Croatia travel diary/travelogue

Day 6 - Hotel pool & Nin

30th June 2009

Another day, another morning started wondering what the weather was going to do. Was this going to be a rainy day again? The lack of clouds suggested otherwise, but we had no plans to jump straight in the car today; about time we relaxed again!

Relaxation came in the form of a dip in the hotel pool. It was Manda’s turn in the pool first while I sat in a shady spot, attempting to catch up on a few days’ worth of diary entries. It wasn’t easy. Keeping a diary is a blessing and a curse; a blessing because it’s always nice to read it back later and recall the finer details but a curse because, frankly, I’d rather have been in the pool too! While I rambled on about what we’d done three days previously, Manda was talking to a Canadian couple about what they’d been doing over the past month. It seems that mostly what they’d been doing is praying for a bit of sunshine. Having been on the road for about a month, they had seen just three sunny days. On that basis, I reckon we’ve done alright with the weather! And it was because the sun was out that the couple opted to stay and take a dip. They were telling us about the last time they had a dip - it was while on a cycling tour that had been pre-booked months ago! They had found themselves covering routes in the pouring rain which would normally be in bright sunshine, points of interest on their itinerary were knee-deep in water. Not quite the European holiday they were hoping for.

With one day’s worth of diary updates taken care of, I could take no more of it - it was my turn to take a dip and, in doing so, reveal the ridiculous tourist tan I’ve built up. One tanned face and neck, and what appeared to be two long brown gloves. Or, looking at it another way, I was wearing a very tight-fitting ultra-white T-shirt. Spot the tourist, anyone? There was no way I would be able to even the tan out at this late stage in the game, I would have to live with the fact that I looked like I was a farm vet, just called out to check on the health of some unborn cows (think about it).

After a relaxing start to the day, we decided to head out in the car nearby, to a town called Nin. We’d been there on the first day that we had the car but hadn’t really given it a fair go. Second chance, and all that. Having parked up, we walked across the bridge that connects this little isle and walked through the old town. It was a sleepy little place. And by that I mean it was blazingly hot and the only people walking around were a couple of silly tourists. That’s us, then! There was very little cover from the sun, so we didn’t stay long, just long enough to see an old church, some Roman ruins and have a cold drink in one of the bars on the main square.

Old church n Nin

After Nin, we headed for Vir, a small island very near to Nin which is connected by a bridge that could easily have doubled up as a roller coaster ride. Although the span was short, the height was quite something, making the road very hoop shaped. Vir is not mentioned in either of the guide books we had with us. And for good reason. Having no idea what to look for, I just drove around to see what we could see, hoping to get a good view across the water to the Dinaric Mountains on the mainland. What I did see, though, was a multitude of half-finished or barely-started houses, a ramshackle collection of what appeared to be holiday homes. This was a part of Croatia that planning permission had forgot. Perhaps it might start to take shape in a few years’ time, but for now Vir didn’t really have anything much to offer. We stopped to take a photo of the mountains across the way, then continued on, back out of the place and back towards Zadar.

It was long past lunchtime - whatever time that is when you are on holiday! - so we tried to find somewhere for a bite to eat. Pizza again? It certainly looked that way! We ended up picking a place just around the corner from our guesthouse which did great pizzas, and by great I mean great tasting and absolutely huge portions! At 4pm this didn’t really qualify as a late lunch, but rather an early dinner ... and  this meal would easily see us through for the rest of the day! It has to be said that on this holiday, we’ve been eating at all sorts of funny times, and with just a minimal breakfast (the limited selection at the guesthouse left no choice), we have often had just one meal a day. Is it the heat that does it? All I know is that we’ve not really been lazy - even on a ‘lazy day’ like today - so who knows where we are getting the energy from?

The weather was still looking good after dinner (and a brief nap back at the guesthouse for me!), so we decided to head down to the ‘beach’ (in quotes because it was little more than a strip of stones next to the road!). I had a dip in the Adriatic with the sun getting lower in the sky - it was 6pm - and with Zadar old town as the backdrop. The water was so clear and gentle that I really wished I’d been able to bring the mask & snorkel (not packed because of the Ryan Air allowance, so annoying!).

Ian swimming in Adriatic

We finished the relaxing day with an equally relaxing evening in Zadar old town. According to one of the tourist guides, this evening there would be a ‘Festival of the Sea Organ’ during which the droning noises of the sea-powered organ would be accompanied by choirs on boats moored in front of the promenade. However, there was no sign of any boats, any singers, nor was there indication that there would be later (or that it had happened earlier and we’d missed it). We came to the conclusion that the reason it had not happened was nothing more than a typo in the tourist guide, that it was going to happen on the last day in July, not June as stated. Regardless, it was a nice evening, once again watching the Salutation to the Sun come alive as the sun set over Zadar.

Sunset over Zadar