Thursday, 11 August 2022

Student from Rijeka Creates First Croatian Humanoid Robot "From Scratch"

August 11, 2022 – Croatia is a land of many joys. Its young minds should certainly take the top of the list to be celebrated. This time, the first Croatian humanoid robot can even tell you that.

A student of the Technical Faculty in Rijeka, Karlo Džafić, presented his work at HRT. “The robot's name is Timmy Hartera. It all started in 2019 when I wanted to do robotics and I 'googled' the InMoov site, designed as a platform for everyone who wants to do robotics and do something like I did”, said Karlo.

The robot was made using two 3D printers, while plastic and a lot of electronics were used as materials.

“I got most of it online from abroad, and it all took two and a half years. The robot has over 400 parts - it even has ears, eyes that are two web cameras, and different sensors to be as human-like as possible and behave like it. I did everything completely by myself – from financing to production”, he says, adding that he decided to take on this venture to test his limits.

“Robotics includes more areas than mechanics, electronics, and programming – and all three technical areas interest me, so why not”, he concluded.

In autumn, Karlo plans to make an updated version of his robot, and in the spring, maybe record a podcast where the robot will speak Croatian, so that, says Karlo, the experience would be even greater.

The robot is now under 'repair'.

“Now I want to analyse things and improve what can be improved”, said Karlo.

Scientific associate at the Technical Faculty in Rijeka, Ph.D. Ivan Lorencin supports Karlo in his venture and points out that students like Karlo are a motivation for the scientific department of the faculty to continue their work in science and higher education.

“Such projects are our motive for establishing the Ri-STEM conference, which is being held for the second year in a row, and where Timmy Hartera, the robot was presented to the public for the first time. Such projects provide our students and potential future scientists with a springboard for further careers”, explains Lorencin.

The research group for artificial intelligence and robotics of the Technical Faculty plans to open a STEM center in Medulin soon, through which Karlo, as well as other future young experts and scientists, will be able to receive certain financial support for the development of their projects.

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Summer Blast from the Past: A Journey through 1970s Swimsuits in Croatia (PHOTOS)

August 11, 2022 - A summer blast from the past brought to us by the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb. Check out the 1970s swimsuits in Croatia!

"Summer gives birth to new people...harmonious, unrestrained. Pristinely beautiful. Between air, water, and sun. A swimsuit is part of them. Their ways. Their beauties." reads an advertising brochure used by the Varaždin VIS factory in the 1970s to entice customers to buy its swimsuits. 

Swimwear has undoubtedly evolved throughout history, and many new swimwear trends are met with outrage - well, compared to the swimsuits of the past. The Nikola Tesla Technical Museum has thus published a series of photos of how 1970s swimsuits in Croatia looked, where they were bought, and how manufacturers lured customers to buy them. 

The first Yugoslavian swimwear and terrycloth show was held at the Hotel Slavija in Borik near Zadar at the end of March 1970. The collections presented by the manufacturers were distinguished by 'exclusive designs' and 'very stable colors,' with the women featured being very attractive and feminine.

In addition to Lisca, another participant in the show was the Varaždin VIS factory, which at the time even offered to make custom designs on orders. Umbrellas from the VIS factory, which cost as much as a vacuum cleaner (a fifth of someone's month's salary back then), were taken to the beach, ALKA Frigoterm small portable coolers made by Jugopastika kept food cool, while Badel's Nara or Inka or Droga's Fla-Vor-Aid were the drink of choice. Coppertone Tropical Blend from Belupo or Nivea from the NEVA factory in Zagreb was the go-to sun protection brand.

START Magazine wrote about what a summer vacation looked like in the 1970s: "Vacation is not only about relaxing the body but actually activating it. A man in his seventies is mature enough to go to the sea, sail, and find his bay. The era of tourism with air mattress man is passing. People no longer come to the sea to gain weight but regain some of their elasticity and adventure.'

New water activities then included water skiing, windsurfing, and fishing. In 1979, swimming was a skill practiced by 75 percent of respondents in Croatia, more often men than women and younger than older.

Although no one was seen wearing thongs and bikinis at the time, these new swimwear trends caused disbelief, which is best described in the text below:

"The intense heat, which prevailed at the beginning of the month and forced the mercury in the thermometer to an unusual height, so to speak, lured all of Zagreb to the Sava. Especially on Sundays, the number of people from Zagreb on the Sava reaches ten thousand! Everything bustles here, everyone mixes, enters the water, and from the water to the sand to sunbathe. From small children to the elderly, everyone left the city to cool off in the silver foamy waves of the Sava. Even if the city's swimming pool is huge, and Gospodarič's has been enlarged, it is still too small to accommodate so many bathers and provide everyone with a cabin. Many come and can't find a place to undress; they are forced to swim further west of the city swimming area. Life at the swimming pool faithfully reflects Zagreb and all its citizens. Many of them have lunch at the swimming pool, then go to homes or restaurants in the afternoon to have dinner, from the Sava through Zrinjevac to Maksimir and the pleasant and quiet courtyards in Gornji grad. 

It's no wonder that at the crowded Sava swimming area these days, feinschmeckers or gourmands, precisely gourmands, enjoy looking at the young women, those golden fishes, Nymphs, and Sirens in the silvery waters and sigh to themselves: Ah, ah and ah! So they go for a beer so that the wishes live on! That's why the well-dressed older ladies are outraged by today's women's swimsuits. Today, women are almost naked, and when we were their age, we had full bathing suits and socks on our feet just so that no one could see a glimpse of our naked body. Oh, how corrupt the world has become!"

Source: 24 Sata

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

 

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Self-employment Increase in Croatia This Year all Thanks to Women

August 11, 2022 - Employment in Croatia is always an interesting topic. The fluctuations of unemployment rates are in line with the tourist season, with the increase usually happening in August. This year's self-employment increase, however, all happened thanks to women who have started their trades or companies.

As Poslovni reports, a streak of five months of consecutive reductions in the number of unemployed in the records of the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) ended in July.

At the end of last month, 109,571 unemployed people were registered, i.e., 3,772 more than the month before, and the first third of August also points to the beginning of a seasonal increase in the number of unemployed (compared to yesterday, an increase of about 900 persons was recorded), although currently there are more than 16 thousand vacancies.

Last year, the seasonal deflation only started in August, but a little later seasonal employment started to increase. All in all, in year-on-year comparisons, significantly fewer unemployed persons are still registered with the Institute. Compared to last July, that amounts to 13 percent or 16,431 fewer.

The latest figures from the CES show that during July of this year, slightly less than 15.2 thousand people were newly registered in the unemployment register, or about five percent less than last year.

Every third person from the sector of education

At the same time, the majority (about 70 percent) came to the Institute directly from previous employment, while for every third of them that previous job was in education.

More than 2,500 newly registered persons entered the unemployment register having graduated from regular education, and nearly 1,900 persons registered with the Croatian Employment Service after previously being inactive.

At the same time, last month there were about 30 percent fewer exits from the unemployment register than in July last year, while more than eight thousand out of 11.4 thousand exited the register due to employment.

Nine out of ten (or a total of 7,234 people) established a working relationship with an employer, and the other 824 had other business activities. More than half (448) of them became self-employed by registering a trade, and more than 220 of them did so by establishing a company, while the rest mainly involved earning income from another independent activity that exceeds the amount of the average guaranteed benefit.

There were 5,420 of those who were in the records of the CES and were employed based on these business activities (and not by entering an employment relationship) in the first seven months of this year, or about a hundred more than in the same period last year.

Although there are more men in that group (and the largest number refers to starting a trade or company), it should be noted that practically the entire year-on-year growth is the result of an increase in such (self-)employment among women.

Most of the new employees who entered employment contracts with their employers in July (as well as the newly registered unemployed) were in the tourism and hospitality industries and the trade and processing industry.

Considering the seasonal characteristics of July, last month among the counties, Split-Dalmatia and Osijek-Baranja counties led the way in terms of employment, which are also the counties with the highest absolute numbers of registered unemployed (in Split-Dalmatia there are more than 18.5 thousand or almost 17 percent of the total unemployed in the Republic of Croatia, and in Osijek-Baranja more than 14.2 thousand or 13 percent).

European statistics

The share of the unemployed who receive minimum benefits has been trending downward in recent years, and recently that has been approximately a fifth. In July, it meant about 22 thousand users.

The unemployment rate according to the methodology of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Croatia was at 6.3 percent in the middle of the year (according to ILO standards, there were 114 thousand people without a job), i.e. significantly below 7.7 percent at the same time last year.

Although this 6.3 percent is slightly higher than Croatia’s historically lowest rate, unemployment is currently very low throughout the European Union, with places like the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Malta, and Hungary where it is within (up to) three percent, while Spain and Greece were the only ones with a double-digit unemployment rate according to ILO standards in June.

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Zagreb's Average Net Monthly Salary for May at €1,182

ZAGREB, 11 Aug (Hina) - The average net monthly salary for May paidby legal entities in Zagreb was HRK 8,863 (€1,182), an increase of 7.4% over May 2021, the city department for strategic planning and development said.

Compared with the national average of HRK 7,690 (€1,025), the average take-home pay in Zagreb was HRK 1,173 (€156) higher.

The highest average net salary was paid in the extraction of crude oil and natural gas industry, of HRK 15,851 (€2,113), and the lowest in the leather manufacturing industry, of HRK 4,883 (€651).

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Žgomba: Unpleasant Surprise for Croatian Tourism in Season 2022

August 11, 2022 – Tourist Season 2022 has been dynamic in Croatia. Tourists from all over the world are arriving in record numbers, so much so that Croatia still needs thousands of tourist workers to meet its capacities. On the other hand, not all Croatian citizens can afford summer holidays in their own country. And they are not alone. Another unpleasant surprise hides in the number of arrivals from across the Adriatic.

As Poslovni writes, the president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, Boris Žgomba, was a guest in Novi dan and commented on this year's tourist season.

“If we consider the numbers in the form of overnight stays and arrivals, we will not reach the record year 2019, but that's not the goal and we don't need to worry about it. However, the turnover will certainly be higher than in 2019, but the question is always what the balance sheets will show in the end”, said Žgomba.

He says that costs have also increased due to the rise in energy prices.

“We can hardly compare ourselves with Greece or Turkey. At the moment, we are a car destination, while they are an air destination. It is often said that we are too expensive. Prices are affected by supply and demand, and I don't believe that it is about new guests, but about those who are getting used to the new ways of tourism. They are experiencing a similar increase in prices in their own countries”, he said.

According to him, an unpleasant surprise is a decline in the trend of arrivals of Italian guests. “Their share among guests in Croatia is falling”, claims Žgomba. On another positive note, as he says, Dubrovnik “finally started to manage its tourism”.

“These days we have a large influx of tourists at the airports. Dubrovnik is an excellent example of how we need to start managing our destinations. The time of spontaneous tourism is behind us. “The pandemic has taught us something”, he said.

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Brace Yourselves in Slavonia: Winter is Coming and Zimnica is Now

August 18, 2022 – Picture this. You live in Slavonia. You are 16, it is the height of summer, plans include swimming in the Danube all day and partying all night. Guess again. There’s more important business. It involves plums, apricots, tomatoes, peppers, maybe beetroots. And it’s not a very weird salad. You are now old enough to make your own zimnica.

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The winter staples - tomato passata, apricot and plum jam, pickled beetroots and peppers

While not a uniquely Slavonian event, zimnica, which is the Croatian word for anything that is kept specifically for the winter, plays an extremely important role in eastern Croatia. Preparing jars, bags, and dishes of fruits and vegetables for the winter is almost a form of art. Though things are different nowadays, winter in Slavonia used to be awfully long, cold, and dark, food was hard to come by, and it was of utmost importance to ensure that you preserved as much as you can. These days life is not as hard, and you can buy anything at any time, but the tradition does live on. Homegrown and homemade is always just so much better.

The preparations take place all summer long, as the fruits ripen, using various techniques. The most popular ones include pickling, jamming, and passing.

Pretty much any vegetable can be pickled using vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. The hierarchy of pickled vegetables is as follows:

1) Turšija is a mix of bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and cucumbers, all pickled together in a plastic barrel. It takes top tier and gets served almost daily with all kinds of stews, meats, and even sandwiches, the adventure is in you.

1) Cabbage takes the same tier as turšija because it’s used to make a dish called sarma, which is the number one winter dish. It is almost mandatory to develop a love-hate relationship with it based on how often it’s made in Slavonian households.

2) Beetroots taste slightly sweeter, very red, never eaten while wearing white. Never frowned upon.

3) Solo whole bell peppers – neutral good, few hate them, few love them. Eaten if served, rarely an object of fear of missing out.

4) Other – like solo pickles, usually fetched when you run out of the good stuff.

5) Green tomatoes – now, that’s simply weird.

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Just like any vegetable can be pickled, any fruit can be made into jam or rakija. Rare are jobs that are as annoying as picking up plums, apricots, peaches, pears, or apples from the ground and separating them into three buckets: good for jam, good for rakija, and good for nothing. The latter is usually completely rotten fruit, which is the most fun to pick up, and that bucket is taken to the back to be composted. The rakija bucket is dumped into a big barrel where the fruit is left to ferment, later distilled, and poured into the nicest bottles to be served on every occasion. Finally, the good fruit is eaten or used in cakes, but more importantly, jammed. There are a few different recipes for jam, depending on the fruit. The ubiquitous plum is treated as the queen and can be found in cakes, tašci, knedle, crepes, and on the breakfast table daily. Try the simple trick of cooking a large clay dish full of pitted plums with some sugar in the oven for a few hours and thank us later.

Now, you might wonder why one would go out and buy 250 kilograms of tomatoes on a Wednesday morning. Because that is market day, and the tomatoes went for a good price. And the ones from your garden were part of one too many salads. One of the most important ingredients of Slavonian cuisine is tomato sauce. Sunday lunch is unimaginable without a good broth, followed by the meat that was cooked in it served with some of the red velvety goodness. Tomato soup cures colds, cases of flu, and an array of other illnesses. It also makes for an incredibly easy and delicious dinner.

The process of preparing passata for the winter has a few steps. First, invite friends and family to help. This is a group job. Second, make sure that you’ve got some tools like a tomato press with a questionable origin, which you might or might not remember buying some 25 years ago. Even better if it’s your mother’s. Third, have some coffee. Fourth and final, work for 12 hours straight washing your tomatoes, cutting them, boiling, pressing, boiling again, bottling, and tucking for a cozy rest of 36-48 hours. Now you can rest easy knowing that you can store your 60 litres per household, getting through another long frosty winter in Slavonia.

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Step no. 4

Traditional jam and tomato sauce are used in restaurants all over Slavonia and Baranja, where you can also try some of the dishes mentioned in the article, like tašci, sarma, and tomato soup. And that is just scratching the surface. Why aren’t you here?

How good is your knowledge of eastern Croatia anyway? Take the CROMADS test above - how many places do you recognise?

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

€40 Million Revitalisation of Tourist Resort Zelena Punta

August 11, 2022 – Planned tourism is only starting to take shape in Croatia, and foreign investment, it seems, plays a significant role. One of such projects found its home under the Adriatic sun on the island of Ugljan, near Zadar, where Adriatic Tourist Resorts will undertake a revitalisation of the Zelena Punta resort.

As Poslovni reports, after almost four years that it took to complete the process of taking over the Resort Zelena Punta in Kukljica on the island of Ugljan from the bankrupt Coning, Adriatic Tourist Resorts (ATR) finally embarked on an ambitious investment in the largest tourist resort on Ugljan.

An investment in the complex worth at least €40 million will raise Zelena Punta to 4 stars, but also the entire destination, which has been stagnant for years, and the plan is to build capacities for a total of 780 beds in different objects, with additional facilities and the complete infrastructure.

The first major works will start after this season, Poslovni learned from Dino Manestar, director of Adriatic Tourist Resorts and Premium Star Hotels (PSH), owned by Prime Tourist Resorts from Bratislava.

“With the implementation of this project, we intend to put Ugljan, Kukljica, and Zelena Punta on the map of the world's best destinations. In June, we submitted an initiative to the Municipality of Kukljica to amend the spatial planning documentation, which was preceded by a presentation to the Municipality and interested persons.

After we received the full support of the local administration and residents for the implementation of the Master Plan for the development of Zelena Punta, we are now expecting changes to the spatial plan to obtain permits and start investing in new facilities. The investment will happen in stages, and we think that everything will be finished by the end of 2025, which also depends on numerous circumstances in the market", Dino Manestar confirmed.

From the initiation of Coning's bankruptcy until the takeover, Zelena Punta was open to guests every season, but the village, which has a long-standing tradition, has been neglected, with unused accommodation capacities, unkempt sports fields, and dilapidated infrastructure. The resort extends over the entire peninsula separated from the old core of the island, in a dense pine forest. Manestar claims that this natural heritage will be preserved as much as possible in the future project because the goal is to “make Zelena Punta green again”.

The design for the new Zelena Punta is signed by Slovak architects from the design company GFI in cooperation with the Croatian company I2D. The design was thought out in such a way as to preserve as many pines as possible, which will be an important element of the settlement. “We will only remove diseased trees and what is necessary for fire protection. We intend to fit all units into the natural environment as much as possible, with the use of natural materials in the interior design”, says Manestar.

Planika is an example

The only buildings that will not be demolished will be those where the apartments are located – the Master Plan envisages a thorough renovation of the existing 138 apartments, the number of which will be slightly reduced because some will be joined, but most of them will remain in the current floor plan. That process has already started, the Planika building has been renovated, and serves as an example of the future project.

Renovation of four other buildings with 40 apartments is underway, and investors are announcing the continuation of further investments in apartment buildings right after this tourist season. All apartments should be ready by 2024.

All 80 bungalows that last served as staff accommodation, but were completely dilapidated, will be demolished, and 52 new bungalows, mostly with two accommodation units, will be built in their place. The plan is to start construction at the end of 2023.

The most luxurious will buildings include the villas to be built on the top of the peninsula. These 12 buildings will have private swimming pools, with a total area of ​​7,000 square meters. Finally, more accommodation capacity will be provided in a 4-star hotel with around 60 rooms (120 beds), which should be ready by 2025 according to current plans.

Possible beach concession

By the end of this year, the construction of a new beach club with a swimming pool on the site of the former Kokos disco, as well as sports fields and other recreational facilities, is expected to begin. Last year, the Skakaona beach restaurant was renovated. A change of the entire infrastructure is planned, including a new substation, as well as new installations.

As the settlement will be without traffic, a large parking lot will be built next to the reception. As for the beach, we are waiting for the cadastral survey and mapping of the maritime property, and the idea is to apply for a concession on the beach.

As Poslovni learned from Dino Manestar, since the Slovak private investment fund Across is behind the entire investment, ATR and PSH have developed a management model according to which private investors will be able to invest in apartments, partly through issued bonds and partly through acquisition of ownership, and PSH will manage the complete facilities including accommodation facilities.

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Croatian Football Fan Arrested in Portugal for Attacking TV Cameraman

ZAGREB, 11 August, 2022 - A Hajduk Split football fan was arrested in the northern Portuguese city of Guimarães on Wednesday night for attacking a television cameraman after a Europa Conference League qualifying match with the home side Vitoria.

Vitoria won 1-0, but failed to qualify for the play-off because it had lost 1-3 in Split a week ago.

After leaving the stadium, a group of Hajduk supporters lunged at a television cameraman, and police used truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets, footage from the Portuguese Sport TV channel shows.

The fan who attacked the TVI/CNN reporter has been arrested and will be brought before an investigating magistrate on Thursday, a reporter with CNN Portugal said.

Several vehicles with Croatian number plates were damaged in a car park next to the railway station in the nearby city of Trofa, the O Jogo sports newspaper reported. A photograph showed a white van with Split number plates with its windows smashed and another van and a car with punctured tyres.

The night before the match, the police stopped five buses with Hajduk fans en route to Porto. On board were 154 persons, including 122 Croatian nationals, 23 Portuguese nationals, and nine nationals of other countries. They were stopped after rioting in the streets of Guimarães.

In Guimarães, around 10.30 pm on Tuesday, about 100 people, most with their faces masked and dressed in black, threw flares and chairs at people sitting on the terraces of cafes, sending them fleeing in fear.

No one was hurt, and no one reported any property damage the next morning, police said. All 154 fans travelling on buses were released after identification. Police found a smoke bomb, a knuckleduster, and a ski mask on them.

The sports newspapers Record and O Jogo quoted the Ministry of the Interior as saying that the Hajduk fans were joined by supporters of at least one Portuguese football fan group and that the incidents in Guimarães were planned. Record identified this group as No Name Boys, the supporters of Benfica Lisbon, who are friends with Hajduk's Torcida fans.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Memories of Croatia in 1996: Reflections of a 5-Year-Old

August 11, 2022 - Memories of Croatia in 1996, as remembered by a 5-year-old visiting for the first time from America.

I was recently interviewed by someone in the United States working on a research project with Croatians and Croatian-Americans about the relationships between tourists and locals in Croatia. As a Croatian-American and someone who has lived in Croatia for seven years, I was a good fit. 

The wonderful hour-long Zoom call took me on a journey through my Croatian adventures, from the Croatian influence in my family growing up in San Diego to my first visit to Croatia in 1996 and every visit after that until I moved here in 2015.

And it got me thinking a lot about my first trip to Croatia in 1996. I was 5 years old. 

My family and I flew into Germany and drove from Frankfurt to Croatia, passing through German and Austrian towns along the way before reaching Zagreb.  Which I remember vividly. 

As Croatia smelled fresh of war, I remember being unable to sleep that first night in our Zagreb hotel, thinking there was a soldier in the closet. It was a haunting experience for a 5-year-old, and I can paint the interiors of that hotel room in my mind now. 

I remember playing with pigeons in Ban Jelacic Square, which is something I recall every time I visit the capital now. If only I were as fearless of pigeons as I was back then... 

We drove from Zagreb to Rijeka to visit my grandmother's sister and her family before taking the overnight ferry down to Split (remember when that still operated?). 

Oddly enough, we chose not to spend much time in Split, even though it is the city where my father was born and where my grandfather and grandmother raised their family before moving to New York City in 1958. I do, however, have this photo of my brother and me at the ferry port. How those Jadrolinija ships have hardly changed in the last 26 years. 

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We made our way to Trogir, the town where my grandparents met in their teenage years. My grandfather's family roots are in Trogir, well, technically from a small village in the hills above Trogir called Prapatinica. His family ultimately migrated from the selo to the 'city'. My grandmother's family moved to Trogir from Stari Grad after World War II, which is where one of her brothers continued to live when we visited in 1996. I will never forget eating pršut and sir amongst the chickens in his small outdoor shack. 

The memories I can recall most from that trip are with my mother's family in a tiny village outside of Metkovic called 'Kosa'. The seven-house village sits on the river, with two surnames ruling the territory. We are all somehow related. 

We stayed at my mother's family home - where my dida and baba raised my mother and her 6 siblings. My mother hadn't seen her family in over a decade, though this absence carried more significance, considering her younger brothers had just fought in the Homeland War. My brother and I spent a lot of time dressing up in their uniforms. 

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I have home videos of me chewing on crusty white bread, spread with butter and šipak marmalade, as that was my go-to breakfast in Croatia that summer (the sugary cereals of America were quickly forgotten). The few words in Croatian I knew then were endlessly repeated, from 'neću' to 'šta?' and 'jedan, dva triiiii!'. 

I remember playing with the other village children on the river, setting out on our small trupina boat to reach the farmland across the way, where my family cultivated their crops to make a living. And the goats - I remember the many baby goats! If only I knew what their fate would be then...

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Being from the Neretva River and all, frogs are the ultimate delicacy. And my uncles were experts at hunting them - a unique craft that is done explicitly in the early morning hours. Now, anyone that knows a bit about frog culture in Dalmatia, is that it is usually eaten two ways - in a brudet (and in Neretva, this means stewed with river eel, too), or fried - you now, breaded like schnitzel or fried chicken. 

I remember 15 of us huddled around the small family dinner table eating, what I thought, was fried chicken. And as any 5-year-old from America might do, dipping it in ketchup to imitate chicken fingers. I grew suspicious after I glanced over at my father eating the same thing, considering he had been a pescatarian since his early 20s. "Hmm.. If Tata is eating it, it can't be chicken." 

And thus, my first experience eating frogs was had, with ketchup, at 5 years old. 

I remember swimming at Klek beach, now just a short drive from the new Peljesac Bridge, which is where this famous photo was taken. 

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And all I remember about our day trip to Dubrovnik is serving this look on Stradun. 

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

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Hajduk and Villarreal to Meet in Europa Conference League Play-off!

August 10, 2022 - Hajduk and Villarreal will meet in the Europa Conference League play-off! Hajduk advanced past Vitoria in the 3rd qualifying round with a 3:2 aggregate on Wednesday in Portugal. 

Vitoria and Hajduk met in the second leg of the Conference League 3rd-round qualifiers. Several thousand members of Hajduk fan group Torcida were in attendance. 

Hajduk came to Dom Afonso Henriques stadium with a two-goal advantage after defeating Vitoria 3:1 in the first match at Poljud. Recall, the away goal rule is no longer in force.

"We have a plan that we want to implement. We have to have the same approach as in the home game. I am sure that Vitoria will play a different match than the one in Split; I believe that they are a better team than what they showed at Poljud," said coach Valdas Dambrauskas before the match. 

Lineups

Vitoria Guimaraes: Varela, Miguel, Amaro, Mumin, Ogawa, Andre Almeida, Pains, Tiago Silva, Lameiras, Anderson, Antonin

Hajduk: 
Kalinić, Mikanović, Simić, Elez, Melnjak, Vuković, Grgić, Krovinović, Sahiti, Livaja, Čolina

Live match report

Vitoria had a dangerous free kick just outside the box in the 2nd minute, which was cleared by the Hajduk defense.

Just two minutes later, the worst-case scenario happened for Hajduk - Ogawa dribbled up the left wing and found Anderson alone at the top of the box. The Brazilian footballer brilliantly scored with his back to the goal, finding the upper right corner of Kalinic's goal for 1:0 in the 5th minute. 

Hajduk had their first attack of the match in the 11th minute when Grgic flew up the left wing but crossed into the Vitoria defense. 

Hajduk played nervously when in possession and could not connect more than a few passes at a time. Vitoria's pressure did not stop, and there were a few close calls in the next 10 minutes of play. Hajduk's defense was tested.

Hajduk continued playing unsuccessful long balls from the back, and by the 22nd minute, Vitoria had 8 attacks compared to Hajduk's 3. 

Hajduk's best chance of the match came in the 23rd minute - Sahiti received the ball in the midfield and played a flawless ball through the Vitoria defense to Colina, who was one-on-one with the Vitoria keeper. Colina chipped the keeper and just went over the goal post.

Hajduk, at least, had stabilized their play. Much better than what we saw in the first part of the match. 

Another chance for Hajduk came in the 26th minute. Krovinovic crossed to Colina whose header went over the goal.

Anderson tried to surprise Kalinic by shooting from 30 meters in the 30th minute, but the Hajduk keeper defended without any problems.

Another close call for Hajduk came a few minutes later in front of Kalinic's goal, but the ball luckily couldn't reach Anderson in the box. 

Colina sent the ball into the box in the 38th minute, which was cleared by the Vitoria defense. 

Hajduk had another chance in the 44th minute, but Sahiti was called offside. The match erupted into a mini brawl after the Vitoria keeper forcefully picked Sahiti up from the pitch. Vukovic ran over in Sahiti's defense, and Tiago Silva slapped Sahiti in the head, which the ref failed to see. There is no VAR in Conference League, and if there was, it could have easily been a red card for Silva. Instead, the ref gave Silva, Varela, and Vukovic yellow cards. 

The match was 1:0 going into the half. 

The second half started with one sub for Hajduk - Borevkovic came on for Simic, who has a yellow card. 

Vitoria's first chance came in the 46th minute, which was cleared out for a Vitoria throw-in. 

Vitoria had a free kick in the 52nd minute, which fortunately went out for a goal kick. One minute later, Jota nutmegged Hajduk's defense to find Anderson at the top of the box. His shot was blocked by Elez and went out for a corner. 

Hajduk had a free kick in the 57th minute, which was cleared by the Vitoria defense, and the next play was a corner or Hajduk. Krovinovic crossed into the Vitoria keeper's hands. 

Elez blocked Anderson's attempt a minute later, going out for a Vitoria corner, and was deflected out for another corner. 

Colina was subbed off for Biuk in the 62nd minute. 

Hajduk's best chance of the second half came in the 69th minute - Biuk crossed into the box from the left wing, which was a second too quick for Livaja.

Hajduk had a quick counter in the 70th minute after a few dangerous Vitorira attacks.

Jota shot near post in the 72nd minute. 

Dambrauskas decided to play defensively from the 73rd minute, adding an extra stopper. Awaziem came on for Sahiti. 

Good news for Hajduk came in the 78th minute - Tiago Silva was shown his second yellow card and sent off, forcing Vitoria to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

Krovinovic shot at the keeper in the 83rd minute and Jota had a chance for Vitoria in the next play. 

Mikanovic and Vukovic were subbed off for Lovrencsics and Atanasov in the 86th minute. 

Biuk had a shot on goal in the 88th minute but hit near post and was ultimately called offside. Four minutes of stoppage time were added. Vitoria had a corner in the final seconds, but could not score.

Hajduk thus advanced to the Conference League play-off against Villarreal!

Post-match interview

Hajduk coach Valdas Dambrauskas said that they expected a tough game.

"We didn't have the control we wanted in the first half; the second half was better. We are happy that we passed, but I am not the happiest coach because of how we played, but I am happy that we passed," he said. 

"We knew the match would be difficult. We have experienced players, but we don't have an experienced team. This group of players is playing together in Europe for the first time. Vitoria is a good, young team."

Villarreal is next

"This club has tradition, history, and great victories in the past. We don't go to Spain to take pictures with Villarreal players and post them on Instagram. Let's go there and compete; I believe we are not without chances.

Before that, Hajduk will face Dinamo.

"We are Hajduk; we are playing the biggest derby on Saturday. We have 23 players who are registered; I believe that every player will be looking forward to the next game. I think that now is a very good time to be a Hajduk player, first Dinamo, and then playing in Spain."

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