Wednesday, 29 January 2020

A very special cafe opened its doors just a few days ago in Zagreb! It's a ''Silent cafe'', a cafe for deaf people and people with bad hearing, where drinking coffee, socializing and communicating doesn't cause them any problem or anxiety.

Employed waiters also do not hear, and this praiseworthy project was financed by the City of Zagreb. In order to overcome the communication barriers and prevent misunderstandings with the waiter, guests can simply order drinks by using a tablet. If you want to pay, one click is enough and the waiter will arrive.

However, owners also invite people without hearing problems to get acquainted with the obstacles of those who do not hear by visiting their cafe. Guests can flick through newspapers and also watch the TV with shows in sign language.

The Croatian capital could soon have direct flights to the capital of South Korea. The Korean airline, Jin Air, plans to expand its operations in Europe and one of the new destinations for 2019 is Zagreb. "In 2020, Jin Air plans to operate 52 domestic and international routes. In particular, plans have been made to introduce Budapest and Zagreb in 2019, and Bucharest and Belgrade in 2020," commented a representative of the Korean airline.

New flights from Seoul to Zagreb could well help to improve the winter tourism of Croatia. In 2016 over 377,000 South Korean tourists visited Croatia with Dubrovnik and the Plitvice Lakes National Park as the two most popular destinations. And the majority of these tourists arrive in Croatia out of the main summer season, in fact the fourth most numerous guests in Dubrovnik this November were from South Korea.

And although Korean Air already operates a limited number of non-stop charter flights between Zagreb and Seoul during the summer the introduction of scheduled flights with Jin Air would bring more stability and more interest from South Korean tourists.

The fourth Dubrovnik Winter Festival opened last night in the heart of the Old City with the lighting of the first Advent Candle, a performance by a children’s choir, a concert by pop star Gibonni and the illumination of the Christmas lights along the main street, Stradun. The Advent stands throughout the city also opened last night offering traditional festive specialities.

Check out the photo gallery from last night

advent in dubrovnik 2017 1

childrens choir advent dubrovnik

gibonni in dubrovnik

gibonni on stradun 2017

teddy bear with dubrovnik bear

pop concert on stradun 2017 gibonni

advent lights in dubrovnik 2017 2

Dubrovnik has achieved record breaking tourism results this year. From the beginning of this year until the end of November an impressive 1.160 million tourists arrived in the city, which is a massive 17 percent more than the same period from last year. Over that period of time the city achieved 3.9 million overnight stays, which again is an increase over last year this year by 14 percent.

The most numerous guests to Dubrovnik this year, in terms of nationality, were from the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, France, Spain, Croatia, Australia and Sweden.

The post season has also recorded great results, in spite of the fact that most of the hotels are closed during the winter, with 26,947 tourists arriving in Dubrovnik during November. The majority of these guests were from Croatia, the USA, Albania, South Korea, Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina, proving that the desperate lack of flights from major European cities changes the face of tourism for the city. In spite of the lack of flights there was an increase of tourists by 23 percent in November.

winter tourism in dubrovnik 2017

November sees an increase of tourists as Dubrovnik makes slow steps into improving winter tourism 

The figures from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board show that the private apartments and villas have seen the biggest increase in accommodation in the city. Whilst hotels experienced a slight 5 percent increase in guest numbers, a total of 627,000 guests, the private accommodation of the city saw an increase of 23 percent, in total 383,000 guests in the first eleven months of 2017. It would also appear that 2018 will be another record breaking year, the indicators show more flights and an even greater interest in the number of tourists.

EasyJet is planning to increase its flight operations to Croatia for 2018. The low cost airline was the second largest carrier, in terms of passenger numbers, this year and the largest to Dubrovnik and plans an expansion for next year. Speaking to the website EX-YU Aviation the airline’s UK director, Sophie Dekker said that “A lot of airlines have shifted away from Egypt and Turkey in favour of routes like Spain and Portugal. Everyone is competing to get passengers. We are looking at alternative routes to places like Croatia next year”.

One of the possible new routes could well be the London Gatwick to Zagreb line which, due to the collapse of Monarch Airlines last year, has room for more flights. Also as Croatia Airlines sold their London Heathrow to Zagreb last year EasyJet is apparently considering introducing a new line between these two hubs.

EasyJet holds the top position in Dubrovnik with a massive 22 percent of the total passenger share, as well as being the leading airline to Split Airport. The low cost airline offered flights to and from Croatia to 39 European destinations in 2017 and this number could well increase this year. Ali Gayward, EasyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented that "We see a growing demand for short and long breaks to Croatia and we’re continuing to make it convenient for our customers to visit Croatia’s fantastic destinations contributing to the local economy".

The Mame Association from Cavtat, the Konavle Municipality and the Konavle Tourist Board, the Agroturizam Association and other sponsors will organize this year's Christmas in Konavle, or "Advent in Cavtat 2017".

The mayor of the Municipality of Konavle, Božo Lasić, said that this year they will expand on last year's program, and for the first time a New Year’s celebration will be organized in Cavtat.

"There will be a number of events, including a marquee on the Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square, where we will continue the program that we started last year. We will have a New Year's Eve party where a number of local bands will entertain the public. There will be advent homes here too, and our aim is to achieve a really traditional atmosphere. We want people to have fun and relax and that see that Christmas is really Christmas, in the spirit of Konavle, " commented Lasić.


Cavtat Cultural Centre
International exhibition of art works of kindergarten and school children in cooperation with the museums and galleries of Konavle

Decoration of Christmas tree in the tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
The tent on the square of Dr. Franjo Tuđman

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Cavtat Cultural Centre
The traditional Christmas concert of Cavtat Brass Band

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Fun for everyone till late into the night - attractive offer from local caterers on food and drink

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Fun for the youngest with a rich children’s program including biker Father Christmas

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Team competition to prepare the best traditional doughnut balls
Presenter: Emerson de Souza Cruz
Attractive offer from local caterers on food and drink

Traditional Christmas carols
The tent on the square of Dr. Franjo Tuđman

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Fun for the youngest through the magic of Christmas dance

Tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Stand-up comedian Igor Drljo

Tent on Dr. Fr. Tuđman Square

For the first time in the tent on Dr. Franjo Tuđman Square
Leader: Emerson de Souza Cruz
Fun until the early morning hours with Art Band and Dj Bačvara
Lottery - Fireworks

The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, presented the City of Dubrovnik’s proposed budget for 2018 which amounts to just over 575 million Kuna, or 76.1 million Euros.

The mayor also confirmed that the city plans to take credit, in the amount of 111 million Kuna, for the reconstruction of a primary school (43 million), reconstruction of road between the Dubrovnik Bridge and the village of Osojnik (24 million), the purchase of Villa Čingrija (17.5 million) plus three other major projects.

mayor of dubrovnik 2017


The city also plans to purchase ten new buses for the public bus company Libertas, to the value of 18 million Kuna. The construction of 108 apartments for Croatian military veterans in the city was also put forward and talks will continue with the Ministry of Defence.

80 million Kuna is planned for cultural projects, including twelve different cultural institutions. Whilst for sport in the city just over 14 million Kuna is planned.

Winter came to Croatia in a hurry. Blasting cold northerly winds, dropping temperatures and a blanket of snow over the north of the country. And with winter comes the risk of catching the flu. Although according to the latest data from Eurostat is would seem that the elderly in Croatia aren’t too concerned about being laid up in bed with a high temperature, aching bones and thumping headaches.

Only 21.5 percent of the population over 65 years-old actually bother to have a vaccination against influenza. This figure doesn’t compare favourably with the rest of the European Union. Great Britain has the highest rate of vaccination, around 71 percent, followed by the Netherlands at just over 66 percent and France with 50 percent.

The lowest rate of vaccination in the EU goes to Estonia with only 1.6 percent of the population over 65 years-old and Poland with 9.7 percent. The vaccination against influenza in Croatia is free of charge for people over 65 years-old as well as for children.

The 2017 Dubrovnik Winter Festival officially opened last night with the lighting of the first Advent Candle in the heart of the Old City. The celebrations and prayers were attended by huge crowds and in spite of the terrible weather the Stradun looked very festive as the Christmas decorations were turned on for the first time.

xmas faries in dbk


The festive stands, selling a variety of traditional cuisines, also opened their doors for the first time this winter. The evening was completed with a concert by the popular singer Gibonni. During the Dubrovnik Winter Festival all buses from 5.00pm until the last departure will run free of charge.

As the American actor Danny Pudi once said “I'm not gonna be able to grow a beard. I've realized my limitations as a human.” I quite clearly have my limitations. “What’s that all over your face…are you trying to grow a beard?” quizzed the man in the shop. “Ah, yes I am doing it for Movember,” I answered. “Movember…what’s that…it is Serbian,” he blurted. I escaped before he asked me where I was in 1991.

I have never been great at growing facial hair. It seems to take ages before some black whiskers peak through. If Gillette relied on me for their business they would have gone bankrupt a long time ago. I have tried many times and it has always ended in disaster. When I was in my late teens I loved Spandau Ballet, they just seemed so cool and always attracted the ladies. I tried and tried to grow sideburns like the lead singer proudly displayed. Fail! Big fail! “I wouldn’t go outside the wind will blow those sideburns right off your face,” I remember my friend joking at the time. Needless to say I ended up looking like a ballerina and not Spandau Ballet!

I couldn’t open a magazine without stumbling upon yet another headline about how beards made men look healthier and higher-status. I remember a headline from Maxim Magazine “Beards Make You More Attractive to Women, According to Science.” Oh blimey now science is against me as well. And then about 15 years ago I had a couple of months off so used the opportunity to try again. It didn’t really work, apart from a “goatee” beard. It wasn’t really what I wanted, I mean who wants to look like a goat, but because I finally had some kind of beard I was reluctant to go clean shaven again.

So came “Movember” this year and my chance to try again. Movember hasn’t really caught in in Croatia yet. Basically the idea started a decade ago and the idea is that men are encouraged to grow a moustache in November to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention are all covered in this movement. Celebrities, actors and footballers have all got on-board to make the action global. Yes, it is the “M” from moustache and the “ovember” from November combined. You get friends and family to sponsor you and raise funds for the charity. This year was trial run for me. On the 1st I stopped shaving and it wasn’t until the 10th that my wife even noticed. The embarrassing and depressing memories of my early twenties flooded back.

Two weeks in and I kind of had a half stubble. By the twenty-day mark it started to itch terribly. I was spending most of my day scrubbing my face. I hadn’t trimmed it at all. My face reassembles an unkept lawn. Patches of long grass sprouting everywhere and spots of complete baldness. The last thing I do at night is scratch my face and the first thing I do when I wake up is rub my chin. At least I am saving money on razors.

“Is that a new look?” asked a friend rather sarcastically. He was the first of a tirade of sarcastic remarks. I actually spent an hour long meeting the other day just twiddling my semi-beard. “Are you OK, do you need a razor,” asked the businessman. “It is for Movember,” I replied hoping he wouldn’t ask me where I was in 1991. I look like I’d just walked out of the Alaska wilderness or been stuck with Robinson Crusoe for a month. By the time you read this I will be clean shaven again (probably). Friday the 1st of December is my deadline. And no matter how horribly itchy and uncomfortable it is I am determined to reach the deadline. “Maybe you could keep it for Christmas and I’ll colour it white so you look like Father Christmas,” joked my wife. Half of its grey anyway so I’m already half way to Santa.

Maybe I will keep it. If I can suffer the annoying itching, I’ll be sad to wave goodbye to my whiskers. Why not. At least I will be prepared for next year’s Movember. I just hope beards don’t go out of fashion, in fact I don’t even know if beards are “in” or not. To quote the English proverb “A man without a moustache is like tea without milk.”

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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