Thursday, 22 September 2022

The Play "Komik Motion Show" Premiers At The "Luda Kuća" Theatre!

September 23, 2022 - What better way to end the first Monday of October than laughing? Luda Kuća (Mad House) theatre will take care of that. The Comedy „Komik Motion Show“, directed by the world-famous clown, star of the great Cirque du Soleil and a Broadway winner Tony David Shiner, premiers at the Luda Kuća theatre at 8 p.m. on Monday, October 3rd.

 

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The play is co-produced by Triko Cirkus Theatre, Luda Kuća and artist Ivan Đuričič. It is a motion comedy intended for everyone, the actors communicate exclusively with body movements accompanied by sound effects and good music, which is why there are no language barriers. Both David Shiner and Ivan Đuričič act in the play, beside them on stage are Bojan Ban, Iskra Jirsak, Nikolina Majdak and Iva Peter Dragan. Following its premiere on October 3rd, the play will take place again on Thursday, October 6th.

 

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What will you watch, who will you watch, and what will you laugh at?

The world master of motion comedy and clowning, David Shiner, after Cirque du Soleil, found himself in Zagreb where he discovered the five samurai and decided to tell a story with them. Now called the six magnificent fools, they will be providing the Croatian audience with an evening of laughter, chaos and fun that will take them to the mystical East exclusively using the instruments of movement, sound and music.

 

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Through a series of events that had their world premieres, David Shiner attempts to answer the question of whether there is life after death while presenting several of his own clown gags that have been firing up on Broadway and Cirque du Soleil. These events have been interpreted and prepared specially for the Croatian audience. 

 

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How did the idea and collaboration come about?

The Croatian audience has not had the opportunity to see this type of play in its recent history of theatre. Its co-producers, Triko Cirkus Theatre and Luda Kuća explained how the idea surfaced after a statement made by Ivan Đuričić: "David Shiner came to Croatia following an invitation by Triko Cirkus Theater in 2018 and held a clown workshop in Zagreb during which several very humorous scenes created the clown samurai." This gave him the idea for a new play, and thanks to the excellent Croatian actors, who are acting in the play, decided to do it in Zagreb. "That's where we got involved. We rolled up our sleeves. However, our process was slowed down by the Coronavirus pandemic, but here we are today. We are ready to cheer people up, make them laugh and bring the spirit of the world-famous Cirque du Soleil and Broadway to Zagreb through Luda Kuća on the street of Zvonimirova."

 

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"After 40 years of working in the world of motion theatre, I really felt, and still feel, immense happiness that I discovered a group of actors in Croatia entirely dedicated to accepting and building new theatres without fear or doubt, instead with great joy. I can't wait for the "Komik Motion Show"; and the ensemble that makes the wonderful Zagreb audience laugh, relax and cheer up". said the Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, and now Luda Kuća star, David Shiner.

 

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Iva Peter Dragan, artistic director of Triko Cirkus Theatre, continued: "I am especially glad that a clown and a comedian of such calibre chose the city of Zagreb and its actors to work on his latest play. I am glad as producers and as clowns that he recognized our potential and desire to offer something different from what the local audience is used to seeing, although it's risky. Laughter in theatre is too little, sincere emotions even less, and that's why I hope the audience will accept and embrace us."

 

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On behalf of Luda Kuća, its co-owner Rene Bitorajac added that the "Komik Motion Show" perfectly fit into the philosophy and the direction of the theatre. As he further explained, the play "Komik Motion Show" will be on the billboards of Luda Kuća to play in two parts. There is the premiere on October 3rd, and the next performance will take place on Thursday, October 6th. Because Shiner is a great globally renowned artist and is engaged in various projects, his show "Kooza" is currently being performed in Cirque du Soleil, the next dates of the "Komik Motion Show" will be set according to the availability of our actors and, of course, of Shiner himself. 

 

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Thursday, 22 September 2022

Croatia Moves to Top of Nations League Group with Win against Denmark in Zagreb!

September 22, 2022 - Croatia beats Denmark 2:1 in Zagreb and moves to the top of their Nations League group! 

Croatia and Denmark met at a sold-out Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday night in the 5th round of the Nations League.  

Before tonight's match, Demark led the group with nine points, while Croatia was two points behind with 7. A win would bring them to the top of the group. 

Croatia also played for the first time in their new kits, which they will wear at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

The winner of the group travels to the Nations League final tournament, which is scheduled for June next year, while the bottom team moves to League B.

Before the national anthems, recently retired national team member Šime Vrsaljko was honored by the Croatian Football Federation. 22,715 fans were in attendance. 

Lineups

Croatia (4-3-3): Livaković - Juranović, Josip Šutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa - Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić - Pašalić, Kramarić, Perišić

Denmark (4-3-3): Schmeichel - Andersen, A. Christensen, Kjaer, Maehle - Wass, Höjbjerg, Delaney - Skov Olsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite

Match Report

Luka had the first attack of the match in the 2nd minute and played up the pitch with Kramaric. Luka took the ball to the goal line and got Croatia's first corner. Luka sent the ball in, but Sosa played back into the box to find Gvardiol's head. Brozovic shot over the goal in the 5th minute. 

Perisic and Kramaric played up the left wing in Croatia's next attack, but Perisic played to the keeper. In the 7th minute, Mario Pasalic sent the ball in front of the opponent's goal, but it was cleared by the defense. 

Denmark finally began possessing from the 10th minute. Sosa cleared a dangerous shot by Eriksen and Croatian regained possession. Luka was brilliant again in the 15th minute, dribbling into the Denmark box and crossing into the penalty area. No Croatia player could get to the ball quick enough. Denmark then forced a quick counter which resulted in their first corner. 

Croatia's best chance came in the 16th minute when Perisic crossed into the box from the goal line. The ball was then played out to Kovacic, who shanked over the goal. 

Perisic's shot in the 21st minute also went over the goal. Daniel Wass had a great chance for Denmark in the next play but just missed the goal.

Another great attack for Croatia in the 25th minute went out for a corner. The ball ultimately found Gvardiol's head but went out of play. 

Livakovic saved a dangerous chance from Denmark in the 34th minute. Joakim Maehle fought for space but show low in the middle of the goal and straight into Livakovic's hands.

Ivan Perišić received a yellow card in the 36th minute. 

Eriksen shot from outside the box in the 38th minute, forcing Livakovic to punch the ball out for a corner. 

Croatia kept possession with short passes and waited for a hole in the defense. The match ended 0:0 at halftime. 

The second half started without any changes. 

Croatia's first corner of the second half came in the 47th minute. The ball came out to Borna Sosa at the top of the box, who shot low in the bottom left corner of the goal for 1:0 Croatia!

Kramaric shot from a distance in the next attack but went over the goal.  

Modric was fouled on the edge of the box in the 56th minute. Perisic shot low near post but hit the outside net. 

Denmark made their first subs in the 60th minute. Mikkel Damsgaard came on for Martin Braithwaite, Rasmus Hojlund for Thomas Delaney, and  Rasmus Kristensen for Daniel Wass.

Luka and Perisic had a great play in the 65th minute, and Luka's shot was blocked by the Denmark keeper. Kramaric tried to score on his own in the next attack but played to the Denmark defense. 

Kovacic missed a great opportunity in the 69th minute.

Dalic subbed off Pasalic, Perisic, and Kramaric for Vlasic, Orsic, and Petkovic in the71st minute. Mathias Jensen was subbed for Simon Kjaer.

A lapse in the Croatia defense gave Eriksen space to shoot in the 77th minute. The Denmark star nailed the upper corner of the goal to tie the game. 

Mateo Kovačić was replaced by Lovro Majer in the 79th minute, which resulted in a goal seconds after he entered the pitch. Majer shot with his left foot into the right corner of the goal for 2:1 Croatia! 

Croatia's defense cleared a dangerous Denmark chance in the 84th minute. The play continued and Livakovic kept the game a 2:1. 

Denmark was hungry to equalize, but Croatia remained solid. Vlasic had a chance in the 90th minute, and the ref added 4 mins of stoppage time. Denmark had a scary chance in the final minutes.  

Luka Modric was subbed off in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for Domagoj Vida. 

The match ended 2:1 for Croatia! Croatia plays Austria next on Sunday in Vienna. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Marijana Begonja, from Mississauga CA to Zagreb

September 23, 2022 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Marijana Begonja, who moved from Mississauga, CA, to Zagreb.

My name is Marijana Begonja. I was born in Zadar, Croatia, in 1987. In 1988, my family moved to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. At 21, I decided it was time to try something I’d thought a lot about before: moving to Croatia. First, I moved to Dubrovnik to complete my university education; then, I moved to Zagreb to pursue my professional career. Currently, I work as a Senior Sales Manager at Procter & Gamble. My family is scattered between Croatia and Canada, with my sister, brother-in-law, and their 3 children living in Toronto, my brother living in Zagreb, and my parents spending their retirement going between Privlaka (our hometown), Mississauga, and Zagreb. We hope one day that we’ll all be permanently together in Croatia.

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1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane.

When we moved to Canada, I was a baby, but my older sister was 9, so she always had the desire to move back to Croatia and made a move in 2004. At the time, I was in high school, and she was looking into universities in Croatia for me. However, as I’m not a huge risk taker, I ended up deciding to go to university in Canada for graphic communications management. At some point, I realized it was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and started working at a bank. At 19, working at a bank and living from home, I thought I didn’t need university, so I dropped out. My parents were adamant about me getting a university education as they knew the potential was there and worked very hard in Canada to secure us a bright future. They both even worked 2 jobs at a time, so I felt I couldn’t let them down. I decided at that point it was now or never and applied to a university in Croatia. Once I was accepted, the decision was made. It was a surprisingly short decision; in November 2007, I dropped out of university in Canada, and in August 2008, I was on a plane to Croatia.

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2. What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time?

Overall I had huge support across the board. My father was probably the most supportive as it was his dream for us to move back (we were only supposed to move to Canada temporarily, but unfortunately, the war changed this). He immediately started looking for apartments for me to rent. My mom, knowing my nature of not liking change, was supportive as long as I was happy but had a feeling I might change my mind after 2 weeks. She was also happy that her daughters would be together again but still sad that another child was moving away. The hardest part was leaving my little brother behind. He was 13 at the time, and both my sister and I had a big role in raising him given the age gap, and suddenly at a critical time in his life, he would be alone. Of course, my sister was the most excited as we would be reunited once again and started making a million plans for us to do together. My friends were fantastic and made sure my last few months in Canada were ones to remember and made sure to keep in contact once I left. We had multiple going away parties and even started some traditions that still last to this day. My boss at the bank where I was working at the time was extremely supportive despite my resigning shortly after getting promoted, telling me this was something I really needed, meaning it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone.

 

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3. Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

My sister is probably the best big sister anyone in the world could ask for. If it wasn’t for her paving the path for me, I never would have made a move. She helped me with a lot of the administration, documents, setting up a bank account, etc. She went everywhere with me, making the process easy for me, whereas when she came, she had to figure it all out on her own.  She gave me a lot of advice on all aspects of life in Croatia, so I would say I was well prepared.

 

4. What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and what was the reality of what you found?

After spending two years at university in Canada and deciding not to continue and changing my direction into economics, I pretty much lost those two years. I was afraid that if I failed, I would lose more time in my life and have to start somewhere from scratch again. My second greatest fear was letting my family down. Throughout my entire life, they were my support system, and if I realized I made a mistake at some point, I was worried about letting them down. Luckily for me, very soon after moving back, I knew I was going to stay for good. The lifestyle was much more fit to my personality, honest friendships which quickly formed the ability to meet with someone at any given point for a coffee. As an extrovert, this was a huge positive for me. At university, I was quickly getting good grades, and in my first semester, I made the dean's list, so I realized I finally found a path suited for me.

 

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5. Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia, and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

I have to commend my parents here because, thanks to them, I would say my perceptions were very realistic. Unlike a lot of other diasporas, they weren’t so focused on teaching me the history (which, of course, they did), they encouraged me to understand the present situation in Croatia throughout all the years and the progress it was making. They didn’t focus so much on the difficult times such as the war but focused on the prosperity post-war. I had cousins my age in Croatia on my mom’s side, and she encouraged me to stay in contact with them, which helped a lot. My dad encouraged me to discover things such as current music and things that would interest me. So thanks to all this, I would say my perceptions weren’t way off. There were two things for which I would say my perceptions were a bit different than reality. Firstly being from Zadar, for me, Dalmatia was Croatia, and all of the beauties of Croatia were in Dalmatia. Thanks mostly to my job, I had the pleasure of exploring all parts of Croatia, both rural and urban, and realized that Croatia has so many beautiful gems across the country, and Dalmatia is just one part of it. The second thing is I knew my Croatian wasn’t perfect and was afraid I would get made fun of a lot for this and tried to hide it as much as possible. It was the exact opposite, people find it endearing, and to this date, I embrace my “undefined” accent.

 

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6. You are still here, so obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

Correct, the pros outweigh the cons. The biggest pro for me is the overall social aspect. Firstly, people are more honest in Croatia. Let me give an example – in Canada, if you run into an acquaintance, you say “how are you?” to each other, but really it’s just a formality, and if you answer anything other than “good, thanks”, you’re weird. In Croatia, though, you answer honestly, and you engage in conversation. Friendships and relationships, I would say, develop faster because a lot of personal time is dedicated to socializing, and it’s more than just coffee as the perception. It’s going for a walk, playing a sport together, etc.

Geographically Croatia is perfect. In one day, I can be at the top of Sljeme, and the next day it’s a few hours' drive to the seaside. Croatian nature offers something for everyone. Also, being located in Central Europe, so many destinations are easily accessible. Weekend trips are the norm, whether in Croatia or outside the borders. I feel that despite Canada being a multicultural country, I have gained so much more cultural knowledge of the world while living in Croatia. In general, I feel more intelligent about my knowledge of the world since moving here. There’s much more curiosity to discover things outside the world we live in here rather than in Canada.

One other thing I feel is significantly better in Croatia than in Canada is the security financial institutions provide. Croatia was using chip cards in masses while Canada was still in magnetic strips. Additionally, as internet banking and apps developed, I feel like Croatia was always a step ahead in providing great services while still maintaining high security. It seems to me that cases of identity theft and such were more frequent in Canada, but this could be due to the nature of my job in Canada.

The main thing that I wish I could change in Croatia is customer service. In Canada, a sales associate in stores is extremely friendly (too much, in my opinion) and constantly asks you if you need help. In many stores in Croatia, you’re lucky if you get “izvolite” (here you go). I guess being exposed to two extremes, I wish Croatia would find itself in the middle. Especially when it comes to escalations. In Canada, most disputes can be resolved on the spot or over a phone call. Whereas any complaint or dispute always has to be handled in writing in Croatia and can take months to resolve. Also, in Canada, the question “can I speak to your manager” usually results in a resolution, but in Croatia, the answer is always no.

 

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7. What advice do you have for others thinking about making a move from the diaspora?

Don’t expect life in Croatia to be just like your 4-week summer vacation in Croatia. A lot of people come on vacation and think I could live here and make a move and realize it’s a lot different than they realized. Another thing is to avoid comparisons. In my case, Canada and Croatia are two widely different countries, from history to economics. You can’t compare, for example, a salary like for like because yes, in Canada it will be absolutely much higher. There are so many things that go into the prices and costs of things that simply aren’t comparable. Why I say this is yes, probably if you’re coming from a diaspora, you’re coming from somewhere with a higher income, but in most cases, the cost of living is also significantly higher so really, what you make of that salary is up to you. For example, after only 3 years of working full-time in Croatia, I became a homeowner relatively close to the city center. If I took the same parameters into account in Canada – the same job at the same company, similar location to the city center, similar size, there is no way I would be able to be a homeowner that quickly. So yes, in Canada, I would be making much more, but at what expense?

One more important piece of advice – don’t listen to naysayers and people giving their negative advice. I remember when I started job searching here, everyone told me I would not find a good job without a connection. I made it my mission to do the exact opposite, and after only 3 months of searching, I was working at an entry-level position at my current company and have made significant strides in my 8 years in the company without knowing a single person. My advice is anyone who wants to work in Croatia can work. The path might be rougher, but regardless I genuinely believe that anyone can succeed.

 

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8. How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

There are two significant things - one is directly related to returnees and the diaspora, and the second is a bit broader.

In relation to returnees and the diaspora, Croatia should try to work more with the communities outside of Croatia and their education in Croatia. As a kid, my parents enrolled me in all the activities the Croatian community had to offer – folklore, tambura, Saturday Croatian school, and to be honest, most of my knowledge of Croatia, the culture, and the language didn’t come from there, it came from home. Grades 1-11 of Croatian Saturday school, and I never once learned padeži (cases). I can't blame the diaspora communities – often, it's 1st 2nd, and 3rd generations trying to keep the Croatian culture alive, and for them, I have respect. However, if they were given more help, guidance, and resources from Croatia, we could have 5th generation Croatians speaking Croatian as if they've lived here and know that Ljiljana Nikolovska is, in fact, not the current lead singer of Magazin or that drmeš (folklore) is not danced at all weddings in Croatia. So much of what we know about Croatia is learned at home, and I am so thankful that my parents made an effort to teach me that being Croatian wasn't about hating Serbians, tattooing the GRB (emblem) on yourself, or being conservative. is what makes you Croatian. Croatia needs the diaspora to help build a prosperous future, but they need to enable them with the knowledge of what Croatia is in 2022, not what was decades or centuries ago.

The other thing Croatia needs to do is to make it a more investable country to make it attractive for returnees. In order for us to grow economically, much more significant step changes need to be made. Yes, they've made it attractive for digital nomads, but unfortunately, this attracts a small niche of people, and as mentioned, they are nomads. Croatia, especially with the declining population, needs sustainable solutions. So much onus is placed upon the employers through minimum wage increases or not taxing certain benefits given to employees, but still, the investment needs to come from the employers. In order to generate economic growth in an economy with a declining population, the Croatian government needs Croatians to spend. By reducing taxes, it gives higher purchasing power, and by alleviating the financial struggle of citizens by easing taxes, the government will still get the funding back through consumer spending. This, as a result, would make Croatia more attractive to those looking to return as they wouldn't take as big a salary cut moving to Croatia, and would make Croatia a much more attractive company for investment, therefore creating more jobs. I speak of this in a really simplified manner, but in order for people to return, Croatia needs to be more economically attractive, and I see this as the first step in that direction.

 

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Thanks, Marijana!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

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Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

Thursday, 22 September 2022

4th Century BC Greek Silver Coin Found in Archaeological site on Papuk

September 22, 2022 - Archaeological sensation on Papuk. A Greek silver coin from the end of the 4th century BC was found at an archaeological site near Kaptol. The story doesn't stop there - it's only starting to come together. What wealth and power did the people who lived in this area have, and how long did it last?

As RTL reports, a Greek silver coin from the 4th century BC was found after the rain along the forest road on Papuk. It was carved with a depiction of Zeus enthroned with a bird, and on the other side is a depiction of Alexander the Great. Random passers-by found it. They saw pottery and pieces of vessels.

The locality near Kaptol is a well-known archaeological site with the graves of the warrior aristocracy, where prestigious weapons and equipment were found in Europe in the 7th century BC.

This means that the community that lived here had a major significance on the border of three worlds - the Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Danube.
At the Lisičja Jama locality, named after the ceramics that the foxes end up dislocating while digging their dens, archaeologists are excavating a settlement where it is assumed that 500 people lived. Numerous inventions prove this.

"And it certainly speaks of the fact that the people who lived in those areas were extremely advanced and prosperous at the time, and not only that, but they also traded and exchanged things with very distant regions", said Janja Mavrović Mokos, archaeologist and researcher.

The coin from the 4th century BC is crucial because it shows that the power of these people from Papuk, who lived at the intersection of cultures and trade routes, did not last for a short time but continuously for centuries.

"This shows continuity on the political, economic and cultural scene of over 300 years, which few can boast of today, let alone back then," said Hrvoje Potrebica, head of archaeological research.

A province is not a place but a state of mind, and Croatia should learn from history, which is the teacher of life, even today. And the plan is for the place of learning to be the Visitor Center of the future Papuk Archaeological Park, where this Greek silver coin will have its special place.

For more, make sure to check our our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Days in the Bay Hvar - Traditional Boats, Sea & Sailors Festival

September 22, 2022 - If there were one event to visit in Dalmatia to understand its soul and experience everything it offers, we would choose Days in the Bay. Occurring every two years in Stari Grad on Hvar, this unique festival celebrates the sea and sailors, their boats, and all the tradition tied to life on the waves of turquoise. The celebrations include regattas, contests and competitions, concerts and games, traditional wear, food, and music. The weekend of Days in the Bay truly is full of life in every sense of the expression.

Organised by the Association for the Promotion of Croatian Maritime Heritage "Cronaves" from Split, the City of Stari Grad and the Tourist Board of Stari Grad, from September 22 to 25, 2022, the 4th International Festival of Boats, Sea and Sailors, Days in the Bay will be held. The official press release was signed by Plamenko Bavčević, president of Cronaves and Antonio Škarpa, mayor of Stari Grad on the island Hvar, as reported by Slobodna Dalmacija.

Around 60 boats from Croatia are expected at the festival, organised by associations for the preservation of Croatian maritime heritage. Traditional boats will arrive from Rovinj, Pula, Mošćenička Draga, Opatija, Selce, Malinska, Krk, Mali Lošinj, Pašman, Drvenik, Prvić Šepurina, Betina, Murter, Jezera, Korčula, Vela Luka, Lovran, Opuzen, Komiža, Split, Vrboska and of the city of Hvar.

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The Republic of Sloveniaespeciallyartner country and especially honoured guest of this year's Days in the Bay. Organised by the nautical journal and the E Morje portal, the Republic of Slovenia will be represented by the crews of five traditional ships with the support of the "Sergej Maser" Maritime Museum, the Faculty of Maritime Affairs and Transport, the Society of Old Boat Lovers from Piran, the Society of Old Boats from Izola and the Tourist Boards of Izola and Portorož.

Along with the daily promotional sailings of all participants, as announced by the organisers, there will also be a rowing regatta of the Komiža gundulas. At the same time, the youngest citizens of Stari Grad will try their hand at rowing.

One of the festival's attractions at sea will be the traditional rowing in which the female crew of the Neretva ship and the Slovenian cannon "Folega" will participate, equally alongside the male crew of the Croatian Navy boat.

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In addition to a specially designed sailing program of a show and competition character, various exhibitions and lectures on the theme of Croatian maritime tradition will be held during this international festival, while cultural and entertainment programs strictly appropriate for this type of event will be held on the legendary Tvrdalj square.

The festival program will also hold a place for the delegations of Stari Grad's friend cities of Samobor and Rugvica. They will present their region's customs, local products and gastronomic delicacies to the festival visitors.

The festival program at sea ends on Saturday, September 24, 2022, with a big night parade, "Dance of Sails and Lights", with light effects and music, and on land with a concert by the ABBA real tribute band.

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"We are pleased that Days in the Bay have been recognised not only by Stari Grad but also by the Split-Dalmatia County, the Croatian Tourist Association and the relevant ministries of the Republic of Croatia. We also highly appreciate the exceptional contribution and response to participation in the festival by all associations and shipowners from Istria to the south of Croatia because only together can we create a cultural event that will be recognised beyond Croatian borders," said Plamenko Bavčević, president of the Cronaves Association.

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For the detailed program and to find accommodation on Hvar during the festival days, visit the Stari Grad Tourist Board's official website.

All photos courtesy of Dani u vali Facebook page.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

European Film Academy Shines Spotlight on Most Famous Croatian Street

September the 22nd, 2022 - The European Film Academy has thrown the most famous Croatian street of all, Dubrovnik's gorgeous Stradun, into the limelight.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Film Academy is expanding its scope and promoting European films from classics to contemporary titles, celebrating the richness and diversity of Europe's incredible film heritage. From this year on, the Academy will also focus on special anniversaries and thematic programmes related to European film.

With this aim, it founded a new department for European film heritage, under the leadership of Pascal Edelmann. One of the first steps is to start building a pan-European network of film heritage that will connect cinematheques, film archives and institutions in order to exchange information about the anniversaries of film artists, individual films, institutions or specific topics relevant to the history of cinema in different European countries and regions.

22 new locations were added to the "Treasures of European Film Culture" list

One of the first activities of the new department, ahead of this year's 35th European Film Awards, was to add 22 new places to the list of "Treasures of European Film Culture", which will bring the total number of ''heritage locations'' to 35. This is the Academy's list of places of symbolic importance for European cinema, that is, places of historical value that should be maintained and protected, both in the present and for the benefit of future generations.

"Instead of limiting our activities to the organisation of the European Film Awards, the European Film Academy will also embrace European film history and individuals who have contributed to the European film scene. This will lead to new projects with exciting partners, but also become recognisable in all the programmes we're going to organise during the year. I'm particularly proud of the ever-growing list of treasures of European film culture, especially in new locations in parts of Europe that haven't been included before, such as Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Latvia and Scotland. Our desire is to find new locations every year," says the director of the European Film Academy, Matthijs Wouter Knol.

The most famous Croatian street - Stradun - as a film set

In its hundred-year film history, Dubrovnik's beautiful streets, walls and palaces have all been an inspiration to numerous creators and artists. The unique preservation of the architectural harmony of Dubrovnik, especially its main street, Stradun, known as the most famous Croatian street, easily allows for a variety of cinematic expression.

Although the most famous Croatian street of all has starred in many a ''moving picture'' throughout many years, in much more recent times, the popularisation of Dubrovnik as a film location saw spaceships from a distant galaxy fly over Stradun (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017) as well as rebels led by Nottingham's hero Robin Hood march through it (Robin Hood, 2018). All of them were attracted by the warmth and light of Stradun, Dubrovnik's living room, where everyone feels at home.

You can view all 35 locations from the "Treasures of European Culture" list here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Emotheo: Very First Imotski Heritage Hotel to Open in December

September the 22nd, 2022 - The very first Imotski heritage hotel is set to open its doors at the end of December this year, on the site of a former inn just 50 metres from the famous Blue Lake (Modro jezero).

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, Hotel Emotheo, the very first boutique Imotski heritage hotel, will open in the very centre of Imotski, and it is project in which local entrepreneurs, the company J.P. Immobilien, have been heavily involved.

The investor comes from the construction and real estate business, and after participating in the development and construction of a number of hotel projects, four years ago they decided to open their own hotel, in their hometown, to which they wanted to pay respect. They also wanted to stay in line with and respect Imotski's cultural heritage that, in addition to modern approach, will be the main basis of design and service at Emotheo.

The very first Imotski heritage hotel will boast twenty beautiful designed rooms and two suites, a bar and a restaurant, and the plan is to be open all year round and attract guests with higher paying power from all over the world, but also to be a ''living room'' of sorts for the local population and a place to host gatherings and smaller events.

"Four years ago, we decided to buy the derelict building which stands here, where 100 years ago there was a lodging house with an inn, we hired experts to come in and help us develop the story and get things started. The purchase took time because there were several owners involved, we spent a year clearing the land, which is in a demanding zone, the conservators also had work to do, and now we're bringing those works to an end, and interiors are being arranged in order to have a soft opening sometime before Christmas.

The first goal was to reach three stars in terms of categorisation, but in cooperation with consultant Zoran Pejovic, we decided to raise the bar to four stars and develop a middle scale product that we'll then direct towards the upscale segment, primarily through the gastronomic offer and personalisation,'' explained Davor Pojatina, the co-founder of J.P. Immobilien.

Natural materials were used in the building itself and the facility was designed by Ante Niksa Bilic, who also hails from Imotski, and the hotel director Domagoj Nikolic is also from there, who is otherwise a tourism expert with extensive experience here in Croatia and abroad. He will come to Emotheo from his position as a lecturer at the American college RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) down in Dubrovnik. Along with numerous interests in the tourism sector, Nikolic's passion is history and storytelling, which is why he was the right choice for the first Imotski heritage hotel, according to the investors.

The development of the wine-food concept will be headed by young award-winning chef Roko Nikolic, also from Imotski, who is moving there from Rovinj's Blu restaurant. After studying at the prestigious Italian Gastro Academy Alma near Parma, he started his hotel career at the Hilton Imperial Hotel in Dubrovnik.

The ultimate gastronomic experience will be the focus of this hotel, and it will combine the complex heritage of the wider region with the reinterpretation of traditional Dalmatian cuisine. This will be accompanied by a bar offering everything from local and international liquors and wines to signature cocktails, all in line with the story and concept.

A combination of tradition and technology

"Our guests will experience our authentic culture, but also feel the influence of all other cultures and influences that have merged there, and this is a story that will permeate all parts of the hotel. Our focus will primarily be placed on providing very good service and the presentation of a combination of tradition, knowledge and technology, and our plan is to attract guests who are looking for a unique product like this either through personalised tours or on an individual basis.

We're planning to cooperate with leading DMCs (destination management companies) that address the "upscale" audience, as well as with large booking agencies that also have these experiential offers. We also plan to introduce ourselves to people from here and the local population, honour them and invite them to come and hang out with us," stated Domagoj Nikolic.

Both the management and the investor point out that this is not exclusively a business investment, but rather an emotional dedication to their home.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Croatian Koncar Tram Immediately Sold to Latvia's Liepajas Tramvajs

September the 22nd, 2022 - A new Croatian Koncar tram made its way from the well-known Berlin-based InnoTrans Fair directly to Latvia after being sold to the Latvian company Liepajas Tramvajs.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Republic of Croatia is one of only five countries in Europe to have independently developed a low-floor tram system, and it was precisely this model of public transport, the TMK 2300 LT, that was presented as the flagship of the Koncar Group recently at this year's edition of the world's largest transport technology and industry fair - InnoTrans in the German capital of Berlin.

The tram won't return from Germany to the City of Zagreb, but will instead be delivered to a customer in Latvia, Liepajas Tramvajs. To be more precise, 13 out of a total of 14 low-floor Croatian Koncar trams will be delivered by Koncar to the City of Liepaja according to the signed contracts.

As explained by Gordan Kolak, the president of the Koncar Management Board, being part of the world's largest transport industry and technology fair is an additional confirmation of their efforts to create globally recognised high quality products and thus strengthen Croatian industry in this segment.

"We're proud to be able to present our low-floor electric tram, intended for an important European customer, on the InnoTrans stage. We've already confirmed in our long-term high-quality and successful cooperation with Zagreb's ZET that we have the necessary vision, expertise and tools to implement the green and sustainable mobility initiative. Therefore, we expect the further development of the electrification of public transport and opportunities for new cooperation on the European market. We believe that these opportunities and our quality products will be recognised by new potential customers and partners at this year's InnoTrans,'' said Kolak, whose company is struggling on the European market with the competition of tram manufacturers consisting of giants such as Siemens, Alstom, Bombardier and Skoda.

In addition to Croatian Koncar trams, this well-known company has had a lot to say in the segment of city and suburban trains, as well as the modernisation of old diesel-electric locomotives. Koncar's trains are already running along the Croatian Railways system, and they also have plans for technological advances in the future.

''I'm talking about the battery train project, for which HZ Putnicki promet recently announced a tender. As Josip Ninic of Konar explained in Berlin, the battery train project started last year, and the work will continue regardless of the results of HZ's tender.

"Of course, we're being competitive in the tender for the battery train prototype, but even if we don't get the job, we'll finish the project because we have the knowledge and technology for it. I expect that we'll be able to present this new product of ours to the public at InnoTrans in 2024," Ninic said.

He explained that it is a train that will be used for non-electrified railways, and the battery is charged while the train is travelling along the electrified part of the railway or at certain points along the way with fixed chargers. It is also expected that the battery could have a capacity for about 100 kilometres, which would be enough for suburban traffic in cities that don't have electric-energy infrastructure on their railway lines.

In the same way, at least in theory, Zagreb and Split could also be connected in this way, where the railway along that route is mostly not electrified, so that the timetable would provide for shorter stops, 10-15 minutes, at transit stations where the battery would be recharged.

This year's InnoTrans has otherwise been held on 200,000 square metres, it hosted 145,000 visitors and 2,830 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. One of the most interesting premiere products was certainly the first commercial hydrogen train produced by Stadler.

Hydrogen and e-mobility are also the focus of almost all other exhibitors in Berlin. In addition to Croatian Koncar trams, several other Croatian players came to Berlin to present their technology, such as Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Djuro Djakovic, Altpro, and Gredelj, which now operates as part of the Slovakian Tatravagonka Poprad Group.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Istrian Seawater of Excellent Quality Except in Certain Areas

September the 22nd, 2022 - The Istrian seawater is of excellent quality, except for close to the beaches in popular destinations such as Umag, Porec, Rovinj and Fazana.

As Morski writes, the Istrian seawater quality was recently tested at beaches around Istria County. Istria County's Teaching Institute for Public Health conducted the ninth survey in a row from September the 5th to the 13th, 2022, where the Istrian seawater was sampled at 217 measuring points on the beaches from Savudrija to Brestova.

Air and sea temperatures are also normally recorded during this sort of sampling, and this time the sea temperature ranged from 23.0 ºC to 25.8 ºC, while the air temperature ranged from 17 ºC to 28 ºC.

At 210 measuring points, more specifically in 96.8% of the samples, and based on the individual results of microbiological indicators, the excellent quality of the Istrian seawater for swimming was recorded at 6 measuring points. In 2.8% of the samples taken, good seawater quality was recorded for swimming, and at 1 measuring point, so in a mere 0.5% of the samples taken, only satisfactory quality of the seawater for swimming was recorded.

Pursuant to Article 5 of the appropriate regulation, intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli are determined in sea samples as microbiological indicators of seawater pollution, and during the sampling procedures, meteorological conditions, sea temperature and salinity, and visible pollution are all also recorded.

Based on the results of testing the microbiological indicators for individual sampling, seawater quality for swimming is classified as excellent and marked with a circular symbol on the map in blue, good quality seawater is marked on the map in green, satisfactory is marked in yellow and unsatisfactory is marked in red.

As part of this regular ninth examination of the quality of the Istrian sewater for swimming, the results of the sampling of microbiological indicators on September the 6th, 2022 showed that at the Porec, Molindrio, Hotel Molindrio (below the hotel) measuring point, the indicators exceeded the limit values, that is, that microbiological pollution was indeed present there.

However, the results of re-sampling done on September the 7th, 2022 showed that the elevated values ​​of microbiological indicators were steadily decreasing, and the microbiological pollution for the aforementioned locations was characterised only in the short-term and therefore not officially included in the report.

Re-sampling carried out on September the 8th, 2022 showed the end of short-term pollution at the specified measuring point, and in the final report, the specified location was rated as good quality.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

UEFA Meets on Hvar, as Former Global Stars Play Local Schoolkids

September 21, 2022 - A nice promotion for Hvar as a sporting destination and elite conference centre, as UEFA chiefs and some rather famous faces from yesteryear meet on Croatia's premier island.

Did you know that the football tradition on the island of Hvar dates back more than a century, back to 1913 and the formation of the first club on the island. That is just 2 years later than the oldest club in Croatia, Hajduk Split, which was formed in Prague in 1911. 

Or that Hvar is thought to be the only island in Europe with a fully-functioning island league of 10 teams from 10 different towns and villages, who play each other home and away in the Forska Liga each season. No mean feat when you consider that the permanent population of the island is around 11,000 people. 

Another piece of island football history was written yesterday, as Hvar welcomed the UEFA Executive Committee for their latest meeting, headed by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. On the agenda were the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying draw procedure, as well as the appointment of hosts for the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championships. 

Much more interesting to the local schoolkids was a grassroots event staged at NK Hvar's football pitch in the Krizna Luka suburb of the town, where some rather familiar faces took part in the UEFA Pootball in Schools programme, with local kids pitted against former global superstars such as Zvonimir Boban, Dario Srna, Davor Šuker, Luis Figo, Robbie Keane and Dejan Savićević. Children from schools in Hvar, Jelsa, Stari Grad and Sucuraj took part, as well as kids from the Down Syndrome 21 Association in Split. 

The event was the latest example of Hvar's elite tourism offer, catering to such a high-profile meeting point, and the location gave a tantalising taster of this sunniest of islands, which has more UNESCO heritage than any island in the world. 

The meeting took place in the historic Arsenal building, which has guarded the entrance to Hvar's central square for centuries, and above which is the oldest public theatre in Europe. Across the square, and where many of the delegation were hosted in addition to Hotel Adriana, was the place where organised tourism began in 1868, with the founding of the Hvar Health Society, which welcomed convalescing aristocrats from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, thanks to the generosity of Empress Elisabeta. Today Elisabeta is remembered in the recently upgraded luxury hotel on the same spot which hosted the dignitaries. The Palace Elisabeth hvar heritage hotel was the first 5-star hotel on Hvar when it opened in 2019. It is part of the Suncani Hvar Hotel group, which offers the main conferencing and event management services on the island. 

Where to stay in Hvar Town? Check out the Total Croatia guide.

 

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