Jelena Darijević – our Croatia specialist and chief translator Jelena is the power behind the scenes of The Dubrovnik Times. Born and bred in Dubrovnik, Jelena has always had a keen interest in all things British, she must be the only local resident to have every edition ever published by Bill Bryson. With a long-term history of translating sorts of publications and books Jelena brings her unique eye for all Croatian news.
The British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was the best-selling musician in Croatia in 2017.
The International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has announced that the young 27-year old Brit is the world’s best-selling musician in 2017 thanks to his album ‘’Divide’’ and the singles ‘’Shape of You’’ and ‘’Perfect’’.
Released in March last year, Sheeran’s album ‘’Divide’’ was multi-platinum in 36 countries, according to the IFPI. The pop ballad ‘’Shape of You’’ is the world’s best selling single in 2017 with multi-platinum circulation in 32 countries.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) also announced that this is the first time that the same author has the best selling album and single in the same year.
The album ‘’Divide’’ was also the best selling album in Croatia last year, thus, the Croatian Discography Association presented Sheeran with an acknowledgement last December after his concert in Austria.
The European Union has long dreamed about Europe without boundaries. Thus, the largest EU railway project is on the horizon in order to ensure the smooth flow of goods and passengers across the Old Continent.
To make it real, they prepared nine injections, i.e. nine rail corridors. By their injecting, they would prompt trade within the European Union, breaking the physical and political barriers at the borders.
The Mediterranean Corridor is one of these directions. It is the main east-west axis in the TEN-T Network south of the Alps. It runs between the southwestern Mediterranean region of Spain and the Ukrainian border with Hungary, following the coastlines of Spain and France and crossing the Alps towards the east through Italy, Slovenia and Croatia and continuing through Hungary to its eastern border with Ukraine.
However, there is a shadow over this sunny corridor. The route passes through Catalonia, a province with 7,5 million inhabitants, where the demand for independence erupted. The new Catalan government has not yet been established.
‘’Catalan instability poses a risk to the Mediterranean Corridor. It is a risk on the way of making this corridor become a reality’’, commented Lluís Gay, the president of the German company DB Schenker in charge of Spain and Portugal.
‘’We need stability to concentrate on completing the corridor by 2030’’, said Laurens Jan Brinkhost, the European coordinator in charge for the Mediterranean Corridor.
The construction of the Mediterranean Corridor, also known as Corridor 6, was agreed in Brussels in 2013. The Croatian part would stretch from Rijeka through Zagreb to Budapest, and one from Zagreb to Ljubljana. Members of the management of HŽ Infrastruktura, a public company which controls Croatian railways, were at the Adifa headquarters in Madrid at the end of January. Nikola Ljuban, Marko Žubrinić and the State Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Nikolina Brnjac requested Adifa's counselling in the modernization of the Croatian route, and in turn promised to support Spain in Brussels in matters related to the corridor.
The European Commission estimates that it will need an investment of 104 billion Euros by 2030 for this 7,000 kilometre-long corridor. Out of that amount, 77 billion Euros will be needed for the railroad itself.
The Russian air carrier S7 Airlines has announced the introduction of new direct flights from Croatia to Russia.
The third largest Russian air carrier and a member of the global airline alliance OneWorld will launch new direct flights from Pula to Saint Petersburg starting from the 27th of May 2018.
The flights between Pula and Saint Petersburg will be operated once a week on Sundays with modern and comfortable aircraft Airbus A319.
‘’S7 Airlines always offers its passengers new opportunities for a comfortable journey. Passengers from Pula can now book a flight to Saint Petersburg, from where they will be able to travel to other cities within the S7 Airlines route. Also, passengers from Saint Petersburg will enjoy direct flights to Pula, suitable for beach vacations as well as for those who prefer a travel intended for special excursions and active parties’’, commented Igor Veretennikov, the Chief Commercial Officer of the S7 Group.
The Croatian tourist offer was recently presented on the US tourist market.
The branch office of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) in New York in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board presented Croatia’s tourist offer at the largest B2C (Business-to-consumer) tourist fair on the west coast of the USA – the annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, which took place on the 24th to the 25th of February at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Croatian tourist industry representatives who attended the fair were Katarina Line, Obzor Holidays, Expedia-travel, Tureta Travel, Pointers Travel DMC, MYS Yachting, Nautika Centar Nava, Hotel Dioklecijan, Le Meridien Lav and DMK Vall 042.
More than 35,000 people visited the fair and had an opportunity to browse offers from more than 500 tourist companies and organizations all over the world. Apart from numerous tour operators, tourist agencies, cruise companies and hoteliers, the Travel & Adventure Show attracted the large number of journalists, bloggers and production companies.
As from the beginning of this April, Croatia will become the home to the first cannabis treatment centre in Europe.
The well-known Croatian wellness resort Terme Sveti Martin (Spa Resort Sveti Martin) in the Međimurje County will be the first destination to introduce the first European Canabio centre, where preparations of medicinal cannabis will be used for regenerative purposes.
Even the most sophisticated European countries did not succeed in this venture, however, this small tourist destination in the continental part of Croatia did.
Preparations for the opening the first European Canabio centre are in full swing, a medicinal team is being teamed up and will be ready to provide scientific-holistic recovery services.
The spa resort Sveti Martin is turning towards richer clients from the entire Europe, Russia and Arab countries, to whom they will offer cannabis therapies lasting from one to four weeks. The therapies will be carried out under controlled conditions during which cannabis will be carefully dosed into the body through oil and cocktails.
‘’The dose will be determined upon an individual condition, which will be first examined by blood analysis in a Swiss laboratory. Thus, the best combination of natural preparations for preventive and therapeutic action will be specified. After that, guests will be examined by a specialist and the IQcure Diagnostic Scanner. Our expectations are great; apart from the fact that we want to prolong our tourist season, our intention is to have a share on the health tourism market which is, according to our analysis, worth $18 billion’’, commented Branimir Blajić, the director of Terme Sveti Martin.
The crucial raw material or cannabis will be supplied from Croatian pharmacies, as is the case with patients suffering from cancerous diseases. Great results, as many patients say, are achieved in combating multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, ADHD / ADD.
The Canabio centre at Terme Sveti Martin also points out that research has shown that cannabis most helps people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes and asthma.
‘’The cannabis treatment program also includes walks, cycling and other physical activities as well as the use of thermal water in our pools, which is, according to analysis, one of the most quality thermal waters in Europe. Each guest will have a psychological support followed by an excellent local gastronomic offer and creative Mind & Body programs’’, concluded Blajić.
The last tourist season in Croatia was absolutely a record-breaking one. One of the main factors that contributed to the great tourist results was surely Croatian airports that, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (DZS), carried 18 percent more passengers last year in comparison to 2016.
In the period from January to December 2017, 116,000 landings and take-offs of airplanes were completed at Croatian airports, or 7.1 percent more than in the same period in the previous year.
Furthermore, more than 9.5 million passengers were handled at Croatian airports in 2017, or 17.6 percent more compared to the previous year.
The busiest Croatian airport in 2017 was Zagreb Airport with 3 million passengers or 12 percent more than in 2016. Zagreb was followed by Split Airport with 2.8 million passengers (+23%) and Dubrovnik Airport with 2.3 million passengers (+20%).
The European Best Destinations (EBD) organization has published best destinations in Europe for nature lovers in 2018.
As they wrote, ‘’You are a nature lover and want to discover Europe’s most beautiful sceneries, most beautiful parks, waterfalls and walks? You want to relax or play sport in Europe? Find inspiration for the best nature holiday in Europe, in the mountains or at the beach or even green city breaks in the most beautiful destinations in Europe’’.
Among numerous European spots for nature lovers, there are also several wonderful destinations from Croatia such as Šibenik, Samobor, Dubrovnik, Stari Grad, Krk, Istria and Zadar.
The EBD describes the city of Šibenik as ‘’a piece of heaven’’, Samobor as a spot for ‘’relaxation in intact nature’’, Dubrovnik as a city ‘’where nature and history meet’’, Stari Grad on the island of Hvar as a destination of ‘’sunshine, freedom and nature’’, the island of Krk as a nature’s spot where ‘’spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s have a party!’’, the Croatian region of Istria where ‘’colors are the smiles of nature’’, whilst the city of Zadar the EBD describes as a city of ‘’beauty and seduction’’.
Here is the list of European Best Destinations for nature lovers in 2018
1. Šibenik, Croatia
Krka waterfalls near Šibenik
2. Corfu, Greece
3. Dordogne Valley, France
4. Samobor, Croatia
5. Saalbach, Austria
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
7. Kitzbühel, Austria
8. Stari Grad, Croatia
Hvar is one of the most pictersque Croatian islands
9. Aix-Les-Bains, France
10. Mullerthal, Luxembourg
11. La Plagne, France
12. Locarno, Switzerland
13. St-Gervais Mont-Blanc, France
14. Lausanne, Switzerland
15. Kotor, Montenegro
16. Bonifacio, France
17. Madeira, Portugal
18. Saint-Maxime, France
19. Les Arcs, France
20. Krk, Croatia
21. Azores, Portugal
22. Bergen, Norway
23. Biarritz, France
24. Lucerne, Switzerland
25. Montreux, Switzerland
26. Aix En Provence, France
27. Malta Island
28. Menorca, Spain
29. Capri, Italy
30. Bolzano, Italy
31. Istria, Croatia
32. Innsbruck, Austria
33. Alpe d’Huez, France
34. Gothenburg, Sweden
35. Zadar, Croatia
Zadar has a fascinating history
36. Miskolc, Hungary
37. Sintra, Portugal
38. Mont St-Michel, France
39. Val Thorens, France
40. San Sebastian, Spain
41. Avignon, France
42. Reykjavik, Iceland
''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.