How to Deal With Bura Wind: A Manual for Tourists and Other Newcomers

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Ever had any trouble dealing with bura wind? A humorous tribute to the ever-present force of nature on April 9, 2018

Oh spring, you fickle little mistress. We have only just swapped our winter coats for leather jackets and hurried down to the waterfront to soak up some sun… poor, hopeful, naive souls. Just like that, we’re back to wind and rain, accompanied by a 10-degree temperature drop.

Over in Rijeka, we’re more than used to flimsy weather, spring or no spring. As I woke up this morning and saw the trees in front of my building shivering in the wind, I hurried to the balcony to pick up the laundry – a bit too late, I realised as I noticed a towel had been ripped off a string it was hanging on, flown over to a yard across the street.



There’s no end to our wind troubles on the Adriatic coast. Be it the northern bura or its southern counterpart jugo, the wind will sneak up on you, raising hell when you least expect it. None of the two are a joke, but bura is a bit more stern – a forceful, merciless queen capable of ripping trees out of their roots, blowing away entire patches of roofs, and sending wheelie bins rolling down the street as if she were playing a round of 8-ball.

Looking at that unfortunate towel, I recalled an amusing list I’d seen on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. Titled ‘Bura: Instructions for use for tourists and new resident’, the humorous advice was written up to help the newcomers get accustomed to this force of nature. The original list was inspired by weather conditions specific to the Italian city of Trieste, but when it comes to bura, Trieste and Rijeka might very well be sister cities. After all, bura was never known to discriminate. So, I present to you a somewhat abbreviated version that applies to any place where you might encounter her majesty: 


Bura: instructions for use for tourists and newcomers

1. If the windows are rattling, it’s bura.

2. If the roof tiles are clattering, it’s bura.

3. (If the walls are trembling, it’s not bura. It’s an earthquake.)

4. If you have to leave the house, a padded jacket won’t suffice.

5. If you don’t have to leave the house, a padded duvet will suffice.


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6. If it’s raining, an umbrella won’t be of any use. It’ll flip inside out with the first gust of wind, you won’t manage to flip it back or close it, and you’ll have to dump it in the first garbage bin – after you’ve chased it down the street. And by it, we mean the garbage bin.

7. If it’s not raining, but the bura wind is accompanied by dark clouds, it’s probably going to rain. And an umbrella won’t be of any use.

8. If you get sold an umbrella with a promise it’s bura-resistant, know it’s never true: they only use this on tourists.

9. If you’re a woman, don’t wear heels: the wind is even stronger up there.

10. If you’re a man, don’t wear heels: this applies even when there’s no bura.

11. If you need to park your car, park it upwind. You haven’t done so? Replacing a door of a car parked downwind will cost you 800 euro.

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12. If you’ve parked your car upwind, you probably won’t be able to open the door in the first place. Still, better than paying 800 euro, right?

13. If you see a trash bag flying by, leave it in peace to enjoy its moment of glory.

14. If you’ve left something on your balcony, you’ll need to head 200 metres southeast to look for it.

15. Walking against the wind is an art practiced from the earliest age. If you haven’t mastered it by now…

16. …know that holding onto street light posts is widely considered to be a display of great weakness.


You can read the original list (in Italian) here.


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