Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
At the Hong Kong Food Festival which was held from the 24th to the 28th of December 2016 in the category of meat products, PIK Vrbovec and the Belje company presented their traditional products for the first time on the Asian market.
The Croatian meat industry exports its products to the CEFTA market and to more than fifteen EU countries such as Italy, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, Austria and others. The sales share of the range of products on foreign markets accounted for 19 percent in 2016.
The 14th Hong Kong Food Festival gathered renowned manufacturers from all around the world and over 1.25 million visitors. On this occasion the Croatian manufacturers had the opportunity to present their indigenous products because Hong Kong is also important as the starting point for the markets of China and the Pacific.
''The PIK's quality and innovation in the manufacture of meat products and fresh meat are recognized on the foreign markets so we believe that our participation at this fair will contribute to our further business expansion on the Asian market particularly interesting and challenging for us'', said Boris Cvetkovic, the export director of the PIK Vrbovec company.
At the latest Asian food festival the Croatian agricultural and processing industry Belje presented its famous sausages Kulenova seka and Baranjski kulen which have the Protected Geographical Indication label.
''Baranjski kulen and Kulenova seka are high quality products of our rich tradition which are manufactured at Belje according to traditional recipes of old masters. Such authentic products are specialty which we have presented on export markets worldwide. The Asian market is very interesting to us due to its tendency for spicy food and products made of the best pork meat such as Baranjski kulen'', commented Ivica Starcevic, the Sales, Marketing and Tourism director at the Belje company.
2Cellos received an invitation from the staff of President-elect of United states Donald Trump. In fact, they have contacted them because they wanted them to play on Trump’s inauguration.
However, the duo had to decline Trump because of pre-planned business commitments. Although they will not be able to play, Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic thanked for the invitation.
Trump’s inauguration will be held on January 20th and it seems that his staff is having some problem finding musicians who will play on it.
The Dubrovnik cable car is back and running after preventive checks were carried out last week. Excelsa Real Estate, the company that operates the cable car announced today that safety checks were carried out by the manufacturer the Austrian company, Teufelberger.
The checks proved that the cables were not damaged in the recent fires on the Srd mountain, so the cable car is back working as normal as of today.
From the 1st of January 2017 a ban on breeding animals for fur production came into force in Croatia.
The ban was adopted by the Animal Protection Act in 2006 and ''thanks to the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture which listened to the public and protected the animal rights in Croatia, the country finally celebrated the entry into force of a fur farming ban’’, said from the Animal Friends Croatia association.
The association stated that the enforcement of the ban was a result of a long-lasting and persistent struggle of citizens, professionals, politicians, vets, members of the EU parliament, institutions and associations for the protection of animals during a ten-year long transitional period in which chinchilla breeders had tried to have the ban abolished.
Since the ban on breeding furry animals became part of the Animal Protection Act in 2006, most breeders of chinchillas, the only fur-breeding animal in Croatia, stopped with fur production, but a minority continued, with the main goal of having the ban abolished.
''Ethical awareness of our citizens managed to overcome the petty profiteering interests and placed Croatia on the map of civilized countries that respect public opinion and adopt high ethical and environmental standards in the treatment of animals'', Animal Friends Croatia said in its statement.
Apart from a cake for the Ministry of Agriculture as a sign of gratitude, the Animal Friends Croatia association will also send a letter of thanks to the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
It's not April fools prank – new 5-stars hotel will be opened in Dubrovnik on April 1st this year! Royal Blue Hotel will be, how they say, ''new oasis of luxury in Dubrovnik''.
Royal Blue Hotel is located in Lapad and has 81 deluxe rooms.
- Spectacular sea view, lavish amenities and stylish furniture will take your breath away just at the first step. You will surely fancy spending time in attractive cocktail and lounge bars or by one of the two shimmering outdoor pools – it's written on the hotel's official page.
Royal Blue Hotel also features an A la carte restaurant and wellness zone, while beach lovers will surely enjoy the amazing Blue Flag beach.
Photos by http://www.hotelroyalblue.com/
In terms of ski tourism, Croatia is way behind traditional European ski countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. However, even though a number of ski resorts in the country are quite small, it is not negligible. Bjelolasica, Sljeme, Platak, Begovo Razdolje, Celimbasa and Trsce offer very good ski pistes as well as some Alp-like houses, villas and cottages in their vicinity for spending magical winter holidays.
For those who would like to bypass the famous French or Austrian ski resorts this year and discover some hidden winter gems, or for those who just have smaller ski budgets, here is the list of houses, villas and cottages that are located near Croatian ski resorts in the Gorski ktar region and which seem quite charming and relaxing.
House on the Bukov vrh (718 Kunas per night/ 8 persons)
Sumska villa, Mrkopalj (1500 Kunas per night/ 8 persons)
House on Platak, near Rijeka (1019 Kunas per night/ 6 persons)
Chalet Pinus Sylvestris, Ravna Gora (1887 Kunas per night/ 9 persons)
House Margerita, Mrkopalj (603 Kunas per night/ 5 persons)
Gospic near Baske Ostarije ski resort (746 Kunas per night/ 9 persons)
Villa Razdolje, Begovo Razdolje (2712 Kunas per night/ 8 persons)
House Ana, Crni Lug (696 Kunas/ 5 persons)
Velika Lesnica, Delnice (904 Kunas per night/ 6 persons)
Flybe will operate new flights to Dubrovnik for this summer season. The British carrier has announced that from the 16th of May this year they will introduce flights, on a twice weekly basis, from London Southend Airport to Dubrovnik.
These new flights are already available for sale on the company’s website and will operate until the 30th of September. These will be the first ever flights to Dubrovnik from Southend Airport.
The airline has also introduced new flights to Zadar from Southend Airport, also on a twice weekly basis, for this summer season.
The Snow Queen Trophy 2017 World cup alpine ski races are to begin with women’s slalom ski race on Sljeme near Zagreb on the 3rd of January.
On occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first FIS World Cup ski race, in the evening of the 4th of January a slalom ski race of the world skiing legends will be organized in the Bakaceva Street in the very heart of Zagreb. This is the first time in the history that a ski race will be held in the centre of a metropolis. That is why the world media expressed their interest in broadcast live this event such as ORF from Austria, SRF from Switzerland, SVT from Sweden, Eurosport and even BBC and J SPORTS from Japan.
The ski track in the Bakaceva Street is 165 metres long, whilst 900 cubic metres of snow is provided for its construction and thickness of 50 centimetres.
Interestingly, wooden sticks will be placed at the starting point of the ski track just as it was practice 50 years ago, whilst modern slalom gates will be placed at the finishing line in order to show how the ski technology has changed throughout the history.
Many World Cup winners will participate in an exhibition ski race such as Janica and Ivica Kostelic, Pernilla Wiberg, Marc Girardelli, Alberto Tomba, Petra Kronberger, Tina Maze, Michaela Dorfmeister, Andreas Wenzel etc. During the race, each of them will use equipment or props from the time of their successful skiing careers such as skis, sticks, helmets, gloves etc.