Thursday, 20 June 2019

The new international border crossing between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at Brgat, near Dubrovnik, has partially opened for traffic. This busy border crossing opened for all traffic on Friday at 1:00pm after months of construction works.

For now, only one lane for exiting Croatia and one for entering has been opened, however it is expected in the next week that another two lanes will be opened which will make the long traffic jams between the two countries at this border crossing less.

On the Bosnian side of the border a new check point has already been installed and is proving more effective than the old basic one. And now with the new Croatian crossing coming into function the queues should be less.


The Ana in the City Festival, is being held for the ninth year in Dubrovnik this year, and will feature a rich and attractive program from the 21st to the 23rd of June this year. Ana Rucner will once again delight audiences as she greets the sunrise for the first day of summer, the 21st of June. You’ll need to get up early as the whole concert starts at 5:00am. We caught up with Ana before the big event.

This is the ninth year that you will hold your Ana in the City festival in Dubrovnik. How did you get the idea to start the festival and why did you decide on Dubrovnik?

First of all, Dubrovnik for me is the heart of culture. And every time I come to Dubrovnik I fall in love all over again. I had always wanted to perform in the Rector’s Palace, so the very first festival I made was exactly in that atmospheric palace. The following year I had the idea to play as the sun rose on the first day of summer. I’m not sure how I got this idea, just a creative moment. I wanted to give people something new, and now it has turned into a real tradition.

And this year will see something new, as not only will you greet the sun in the morning but also wave goodbye to the sun as it sets in the evening.

I respect the colour of the sunrise, the audience, the atmosphere and the music as the sun rises over Dubrovnik for the first day of summer. Every day is like one life. You wake, you live and you go to sleep. So with a concert at the start and the end of the day I will make the circle. The sunset concert will be on Sunset Beach on Dubrovnik and it will be a rock classic repertoire. For the 5.00 am concert on top of the Srd Mountain overlooking Dubrovnik I have gathered a really great team. On the first day of summer and the World Music Day, the 21st of June at five o'clock in the morning besides the beautiful sounds of Ana's cello accompanied by pianist Darko Domitrović, visitors will also enjoy the great repertoire of the prominent soprano Sandra Bagaric.

Entrance to the concerts on the 21st of June on the Srd Mountain and on Sunset Beach Dubrovnik are free of charge


You are about to publish a new CD in connection with Croatian Heritage. How did this project start?

Over the last couple of years, I have made so many videos about Croatia, from all the four corners of the country. I am very proud of this music but I never published it. So I just decided to collect all these wonderful songs together and make one project.

ana rucner in white dress



You have recently become the first every Croatian woman to give a TEDx speech in China. How was that experience?

It was an amazing, amazing experience. My theme was bridges in culture. My theme was how to find your own bridge to happiness. I talked about how I started in music and my career so far, it truly was a fantastic new experience. There were doctors, scientists and even a former Prime Minister of France speaking on that TEDx. Not only was I the first Croatian woman to give a TEDx in China but also my first ever TEDx. I was a little nervous before it started but once I got into it and started talking I relaxed.

Ana Rucner oda radosti 01

Every year the festival supports a humanitarian cause, what is the cause this year?

“New Life” or “Novi Život” is the cause this year. I will hold two performances of humanitarian character, on the 22nd and 23rd of June in the Rector’s Palace. All the funds collected from ticket sales will be donated to the Association of Blind and Blind Persons of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. I love helping people, this is my bridge, my bridge to heaven.




It was a big day for footballer’s weddings yesterday, with the Real Madid captain tying the knot in a mega ceremony at which AC/DC performed, but also in Croatian where Croatian national team player and Atalanta central midfielder, Mario Pašalić married his long-term girlfriend Marija Grbeša.

Pašalić, who is a lifetime fan of Hajduk Split, married Grbeša in the church of Ciovo, and the guests were then moved to a sailboat where they celebrated long into the night.

Pašalić is actually a Chelsea player but is on loan to the Seria A club Atalanta. He began his career at Hajduk Split before moving to Chelsea for a reported £3 million in 2014. Chelsea loaned him to Elche, Monaco, Milan, Spartak Moscow and then Atalanta. Pašalić made his senior international debut for Croatia in 2014.


Croatian Minister of Science and Education Blazenka Divjak on Thursday signed an agreement on the establishment of a Croatian language instructorship in Austria, in both Eisenstadt and Burgenland.

"That is a big step forward, not just for the status and learning the Croatian language in Austria but also for our autochthonous ethnic minority, the Burgenland Croats in Austria, a big event, the first since we signed a similar agreement last year for a Croatian language instructorship in Novi Sad (Serbia)," commented Divjak.

On Wednesday, Minister Divjak held a lecture in Graz at the Karl Franzens University on the education and science reform in Croatia in the context of the European area of higher education, education in general and science.

There is more than one way to enjoy the panoramic views of the Adriatic from the main coastal road. Most of us rush by them without taking a second glance, seemingly taking the natural beauty for granted and without enough time in our busy modern lives to soak up the things that really matter.

However, some people take a much more relaxed point of view and go at a pace much more dignified. This rather odd looking vehicle was spotted today on the main coastal road near Dubrovnik and quite clearly this traveler enjoys a simpler, more laid back, form of transport. Whilst drivers sped by and motorcyclists attempted new speed records this traveler was loving life in the slow lane.

odd bike near dubrovnik

This new video from NASA really caught our eyes. A time-lapse video of a sunset over the earth taken from the International Space Station. An absolutely unique and impressive sight, reminding us of how small and precious our planet is and how we must start to respect it. Maybe watching this video will stop someone asking for a plastic bag after finishing their shopping or taking that plastic straw for their cola. There is no planet B!

NASA states that “Enjoy this sped-up Earth view, captured by the Expedition 59 astronauts currently on-board the International Space Station. The station orbits the Earth every 90 minutes — meaning this sunset you see is actually one of 16 the station residents see each day!”

Needless to say the video soon went viral and received comments on the official NASA YouTube channel like “Absolutely stunning, just utterly beautiful” and “Look at our beautiful home... our planet... it baffles me.. the beauty of the universe... that's why I always protect the Earth.”

The Dubrovnik Economic Conference, a traditional international meeting with representatives of numerous international financial institutions, is being held in Dubrovnik this weekend for the 25th time, and is organized by the Croatian National Bank (CNB).

Boris Vujčić, the Governor of the Croatian National Bank (CNB), recalled the first year of war-time conferences and added that over time the congress has become a significant venue in the world.

“During the last 25 years some of the largest names of economic theory and in the area of economic policy management have been involved in this congress,” said Governor Vujcic. The theme of this year’s conference is economic policy formation at the time of populism. Also a presentation on how Croatia is a good candidate for the introduction of the euro as the official currency.

On this occasion, Boris Vujcic, announced the letter of intent to enter for Croatia to enter into the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

“Before close cooperation with the European Central Bank in the conduct of supervision of credit institutions, it is necessary to test the assets of Croatian banks. We expect this test, as far as the Croatian banks are concerned, to pass very well. As I always point out – the liquidity of Croatian banks is such that it leaves no doubt that it is a quality and stable system” added the CNB Governor.

Over the last quarter of a century the Dubrovnik Conference has become a traditional venue for meetings and dialogues of prominent world and domestic experts with representatives of numerous international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, etc. The conference also includes economists from other institutions and representatives of financial activities.

The central topics of this year's conference will be works and discussions devoted to the losses of international trade, gravity - the link between elasticity, distance and trade, migration, i.e. the effects of financial globalization, economic populism, foreign currency and currency mismatch conversions, independence of central banks in the implementation of monetary policy.

This column could well be entitled “How I discovered I was a sleepwalker,” or even “Is there a ghost in my bedroom.” I recently bought a new mobile phone. I am not so interested in all the features, I fact I probably still haven’t opened more than half of them, but one caught my eye. It interested me basically because it shows up on the homepage of the phone without my having to do anything, those are the apps I like. It basically measures to number of footsteps I do every day. Then it calculates all the distances and so on.

So I read up a little and it seems that you are supposed to be 10,000 steps a day. It seems that 10,000 steps are roughly 7.6 kilometres or around 5 miles. And if you try to that every day you’ll lose weight, which quite clearly is something I need to do.

So I’ve been trying to hit 10,000 every day. Just this week I had a couple of days in the capital and instead of catching trams or taxis I walked. I walked and walked and walked from one side of Zagreb to the other. The first day I managed to clock up an impressive 20,000 steps, “So does that mean I can catch trams tomorrow,” I wondered to myself.

As I limped back into my hotel I was struck by the number of police and security guards everywhere. There were more men with those secret earphones and talking down their sleeves into hidden microphones than actual guests. My legs were a little weary. Instead of the stairs I shuffled into the lift, only to be meet by two huge bodyguards. “What floor are you going to?” one asked in perfect English. “The fifth,” I answered. He looked at the other mountain of a man and raised his eyes as if to say “this one could be trouble.”

Who were they all guarding? It felt like I had walked into a Hollywood movie. Bing! The lift came to a halt. The doors opened and I was greeted by a private army of suited bodyguards. I almost, in a joke, throw my arms in the air as if to say “I didn’t do it!” However, as I had just covered about 15 kilometres across the dry and dusty Zagreb streets all I wanted to do was find my bed.

Struggling along the corridor I had a feeling I was being watched. Trying not to make any sudden movements so as not to excite the army of bodyguards I used a looked in a picture on the corridor to see the reflection of a man behind me. My room key card was in my suit jacket pocket. Slowly I slide my hand into the pocket not to alarm my Kevin Costner shadow. Click! The door opened and I swung around to see him glaring right at me. To cut a long story short I was sleeping three doors from the most important man in the European Union, the EU commissioner himself, Jean-Claude Juncker. Now that’s a man who could also do with trying 10,000 steps a day as well.

I crashed into the shower and slipped into bed, it’s probably the safest sleep I have ever had with the men in suits outside the door, in the corridor and in the lift. So sleep walking. This app works from midnight to midnight. It resets itself at midnight and then counts a full day of steps. My head hit the pillow at a little after 11:00pm and all I did was to set my alarm for 6:00am the next morning. I slept like a log. Dead to the world. Juncker could have been kidnapped and I wouldn’t have heard a thing.

Bleep, bleep, bleep! Woken at 6:00 am as usual I glanced down at my mobile. It normally reads zero steps. But this Zagreb morning it read 60 steps!?! From midnight to 6:00 am the step counter was at 60. One step is roughly 0.7 of a metre. How had my mobile covered over 40 metres on its own? I hadn’t been to the toilet in the night. Had I sleepwalked? And if so where? It was a pretty big room but not 40 metres wide. Had Juncker’s army sneaked into my room and checked my phone as I slept? Was there a ghost in my room? What would have happened if I had sleepwalked right into the EU commissioner’s room. Something wasn’t right here.

Another day in the capital and another day of walking. Again I hit my target. And when I slipped into bed at night I made a point of double checking my mobile. In the morning it read zero steps. Was my mobile lying? I’ll leave the last few words to Mr. Juncker, who famously once said “When the going gets tough, you have to lie.”       

"We would like to inform citizens that the international border crossing for traffic of “Vitaljina-Njivice” is open for all traffic from today,” read an official statement this week. The border crossing between Vitaljina and Njivice, or between Croatia and Montenegro, is only one of a number of international crossing between the two countries. However, especially in the summer months, the main border crossing tends to have very longs delays, of up to 3 hours, so using these less known crossing will save time.

The statement from the Dubrovnik – Neretva Police Administration added “We also advise all passengers who plan to travel to Montenegro during the summer season and return to use the mentioned border crossing where the traffic intensity is lower than the border crossing for Karasovići-Sutorina international passenger traffic.”

Break out the sun cream and load up on the bottled water as Dubrovnik is about to get struck by a mini heat wave this weekend. If you thought, it was already boiling hot in Dubrovnik it’s about to get even warmer as the summer temperatures ramp up to the mid-thirties.

The State Meteorological Institute has issued a new warning for the dangers of a thermal heat wave for Dubrovnik for the 15th and 16th of June. With temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday expected to reach the mid-thirties experts are warning the public to avoid the midday sun and to take plenty of fluids with them. And night time temperatures will also be extremely warm with temperatures unlikely to drop below the mid-twenties at night.

And the online weather service AccuWeather has also published a weather warning for the Dubrovnik region stating that “Heat wave. Maximum temperature > 32 °C Stay alert for expected high temperatures. Health risks are possible in the vulnerable population, in particular senior citizens and small children.”

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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