Sunday, 16 June 2019

Long delays are being reported at the border crossing between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum after the European Union decided to tighten up all borders last night. The temporary regulation is in response to “the increase of terrorist threats”, according to the European Council and has meant longer waits at border crossings.

People wishing to pass a Schengen border, either at airports, ports or land crossings will now have to have their ID documents checked, meaning that at the border near Dubrovnik all drivers are being asked for passports or ID cards. As each ID takes time to be scanned the time for each passenger at a border will be considerably longer.

There are reports that the delays on the Croatia/Bosnian border at Neum is up to two hours. Tourist coaches, excursions and transfers all being stopped at the border and each passenger is having their ID checked.

European Union member countries had called for tighter security and border checks back in 2015 as a response to the refugee crisis.

With Dubrovnik on the eve of another busy summer season this new regulation could have serious affects on the flow of tourist buses and cars through the border.

It would appear that the recent rain has brought more than a few technical problems to Dubrovnik, one could say a virus. The electronic bus schedule on one of the main bus stops on Pile right outside of the Old City turned into some strange hieroglyphic announcement. This photo was sent to us by a reader this morning with the message “The display isn’t working and it is a new investment.”

These electronic bus signals work with GPS monitors in each bus and give an estimated time of arrival, a great idea if you can actually read the screen, which wasn’t the case this morning of one of the busiest bus stops in the whole city. Let’s hope it is a temporary technical glitch and that normal service will be resumed.

bus time

The London Coffee Festival started yesterday and because of that The Telegraph published a map to show coffee consumption per capita all over the world.

Finland is the absolute winner with 12 kg per person per year, according to the stats that they collected from the International Coffee Organization.

Croatia is well known for its coffee lovers, but it wasn’t placed in top 5, 10 or even 15 – it made it to the top 20, or more precisely on 19th place with 4.9 kg per person per year.

Here is the list of the 20 biggest coffee drinkers in the world:

1.    Finland - 12kg per capita per year
2.    Norway - 9.9
3.    Iceland - 9
4.    Denmark - 8.7
5.    Netherlands - 8.4
6.    Sweden - 8.2
7.    Switzerland - 7.9
8.    Belgium - 6.8
9.    Luxembourg - 6.5
10.    Canada - 6.2
11.    Bosnia and Herzegovina - 6.1
12.    Austria - 5.9
13.    Italy - 5.8
14.    Slovenia - 5.8
15.    Brazil - 5.5
16.    Germany - 5.5
17.    Greece - 5.4
18.    France - 5.1
19.    Croatia - 4.9
20.    Cyprus - 4.8

Since United Kingdom wasn’t placed in the top 20 coffee lover nations, Telegraph explains that it might be that way because they consume a lot of tea. That's why they included a list of the world’s 20 biggest tea drinkers with Turkey, Ireland and United Kingdom in the top. However, Croatia didn’t find its place on the list.

Beyonce, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Tina Turner are just some of the celebrities who could not resist the beauties of Croatia.

One of numerous Hollywood actors who was recently enchanted with the country is Pilou Asbaek, the Danish actor famous for its latest role in the film ''Ghost in the Shell'' and for his role in the Game of Thrones serial where he played Euron Greyjoy.

Asbaek spent several months in Zagreb shooting a new film, and he was fascinated with Croatian cuisine, women and the country.

''I spent two months in Zagreb. Croatia is Europe’s best secret! It's incredible! I love Italy, but you can go to Croatia and pay half the price and the food is just as good. And women are very beautiful as well. The only thing I'm very upset of is that I didn't get a chance to go to Dubrovnik. I would really like to see that city'', said Asbaek.

Even though he worked hard during his stay in Croatia, Asbaek enjoyed tasting Croatian cuisine every night, and he was thrilled with Croatian specialties. ''I liked it so much that I was considering of a road trip through Croatia with my wife and daughter this summer'', concluded the famous Danish actor.

Pilou Asbaek in game of thrones

Pilou Asbaekin Game of Thrones 

Tülin Şahin, Turkish top model, television presenter, author, and actress has recently spent time in Dubrovnik and loved it, according to her official Instagram profile. She made couple of beautiful shots in the Old City and discovered that she visited Dubrovnik because of work, but didn’t give any additional details.
Tülin was born in Odense in Denmark and spent her childhood there. She was discovered in a shopping mall and went to do professional modelling career in Paris in 1998. She came to Turkey, the birthplace of her parents to work for Zeki Triko.

It’s interesting to know that Şahin is also known as 'Sivaslı Cindy' or 'Cindy from Sivas' because of her close resemblance to Cindy Crawford and Sivas being her hometown.

Tulin2

 

Tulin3

 

 

At the beginning of this May a shrine with a 17 metres high statue of Our Lady of Loreto will be opened on the hill Gaj above the city of Primosten in the Sibenik-Knin County.

The statue of Primosten's patron saint was designed by an architect Aron Varga and a mosaic artist Milun Garcevic. It is coated in a mosaic pattern made of gold, silver and stained glass. The statue consists of seven main parts, and one more additional part – Our Lady's crown. It will be the largest statue of this type in the world.

Furthermore, the first part of the statue or a ring begins with abstraction; the second one is the symbolic representation of the tree of life with the monograph AM (Ave Maria). The third ring in mosaic presents two hearts, whilst the main motif on the fourth ring is the birth of Jesus. Irregular geometric shapes adorn the fifth ring of the large statue, whilst the sixth part consists of the mystic rose as a symbol of Virgin Mary, and olives. Our Lady's head and Jesus make the seventh ring, whilst the eight part of the statue is old Croatian crown studded with precious stones. The base of the statue is actually an empty space from which four biblical rivers will ‘flow’.

It is interesting to note that in nice weather and thanks to the reflection of numerous mosaic patterns, the statue of Our Lady will be visible all the way from the other side of the Adriatic, from a popular Catholic pilgrimage site Loreto in Italy.

A team from the world famous website dedicated to travel – Lonely planet, has recently found amateur footage of Croatia, precisely, of the famous Plitvice Lakes, Split and Dubrovnik from distant 1939.

In the introduction to their article, Lonely planet concludes that, unfortunately, Croatia is no longer a hidden gem; the beauty of the country was inevitably ''spoiled'' by many tourists at places where they would expect to enjoy peace and soak up the natural beauty and culture of Croatia.

However, as they say, this is the price of beauty and tourism all over the world and even in Croatia. According to Lonely planet, many decades ago Croatia was undiscovered and only Germans ''knew'' about it, who were more than happy to visit the Croatian coast in the summer months.

One of those German families, who visited Croatia and was the forerunner of today's mass tourism, recorded short footage in 1939 that seems almost surreal nowadays. The Dubrovnik footage shows a carpet seller, not something that you would see today in the city and the bay of Lapad but without all the hotels and, houses and apartments that surround the bay today.

It is hard to go back in time, so enjoy watching this interesting video that reveals the beauty of Croatia in its, let's say, original form.

Oyster Festival again? Yes, it’s possible! On Saturday, April 8th, in front of St. Blaise Church you’ll get another chance to eat oysters, combined with beautiful wines from Peljesac and performance of vocal group Kase.

The event is organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and will surely make all the oysters lovers very happy. One oyster will cost 5 Kuna and glass of wine will be 10 Kuna.

All oysters will come from Mali Ston, the home of the best oysters in the region. So if you love this ‘nature’s aphrodisiac’ don’t miss the Oyster Festival in the Old City this weekend. 

 

Klapa Kaše

                                                                               Vocal group Kase 

Today is the 350th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that happened in Dubrovnik back in 1667. 

The largest natural disaster in Dubrovnik history happened around 8 in the morning. Catastrophic earthquake started with rumbling sound and was followed by a tremendous kick that rocked the city and crashed it. Huge stones rolled down the hill of Srd and destroyed everything on its way.
Powerful tsunami devastated the port. Sea withdrew couple of times and then came back – waves carried the boats and crashed them on the coast. Cracks have appeared in the land and water sources have dried up. Dust was so thick that it obscured the sky.

Strong wind fueled the fire from homes and bakeries, turning it into the fire that was not extinguished for almost 20 days. Moaning, groaning and frantically running of those who survived marked that day and made it even more catastrophic.
The earthquake has destroyed almost the entire city and buried around 3000 people, while the fire destroyed cultural gods that have been built for several centuries. With fire, one more catastrophe came and made terrible damage to the city – robbers.

To make this even worse, the earthquake hit Dubrovnik in a critical political moment, in the time of long Candian war between Venice and Turkey. Warring parties now had a chance to gain an important advantage by taking over Dubrovnik and its port. They failed to do that thanks to the skilful and persistent Dubrovnik diplomatic actions.

What are you afraid of? Usually, this is not such an easy question for an adult to answer. Just for fun, because I do have a strange understanding of fun, I've tried to answer that question for myself today. What I've realised is that I fear very few things nowadays, but what I do fear now is much different than the fears of my childhood.

When I was a small child, I feared many things not unlike most of the other children. Monsters scared me, although mine weren't in the closet, but under the bed...so, the same as most children, just with different furniture. I was afraid of the dark ever since my father let me watch a horror movie once following my incessant begging. He told my mother he'll simply explain to 5-year-old me the monsters on the screen are just people wearing masks. It didn't work. I was afraid of spiders as well. They would freak me out. However, I never found other animals to be very scary.

We used to tell scary ghost stories when we were a bit older, so I was afraid of ghosts for a while. My grandmother used to say one shouldn't be afraid of the dead people, but the living – which ironically, made her sound like a stereotypical crazy lady in a horror movie. Through my teenage years I was scared of social interactions and feared becoming a failure later in life.

Throughout my life, I've cast away most of my fears. I fear no ghosts or monsters, although I still have an obsession with the horror genre. I'm pretty sure I will never get rid of all of my social anxiety, but I have it under control. I fear no failure, because starting new things is my favourite thing in the world, and you tend to fail plenty when starting something new. I fear no war, because I've lived through one. I fear no death, because it is inevitable and natural.

I guess what I now fear the most is people. Not on an individual level or through social interactions. I fear what one of my favourite masters of the spoken word would call “stupid people in large groups.” People can do all sorts of horrible things when they gather around a dumb idea. In fact, most of history’s worst moments were created on purpose by people. Not by raging lunatics either, but by regular, everyday people. Aside from perhaps the plague or the AIDS pandemic, there have been very few non-human caused disasters that can rival what we do to each other from time to time.

On the surface, we usually do these horrible things in the name of something holy or because of some ideal we feel strongly about. However, if you take apart the process by which human society gets into such situations, it's easy to see people are driven to do horrible things mostly out of fear of the unknown. As someone in love with constant change and discovering new things, I can tell you my experience so far was that the unknown is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, fearing the unknown is not much different than being afraid of the dark. Under a vale of darkness everything tends to look threatening, but if you muster up the courage to look closely at the dark corner of your room, you'll probably find there is no monster there waiting to catch you off guard. It's usually just an old chair casting a weird shadow. Some people learn this at the age of 6 or 7 and some, it seems, never do.

This is my one remaining true fear. That of an irrational, uneducated society of people driven by fear. I guess Roosevelt was right by saying: “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself”. My grandmother was also right: dead people are no threat to us, the living are. So, there you go, when making your way through life try not to be driven by fear, but rather curiosity, and when in doubt listen to Franklin D. Roosevelt or my late grandmother.

By the way, spiders still freak me out.

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Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

www.insiderholidays.eu
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