Croatia travel diary/travelogue

Arrival in Zadar

24th June 2009

Where to start with this diary? I’m never sure how to kick-start such things so I’ll jump straight in at the point where we actually touched down, an occasion that seemed to be met with approval from the plane’s occupants - yep, we had a group who felt that the ability to land a plane should be met with a round of applause. Now, had an engine caught fire and we were saved from the clutches of death by a heroic pilot in dire circumstances I might agree that a round of applause is the least we could manage. As it stands, landing a plane is simply ‘doing your job’!

It’s often difficult to get a sense of scale of a destination from any map or guide book, and Zadar fit into this category. It had been described as one of Europe’s happening cities for nightlife, suggesting some kind of metropolis equivalent to a large city in the UK, but the pictures we’d seen so far suggested something more sedate. The dead giveaway that this was not the biggest of places came as the plane taxied from the runway across a public road - with traffic being temporarily halted by little more than a crossing barrier and one police car! - and into the small airport which appeared to have just two gates for planes. Zadar airport looked for all the world like its idea of security might be to have a picket fence running around the perimeter.

We had the option of pre-booking a taxi from the airport to our guesthouse, but experience has shown that the initial cab ride from the airport can be among the most expensive bits of travel in the whole trip. The drivers know you haven’t found your feet and haven’t broken a note, and by heck they can fleece you if they choose to. And they usually do choose to. So we decided to hop on a bus to the central station - Ryan Air’s ridiculously low 15kg baggage allowance ensured that we were travelling reasonably light this time around! - before catching one of the local buses to our guesthouse.  6 stops later and we were at our accommodation, Pansion Albin, where the smiling face of owner Helena met us.