Saturday, 25 May 2019

Croatia is a country truly blessed with natural assets from its pristine coastline to crystal clear lakes. The tourists rave and the travel writers gush about the physical attributes which set this country apart and underpin its very economic survival.

Most people in the world are aware of the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean but they are like minestrone soup compared to the Champaign sweet waters of the Dalmatian coast. The inland lakes, too, are amongst the most beautiful in the world. Standing by the shores of the Plitvice Lakes and looking one hundred metres out and being able to see the submerged part of a dead tree is an experience which could only be described as surreal.

It is this environment that the visitors come to see and their input is the lifeblood of this country - they drive employment for all, particularly the youth. They help keep families together by ensuring young people can find employment close to home. They enable many families to generate income from their properties in areas where no other reliable source of income exists. And the good news is that the number of tourists is rising annually. The bad news is that they may stop coming. It seems inconceivable that all this could change and the tourists go somewhere else. Well humans are just brilliant at taking things for granted.

Years ago, Australia too was unbelievably pristine and my city's harbour had dolphins, penguins and occasionally whales. But years of selfishness and neglect lead to that much rubbish being left in public places which ultimately ended up in the sea, that the government was forced to mount nationwide television campaigns and community groups were formed to clean the country up. Slowly but surely people, and predominantly the young people of the country got the message and much of the unnecessary rubbish pollution stopped.

butts

 

Walking and swimming around Dubrovnik I see a lot of places which are out of sight to the tourists and it is here that the seeds of disaster are being sewn as many locals will happily leave household and building rubbish in public places. The worst offenders of all are the smokers who are busily killing themselves and happy to throw their butts on the street - where on earth do they think they will end up ? - In the sea of course.

On the subject of just how short sighted smokers are I am reminded by the recent death of Vesna Volovic at 66 years of age which was due to a smoking related illness. She rose to international fame when, as a hostess on the then Yugoslav airline in 1972 she survived a 10,000 metre fall from the sky when the plane blew up mid flight. On waking from a coma her first words were “have you got a cigarette?” So, having survived the impossible she went right on killing herself.

The supermarkets continue to feed everybody's plastic bag habit and their final resting places is one of the biggest polluters. It is unbelievable for me to see young people, the very group who has the country’s future in their hands, on their lunch break from school walk away and leave piles of plastic bags and wrappers. The “orange men” who walk the streets of Dubrovnik sweeping them up can't keep the problem under control.

There are lessons about rubbish pollution to be learnt from other parts of the world. Take the Pacific Ocean. It is inconceivable that such a giant body of water could be strangled by pollution but yet it is happening. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area much larger than the Mediterranean where the sea is choked by floating plastic. Right on our doorstep we have a problem which sends us a reminder card every summer when the currents change. On a couple of days large volumes of floating plastic rubbish descends on Dubrovnik from Albania. At my local, Dance beach, it is so bad you can’t swim through it and it takes the guys days with fishing rods and hooks to clean it all up.

So if that's the future do we really want to go there? People who ruin their own environment would have to be called Dodos, after the birds that as we know are now extinct. Not for the reasons all the scientist will tell you, that they were too stupid to get out of human's way but because they were sick all of the time. Yes they were stupid and lazy but the Wizard knows that the scientist have missed one important point and the real story is that they kept rubbishing their nests and they eventually all got sick and couldn't get away from hunters if their tried. It's all about attitude really. We all have to make an effort to stop being lazy or complacent.

If smokers weren't so lazy and walked their butt to a rubbish bin or if everybody disapproved of throwing butts on the street things would change. If the builder knew that someone would take his number plate and report his dumping and that there was going to be some action taken to fine him things would change. At the end of the day it’s up to us all to save the tourism industry.

This is a very beautiful country let’s keep it that way before it's too late.

The Wizard of Oz 

According to a Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) press release, the first test landing at new Franjo Tudman Airport in Zagreb was successfully conducted on the 14th of March with passengers on the flight from Vienna to Zagreb.

"All procedures for the test reception and dispatch of passengers and their luggage at the new terminal were carried out successfully," MZLZ reported, adding that the construction of the airport is in a final phase.

The airport management's website has also announced that the official opening of the airport will be held on the 21st of March when the first flight (to Dubrovnik) will take off from Franjo Tudman Airport. Seven days later, on the 28th of March, the new airport will be fully open to traffic.

Valued at more than 300 million Euros the Zagreb Airport's new terminal building stretches over 65,000 square metres and three levels, featuring three baggage carousels, eight air bridges (six for international flights and two for domestic services), nine security checkpoints, 23 passport control booths and a car park with the capacity of more than 1000 vehicles.

The island of Lokrum is open for another season! The closest island to Dubrovnik and the city’s green oasis will start with the regular ferry service on Saturday the 25th of March. The first ferry for this year will leave at 10.00am from the Old City harbour and will depart every hour, on the hour, until 3.00pm, with the last boat returning from the island at 4.00pm.

An adult return ticket, which includes entrance into the Nature Reserve, is 120 Kuna. From this year tickets can be purchased in the Luza building, next to the Gradksa Kavana cafe bar, and the ticket office will be open from 9.00am to 1.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to midday on Saturdays. This first spring timetable will be in force until the summer season when the boats run more often and over a longer period.

lokrum ferry

Lokrum boats back in action for 2017 

Construction work on one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik is in full swing in preparation for the upcoming summer season. The beach on the Bay of Lapad is a magnet for thousands of tourists and is surrounded by many hotels.

Works have been going on for several weeks as after the company “Dubrovnik Sunsets” won the beach concession. When completed the beach area will include restaurants, cafes, shops and terraced sunbathing spots.

Check out the photo gallery of the beach today

lapad beach 2

lapad beach 3

lapad beach 4

lapad beach 5

lapad beach, dubrovnik, croatia

The Dubrovnik Strings Chamber Orchestra will have a rather special concert this Friday the 17th of March when they will be joined by the Marko Genero. Born and raised in Dubrovnik Genero graduated viola at the Zagreb Music Academy and became the youngest assistant professor at the academy.

He continued his career with the Zagreb Soloists where he performed all over the world. In 2001 he obtained a master’s degree in Essen and has won numerous international competitions. Genero, from 1999, has been the solo violist of the Symphony Orchestra in Bochum.

The concert program for this Friday includes J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, Bach Concerto for Viola and Strings, Vivaldi Concerto Grosso in G minor and Britten Lachrymae for Viola and Strings.

Tickets are available at the office of the orchestra from Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm. For further information visit the website of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The concert starts at 8.00pm in the Dubrovnik Cathedral. 

marko genero poster

According to a reputable daily newspaper The Globe and Mail from Toronto, Canada deports thousands of people annually, however, data from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) do not reveal details of why some individuals are deported back to their homeland. The story of those thousands of unwelcome people contrasts with international perceptions of Canada's warm embrace of foreigners.

In most cases, the reason for deportation is ‘’non-compliance’’ with the basic entry requirements, whilst only 10 percent were returned to their home countries due to their criminal activities, which is the second most common justification.

The data from CBSA on Citizenship of removed persons in the period from 2012 to 2016 show that the most deported nation from Canada were Hungarians (6,942), followed by Mexicans (6,937) and the US citizens (5,666).

After Americans, the most unwanted nations were Chinese, Colombians, Indians, French, North Koreans and Croats who placed as the 9th on the CBSA’s TOP 10 list. According to the CBSA data, almost 1,282 Croatian citizens were deported from Canada in the period from 2012 to 2016.

Furthermore, the results of CBSA Unwelcome Index for the period from 2011 to 2015 show that citizens of Hungary were the most unwelcomed in Canada. ‘’ Most Hungarians removed during this period were Roma’’, explained Sean Rehaag, an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto who specializes in immigration law.

Hungary was followed by Slovakia, Croatia and the Czech Republic, which the Canadian daily newspaper emphasizes as the countries with a significant Roma population. "There was a lot of discrimination and rights abuses affecting Roma in those countries during this period’’, said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

According to the previous announcements, department store IKEA confirmed that they are working to open a new delivery center in Split until the end of August this year – reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

New IKEA in Split is designed as a "pick-up point", a place where their customers are able to take the ordered goods without paying delivery from Zagreb. Location is still unknown, since the owners of this global supply are not ready to share it with public yet.However, it is planned that IKEA warehouse occupies about 1,500 square meters, while 1000 square meters of exhibition space is planned in the future, for costumers to ''feel'' the furniture.

This will not be a classic IKEA store but more of a showroom where customers will be able to order and pick up goods. Whilst shoppers in southern Croatia could be disappointed with that, at least they won’t have to drive to the Croatian capital to shop.

Mediterranean Fair of Healthy Food, Medicinal Herbs and Green Entrepreneurship is coming to Dubrovnik for the 14th time. It will be held in the hotel Tirena on Babin kuk from tommorow, Thursday 16th of March to Sunday, 19th of March.

All these years Mediterranean Fair is gathering exhibitors, experts, sponsors and enthusiasts to make joint efforts in order to present much of the ecological and traditional products which Croatia is full of.

This specialized manifestation has become the most important fair in the Republic of Croatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva County in the area of ecological and traditional agriculture as well as other green business.

This year's fair is aimed at expansion with new products, (hybrid, electric cars, eco-furniture and clothing from natural materials), the event ‘’Days of honey in Dubrovnik-Neretva County’’, raising the quality of exhibitors as well as improving the quality of organic and traditionally grown products. Of course, this year the Mediterranean Fair will continue with the promotion of local quality products, along with series of educational lectures, roundtables, presentations and much more.

American company Mercer has published annual quality of living ranking and Vienna is placed first for the 8th year in the row.When it comes to Croatian cities, Zagreb has found it's place on the 98th place on the list of 231 cities. 

Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79).

When it comes to our neighbours Ljubljana is placed 76th, Belgrade 138th and Sarajevo is 159th.

Check the detailed results here.

Gregor Balazic, the author of the project BeachRex, presents the web portal www.beachrex.com that currently covers over 1,000 Croatian and 20 Slovene beaches.

The establishment of the probably biggest database of beaches in the world has lasted 4 years.

After a few-years-long-call of beaches, Gregor Balazic decided to leave his job, bought a camper van, camera and started the exploration journey of the Mediterranean beaches with a thorough plan and a clear vision. Its result consists of a collection of over 50,000 photographs, 2,500 videos and 3D spherical shots, and more than 500,000 details about the beach type, infrastructure, facilities and services offered at a particular beach. An all of this date is available on the website - www.beachrex.com.

croatia beach

BeachRex introduces a new, high standard presentation of beaches. Each beach is presented with some high quality photographs, a video and 3D spherical shot enabling the viewer to see it from every perspective. There are also photographs and data about car parking facilities, the way to the beach, navigation and travel time form the starting point to the beach, current weather, water temperature, weather forecast and webcam available.
Every user can add their comment and rate the beach. It is also possible to book an accommodation at the beach.

On Google Maps, beach photographs by BeachRex have reached more than 1.5 million views in only 6 months. The website has mostly been used by Germans (25% of the users), followed by Poles, Czechs, Slovenes, Austrians, Hungarians, Croatians, Slovaks, Americans and Italians. Facebook of BeachRex has 38.000 followers.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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