Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Where does Eastern Europe end and Western Europe begin? Which countries fall into Central Europe? The geographical borders inside Europe are slowly fading but the borders in terms of attitudes are evidentially still in place. The Pew Research Centre has conducted a series of surveys to discover how Europeans differ on importance of religion, views of minorities, and key social issues.

From 2015 to 2017 the survey included over 56,000 participants in 34 European countries.

“The definition and boundaries of Central, Eastern and Western Europe can be debated. No matter where the lines are drawn, however, there are strong geographic patterns in how people view religion, national identity, minorities and key social issues. Particularly sharp differences emerge when comparing attitudes in countries historically associated with Eastern vs. Western Europe,” commented the Pew Research Centre.

When asked is religion a key component of national identity 58 percent of Croatians answered that it was a major part of their identity. This result was in line with the majority of countries in Eastern Europe, with the highest results in Georgia, Armenia and Serbia.

Croatia is more tolerant and welcoming to ethnic minorities with 57 percent of people polled reporting that they would accept a Muslim into their family and 67 percent saying they would do so for a Jewish person. Both these figures are higher than the European average. In fact, in almost every country in Central and Eastern Europe less than half the people questioned would welcome a Muslim or Jew into their family. Whilst the complete opposite is true for Western Europe.

And in spite of the strong Catholic presence Croatia is also more liberal with their view on abortion. 60 percent of people questioned said they supported legalised abortion. Again in Western Europe support for abortion was strong with all of the Scandinavian countries topping the list.

But when asked as to whether the supported same-sex marriage Croatians were strongly against, with only 31 percent of respondents in support. The same figure and point of view was true for most of the rest of eastern Europe, with 83 percent of Serbians and 84 percent of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina against. The biggest support for same-sea marriage came in Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands.

The one topic that most Europeans seem to agree on is the separation of the church and state. In fact, Croatia ranked tenth in Europe with almost 70 percent of participants for separation.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 13 traffic accidents, of which there were seven with injured persons, where eight persons had light injuries while six traffic accidents had material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 463 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 257 measures taken due to speeding, 10 due to improper overtaking, 41 measures due to improper stop and parking, 49 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, six measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and six measures because of using mobile phone while driving.

During the weekend, at night hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dubrovnik traffic police had a special action, monitoring intensively the area of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration and during the action 151 offenses were recorded. The highest alcohol concentration of 1.59 g / kg was measured by a 23-year-old man in Orebic, who caused a traffic accident with material damage.

The European Union will not be able to ditch ‘’turning the clocks’’ in 2019 as it was expected because of a few members who are still not ready for it, said Austrian Transport Minister Norbert Hofer today – reports.

Hofer hosted his colleagues from several EU countries at an informal meeting in Graz discussing the abolition of turning the clocks twice a year, in the spring and fall.

The Austrian minister, whose country is currently chairing the EU, said it would be good to avoid different time zones within the EU and that’s important to find compromise.

According to him, two or three countries do not want to introduce changes in 2019 due to technical problems in air traffic and other areas because they need around 18 months for adaptation.

According to the latest public opinion poll in the EU, 84 percent of 4.6 million respondents want to stop turning the clocks. The number of respondents represents less than one percent of EU citizens.

Halloween is just around the corner and even though is not much celebrated in Croatia, for those who are visiting Dubrovnik during the scariest day of the year there is a treat! Recently Airbnb published an article titled ''Eat, Drink, and Be Scary: 13 Spooky Experiences and Haunted Airbnbs'', including one interesting tour in Dubrovnik.

- Despite being the spookiest day of the year, Halloween is also considered the “most fun” among many traditional occasions. Of the 2,000 US adults polled, 40 percent prefer Halloween celebrations over wedding receptions, birthday parties and summer barbeques. And 83 percent of respondents would willingly trade another holiday for an extended Halloween, including Columbus Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day – Airbnb writes, adding that results show growing interest in experience-based commemorations of the haunted holiday, with 81 percent of respondents considering booking events or activities to embrace all things ghostly and gruesome.

And Dubrovnik offers something perfect – a tour named Haunted Dubrovnik!

-See the darker side of Dubrovnik on a local-led ghost tour. On this fully narrated evening walk, you will explore haunted sites (including cemeteries and old castles) and learn all about the city’s lesser-known turbulent history – it's published on the website.

Just a year ago we had a chance to talk with Marija Milovac, who started Haunted Dubrovnik tours. We asked her what does she offer to tourists.

- A mix of stories! Ghosts, legends of our city, some darker stories, such as executions in the time of Dubrovnik Republic, Lokrum legends, folklore stories... Mostly mysterious themes and topics – Marija explained.

For more details read a full interview here.

Meteoalarm, a site that is alerting Dubrovnik for extreme weather, has painted Dubrovnik with red color this Monday, sending a warning rain, wind and thunderstorms.

According to the website, heavy reain is expected, especially during the morning, with a rainfall of 70-110 mm.

-Strong flooding is expected in a large area. Properties will be flooded, lives will be at considerable risk, and evacuations are possible. Major traffic interruptions are likely, along with power outages, communication network failures and water supply interruptions. Difficult driving conditions caused by reduced visibility and wet and slippery roads – it's stated at the Meteoalarm.

Severe thundershowers or thunderstorm is expected too, with interruptions in outdoor activities and traffic. Strong and stormy SE wind will blow and Meteoalarm warns about uprooted trees, broken branches and flying debris.

Croatia’s second busiest airport has welcomed it three millionth passenger this year, the first time in history that the airport has reached this landmark.

Split Airport is having a very impressive run of results, with more and more flights and attracting more international airlines, and have seen passenger numbers rise by an impressive 10 percent this year. And the three millionth passenger was recorded this week on a flight with Croatia Airlines from Frankfurt.

“It wasn’t so long ago that we used to welcome our millionth traveller this time of year, and then later our second millionth passenger. Within only three years we have increased our figures by one million, meaning we achieved our goal,” commented the General Director of Split Airport, Lukša Novak.

A round-up of the most popular stories from this week in Dubrovnik and Croatia

Monday – 22/10/2018

VIDEO - Mayor of Dubrovnik talks about the city problems at CNN

On Friday, October 19th, Mayor of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic was a guest in the CNN's show "Quest Means Business" on the topic of tourism and experience of the City of Dubrovnik in the management of the destination.

Tuesday – 23/10/2018

Irish Aer Lingus to boost flights to Croatia

The Irish national airline Aer Lingus in the summer of 2019 will boost the Split-Dublin line. This year it was flying on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and in 2019 there will be additional, fourth flight every week, on Sundays. The line begins with traffic on May 16th 2019, with all four flights per week.

Wednesday – 24/10/2018

Croatia voted number one travel destination in Canada

Expect more Canadian tourists throughout Croatia next summer season as the country has been named as the 2018 Destination of the Year in Canada. Croatia finished above Portugal, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to win this prestigious title and it is particularly relevant as it was voted for by the Association of Quebec Travel Agents.

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Thursday – 25/10/2018

Bradley Cooper refuses to get naked in Croatia

Speaking in 2011 Cooper said with a smile that “I remember thinking what if one day by chance I actually become a working actor and this tape of me is out hanging out with a naked dude and chatting for twenty minutes.” In fact, this adventure show was Copper’s first break onto the screen. The episode was entitled “Sailing the Croatian Coast” and you can check out Cooper’s nautical adventure in the video below.

Friday – 26/10/2018

Aer Lingus announces flights from Cork to Dubrovnik for summer 2019

The flagship airline of Ireland, Aer Lingus, has announced that from next year they will fly directly from Cork to Dubrovnik through the summer months. Starting on the 4th of May Aer Lingus will operate direct flights to Dubrovnik twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with A320 aircraft.

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Saturday – 27/10/2018

Proposals to make obtaining Croatian citizenship on the table

Have Croatian roots and looking to get Croatian citizenship? A new draft law could make it much easier to obtain Croatian citizenship. The Ministry of the Interior have put forward a draft law that would make serious amendments to the current law on acquiring citizenship.


Croatia once again saw a negative ratio between the number of deaths and the number of children born. In 2017 a total of 36,556 children were born in Croatia whilst 53,477 people died, meaning that 16,921 more people died than were born. According to data from the Croatian Public Health Institute the most frequent causes of death were cardiovascular disease and tumours.

And the age of mothers in Croatia is also rising with the average age of most mothers last year between 30 and 34 years-old.

Croatia’s population is continuing to fall with the biggest problem the amount of young, professional people who have left the country to look for work in other EU member states. And the news that the death rate is not outweighing the birth rate should also be concerning.

Dubrovnik is a magnet for tourists during the warmer winter months when the beaches are packed and the historic Old City shines in the Adriatic sunshine. But what to do in Dubrovnik in the winter? The pearl of the Adriatic has a different face through the shorter winter days and yet it isn’t a side of the city that should be ignored, far from it, those who discover Dubrovnik in the winter will enjoy a city resting from the summer crowds.

5 Reasons to visit Dubrovnik in the winter

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You’ll have the city to yourself

As the swallows fly to warmer climes so the tourists disperse almost en mass. Almost 2 million tourists visit Dubrovnik on an annual basis however 95 percent come from the beginning of April to the end of November. The crowds have all gone home and the city sleeps. The Stradun, the main street that runs like an arrow through the heart of the ancient city, is awash with flip-flops in the summer but during the winter you can stand at one end and look to the other without seeing a soul. Walk the City Walls on your own, take time to enjoy a museum or climb to the top of the Srđ Mountain to blow the cobwebs away. You won’t have to wait for a table in a restaurant, in fact the best table will be waiting for you.

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It is considerably cheaper

Summer prices have gone and the city is considerably cheaper. Parking prices drop, coffee is even cheaper and the price of accommodation is pretty much half the price of the height of the season. Find a five-star hotel at a reasonable price, and as the crowds have gone you won’t have a problem locating a spare room, in fact you’ll have your choice. Yes, the number of restaurants, bars and hotels that are actually open is much less but the ones that are have offers at more than affordable prices.

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Get a guided tour of the city in English for free

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board organises free, yes free, tours of the ancient UNESCO city for free during the offseason. ˝Winter Saturday Mornings in the City˝ is an action aimed at attracting tourists throughout the winter and every Saturday you can get a free tour of the Old City with an English speaking guide as well as a performance by the renowned folklore ensemble Linđo in front of the St Blaise Church. Learn about the rich history of the former Republic of Dubrovnik without having to avoid the thousands of tourists. See more info and how to enter the tours here.

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Get a Christmas feel with the Dubrovnik Winter Festival

For the past few years the Dubrovnik Winter Festival has brought a festive feel to the city in the winter. From festive stands offering traditional dishes on the Stradun to a program of concerts and shows the Winter Festival has proved an overnight hit. Whereas the majority of images of the stone facades have a summer glow you’ll be able to see Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Christmas in Dubrovnik has a magical, and non-commercialised feel. Learn how to make old-fashioned Xmas treats in a workshop or buy a Christmas present from Dubrovnik for your loved ones. There is something magical about drinking a cup of steaming mulled wine on the Stradun.

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Christmas carols as you’ve never heard them before

From door to door, from family to family, the tradition of singing and in fact playing Christmas carols in Dubrovnik is one that brings joy and laughter to the city. From groups of children to professional vocal choirs, you’ll see and hear it all as the festive season approaches. With the icy north wind and the aroma of mulled wine in the air the Christmas carols echo off the stone facades and bring song and cheer.

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 If you have any Dubrovnik in the Winter tips don’t hesitate to contact us

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The city of Zagreb was voted Tourist Destination of the Year at the industry's biggest national event, the Croatian Tourism Days, held in the town of Hvar on the southern Adriatic island of the same name this week.

The award was presented to Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who talked about excellent business and visitor figures this year.

"Without a strong economy, there is no strong tourist industry, and it achieved excellent results this year. By the end of 2018, we expect some 19.5 million tourists, 106 million bed nights, and over €12 billion in tourist industry revenue," Plenkovic said, adding that €1.1 billion of investments in tourism was expected in 2019.

The tourist industry's is one of the main sectors of Croatia's economy, estimated to account for 18-20 percent of the nation's GDP.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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