Sunday, 18 August 2019

There is no better way to experience the surroundings than to walk around and breath in the nature! The perfect opportunity for that in Dubrovnik area is Dubrovnik & Konavle walking festival. This new festival will give you a chance to explore natural, cultural and historical heritage of south Croatia on foot. Hiking trails will take you to amazing photo stops overviewing Adriatic sea, guarding mountain range, Konavle Valley, ancient cities of Cavtat and Dubrovnik.

There are four walking tours that are offered to enjoy: Stone crosses walking tour, Old railway road, Following Napoleon steps and Old Dubrovnik aqueduct. On the official website you can find more details about the tours such as distance, level and route. The highlights of every trip are tasting local food and wine, spending a day in nature, accompanied by astonishing viewpoints. First two tours will take place on 14th of October and second two on 15th. You can apply on the website.

“Marky how nice to see you after such long time,” said my auntie as she enveloped me in a warm hug. And it had been a long time, eleven years to be precise. Here they were in Dubrovnik for the first time along with my mum, a family gathering. “Oh, you look well and we hear you are keeping very busy,” she added with a kiss. “Marky, I hope you aren’t too busy though and that you are eating and looking after yourself,” came the next comment as if she were talking to a ten-year-old boy.

I guess that I will always be a ten-year-old boy to her. So a week of sightseeing, meeting friends, eating out, visiting beaches and general being a good host began. And it seemed that every time we had time to chat, over a meal, with a coffee or just enjoying a nice view, stories and anecdotes of my childhood would star to flow. As embarrassing as it was at the start, and believe me I was left a little red-faced at times, I then began to enjoy remembering those distant times.

“I remember Marky dancing on the table with those horrible red trousers on, he was giggly and wiggling to rock and roll, in fact he was rocking so much that he fell off and burst into tears,” smiled my aunt. “He always thought he was a great dancer,” she added shaking her legs as I once had. It also appears that I had bladder problems as a child, because many of the stories ended with me peeing myself, either through laughing too much or forgetting I needed to go. I only hope they were talking about when I was really young and not in my teens.

I was on a trip down memory lane, and was enjoying the ride. At the same time I was showing them the delights of Dubrovnik, a combination of my “old life” and “new life.” Lamb under the bell in Konavle, cheese from oil, fish and seafood straight from the Adriatic, traditional home cooked meals (thanks to my wife) and lots of local wines…in fact one of the first phrases they picked up was “Posip Cara molim.” And once again the little things that I now take for granted living here were a shock, positive shock, for my aunt and uncle. The safety, the sunshine, the warm seas, the bad driving, the loud speaking, the cruise ship queues, the parking, and the ease of life…they took it all in the stride. Coffee on the Stradun was a big event for them, they soon got used to the people watching part of life, to see and be seen.

In fact by the end of the week they were running into people that they had meet before, I ever heard my aunt wave “adio” to one of my friends. I hadn’t taken her long to fit in; she had even started saying “fala” instead of “hvala.” Another two weeks and I have a feeling my aunt would have been fluent. It was nice being surrounded by family again; it’s been a long time. They say you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family, it’s true, but I wouldn’t have chosen a different family to the one I have. “I remember when Marky had his first girlfriend,” said my uncle. My wife’s ears pricked up, I waited for the embarrassment. “He just used to walk around with this stupid grin on his face…although he was only 12 years old,” added my uncle with his usual touch of sarcasm. We even had a picnic on the beach one day, another interesting experience.

We decided to order some cocktails. “Have you ever tried Sex on the Beach,” my wife asked my mother. Of course she meant the cocktail but by the look on my mother’s face she had understood something else. “No, of course not Boba!” answered my mother. “Oh, I have I was great,” shouted my sunbathing aunt. It was getting confused now. “Do you want me to order you one Margaret,” my wife asked my aunt. “One what…” came the reply. “Sex on the Beach,” said my wife. Then a scream of laughter filled the air. “I didn’t know you were talking about the cocktail,” giggled my aunt. Then in a dry tone my uncle added “Who did you have sex on the beach with then…” Another scream of laughter, the rest of the people on the beach must have thought we were mad, we didn’t care.

George Bernard Shaw might have written one of the most recognizable quotes about Dubrovnik of all time but he also had some wise words about families. “A happy family is but an earlier heaven,” well said Mr Shaw.

Lazareti were built as one of the preventive health measures to protect the population of Dubrovnik during the time of Dubrovnik Republic.

Once upon the time Dubrovnik was a really important port, welcoming travelers from all over the world – one would say not much changed. But, it was a different time then, so back in 1337 the Dubrovnik Republic made a decision which introduced quarantine, for the first time in the world, as a measure of protection against spreading of infectious diseases, especially the plague. This decision was published in the so-called Green Book (Liber viridis) entitled: Veniens de locis pestiferis non Intra Ragusim nel districtum – Who comes from infected regions, should not get into Dubrovnik nor its area.

It was determined that the locals or foreigners coming from infectious regions can't enter the city, if they don't spend 30 days on the islands Mrkan, Bobara and Supetar, close to Cavtat.

In the decision made in 1397 it is said that foreigners and their ships can’t sail west from Molunat or east of Mljet, and are determined to be in the quarantine on the island Mrkan where at that time was a Franciscan monastery and on Mljet where there is Benedictine monastery.

Because of the distance, but also for strategic reasons, quarantine was moved closer to Dubrovnik in the 15th century.

At the beginning of the 15th century in Dubrovnik there was a quarantine on the Dance, one of the oldest beaches in Dubrovnik. In 1430 for this purpose some houses in the town park Gradac were chosend, and since 1457 quarantine at Dance is built, along with a church. Good organization of this quarantine allowed the complete abandonment of those on the islands near Cavtat.

In 1533 started the building of quarantine on the island of Lokrum. Although a large square quarantine was built, it was never completed or used.
At the end of the 15th century, a decision was made on the construction of the Lazareti at Ploce. The start of construction was in 1590 and it was completed in 1642. Duration of quarantine was extended from thirty to forty days and health workers called 'kacamorti' were in charge to check if the rules of quarantene were respected.

Lazareti are impressive complex made of ten halls, among which are five internal courtyards with two houses at the entrance and the end. The complex is surrounded by a high wall and doors from the sea and the land side.

They now host some of Dubrovnik associations, such as Desa and Lindjo, but some of the halls are still searching for their purporses.


The National Park Plitvicka Jezera (Plitvice Lakes) one of the most famous tourist destinations in Croatia has developed the application ''Plitvicka Jezera'' intended for guests. All those who are planning to visit the National Park Plitvicka Jezera will now be able to do it in a much more modern way.

By developing this new mobile application the most visited Croatian destination have decided to make visitors' stay much easier and like other world destinations follow the global trend of importance of the presence on digital platforms.

The app with an accessible user interface is intended for all visitors because it provides content in Croatian, English, French, Italian and German, as well as an overview of all locations, routes, attractions of the National Park and its surroundings, accommodation facilities, ideas for active holidays and service information.

The Tourist Board of Rakovica, the Tourist Board Plitvicka Jezera and the National Park Plitvicka Jezera in cooperation with Plava tvornica the IT company from Virovitica participated in the process which took almost a year to develop the Plitvicka Jezera mobile app.

According to data from Promocija plus, the leading research and analysis agency in the region, car sales in Croatia in September increased by 18.1 percent in comparison to the same month last year. In the first nine months of 2016 a total of 34,916 new vehicles were sold or 21.1 percent more over the same period last year.

This September the best selling brands in Croatia were Volkswagen, which sold 130 Golfs, followed by Skoda with 106 sold Octavia vehicles and Suzuki which sold 80 new Vitara vehicles.

From the beginning of 2016 the leading car manufacturer in Croatia was Volkswagen which sold the most new passenger vehicles (4,890) and is followed by Opel which sold 3,536 new vehicles, Renault (3,000), Skoda (2,764) and Ford with 2,546 sold vehicles.

In the so called premium segment the best selling brands were Audi with 1,246 sold vehicles, followed by its fellow country car manufacturers Mercedes (1,062) and BMW (1,049).

By fuel type, in the first nine months of this year the share of diesel powered cars in the total car sales accounted for 57 percent, petrol powered cars accounted for 41 percent, whilst the negligible percentage accounted for electric, hybrid and LPG vehicles.

Dubrovnik has once again found itself on an international top list, but this time one not to be proud of. The website Matador Network has published a list entitled “6 destinations being ruined by mega-cruise ships,” and Dubrovnik finds itself in second place. At the top of the list of shame is Venice and the rest of the list includes Belize, Alaska, Antarctica and Svalbard, Norway.

- Similar to Venice, the city of Dubrovnik just wasn’t designed to handle the volume of cruisers who come pouring of the ships that arrive every few days. A naturally hilly city, tourists are bused from the modern port to the Old Town and back each day, and are wearing the Old Town away – writes Matador about Dubrovnik.

The cruise ship crush in Dubrovnik will bring almost a million passengers this year and over 65 percent of all cruise ships in Croatian territorial waters arrive in Dubrovnik.

Read the full article here.

The world famous confectioner Buddy Valastro, also known as the Cake Boss, is coming to Croatia!

The owner and head baker of the Carlo’s Bakery and the star of the culinary and family show ‘’Cake Boss’’ which is broadcast on the TLC reality TV show, will visit Croatia on the 17th and the 18th of October where he will take part in judging and selection of the best cake with Croatian motifs.

Buddy Valastro runs a successful Italian-American family-owned chain of pastry shops in the US, which he inherited from his father. In his father's pastry shop Buddy has worked from his young days and learned all the secrets about sweets and has become a master in making grandiose cakes of different shapes.

The TV show ''Cake Boss'' follows the operations of the Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey owned and operated by siblings Buddy Valastro, Lisa Valastro, Maddalena Castano, Grace Faugno and Mary Sciarrone. The show focuses on how they make their edible art cakes, and the interpersonal relationships among the various family members and other employees who work at the shop.

The Zagreb event will be held at the City Centre One West on the 17th of October at 6 pm. Visitors can also meet the famous chef in the evening.

This will be the first visit of the famous chef to Croatia and but we hope it will not be the last.

The popular fashion website “InStyle” has published an article entitled “5 Reasons to Have Your Destination Wedding and Honeymoon in Croatia.” This latest article about Croatia in the international media praises the gems of the Adriatic and highlights the advantages of having your big day in the country.

- Located across from Italy on the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, it has some of the most spectacular beaches you’ll ever see in your life. But what you won’t find a lot of in Croatia are the massive resort chains that have become so common in other parts of Europe and throughout the world. There’s still an authentic kind of grittiness that so perfectly juxtaposes the pristine waters that surround its 1,000-plus islands – opens the article.

The sunsets, the crystal clear blue water, the history, the food and the romance were listed as the top five reasons InStyle gives for making Croatia your dream wedding destination. - If you’re planning a destination wedding or celebrating your honeymoon, Croatia should be at the top of your list of possible locales – adds the article. And piece features stunning photos from the Dubrovnik based photography company Adriatic Images.

Check out the full article here.

People who know me, know I'm not one for public showing of emotions. In fact, I prefer not to show how I feel at all outside of my home or outside of a very select circle of friends. Plenty of times this reservation is tied to my job. When you are working in tourism, especially with guests directly you need to practise not letting your feelings show. Don’t get me wrong, I am usually perfectly honest with friendly disposition towards my guests. It’s just that sometimes you don’t feel so great because of whatever reason and you can’t let your guests know this. Being overly positive and friendly right from the start is also not the best way to go. Some people simply want the service and no personal engagement and I respect that.

When it comes to everyday life and displays of emotion, hugging seems to be the most common ritual for those around me who are not shy to show affection. I am not a fan of it and I’m clumsy with other touchy-feely interactions as well. My wife is very much different in this respect and she finds endless entertainment in seeing me squirm in social situations. Recently, she was able to put my personal service delivery philosophy to a real test. We were entertaining a very special group of guests last week, very friendly and relaxed. As it turns out, all of them are dedicated huggers much like she is and guess what happened when I was exposed for an emotional scrooge? Yes, they all rushed in to show me just how much fun you can have distributing signs of joy and affection to those around you.

One day I guided a historical tour for them and enjoyed doing so. Apparently, they liked it too, because they honoured me with a group hug in the middle of one of the busiest Dubrovnik squares as a reward. I’m a big, and generally angry looking guy, so group hugs make me look like a grizzly among Ewoks (Star Wars reference…I went there). My joy was compounded when I realised there are plenty of photos of this being taken that are bound to make their way to the wife. Of course, I was visibly uncomfortable which made the whole thing even funnier. For the remainder of the week I was a victim of unprovoked random hugs by virtually anyone from the group to the delight of my better half. Well played Mrs. Jukic. Well played.

In a way, it was a welcome break from being strictly professional, I have to admit. The hugging thing is still not my cup of tea, but by the end of this group’s stay, we’ve established a very nice relationship which perhaps wouldn’t be so friendly if it wasn’t for the ice breaking displays of emotion. One thing puzzles me though. I’ve guided two more city tours since then and both times there were guests at the end of the tours who felt compelled to give me a hug. This almost never happened before. Are hugs like bee stings that release pheromones and attract other huggers? A chilling thought, if ever there was one. One of the guests even commented: “You are such a good hugger.” What can I tell you, practice makes perfect.

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.

The official newspaper of the European Union reported that the European Commision approved the registration of two Croatian food products – olive oil from Korcula and lamb from Pag - as Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) and Protected Designations of Origin (PDO).

The European Union documents decribed the olive oil from the island of Korcula (Korculansko maslinovo ulje) as an extra-virgin olive oil obtained directly from olives by mechanical means. The basic raw material for the production of this oil are fruits of the olive autochthonous varieties Lastovka and Drobnica. Storage and bottling of the oil must also take place in the defined geographical area.

Paska janjetina or the lamb meat from the island of Pag was described as fresh meat obtained from the slaughter of young lambs of the autochthonous Croatian breed of sheep Paska ovca (Pag sheep) that were born and bred solely on the island of Pag.

Croatia is also known for its other food products protected at the EU level such as turkey from the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, Poljicki soparnik, prosciutto from Drnis, the island of Krk, Istria and Dalmatia, extra virgin oil from Cres, tangerines from the valley of Neretva, sour cabbage from Ogulin, kulen from Baranja and potatoes from Lika.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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