Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Remember those days when we actually commuted to work rather than working from the dining room table in our pyjamas. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the most of us work, with that commute for many a dusty memory.

However, there was life and indeed work before the lockdowns and new figures from the European Union show that just over 61 percent of workers commuted less than 30 minutes to work in 2019. And at the other end of the scale 8 percent of EU citizens had a commute of an hour of more.

The Latvians and Brits had the longest average commute to work in the EU in 2019 of an average of 33 minutes and 30 minutes respectively, that’s a one-way commute. Whereas the shortest commutes were in Cyprus with 19 minutes and Greece with 20 minutes.

In 2019, workers in the EU had an average commuting time of 25 minutes, and Croatians were slightly below the average at 24 minutes.

commuting time map

 

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Fancy a place in the country, like really in the country, for a budget that won’t break the back, Croatia has an answer. The Covid-19 pandemic might well be bad for the real estate business in Croatia, but for one region it has proved to be a kick-start. Whereas property prices along the Dalmatian coastline or even in the rolling hills around Zagreb will make a massive dent in your bank balance the central region of Croatia has homes on offer for 20,000 Euros!

When it comes to buying real estate, Lika has become fashionable, and there has been huge interest in the last few months. Property buyers are on the lookout for older homes, rural properties, construction land and homes that generally need renovation. And with prices some of the lowest in Croatia, even though the region is very much central, more and more investors are turning to Lika, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

''I think I'm the only man in the world who wants the Covid-19 to continue for another five years. Because since the pandemic started business in my real estate agency, the only one left in Lika, has gone crazy,” commented Ivan Bižanović, owner of the Lika nekretnine agency.

And for good reason. Lika is not only one of the greenest and most picturesque parts of Croatia, it is also ideally located in the heart of the country and offers real estate at incredible prices. If you want a property away from the rest of the world, at least until the pandemic dies down, then Lika is a good bet.

lika real estate

Green Lika countryside drawing buyers from Dalmatia and Zagreb - Photo Shutterstock 

In the last few Covid-19 months in my agency alone we have completed about 80 sales. Dalmatians are buying agricultural land en masse, they are attracted by the extremely low prices,” added Ivan Bižanović.

In addition to cheap land, as well as houses for renovation, which can be found for as little as twenty thousand euros, the increased fear of Covid-19 has led people to invest in the country, in the production of their food.

And it isn’t only Dalmatians that are snapping up bargains in Lika. A combination of the recent devastating earthquake and the continuing Covid-19 pandemic many people from Zagreb are also turning to Lika. For a couple of hundred thousand Kunas they have quickly become the owners of beautiful homes up in the mountains with an abundance of green, fertile land around them.

 

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The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, announced on Saturday that additional measures would be introduced very soon, since, given the large number of people infected with Covid-19, the existing measures obviously did not yield results.

"Unfortunately, these measures did not show results. They were introduced last Monday and now the results should be seen. It is clear to everyone at this moment that the numbers are growing and that additional measures are needed. This is being discussed intensively," Capak said at the opening of the new coronavirus testing sites in the eastern parking lot of the Zagreb Fair.

He also stressed that the numbers would certainly not grow if everyone adhered to the measures prescribed.

“Obviously we have a situation with people who don’t want to abide by the measures,” he added.

Aware of the problems related to concealing contacts with the infected and people not going into self-isolation, he said that there would be measures "very soon".

Capak pointed out that these are not new measures, but that there are a number of other elements when it comes to shortening working hours and limiting the number of people at gatherings.

Regarding the age of deaths from coronavirus in Croatia, he said that it was on average 79 years old, and the age of those infected was 43 years old, "and has not changed significantly since the beginning of the epidemic in Croatia."

 

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California- American Croat filmmaker, actor and photographer Johnny Kera of 523 Productions has donated several images from the 2017 football match festival, which was held at the Croatian Hall in San Pedro, California, to be displayed in the newly remodelled hall.

The images show Croatian football fans who attended a large festive rally after Croatia defeated Mexico 2-1 in a friendly soccer exhibition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum back in May 27, 2017. The images show fans celebrating all through the night in laughter, love, music and dance. Bands such as Grupa Zrinski from Los Angeles and Nocni Raj from Canada, performed all through the night for the party goers.

The images show Croatian football fans

Croatian soccer fans showing support at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - Image by Johnny Kera of 523 Productions

Kera is happy to have participated in photographing the event after the soccer match. Donating to the hall is special to me as a Croat. I have many fond memories of being there and celebrating alongside my family and friends.” Kera goes on to say, “I am currently working on my photography here in New Hampshire, covering the fall foliage in the New England area. When I got the call from Peter Hazdovac of Adriatic Travels while in New Hampshire, he asked me for the photos to be presented for the hall and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to display my images for everyone to see.”

Kera is working on several other projects, both in film, television and photography. He plans on making a photographic book for publication soon.

 

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If I had a list of the things I’d never want to try then somewhere near the top, right between getting a heart tattoo on my backside and spending two-weeks on holiday in Chernobyl, would be exactly what I did last week – taking a yoga class.

Stretching your body into poses that you would only normally see in the circus whilst humming isn’t really my cup of tea. I am absolutely sure that yoga has benefits, both physically and spiritually, but it just appealing to me. Some people like blondes and some brunettes, as the English would say it’s “horses for courses.”

However, my wife has become addicted to yoga and attends a class near our home. I’m not sure why but one day I said “Why don’t I join you for a class?” The confused look on her face coincided with my own bewilderment of actually asking such a stupid question. And that’s pretty much how I found myself a few days later sprawled on a yoga mat looking like a body in a CSI murder scene.

Now, I know as much about yoga as Mr. Trump does about viruses – absolutely nothing. Apart from a few photos and some second hand information I really didn’t know what to expect. I assumed that I would be bending and stretching and humming Namaste but that was about it. “Try not to fart,” was the only advice my sister gave me before my first class. Now I had a complex that I’d be parping like a steam train after an Indian curry!

“So let’s relax with some breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth,” said my yoga instructor. Ok, this isn’t too hard, I mean everyone can breathe, can’t they. 

One of the reasons that yoga appealed to me was my work. Children today are deforming their backs by sitting too long and staring at the computers screens, meaning that the future generations will all resemble Quasimodo – the hunchback of Notre Dame. But children aren’t the only ones hunched over their screens, I spend the vast majority of my day in front of a blinking monitor. Maybe yoga could heal me?

“Now move your left leg in line with your right shoulder and breathe again,” she said, adding just relax. If I could move my left leg there I would already be in the circus. I was now in some kind of pose that looked like I was about to give birth to twins. And all I was thinking was don’t fart. My wife looked over at me and I smiled back as if I was in control of my body. The reality was my body was screaming “for decades you didn’t move an inch and now you want a pose like a crab.”

Clearly one of the key components of yoga was breathing. That is pretty much a component that every living person has. But this was breathing in an unnatural way, at least for me. Now we were getting more adventurous. Legs here, arms there, and all the time I was clenching my bum in fear that I would fart. “This pose is called greeting to the sun,” our instructor said as we bent our backs like a banana.

Clearly apart from breathing, which I have 50 years’ experience of doing, relaxing and clearing your mind was also a vital ingredient. And this was my problem. “Hold that pose and release your thoughts, “said our patient teacher. Whereas my wife had clearly drifted off into her thoughts my mind was running wild. I find it hard to turn off. Always have. I have two modes, on and off. And off is when I’m asleep.

So instead of drifting away looking at the ceiling I was thinking “that’s quite nice floor edging” and “why didn’t they wire their air-conditioning directly into the circuit instead of having a plug” and “I wonder if the bakery still has that small French bread I like.” Switching off is only something I do when I’m asleep. And all the time I’m thinking don’t fart. My last breath on this world will probably be “Oh, did I turn the toilet light off!” 

Again don’t get me wrong the problem was with the student and not the teacher. Our teacher was calm, thoughtful and patient. But she had a student that was easily distracted. In fact, that is exactly what my last report card from school said, “Mark Thomas is a good student but easily distracted and spends too much time talking to his classmates.”

A wise man once said that “Yoga is not just repetition of few postures – it is more about the exploration and discovery of the subtle energies of life.” I have a feeling that my energy is found elsewhere.

 

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to

 

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What a refreshing break. Instagram is usually crammed to overloading with “influencers” doing their best to jump out from the crowd. But this little fella really caught our eyes, and he even has his own Instagram page – Timmy The Russell.

And clearly the two-year-old Jack Russell is only popular with us as he has an impressive 14.8 thousand followers.

We just think he’s so cute and the background of Dubrovnik in the late October sunshine is an added bonus.

Welcome to Dubrovnik Timmy and have an (p)awesome time.

 

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Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a stunning photo. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely blasting of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected our top five “roaring up the weekend” photos from Instagram. Check out our top five inspiring Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region. We just love your feedback!

And don't forget to follow our Instagram page

 

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39 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County over the past 24 hours meaning that there are now 225 active cases of Covid-19 across the county. In the past 7 days 183 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected.

There are currently 225 active cases in Croatia’s southernmost county, 0.18 percent when calculated as a percentage of the population. The Dubrovnik-Neretva County has had a total of 1,099 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, or 0.9 percent of the county’s population.

These are six males and eight females from Dubrovnik (ten of them have an established connection), five males and five females from Metković (five have an established connection), three males and three females from the borough of Župa (for all established epic connection), two men and one woman from Kula Norinska (one person has an established connection), two males from Opuzen, one male person from Ploče and Mljet, one female from Smokvica (established connection) and a female from Zažablje (established connection).

Twelve people have made a full recovery - seven from Dubrovnik, three from Metković and one each from Mljet and Ploče.

17 people tested positive for Covid-19 are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. In the last 24 hours, 186 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 17,931 samples have been analysed.

There are 729 people in self-isolation, and no violations of the self-isolation measure have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

 

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Croatia has seen the worst day for new cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began and the first time that more than 2,000 new cases have been detected. In the last 24 hours, 2242 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 9,745.

Testing has been ramped up in recent days, and over the past 24 hours 8,087 people were tested, meaning that in total 437,048 people have now been tested for Covid-19 in Croatia, or almost 11 percent of the population.

The City of Zagreb once again had a record breaking day for new cases of Covid-19 with 798 new cases, there are currently 2,987 active cases in the Croatian capital, 0.42 percent when calculated as a percentage of the population. Zagreb has had a total of 8,661 cases since the pandemic began, or 1.2 percent of the capital’s population.

Screenshot 143

Active Covid-19 cases in Croatia - Photo Screenshot 

Over the past 24 hours unfortunately 16 people have passed away due to the virus, meaning that the death toll across the country is now 429. There are currently 731 people in hospital and 52 people on ventilators.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 33,959 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, with 23,785 making a full recovery. There are currently 27,967 people in self-isolation.

"This is not a joke; this is not a game. Covid-19 has entered our homes for the elderly and infirm. We have reason to worry and should act accordingly. There are no hotspots, the virus is spreading horizontally. We have more and more families infected. Epidemiologists are working from 7:00am until 1:00am," commented the director of the Teaching Institute of Public Health “Dr. Andrija Štampar,” dr. Zvonimir Šostar. Today a new Covid-19 testing station was opened in Zagreb, in the east parking of the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebački Velesajam).

 

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A massive 85 percent Croatians own their own houses or apartments, which is significantly more than in other EU member state, according to an analysis by Marina Kunovac, an expert at the Institute of Public Finance, reports HINA.

In an article "Distribution of household assets in Croatia", is presented collected as part of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, conducted by the Croatian National Bank (CNB) for the first time in 2017 on a sample of households in Croatia, thus providing detailed data on real and financial assets, liabilities, income, consumption and various sociodemographic characteristics of households.

The methods of acquiring ownership of property were markedly different. Thus, 36 percent of households built it, 34 percent inherited or received it as a gift, 28 percent bought it, and the remaining two percent acquired ownership through a combination of previous options.

As for indebtedness, in the paper "Household Finance and Consumption Survey conducted in the Republic of Croatia 2017." authors Igor Jemrić and Igeta Vrbanc, among other things, state that the level of indebtedness of Croatian households is relatively low, given that 59.3 percent of households have no debt, and the debt burden of Croatian households is below the euro area average. Jemrić and Vrbanc believe that this indicates a lower level of financial vulnerability in Croatia than in the euro area.

 

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