Monday, 23 April 2018

It would seem that the saying “your home is your castle” is true in Croatia. When it comes to home ownership Croatia is one of the leading countries in the 28 members of the European Union. Long-term renting, or even short-term, is not the norm when people are looking to solve their housing question, an amazing 90 percent of Croatians own their own home, which puts the country joint second in the EU after Romania at 97 percent.

Croatia is joint second on the new EU list with Lithuania. Whilst at the other end of the scale Germany has the lowest number of home owners, at only 50 percent, followed by Denmark, Austria and France.

And it isn’t only with nationals that home ownership in Croatia is popular. The survey by Eurostat shows that 82 percent of foreign national in Croatia are also home owners. This percentage is much higher than the EU average, at 30 percent, and again puts Croatia high on the EU list, third after Estonia and Lithuania.

A South Korean woman has died from a fatal fall at a tourist hotspot in Croatia, the government said Sunday. The woman in her 50s, whose name was kept private, fell off a cliff and into a lake at Plitvice Lakes National Park in central Croatia on Saturday (local time), according to the foreign ministry.

The victim, who was in Croatia for sightseeing, was moved to a hospital but later passed away. "It's presumed that the she fell after losing her footing due to the rain," a foreign ministry official said. "The local police are looking into the exact circumstances."

The Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, visited Peljesac this Saturday and expressed his conviction that the complaints regarding the tender for the construction of the Peljesac Bridge will be solved quickly and that the project will continue according to the plans.

Plenkovic commented that he believes that the State Commission for Public Procurement will resolve the complaints related to the tender for the construction of the Peljesac Bridge. The future Pelješac Bridge project received a 357 million Euro grant from the European Union, however when the Chinese Company, China Road and Bridge Corporation won the public tender the other companies in the tender all launched appeals.

Croatian Roads had decided that the offer from the Chinese consortium was the most favourable for the first phase of the construction of the Peljesac Bridge with access roads, and that the European Commission will finance 85 percent of the project. However, the process was then placed on hold as the Italian, Turkish and Austrian construction companies that had placed bids for the Peljesac Bridge all lodged official complaints.

Speaking at an opening of a school on the Peljesac peninsular on Saturday the Prime Minster stated that “We are continuing with the project and I believe that we will implement it in accordance with the plan if not until the end of the mandate of this government, certainly at the beginning of the next mandate of the Croatian Parliament and Government and finally finalize the strategic issue for both Peljesac and Dubrovnik-Neretva County.” He added that with the new bridge the region would have a faster connection to the rest of the country and avoid the lengthy traffic jams that form when passing through Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This incredible video by Domenika Loncar was shot today from the ancient walls of the city of Dubrovnik and show the force of the sea crashing into the Bay of Pile. Gale force south winds have been blowing for a few days, and are forecast to continue until the middle of next week, and have brought with them high seas, rain and overcast skies.

Ferries were stopped from running today as the rough seas brought nautical transport to a standstill. Just a few weeks ago this normally calm bay was the scene of the last season of Game of Thrones, now it looks more like a scene from Titanic.

Quite clearly the name of Dubrovnik travels far and wide. This cutting from a Swedish newspaper was sent to us by a reader from Sweden who clearly has Dubrovnik roots as he commented “I am happy when I see Hallandsposten advertising my home city of Dubrovnik, good job Halmstad.”

This advert for Dubrovnik was featured in the daily Swedish newspaper Hallandsposten from Halmstad. And yes we translated the text for you, well Google did literally, “start the summer with a semester in May.”

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It was all smiles in Ston today as the wine flowed and the oysters disappeared. On St. Joseph’s Day Ston traditionally celebrates with The Day of Oysters Festivals and as always this picturesque seaside town was packed. Even the recent bad weather didn’t stop the festivities as this seafood delicacy was devoured by hundreds of festival-goers. The oyster is the trademark cuisine of Ston and with good music, a few drops of Peljesac wine and laughter the day was perfect.

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“This is magnificent. Ston oysters are a delicacy that are popular all over the world,” commented a local. The clear and clean sea of the Bay of Mali Ston with the correct ratio of minerals and salt, mixed with karst from fresh water springs means that this is the ideal spot for growing oysters.

ston oysters 2018 3The Croatian Prime Minster, Andrej Plenkovic, also attended the Day of Oysters and commented that “More than 60 percent of Croatian oysters come from Ston and the Croatian government will encourage various stimulation measures,” concluded Plenkovic.

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There is a film starring Hugh Grant that I have always enjoyed, in fact it is based on a true story, and is called “The Man Who Went up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain.” I did just the opposite of this at the weekend. I went up a mountain and came down a hill.

The very next day after several hundred women climbed to the top of the 1,234 metre peak of Sniježnica I did the same thing. Instead of a hundred women on Sniježnica this was a married couple and two dogs on Sniježnica. Now right at the start I have to be honest and say that I have never really been a great fan of walking up hills and mountains and anything that has snow. Far from it, if it’s flat it’s fine, if its uphill I avoid. However, “carpe diem” as I have never been to the top of the highest peak in the region before I agreed to my wife’s proposal.

Yes, my wife is the hiker in our family, well my wife and our two dogs to be more precise. I have always thought it strange that the mountain was 1,234 metres high, seems like perfect symmetry. But to make matters even more strange did you know that there is a drop in the Adriatic, almost directly opposite of Sniježnica which is 1,234 metre deep. Now that is the Twilight Zone!

Se we set off, with me still thinking that I would be able to conquer the 34 metres and leave the 1,200 to another day. Firstly, what an absolutely glorious piece of countryside, world class! We parked at the bottom and the evidence of the hundreds of women who had trod this route just the day before was everywhere, hanging in the air, almost mocking me.

The start, well the start almost finished me early on. My calves started to burn, my lungs exploded and my knees locked up. If it was going to be like this the whole way to the top, I would need the Mountain Rescue to fly in with a helicopter soon. But just like sex the more I tried the easier it became. “Are you sure you are OK,” asked my wife as sweat ran down my forehead. I nodded. I would have answered her with a “yes, I’m fine, what a lovely view,” but my lungs could either breath or speak, not the two at the same time. Marathon runners say that when running at some point you hit an imaginary wall that stops you in your tracks and you just have to push on through it. It had hit the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall of China and if Trump had built a wall, then his as well.

Thankfully my saviour was Mother Nature. I have seen some beautiful nature in my time on this earth but the views from the Sniježnica mountain must be up there in the top three. “Shall we stop for a rest,” asked my wife. I wanted to say “I thought you’d never ask,” but yes you guessed it I just nodded in agreement. I collapsed to the grassy floor like one of Mike Tyson’s opponents.

My dog and I had something in common – both out tongues were hanging out gasping for water.

And then as I lay crumpled on the grass I suddenly realised why hiking up mountains is so popular. It is completely silent. The whistle of the wind, the occasional bird and that is about it. Way above the hustle and bustle of the Dubrovnik café bars I soaked up the peace like a sponge. We pushed further upwards. Would I need an oxygen bottle? To be honest I could have done with a bottle about 300 metres from my car. And then Mother Nature decided to change the situation. I was in good form now, my muscles had warmed up and I was leaping like a mountain goat. But the weather had closed in.

mark mountains 2018Low clouds, or fog, I don’t really know the difference, had covered the top and was coming down towards us. Just my luck. I’ll get to the top of this bloody thing and won’t be able to see my hand in front of my face! So we reached the 1,000 metre mark, so near and yet so far, and decided to take an alternative route back down. Like I said, I went up a mountain and came down a hill. We climbed over a small ridge and before us an incredible panorama, the snow topped mountains in the distance peeking through the clouds.

I think it was George Bernard Shaw who described Montenegro as a “sea of mountains,” he wasn’t wrong. Unspoilt nature as far as the eye could see and apart from the path we were walking on, not a manmade object in sight. Mankind can build the highest buildings, paint the most exquisite paintings, design the most beautiful objects but we will never ever get anywhere close to the magnificence of nature, not even close. I will be back Sniježnica, and next time I am coming to sit on your head!

Several packages of marijuana have floated into Dubrovnik! From the early morning hours police boats have been circling the waters around Dubrovnik trying to locate the marijuana that has floated into Dubrovnik.

The heavy south winds appear to have brought not only plastic bottles from Albania but also marijuana. It is assumed that the packages were ejected or fell over board from a ship transporting them from Montenegro to Italy but other routes have not been excluded by the police.

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According to a statement from the spokesperson from the Dubrovnik Police, Andrija Biskup, the police boats are scanning the Old City harbour and around the Old City in search of more packets. It is still undetermined exactly how many floating packages of the drug there are and whether more have been washed ashore.

Croatia will soon have the opportunity to hear live one of the most famous voices on the planet. Apple’s Siri or an intelligent personal assistant will attend the Days of Communication Festival in Rovinj this April.

The festival Dani komunikacija (Days of Communication) has for years confirmed its position as an avoidable event that gathers advertisers, agencies, public relations experts, media representatives, students and other professionals from the communication industry. Last year’s edition of the festival broke all the records of attendance and satisfaction of participants.

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The sixth edition of the Festival, which is to be held from the 12th to the 15th of April 2018 in Rovinj, will bring to Croatia world experts who dictate trends and future of the communication industry. Among them are the Global Group Creative Director at Twitter Jayanta Jenkins and Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Manager Brad Parscale.

However, one of the stars at the festival will surely be Siri, an Apple’s application that works on the principle of artificial intelligence. Siri has made the voice of Susan Bennet mega popular around the planet, but the name of Bennet is not globally known. Nevertheless, her voice or as she says, her alter ego Siri is.

Siri will participate at this year’s Days of Communication in Rovinj, where she is coming with the support of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ). Bennet will hold the lecture titled ‘’Accidentally Famous’’ where she will talk about how she has become mega popular Siri completely by chance.

Commenting on the upcoming event, the director of the HTZ Kristjan Staničić said, ‘’I am very pleased that we have the opportunity to bring Bennet as a lecturer and the owner of the most famous voice to Croatia. Not only that her lecture will enrich this festival that has proven to effect the way we perceive products and services in all sectors, including tourism, but I'm sure that her stay in Croatia will be a great opportunity for further promotion of our country as an attractive tourist destination’’.

The Subspace hostel in Zagreb, the first hostel of this type opened in the European Union, has been awarded by International Hospitality in the category of Best Hostel in Eastern and Central Europe.

The entrepreneur Hrvoje Krilić wanted to be different from the others thus in December 2016 he opened a futuristic hostel in Tesla Street in Zagreb. For the first time in the European Union guests got the opportunity to sleep in space capsules and experience the feeling of being aboard a spaceship.

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The capacity of the Subspace hostel is 20 single bed capsules, bathroom facilities, a kitchenette, a cafe bar and a terrace at Tesla Street. Each capsule is 2 metres long and 1,2 metres wide and high, it has a ventilation and is equipped with a bed, an android monitor, USB ports and chargers for mobile devices, a safe for money and valuable documents as well as a mirror.

The hostel ceiling and walls are painted with unique drawings that become visible under ultraviolet light and create a special impression of the night sky as if one is really in the space.

Targeted guests are all those who seek privacy, or as the owner said ‘’the Subspace hostel offers privacy of a hotel room at a hostel price’’.

The Sci-Fi films such as Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and Avatar inspired the idea for this unusual project, which was realized within a year and a half. The value of this investment was slightly more than two million Kunas.

Mostly cloudy

16°C

Dubrovnik

Mostly cloudy
Humidity: 89%
Wind: W at 11.27 km/h
Wednesday
Mostly sunny
15°C / 21°C
Thursday
Sunny
16°C / 22°C
Friday
Partly cloudy
16°C / 23°C
Saturday
Partly cloudy
17°C / 25°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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