Wednesday, 22 January 2020

What a difference a week makes. Just last week the beaches of the Dubrovnik region were full of sunbathers and swimmers and this weekend tourists are huddling under blankets and overhead heaters.

The temperatures dropped almost overnight as gale force winds and rain hit last evening. From the balmy mid-twenties today Dubrovnik awoke to a fresh northerly wind and temperatures of around 16 degrees.

In the sunshine it may be warm but in the shade tourists warmed themselves with a blanket whilst enjoying a coffee on the Stradun.

Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat

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It is safe to say that the summer is over in Dubrovnik. Gale force winds and heavy rains hit the Dubrovnik region last night causing havoc throughout the city.

The Dubrovnik Fire Brigade were called out to eleven different interventions mainly involving trees that had been ripped up by the winds and brought down on cars and other vehicles.

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Caravan blown over on Dubrovnik Bridge - Photo Anton Hauswitschka

On the Dubrovnik Bridge high winds caused a caravan to be flipped on its side and the bridge was closed for a short time whilst the caravan was removed. The poor weather is forecast to continue to at least Tuesday and then stable and warmer conditions will return.

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Gale force winds cause havoc in Dubrovnik 

According to local media, famous Croatian musicians will attend the opening ceremony of an epic megaproject in China – the New Silk Road.

Earlier this year, at the two-day summit ''The Belt and Road'' which was held in Beijing in May 2017, the Chinese president Xi Jinping said that China would invest $124 billion in the project ''The New Silk Road'' or One Belt (Yi dai yi lu) designed to reconnect continents, and the East and the West.

This epic engagement from China to Europe, from Beijing to London, includes 68 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe, including Croatia. The construction is to start next year.

The project anticipates the construction of the fast railway, and the road network of a massive 13,000 kilometres. China has already invested $50 billion and announced to increase the investments for $14,5 billion. The total cost of the project, which is to be completed by 2049, is estimated at more than $1,000 billion.

As stated by local media, the famous Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica and a singer, songwriter and composer Tonci Huljic will attend the grand opening. Huljic will write the opening piece, whilst the event will mark the beginning of Mrvica’s Chinese tour 2018.

Sold out concerts and a great honour that has been given to the Croatian pianist only confirm the status of the popular crossover pianist in the Far East. The audience there love Mrvica thus, he always fills up concert halls with ease. The pianist is recognized wherever he goes that people react enthusiastically to his appearance. Mrvica was even declared an honorary mayor of one Chinese city.

Something for the weekend. This Sunday the 8th of October will see a performance by a brass band from Southampton, England in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik. The “Albion Band” will perform at 2.30 pm in front of the St. Blaise Church in Dubrovnik organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

The City of Southampton (Albion) Band was founded in 1920, and since then it has been part of the city’s heritage, cultural, and community scene playing at the Dell, (Southampton Football Club’s old ground) for over forty years and at leading local events such as Remembrance Day, VE and VJ Day parades and at the FA Cup Final celebrations in 1976.

The Band has a very full and varied engagement list in addition to the above, including formal concerts, bandstands, charity events, Christmas carols, and regular tours abroad. In recent years the band has visited Madeira, Germany and is now on their way to Dubrovnik.

Smart benches have been installed in Gruz harbour making it handy for passengers waiting for the ferries to the Elaphite Island and beyond to recharge their smart phones.

These solar powered smart benches have been popping up in cities all throughout Croatia and Dubrovnik already has a couple in a park in Gruz.

But these ones seem to be better located as this suburb of the city, right in the busy port of Dubrovnik, has a high footfall of pedestrians.

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The smart and green way to charge your mobile phone in Dubrovnik 

We love to browse through Instagram and discover interesting photos from Dubrovnik. But every now and then something special catches our eye. That happened with sketches on profile melibertine, made by artist Eleanor Mill. We just had to discover the story behind them and this talented artist gladly answered our questions.

How did you like Dubrovnik? Was it your first visit?

I’m delighted with my first visit Dubrovnik. It was the first visit to Croatia in general for me and my colleague. We planned only two days for Dubrovnik, and now I can sum up that it is not enough. I’ll definitely come back!

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Was it enjoyable to draw?

Dubrovnik is a true piece of paradise for an artist of my profile. Cityscape here is very rich. There are narrow and cosy streets, hundreds (or maybe thousands) stairs, fabulous fortification structure, emerald water and boats in one place. It’s like to find a golden ticket! And those medieval arches and vaults… It’s my passion.

How much time do you need to draw something?

In different ways. It depends on the object. I set myself a task, choose the media (materials), etceteras… If it’s a question of sketches (work on a spot), usually it takes from 20 minutes to 2 hours, as long as I need to catch the atmosphere. Working in studio takes much more, it can be about 20, 50… 100 hours.

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How do you choose motifs?  

Difficult question. Probably the choice is instinctive at the level of the senses. It can be interesting composition, playing of the light and shade, some combination of details, reflections, just harmonious bending of the street… Or the «song» of the street lamps as in Dubrovnik. So many reasons!

What's your favourite place in Dubrovnik?

I can’t decide, there are too many beautiful places in this town. Each street in the Old town is beautiful. Maybe a view from the Fort Lovrijenac is the most spectacular:  waves are crashing against the rocks of the city walls… impressive! I think it will be one of the first plot for my big artwork in studio.

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Did people react when they saw you drawing in Dubrovnik?

This happens rarely. And Dubrovnik is one of the place with high activity, where people overlook an artist. Among a hundreds people the artist is just part of vanity. Others feel shy and look from a distance. But one lady found me on Instagram and sent a message with greetings. She saw me in the old port. To tell the truth I was absorbed in my work, then I can’t describe the reaction well.

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The Adriatic Health and Tourism Investment Forum 2017, which is to be held from the 12th to the 13th of October at the Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb, has attracted the attention of numerous foreign entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business empires to Croatia.

Organizers of the Forum will present the current projects and existing offer of health tourism, health infrastructure, and tourist facilities and open the possibility of expanding the content by implementing medical elements in order to extend the season.

The Forum will gather local and foreign investors, developers, tour operators, agencies, medical and finance companies. Among them is a famous American investor, entrepreneur and developer Jeff Blackard who has once again expressed his interest in Croatia as a destination for his business.

Besides his business achievements, his rich career and numerous investments, Blackard is also known for his unique project called ‘’Adriatica’’.

Thrilled with Croatia and a way of life at Supetar on the island of Brač, Blackard made a replica of the whole village in the American city of McKinney in Texas trying to reproduce the look and feel of a southern Croatian village.

Apart from Blackard, Dr John Raffetto, the founder and the president of Ambassador Care from Washington, the company intended to providing services to the silver generation will also attend the forum. Raffetto is also a co-founder of the American-Adriatic Health company, in which, together with partners from Croatia, wants to position health tourism as a core business.

Among many others, the Forum partners are Croatian and regional clusters of health tourism, the Association of Croatian-American experts from the US, the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA) and a renowned international hospital building group Total Alliance Health Partners International (TAHPI).

The British comedian and a professional poker player of Chinese origin Ken Cheng recently posted his ‘’description’’ of all flags of the world, one at a time.

In September 2017, Cheng started his Twitter thread insulting the national flags of every country in the world and received national media coverage.

‘’The US flag: god it’s shite’’, was his description of the famous Stars and Stripes.
‘’Sierra Leone really??? It's like Hungary and Luxembourg decided to split the difference. You're such a new flag too (1961) it's like discovering a millennial named Ethel’’, was his comment on the flag of the African country.

Cheng was not scarce in vocabulary when insulted the national flag of Vietnam, ‘’C'mon Vietnam if I wanted to see this crap I would've just zoomed in on the Chinese flag’’.

Out of 195 world countries, Croatia placed as the 148th of the Cheng’s list. ‘’Croatia, errrr, it’s an oven mitt’’, wrote Cheng on his Twitter profile.

Situated to the east entrance to the Old City of Dubrovnik the Lazareti complex, or Lazaretto Complex, in Dubrovnik played an extremely important role in the history and development of the city.

It is a series of interconnection buildings that overlooks the old harbour of Dubrovnik; these buildings once housed Dubrovnik’s quarantine facility. Constructed in 1377 the complex was built to the east of the city as this was where travellers and traders would arrive with their goods, they were redesigned and took on their final design in the 17th century.

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 To protect the city from the spread of infectious diseases the Great Council of the Dubrovnik Republic ordered the building of this quarantine. It consists of eight buildings and five interconnecting courtyards. Today the complex houses workshops and galleries and act as a cultural and event centre for the city.

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I'm getting older. There's no escaping this realisation. I feel it in my bones after a long day. It aches in my stomach if I eat a couple of hot dogs. It's the years. It’s that dreadful realisation that whatever ails you is not a result of a stressful week at work or a weekend of outdoor activities... it's your body slowly, but surely, starting to give up.

Before anyone posts a comment wherein they're scolding me for being only 36 and talking about my body giving up, I am perfectly aware I am nowhere near death by natural causes. I'm not saying I am one month away from not being able to get up without assistance. I’m just noticing the wear and tear that comes with growing older. This is after all typically the age at which people usually start to notice these things. Go out with your friends in your mid 30's and get drunk, have some fun, get home in the wee hours of the morning. Next week meet those same friends for coffee. I'll bet you all the money in the world not 15 minutes will pass before one of you starts talking about how recuperating after a night of partying used to be much quicker and less painful. I don't go out partying much anymore, but on the rare occasions I do, this is the conversation I often end up having.

Ageing is like riding a train. You don't really know you’re moving until you look out the window. Only when you take a look at the world passing by do you realise how fast you’re going. Scenery changes in front of your eyes, smeared and colourful. Different vistas, opening up in front of you and disappearing quickly. If you are not paying attention, you miss them. I find myself looking out the window less and less, concerned mostly by what's directly in front of me: daily chores, perpetual financial uncertainty, my own business threatened on all sides by instabilities and fluctuations of the modern economy. This is probably why, when I finally allow myself to take a break and look up from my mobile phone planner, I find the views so different than I remember them to be. I find some beautiful sights have passed me by while the train I'm on has eaten yet another part of the track hurling to its final destination.

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Only when you take a look at the world passing by do you realise how fast you’re going

“People born in the year 2000 will be allowed to vote next year” – said on one of the memes being forwarded on Facebook the other day. That's incredible.

I remember the year 2000. We were just getting over the millennium Y2K bug hype and Prince’s “Party Like It’s 1999” finally stopped playing on the radio stations. Dubrovnik was starting a new chapter with war wounds still visible, but healing rapidly. I was in college and in a band with the latter often times being more time consuming. Darkness of the nineties which left our city so broken and desolate was still palpable, but we have just entered a new millennium and we were young and untouchable. It was a great time.

Yes, I am probably jealous of the kids turning 18 in a few months’ time, but they will never know the joy of partying your way into the new millennium. Hopefully, they will never know the joy of a war ending in your hometown either.

The whole idea of this text is not to bring people down or complain about the fact I feel I’m getting older. The point is not even to tell you all to enjoy life while you can. The point is to remind myself to try and look out the window of this speeding train more often because I’m missing some great parts of my journey.

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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.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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