Monday, 14 October 2019

Buckingham Palace had a touch of Konavle this week. At a diplomatic dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace on Friday evening Tomislav Vlahutin and Rujana Vučićević arrived in traditional folk costume from the Konvale region. This annual dinner for the diplomatic corps is organised by the Queen and although formal dress is required diplomats are encouraged to attend in their country’s national costumes.

Vlahutin, who is a first secretary in the Croatian consulate in London, decided to come to the event in Konavle traditional dress. And according to Vlahutin Prince Charles commented that he felt “Slightly underdressed,” when he saw the colourful dress. He added that we would like to thank Marina Desin and Pero Grbic who prepared the dress and Romana Vlasic, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, who brought the costumes to London.

All the members of the royal family stopped and talked with our diplomats on this special evening, so the colourful Konavle costume has been seen by the entire Royal family.

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have decided on their Christmas card photo for this year and their official visit to Croatia is the backdrop. The photo was taken on the 15th of March during a visit to the Cultural Heritage Festival in Osijek and shows the Royal couple surrounded by smiling faces of the folklore group HKUD Osijek 1862.

Sources commented that Camilla and Charles decided on the Croatian photo because it is fun and colourful. The picture was taken by Chris Jackson from Getty Images. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Zagreb and Osijek in March this year on an official visit.

When did you stop celebrating your birthday? What was the cut-off point where you hide your birthday on Facebook and started forgetting your years? When you are a child every birthday is the major event on your calendar, well there are basically two events that you base your year around Christmas and birthdays, yes they both involve cake.

Up until the age of ten every birthday feels like the world has stopped just to celebrate with you. From ten to about sixteen you realise that the world hasn’t stopped but people still keep bringing you gifts. Then the big one 18 and you are an adult, well at least in the eyes of the law. And from then until the age of around 25 you spend every birthday drunk and asleep in a bus stop. And then comes the crusher - 30. Well at the time it is crushing, no more young and carefree twenties, no – now you are thinking about children, mortgages and credit card bills. And pretty much from 30 you almost give up the will to celebrate, or sweep your age under the carpet, and then big ones creep up on you, the decade numbers.

As you have already probably guessed my birthday has just been and gone. I am at the age where I can’t even remember how old I am! And do I celebrate? Well no, to be honest I think the last time I actually remember a birthday party was when Live Aid was raising money for Africa...Feed The World. It isn’t that I don’t like a party; I just don’t like a party that is about me. Being the centre of attention is just too much hard work.

Gone are the days when the mailbox would be full of colourful cards, now its SMS or Whatsapp messages. And no more blowing the candles off the cake, now we have virtual flashing cakes on Facebook, which isn’t a bad thing in my case because the heat from all my candles would only add to global warming.

I was reading an article the other day that stated the average person stops celebrating birthdays at the age of 31. That sounds about right. It also said that after the age of 40 half of the people surveyed had completely forgotten that their birthday had passed. That made me chuckle. Imagine the conversation – “What’s this cake doing in the fridge darling” – “It was your birthday last week honey.” No, I am not a birthday fan, not really. I would have loved to be born on the 25th of December. Oh, the heaven of being lost in the Christmas mist. But I know I will hear “But it’s your birthday we have to do something special.” And my pleas of “why” will only fall on death ears. It is a day that I came into the world, but also a day that I had no control on. There was nothing I could have done to change this date in any way, I was utterly passive in this process. In fact I was perfectly happy where I was. It was warm and cosy, I was getting regular meals and living in a swimming pool – if I could have had Wi-Fi in the womb I would happily have stayed there for years. Why do you think babies cry when they are born? They are basically shouting “Put me back...it’s cold here...and I’ve got no clothes on...oh no and there is a bloody doctor!” When was the last time you saw a newborn baby run out of the womb and high-five his mum and the doctor, screaming “Ok, I am here let’s get this party started.”

So now all these years later you want me to celebrate, you must be mad. In fact I will try and boycott my own birthday in a silent protest. Of course I realise the only person to be negatively affected by my protest will be myself, kind of a sadomasochistic protest. As Jerry Seinfeld once said “Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it's not to be.” Great sarcasm.

And yes I am another year older, am I another year wiser, well not really. It has been a year to remember for lots of reasons, and also a year to forget. But I guess that every year has its highs and lows, that’s life, it is just a question of learning to ride out the bumps and hanging onto the highs. So Happy birthday to me and remember - don't just count your years, make your years count.

The set construction for the upcoming Leonardo Di Caprio produced Robin Hood Origins is in full swing in Dubrovnik. After Game of Thrones and Star Wars, Robin Hood starring Oscar award winning Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan from Fifty Shades of Grey fame, is the next blockbuster in line to use Dubrovnik as a backdrop.

Filming is expected to get underway early next year, we have a feeling there is plenty more news to come from Robin Hood in Dubrovnik, watch this space for the exclusive scoops.

 

Click & Boat or the so called ''Uber for boats'' is one of the major internet platforms for renting boats in Europe which arrived in Croatia this summer. It has more than 600 boats in the country and after a few months of doing business in Croatia and 500 boat bookings it is expecting the business growth in 2017.

This French start-up was launched in Paris in 2013 and since then it has become one of the strongest internet platforms for private boat renting (''yacht charter''). Currently the company employs 22 people, it has 8,000 vessels of various types in 22 countries worldwide and about 70,000 members.

In 2016 it started expanding to other Mediterranean countries. Along with Croatia, their services are also available in Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Malta. The French market with 2,000 registered boats has topped the company’s list of the world markets, whilst Croatia with 600 registered boats placed as the 2nd.

The whole principle behind the platform is quite simple; owners create a free listing for their boats adding pictures, a description, a price, and some advice about the sailing area. Renters can then contact them directly with the Click & Boat messaging. Owners can access the sailing CV of interested renters and confidently choose the right sailors for their boats, pretty much like Airbnb.

Croatia is Click & Boat's fastest growing market in the number of ships and booking, and feedback from customers and boat owners is excellent. The average score is 4,8 out of possible 5 for leases in Croatia, said from Click & Boat Croatia.

The traditional cake party brought a sweet start to the weekend in Dubrovnik. Cakes donated by media outlets, restaurants, hotels, public institutions and many more were sold on the Stradun in front of the St. Blaise Church this morning and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Dubrovnik – Neretva County Association for Multiple Sclerosis.

Cakes of all shapes and sizes, a truly sweet sight, loaded down tables in the square in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik as locals and tourists joined in the Cake Party. Over 850 delicious slices of cake were sold for and 13,000 Kunas was raised for this worthy cause. The Cake Party was organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and they thanked all those organizations that donated a cake and the volunteers of the Economic School who managed the sale of the cakes this morning. The money raised will be used to purchase a special wheelchair by the association.

Cakes were donated by
The City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Dubrovnik Press, DU TV, Dubrovnik Net, Soundset Ragusa, Portal Oko, Dubrovacki Vjesnik, DU List, Glas Grad, HTV Television Centre Dubrovnik, Župčića Portal, Dubrovacki Dvenik, UNIDU Radio, GO Dubrovnik, The Dubrovnik Times, Hilton Imperial, Hotel Petka, Valamar, Adriatic Luxury Hotels, Hotel Rixos Libertas, Hotel Lero, Cele, Ana, Babin Kuk, Gabi, Dalmatino Restaurant, Orca Restaurant, Restaurant Orsan, Dubrovnik Travel, Dubrovnik University, Laus CC, Eko Omblici, Green Sun Eco Centre, Economic School – Cokolatni Ltd and Paletun Ltd.

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More praise for Societe Generale Splitska Banka in the world of finance. The Croatian bank was voted The Bank of the Year in 2016 in Croatia by The Banker magazine.

The renowned financial magazine The Banker, published by the Financial Times Group, rewarded Splitska Banka with the most prestigious award at a ceremony held in London on the 7th of December. On this occasion, Zvonimir Akrap, a member of the board of Splitska Banka, accepted the award adding that the award by The Banker magazine was one more indicator of the growth and development of the Croatian bank. ''With the constant development of products for all segments of our clients, I would like to point out a significant investment in the digitalization of our business as well as a new and inevitable direction of banking'', said Akrap.

He also emphasized that this award would be a great impetus for further efforts of the bank in providing world-class financial services to its clients.

This is already the fourth award for Splitska Banka in 2016 rewarded by renowned financial magazines. In October this year the famous magazine Euromoney declared it The Best Bank in Croatia for Cash Management, whilst earlier this year Splitska Banka received two more awards – ''The World's Best Subcustodian 2016'' for the Croatian market awarded by the Global Finance magazine and ''The Sub-Custodian of the Year 2016 – Croatia unweighted'' which was awarded by the Global Investor magazine.

Considering the fact that The Banker magazine is one of the most influential financial magazines in the world, which is read in more than 180 countries, and since 1926 it monitors and publishes financial information for experts and managers, it is quite clear why this award is considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world.

Preparations for the filming of Robin Hood:Origins are getting more intense as the movie set expands and slowly gets its shape. There's a lot of work, but already some of the wooden houses are built under the bridge at Ploce, as well as the path to the Old Port. It will be amazing to see Dubrovnik slowly transform into Nottingham.

Preparations started quite early since the filming starts in February, but it says a lot about the seriousness of production. There will be four filming locations: Stradun, St. Dominic street, Old City Port and under the bridge at Ploce.

DiCaprio is the executive producer and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, will play Little John. Robin Hood will be played by Welsh actor Taron Egerton, famous for his role in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Maid Marion will be played by Irish actress Eve Hewson, who is the daughter of Bono from U2. One of the members of the cast that will surely make ladies sigh is Jamie Dornan, famous for his role of Mr. Grey in the movie 50 Shades of Grey. Robin Hood: Origins is directed by Otto Bathurst. The premiere of the movie is expected in early 2018.

 

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                                                                 Photos by: Zeljko Tutnjevic and Tonci Plazibat

 

Every second is a bliss when you're in Dubrovnik, but Youtube channel World Party has just published a video with 80 seconds of beautiful scenes from Dubrovnik and around. Stunning Old City, Lokrum, kayaking, buggy adventures – it seems like a perfect vacation. Don't miss this interesting video.

After the opening of the exhibition which presented the bidding works of authors who participated in the international architectural competition for the preliminary design of the new Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik, as well as the winning work of the company 3LHD, a video simulation showing the new look of the hotel is now avaliable.

The competition for the conceptual design of the new Hotel Belvedere was carried out in two stages. Design solution proposed by 3LHD has proven to be the best and was awarded with the first prize. The awarded 3LHD design can be seen in the video.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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