Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The island of Lokrum has had a turbulent past, from curses to legends, over the centuries the island has seen its fair share of tragedies and successes. Shakespeare could have written a play based solely on Lokrum, such is the richness of its history.

And now you too can explore a part of this past with an excellent interactive exhibition on the island. Located in the atmospheric surroundings of the basement of the Benedictine monastery an exhibition entitled “Legends of Lokrum – Richard the Lionheart and the Benedictines,” explores the fascinating story of the connection between this English King and Dubrovnik’s green oasis – Lokrum.

The very location is inspiring, in a Benedictine Monastery that was first mentioned way back in 1023. As you enter the cool of the basement an attractive wooden runway leads you down to the exhibition.

Learn how Lokrum saved the British King, Richard the Lionheart, and how he returned his gratitude to the people of Dubrovnik. Take a walk in the cellar of the monastery and experience history through the story of the sinking and the rescue of Richard the Lionheart, find out details of the life of the Benedictines and the reasons of their mystical departure from the island and the curse which according to tradition they left behind them for many years to come.

Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

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It may be all over but now you have the chance to catch up with the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival with a snapshot video roundup. From the 10th of July until the 25th of August on numerous stages and venues around Dubrovnik the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival attracted an international audience of more than 60,000 people. Almost 2,000 artists from ten countries were involved in this year’s festival which included 17 different scenes around the city and a total of 93 varying performances, which also included 13 free programs.

The festival, the highlight of the cultural calendar in Dubrovnik, was covered by 223 members of the media of which 20 were journalists and cameramen from abroad. And ticket sales have changed their character with an increase of sales over online platforms, the website of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival saw a 6 percent increase in the number of tickets sold compared to 2015. This digital interest can also be seen in the number of people who searched for the Dubrovnik Summer Festival on Google. According to information from the festival from the 1st of July to the 24th of August almost 40,000 people visited the festival’s website.

So if you missed the festival or want to take a walk down memory lane here is the roundup of the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival ended last night with a bang! A gala concert in the very heart of Dubrovnik in front of the St. Blaise Church by the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio Television conducted by maestro Ivo Lipanović closed the festival in style. The concert was also broadcast live on the Croatian television HRT3.

Photos by Niksa Duper

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International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik starts tonight, on Friday 26th of August, in the atrium of the Rector's Palace at 9 pm. Christoph Campestrini, Austrian conducter and the director of the Festival, will conduct the orchestra. He has had many successful performances across the world and also has the status of the main conductor of the prestige Vienna court chapel.

Since the opening concert is part of the cooperation with Dubrovnik Summer Festival trough a joint project 'Key to the future', audience in the Rector's Palace will have a chance to listen young laureates of international competitions.  Russian pianist Yury Favorin is the winner of the Olivier Messiaen Competition in France, the first prize of the Foundation Gyorgy Cziffra in Austria and Competition for Young Pianists Nikolay Rubinstein. In 2010, he was the laureate of the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium, after which his international career started.

On the program is the famous Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 1 in b minor by P.I. Tchaikovsky and Dvořák's Symphony no. 8 in G major.

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According to data from the Croatian Financial Agency (FINA) in 2015 a total of 3,933 entrepreneurs run businesses on the 51 Croatian islands or 2.7 percent more compared to 2014. The total island revenue achieved in 2015 was 9.7 billion Kunas, or 9.9 percent more in comparison to the previous year. The number of employees recorded an increase of 4.5 percent i.e. 20,364 workers were employed in the island economy.

The largest number of entrepreneurs was registered on the most populated Croatian island Krk. The town of Krk and six municipalities had a total of 783 registered businesses with 4,844 employees. The entrepreneurs from Krk achieved a revenue of 1.3 billion Kunas or 13.2 percent share in total revenue of all islands.

The island of Krk was followed by the island Brac in the Split-Dalmatia County which had 581 registered enterprises with 2,566 employees. The Croatian island Korcula in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County placed as third on this list with 323 registered entrepreneurs who employed 1,921 workers.

The largest Croatian island of Cres had the largest number of employees in ratio to the number of entrepreneurs. In 2015 Cres had 92 registered businesses with 1,480 employees, or on average 16.1 employees per entrepreneur. The island of Cres accounted for 6 percent of the total revenue of all islands.

The average monthly net salary in the Croatian island economy in 2015 amounted to 4,763 Kunas or 5.1 percent less than the average monthly net salary paid by the state level enterprises which was 5,019 Kunas.

The highest salary of 5,903 Kunas was paid by entrepreneurs on the island of Hvar, whilst the lowest one was paid on the island of Korcula in the amount of 4,406 Kunas.

As far as the type of business is concerned, the tourist industry was the most lucrative in 2015 with 2.4 billion Kunas of revenue, which accounted for a 24.5 percent share of the total revenues.

The second most lucrative business was retail trade and wholesale (2.1 billion Kunas), followed by the manufacturing industry (1.29 billion Kunas), the construction industry (1.26 billion Kunas), whilst agriculture and fishing achieved 677.2 million Kunas of revenue in 2015.

We know it's not polite to swear and we are not promoting it, but it seems that the essential part of every trip to the foreign country is learning some swear words or phrases. In Croatia, swearing is almost part of the culture. A lot of people swear without even realising it – it's a normal part of everyday conversation. We're not saying that every Croatian swears, but a lot of them are doing it quite often.

Now that you know that you won't be judged maybe it wouldn't kill you to learn a swear word or too. Some guides even learn their tour groups how to swear. Just after ''dobar dan'' (hello), ''doviđenja'' (goodbye) and ''hvala'' (thank you).

Believe it or not, there is a website to learn swear words from all over the world. Youswear has a decent collection of swear words and phrases. We must admit, seeing translations of some often used swear phrases in Croatia made us chuckle a bit. There are some that we haven't heard before.

So, in case you need a good laugh today or want to be prepared for your Croatian trip, visit Youswear and check out some of the Croatian swear words and phrases. At least you'll know if somebody is being rude to you during your visit.

Smile you are on camera!

Aug 25, 2016

Twenty-three traffic cameras were mounted along the Croatian roads last year and they have been photographing anyone who drives above the speed limit during the day and at night. Two months ago the Karlovac Police Department installed eight new cameras in the Karlovac region. This city followed the example of other Croatian cities such as Osijek, Zagreb and Rijeka which had had 15 traffic cameras installed along their roads last year.

''We are very satisfied so far, these traffic cameras have had a preventive effect. For example, in the Aleja Bolonja in Zagreb which has two installed camera devices drivers respect the speed limit, they tend to drive carefully thus wild drivers cannot be seen on the roads any more'', said Miron Huljak from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Last year the total cost of mounting traffic cameras along the Croatian roads was 5 million Kunas. Since then, in the area under the jurisdiction of the Osijek-Baranja Police Department almost 8,000 fines were issued, whilst the Primorje-Gorje Police Department issued almost 30,000 fines. The Police Department in the city of Zagreb fined almost 45,000 drivers. As the minimum fine was 1,000 Kunas, the state earned at least 83 million Kunas by fining drivers at these locations only.

''Fortunately, or should I say, unfortunately, the traffic cameras provide lots of money for our budget which is then used for buying new devices'', added Huljak.

As yet the Dubrovnik County doesn’t have fixed speed cameras on any roads, however it is only a matter of time before similar cameras start popping up.

The mammoth super yacht of one of the richest men in the world is on anchor in the Bay of Zupa, near Dubrovnik. Katara is the $300 million plaything of the former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.

At 124 metres in length, or just a tad longer than a football pitch, and with a crew of 60 the Katara is the eighteenth longest private yacht in the world. The Emir of Dubai holds the keys to the world’s longest yacht, Azzam, which is a staggering 180 metres in length.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family and from 1995 to 2013 he was the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar.

Interestingly it was during his reign as the Emir that the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup was won by Qatar. He is also the head of a Qatari investment fund that owns the iconic London department store Harrods. Katara set the Emir back a cool $300 million back in 2010 but as his wealth is estimated at $2.5 billion we can assume that he didn’t need a loan to purchase the mega yacht.

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Through my office window I can see Dubrovnik's harbour and I absolutely love the view. There's something about ships that makes me feel I could watch them all day. Ships have a soul of their own. They grow on you. They can be exciting or scary, some of them are very fun, some of them are homes to people, and some can mean the difference between life and death.

Every day I get to see one of the most important ships in Dubrovnik from my window. It's the one connecting Dubrovnik's Elaphite islands to the mainland. I have spent plenty of time on this line, going back and forth, almost always for fun and pleasure. She's an old, rusty thing. Her crew takes good care of her, but years have a way of showing no matter what you do to hide them. This white ship has represented the primary connection to the mainland for many islanders over the years. She has been thrown around by the raging sea countless times and survived it all. She brings food, she takes children to school, she enables hundreds to visit their loved ones, and thousands to enjoy some of the most beautiful Croatian islands.

At the other end of the port, in the fenced off portion usually reserved for large cruise ships, there stands an impressive, space-ship-shaped vessel. This one, featured on covers of magazines and glorious to behold, is someone's private mega yacht. Nothing unusual to see in Dubrovnik, but this one got me thinking. I've seen our white ship sail by it the other day, completely dwarfed by the luxurious vessel. It was very strange to see them together. One small and old, slowly, but surely rusting away as it constantly goes around repeating the identical route daily. At the same time, she truly is one of those ships that means the world to so many. The other one, pride and joy of modern naval design and engineering, is quietly moored in all its glory, waiting for its owner to arrive. Nothing more than an oversized toy.

Ships truly do have souls and these two have completely different ones. The weaker and uglier of the two has probably brought more joy to more people on any given day this week, than the other one has done during its entire service. Looking at them makes me wonder about how far material possessions can really take us in pursuit of happiness. How happy is the owner of the mega yacht now that it's his? Is he as happy as I will be next time I'm sailing our white ship towards my favourite island? I guess I'm not the right person to answer those questions, I've never owned a mega yacht. Still, I know one very cruel fact about yachts: someone else always has a bigger or more expensive one, and if no one does, someone will tomorrow.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

Divamag, a magazine for lesbians and bi women in the UK, has recently published a list of the 8 places that are perfect for a weekend away or a longer break and that should be visited by the end of the year for the LGBT community.

- From stunning scenery to unrivalled nightlife, these easy-going escapes have it all – it's written as the introduction to the list which contains cities like Stockholm, Brussels, Vienna and of course, Dubrovnik.

The author mentions the Game of Thrones and how its filming has affected Croatia, but concludes that you don't have to be a fan to enjoy it.

- From the imposing city walls to a charming Old Town, there's no shortage of captivating sights. If you're after a more serious gay scene, Lokrum Nudist Beach is a popular spot for LGBTQ holidaymakers, while Jazz Cafe Troubadour is the bar of choice for many – it's written on Divamag.

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