Two eco-action groups in Dubrovnik have published photos on their social media of Lapad where currently construction works of new residential buildings and associated access roads are underway.
These works began at the end of January on the top of Lapad and have changed the landscape of the picturesque suburb. This new development, which has all the required permits and documentation, certainly looks like a scar on the bay of Lapad.
Every time a new statistic comes out it breaks my heart. Every time the number drops is like another nail in the coffin. This latest one really shocked me. There are three times as many pensioners in the City of Dubrovnik than children. What a truly mortifying statistic.
The end is nigh. I feel like someone should be playing the “funeral march” in the background. It is a subject so close to my heart, and one that I have written about so many times that I feel like a broken record just spinning around on a turntable. And yet nothing (with a capital N) is ever done about it. There are only 160 children left in the City, the future looks very tenuous indeed. I wonder how many of them will see their grandchildren playing on the stone streets.
It is a subject that I have put a lot of thought into. There are many factors why the population is falling like a pebble in the Adriatic. It is just too easy to lay the blame at the door of one of them. From escalating real estate prices, the boom of Dubrovnik as a tourist destination, the explosion of Airbnb and the many challenges of actually living within the city walls. Combine these with a passive approach from every local council over the past twenty years and you have a recipe for disaster. It has been the perfect storm.
Nothing creative has ever been done to protect and nurture the inhabitants, nothing. In fact, quite the opposite. The end is inevitable and much closer than we think. With such a huge aging population the end will come in a hurry. I quite expect to see the end in my lifetime. But when is the end. We allegedly have around 800 people still alive inside the walls. My estimate is that in another twenty years (if we are lucky) that figure will drop below 200 and that is pretty much the end of the city. Whilst I love the city in the winter, probably more than in the summer, the closed shutters and lack of lights in windows has become depressing.
Of course Dubrovnik isn’t unique. Historic cities across the world have died. Just a few years ago I went to Faro in the south of Portugal. As much as I wanted to take photos of people living and working inside the ancient walls the only human life I could find (after 45 minutes searching) was a nun, and she scurried off quicker than my camera could flash. So accepting that the end is soon we should start thinking of alternatives. The city will continue to be a magnet for tourists, it just won’t be a city anymore, more of a museum. A mixture of apartments for rent, souvenir shops, restaurants and well museums. But wait a minute that’s what it is today. Should we really be panicking that the City is dying?
The future reality looks pretty similar to what we have today anyway. Convincing local people to move back to the city is pretty much impossible, meaning that the population will continue to fall.
So we need to accept the situation and plan for a different kind of city. We could even close the gates at night and turn all the nights off to save electricity. The parking problem will be less because everyone has moved to Lapad. There will be no need to worry about access for emergency services. Basically the pigeons will have the city to themselves, but with no one left to feed them will they also be looking for another home. We could just lock the gates at the end of October and leave them locked until Easter. Just opening them for a few days for Christmas and St. Blaise.
The city has stopped being a city and has turned into an attraction. An attraction for foreign tourists and for locals as well. And every attraction in the world has opening times. We’ll hang a sign on the wooden gates – “Closed for repairs” – in the winter and save the money. Such a proud and iconic city has been left to die. And the really sad part is that there was a solution. But in reality nobody ever tried anything to help their beloved city. They rang every single drop of money out of it and left it to die a sad and lonely death.
We should all be ashamed. In one generation we have killed the spirit of the city. I can imagine what the history books will write about us. Of course everyone will blame everyone else. And to be honest it doesn’t matter who takes the blame, the only thing that matters is a once unique and vibrant city is a museum. All we will be able to say is sorry. Dear future generations, and I think I speak for all of us, sorry.
This year, the Croatian National Tourist Board attended the important tourist fair, f.re.e, held in Munich. This is a fair for a wide audience visited by more than 110,000 visitors, and the Croatian stand was visited by Director of HTZ Head Office Kristjan Staničić, who met with important partners in the German market, with representatives of many tour operators and agencies such as TUI, ID Riva Tours, Holiday Check, croatia.de, etc.
Director Staničić said that the German market is one of the most important markets for Croatian tourism. "The Croatian National Tourist Board has carried out a series of promotional activities on the most important markets, and because of the importance of German guests, the most resources available for marketing activities are being invested in this market. With regard to one of our key strategic goals, which is positioning Croatia as a quality all-year tourist destination, the segment of airline transportation and the accessibility of Croatian destinations are of great importance. We are very happy with the excellent connections between key Croatian and German cities throughout the year, and in particular a large number of active airline companies such as easyJet, Lufthansa, Eurowing, Ryanair and Condor, " commented Staničić.
"The best confirmation of Croatia's stability and popularity in this market is the growth of German tourists over 15 percent in 2017, while this year we expect additional growth of 5 percent. I am glad that there is an increasing number of guests from Germany visiting Croatia at the level of the whole year, German guests are the most numerous out of the summer months,” added Staničić.
''Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine''.
These are the words of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest minds and visionaries of our time. Almost 75 years after his death he continues to make an impact on our society.
In his honour the largest multimedia exhibition ever dedicated to this great man titled ‘’Nikola Tesla- Mind from the Future’’ and the largest cultural and artistic event in the Croatian history was opened in Zagreb in November 2017.
The exhibition represents an unknown part of Tesla's life, the one that was related to art and philosophy which were the significant sources of his numerous ideas. Recently the exhibition in the Mestrovic Pavilion was expanded thanks to cooperation of Helena Bulaja Madunić, the author and the curator of the exhibition with the Spanish curators, Miguel Ángel Delgado and María Santoyo.
Bulaja Madunić and her Spanish colleagues presented a new part of the exhibition which now offers visitors 30 new international artworks inspired by Tesla - from illustrative portraits and comic books to animated, feature and short films from authors all over the world.
''Tesla is an example of a superhero from cartoons and comic books, the only thing is that he was real'', commented Bulaja Madunic.
The ‘’Mind from the Future’’ exhibition will remain open until the 20th of March 2018. After Zagreb the largest Croatian exhibition and export project will be touring around the globe visiting other world capitals such as New York, Budapest, Prague, Paris and Dubai.
Dubrovnik is ready and prepared if the predicted artic weather hits. The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, held a working meeting with representatives of emergency services and city departments and utility companies regarding the possible freezing weather. The forecast is certainly grim, with most of Croatia already under a blanket of snow, and the cold front is due to hit Dubrovnik.
The city is confident that all the services are adequately equipped and ready for a quick and effective reaction in cases of adverse weather conditions. Mayor Frankovic commented that the City of Dubrovnik had enough salt sprinkling vehicles and pointed out that all the city’s services would make sure that the roads and pavements are clean from ice and snow.
He also appealed to citizens not to be drive in the snow unless they own winter tyres and chains.
There is no doubt that the winter face of Dubrovnik is the polar opposite of the summer one.
The cobbled streets of the historic Old City core are buzzing with life in the warmer months and now they are resting, silent in the chilly February air.
The few locals and tourists who visited the city this morning at least had the chance to drink coffee al fresco whilst most of the rest of Europe was scratching frost from the windows. Temperatures are expected to remain seasonal cold for the rest of the weekend with scattered showers predicted.
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A restaurant of the legendary American NBA player Michael Jordan uses the most popular seasoning from Croatia.
Michael Jordan’s ‘’The Steak House N.Y.C’’ located in the heart of Manhattan uses the popular ‘’Vegeta’’ as a secret ingredient to its dishes. The restaurant is a favourite gathering spot for almost 10,000 people daily at lunchtime.
Apart from its outstanding steaks, the restaurant is also known for its classic seafood and exquisite desserts.
Among other things, homemade specialties are a grilled bass with tomato sauce and a New York gigantic French fries that the chef Cenobio Canalizo prepared in front of the Spectrum 79 television channel. In the reportage recorded for the "A Taste of New York" series appeared the most popular Croatian seasoning.
The head chef of the restaurant used ‘’Vegeta’’ in preparing dishes because, as he said, it gives their dishes a richer flavour. "We use Vegeta because it brings a richer flavour to our Mediterranean cuisine dishes and steak. The richness of flavours of various types of vegetables in a combination that does not burden fish or meat, but enhances their freshness and completes the culinary story, motivates me to prepare even better dishes, so Vegeta has become unavoidable food supplement in our kitchen", explained Cenobio Canalizo.
The restaurant, which is located at the Grand Central Terminal, in the heart of Manhattan in the popular 42st street, attracts many visitors, as 700,000 New Yorkers and tourists pass by the restaurant every day.
‘’Vegeta’’ and other food products from the largest Croatian food company Podravka are exported to the American and Canadian markets, where the company opened its Representative Offices in 2005.
The Bulgarian Air Charter has announced a new charter flight to Pula in its summer schedule for 2018.
The new charter flight between Varna and Pula will operate once a week, on Fridays in the off-season period, starting from the 21st of September to the 12th of October 2018.
In the pre-season period, as in previous years, Bulgarian Air Charter will operate charter flights to Dubrovnik on Easter and on the 1st of May. The arrival of the charter flight on Easter between Sofia and Dubrovnik is scheduled for the 6th of April, whilst the departure is scheduled for the 9th of April. The arrival of the other charter flight between Varna and Dubrovnik is scheduled for the 28th of April, whilst the departure will be on the 1st of May.
Bulgarian Air Charter operates charter services on behalf of tour operators from European destinations to the Bulgarian Black Sea airports Burgas Airport and Varna Airport during the summer season and from Sofia Airport during the winter. The airline also operates additional occasional charter flights to further destinations throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
It seems that tourists enjoying swimming on the Banje Beach in Dubrovnik whatever the weather.
Even though temperatures dipped to around 13 degrees today, constant overcast skies and showers, this tourist enjoyed a quick dip in the Adriatic Sea today. The sea temperature is around 14 degrees in Dubrovnik so we imagine it was a very “refreshing” swim.
But on the bright side at least he had the beach to himself, which throughout the warmer months is absolutely impossible.
Photos - Zeljko Tutnjevic
Preparations for the wedding of the year of Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle are in full swing.
The royal couple will get married at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on the 19th of May 2018, as did Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.
It is interesting to note that numerous delicacies that will be served at the wedding will feature a product from Croatia.
‘’We have heard that Prince Harry and Meghan want our Croatian wines at their wedding. We are very honoured and we will be happy to send them’’, commented Diana Spajić, the marketing manager at Iločki podrumi.
The wine in question is Traminac, the famous Croatian wine from the wine cellars in Ilok in the Croatian region of Slavonia. It is the leading wine among European wines of this sort, given the fact that it was served at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Even before that, Traminac from Croatia was included among wines served in the Royal Court of England.
In addition, on visiting Croatia two years ago, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla enjoyed beautiful aromas of Traminac, whilst in 2011, the wine was served at the royal wedding of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton.
According to experts, today the price of one bottle of Traminac from 1947 that was served at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II is worth 55,000 Kunas (around 7,400 Euros).