Which city first crosses your mind when I mention rain? London? No, this story is not about London. London is definitely not a number 1 when we talk about rainy days. This story is about the third largest city in „a small country for great tourism“, Croatia. This is a city on the Croatian seaside located in Kvarner bay. If you get bored of the sea (in Croatian: more), in half an hour you can get to the mountains. Yeah, I also think this city rocks. Its name is Rijeka.
Rijeka vs. London
A few facts. Each year, there are about 110 rainy days in London, and the rainfall is 600 liters of rain (in Croatian: kiša) per square meter. What about Rijeka? In Rijeka, it rains on 130 days, delivering about 1500 liters of rain per square meter. Nowadays, we have a saying “Jedan dan kiša je u Rijeci padala tri dana.” Or in English „One day the rain was falling for three days in Rijeka.“
The wettest year in Rijeka was 1960. About 2340 litres per square meter of rain fell. A lot of rain also fell in 2014 and 2016. So, I guess one day it will rain every day in Rijeka.
Considering all of this, which object do you think is the most popular in Rijeka? Yes, an umbrella (in Croatian: kišobran). And, rubber boots, of course. You need to have at least one pair of rubber boots. Thank God, these days you can find really nice boots. We also have special umbrellas, smart ones. They are a Croatian product called „Kisha“. It repels the bura and you can’t lose it because you will get a text message if you walk 30 meters from it.
The bura is a very strong wind (in Croatian: vjetar), almost like a hurricane. OK, it’s different than a hurricane, but it can get very strong and very fast… The fastest measured speed in Croatia was 304 km/h (188 mph). If we are lucky, bura and rain come together. It’s the worst combination of all. Then nothing can help you. The best thing you can do about it is to stay at home.
To get an idea of what a bura can look like, see a video of bura on the Pag island bridge.
Storm in Rijeka by Sebastian Pervan
O, yes… As well as rainy days and bura, we also have snow. We don’t have snow (in Croatian: snijeg) so often, but can you just imagine waking up on the seaside to find snow all around? Snow so close to a seashore! I remember my first snow in Rijeka in 2009. Since then, it has happened a few times. Maybe once we’ll have the highest annual snowfall in the world – even more than Aomory City in Japan. Until then, we will just enjoy a few snowballs here and there.
I told you. Rain, bura and snow – we have it all. We are already so used to all kinds of weather that we don’t even notice if it’s raining or it’s a hurricane. I am joking, of course. We just live with it.
Market in Rijeka by Katie Boerboom
Featured image (on top): Sablićevo Beach in Rijeka by rijekacroatia.photography