This post is brought to you live from Croatia!

Well the weather picked up (see previous post). The past couple of days have been scorching and today is no different. We're going home tomorrow, so Mrs Bucko has decided to hermit today, but I've just spent the past couple of hours sat outside a bar in the baking sun, having a couple of pints

There's not a lot to do round here, so the theme has been 'chill until we can't chill no more', which as short holidays go, is not a bad thing

Some people asked me about the smoking rules in Croatia before we left, so here it is

They do have a smoking ban and it's not ignored like it is in Greece, they do take it seriously. Fortunately it is nowhere near as bad as in England (I'm not endorsing it, my position has always been that it's not the Governments' place to decide where people can smoke and the property owner should always be the one to choose)

Smoking is not allowed in restaurants or other places where food is served, unless it is outside. Smoking is allowed in bars and they all choose to be smoker friendly

'Outside' has a different meaning here to back home. If you're within the solid brick structure of the building, that's inside. If you're in the wood frame and glass covered extention, that's outside. There's also outside as we know it, the uncovered patio area

Because the ban is only in food places, there is a very noticeable segregation between food and smoking. We went in a cafe bar yesterday that served food and they would not allow us to eat outside. Because we weren't hungry anyway, we just got a couple of drinks and sat in the sun. When we were looking for somewhere to eat a light snack a couple of days previous, we went in a number of smaller cafe bars in the centre and none of them served food, presumably because they didn't have the space to segregate food and smoking

So the ban does still stifle your choices if you are eating

The bars are great though. When you're having a few pints, you don't want to be going outside for a smoke, like you do in England and none of the bars we have been in, made you do that. If it's a wet venue only, smoking is allowed throughout and so far, we have seen no exceptions

The old rule seems to apply, if you are allowed to have smoking in your venue, it remains the financially sound position to take

They also have a tobacco display ban, which just seems to apply to the 'super'makets and not the small kiosks. Again, unlike England, it's not quite as strict. If you ask if they have a brand of cigarettes and the language barrier kicks in, they open the doors and let you take a look for yourself

They also don't mind about you taking your time to get it right. Mrs Bucko smokes menthol, so that and the cheapest brand were what we've been looking for to take home. Nobody seems to sell cigarettes by the sleeve for some reason, so we've been in a few supermarkets and just bought every pack they had of Green Lucky Strike. We seriously held up a couple of queues by doing so too, and whereas we got some groans from the people behind us waiting to pay for their weird European loaves of bread, the staff really could not give a tiny rats arse and will treat you as their only customer until you have found and paid for exactly what you want

I've also found that nobody sells small cigars. I brought a hundred with me and they ran out this morning. I have enough big ones left to see me through and my aeroplane e-gig if necessary, but the only country I've been to so far who do not sell small cigars was America. I thought they were quite popular on the continent

Anyway, so that's the state of play with smoking. Not bad as it goes, but still doesn't beat Greece

I would only recommend Zadar for a holiday if you're here to relax, which fortunately we were. There is very little to do here and if we had come for two weeks, we would not have found enough to amuse us for that long

We are staying in a tiny village with about four restaurants and two pubs, which is a fifteen minute bus ride from the main town. There a couple more, but they are not open yet and probably waiting for the season to kick in first. It's early doors yet

Even in the town though, we found very few eating places and no signs of any nightlife. There are a lot of small cafe bars if you want a pub crawl and are willing to put in some legwork, but honestly, it's probably better picking one good place and putting down roots if you want to drink in the town

Each pub we've been in so far closes at 11:00pm, but it may be that that also changes when the season gets going

Food places in the town seems to be none existent and shopping was incredibly poor. There is a big shopping centre in the town called the Galleria, but most of it was deserted; empty shops and no people

For an extra ten minute bus ride you can go to a much bigger shopping centre called Supernova, but large as it was, it was mainly fashion outlets and little else

There's also the Old Town, but we didn't bother, so I couldn't tell you what it's like

The place is definitely beautiful and now the rain has stopped, also very warm, however unless you intend to do nothing other than relax, there isn't much to see here

And so ends this latest edition of Travels With the Mooses. It's a relaxing day tomorrow, followed by an evening with Ryanair, then home. Normality begins shortly after

See ya!


RdM said...

Bucko said...