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A wet morning in Zadar

Today we’re in Zadar, and the weather has not been kind, being grey and overcast from very early on. We had nothing arranged for the day, we were always just going to go ashore, so before we left the ship the questions were all about the weather: should we expect it to get better, or to get worse? The BBC Weather app was definitely tending towards ‘worse’, but when the Deputy Captain gave his forecast during the “we’ve arrived” announcement, he was more positive: “21° now, rising to 23°, some breeze and a small chance of rain”. So we went for ‘getting better’, wore summer clothing (shorts for me), and even slapped on some Factor 30.

We got a shuttle bus into the town (the port is about 4kms from town) at 10am and started walking. The sky was dark grey by then, but we kept telling each other that we hadn’t fell that spot of rain, honestly. We walked along the front to its end, and then turned into the town. By the time we’d got into the old town we couldn’t fool ourselves any longer – there was definitely rain in the air. If we needed any evidence other than the impact of raindrops on our skin, it came from the café and bar proprietors who were busy taking under cover any cushions, etc, that were on seats out in the open. So we followed suit and took ourselves under cover as well, into a café in the old town where we each had a coffee. While we were doing so we definitely started seeing umbrellas passing the windows. By the time we’d finished there was no denying that it was raining. It was coming down like stair rods, in fact.

We decided to make our way back to a central square that we’d seen where there were several old churches – perhaps they’d be open for visits. But just getting to the square got us very wet, even using the small umbrella that we’d put into a bag at the last minute. At the square we discovered that the churches all seemed to have locked doors, so that plan had failed. In the end we decided to walk back to the shuttle bus pick up point and return to the ship for an early lunch, reasoning that that would give us the chance to go back in the afternoon if it improved.

Readers, it hasn’t. The BBC app (which we should have believed this morning) forecast cloud and some showers after lunch, with solid sunshine eventually, at 5pm. Unfortunately 5pm is sailaway time. So we went back to the ship, dried ourselves and changed our clothes, and then ate a substantial hot lunch. Nothing like comfort food when you’re cold and wet.

Now it’s nearly 3pm and we’re sat in the Atrium. We’ve each just enjoyed a cup of ‘teapigs’ speciality tea – Val had Mao Feng green tea and I had Darjeeling. It’s stopped raining and if the sun does shine we’ll go out for the sailaway, but at the moment it’s still cloudy and nowhere near 23°.

Here’s a confession – we don’t feel too bad about all this. I know the town wouldn’t have been looking at its best today, but we both thought that Zadar Old Town was a bit scrappy. All that said we do understand that Zadar has had a tough time in the last 75 years; badly damaged in both WWII and in the independence wars of the early 1990s. But it’s not a patch on Trogir, which we visited two days ago and which we didn’t get enough time in, and of course coming after Venice it was always on to hiding to nothing. But truthfully I can’t recommend Zadar.

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