Tuesday, 14 May 2019

VIDEO: Croatian Roads Release 3D Simulation of Pelješac Roads

Pelješac bridge is something we've been reading about and anticipating for many years now. From wondering where the funding would come from before Croatia's accession to the EU to hearing Bosnian arguments against its construction, this enormous Croatian strategic project will see the construction of a bridge connect Croatian territory without a detour through Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina, needed in order to reach Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia by car. 

Works on Pelješac bridge which once seemed like they'd never happen finally began not so long ago, after a Chinese company was chosen as the contractor, much to the European Commission's irritation, given the fact that the bridge is majority financed by European Union funds. Despire that, works appear to be going smoothly and owing to the famous efficiency of the Chinese, more quickly than expected.

The joke is now that the Croats who can't seem to get the construction of Pelješac bridge's access roads off the ground (no pun intended) won't have even chosen a contractor before the Chinese have finished with the entire bridge.

Regardless, Croatian Roads (Hrvatske Ceste) have published the first 3D promotional video on what Pelješac's brand new roads are set to look like.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of May, 2019, just two days ago, the last pilot was put into place at Pelješac bridge's construction site, along the sea bed below the future bridge, 148 permanent pilots and two testers were placed, and the quick and efficient Chinese builders have thus completed the first phase of the bridge's construction, well before time.

This was the timely occasion for Croatian Roads to announce their promotional film showcasing a 3D simulation of the future road through Pelješac for the first time. Have a look at the video (in Croatian) here:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on the construction of Pelješac bridge and much, much more.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Split: Miroslav Radman Bringing Scientists to Conference, Focus on Cancer

As Slobodna Dalmacija/Sandra Barcot writes on the 5th of May, 2019, the world-renowned scientist Miroslav Radman is set to bring around a hundred scientists from across the world to Split. The international group of scientists will be part of the second International Progress in Biomedical Research conference.

From June the 17th to June the 21st, at Split's "Mediterranean Institute for Life Research" (MedILS), numerous respected experts from various areas of importance to human health will discuss, share experiences, and get better acquainted with the latest research on the extension of human life, the finding of remedies for the treatment of diseases that pose a serious threat to human life, and further educate themselves in general.

Split will play host to the leading scientists who will hold lectures on the molecular and cellular biology of diseases, with special emphasis placed on the fields of neuroscience, immunology, the metabolism, and diseases that is responsible for the misery, suffering and deaths of many in the modern day - cancer.

The participants of this year's conference in Split will focus on the concepts and challenges within each of these scientific areas through lectures on the latest technologies in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, cancer signaling, therapy development, DNA recovery and immunotherapy.

The conference is organised by the Mediterranean Institute for Life Research and the University of Toronto, more specifically by Professor Miroslav Radman (MedILS), Professor Mladen Merćep (MedILS) and Professor Igor Štagljar (University of Toronto).

The first conference of its sort, which was held in July last year in Split, also gathered together some one hundred scientists from the field of biomedical research dealing with the topic of understanding the function of the gene, the therapeutic importance of the gene, ie the gene for extending human life and the aging of human skin.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. Is it just Split you're interested in? Give Total Split a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Sandra Barcot for Slobodna Dalmacija

Thursday, 2 May 2019

First Croatian Avocado Plantation Planted on Island of Vis!

As Morski writes on the 2nd of May, 2019, the very first Croatian avocado plantation has been planted on the Dalmatian island of Vis. The pear-shaped fruit can typically be found growing in Central and South America, it's very rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for the health of the organism.

It seems that the warm Mediterranean climate bodes well for the growth of avocados because those growing are advancing well and generally give generous yields. To make the story of the very first Croatian avocado plantation even more unusual, it was kickstarted by two Americans from Wisconsin, the Repanich couple, who, despite their advanced years, have some great business plans under their belts. Perhaps because they eat avocados each and every day.

John and Patricia Repanich, a lively couple in their eighties, replaced life in America with the birthplace of John's grandfather. Back when they lived in the US, they had nut plantations in California, as well as flocks of sheep, and when retirement age came around, out of all of the places in the world, they chose no less than the beautiful island of Vis as their new home, as was reported by HRT. For years and years before that, they'd already spent plenty of time enjoying Vis's stunning Brgujac bay.

''Once a farmer, always a farmer,'' says John. Pensions aren't for rest, it's best to keep your hands busy. Their avocado experiment was fruitful. Ten years ago, they planted their first tree.

When that very first plant ended up ''giving birth'' to hundreds of the avocados, the entrepreneurial American spirit was awakened in Repanich. From Sicily, the couple brought 150 plants to the Croatian island of Vis and started the very first avocado plantation in the whole of Croatia, the first fruit of which is due this autumn.

Avocados otherwise originate from the South and North American rainforests, where, at least according to numerous archaeological discoveries, they were eaten 8,000 years ago. The first avocados were utilised by the Inkas, the Olmecs and Maya peoples, who considered it a magical plant that nourishes the body from the outside and from the inside. It is very rich in good fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential to the health of the body.

Among other things, it benefits the heart, reduces blood sugar, helps with arthritis, and even helps people to lose weight. Experts think it is the top food for brain health because of its high share of omega-3 acids and vitamin E.

Avocados are diverse and can be eaten raw or be thermally processed in many ways, and perhaps the most famous avocado dish of all is Mexican guacamole. Thanks to Repanich's, the first Croatian avocados have become an attraction, so more and more people have been coming to Brgujac to see the premier Croatian plantation for themselves. Along with its olive oil and its wine, the island of Vis could easily also become a Croatian island known for its tropical fruits.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by HRT

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Balkan Pond Turtle Discovered Along Dubrovnik's River Ombla

As Morski writes on the 2nd of May, 2019, after a Balkan pond turtle (Mauremys rivulata) was found along Dubrovnik's Ombla river last year, the news was picked up by the expert public.

Zvonimir Pandža from Rijeka Dubrovačka (Dubrovnik River) found the turtle, and owing to his discovery, he confirmed concretely that the species is in actual fact not extinct in the Ombla river, which was the overall consensus until now. According to locals who live along the Ombla, Balkan pond turtles were a relatively common sight up until the Homeland War broke out. After the war ended, different interventions had been taking place in its natural habitat, which is why the turtles had unfortunately been brought to the brink of extinction over just a few years.

The next important step was to conduct a survey to determine whether or not there were still any individual Balkan pond turtles living in and along Dubrovnik's Ombla river. This research and evaluation was financed by Dubrovnik-Neretva County and was carried out by the Hyla Association in coordination with the Public Institution for Management of Protected Areas of Nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The first survey results, carried out in April 2019, are above all expectations, as they proved that two more river turtle species have been found living along Dubrovnik's Ombla river. There is now a realistic possibility that there is still a small population of Balkan pond turtles living permanently at that location.

The study also includes other animal groups that inhabit this more quiet and rural area of Dubrovnik, with the aim of collecting data on the remaining natural values ​​of this protected area. We are witnessing the increasing urbanisation of the surrounding area of ​​Dubrovnik, and with the proper care and adequate spacial planning, there is still a good possibility of preserving its natural world and its native species, including the river and pond turtles.

The deaths of established populations of creatures such as Balkan pond turtle along the Ombla river is a perfect example of how nature and its species can disappear almost entirely in just a few years if proper spacial planning is not taken into account. The decision now lies solely with us - Do we want to preserve the natural world and its animals of the areas in which we live?

Dubrovnik-Neretva County is the only area in the whole of the Republic of Croatia where both types of freshwater turtles (Balkan pond turtles and European river turtles) can be found. Both species are strictly protected, and the river turtle holds the unfortunate status of an endangered species.

The largest population of such river turtles lives in Konavle, the southernmost municipality of Croatia which borders Montenegro, and a population of them appears stable in the village of Majkovi. In Stonsko Polje, Dubrovnik's Ombla River and the delta of the Neretva River, such turtles unfortunately find themselves on the verge of extinction, and it is still not clear whether or not there is a population near Lumbarda at all.

The main threats to the survival of river and pond turtles are the expansion of construction zones into their habitat and the deliberate release of foreign, invasive types of turtles that are frequently kept as pets.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Sustainable Tourism in Dubrovnik - What Steps Can You Take?

As you all know, the beautiful city of Dubrovnik is located along the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, and attracts people from all over the world for its bright blue sea, medieval walls and Game of Throne’s filming spots.

Tourism in Dubrovnik has sky rocketed in the past few years, and a lot of it has to do with the Game of Thrones’ filming locations, which brings 60,000 tourists a year just for that particular reason.

It was reported that in a single day in August of 2016, over 10,000 tickets were bought to walk Dubrovnik’s famous city walls. This heavy influx of tourism has caused excessive pollution, the destruction of animal habitats, and it overloads the infrastructure as well as threatens the culture and heritage of the city. The limestone of Stradun has been gradually smoothed down from thousands of people walking along it with each tourist season, so much so, that the city has had to manually create texture on the limestone with hammers to create some kind of slip resistance.

The prices of homes in Dubrovnik’s Old Town have increased because of the amount of houses being turned into Airbnb’s to accommodate tourists. This destroys a sense of community and inflates the price of property. It has been reported that today only 1,157 people call Dubrovnik's Old City home, compared to 5,000 in 1991. Many argue that Dubrovnik is on its way to become the next “Disneyland”, which has already happened in places like Venice, just across the Adriatic.

Along with the threat of the city turning into a place that does nothing but cater to its many foreign visitors, over construction along the coast is threatening the biodiversity of the land, as well as pollution from the thousands of visitors who walk through the streets of Dubrovnik each day. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city that has a rich history, and it's a no brainer why people want to go within the city’s walls. There needs to be a solution that allows visitors to travel to this uniquely alluring city on the Adriatic, but in a way in which such trends won't destroy the land and the culture.

Any tourist who is interested in planning their next trip to Dubrovnik should see if they're meeting a standard checklist that will keep over tourism from saturating the city. This checklist should make foreign travellers consider the following,

Is the place you are staying at owned by locals?
Are you supporting local businesses and contributing to the economy versus buying items at manufactured souvenir shops?
Are you participating in any excursions that do not respect the environment?
Are you respecting the locals’ culture?
Do you clean up after yourself when visiting the hiking trails or beaches?

By promoting and implementing the use of a kind of checklist for tourists to use to keep these questions in mind when visiting Dubrovnik, visitors and locals are ensuring that there is a way to coexist in a positive manner, where the economy can prosper, and continue to make Dubrovnik a thriving destination for people from all over the world. Making visitors aware of sustainable tourism through promotional advertisements or a simple brochure when they enter Dubrovnik’s walls has the potential to influence their actions.

By supporting local businesses, treating the land as if it were your own, and respecting Dubrovnik's way of life, it is ensuring that the long-term development of tourism in Dubrovnik is sustainable and promotes the harmony of the local economy, the environment and the cultural/social aspects of the city.

SOURCE(S): Overtourism in Dubrovnik from Responsible Travel. (n.d.). Retrieved here.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or find out all you need to know about the Pearl of the Adriatic with Dubrovnik in a Page.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Croatia's ''Include'' Attracting Investment and Attention

When it comes to results, Croatia's Include published an impressive 115 percent growth in revenue in the first quarter of the year, and an average selling price growth of almost 40 percent.

As Tomislav Pili/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, one of the main stars of the Croatian startup scene, entrepreneur Ivan Mrvoš, is continuing to impress. Just two years after Include's first capitalisation through Funderbeam, recapitalisation is about to happen again, aiming this time at almost ten times the amount. Before today's public announcement of the campaign, Include's main man revealed that his company, which is a top Croatian manufacturer of solar powered benches, is collecting part of the finances through Funderbeam while the other part will be provided by private investors.

"After the successful first round of investment back in 2017, when we raised about 3.5 million kuna with a 30 million kuna valuation, we decided to enter a new round of recapitalisation. We didn't set a fixed amount, but we expect that the investment will be at least 20 million kuna, with the potential to reach approximately 30 million kuna. As for Funderbeam's part of the investment, we're expecting to raise about 10 million kuna through the platform,'' said Include's boss Ivan Mrvoš. At the moment, he has secured about 10 million kuna from the Funderbeam platform and is actively discussing the additional funds with several potential investors, including private individuals and venture capital funds.

"Right now, I can't say which investors are involved, but they're people who have led or are currently leading various Croatian industries, which we consider to be a significant indicator," he pointed out. When asked how much shares in Include now sell for and how much the company is valued at, Include's founder explained that things are a bit different now than they were back in 2017.

"The company has four years of business behind it and some remarkable results have come to fruition, so we decided to hire one of the companies from ''The Big Four'' to do a valuation. What I can say is that it was a very intensive process that lasted for several months, and the company was estimated at 110 million kuna last week,'' says Mrvoš.

"The company ended last year with a positive result, and we also continued things successfully during the first quarter of this year, with 60,000 kuna of net profit," Mrvoš revealed.

The collected money will certainly go into the development of existing markets, but also to conquering new markets.

"We intend to strengthen our presence on existing markets and continue to build a global distribution network. In addition, we're beginning with the development of new products that will be complementary for the existing markets, and intended for those same markets, and we'll also get some more advanced equipment for our development and production activities,'' explained the talented young entrepreneur.

The trading of Include's tokens at Funderbeam was stopped on April the 1st this year due to campaign preparation, and the latest market price is 3.5 euros. The director of Funderbeam Damir Bićanić explained that the price of the shares will not be one euro as they usually are in Funderbeam's campaigns, but higher, meaning more specifically that they'll reflect the company's new valuation.

The leading investor, as was the case in 2017, will be Ivana Šoljan who says that Include will certainly pass at least one recapitalisation, and "hopefully maybe go to the stock market in the future.''

"Mr Ivan Mrvoš and his whole team have advanced tremendously. Organisationally, they did well, they wrote regular reports to investors, they're not late with deliveries, they plan things smartly - they're ready for a new round,'' concluded Šoljan.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Tomislav Pili for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Dire Renting Situation in Split as Landlords Kick Tenants Out For Tourists

As Merien Ilic/Novac writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, while some can't wait for the Croatian tourist season to arrive, others see it approaching with tears in their eyes and with gritted teeth. The latter are, of course, Split's many tenants who in recent years, somewhere around this time of year, have begun to be afraid that they will be kicked out of the apartments they're renting and have to settle all of their bills, after having signed a contract (and one can only guess how much weight that really holds legally) and despite there having been no objections whatsoever to their behaviour as tenants.

Practice has shown that the euros which line the pockets of tourists are worth more than the kuna of Croatia's actual residents, so during the summer, beginning as early as the Easter holidays, numerous apartments are rented to foreign tourists who think nothing of paying multiple times what your regular Croatian tenant can pay for one month's rent.

Apartment ads which are in the "long-term" rent category are a real attraction indeed, and each and every genuine such ad is quickly snapped up, disappearing from the internet.

''I have more than 200 inquiries in my inbox and I've had about thirty calls in record time, so I apologise to anyone I didn't manage to get back to. I've just agreed to rent out my apartment. I wish you all luck in finding an apartment!'' stated one landlord in a group for the long-term rent of apartments in Split and its surrounding areas. The apartment in question was located in Sućidar, it looks tidy, has two bedrooms and was rented for 3000 kuna per month, plus the electricity and water supply. Realistically speaking, this was a real gem because such apartments, especially those that have been done up nicely, are very rare for such a price.

Those who are looking for a flat have drastically different experiences from the field.

''I'm giving up on searching in Split. We're a family of five and we have to move out of our rented apartment because the owners want to rent it to tourists, and the search for a new one is impossible. The price are sky high, and they look at us as a family of five with appehension. You can't find a respectable apartment under 500 euros,'' this was the unsettling experience of a tenant who was searching for a place Split's surroundings, and eventually found an advertisement for a nicely decorated apartment in Vranjic for 400 euros per month long term.

Social networking sites such as Facebook are full of common experiences of people who have come across apartments being rented at sky high prices by landlords, and which appear to not have even seen a paintbrush or some new wallpaper for the last few decades.

People describe being met with 40 year old rugs and carpets, furniture from the socialist era and landlords seeing no issue whatsoever with still wanting 400 euros plus bills for month for such apartments.

A social networking user detailed his personal experience:

''There was a flat for rent in Brda, "long term", in a private eighty square metre building. We went to look at it, everything was great, the woman seemed alright, and we were also alright. There were two of us and two other guys. The owner said she'd get back in touch with us because someone else was still coming look at the apartment too. I called her at noon today and she says to me, "I'm still thinking about it, we're a serious family, I'd prefer someone younger if we end up deciding that they need to move out earlier. It's easier to get younger people out of the apartment than it is with a family."

The second stated that tenants are unprotected and usually without a contract. Many landlords don't even register people renting, they don't pay taxes, and life tends to be the most difficult of all for students in the area searching for long-term accommodation during their studies at local universities.

As the situation in and around Split worsens all the more for would-be long term residents, a similar situation can be found in almost all of Croatia's tourist gems, with particular emphasis on Dubrovnik, a city which lives and breathes tourism and has continually put it far above any of the often very basic needs of its burdened residents for many years now.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Merien Ilic for Novac/Jutarnji

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Unforgettable Croatia Agency Offers Trip to Croatia for GoT Game Winner

Think you can predict the ending of GoT? Let the Unforgettable Croatia agency know!

If one thing has put Croatia on the map more than anything else for film and TV buffs, its the hit Game of Thrones series which has taken the world by storm, leading to countless visits to the many Croatian filming sites, particularly those in Dalmatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, which plays Kings Landing in the series, as well as Split.

While the Game of Thrones hysteria has been met with both positive and negative conclusions from residents of popular cities like Dubrovnik and Split, there is no doubt that economically speaking, Croatia has benefited beyond belief.

As Lider writes on the 19th of April, 2019, the British-American agency Unforgettable Croatia has announced a competition in which the task is to guess the ending of the wildly popular Game of Thrones (GoT) series and the reward for the one who manages to decifer the unfolding of the series' events will be rewarded with a trip to no less than GoT heaven - Croatia. So far, more than 5,000 people have sent Unforgettable Croatia their thoughts about who will take the throne at the end of the hit series.

The winner will be awarded a tourist-style tour of the various locations where the popular series was filmed across Croatia, more specifically Dalmatia, including Split, Klis, Hvar, Vis and Dubrovnik. Game of Thrones took off like few could have ever imagined, and the promotion that brought to Croatia was and remains unquantifiable. The first episode of the final season alone, which broadcast on Sunday attracted a record 11.8 million viewers.

Graham Carter, the owner of the British-American Unforgettable Croatia agency which launched the this GoT inspired competition, had his business in mind, which would further flourish by increasing the overall interest in travelling to Croatia. Every year, this agency brings about 5,000 passengers travel to Croatia, and they're hoping to increase that figure to 6,500 next year, as Carter revealed for Večernji list. Carter is currently residing in Split, where he is trying to establish a Croatian office for his the Unforgettable Croatia agency.

The winner of Unforgettable Croatia's competition will be offered half-board accommodation for a seven-day trip for two to Croatia, a tour of the Game of Thrones sites accompanied by a professional guide, and a visit to Hvar and Vis by sea. But there is, of course, a catch - the winner will not win the airplane tickets for travel, and they'll need to foot the bill for that themselves. 

GoT fan? Have your say! Click here.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Second Biospeleological Expedition Begins on Pelješac Peninsula

Pelješac is home to much more than just stunning views, golden sunsets and incredible wine, as if that wasn't enough. Home to a wide array of wildlife and many caves, this rugged peninsula in southern Dalmatia is as interesting academically as it is beautiful on the surface, and 2019 brings with it yet another biospeleological expedition of the area.

As Morski writes on the 19th of April, 2019, field research across the entire Pelješac peninsula was conducted at the end of 2018, in close cooperation with the public institution for the management of protected areas of nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Croatian Biospeleology Society and the Breganja Association. The announcement of the beginning of the second such biospeleological expedition - Pelješac 2019, has arrived, which has been being held since the 19th of April 2019 and will continue until May the 1st, 2019.

In the scope of the Pelješac expedition this year, the plans are to explore this rocky area's numerous caves and pits located along different parts of the peninsula and to obtain more detailed information on the distribution of certain groups and species living underground and within said caves. The expedition is likely to gather more than sixty researchers from around the entire region, meaning it will take on a much more international character, and will include the exploration of speleological ocations across the whole of the Pelješac peninsula.

The goals of the expedition include the detailed sampling and photographing the cave fauna as well as topography and the further exploration of newly found pits and caves.

On the two terrains that preceded the main expedition, the emphasis was placed on finding caves and pits known only in literature and by Pelješac's local population. Over twenty caves and pits of various sizes and in numerous locations were explored during the last such expedition, caves suitable for exploration to seek out any animal species living there were recorded, cave fauna was collected, and entry and exit coordinates were noted.

During this expedition, over 100 hundred known caves across the Pelješac peninsula will be explored.

Stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Mosque with Minaret to be Constructed for Dubrovnik's Muslim Community

A brand new building is set to be built down in Dubrovnik as a mosque for the religious needs of almost 1,500 people who identify as Muslims (according to the 2011 census) will be constructed.

As Al Jazeera Balkans writes on the 16th of April, 2019, the Islamic centre which will be located in the Gruž area of the City of Dubrovnik should become a reality in just two years, according to a report from Dubrovacki dnevnik.

As soon as all of the required documentation is dealt with and settled, the construction of the mosque, complete with a minaret, is likely to begin, which is not expected to last for a particularly long time. For now, building permits are being waited on.

The future mosque's location will be at a space on the site of former GP Dubrovnik in Gruž, the project foresees the construction of a mosque complete with a minaret, which will be built in Mediterranean or Moroccan style.

"The project will go its way, it will not take long until we get the construction permit, so we're currently preparing the paperwork, and everything will be ready for construction in two years. We have to emphasise the fact that we in the Islamic community have great cooperation with the city authorities which have been coming to meet with us,'' said the Islamic Community's president, Fehim Vukotić.

The construction of an Islamic center is a long-term desire of Dubrovnik's resident Muslim population, of whom in Dubrovnik, at least according to the census of 2011, there are 1,499. That number has likely risen since then.

By building an Islamic center and a mosque with a minaret, there will finally be a place dedicated to numerous social content and events for the southern Dalmatian city's local Muslim community, as well as prayer rooms.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow. Need ideas for what to do when visiting the Pearl of the Adriatic, check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

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