''This is such a wonderful weather for all those activities we planned to do on our vacation. A dose of rain, a dose of sun, pleasantly warm and perfect for touring, excursions, walking and hiking. For our group which arrived here from Canada for the very first time, this is a dream come true holiday. Peace and quiet, relaxation and enjoyment in activities we love'', said with a smile a young Canadian who is visiting Bol on the island of Brac.
This year is a record breaking one for the Croatian tourism industry. Even in September almost all hotels along the Adriatic coast are booked to capacity till the end of the month despite this unstable weather. Some estimates say that this year Croatia has reached the best ever tourism results from 1987 when it was a member country of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia.
Although the weather conditions are quite tricky, tourists simply enjoy their holiday in Croatia. Tourists from northern Europe, where autumn with lower temperatures has already started, arrived on the Adriatic shores simply to enjoy in the mild and beautiful September weather.
''Rain?! Who cares about the rain? We enjoy swimming in the sea while it rains because the sea is warm, and we have never seen such a beautiful colour of the sea water. There are many stunning beaches in Australia, but this is something special. We are in Croatia for the first time and we will recommend it to everyone we know. We didn't opt for Croatia in September only for swimming, but considering the fact that it is a beginning of autumn every day in which we can enjoy in the warm and clear blue sea is like winning a lottery'', commented young tourist from Australia.
These off-season guests have also emphasized that there are lots of interesting tourist attractions in Croatia, the food is not expensive and they are very happy and feel quite safe here.
Dubrovnik marked the World Car Free Day today, the 22nd of September, with an organised ride around the city. Bikers gathered on Pile in front of the Old City of Dubrovnik and after a ride around the town finished on the Stradun in the heart of the historic city.
The event to mark car-free day was organised by the City of Dubrovnik, the Development Agency for Dubrovnik DURA and the association for road safety.
The event "promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance". Studies showed that for short trips in cities, one can reach more quickly using a bicycle rather than using a car.
The Dogus Group, one of the top three largest private-sector conglomerates in Turkey and the Hyatt Hotels Corporation are planning to open Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska, the first Hyatt hotel in Croatia in the spring of 2019. Apart from the new hotel, the Dogus Group will also build 115 luxurious residences as well as a commercial complex with exclusive shops, restaurants and cafe bars. This investment is estimated at 100 million Euros.
''We are quite small and we cannot afford ourselves to be average. The policy of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian government is to encourage excellence in all segments, not only in the tourism industry. Results of the Dogus Group are impressive, whilst the results of this year's tourist season in Croatia with 83 million achieved overnight stays are record breaking'', said Anton Kliman, the Croatian minister of tourism.
''We strongly believe in the great potential of Croatia. That is why we continue to invest in areas and sectors that fit sustainably into the corporate policy of the Dogus Group. We have several hotels and marinas on the Croatian coast and we are confident that the project Maraska will contribute to the beauty of the city of Zadar, as well as to the development of the tourism portfolio of the Dogus Group '', emphasized Hüsnü Akhan, the CEO of the Dogus Group.
Burak Baykan, the regional manager of the Dogus Group for Croatia and Montenegro said that they were very proud to cooperate with Hyatt and to have the opportunity to introduce Hyatt Regency, one of the most famous world hotel brands in Croatia.
''Together with the Hyatt Corporation we will work on the transformation of the old factory of Maraska drinks into the Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska which will offer the highest level of service to its guests. We are convinced that a brand like Hyatt will significantly contribute to the attractiveness of the city of Zadar as a tourist destination, to the overall development of the Croatia’s tourist offer as well as to its positioning in the segment of luxury tourism. The commercial complex will be open to all citizens of Zadar. Upon the completion of this project, the total amount of the Dogus Group investment in Croatia will rise to 350 million Euros, "concluded Burak Baykan, adding that the hotel would open 170 new jobs and have a positive impact on indirect employment.
The International Movie Festival “SILK ROAD – PATH OF DIALOGUE“ organized by the Marco Polo Institute that will take place in Korčula from September 22-27 continues the rich cultural program in Korčula. The Festival hopes to inspire the development of cultural cooperation and dialogue among the participating countries. During the Festival, we will be able to see a selection of movies from Syria, Turkey, China, Iran, Macedonia, Russia, India and Croatia, and thus make a modest contribution to the establishment of dialogue among the participating countries.
The festival presents a selection of recent movie production from the countries located on the silk road. The Silk Road is almost certainly the most important link in the history of mankind, connecting three continents with the key role in the development of human civilization. However, the Silk Road is not only a transportation link between the continents. It served as a cultural link between the cultures of the West and the East that helped share crucial religious, mystical and philosophical ideas, scientific, military and economic achievements and discoveries. It also contributed to the rise and fall of large empires and states. It is our desire to collect all new, experimental, radical, creative and characteristic movie production, mainstream or not, primarily focused on excellence and peculiarity.
“I support the Festival and trust that the cosmopolitan spirit of our city will help this event become a traditional gathering of participants from the Silk Road countries, some of which decided to participate in the Festival in spite of war atrocities,” commented the Mayor of Korcula, Andrija Fabris.
Alex Jaskolowska is a young blogger that is on a constant travel around the world. She has recently visited Dubrovnik and made a buzz on social networks, especially Instagram. On her blog Travel and keep fit she describes her two greatest passions: traveling and healthy lifestyle. For The Dubrovnik Times she shared her inspiration, experiences and gave us a tip how to stay fit in Dubrovnik.
How did you decide to start to travel around the world?
I guees it came naturally. Travelling has been always an important part of my life since early childhood. For all these years it has been taking different forms. There was a time for family trips, language camps, self-exploration, but also for studying and working in different countries. So far, I have been on 5 continents and in more than 60 countries. In many of them I have been living for a long time. I have always had this kind of impatience that didn’t let me sit in one place and pushed me forward. When I was a kid I had a small globe in my room and I used to spin it around, close my eyes, and pick some place. Then, I was dreaming about it. I guess I had this instinct from the beginning. I wanted to know more, observe more and understand more about my surrounding.
Is it hard to stay fit during the travels? How do you manage it?
It not super easy, but it's possible. The main things you need are motivation and good organization. If health and strong body is important to you then nothing can change that. Even travelling.
People often ask me how do I find time, place or opportunity to exercise. Also, how to eat healthy without skipping a local cuisine. First of all, I choose smart. I’ve been on the road for the last few years and not taking care about my body for so long wasn’t an option. I remember about several rules no matter where I am. I try to eat healthy, nutritious food. I look for fresh, local products, like fruits, vegetables or seafood. I always carry a healthy snack. And I have my routines. I exercise a few times a week and I try different forms of activities. Sometimes it’s a gym, sometimes the whole body workout without equipment. I run a lot in new places and it’s one of my favorite ways to sightsee. I also try new activities like surfing in Australia or Taekwondo in South Korea. Almost every place in the world offers some activity that is worth trying! Hence, I always have fun and I’m not bored.
How do you pick countries you will visit?
That's easy. I have a long list of countries that I would love to explore. I've visited some of them for the last years, but I still have so many. I try to visit them systematically.
For some time my travels were related to my studies and my scientific work. I took part in student exchange in South Korea (Konkuk University in Seoul) and Italy (Universita degli Studi di Firenze in Florence). From that time, I knew that studying and working abroad was a perfect opportunity to explore the world. So I decided to go for more. I received government scholarships for my research in Japan (Osaka University), United States (College William&Mary in Williamsburg) and Australia (Macquarie University in Sydney). In the meantime I took part in many scientific conferences and projects e.g. in South Africa, California and Europe. Beyond that I always took a chance to visit the places close to those where I lived or worked. For instance, when I have been studding in Seoul I made a trip to Philippines. When I have finished my fellowship in Australia, I just had to visit New Zealand. Every occasion is good enough to see more, right?:)
Do you learn something in every country?
Sure thing! I believe that traveling is the greatest way to get to know yourself and other people and to learn that there is more than one way of life. Travelling is literally everything to me. It gives you lessons. Teaches how to be open-minded, patient and more empathetic. Wherever you travel you can learn something new and observe how fascinated the world can be outside your box. Certainly, it’s a good opportunity to try new things and find courage for new adventures. Studying and working abroad gave me a chance to be a part of other cultures and I consider it as one of the most important things in my life. I have learned a lot about people and their behaviors in different parts of the world. In fact, I have learned much more about people during my travels than from the academic books. I’m psychologist and it was very fascinating to discover that I really knew nothing about life until I moved forward and discovered the world.
Travelling a lot didn’t change the fact that I’m crazy about sport and healthy lifestyle. That is why I always try to combine these two spheres. I like to try new activities in places where I’m staying, like practicing Muay Thai with locals in Thailand or horse riding in New Zealand. Anything that may be exciting and challenging. That’s a wonderful way to keep fit and explore the culture in the same time.
Why did you decide to visit Dubrovnik?
It wasn't my first time here. I used to spend holidays with my parents in Croatia when I was a child. When I had an occacion to re-visit Dubrovnik as an adult, I did it again. I really wanted to confront my memories with reality. And you know what? It's more beautiful than I remebered. Maybe because I see and understand more, so now I can fully appreciate the beauty of this city.
Did you like it? What was your favorite thing?
I love Croatia for its people, culture and architecture. Dubrovink is a special place. In the Old Town I felt like traveling a few centuries back in time. You can really feel a different reality and that's a treasure. I had a wonderful time here. The greatest moment, was an early morning jogging through the city. I was quite alone, since it was 5.30 am and I had a chance to admire the buildings while running. There was a sun, me and silence. Beautiful experience.
How to stay fit in Dubrovnik?
I'm sure there are a few ways to do it, but this time I've chosen morning jogging around the Old Town. I think the best time to do it, is an early morning before the tourists come in and the sun is very strong. I woke up at 5am, wore my sport shoes and just started to run. I lived close to the Old Town, so it was easy-breazzy. I need to admit that it was magical. The city is so beautiful and the are plenty places to run between small streets. To make it more comlpex, I made some push-ups, squats and crunches on my way. I used the stairs and bench I have found. Running is the easiest way to workout, because you only need a good pair of shoes and a bit of energy. A great idea is also to run on the City Walls. More challenging, but the view is worthy!
What is your next destination?
After my last, long trip across Asia, I stayed in Europe so my plans for the next few months are focused here. I'm going to France and Finland soon. At the beginng of the next year I'm going to have another big, few-months trip to South America. I'm so excited about it, but there are plenty of things to plan in advance so I am a busy girl now.
“Love” seems to be an important word in my life lately. It is the reason behind many decisions I've made and paths I've taken. Perhaps too many. When it comes to personal relations, love is an excellent guide and helps define goals better than any other feeling. On the other hand, when you let it affect your business life as well (and I do that often), things can get complicated.
My wife and I own a company in its second year of business which is quite an uphill part of the business development process. Yesterday morning we went to see our business banker and for the remainder of the day, when someone would ask me “Hi, how are you?” – I would reply “I’ve been to the bank this morning.” – to which most of them would just go quiet and nod their heads as if to say they understand the struggle.
Our business is an absolute labour of love, but since we love things that are a bit out of typical mainstream, we are not making as much money as we could considering the work hours and level of knowledge we put into it. This is the realisation I’m living with for a while now, and I can’t say it doesn’t bother me. My profession is management. There is no nobility tied to earning less in this area of human endeavour. Also, modern day Croatia and certainly Dubrovnik are societies that put plenty of emphasis on the importance of earning money, sometimes even to the point where dishonest practices are painted a pale shade of grey. This constant pressure for validation through one’s bank account makes patiently waiting for one’s work of passion to come to fruition that much more disheartening.
“Do what you love and you will not work a day in your life.” – reads a popular saying. It’s not true, don’t fall for it. If you are in it for the love, you will be working your butt off. So much it will damage your health and your relationships, at least a bit. This is one thing you can be sure of. There is no successful business built from the ground up that didn’t involve a whole lot of work.
So, to summarize, love will make you do all sorts of silly things in life, but in business it can make you work very long hours, risk your financial future, and make you seem crazy in the eyes of those around you. All this just so you can have a product or service of your own that you can be proud of (and maybe sleep in on Monday every once in a while).
So, why do it? Because you can’t force yourself not to. You see, when you are running your own business (that you feel passionate about), you get hooked on a very special feeling. This feeling is one of freedom and you get to feel it during those short quiet-before-the-storm moments when you get to relax, take a deep breath, and realise you are actually working on making your dreams come true. Nothing money can buy is a fitting replacement for that feeling.
Besides that, sometimes you do get to sleep in on Monday.
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.
September is World Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Alzheimer's Action Day was marked today, the 21st of September. And the Dubrovnik based society, DUSAB – Dubrovnik Association for Alzheimer sufferers, their carers, family and friends – organised an event in order to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
DUSAB stated that the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has over 3,000 patients (according to the latest statistics from Alzheimer Europe) and that year on year the number of patients is growing. They also warned that there still are many stigmas related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia and that the disease still remains a mystery to the scientific community.
“My husband became ill with dementia and my daughter helped me to care. We came up with the idea to establish an association,” commented Beba Pazin, one of the founders of DUSAB. She added that the association meets every Tuesday in their Dubrovnik premises in which they hold lectures, workshops, psychotherapy and exchange experiences. “We are fighting the stigma that the disease has on a daily basis, and slowly but surely are moving forward,” concluded Pazin.
On the World Day of Alzheimer's disease the DUSAB association explained their work to the gathered patients, carers and people interested or affected by the disease.
Photos - DUSAB Facebook
Within the programme of its Europe Direct Dubrovnik Information Centre and in cooperation with educational institutions and cultural associations, as well as the Albanian consulate, the French consulate, the Hungarian consulate, and the Spanish consulate in Dubrovnik, Europe House Dubrovnik is organizing the European Day of Languages celebration on the 26th of September.
An entertaining and educational programme is set to take place on Monday the 26th of September at 10:30 a.m. in front of the St Blaise Church. Primary and secondary school pupils, college students, representatives of associations, foreign nationals living in Dubrovnik and tourist guides are all partaking in the event, presented by the “Englishman in Dubrovnik,” Mark Thomas. At the same time, the Europe House Dubrovnik's young wandering librarians will sell second hand books in foreign languages in front of the Sponza Palace.
The European Day of Languages initiative was launched by the Council of Europe in 2001 in order to encourage multilingualism and multiculturalism in Europe. Through various events in all European countries, citizens' attention is being drawn to the importance of language learning for better intercultural understanding, at all ages, through formal and informal education. Europe House Dubrovnik is celebrating the European Day of Languages for the third year in a row. Last year's celebration was voted the most innovative event of the 2015 European Day of Languages on the European Day of Languages official website.
Come along to the European Day of Languages in Dubrovnik on the 26th of September at 10.30am in front of the St. Blaise Church and support this worthy event.
The second oldest cruise ship in the world docked in the Port of Dubrovnik this morning, the MV Astoria. Constructed back in 1944 and launched in 1946 Astoria has had an eventful history; passing through several owners and now under the control of the UK based company Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV).
During seven decades of services Astoria has been renamed seven times and sailing under the name Stockholm she collided with the Andrea Doria which resulted with the Andrea Doria sinking at 46 passengers and crew losing their lives.
When she was originally launched in the Astoria was the largest ship ever built in Sweden and operated the North Atlantic route between the USA and the UK. Sadly this is cruise to Dubrovnik could be one of the last for the Astoria as it was announced that the final cruise with CMV would be on the 27 April 2017 from London.
At its meeting held on Tuesday, the 20th of September 2016, the City Council of the city of Sibenik adopted the complete amendments to the General Urban Plan (GUP) of the city area of Sibenik.
With these amendments the area of the Zablace peninsula, the location recently visited by the Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, was marked as a site for a mixed construction of accommodation facilities, reported RTL News.
''At the Zablace peninsula, more precisely at the location from the Mala Solina lake towards the sea, these new amendments to the GUP allow the construction of a hotel and apartment complex as well as the construction of villas with all the supporting infrastructure. The area includes about 50 hectares of land and is expected to be turned into a new ''tourist city'', said Madlena Rosa Dulibic, the head of the Urban Planning Department of the city of Sibenik.
During Brad Pitt’s recent visit to Zablace, accompanied by representatives of a Swiss holding company, it was quite certain that the popular actor was very much interested to become a co-investor, together with his business partners from Switzerland, in the construction of the ’’tourist city”, which value is estimated at nearly two billion Euros.