Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.
What comes to your mind when you think about summer in Croatia? Surely sea, sun, beaches, lazy days – or shorter: vacation. However, a lot of Croatians can’t even dream about traveling. According to the Eurostat research about the ability of the members of European Union to go on a one-week annual holiday, 58.1 percent of Croatians just can’t afford it.
According to data released for 2017, Romania is still at the bottom of the list, since 64.8 percent of its residents can’t afford a vacation.
Croatia is just a bit better than Romania, second from the bottom, with 58.1 percent – as we already mentioned.
In front of Croatia there are countries such as Cyprus with 52.3 percent and Hungary with 50.9 percent.
When it comes to our neighbors - only 22.8 percent of Slovenia's population can’t afford a week-long vacation away from home.
If you are visiting Dubrovnik, there is one thing you shouldn't miss – going to the beautiful island of Lokrum, located just a short ferry ride from the Old City of Dubrovnik.
Since the weather is getting warmer and days are longer, you will be happy to know that from tomorrow, April 28th, you will have more time to explore this amazing island. The ferry will operate from 10 am to 6 pm. Don't worry - that's more than enough time to enjoy the beauty of Lokrum.
When it comes to ticket prices, just recently Lokrum has published a new price list. This year tickets are 150 kuna (about 20 euro) instead of 120 kuna like last year. The price for groups (through agency) is also be bigger – it increased from 100 to 120 kuna per person, while the ticket far children (from 5 to 15 years) stayed at the price of 25 kuna.
The season has started! And not the summer season, but the season of celebrities arriving to Dubrovnik. This is the perfect time to spend some quality time in our city and former Miss Earth, supermodel and actress Nicole Faria surely knows that!
She arrived to Dubrovnik with her friends and couldn't wait to publish some photos on her official Instagram profile that is followed by more than 50 thousand people. Photos got numerous comments – some admiring Dubrovnik and others admiring Nicole and her friends. She also posted a lot of stories from our city, but from today's story we can see that she continued her trip – in Italy.
For those who don't know, Nicole Faria an Indian supermodel and actress from Bangalore who won the Miss Earth 2010. She is the first woman from India to win Miss Earth. She is the brand ambassador for various brands including CLEAN & CLEAR and Blueberry.
Have you ever experienced fjaka? If you are from Dalmatia – you most certainly did. If you are from any other part of world – you most certainly did, but didn't know it's called like that.
Fjaka is really an art, an art of doing nothing, without even having an urge of moving or doing anything useful. It's Croatian's phenomenon and it’s really hard to describe – you need to feel it to know it. Just imagine a warm, sweaty day, your mind is blurry, you find a shade and just lay there and that’s about it. If anybody asks you what’s wrong with you, you can answer – ‘’I am just a bit fjakan. It must be the weather’’ and they will let you be.
Even though fjaka is the way of living for many, many years, it seems that it’s a trend too this year – according to Daily Mail.
-Last year saw the Danish trend of 'hygge' sweeping the world of fashion, food and interiors. But there is a whole new wave of buzzwords to know in 2018 - and some are so obscure you'll struggle to pronounce them – Daily Mail writes in their recent article.
And can you guess which word is first? Yes, fjaka!
-Fjaka - fy-aka (Croatia) - Relaxing your body and your mind and delighting in the feeling of doing nothing – explains the Daily Mail.
And this is not the first time fjaka is mentioned in foreign media. For example, just at the start of 2018, BBC published an article titled Dalmatia's fjaka state of mind. The writer Kristin Vuković explains in her article for the BBC that a fjaka is “a sublime state in which a human aspires for nothing.” She described her experience and really got into the fjaka state of mind.
Since it's spring, it's really warm and this is article is getting too long, I'm starting to feel the fjaka already. Excuse me…
If you are visiting Dubrovnik this weekend, there is one important information that you need to know! Due to the fourth edition of the sports and recreation event Du Motion - Runners' Days Dubrovnik that will be held on the 28th and 29th of April, Dubrovnik City Walls will be closed for visitors on Saturday, 28th of April from 8am until 12am.
Just a reminder - almost 2,500 runners will run this weekend on Dubrovnik's streets! Every year, runners from all around the world arrive in Dubrovnik go get an unique running experience.
This two-day sports and tourism event in its fourth year is still confirmed as the most international event of this kind in Croatia and the region.
Is there anybody in the world that doesn't love dolphins? They are absolutely adorable and that's why it was really amazing to see the photos made in North Dalmatia by The Blue World Institute.
Their research team spent the past few days studying common bottlenose dolphins.The research activities are part of a multiannual collaboration with public institutions “Kornati National Park” and “Nature Park Telascica”.
-During the two-day fieldwork, we observed five groups of bottlenose dolphins on the southernmost part of Kornati Island and off the west coast of Dugi Island, within Nature Park Telascica. The collected data will contribute to defining the spatial distribution of common bottlenose dolphins in this area and will improve the current knowledge on social relationships and interactions between the individuals within investigated areas.In addition to the impressive beauty of the landscape, we also admired the rich marine biodiversity – The Blue World Institute wrote at their official website.
And just look at the photos! They are so lovely.
All photos by Blue World Institute
As the summer season approaches, the number of events in Dubrovnik increases. You get the chance to enjoy our beautiful city, but also numerous concerts and plays.
On Saturday, April 28th, one interesting concert will take place in the Mirror Hall of the Dubrovnik Public Library! Shanghai female choir will join forces with Divona female choir from Dubrovnik. This event is organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Dubrovnik Libraries and is free of charge, so don't miss it.
Reporters without borders (RSF) published World Press Freedom Index for 2018 and Croatia is ranked 69th. That shows a modest progress, since it was ranked 74th in 2017.
However, there is still a lot to deal with when it comes to journalism in Croatia. Reporters without borders published an explanation for every country ranked.
-Journalists investigating corruption, organized crime, or war crimes are often subjected to harassment campaigns. Defamation is criminalized and insulting “the Republic, its emblem, its national hymn or flag” is punishable by up to three years in prison. Worse still, “humiliating” media content has been criminalized since 2013 – Reporters without borders write about Croatia, adding that one more problem is the meddling of the government in the public TV broadcaster HRT – limiting media independence. They explain that HRT is clearly under political pressure and interest groups try to infulence its editorial policies and interfere in its internal management.
-In a joint visit in January 2018, RSF and other international press freedom NGOs found that there has been a slight improvement in the situation. They also paid tribute to the police, who have of late increased the number of arrests in cases of physical violence against journalists. Physical attacks, along with threats and cyber-violence, continue to be a major problem for journalists in Croatia – it's written at the Reporters without borders official page.