Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Public Auction for State-Owned 19th Century Villa in Attractive Location

October 25, 2022 - For the first time, the state will offer real estate hunters in Croatia an oral public auction for some of the valuable properties from its portfolio. A public auction will be held at the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property on November 21. The villa which will be auctioned is in a very attractive location in the elite Tuškanec area of Zagreb, and it is known as the Stejskal Summer House.

As Poslovni writes, the villa was built in 1888 by the industrialist Ferdinand Stejskal, the founder of the brick factory in Bedekovčina, which is still operating today. Potential buyers can view the villa at Nazorova 72 before the auction. It consists of a house with an area of ​​182 square metres, with split-level apartments in the basement, ground floor and first floor. They will be, however, sold together as a whole. The villa also boasts a little more than a thousand square metres of garden.

In addition to being neglected, the building also has limitations due to the fact that the conservator's approval must be obtained for renovation, as the villa is part of the Historic Urban Complex of the City of Zagreb and is subject to the provisions of legal protection and preservation of cultural assets.

Due to the attractive location of the property, there is a lot of potential. The number of contestants who will enter the race to buy will become more apparent after the deadline for submission of applications to participate in the auction, which is on November 11 at 11:59 p.m.

In the Ministry headed by Ivan Paladina, only those candidates who pay a guarantee in the amount of HRK 748 thousand, i.e., 10 per cent of the initial price of HRK 7.48 million, will be invited to tender.
The auction step will amount to HRK 20,000, and the highest offered amount in three rounds, i.e., the highest last offered price, will be selected.

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

 

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Rare Video Footage of Queen Elizabeth II Djakovo Visit 50 Years Ago

October 25, 2022 - It is 50 years since the late Queen Elizabeth visited Djakovo and the famous Lipizzaner stud farm. Some rare footage of that visit. 

"It was really great when the Queen came to visit," a local told me on my last visit to Djakovo. "Apart from seeing the Queen, Tito built an asphalt road just for her visit, so locals were VERY happy that she came."

The Queen, accompanied by husband Prince Philip and daughter Princess Anne, visited the famous Djakovo Lipizzaner Stud Farm as part of an official 5-day visit to the Republic of Croatia in what was then Yugoslavia. A keen horse-lover, the British monarch was give a tour of the equine pride of Croatia, before continuing to Zagreb. She also visited Pula, the Brijuni Islands and Dubrovnik on the official visit. 

There is some rare footage of the trip on YouTube, including one of Djakovo and Zagreb together above. while the video below contains both photos and video of the time, as well as the recollections of several locals who witnessed the visit of the royal entourage.  

You can also find more photographs of the visit on the Facebook page of the stud farm

First mentioned in 1239, the Djakovo Stud is a national Lipizzaner horse breeding stud farm in Osijek Baranja County. Its official origins date back to 1506, when it was recorded that Bishop Mijo Mesaric 'owned a stud farm of 90 Arab horses' on his estate. 

For more stories from Djakovo, follow the dedicated TCN section.

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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.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Monday, 24 October 2022

Zagreb Traffic Special Regulation for International Crimea Platform Summit

October 24, 2022 - Today and tomorrow, the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform is taking place in Zagreb, for which the arrival and stay of a large number of presidents of parliaments and parliamentary assemblies and international organisations are expected in Zagreb and Velika Gorica. The local police are regulating Zagreb traffic.

As Index writes, the attendees will include the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi. The President of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefančuk, also arrived in Zagreb and met with the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković on Saturday. Before the summit, at 8 pm, the Parliament organised a dinner for the delegations at the Westin Hotel. Before that, Jandroković held a series of bilateral meetings in parliament, including with Pelosi at 3 p.m.

The police announced that temporary traffic regulations will be established due to the implementation of special security measures. On this occasion, there may be an occasional short-term interruption of traffic with the presence of police officers.

A temporary ban on stopping and parking on Tuesday

In addition to the above, on Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., a temporary ban on stopping and parking vehicles will be established in places marked with "stop - police (stop - policija)" tapes, about which the vehicle owners and tenants of the buildings in the mentioned locations have already been informed, as announced by the police.

The Zagreb Police calls on citizens, that is, all participants in road traffic, especially drivers of motor vehicles and pedestrians, for their understanding and patience during the establishment of temporary traffic regulations on the specified days.

Also, the Zagreb police call on citizens to consistently respect the instructions and orders of the policemen and the rules specified in the temporary regulation of traffic on certain roads. Traffic will be specially regulated from Zagreb Dr Franjo Tuđman Airport through Buzin, Novi Zagreb, Trnje and Centar to Gornje grad.

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For more, make sure to check out our News section.

Monday, 24 October 2022

Algebra Students Use Technology to Map Wineries and Promote Art

October 24, 2022 - HAVE you ever talked to an incredibly smart young person and wondered "Where was I at that age"? Algebra students will make you ask that question.

We present you the fifteen Algebra students, who decided to change their surroundings for the better with the help of advanced technology while working on their degrees. These are the future Algebra graduates who, as part of the Innovative Project course, come up with ideas and products that aim to change the world today and tomorrow!

One of the teams we present to you today considered how to make it easier and simpler for all wine lovers to find wines and wineries in Croatia. They came up with a digital wine atlas called Wineata, which makes it easier for wine lovers to access information about quality wines, wineries and wine tours available throughout Croatia. The project is closely monitored by mentors - Stella Antolović and Silvio Papić, and the team is formed by nine students from different areas of Algebra graduate studies - Karlo Jakobović, Marko Sabolić, Jurica Slovinac, Luka Žgrablić, Suraj C. R. C. Reddy, Elma Melkić, Jigisha H. Shah, Yacine Akki and Celina Wedershoven.

1. You came up with an application that is a wine atlas of sorts - where did you get the idea?

At the beginning of this story, we talked a lot about possible ideas and projects that could be realized, but together we agreed on the fact that wine lovers on the market cannot find interesting wineries or information about different varieties of wine so easily. At the introductory lectures of the Innovative project course, we had the opportunity to further develop our idea - where we agreed together that this is the right project for us and what the market and consumers need.

2. What challenges did you face during the development of Wineata?

It is challenging to predict what will happen in the market after the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware that the research of the wine world depends significantly on the situation in the market, therefore the biggest challenge we have faced is the collection of all relevant data on time. However, when the team is committed and passionate, things work. Another challenge was the cooperation of different team members from different fields. Teamwork is our biggest advantage, once we managed to get along, understand and accept the common direction in which the project was to develop, we quickly came up with interesting solutions.

3. You conducted a survey that served as a starting point for creating the application - what did the results show? Does Croatia need an application that will make it easier to find quality wine destinations?

The survey results are very interesting. We created one survey for the Croatian market and one customized survey for tourists. Of the total number of respondents, 7.6% drink wine every day, 9.7% drink wine three times a week, and 22.4% drink wine once a week. We can conclude that almost half of the respondents, more precisely 39.7% of them, drink wine at least once a week. When asked where they most often buy wine, 52.7% answered that they buy in large stores (supermarkets), 15.6% answered in wineries, and 11.4% in wine shops. This is good news for our application. This means that respondents visit wineries and wine shops, and we can provide them with a better experience of visiting these places. The aim of this research is to understand their habits and how we can improve their wine experiences through our application. Of the total number of respondents, 69.2% said they would like to visit wineries in Croatia, and 21.1% of respondents were not sure. Of the total number of respondents, 17.3% would use an application that would help them find wineries and their offers in Croatia, 35.4% agree, and 22.8% are unsure. From this question, we can recognize that there is potential for our application and that users are willing to use this type of application.

4. Wineata was designed by an interdisciplinary Algebra team - how did this collaboration work?

We believe that no business works as well as it could with just one specialized function or with the same way of thinking. This was a unique opportunity to experience in practice what it's like to work in an interdisciplinary team because we are sure that in the future such an opportunity will be presented to us in the business world, and this interesting project prepared us for that situation.

5. Do you think the market will recognize the value of Wineata and how do you plan to approach your target audience?

We believe that the market will recognize the benefits offered by Wineata, mostly because it will be created with the purpose of helping consumers navigate the world of wine. Wineata will combine offline and online experiences and provide relevant and up-to-date information to consumers. It will combine different moments of consumption, such as daytime or evening gatherings with wine or a combination of food and wine. Wineata is there for the consumer, ready to provide them with personalized advice.

6. Do you have plans for an expansion beyond the borders of Croatia?

Of course, we plan to expand beyond the borders of Croatia in the future. We believe that this project has great potential for acceptance in other markets as well. According to Statista, the consumption of wine in the world in 2021 is estimated at 236 million hectoliters, which is a decrease compared to 241 million hectoliters in 2019. We believe that the market will recover during 2023 and that we will attract the attention of consumers on the global market with our interactive wine list of the world. Consumers will be able to explore interesting locations and events near them, read reviews and learn about wines. Our platform will be completely personalized for the user who uses it, which we believe consumers will recognize as a benefit and use it every day.

 

The second team of the Algebra graduates that we are introducing is the interdisciplinary team of Krivovizija (crooked vision), which works on an artistic platform and functions on the basis of blockchain technology. If you are wondering what blockchain is and how it can be used to develop art - read on! These ingenious young people have made it possible for artists to upload their artwork and create their digital portfolios on their platform. However, the platform is not intended only for artists, but also for buyers of art and the interested public. The team consists of six Algebra students: Tomislav Čavala, Fran Bartolić, Ena Saško, Ivan Popović, Karlo Bertina and Maxime Coutin, backed by mentors Karlo Josić and Halida Sarajlić. Ivan Popović answered on behalf of the team, who explained to us what blockchain is and how they connected blockchain and art.

1. Can you briefly explain to us how Krivovizija was created and what it brings to its potential users?

The project actually had a development path which was quite different at the beginning from the current version, i.e. the first variants of the idea were much more focused on blockchain technology, motivated by the fact that the term "NFT" has exploded in popularity in the last few years. However, as we were developing the idea, we ran into several obstacles and we came to the realization that ultimately we want to create something that will have integrated modern digital technology, but above all something that will create long-term value for users. What our idea brings to its users is simply the possibility of learning, creating "digital works", presenting them on the global market, and freely interacting with other users who share interests in the same things. In this specific case, it refers to digital arts such as pictures, photographs, comics, etc...

2. What did team collaboration look like during the creation of Krivovizija? Who came up with the name?

Like any project, we believe that there are countless good ideas, but no matter how good an idea is, in the end, everything will depend on some kind of compatibility and interaction of the team members who bring it to life. We were lucky that a group of people who have adequate knowledge and motivation to build something of this magnitude got together. As for the name, Krivovizija is primarily our team's "code" name, and the source of the name is not overly praiseworthy if we are honest. If we had known that someone would ask us this, we probably would have chosen something else. Basically, one of the team members came up with the information that there is a website that randomly generates words that are somehow inspired by terms that were used in the former Yugoslavia. There were quite a few options, but we agreed that Krivovizija was the best choice.

3. Krivovizija is built on blockchain technology. Explain to us laypeople what exactly blockchain technology is.

Here we will mention blockchain in two contexts. In its basic form, it is a technology that refers to the decentralized storage of information that is impossible to change or copy. Since that may sound a bit abstract, we will mention another context related to our project. So, simply put, we use blockchain technology primarily to protect the ownership of our users' digital assets. If, for example, someone buys a digital photo, we will ensure that the owner is the sole owner and that someone cannot show up somewhere with a copy and claim to own the original.

4. How did you decide to develop a platform that is intended specifically for artists and art lovers?

The popularity of digital art has grown exponentially over the past few years, technology has become more accessible, there are more and more talented people, and the global COVID situation has significantly accelerated the transition of a large number of our activities to digital spheres. In addition, studying the current state of the market, we realized that there is a great opportunity to build a platform of this type, and we believe that now is the ideal time for such an undertaking.

5. Where do you see your advantage over your competitors? How will you stand out in the market?

Currently, there are several somewhat similar platforms, but all of them are related to a specific domain, so none of them is adequate to be used by a wider group of users possessing different talents. Some of the platforms are focused exclusively on photography, some only on 3D animation, etc. But the most important thing to mention is that the social aspect is not in focus in any of them or it is extremely limited, and we consider that our biggest advantage. So, in addition to the aforementioned blockchain technology that we use in terms of protection, we want our users to use the platform as a social network where they can learn about the tools they are interested in, present their talents globally, communicate openly and create interest groups, and ultimately make a living from their work.

 

Monday, 24 October 2022

Digital Transformation of Konzum: Now Accepting KEKS Pay

October 24, 2022 - Konzum enabled its customers to pay via the KEKS Pay application in its webshop and in all stores, making it the first retail chain of consumer goods in Croatia to introduce this type of payment.

As Poslovni writes, the service is available to all customers, regardless of the bank where they have an account. This way, they can easily pay for groceries, household and hygiene items and other products from Konzum's vast offer. The popular payment application, which as many as 300,000 users currently use, is another technological step forward by Konzum to provide customers with the best possible service and shopping experience.

"Since we have more than 600 stores and serve more than half a million customers daily, we take care to respond to their needs as best as possible. We know that the ability to choose a payment method is an important item nowadays. We want to be and remain the first choice for our customers, which is why we continuously introduce the best technologies and innovations. The introduction of payment through the KEKS Pay application is another step forward with which we want to simplify and further improve the shopping experience in Konzum. We will continue to invest in the development of innovations and listen to the needs of our customers to continue providing them with a premium experience," said Ines Barbir, director of the Business Applications Sector.

You need to install the free KEKS Pay application on your smartphone to use this service. Customers can pay the bill very simply, i.e. by scanning the QR code with the help of the application, whether at a regular or self-checkout cash register in physical stores or when purchasing in Konzum's webshop. Dejan Donev, Director of the Digital Banking Sector at Erste Bank, is also satisfied with the cooperation with Konzum.

"KEKS Pay in webshops and at points of sale enables payment with just one swipe of the finger, without tedious copying of card data, which users accept very quickly. Our experience has shown that once customers pay with the KEKS Pay application, they continue to pay in the same way in the future. In addition, users can register not only their debit cards or account but also their credit cards in the application itself, which allows them to choose the type of payment when paying. That's why I believe that Konzum's customers will very quickly recognise the benefits of the KEKS Pay application as a payment method," said Donev.

Konzum is continuously digitalising its operations and introducing innovative payment methods. In addition to the increasing number of self-checkout and cashless cash registers, Konzum also introduced payment in cryptocurrencies through the PayCek platform for processing cryptocurrencies in a fast, simple and secure way. Customers can also opt for any type of payment at the self-checkout counters, which have proven a reliable and very efficient Konzum service.

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

Monday, 24 October 2022

Authentic Experience in Baška: Stone Drywall Workshop and Restoration

October 24, 2022 - Earlier this year, the Baška association Sinjali organised workshops and the restoration of a mrgar (stone drywall) on Ljubimer. They did it with the support of the Baška Municipality Tourist Board, the Baška Municipality, and the professional technical assistance of the 4 Grada Dragodid association. After the successful workshops held in spring, the efforts will continue this November.

If you are a fan of nature, cultural heritage and helping out - the Baška Municipality Tourist Board invite you to register for the stone drywall construction workshop that will be held on November 5 and 6, 2022 in Baška. Learn the principles of traditional stone drywall construction techniques, and enjoy the view of the sea and islands, far from the city noise and busy everyday life. The workshop is free for all participants and includes tools, protective gloves, a hot meal and expert guidance from a mentor from the association 4 Grada Dragodid.
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The workshop aims to restore part of the neglected mrgar, but also to encourage their further restoration and evaluation in terms of tourism, while the educational part of the programme is aimed at informing and educating the local population and visitors about the values ​​of natural and cultural heritage and the possibilities of sustainable development that such a valuable infrastructure brings. Sign up here!

Schedule:

Saturday, November 5

08:30 - 09:00 - gathering at Zarok and distribution of tools, protective equipment and water 
09:00 - departure to Ljubimer
10:00 - the start of work
15:00 - completion of works and return to Baška
16:30 - arrival in Baška
17:00 - joint dinner at Heritage Hotel Forza for all volunteers and organisers
19:30 - lectures in Zvonimir Gallery, Baška

Sunday, November 6
09:00 - departure from Zarok to Ljubimer
10.00 - 14.00 - workshop
15:30 - arrival in Baška and return of tools
16:00 - lunch at Heritage Hotel Forza and distribution of certificates of appreciation

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Lectures:

1. All our mrgars - lecturer Branka Polonijo, Sinjali Association

PP presentation with photos of all mrgars, locations, functions, conservation, presentation, protection and tourism valorisation

2. Drywall construction and renovation techniques - lecturer Filip Šrajer, 4 Grada Dragodid Association 

Photographs and drawings will present the most common forms of stone drywall constructions, the basic principles and the most common mistakes in stone drywall construction and the reconstruction of destroyed parts of drywalls.

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With their unique structure, which resembles a stone flower, mrgars are a recognisable decoration of the pastures (komunade) of Baška, Jurandvor and Batomalja, or at least they should be, which is the purpose of these reconstruction workshops. The speciality of these stone laces is that you can only find them on the southern part of the island of Krk. There are ten of them, five on each plateau and another five on the neighbouring island of Prvić. This way of breeding sheep was used in Wales in Great Britain, and there are two further mrgars on the uninhabited island of Dolin (near the island of Rab) and one in Switzerland!

This Krk rhapsody in stone was once created by the shepherds of Baška, Batomalj and Jurandvor, not as an artistic intervention in the landscape but as a functional object in the service of collecting and sorting sheep in the collective type of sheep farming. The mrgars consist of a common central space of the hall and, like the petals of a flower, arranged mrgarići (smaller drywalls) that the shepherds individually own.

Due to the changes in sheep farming in recent decades, the mrgars have lost their primary purpose and have been left to the test of time. However, they are part of the cultural heritage of the island of Krk and, as such, should survive for all future generations, and this is precisely the wish of the organisers of this action.

They invite all interested locals, visitors and fans of Baška to participate in a two-day workshop on stone drywall construction, an important part of the heritage of the Baška region. All help is welcome! 

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

Monday, 24 October 2022

Korculanske Pjatance: Spectacular Showcase of Korcula Cuisine in Autumn

October 24, 2022 - Celebrating the very best of local quality produce while showcasing the magic of a Dalmatian island in late October - Korculanske Pjatance 2022 was an event that had it all. A blueprint for Croatia's luxury gourmet offer. 

An awful lot is written about the quality of Croatia's gourmet offer, as well as initiatives to prolong the season. Currently, the Croatian National Tourism Board is trumpeting its national campaign, Croatian Tourism Month, which on paper looks like a great idea. A 35% discount off all participating businesses to allow locals and tourists to enjoy the very best of Croatia at a more affordable price. Except very few businesses have signed up, as it is peak season in continental Croatia, and currently there are only 5 restaurants and wineries in the whole country are participating in this pointless initiative. 

Meanwhile, on the island of Korcula, a little-known but rather sensational food and wine event celebrated its fifth anniversary - one of the most enjoyable, tasty - and educational - gourmet festivals I have attended in my time in Croatia. 

It had everything, and Korcula shone, basking in the late autumn sunshine and the considerable richness and diversity of its culinary credentials. 

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(The bedroom view, October 22, 2022)

About the festival first of all, from the official website:

The first edition of Korculanske Pjatance, a food and wine festival, was held in the spring of 2017. when the best Korcula restaurants united in the desire to present the local population and visitors with the best of Korcula's wine and gastronomic offer. Motivated by the success of the first edition of the festival and driven by the desire to create a gastronomic event of the highest possible quality, the aforementioned catering establishments founded the association "Korculanske Pjatance" in January 2018. Nurturing a centuries-old gourmet tradition woven into the identity of the city and the island, the main goal of the association is the development of Korcula as a high-quality tourism destination based on top gastronomy, oenology and original hospitality.

Through a variety of food and drink offers, Korcula caterers present Dalmatian cuisine as a combination of traditional and modern, created in harmony with the seasonal benefits of the Adriatic gardens below and above the surface of the sea. Local connoisseurs present their gastronomic achievements at popular prices with creative menus designed especially for this occasion, which will change daily during the week of the festival.

Autumn is a logical season for the event, taking into account the wealth of seasonal foods that ripen or have their qualitative peak precisely at this time of the year.

Autumn thus asserted itself as an inspiration that, in addition to Korcula chefs and chefs, the famous Korcula and Peljesac winemakers could not resist, for whom wine, vines, the sea and the (half) island are inexhaustible inspirations for new stylistic interpretations of Posip, Grk and Plavac mali, many of which will be presented during the week of the festival, and will certainly mark the 2022 harvest and determine wine trends in the coming season.

(Stairway to Heaven, Korcula Old Town, October 22, 2022)

One doesn't have to be long on Korcula to realise that this is an island with a rich heritage and one which is fiercely patriotic to its local produce and traditions. No cheap Chinese souvenir shops here, but ones filled with local arts and crafts, olive oil, and those two magical Korculan whites - Grk and Posip.  

The sheer diversity of local dishes on Korcula makes it (I believe) the only island which has its own book of recipes for its indigenous cakes (Sweet Korcula has no less than 35 local recipes - all of them delicious).

And so to the festival, which was a combination of culinary celebration, discovery and education - something for everyone against a backdrop of social interaction and relaxation after an excellent tourist season.  

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Korculanske Pjatance 2022 opened in trademark bright sunshine with a superb presentation of the wares of members of the LAG 5 Fest association. 

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Including a very generous selection of local wines. 

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An outstanding constant part of this year's festival was the daily marenda (price 60 kuna) hosted by Restaurant Planjak - fabulous local fare with sizable portions at a very affordable price.   

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Among the honoured guests and participants was Dalmatia's leading caricaturist, Tisja Kljakovic Braic, whose depiction of daily life in Dalmatia is a true work of art. Tisja had an exhibition of her incredible work in the town park throughout the festival. 

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Her latest book, 'Oni' was a Christmas gift a couple of years ago, and it was nice to come face to face with my favourite cartoon - Sarma, Day 5. 

You can take a tour of some of the exhibition in the video above. 

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Day 1 came to a VERY strong close, with two outstanding dinners, this after an afternoon masterclass at Konoba Mate in Pupnat from Slovenian Michelin Star chef Igor Jagodic. 

Oyster lovers headed to De Canavelis for a Wine and oysters eno-gastro workshop with WSET lecturer Kruno Filipović & EventLab, moderated by Morana Zibar. Meanwhile, at Korcula's own Michelin Star restaurant, LD Palace, Michelin star chefs Kevin Bonello (The Xara Palace, Malta) & Marko Gajski (LD Restaurant) with the support of the winery Korta Katarina & Meneghetti, put on a culinary extravaganza. 

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Early risers with a sweet tooth on Day 2 were rewarded with a pastry masterclass by one of Croatia's leading pastry chefs, Tea Mamut. 

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This was followed by a superb look at the wonderful world of rare island indigenous varieties, led by Ksenija Matic at Filippi. 

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Coming from Hvar, I was amazed at just how many indigenous varieties there were on Hvar alone, before discovering that islands such as Solta, Vis and Korcula all had varieties specific to their own individual island.  

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Lunchtime? It must be marenda at Restauant Planjak.  

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Education has been a key aspect of the philosophy from the inaugural event in 2017, and this year was no exception.  The City Museum was the venue for two presentations; the first by LAG SKOJ, LAG BRAC, and LAG 5 presenting the 'Collect the island' project, which was followed by a lecture by Ana Marusic Lisac B Sc. on the certification and protection of island goods. 

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There were no places available for the star event that evening - a superb 8-course dinner by Slovenian Michelin Star chef Igor Jagodic, more than ably supported by Tea Mamut's dessert.  

 

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Education, activity, and affinity to nature kicked off the third day, as the emphasis shifted to the village of Zrnovo, the host of most of the day's activities. Energetic participants were up early to forage for plants in the forests under the watchful guidance of Sani Sardelic. 

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A successful morning's foraging yielded an impressive and varied haul. 

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Which was put to very good use in the workshop. 

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There then followed what was arguably the best part of the whole event, a VERY relaxed and lazy afternoon of indulgence at the excellent Eko Skoj in Zrnovo.

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Where the food just kept on coming, Korculan speciality after Korculan speciality.  

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An undoubted highlight was a dish I had never heard of before - skopac, which translates as castrated lamb. Superbly prepared.  

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A very encouraging thing I noticed this year was the level of participation and engagement from other islands, and it was great to catch up with leading Jelsa winemaker, Ivo Dubokovic, for example - one of several familiar faces from Hvar.   

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The theme of education was never far away, and Ivo Kara Pesic mr.phil gave an extensive adn thought-provoking presentation on the Slow Food Movement. This was followed back in the city museum by a lecture on The science and art of food experience, by Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, Ph.D. from the 
Institute for Development and International Relations, Zagreb. 

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Meanwhile, there are certain people one cannot visit Korcula without saying hi. High on that list is Smiljana Matijaca, whose outstanding Cukarin pastry show is internationally acclaimed. And full of dangerous calorie traps. The Marko Polo Chocolate Bomb was a new one to me. Sensational.  

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The final day kicked off with an early morning visit (too early for this correspondent) to OPG Komparak and a lesson in ecological beekeeping with Vlaho Komparak. 

But I did make it for the daily marenda at Planjak - lamb shank peka.

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And how about this for a trademark Korculan desert display?  

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There was swimming, there was walking, there was chilling in the cafe - a very relaxed few days enjoying this magnificent town and all it had to offer with very few tourists.  Idyllic. 

And one final dinner, this time at Hotel Korcula, with a wonderful touch from the Korculan community, as the first public presentation of a rather special wine in honour of a very special man was presented. 

Korcula was rocked 3 years ago by the tragic passing of Drazen Matkovic, the popular sommelier at LD Palace. A pillar of the community who touched the lives of everyone he met, Drazen lives on in the hearts of many on the island, and the wineries of Korta Katarina, Bire and Krajancic came together to produce a stunning cuvee in Drazen's honour called DraMa (using the first parts of his first and last names). 

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A fitting end to an extraordinary few days of Korculan culture, hospitality, gastronomy and community. It was a true pleasure to be a small part of it. 

You can follow Korculanske Pjatance on Facebook - see you there for the 2023 edition.  

And whether or not you go to the festival, I do heartily recommend that you get up for sunrise at least once on your next visit. As you can see from the video below, it is truly magical.  

And don't forget to check out the drone view, courtesy of Steve Tsentserensky. 

****

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.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Monday, 24 October 2022

Can You Speak Like a Purger? The Zagreb Dialect Explored

October the 24th, 2022 - We've looked into the Dubrovnik subdialect and at some mostly forgotten Dalmatian words with their modern standard Croatian (as well as English) translations, but what about the Zagreb dialect? There's much more to it than just replacing 'sto?' (what?) for 'kaj'. Let's delve deeper.

The first thing to point out about the Zagreb dialect is that not all residents of the capital and its immediate surroundings speak the exact same dialect. It's important I highlight that before I get strung up by a patriotic purger (the word for someone from Zagreb). That said, there are enormous similarities in all ways of speaking in and around the Croatian capital city, so for the sake of simplicity, I'll lump it all into the Zagreb dialect in this article. 

The Zagreb dialect is a Kajkavian one, and it is spoken by Croats across the majority of Central Croatia, parts of Northern Istria and in Gorski Kotar. Some rather noteworthy Croatian linguists consider the South Slavic Kajkavian dialect to be a language of its own. Stjepaj Ivsic, who was a Slavic specialist and accentologist from Orahovica and who used numerous examples of vocabulary in spoken Kajkavian as evidence of that is one of them.

To anyone who is familiar with the language spoken in neighbouring Slovenia, you'll quickly notice that there are many quite striking similarities, especially when compared with other Croatian dialects, and despite the fact that there are Shtokavian features in the Zagreb dialect as well. Debates on whether Kajkavian is a language in its own right and not a mere dialect still go on among linguists and other experts to this very day.

Now a brief history of Kajkavian is out of the way, let's have a look at some words you'll likely hear in Zagreb and its surroundings that you definitely won't hear on the Croatian coast, beginning with the letter A, with their English and standard Croatian translations.

As(h)nbeher - ashtray/pepeljara

Badav - free/besplatno

Cifra - number or pin/broj

Drot - policeman/policajac

Escajg - cutlery/pribor za jelo

Fakat - really or seriously/stvarno or zaista

Gertas(h)lin - novcanik/wallet

Haustor - building entrance/ulaz u zgradu

Iberciger - a cover or casing/navlaka or prevlaka

Jurgati - to complain or reproach/prigovarati

Klajda - dress/haljina

Lojtre - ladder/ljestve

Majzl - chisel/sjekac(h)

Navek - always/uvijek

Otprti - to open something/otvoriti

Pajdas(h) - friend, buddy or pal/prijatelj

Ring - ring/prsten

Spika - a conversation/razgovor

Tancati - to dance/plesati

Vekerica - alarm clock/budilica

Ziherica - sigurnosna igla/safety pin

 

For more on Croatian language, including everything from swearing in Croatian to exploring the different Croatian dialects and subdialects, make sure to keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 October 2022

Brit, 53, Searching for Dubrovnik Father from 1960s Romance

October 24, 2022 - After successfully helping a Dutchman find his Dubrovnik father after 55 years, the TCN inbox receives a new challenge. Can you help Lee find his Dad? 

A few weeks ago, a Dutchman contacted TCN trying to find his Dubrovnik father after 55 years. All he had as clues was an approximate name, a grainy photo of a Dubrovnik waiter who was the holiday romance of his Dutch mother, and the name of the hotel where he worked. Thanks entirely to the efforts of Laura Siprak from 24 Sata, father and son were united a few weeks later and hugged for the first time. You can read more in Dutchman Finds Dubrovnik Father after 55 Years.  

That success had led to another email and a man looking for his Dubrovnik father after a holiday romance over 50 years ago. Can anyone help Lee? Any leads, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Dubrovnik Father.

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Hi Paul,

I’ve seen your piece on the Dutchman Stefan Brouwers, and it shows just how many things are possible.

While I’m not expecting you or Laura to directly help, I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to find my father after 53 years.

In short, my mum had a relationship with a Yugoslavian man from Dubrovnik or Dubravka. They sent postcards to each other back in the 1970s, which I just found after my mum passed away suddenly and has taken every piece of this history with her to the grave. It appears no one at all in the family or the UK knew of this romance.

I have a colour photograph of who I expect will be my father and various postcards and other cards. He gave two addresses which still exist.

I know there will be somebody alive today that will have the answers, even if they are sad answers.

My DNA confirms my paternal heritage is Croatian, and I’m using several sites and Facebook groups to help me find my father. It’s really slow, and I’m not sure I’m getting anywhere.

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I have these two addresses, and I’m informed that one of them is a sleepy village of Dunarve in the region of Konavle near Dubrovnik.

My heritage confirms I’m linked to Great, Great, Grandparents with the name Arbanas or Arbanasin.

One suggestion is, as his initials are MK and various Croatian group members state his name would be either Milo, Miko, Miho from the way in which he signed his letters and cards, the name Miho Kutasic was mentioned. When I look at a picture of this person, there are very similar facial features I share, with the shape of the mouth, the nose, and the size of the years. I totally accept, however that this is looking to make matters fit.

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. The story was amazing for Stefan, and I just hope that maybe you might point me in the right direction to get help in locating my father.

Kindest regards

Lee 

Any information gratefully received. Please note (I learned this from the last case), for anyone looking for money in exchange for information, the budget available is zero. If you would like to help a son find his father, wonderful. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Dubrovnik Father.

Monday, 24 October 2022

SuperSport HNL Round 14: Hajduk and Dinamo Draw at Poljud, Varazdin Shocks Osijek

October 24, 2022 - The SuperSport HNL 14th round was played from October 21 to October 23, 2022. This round featured the always anticipated 'Eternal Derby' between Hajduk and Dinamo at Poljud, while Varazdin shocked Osijek 4:1, preventing Osjiek from catching up to Hajduk in 2nd place. Here's our SuperSport HNL round 14 recap. 

Hajduk v. Dinamo (1:1)

Hajduk and Dinamo opened the 14th round on Friday, October 21, at Poljud Stadium. Just over 32,000 fans were in attendance. 

Marko Livaja scored first to put Hajduk ahead at 1:0 in the 26th minute. While Hajduk was better in the first half, Dinamo woke up in the second. A more aggressive and hungry Dinamo team went after the goal in the second half, and Hajduk's Awaziem fouled for a Dinamo penalty. Petković routinely scored for 1:1 in the 72nd minute, which was the final score. The match did not go without fan club banter, as Torcida set fire to stolen BBB flags in the north stands, and Dinamo set fire to the seats in the south. 

 

Hajduk is in 2nd place with 27 points, while Dinamo is in 2nd with 35. Both teams have a game in hand. 

Lokomotiva v. Gorica (2:1)

Lokomotiva and Gorica met on Saturday, October 22 in Zagreb. 

Kulenovic put Lokomotiva ahead for 1:0 in the 32nd minute. The game remained 1:0 at the half before Fruk found the back of the net or 1:1 in the 52nd minute. Then, Gorican retook the lead for Lokomotiva, scoring in the 74th minute for the final 2:1. 

 

Lokomotiva is in 8th place with 13 points, while Gorica is in last place with 6 points and a game in hand. 

Varazdin v. Osijek (4:1)

Varazdin and Osijek met on Saturday, October 22, in Varazdin. 

Osijek was the first to score after Kleinheisler made it 0:1 in the 18th minute. However, it didn't take long for Varazdin to come back, scoring three goals in less than 10 minutes to make it 3:1 before halftime. Varazdin almost made it 4:1 in the 74th minute, but Brodic's goal was called back after consulting VAR. Varazdin did get the final goal at the end when Domjanic scored in the 4th minute of stoppage time or 4:1. 

 

Varazdin is in 5th place with 19 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 24. 

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (0:0)

Istra and Sibenik met on Sunday, October 23, in Pula. 

A relatively uneventful match ended without goals. Istra had 59% possession in the game, with three shots on target compared to Sibenik's 0. 

 

Istra is in 6th place with 14 points and a game in hand, while Sibenik is in 7th with 13. 

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (2:1)

Belupo and Rijeka closed out the 14th round on Sunday, October 23, in Koprivnica. 

Hoxha put Belupo ahead from a Krstanovic assist for 1:0 in the 45th minute. Vuckic equalized 1:1 in the 49th minute, though Rijeka's hopes diminished after Alvarez received a red card in the 79th minute, forcing them to play with a man down. Krstanovic stored the penalty for 2:1 a minute later, which was the final score. 

 

Belupo is in 4th place with 23 points, while Rijeka is in 9th place with 12. 

**Hajduk and Gorica will play their 4th round makeup match on Wednesday, October 26, at Poljud Stadium. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

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

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