420 km.
Motorcyclists: Giorgos Z, Sakis, Vangelis
Copilots: Lena
Photographers: Giorgos Z, Vangelis
Authors: Vangelis
Translators: Vangelis
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

After two days of rest, it was time for us to start the trip of return. The first destination after Banja Luka would be in Zadar (Croatia) where we would take the ferry to Italy the next morning.
In the morning we enjoyed our coffee at a central cafe in Banja Luka, which was opposite the imposing Orthodox church and after a while w departed, following the highway E661 heading to the borders Bosnia - Croatia, a journey of about 80 km on a dual track direction with one lane in each direction and with decent traffic. Approximately 1 ½ hour later we found ourselves waiting on the border crossing to pass to the Croatian side (the city of Gradiska).
After the typical 2nd check of our passports (from the Croatian side this time) we stopped at a nearby gas station for a rest and after a while we continued our route, through the highway A3, which was leading to Zagreb (approximately 125 km). The scenery up to that time was of no importance. From that point up to Zagreb, green landscapes were everywhere. Before entering the capital of Croatia, we switched highways, following the signs for Karlovac and then for Zadar (from A3 > A4 > E65 or A1). The highways in Croatia were in a very good condition, without special traffic.
We reached Zadar at 6 in the afternoon, after a lot of tireness, mainly due to high temperatures and the time that we selected to travel. We got difficulty at first to find our hotel, since there were no signs on the road. Luckily, we didn't got into much trouble and so after 20 minutes we were at the entrance of our guest rooms.
After taking some time to relax for a while, Sakis and Giorgos decided to make a small tour in the city's center, which as it seemed, it had a history of its own to reveal. Informationally, Zadar is a coastial city and port of Croatia, which is located north of Split and south of Rijieka. The city is being populated since 7th century BC with the name Jader. In the middle ages, the city was called Zara.
The old city is being built on a peninsula, which is surrounded by walls and inside it's fully built with small alleys and 3-4 floors high buildings, with a typical middle ages architectural structure. Today, this area of the city is not accessible with a car. Modern Zadar is expanded enough on both sides of the beach. It's a tourist attraction by itself, while two of the most significant sightseeings are: the octagon church of Saint Donatus with its impressive bell-tower and the cathedral church of Saint Anastasia with two huge stained-glass windows.
After 1 hour they returned to the area that we were residing, in order to meet us at a very good Italian restaurant, for impressive gnocchi and delicious pizzas at a very good low price. Since we were all very tired, we returned into our hotel early that night.
The next day the clock was showing 5:30. We had to wake up early in order to catch up the Jadrolinija ferry at Zadar's central port around 7 where we would be heading to Italy (Ancona).