Thursday, 21 November 2019

A group of young backpacker tourists caught the eye this evening as they sat in a group on the cobbled streets of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik.

On the busiest entrance into the city the young tourists started a street style picnic as thousands of people walked by. But it wasn’t the al fresco eating on the pavement that caught the eye of passersby it was the cardboard sign that one of them was holding offering “Free Sex.”

This photo appeared on social media and soon brought a reaction with comments asking where the police or city inspectors were and why they hadn’t reacted. Ironically the small group were sitting directly under a sign installed last year explaining the regulations for behaviour inside the city walls.

Croatia’s tourism industry is turning its attention to further flung countries according to the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli. In an interview for a Croatian newspaper the Minister stated that he is looking to secure more long distance flights to the country. Cappelli is reportedly in talks with a number of air carriers about establishing links from the Far East, Middle East and America.

"The Ministry's strategic goal is to develop Croatia as a destination which is accessible to various airlines, particularly before and after the height of the summer season. We are directing a part of our funds towards closer cooperation with carriers, which will result in more flights to all of our airports. We are turning towards the Far East and the Middle East. Since January, we have been in talks with a number of large global and European airlines, as well as tour operators. I am certain that the result of these talks will be visible next year with a strong increase in visitors from non-traditional markets," commented Capelli for Globus magazine.

South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan are all considered key markets by the Minister and strengthening ties with these destinations is seen as a route to solve Croatia’s weaker winter period. South Korean tourists have increased drastically in Croatia over the past few years and generally travel in the low season.

And it isn’t only Asia that has caught the attention of the Minister, according to reports the Ministry of Tourism is pushing hard to attract air carriers from the USA. “The Ministry is also in talks over potential seasonal services from Zagreb and Dubrovnik to the United States, which could launch next year,” stated Capelli.

The President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, arrived in Sydney today as part of a tour of Australia and New Zealand. She is the first President to visit these two countries in 22 years after Franjo Tuđman last visited.

Kitarović met with representatives of the Croatian community in Sydney as well as paying a visit to the Croatian Catholic Centre where she attended a Massin the packed St. Nikola Tavelić church. The Croatian president will meet the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other senior Australian officials during her visit.

It will be a busy state visit for the Croatian President as she will also go to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Port Lincoln. Prime Minister Turnbull, who will meet with Grabar-Kitarović in Canberra, posted on the web site that Australia appreciates its hearty relations with Croatia and added that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

kolinda austrlai

"The visit of the Croatian president is an opportunity to mark the great contribution of the Australian-Croatian community to the Australian multicultural society. More than 43,000 people born in Croatia live in Australia, and the remaining 133,000 are of Croatian origin," Turnbull said. Part of the state visit is aimed at strengthening the economic ties between Australia and Croatia and the President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is also in the President’s party. Economic relations between Croatia and Australia, in spite of the large Diaspora community, are relatively poor. In 2016 Croatia’s trade with Australia amounted to $27.5 million, whilst trade with New Zealand is ever worse at a modest $6 million.

Grabar-Kitarović's state visit to New Zealand begins on the 19th of August 19 in Auckland, and includes Wellington, she will and return to Zagreb on the 23rd of August. According to information from the President’s Office in Zagreb this trip has taken two years to plan and prepare.

Cavtat is proving a hit with nautical tourists this year with more and more yachts mooring along the picturesque quayside. Just this weekend eight luxury yachts were anchored along the Cavat waterfront and caught the attention of locals and tourists.

Cavtat is one of the safest harbours along the Croatian Adriatic coast, protected by the natural geography, and with numerous bars and restaurants on the main promenade it is also ideal for making the most of al fresco dining.

super yachts cavtat


One of the main reasons that Cavtat is popular with yacht owners is its close proximity to the Dubrovnik Airport in Cilipi only a few kilometres away. Millionaire yacht owners jet into Dubrovnik Airport and can be onboard their mega yachts in a few minutes.

This weekend saw the aptly named “Lucky Me” at 43 metres long, “Jo” and “Wheels” both 50 metres long, “Souraya” at 38 metres long, “Vaao” 37 metres, “Alligator” 32 metres, “Bojoux” 32 metres and “Mistre Z” owned by the Belgium businessman Matty Zadnikar all moored in Cavtat.

alligator yacht croatia

jo yacht croatia

Photos - Niksa Duper 

According to data just released by the Zupa Tourist Board the region was visited by 25, 953 tourists in July and achieved 123, 801 overnight stays, which is an increase of 4 percent compared to the same month from 2016.

The most numerous guests in the Zupa region, which is some 10 kilometres south of Dubrovnik, were British. In fact in July there were 3, 756 British guests in Zupa and they achieved 25, 435 overnight stays, a massive 27 percent increase over July 2016. After British guests the second most numerous were French, and in third place were Germans.

Since the beginning of the year 69, 018 tourists have visited Zupa and achieved 250, 067 overnight stays, again an increase over 2016 this time by 16 percent.

The weather is just about perfect today in Dubrovnik. A northerly breeze has kept temperatures a little fresher than normal and the levels of humidity are well below the past ten days.

The historic Old City of Dubrovnik was a hive of activity this morning with a mixture of locals and tourists enjoying the bright weather.

Check out our photo gallery from today

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When you add Dubrovnik to any photo you enhance it, the city of art can also be art itself. This latest photo shoot taken by the Dubrovnik based photographer Dario Bandur features the New York based model Evyenia Karapolous.

High above the historic Old City of Dubrovnik with the sun setting in the background the photo featured the text “Sunset above King’s Landing,” when published on Bandur’s social media accounts. It is certainly a photo that caught our eyes.

“Fly me to the moon and let me swing among the stars,” sung the great Frank Sinatra. No thanks Frank I am afraid of heights.

And I can remember to the exact day that I found out I suffered from acrophobia. I was around seven years old and we went on a school trip to a lighthouse. It wasn’t even really that high, but the problem started with the endless spiral staircase and when I got to the top whilst everyone else was admiring the view I was clinging on “white knuckle” style to the rail not looking at anything but my feet. From that fateful day I have tried to keep my feet as close to terra firma as possible.

Don’t get me wrong I have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State building, but I always keep a good respectable distance between myself and the rail guarding the edge. But at some time you have to face your fears and conquer them. “Let’s try parasailing,” I heard from over my shoulder last week. Parasailing…doesn’t that involve dangling high in the sky with only a parachute stopping you from crashing to certain death? “Yes, why not,” I answered, thinking that it would be a long way in the future and I could think of a relevant excuse to avoid going. “Great I have booked this morning in Cavtat, we have to leave in 30 minutes,” answered my wife!

“Jump onto the boat and we will explain everything when we get going,” smiled the friendly parasail instructor as we skimmed like a pebble across the Adriatic. My first thoughts were, why are there so many ropes, harnesses and clips. I was soon to find out why.

“OK, I am going to strap you into this device which will hold your weight on the parachute,” added the instructor. Hold my weight! What if it doesn’t hold my weight? The ropes and straps wrapped around me like a spider’s web, some of them in rather sensitive parts of my body. It was like having a permanent wedgie.

“I will go first,” why did I say that. The instructor and his assistant grappled with another pile of ropes and then a huge parachute unveiled into the sky. “Lie down and we will strap you in,” was the next instruction. It sounded like an order Mr. Grey would give. Now fixed to the billowing chute there was only one way to go…up. The engine of the speed boat roared, the parachute filled and like a sack of potatoes I lifted off the boat and was left hanging over the sea. “Ah, this isn’t so bad if I fall or something breaks I will land in the sea,” I shouted down to my wife. She put her hand to her ear in a cupping shape as if to indicate that she couldn’t hear. I was up. And I was climbing. 10 metres, 20 metres, 30 metres, 40 metres...if I fell now the Adriatic would be like landing on concrete. I was still climbing. The speed boat below me was now just a white stain on a turquoise sea.

Would I stop going up? “That’s enough,” I yelled. But silence. In fact that was the first thing that hit me, it was completely silent up there, I mean dead silent. The only thing I could hear was the occasional rustle of the chute behind me and nothing else. A seagull flapped by me. “And you thought we couldn’t fly,” I started chatting with him. I was hanging over the Adriatic with only a few millimetres of nylon in the chute to save me from a tumbling freefall.

parasailing cavtat

Somewhere down there is my speed boat 

And yes a first it was a little scary but I got over it. I had faced my fears and was high in the sky. Then from nowhere I heard a noise like a car engine, only a deeper sound. What the hell is that? It was getting louder and louder. I couldn’t hear myself think. It was behind me. I carefully flipped my weight and looked over my shoulder. Thundering towards me was a plane!

OK, maybe not exactly towards me but it sure felt like it. I imagined the passengers looking out the window and seeing me hanging off a parachute. I raised a thumb and jerked it backwards in the motion that a hitchhiker would do on the side of a dusty road. I was hitchhiking a plane, a Norwegian Airlines jet; I hoped that the passengers could see me. Then a jerk on my harness and the rope was being winched in and me with it. With the grace of a sack of potatoes I came to land back on the boat. “You guys are bloody mad...where is the toilet?” I joked with the instructor. “You did well, we took you to 100 metres,” he answered. I had a feeling that if he had had more rope I would have got even higher. “No wonder I hitchhiked a plane then,” came my reply.

Rough overnight and early morning seas brought a rude awakening for the staff of the Banje Beach in Dubrovnik today.

Once again man lost another battle against the sea, as the Adriatic picked up dozens of sunbeds and washed them out towards the island of Lokrum. Some sunbeds were left scattered across the beach whilst others were floating in the turquoise sea.

Weather forecasters had predicted a change from the recent baking hot sunshine and overnight the wind direction changed, clouds rolled in and the sea crashed over the beaches. It is rather ironic that this should happen on the Banje Beach as this very beach was the scene of a protest by locals on the number of sunbeds covering the shoreline.

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No those aren't kayaks 

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Scattered sunbeds 

The warm summer evenings in Dubrovnik are often the nicest time of the day to wander the cobbled streets of the Old City. But last night, in the height of the tourist season, the crowds of tourists trying to enter, and exit, the city centre proved too much.

Police attempted to control the traffic of people on the Pile Gate entrance to the city, however according to eyewitness accounts they were more of a hindrance than a help. “I can’t believe that the police are stopping me from entering my own city, I have never seen this in my life,” explained a resident of the city to The Dubrovnik Times.

These scenes of human traffic jams aren’t uncommon through the day when the cruise ship crush is at its peak. However these photos were taken at 10.00 at night!

crowds dubrovnik

cruise ship crowds dubrovnik

Photos - Zeljko Tutnjevic 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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