My drive from Ljubljana to Zadar took me along the eastern side of the Velebit mountain range, a region of stunning natural beauty. The mountains separate Lika in the interior from the Adriatic coast and I was amazed by the transition from snowy wooded slopes to near desert as I emerged from the Svet Rok Tunnel. From -9C to +1C and Alps to Mediterranean within five minutes! As the road meandered towards the coast, I looked back towards the Velebit and had the most wonderful view of Rovanjska village, framed by mountains, white and arid, highly textured with saturated deep blue sky in the mid-afternoon sunshine. Then I had that dreadful feeling, familiar to all photographers, of adding to my collection of “the best photographs that I have never taken” because there was nowhere to stop on the motorway.
As I drove on, I reflected upon the drama of this transition and my apparent loss and how accepting things as they are can be freeing and empowering. But I wondered what motivates us to change, if not dissatisfaction. Should I find some way back to the beautiful view or should I allow photographs to come to me, when I am ready, confident in my ability to recognise them? Thereafter, the journey brought back very happy memories of the garden route near Cape Town, with dramatic and sublime coast, mountain and sea, but I didn’t stop because I wanted to reach Zadar before sunset.
This was my first time in Zadar, which I found to be a delightful and friendly mini-Dubrovnik, although an even more ancient City with Roman ruins and sublime sea views. I was interested to discover that it is twinned with Dundee, although I couldn’t find any evidence of cultural exchange.
The view in the first photograph is from the Old Town peninsular towards Maraska Park. A figure is standing in a small boat moored at the end of the Marina Yacht Club Pier and both are blurred due to the movement of the sea and long exposure. The second shows Zadar’s marble pavement, which is reminiscent of Dubrovnic. I like the tension or connection between the person walking on the street and the dummies, one of which seems to be emerging from the shop. The third has a group of tourists photographing themselves with the sunset.