The winter weather in Dubrovnik this year is, well, unpredictable to say the least. After a polar storm that saw temperatures drop down to – 6 degrees and snow blocking the city, came a week of rain that almost flooded the city, and now we have moved into the winter/summer season.
Temperatures reached 15 degrees today as bright sunshine warmed the city, and it seems that the crystal clear Adriatic Sea proved too much of a temptation for some people.
We spotted this tourist enjoying a quick dip in the Adriatic on the iconic Banje Beach. We can blame him for enjoying the views but with the sea temperature around 13 degrees we will wait a little longer to dip our toes in the sea.
Eighteen years after appearing in the semi-finals of the Australian Open the Croatian tennis sensation Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is back in the semi-finals. This has to be the most incredible sports story for years, a veteran tennis player at 34-years-old with strapped-up legs has battled against some of the best tennis players in the world to reach the semi-finals, after an 18-year break!
“I know this means a lot to every player to reach the semi-finals but to me this is overwhelming. I will never ever, ever forget this day or the last couple of weeks,” said Lucic-Baroni. She fell to her knees in disbelief after defeating the fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, at 24 ten years younger than Lucic-Baroni, 6-4 3-6 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena. She has already defeated the third seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, on her amazing Australian journey.
“I can’t believe this, this is crazy. All I can say is God is good … I’m in the semi-finals again. I’m a little bit in shock right now,” said Lucic-Baroni.
In the semi-finals she will face another tough test, six time Australian Open champion, Serena Williams.
The Esplanade Luxury Hotel in Zagreb has become the first hotel in Croatia with the Gluten-Free Food Service Certification.
On the 24th of January the Bosk company from Rijeka which developed the first such standard for hospitality in the country awarded the Esplanade Hotel this significant certificate.
''In the past few years a demand for gluten-free food has significantly increased at the Esplanade Hotel. The gluten-free meals has already been available on our menues, but now with the certificate we believe that guests will have more confidence in what we have to offer in terms of gluten-free food'', commented Sanda Sokol, the PR and marketing manager of the Esplanade Hotel. She also hoped that this was the added value of the hotel and a specific completion of the offer, because the hotel has already have halal and kosher certificates and the HACCP system which is the basis for all standards.
On this occasion Denis Delogu, the manager of the Bosk company, emphasized that the lack of restaurants and other tourist services in Croatia with such standards was quite visible. ''These standards are increasingly present every day in the whole world, especially in the United States and Italy which have gone the furthest in terms of gluten-free food service''.
Delogu also presented data that show that nowadays 70 million people in the world are sensitive to gluten, around 190 million people avoid wheat, whilst one or two persons out of a hundred people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder related to intolerance to gluten, a protein from wheat, rye and barley.
On the other hand, it is estimated that the gluten-free food market in Europe is worth more than one billion Euros and is expected to grow by a further 40 percent till 2018. For comparison, a kilo of gluten-free flour in Croatia is up to ten times more expensive than 'ordinary' flour.
At just after 11.30 this morning a forest fire broke out in a suburb to the north of Dubrovnik. In the hills overlooking the small village of Vrbica smoke could be seen rising into the blue skies.
According to information from the Dubrovnik Fire Brigade 27 fire-fighters with 7 fire fighting vehicles are on the scene and special planes are also dropping water on the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Video by Kejt Marinovic
A few days ago the Youtube channel of Epic Drone Videos published an amazing video of a drone video sailing in Croatia made by Jus Medic. It shows breathtaking views of Solta, Bol on Brac, Hvar and Pakleni islands, filmed by GoPro and DJI Phantom 4.
This aerial footage is almost surreal and highlights the beauty of the Croatian islands and clean blue sea.
For the first time in history seven Croatian airports had more than eight million passengers! That's almost 900 thousand passengers more than in 2015 – reports Vecernji.hr.
Most of these 8.1 million air passengers arrived in Croatia during the summer months, which shows how successful the tourist season really was.
In order to break the overall record of the number of passengers, most of the Croatian airports broke their own records. Split Airport for the first time in its history exceeded the figure of two million passengers in one year, and the Dubrovnik airport came close to the figure of two million passengers. Zadar airport got over half a million passengers and Pula Airport year had more than 400 thousand passengers for the first time in one year. Pleso Airport, the largest airport in Croatia, named after the first president of Croatia Franjo Tudjman, also boasts a growing number of passengers – over 2.7 million. A new terminal will be opened soon, with equipment for receiving 3.5 million passengers a year.
Split Airport had 476 thousand passengers less than Zagreb Airport, which doesn’t depend that much on the tourist season. But Split has one more record to brag about – it’s the only airport in Croatia that had over 500 thousand passengers in one month. Last year in July 544 262 passengers passed through the airport. However, the traffic at this airport is really seasonal, which is easy to see from the numbers – in January last year there was only 25 958 passengers. At Franjo Tudman Airport the greatest month last year was August with 284 419 passengers, while the slowest was February with 141 834 passengers.
With new lines being announced by many airlines already – Croatian airports could break even more records this year.
We are only weeks away from the beginning of filming of the latest movie in Dubrovnik – Robin Hood: Origins and the sets are nearing completion. The Leonardo DiCaprio produced Robin Hood will start filming in Dubrovnik on the 20th of February and is expected to last for three weeks.
The set in the old harbor in Dubrovnik has already been finished and now work is underway on the set on the Stradun in the very heart of the historic Old City. It is believed that this Robin Hood will be the first in a trilogy, at least according to a statement from the Mayor of Dubrovnik.
Check out our photo gallery the set of Robin Hood
Preparations for the upcoming summer season are in a full swing. Thus the Croatian shipping company Brodosplit from Split has launched a new mini cruiser that is to set sail in the Adriatic this summer.
The new mini cruiser, with an estimated value at more than a million Euros, was built for a local private company Mladin Punta from Jesenice near Split.
The newest member of the Croatian nautical fleet is 42.4 metres long, 8.5 metres wide and 3.8 metres high. It has three decks: the main deck, the upper deck and the sun deck. Brodosplit has constructed a steel hull and a superstructure for the mini cruiser which will be able to accommodate 36 passengers and six members of the crew.
This is the tenth jubilee mini cruiser from the series of passenger ships for nautical tourism that has been built in Brodosplit since 2012 for domestic clients. The construction was realized within the government's program for the restoration of the passenger and excursion fleet for Croatia's private shipping companies - small entrepreneurs.
''The construction of passenger cruise ships has been fulfilling the efforts of Brodosplit to be a constant support to domestic nautical tourism'', stated the company from Split.
Almost exactly one month after Christmas, one of the most impressive Christmas decorations – a giant Christmas ball has left Dubrovnik. It was taken apart this morning.
A great attraction that has been added to Christmas decorations last year and made a comeback this year is a favorite among children but also adults, who just love to take selfies with it. It looks beautiful during the night and during the day, but it had to be taken away because of preparations for the festivity of Saint Blaise.
Photos by Dube Marjanovic Ladasic
Saint Blaise is the patron of Dubrovnik and festivity of St. Blaise is a big deal in this beautiful city. It's organised on February 3rd every year and it's also the Day of the City of Dubrovnik.
Preparations for this great event started this morning with putting up the poles with flags with the patron on them. It was interesting to see the festive decorations combined with Robin Hood set that seems to grow bigger every day.
Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic