Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Summer is here and the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is a vibrant mix of colours, sights and sounds. The Stradun and the cobbled side streets of the city were packed yesterday as a combination of locals, cruise ship passengers and tourists drank coffee al fresco, strolled the streets and even dived into the Adriatic Sea.

Temperatures soared to around 28 degrees yesterday and it was a day of blue skies and blazing sunshine.

Check out this gallery from Dubrovnik yesterday by Zeljko Tutnjevic

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I was watching the television the other day when an advert for an upcoming new show caught my interest. Well to be honest it was one particular line, a sound bite if you like, that raised my attention. “No generation has faced so many challenges and is so inadequately equipped to deal with them,” said the presenter. Harsh words, but the more I started to think about it the more I agreed with them.

A couple of days later President Trump (two words that just look awkward together) pulled America out of the Paris Agreement and basically stuck his middle finger up at the rest of the world. Now that’s another challenge we face.

The gist of the TV show was that we have less and less skilled workers and more and more managers. Anyone who has tried to find a good (and I emphasize the word GOOD) plumber, builder, decorator, mechanic, electrician, etc (I could go on and on but I think we get the idea) will know that it is easier to find the Holy Grail. Working with your hands seems like it is now a dirty business. There are a few factors that have brought us down this sorry path. With the rise of modern technology we have now found ways that robots or computers do the jobs for us. Heavy industry, after its peak in the industrial revolution, has been on the decline since World War II. Trump can bang on about car production and coal mining all he wants but this has almost nothing to do with China and more to do with the way we live our lives today.

Whether we like it or not we live in a disposable society. Something breaks...we buy a new something...rather than having it fixed. Rather than a mechanic trying to fix a part he simply goes out and buys a new one. The motor on our washing machine breaks, it is now almost cheaper to buy a whole new washing machine rather than getting it fixed. This is of course a policy of big businesses. They want us to keep buying new products, it isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s just for them more business.

Of course this business practise is more than a little at odds with protecting the environment and recycling. Surely it would make more sense to fix something, which in a way is actually recycling it. But I digress. Just take a look at the number of young students in Dubrovnik who want to study economy, PR or management. The ratio of “workers” to managers is way off course. Who will these students manage when they graduate? I was chatting to a student studying PR the other day and his naive outlook on the business was both amusing and sad in equal measures. Of course there are many positive and maybe even creative sides to PR but there is also lots and lots of crap. Taking someone’s crazy ideas and putting a positive light on it. Or as a great journalist once said “spinning shit into silk.” Look I am not against PR people, I deal with them on a daily basis and most of them do a fine job, I am just saying that there is a limited amount of positions available in that industry. We don’t need 100 PR people every graduation. We also don’t need hundreds of managers either. I know that there is pressure from parents of young students to study something “worthy” and not what they wrongly perceive to be below their child’s so called level.

I overheard a conversation with a professor at the maritime university in Dubrovnik who was commenting on how hard the course is and how many students just give up and drop out. “We are the greatest producer of future waiters in the city,” he sadly admitted. He probably isn’t wrong. Again there is nothing wrong with being a waiter, far from it, there is nothing more satisfying in watching a good waiter at work. But sadly there is a stigma attached to people who work with their hands.

Dubrovnik was partly created by stonemasons and we marvel at it beauty. But if a child has ambitions to be a stonemason he or she would be laughed at today. Where are the stonemasons in a city made of stone? Remove that stigma and just be the best at what you want to do, whatever that may be. Jamie Oliver was joked at for wanting to be a chef, nobody is laughing at him today. “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are,” said the great Martin Luther King.

Tourists to Slano had a special treat today as they swam with a friendly dolphin. The ACI Marina in Slano, which is around 35 minutes drive from Dubrovnik, posted this amazing video on their social media channels of a dolphin swimming with a group of tourists along with the phrase “New friend in our marina! Amazing.”

Spotting dolphins in the Adriatic Sea around Dubrovnik isn’t that common and having the chance to get up close and personal with one and actually swim with one is extremely rare. It certainly looks like this group of tourists will have a special memory of Dubrovnik.

Check out the video

Another Blue Flag was raised in Dubrovnik today, marking the acceptance of another Dubrovnik sea region into this exclusive club. After the Blue Flag was raised over the beach of Valamar Dubrovnik President a few days ago today it was the turn of the ACI Marina in Dubrovnik to hoist the flag. This is the nineteenth year in a row that ACI Marina has been awarded with the Blue Flag which is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education as a recognition for safety, ecological acceptability and maintenance.

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The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, who also served as director of the marina for eight years attended the presentation today as well as the director of the ACI Marina Dubrovnik, Niko Šalj.

The Blue Flag for Beach and Marine is an international environmental program for the protection of the sea and coastal environment, whose primary goal is sustainable management and management of the sea and coastline. The criteria for awarding Blue Flags are very demanding and include a range of areas: eco-education, public information, water quality, environmental management as well as security and quality of services.

The cycle of baroque music “Orlando Furioso” which began on Tuesday with a performance of Four Seasons by Vivaldi continues on Saturday, June 10 in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art with the work of Henry Purcell, the opera of Dido and Aeneas.

The evening will feature the vocal ensemble Antiphonus with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra String Chamber Ensemble and conductor Tomislav Fačini. The evening starts at 9.00pm in the Museum of Modern Art and tickets are available either in advance or on the door an hour before the concerts starts.

The performance will also star Russian violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky and world renowned musician Edin Karamazov on lute. Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell.

Concert tickets are available in the office of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra from 9am to 2pm, at Dubravka's Gift Shop on Pile, at Perla Adriatica's Tourist Board on Ploče, in Luža Cultural Info Centre, online at the official website of the orchestra www.dso.hr, and one hour before the concert starts.

orlando furiouso

Dietmar Gamerith is a self-confessed “Dubrovnik lover” and for this Austrian living in Graz Dubrovnik is his second home. He has visited an amazing 75 times and has seen and done everything over that time.

As he says “Dubrovnik is in my heart and soul.” He often drives the 880 kilometres from his home in Graz to his second home in Dubrovnik. We caught up with Dietmar to find out what inside tips he has for travellers to Dubrovnik and here is his top 15

1 – Visit the Gradac park overlooking the historic Old City of Dubrovnik – “it is a wonderfully peaceful place with tremendous views.”

2 – Walk the City walls in Dubrovnik - “this is a must and an adventure every time.”

3 – Climb to the top of the Srd Mountain that overlooks Dubrovnik – “I often walk to the top rather than catch the cable car.”

4 – Go to Cavat . “I go very year and it is a special place.”

5 – Catch the ferry to the island of Lokrum – “pure bliss and outstanding nature.”

6 – Visit the little church on Gorica Sv. Vlaho – “there are no tourists here and the views over Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea are amazing.”

7 - Lapad is a must visit and a walk along the wonderful new Promenade – “walk from Lapad to Babin Kuk and stop off at the Cave Bar in Hotel More for refreshment...and it is always cool.”

8 – No trip to Dubrovnik is complete without a stroll along the Stradun through the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik – “I like to have a meal in Restaurant Defene.”

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9 – Walk the old part of Pile just outside the City Walls and climb up to the Lovrijenac Fortress – “Restaurant Dubravka is a good spot for a light lunch.”

10 – Go for a swim at Copacabana Beach in the Babin Kuk suburb – “take a drink on the Maki Stradun through Babin Kuk as well.”

11 – Gradska Kavana cafe bar in the heart of the Old City is the soul of the city in more ways than one – “what a place to watch the world go by and catch up with old friends.”

12 – Stop of at the Homeland War museum on the top of the Srd Mountain – “here I remember the tougher years and darker pages of Dubrovnik’s rich history.”

13 – Roll out your towel and go for a dip in the Adriatic Sea – “my favourite beaches are in Lapad, Porporella and Bellevue beach and also a quiet place is on Boninovo.”

14 – Visit the Aquarium Museum – “it’s fun and interesting to see what the sea around Dubrovnik contains.”

15 – Go island hopping to the local islands around Dubrovnik – “a trip to the islands of Lopud, Sipan, Mlijet, Kolecep, Korcula is a great day out.”

With 75 trips to Dubrovnik already under his belt who are we at The Dubrovnik Times to argue with his choices. They might help you and give you some tips on how to spend your time in Dubrovnik as well.

The latest educational presentation of Tourist Boards from Croatia in Seoul has confirmed a great interest of Korean tourists in Croatia.

In organization of the Croatian Tourist Board representatives of the Tourist Board of the Lika-Senj County, the Tourist Board of the city of Zagreb, the Tourist Board of Sibenik as well as the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik attended the Seoul presentation on the 7th of June, which gathered 74 representatives of Korean travel agencies and a dozen Korean journalists.

The presentation of Croatia's tourist offer continues at the Hana Tour International Travel Show, which is being held also in Seoul from the 8th to the 11th of June.

''The more intense interest of Koreans in Croatia as well as an impressive increase in the volume of physical traffic from that market started with a filming of several reality shows through which Koreans had the opportunity to see the beauty of our country. Considering the economic growth and the increasing global power of the Far East countries, the importance of this tourist pool that consists of China, Japan and Korea, needs to be recognized. These nations love to travel, and on average they spend hundreds of millions of American dollars a year'', explained Zeljana Sikic, the manager of the Tourist Board of the Sibenik-Knin County.

On this occasion, Sikic also emphasized that the main motive for Koreans to visit Croatia is not only the sun and the sea, thus they mostly come in the off-season period.

''By joining the Kinderhotels group which specializes in family holidays with children, Valamar has received additional recognition for investments in quality and portfolio development in the family tourism segment, that will enable branding of the Valamar Girandella Maro Resort hotel at Rabac, Istria which is to be opened in 2018'', said from Valamar a few days ago.

Furthermore, the Valamar Riviera company explained that Kinderhotels Europa Group is a marketing association, which gathers premium family hotels under the Austrian brand Kinderhotels in four European countries of Austria, Germany, Italy and Croatia. They also added that the hotel at Rabac would be the third hotel in Croatia joining this group, which gathers 48 European hotels.

Valamar expects that becoming part of the Kinderhotels Group will additionally contribute to repositioning of Rabac as one of the leading high quality holiday destinations in Croatia, the process that has already begun with the construction of two summer resorts at this Istrian town – the Valamar Girandella Resort and the Family Life Bellevue Resort.

It is interesting to note that the Valamar's investment is the biggest investment in Croatian tourism this year, which opens more than 300 new jobs and stimulates economic development of the local community.

Electric cars that passed through Vrgorac on their way to Dubrovnik on the 6th of June had a chance to charge their vehicles in the town.

The Tesla company has officially opened an electric charger station for electric cars in Vrgorac in the Split-Dalmatia County.

The investment in the world's fastest charging station or the so-called ''Supercharger'' is estimated at 2,5 million Kunas, whilst the charging time lasts shorter in comparison to conventional chargers.

On its website www.tesla.com, the company has officially included the town of Vrgorac in a list of world cities with Supercharger stations.

According to the website, the Tesla company has 861 Supercharger stations with 5,655 Superchargers around the world. Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops during long distance travel and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centres, and WiFi hot spots.

As far as Croatia is concerned, apart from Vrgorac, superchargers are also available in the town of Senj and at Dugopolje near the city of Split, whilst the supercharger stations in Otocac and Zagreb are to be opened by the end of 2017.

The newly elected Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic had a meeting today with the Founder of the Network for Animals Brian Davies and his associates to discuss the question of a systematic and quality care of abandoned animals in the Dubrovnik area.

Mayor Frankovic explained the plan of building a city shelter for animals to the leaders of this London-based international association.

The first step is to find an adequate location for the construction of a shelter and purchase of land.

- After that, project documentation will be developed, tenderers will be invited to tender and finally, the construction of a shelter that will meet all the conditions prescribed by the competent ministry of the Republic of Croatia and will have sufficient capacity will be built – Frankovic said.

Brain Davies and his associate David Barritt congratulated Mayor Frankovic for being elected on the latest elections. They expressed readiness to provide logistical assistance and other expertise in the realization of this project, based on their experience in animal rights protection.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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