Saturday, 20 October 2018

Dubrovnik & Konavle walking Festival will take place from 9th to 11th of November 2018. For the first time it was organized in 2016 with the aim of promoting a different face of Dubrovnik - one out of the crowd, facing the local flavors and paths, with a sense of freedom, peace and belonging to nature.

Picturesque villages, hiking trails, an old railway line, vineyards, wineries and rural households are part of a unique program designed for everyone - from beginners to experienced pedestrians.

Dubrovnik’s inland as well as surrounding islands will take you breath away. Islands are covered in pine tree forests, lined with beautiful beaches, cliffs and coves. Each step of the way will bring you different scents of surrounding vegetation and the smell of local cooking (especially fresh fish) in domestic households that you can visit.

- We take it as our mission to show you places in shadow of the Old City of Dubrovnik that will surely make a lasting impression on you because of their beauty and peacefulness. We want to show you secret spots mostly known among locals in a sustainable form of an active program for discovering region’s unique food and wine. We strive to prove that this period, away from July and August crowds, is the most beautiful time to visit Dubrovnik. At the end of this festival, we guarantee you that we will all reach the same conclusion - Dubrovnik is much more than stone walls and a popular summer destination – organizers say.

All the details are avaliable at the official website of the Festival

The Spanish low-fare airline Vueling in the upcoming winter flight schedule has withdrawn all flights between October 5th and December 19th this year from the sale – Avioradar reports. Both Dubrovnik - Barcelona and Dubrovnik - Rome lines were supposed to be in traffic during the entire winter flight schedule with two flights a week, in both cases on Thursdays and Sundays. However, in October and December there are no more flights available on these two lines.

There is an additional arrival on the line Dubrovnik - Barcelona after the New Year on Wednesday, January 2nd.

That was the week that was. It has been a turbulent week to say the least. As my mother would say “I haven’t known if I’m coming or going.” It’s not often that I get to listen to God Save the Queen played by a British military band in front of a red double-decker bus overlooking the walls of the Old City of Dubrovnik.

Yes, the British Days in Dubrovnik event swallowed my week whole and spat me out the other side. My emotions were running all over the place. I was celebrating the connections between Dubrovnik and Great Britain. If I can’t be happy, proud and passionate whilst being involved with something like that then there is something wrong with me. “How do you feel being part of this event?” asked one journalist. “My heart is the size of a balloon,” was the first answer that came into my head.

I opened an art exhibition, presented a pub quiz, opened the whole event and sang with The Beatles and that was just in the three days. Standing on Pile with a cup of English tea in my hands in the shade of a London bus from 1964 whilst watching tourists enter into the historic core isn’t something I get to do every day. I sipped English gin which isn’t a drink I’m particularly fond of as it was the first alcoholic drink that I got drunk with, but I didn’t care.

One minute I was speaking English to the Military Attaché from the British Embassy and the next Croatian with a local restaurant owner, my brain was like mashed potato after day one. My two worlds were colliding right in front of my eyes and I was loving it.

The only event that would bring me as much personal joy would be organising a Dubrovnik Days in London, but I better whisper that as someone might take me up on that idea. And every event was so readily embraced, so well attended. As the first chords of “Love Me Do” opened the concert by The Beatles Revival Band in front of the St. Blaise and I saw the mixture of locals and tourists all singing along and dancing my balloon-sized heart nearly exploded. “Does this happen every night? It’s great!” a slightly elderly man from Manchester asked me. “Not every,” I smiled back.

To see so many people just having a good night out, well, that was enough for me to know it was a successful event and it all added to the rich Dubrovnik entertainment program. Yes, rich program. To all those people who say “Oh, there isn’t anything to do in Dubrovnik.” I say, get your lazy backsides off the couch and get out. This year the festivals of different events have rolled from one to another. I can honestly say that this has been the busiest year on the event calendar that I can ever remember. But if all you want to do is sit around and drink coffee and moan, well that’s your prerogative. But I don’t want to concentrate on the negative, god knows there’s enough of that around anyway.

Brexit was forgotten as the two cultures joined. In the pub quiz, a pub quiz that only involved questions about the UK, there were four teams from the UK and nine from Dubrovnik. But, to my pleasant surprise, there wasn’t a huge difference in the scores. Yes, a team from the UK won but they did have the slight advantage of having a Cambridge professor on their team. But “local” teams finished second and third. I say local because all week I have been mixing up “ours” and “yours”. I guess I am now neither “yours” or “theirs” but somewhere in the middle.

Of course there were slightly Monty Python moments – the English guests forming a queue to get on the London bus was eyebrow raising. And as quickly as it came it went. And life goes back to normal. Who am I kidding. Life is too short to be normal.

Good Food Festival continued last night with the Venezuelan dinner at the Kantenari restaurant, located at the Sunset Beach Dubrovnik, which made everyone feel like they’re in Venezuela with the blend of taste, smells, music and dance rhythms.

The person ‘’in charge’’ was amazing musician and food lover Ricardo Luque, who was the host of this interesting dinner. We had a chance to talk with Ricardo few days ago, so don’t miss to meet him in our interview. Last night, Ricardo made sure that everybody learn the story about the dishes they are eating, since every meal was traditional. In four course meal, the visitors had a chance to eat Arepitas con Queso, Pisca Andina, Asado Negro and Dulce da Name con Sarrapia.

But that’s not all! Ricardo has more interesting stories for the visitors of his lecture ''Heritage of the autochtonous civilizations of Latin America'’, that he will hold in the Tourist Board Office at Pile at 5 pm.

Another great addition to the Venezuelan dinner was the concert of Cubismo group and their music brought great atmosphere during the whole evening. Dance Association of the Ritmo de Salsa danced the night away and inspired guests to dance in the Latin American rhythm. Another proof that good food and good music go well together!

Popular website Variety has published an article about Croatia, titled ‘’With War in the Rear View Mirror, Croatia Has Made Filming a Major Business'', where it states that after the war, the newly independent country has now emerged as one of the most film-friendly in the Balkans.

-In 2012, Croatialaunched an international film program that offered productions a cash rebate of up to 20%; it has since risen to 25%.In addition to the rebate, Croatia offers beautiful locations, especially along its Adriatic coast, as well as exceptional local talent and production companies that have an impressive record in domestic and international production. The small nation also boasts relatively low labor costs compared to other European countries – Variety writes.

They also explain that in addition to the 25% cash rebate, Croatia offers an additional 5% rebate for productions in regions with below average development. The minimum spend required of feature films is 2 million HRK, or about $311,000. For TV episodes, the minimum spend is 750,000 HRK, or approximately $117,000. Projects must score 12 out of 34 points on a cultural test.

-Projects recently filmed in Croatia include “Robin Hood” (2018), “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” (2018), “The Terror” (2018 to present), “McMafia” (2018 to present), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017), “Hercules” (2014) and “Game of Thrones”(2011) – Variety writes in their article. We can't wait to see which filming project will be up next!

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic, with his associates, visited Ljubljana on October 17th, where he met Mayor Zoran Jankovic. The visit was an opportunity for the Dubrovnik delegation to get acquainted with the processes implemented by the City of Ljubljana in order to change urban mobility, using Smart City solutions.

Ljubljana is the leader in the application of sustainable mobile solutions and has been rewarded with numerous awards. The City of Dubrovnik is currently working on the Smart Urban Mobility Project (SUMP), which wants to introduce similar changes and the experience of the city of Ljubljana was really helpful.

In a very short time, from 2005 to 2014, Ljubljana has introduced major changes in the direction of environmental protection and sustainable development. The newly established traffic regime in the city supports sustainable mobile solutions. From 2012 the city is closed for motor traffic. The urban structure and popularization of bicycle riding has been by the project of free use of bicycles. More and more urban forms of transport go to methane because of CO2 reductions, and downtown passengers are transported for free by electric mini transport vehicles Kavalir.

The mayors talked about the possibilities of co-operation between two cities, primarily on smart city technologies, mobility and electric vehicles, car sharing and transport solutions, where Ljubljana's experience could be of great help to develop similar projects in Dubrovnik.

They also talked about cultural and tourist co-operation, congress tourism and the possibilities of withdrawing funds from EU funds.

The Mayor and his associates visited some of the successful urban solutions of the City of Ljubljana, through which there is a visible effort by the city administration to make everyday life easier for citizens using modern technologies, which is the goal of the City of Dubrovnik.

The days of double taxation between Croatia and Japan are over with the signing of an agreement today. The Croatian Minister of Finance, Zdravko Marić, and Kenji Yamada, the Japanese vice-minister for Foreign Affairs signed a bilateral taxation agreement in Zagreb.

This new agreement includes a number of tax breaks and improves conditions for trade relations between the two countries, commented the Minister of Finance.

"Japan is one of the model economies and opportunities for cooperation with Japan have increased since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013. We want to be recognised as not just a country for tourists, but also develop our economy in various sectors, and Japan's experience in that, and this agreement, can help," commented Zdravko Marić.

90 percent of Croatia’s exports to Japan is tuna from the Adriatic Sea with almost 3,000 tonnes exported in 2016. The new double taxation agreement now has to be ratified by the Croatian parliament.

However, there is also hope that Croatian wine could make an impact on the Japanese market, with the Japanese minister stating that “Croatia's wines could become increasingly recognised in Japan, and the number of Japanese companies doing business in Croatia would also increase.”

Like every year, Good Food Festival has humanitarian character. Complete profit of the Dubrovnik Table, which will be held on Sunday, October 21st at noon, will be given to the Down Syndrome Association of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Rina Masera. Also, the complete profit of the tickets for Rixos Brunch,that will be held on Saturday, October 20th from noon to 2 pm, will be donated for the medical treatment of young Dubrovnik girl Gabriela Setka. All locals and their guests are invited to join the humanitarian events this weekend and show their big hearts.

Traditional Dubrovnik Table will be held on the last day of the fifth edition of the Good Food Festival. On the table, that will be placed on the Stradun, numerous Dubrovnik hotels, restaurants, bakers, etc. will be presented, along with winemakers from Konavle and Peljesac. The prices are symbolic – 35 kuna for the food coupon and 15 kuna for the drinks coupon. Ivica Puljic will host the program with Cultural-Art Society Juraj Osojnik and vocal group Subrenum, which will start at 11 am, while the table will be opened at noon.

Day before, on Saturday, Rixos Brunch will be held from noon to 2 pm in the Hotel Rixos Libertas. Restaurant Mozaik staff is preparing rich brunch and the whole profit will go in the right hands – for the medical treatment of the young Dubrovnik girl. With the Mediterranean appetizers and salad, chefs will prepare fish and meat delicacies for the main course in front of their guests. For the end of this rich culinary gathering, the boss of Rixos's pastry shop prepares a full range of sweet snacks. The price of Rixos Brunch per person is 200 kuna (the price does not include drinks) and requires a prior reservation.

Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, famous duo behind the name 2Cellos, always seem to delight their fans. Their newest video, playing Pirates of the Caribbean by Hans Zimmer, published today, already has over 17 thousand views and numerous comments!

- I've been waiting for this one for years! – it's just one of the comments left on the amazing video where the famous duo dressed up like Jack Sparrow (or Johnny Depp) from the famous movie – Pirates of the Carribean.

The video was made on the amazing wooden ship Karaka in Dubrovnik back May and it's finally out. What can we say – watch and enjoy!

When it comes to salaries, among the 28 countries in European Union, Croatia is ranked 21st, with an average monthly net salary of 684 euros (5130 kuna). According to the data of the Institution Économique Molinari in 2017, Luxembourg was the first with 3151 euros, and the last Romania with 321 euros. Behind Croatia on the list are Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania – Vecernji list reports.

The most attractive destinations for economic emigrants are those with average salaries over 2000 euros and in European Union there are 11 countries like that. Market trends have raised the average salary this year, so in July, the median net salary was, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 5504 kuna, which means that half of the employees had a lower share, and half had higher.. Compared to the same period in 2017, the average net salary is 2.5 percent higher.

The average salaries don’t speak enough about the standard; you can get a bigger picture if you know that Croatian monthly salary is about three times lower than the average of Western Europe, while the prices of most goods and services are pretty much the same, and because of the high VAT even more expensive – Vecernji list reports.

However, the pressure has helped a bit, and although six years of crisis have affected everything, in the last four years, salaries grew about 13 percent. However, that kind of growth some countries, such as Austria, have at an annual level, while in Croatia it is about 1.25 percent annually, and only Slovakia is behind us in the annual growth of salaries.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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