Sunday, 25 August 2019

If you enjoy live music, you just can’t miss the newest event in Dubrovnik – live guitar evenings. They will take place at the perfect location: Porporela, every Tuesday from 9 to 11 pm, during July and August.

If you enjoy the sound of the sea, moonlight and live guitar music – this is the perfect event for you. The guitarist will be academic musician Pero Skobelj, who will perform world famous ballads and evergreens.

Live guitar evenings are organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and will start from tomorrow, July 18th.

British tourists love the region of Zupa near Dubrovnik and are flocking in larger numbers than ever before. According to information just released by the Zupa Tourist Board the number of tourists from the UK holidaying in Zupa so far this year has increased by over 50 percent compared to the same period from 2016.

A total of 17,211 tourists holidayed in Zupa in June and achieved 73,647 overnight stays which is a 12 percent increase over June last year. And of the total number of guests in the Zupa region 3,358 were British tourists, meaning that almost 20 percent of all the guests in Zupa were from the UK.

The second most numerous guests were from Germany followed by tourists from France. But whilst the number of British guests grows the number of French tourists has fallen dramatically. A few years ago the French were the most numerous guests in Zupa but now that number is down by almost 46 percent compared to last year.

Eva LaRue, or as most of you probably recognise her Det. Natalia Boa Vista from CSI Miami, has turned her career path from acting to her other passion travelling. And this summer the Croatian coastline, islands and Dubrovnik were on her radar. She has teamed up with the Croatian luxury brand “Stories” and become an ambassador for this hotel group. It all started when she visited Croatia for the first time earlier this year and the journey has been unforgettable.

But it would seem that visiting Dubrovnik was her destiny.

“My daughter bought me a book for Christmas entitled “The 500 Places You Must See Before You Die” and on the very cover of that book is a photo of Dubrovnik. So this book has been sitting on my coffee table since Christmas and I am constantly reminded of the beauty of these ancient stone walls,” commented LaRue.

eva larue bowa

Is this your first visit to Dubrovnik? I believe you visited Istria earlier in the year.

Yes, this is my first time to Dubrovnik. At the beginning of March I came to Rovinj in Istria attending a luxury hotelier’s congress where they had invited me to speak on a panel. Whilst I was at that congress I was invited to be an ambassador for the Stories brand. It was a surprise to me. Then they asked me to come back to Croatia this summer, and here I am. Croatia had always been on my bucket list, but to be honest rather far down on the list. I kept hearing from friends and colleagues how beautiful the coastline was but the country wasn’t on immediate radar. When Stories asked me to come back in the summer I thought why not.

Before you actually visited Croatia what would have been the first thing you would have thought about when you heard Croatia?

The only thing that I had heard about before was the coastline, so probably that would have been the first thing that came into my mind. No one ever mentioned the cities, or the food, or the history, the people, I didn’t know that there were such beautiful National Parks in the interior of the country. I had no idea that the sea was so stunningly clear and clean, I had no that there were so many spectacular beaches, I had no clue. All I heard was the coastline. I guess I kind of thought that the country must be practically deserted because nobody talks about the towns. Americans are really dumb when it comes to geography. We know where France is, we know where Italy is and we don’t know where anything else is. They sort of know where Greece is but if they knew it was as close to Iran and as close to Turkey as it is they wouldn’t go there. But they don’t know so they do go.

eva dubrovnik

What were your first impressions when you walked into the Old City of Dubrovnik for the first time?

Wow! My daughter bought me a book for Christmas entitled “The 500 Places You Must See Before You Die” and on the very cover of that book is a photo of Dubrovnik. So this book has been sitting on my coffee table since Christmas and I am constantly reminded of the beauty of these ancient stone walls. When we pulled up to the city for the first time – wow! I didn’t even know that anything like this city even existed anymore in the world. It is so perfect, the walls look like they were built yesterday, it’s immaculate. I have been to Turkey, Morocco, Greece, all over the world and to be honest their walls can’t compare to the walls in Dubrovnik. All the cities in Croatia are so clean that I feel you could lick the streets. They are gleaming white; I have never seen such clean and pristine cities anywhere in the world. There are no big ugly Hiltons built on top of the perfect cities to ruin them. There is no horrible American 400-room hotel to destroy the skyline. I hope to God that Croatia has really strict guidelines in terms of construction because companies are going to want and build here. Croatia is going to take off like crazy. It’s safe, its spectacular, the food is amazing, its clean, the history is fantastic, the cities are the most beautiful I have ever seen I Europe – Croatia is a country I would love to return to and I will maybe this September with a special friend.

So you are an ambassador for the Stories brand in Croatia. Is this something you have done before and why do you think you are suited to the role?

Travel is a massive passion, more like an addiction for me. Working for eight years on CSI Miami and before that ten years on a soap opera I would always squeeze travel into the holes around filming. You either have the time and not the money or you have the money and not the time. This partnership with Stories was a little window where I had both, I had never had that before, so I decided to go and do what feeds my soul and that’s travel. Stories hotels is a Croatian brand and the group have invited sixteen hotels into the group and they all have to have a unique story to be invited. In Dubrovnik there are three hotels – The Pucic Palace, Kazbek and the Villa Dubrovnik. So many of these hotels are old fortresses, old palaces or are in an incredible location, they have something unique. I like the idea that the brand name is Stories because any journey you go on the story is the most important part. I will come back and visit all the Stories hotels in Istria later this year.

eva in kazbek

Eva Larue with the team of Hotel Kazbek in Dubrovnik  

In this modern age how would you describe luxury travel? What are the new criteria that make travel luxury?

Luxury travel has changed enormously over the years. Croatia is starting to plug in to this luxury style. I believe that high-end luxury travellers are looking for a level of consistency. They are used to a certain level of standard and quality and expect that wherever they travel. For me personally I am looking for something slightly different. The big brand name hotels tend to look the same wherever you go and that takes away some of the charm of the destination. I want to feel like I am in the country. The modern luxury traveller is looking for experiences and I think Croatia has that in spades. There is so much here that is different and unique and these little surprises. Just cruising along the coastline on a yacht is not going to give you the true experience.

CSI Miami was a huge part of your life, you filmed the series for eight years, do you miss it?

I miss the CSI family. After eight years of being together and living through everyone’s marriages, divorces and children it of course became a huge part of my life. We believed that we would get an eleventh season so we all went on holiday for two months and then we all found out that the show had been cut. This meant that we didn’t get the chance to say a proper goodbye, that was a shame. If we had offered we would all have done an eleventh season. I think I got a little typecast as the “girl from CSI Miami” so after the show was cut I decided to go and do something that I loved. I started a travel blog and have really found my feet.

Is this trip a work/holiday journey or a holiday/work trip?

I have to be honest its more pleasure than work. I mean honestly I don’t really consider this work. The only thing that gets a little tiring is doing my hair and make-up before every photo shoot. If I could just do the shoot and look natural without make-up like Cindy Crawford then none of this trip would be work. It takes an hour and a half to get ready for every photo shoot and I really don’t enjoy it. However when I see the spectacular locations in front of me every day I can’t really complain.

“We first came to Dubrovnik in 1976 and apart from a break because of the war in 1991 we have been coming to Dubrovnik every year since,” explained Kay and Harry Bassnett as they sat in the favourite cafe bar Antika in Lapad. This English couple are truly loyal guests to Dubrovnik, they know the city like the back of their hand. Over the years, and in total they have been more than fifty times, they have not only built up a knowledge of the history and culture but have also made many friends. It would seem that Dubrovnik is their home away from home. “In the last three years we have been here six times, we love it here, the people are so friendly and helpful, and it is so safe. We feel like we can walk around at three o’clock in the morning and it will be safe,” added Harry.

Three large beers for a pound

They have stayed in various hotels and private apartments around the city, as well as holidays in Mlini and Cavtat, but in recent years they have focused on Lapad. “I remember we stayed in Hotel Argosy in 1978 the year it opened,” commented Harry. They have their own routine, and this time they had come for over a month, they know their favourite restaurants and beaches and they obviously enjoy the “relaxed way of life.” “We like the fact that there is no crime here, you can leave your wallet on the table and nobody would take it,” smiled Kay. When asked to compare Dubrovnik now and before forty years the couple commented that they believed that the general population has a better standard of living today. “Of course it is much more expensive today, in the past when we spent dinars you literally couldn’t spend all your money, we used to go home with piles of dinar,” laughed the pair. “We used to get three large beers for a pound and a plate full of oysters for a pound,” remembered Harry with a wry smile. The pair from Nottingshire, England will continue coming to Dubrovnik, in fact they have already booked the next trip to Dubrovnik in September.

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Kay and Harry Bassnett 

After a two year break the Italian national airline, Alitalia, is returning to Croatia with flights to Dubrovnik and Split. The flights to Dubrovnik will operate on a twice weekly basis from the 23rd of July and will fly from Rome.

According to a statement from Alitalia the flights will be operated until September and that the flights have been introduced in response to the high demand from Italian tourists. The new flights will operate on Sundays and Tuesdays from the Rome Fiumicino Airport. For more details on prices and ticket availabilities check out the website of Alitalia.

The very first images of Dubrovnik in the upcoming Star Wars blockbuster have been revealed. A behind the scenes teaser clip published on the official Star Wars channel has revealed the first, if fleeting, images of Dubrovnik in the movie.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi used Dubrovnik as a location back in March last year and various locations around the historic Old City were used. In fact the main street through the city, Stradun, was transformed into a galaxy, far, far away. Whilst filming in the city was kept under wraps with a security operation details and photos still leaked out. This latest video shows one scene from the Star Wars film which looks as if it has been filmed on the Stradun.

It would also appear that Dubrovnik will act as the location of the casino planet Canto Bight. With the movie set to be released on the 13th of December this year we will have to wait a little longer to discover Dubrovnik’s fate.

filming star wars dubrovnik

The Last Jedi filming in Dubrovnik

Domenica Saporitti, former Miss Ecuador, is currently on vacation in Croatia and has been filling her social media channels with photos of Dubrovnik. The fashion model turned TV host is on a tour of Europe and has already visited Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy and Greece.

With millions of followers on social media her photos of Dubrovnik soon went viral. And one in particular, a photo of two young boys wearing the football shirts of their heroes Luka Modrić and Mario Mandžukić, was a huge hit with thousands of likes and comments.

football twins

Saporitti, at 19 years old, was elected as Miss Ecuador for the 2008 contest. She later forged a career as a TV presenter and has hosted various shows in Ecuador.

miss ecuador in dubrovnik

Former Miss Ecuador in Dubrovnik - Photo Instagram 


The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III was spotted sailing into Dubrovnik today. The ship, which was christened on October the 14th 2011, has been sailing in the Croatian Adriatic for the past few days highlighting the problem of plastic waste contamination in the sea.

In particular the organisation has pointed out the problem that the Dalmatian islands have with plastic waste, especially the island of Mljet. The vast majority of this plastic waste is brought to Croatian shores from Albania and Montenegro by currents.

The Rainbow Warrior III is designed to be one of the "greenest" ships afloat, and to showcase this quality, it runs primarily using wind power, with a 55 m mast system which carries 1255 sq meters of sail and is backed up by a "state-of-the-art hybrid".

greenpeace dubrovnik

Rainbow Warrior III in Dubrovnik - Photo Zeljko Tutnjevic 

The weather has been a hot (sorry about that) topic since we came down from the trees and worked out how to walk on two legs. It is the cornerstone of small talk and without this subject there would be an awful lot more awkward moments in our lives. This month the Wizards’ views on weather are going to cause a storm!

But before I start I need to make a declaration of interest. You see I am a pagan, with a Viking heritage and belief in the gods of nature, worshipping every living thing. So, given this, I am totally committed to preserving the planet. If this belief was good enough for all my ancestors (minus those born in the last thousand years) then it's good enough for me. Now long before meteorologists the ancient shamans or witch doctors traded on their intellect and ability to read the signs of impending weather changes. Indeed my view is that's how religious orders started as it was much better to wax lyrical in the cave than go out and face the elements with a stick. Best leave that to your followers! But back to the point.

Their community’s survival depended on their ability to read the signs and they were prepared to invest a great deal of time and energy on the subject. Hundreds of deities were dreamed up to appease thus ensuring favourable weather conditions. And when the weather did something totally unpredictable they had the best way out possible by blaming it on the fact that their followers had failed to make sufficient sacrifices or spent long enough praying to the nominated god.

The tradition of blaming unusual weather on someone else is alive and well today. Sweltering in the heat of a Dalmatian summer it is easy to understand why the alarmists are all talking about how global warming will be our downfall. It's a shame they weren't here last winter when January saw an unprecedented cold snap with snow falls to rival the alps. Lifelong locals said that they had never seen anything like it. We all woke up one morning to a winter wonderland of crisp, deep, powder snow that would make any skier drool with envy.

Now let's get one thing straight, across the board global temperatures have increased this century but that is nothing new. Back in the dark ages when the Wizard was at university he took a course in meteorology (squeezed in between a lot of serious partying) and learnt one, indisputable fact. The world's climate is determined by the sun, or to be more precise solar activity NOT MAN as we are just not that important. So the point is we should be talking about pollution and not about climate change.

Now please don’t put me in the “climate change denier” box. The convenient name invented by all those people who make a living out of twisting the truth so they get to go to another conference or another government grant to pay their bills. You would have to be a total idiot to suggest that climate change doesn't occur. Just ask any dinosaur. One could give a million examples of climate change evidence from sea level change to desertification. Recently scientists who discovered evidence of the first apes with human like teeth in Greece claimed that apes were forced to change their eating habits due to, guess what - climate change. This lead to vast areas of Eastern Europe becoming savannah grassland 7.2 million years ago and this forced the apes into a bipedal form of walking. A great contemporary example is that over the past decade or so the wine industry in England has flourished to the point where they are now looking to become serious players in the world export market. If you had suggested that this was a possibility fifty years ago you would have been put in an institution.

But, guess what, history records that back in the 11th century grapes were being grown successfully in the very same regions of England. Even the scientists will admit that man’s ability to affect the atmosphere is in relation a gas layer which accounts for 3 % of the total atmosphere. Their argument turns on a concept called the greenhouse effect which basically argues that all the man made emissions go into the air and stop the sun’s rays from penetrating and gas from leaving the atmosphere and therefore the world heats up. It's a perfectly reasonable hypothesis and the mother of all greenhouse effects occurred when a giant meteor crashed into the earth off the coast of Mexico and threw that much rock into the air that the sun's rays were blocked for years and half the world's animal population, including our friend the dinosaur, died. Since then this has occurred thousands of more times on a smaller scale after a decent size volcanic eruption.

All of these events make man's emissions equivalent to a fairy’s fart. If you are lucky to find a scientist at their desk they will tell you the cause for alarm is the speed of climate change. Well if you can get him/her to sit still long enough before rushing off to another conference in a wonderful destination you might refer them to a detailed treatise by Ian Pilmer in his book Heaven and Earth. Here the author meticulously goes through climate records back to the beginning of recorded history to show that the current speed of climate change is nothing extraordinary. The legions of grant seeking academics are being duplicitous by making their living peddling the fear mongering idea that we all should stop living because that is causing the climate to change. They should stick to the real issue, ending POLLUTION AND NATURE DESTRUCTION and reinforce the fact that it is crazy for man to keep using up all our resources and polluting the hell out of the planet.

We must address the deforestation and habitat destruction going on around the world and these issues should not be mixed up in a debate called climate change. Because let’s face it, there is no debate - climate changes and it always has since the big bang and what we do doesn't have the impact that the jet setting scientists claim. Let’s face it, the oldest trick in the book to get people to give you a grant is to frighten the hell out of them. We should be more frightened of the next pandemic.

So let's stop with the blame game and concentrate on the real game - man's role is important because we have to stop polluting and destroying their environment. Not because we change climate, but because if we don’t stop polluting the climate won’t matter one bit as we will be buried in rubbish and have no food to eat.

The Wizard of Oz 

Summer and the heat have quite clearly turned a few drivers in Dubrovnik completely mad! This Polish coach was spotted doing a U-turn on a very busy Dubrovnik road. The driver managed to block four lanes of traffic coming in and out of the city with this incredibly stupid manoeuvre.

Apart from this idiotic turn being completely illegal the driver was trying to do a three-point-turn on an area of road that has a high flow of traffic and is the main road into the city. Sumer madness on the roads of Dubrovnik has begun.

crazy bus driver

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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