The area around Zadar has been inhabited since neolithic times. The Romans built the old town which they called Jader and the ruins of the Roman forum is still visible near the church of St Donat. The town has been occupied by various nations, and the Venetians controlled it until 1797.
The Italian influence is notable and we enjoyed exploring the old town, visiting the excellent fresh produce market and extending our cruising permit at the harbourmaster for an additional 15 days.
We sailed north after three days, stopping at Luka Simuni on the way, to the island of Otok Rab. There is an excellent anchorage at Fumija off the town of Rab where we spent another three days – Rab is a town we can recommend – a beautiful old town and adjoining new town with modern shops and amenities. We managed to stock up with food, wine and beer at a big Konzum market.
Next stop was Punat – a large sheltered bay on the island of Krk (correct spelling). Not from the rain though – 24 hours of downpours. We headed for the mainland to stop at Rabac at the very top of the gulf – the sun came out and we enjoyed the holiday atmosphere of this resort town and watching scores of Optimist and Laser dinghies sailing around us.
Uvala Vinjole, beautiful bay 15 nm to the west provided us with an anchorage the following day, as well as numerous nudists sunning themselves on the shore. Unfortunately, we had to continue north the following day, as our extended cruising permit (vignette) was only valid for another week – by which time we wanted to sail to Venice in Italy.
There followed a good sail to Pula, which is an industrial town, slightly tatty, but with excellent Roman remains, notably the well preserved Roman amphitheatre and a temple to emperor Augustus.
The Scirocco carried us on to Rovinj, a beautiful town well worth a visit. The church of St Eufemija is visible for many kilometres and the old town surrounding the church has a warren of narrow streets, which we explored. We got back footsore to Esprit, anchored in the lee of Katarina island.
We had two more stops at Porec and Dajla before reaching Umag, the most northerly harbour in Croatia before reaching the Slovenian border. After stocking up with provisions in Umag, we cleared out with Customs and the police for the 50 nm crossing to Venice, which at 45 degrees north, is as far north as Esprit will sail on this trip.
The expected Bora wind from the north didn’t materialise, so we had to motor the 50 nm across to Venice. Our last visit to Venice was almost five years ago and we were happy to be back in one of our favourite cities. The Venice Biennale is on at the moment, so we were able to visit a number of very interesting exhibitions. It is tempting to include dozens of photos of Venice, so please indulge me with this small selection below.
Following are a few street scenes. Don’t ask me the names!
Finally, some sculptures at the Venice Biennale. Evidently the black and gold sculptures are in bronze, highly polished and painted. The futuristic coloured sculptures are cast resins a la Jeff Koons work.
We will now head back to Umag and then sail south east through the outer Croatian islands, before crossing to Bari in Italy.
Cheers for now.