Friday, 31 July 2020

PICTURES: Converted Island Monastery LOPUD-1483 Near Dubrovnik Offers Stunning Luxury

July 31, 2020 - PICTURES: Converted island monastery LOPUD-1483 near Dubrovnik offers incredible luxury

Set inside a former 15th-century monastery, LOPUD-1483 is one of the newest luxury dwellings south Dalmatia has to offer. Located on a car-free island, just seven miles off the coast of Dubrovnik, the stunning property has already caught the eye of the international press.

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© LOPUD-1483 lies inside a former island monastery and walled fortress

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Available as an exclusive buy-out for groups during peak season (its five suites are available individually later in the year), LOPUD-1483 also features a slightly younger walled fortress which lies adjacent, surrounding manicured gardens and an unobstructed view of the sea, lying just a few metres away.

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Head to the rooftop for relaxation or yoga sessions 

It is aimed towards family or other groups who can rent together, such as those organising yoga retreats, small business conferences, weddings and birthday parties The property balances its historic architecture with contemporary interior design and all the fixtures and fittings you'd expect fro a luxury resort.

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The property balances its historic architecture with contemporary interior design and all the fixtures and fittings you'd expect 

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The courtyard dining area is perfect for weddings or functions 

LOPUD-1483 also holds ample space to display art and this year has a season-long exhibition from a private collection belonging to the Thyssen-Bornemsza family. The resort has the option of private chefs and a complimentary boat service between the island and Dubrovnik for longer-staying guests.

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Walls of the historic property are just yards fro the sea 

Rates start at €1,400 per night, including breakfast, with a minimum three-night stay. Buy-outs start at €10,000 per night.

All photos © LOPUD-1483

Monday, 13 July 2020

Rešetka's Superior Summer Street Food Brings Fine-Dining Quality at Coastal Pop-ups

July 13, 2020 - In their first venture to the Croatian coast, Rešetka's summer menu brings fine-dining quality to seaside streets in 2020


Sometimes you just want a burger, a sandwich, or something you can just eat from your hands. But, just because you haven't got the time or can't be bothered with the faff of fine dining, that doesn't mean you're volunteering for a drastic drop in quality.

That's where Rešetka comes in. Street food providers renowned for sourcing and selling only quality meats, the grill specialists have been a highlight of Zagreb Burger Fest and several pop-ups in recent times. This summer, the experience that has won over the Croatian capital's burger connoisseurs can be found instead along the coast.

Rešetka owner Nikola Božić has embarked on the summer venture with chef Katarina Vrenc. You'll be able to find their new concept 'Fine Street Food by Reshetka & Katarina Vrenc' at several pop-up locations along the Adriatic this summer. They'll be visiting Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, including the islands of Cres and Pag.

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Rešetka and Đurina Hiža are renowned for using only high quality, locally sourced produce within their dishes including, this year, beef from a hybrid of Japan's famed wagyu and Holstein, sourced from the first range herd of its kind in Croatia © Rešetka

With a commitment to cooking only with high quality, locally sourced produce and ingredients, the team is known to use premium meats and seafood for their dishes. This year they will offer beef from a hybrid of Japan's famed wagyu and Holstein, sourced from the first range herd of its kind in Croatia. Within a summer menu that combines the best of continental and coastal Croatian ingredients, you'll also find superior snacks such as rich pork belly paired with octopus.

Nikola Božić is also the proprietor of Đurina Hiža near Varaždinske Toplice. As recently covered in TCN, thanks to some quick and positive thinking, though the restaurant closed for a while in the Coronavirus lockdown, Nikola was able to adapt his business in order to remain successful during the period; relying on high quality, locally sourced ingredients, he became a bridge between the small producers he'd spent time finding, and those shopping online from their homes. Their 'Deda Goes Around the World' service delivered meats and other produce throughout Croatia during the restaurant's temporary closure.

If you're planning to visit Dubrovnik, Biograd, Pula, Premantura or Split this summer and can't face another pizza slice, kebab or burger of questionable origin, be sure to look out for the Rešetka logo. Fine Street Food by Reshetka & Katarina Vrenc will visit Plavica Bar on island Cres on 7 & 8 August and the Michelin-starred Boškinac on Pag in the middle of September. Further inland, they'll also be available at the High Grounds Festival in Varaždinske Toplice on 31 July, 1 & 2 August. Grab yourself a handful of delicious food and pick a spot to watch the stunning Croatian sunset, the Adriatic coast and its breathtaking backdrop has long been lacking exactly this standard of street food to accompany.

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© Rešetka

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Bura Wind Leaves Traces: Two Passengers On Destructive Wind This February

June 16, 2020 - Four months after terrifying bura wind blasted through Dalmatia at 270 km/h, TCN received a message from two travellers who experienced the bura in the worst way imaginable.

Alicia and Diana were on RSD Travel's one-week tour of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. They travelled from London to Dubrovnik on February 4, 2020. Unfortunately, due to the strong bura winds, the plane was unable to land at Dubrovnik Airport (it was due to arrive at 21:00), and the flight was diverted to Split. Since the accommodation for the first night of the tour was in Dubrovnik, not Split, they were taken by coach to Dubrovnik, arriving at about 3 am. On February 5, they explored Dubrovnik's old town, and then Ston, before travelling to the Romana Hotel in Makarska, where the tour group spent two nights.

When they arrived at the Romana Hotel, the tour bus stopped directly outside the hotel door because the wind was already getting very strong. As soon as they entered the hotel reception, they were informed that minibuses would transport everyone to the restaurant (even though it is only a short walk) because it was too dangerous to walk outside in the strong wind. There were also several signs up in the lifts and reception area informing everyone of these arrangements. Some commented that there must have been accidents in the past for the hotel to be taking these precautions. “It concerned us that the hotel was in the middle of a construction site and all of the building materials looked extremely unsafe and unsteady in the fierce wind, with pallets on the roof teetering on the edge, and cranes swaying in the wind,” said Alicia and Diana.

No-one in the tour group got much sleep that night because of the intense sound of the howling wind, and the feeling of the building swaying from the force of the bura. "Everyone was terrified that the windows were going to shatter on them during the night," said Alicia and Diana, who in the early hours of the morning, also felt an earthquake.

It was difficult to distinguish when the earthquake occurred because the bura was so ferocious and exerted an even stronger force continuously throughout the night. During the night, there was also a very loud bang; it was not until it was light in the morning that everyone realised one of the cranes had blown over.

In the morning (February 6, 2020), the hotel staff were still taking precautions and were busy making sure people didn't go and walk outside to go to the restaurant for breakfast. They created a walkway through the underground car park so that guests weren't needing to go outside. Hotel staff kept people at the door until the wind died down slightly before allowing people to go from the underground car park to the restaurant.

"We went down to reception with plenty of time before the scheduled departure time for the day’s sightseeing (in Split, Trogir, and Omis)", said the passenger, whose guide for their tour group, Hattice, said the bus was ready and ushered people out the door.

"As instructed, we went outside and walked towards the bus that was parked directly outside the door, but then realised it wasn't our group’s bus," said the passengers, whose bus was parked the furthest away from the door. It was past the hotel building, which meant that it wasn't shielded from the strong bura wind, and was on a rocky gravel surface, not on tarmac.

Since several tour groups (all on the RSD trip) had stayed at the same hotel, there were three buses lined up, and due to the poor coordination of timing, all of the groups were departing at a similar time, which meant not all of the buses could be directly there waiting outside the door.

Alicia was walking to the bus; the bura's strength increased in intensity and was still making a fierce howling sound. When Alicia had almost reached the door of the bus, there was suddenly a massive gust of wind. Despite trying to resist the pulling and pushing of the intense wind, and trying to keep her feet grounded, her entire body was lifted into the air. She was blown at a terrifying speed and then forcefully thrown down to the ground, more than 20 metres away from where she had been standing.

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"I was thrown face-first, with my head hitting the ground and rebounding back, while the right-hand side of my body simultaneously bore the brunt of the impact," said Alicia. Her initial instinct was to try to get up, but when she turned over and tried to stand up, she was knocked down once again by another gust of wind, with her head hitting the ground for the second time.

Her whole body hurt; both of her hands were grazed and bleeding, her jeans had been ripped through at the knee, and her knee was also grazed and bleeding. She was unable to move her right hand and arm. One of the men in the tour group ran towards her and picked her up and took her back to the hotel reception, where the tour guide was still directing people to go out to the bus.

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She went to wash the gravel and rocks out of her hands while the reception staff looked for a first aid kit. Unfortunately, they only had limited first aid supplies and were only able to provide her with some adhesive plasters to put on the bleeding wounds on her hands. Alicia informed the tour guide that her head had hit the ground, but the tour guide shrugged it off as though there was nothing wrong. The hotel staff then took her in their arms to the bus. When Alicia got on the bus with the tour guide, they then realised that Diana had also been injured by being blown over.

Diana wasn't aware of the incident in which Alicia had been blown over and severely harmed, as she had gone to the bathroom and went down to reception after that. The tour guide instructed her to walk the length of the three waiting buses, even though at that point, the risks were already known because Alicia had already sustained injuries.

Diana had got as far as the second bus when she was forcefully picked up by the wind and blown into the gravel. "The wind was so strong that I was hurled to the ground, face-first. With the palms of my hands facing upwards, resulting in my knuckles smashing against the rocks and stones on the surface of the ground," said Diana, her sunglasses and scarf having been dragged some distance away by the wind, despite the fact that her scarf had been wrapped securely around her neck.

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She was unable to get back up on her feet, as when she tried, the wind was so strong it kept her pinned down to the spot, making it impossible to get up. Three of the hotel staff came and helped her stand up and took her onto the bus. She was in total shock and felt sick, and wounds on her hands and knees were bleeding.

One of the fellow travellers alerted Hattice (the tour guide) to the fact that Diana had also been injured. Hattice then said she would take those who were injured to a pharmacy when they arrived in Split. Upon arrival, Hattice accompanied Diana to the local pharmacy, but the pharmacist refused to look at or treat the injuries because the wounds were open and bleeding. The pharmacy also didn't have any bandages, so Diana purchased some adhesive plasters and antiseptic spray and was directed to the café next door to wash her wounds.

They were both left to suffer and deal with their injuries on their own. Throughout that day, Diana’s hand and knees continued to bleed. Alicia had pins and needles in her arm from her shoulder to fingers, and her wrist was at a distorted angle as though it was dislocated. The swelling in her hand intensified, and she was unable to move it in any direction and could not bend any of her fingers. She also had bruising to her right hip, thigh, knee, forehead, and face.

When they arrived back at the hotel that evening, the damage from the storm was visible. Most of the trees surrounding the hotel had been blown over or uprooted. The crane that had blown over during the night epitomised the magnitude of the danger and severity of the damage.

Although Diana’s hand was still bleeding several days later, and everyone thought Alicia’s hand/wrist was broken, they weren't offered any medical assistance whatsoever. The tour guide/tour company didn't offer them any chance to go to a medical centre, to see a doctor, or to go to a hospital.

After arriving back in the UK, Diana attended the Accident and Emergency department at the local hospital. X-rays revealed torn ligaments in her right knee, and an infection and foreign bodies in her left hand. Antibiotics were administered, and the following day she underwent surgery to remove the grit and clean out the wound, and five stitches were applied to close it up again. Three months after the accident, a secondary infection occurred in her hand. She still has limited movement and use of her hand and may need a second operation in the future.

Alicia went to the emergency department, and the doctor was horrified that up until that point, she had not been seen by any doctor. The question was: “These are serious injuries, why didn’t the tour company do anything?”

She required a CT scan of her head, numerous x-rays, and an MRI. Alicia was suffering from concussion and multiple fractures and damage to her tendons, ligaments, ribs and nerves in her hand/wrist/arm. Due to the COVID-19 situation, she is still awaiting treatment to repair the damage. She will probably never get the full strength, motion, or function of her hand back again. Alicia still hasn't been able to get her hand fixed as there are several fractures and damage to the nerve.

RSD Travel did not provide any assistance during the trip and have denied any wrongdoing. They also refused to provide any compensation.

They believe that RSD Travel failed in their duty of care:

It was negligent to have the bus parked so far away from the door of the hotel. The fact that the hotel had arranged minibuses to take people from the door to the restaurant proved that the risk was known and foreseeable, and this accident could have been prevented. By having the bus parked so far from the door, it created an avoidable risk. This meant they had to walk past the hotel building to an area that was not shielded by the wind. If people had been kept in the reception area, and if the buses had been brought to the door for each group to safely get on their respective buses, this incident wouldn't have occurred. The weather was not something that RSD Travel could control, but the tour company could have controlled the situation by ensuring that the buses were brought to the door of the hotel. Failure to do this created a foreseeable hazard that allowed the accident to occur.

Besides, it was unsafe to stay at a hotel that was still under construction and located in the middle of a building site.

Lastly, it was negligent and a failure of RSD Travel’s duty of care to not provide medical assistance on either the day of the incident or on any of the subsequent days when the severity of the injuries was increasingly evident. Not providing medical assistance could reasonably be foreseen to cause harm, given that fractures and infections are more prone to complications if not treated immediately. A pharmacy does not and cannot provide the medical assistance required to assess and treat such injuries fully.

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Sunday, 14 June 2020

Cultural Heritage of Istria and Southern Dalmatia Highlighted on French Arte TV

June 14, 2020 - European cultural TV channel Arte TV, in its 'Invitation to Travel' show, broadcast a series of reports on the rich cultural heritage of Istria and Southern Dalmatia.

HRTurizam writes that these reports were created as a result of the cooperation and engagement of the Representative Office of the Croatian Tourist Board in France.

"Such shows that reveal lesser-known cultural and historical facts of Croatian tourist destinations are our special challenge and imperative in the tourist promotion of Croatia on the French market, since cultural heritage is the main motive for 60 percent of French people to travel abroad," said Daniela Mihalic. Đurica, director of the CNTB Representative Office in France.

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The Istria portion of the show spoke to the owners of Istrian restaurants, but also winemakers, who testified to the precious eno-gastronomic value of Istria. They presented Rovinj, which they called a mini Venice, Pula, where the gladiator games were evoked, but also the interior of Istria, where the picturesque towns of Buje and Motovun are located. The report also mentions the most common traditional vessel in Rovinj, the batana.

The second report, entitled "French Kisses from Croatia", shows the rich influence of Napoleon in Southern Dalmatia, and through a conversation with historians, the "Adriatic pearls" of Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir were presented, which delighted Napoleon and his marshals, especially Marmont, so much that by their conquest they showed the world their superiority.

"This is another way to maintain a presence and visibility in our important markets and further interest the French, but also the Germans to revisit us as soon as possible," commented CNTB Director Kristjan Stanicic, announcing that the Arte TV team will film four new reports on Croatia in mid-August and early September.

But these are not the only stories about the Croatian coast, which were presented to French viewers. Earlier, a report on the island of Pag was published, in which the specifics of the famous bura wind were mentioned, as well as a report on Pazin with which the famous Jules Verne was enchanted.

Arte TV shows are broadcast six days a week and are watched by over 800,000 viewers a day. The recorded reports are repeated on several occasions and are also available in the Arte TV media library.

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Finally, French lifestyle magazine Grazia also published the TOP 9 Croatian destinations that should definitely be visited this summer. On that scale were: Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Split, Zagreb, Plitvice National Park, Zadar, Hvar, Korcula and Krka National Park.

 

Friday, 8 May 2020

Coronavirus: Dalmatia Wants to Relax Measures for Hospitality Industry

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes on the 7th of May, 2020, the third phase of easing the anti-coronavirus measures, which begins on May the 11th, will enable the operation of catering and hospitality facilities and only in outdoor areas and on terraces, while respecting the special epidemiological measures which continue to be firmly in place.

This is one of the reasons why the representatives of the catering and hospitality industry in the Professional Group of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), more precisely the Split County Chamber, decided to hold an online session. The session discussed tax burdens and levies, the lease of public areas and business premises owned by the state and by local self-government units, unfair competition, a moratorium on credit indebtedness and other issues of importance for the functioning of this type of business in the coronavirus era.

For each of the aforementioned topics, concrete proposals and ways of dealing with things were provided at the session, and it was agreed that, depending on the issue, the group would send letters with their proposals to various institutions. These included the City of Split, the Croatian Employment Service (CES), the State Inspectorate, and via the national association to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce itself, and then even further - to the appropriate ministries and to the Croatian Government.

"Until the current requirements for the operation of catering facilities are relaxed, I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of those working in this sector will have neither the conditions nor the motives to start working again," said Ivan Malada.

Stipe Jelicic, Vice President of the Association of Catering/Hospitality Activities of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, informed his colleagues about the proposal for the measures for the catering and hospitality industry from the aforementioned national association and the course of the negotiations with the National Civil Protection Headquarters regarding those same proposals in the hope of reaching a fair and favourable solution that suits everyone.

The group pointed out the various issues and problems created by the situation with the coronavirus pandemic in the catering and hospitality industry and proposed some solutions to those issues. At the very beginning of the crisis, the group sent their proposals for what the measures should look like to the City of Split and to Split-Dalmatia County.

"Regarding the beginning of operations for those in the catering and hospitality industry under these specific conditions, we've suggested to the State Inspectorate that their actions be primarily educational and preventive, with the aim of pointing out omissions, and if there are minor mistakes, the allowance for them to be corrected. That's why I'd like to invite those in this field to contact HGK ŽK Split directly if they have difficulties in organising their work in accordance with the decisions and instructions, in order to cooperate with the competent institutions in a constructive way to resolve misunderstandings and find solutions,'' stated Joze Tomaš, president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce - Split County Chamber.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for all you need to know about coronavirus in relation to Croatia.

Monday, 4 May 2020

VIDEO: A Nostalgic Look Back at Summer '96 in Makarska

May 4, 2020 - A nostalgic look back at Makarska in 1996, the first summer after the war. 

Yellow houses, beach bars, and 90s summer fashion. The Makarska Television YouTube channel has hit us with a wave of nostalgia, after publishing a video from there archives dating back to 1996, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

It was a summer to remember. Not only was if the first summer after the way, but the Dolly sheep was cloned, Hurricane Bertha rattled the US coast, and The Hague issued a warrant for Karadzic's arrest. Former South African President F.W. de Klerk apologized for the apartheid, Bill Clinton began his second term, and America stirred the pot with cruise missile strikes on Iraq, called Operation Desert Strike conducted that September. 

That summer, we watched the Atlanta Olympics, danced to the Macarena, and listened to Dino Dvornik's 'Africa', No Doubt's 'Just A Girl', 'Ironic' by Alanis Morisette, 'No Diggity' by Dr Dre, and Coolio's 'Gangsta's Paradise'. The most progressive were already listening to techno, and turbo-folk was nowhere to be heard. However, many were still listening to psychedelic rock, like the staff at the Makarska beach bar in this video.

Beach bars were the biggest hit at the time, because with the awakening of tourism on the Croatian coast, they were just beginning to open.

That summer, Makarska beach was a real Mecca for the younger crowd from Ploce to Split; the younger crowd eager to have fun. They would swim to the Yellow House and party in the evenings. First down at the beach and then into famous clubs Opera or Grote. 

It was a much simpler time when lounge chairs and beach decorations didn't exist - and prices were fair. 

Enjoy this blast from the past. A Dalmatian summer hotspot almost 24 years ago. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Sjajne karikature života u Dalmaciji: Intervju s Tisjom Kljaković Braić

20. 4. 2020 – Kako prikazati jedinstvenost i briljantnost prekrasnog fenomena života u Dalmaciji? Upoznajte splitsku umjetnicu Tisju Kljaković Brajić, autoricu fantastične knjige karikatura dalmatinskog života, Oni.

Dalmacija je jedinstvena. Volim je do smrti, ali me jednako tako do besvijesti frustrira. Trebalo mi je 15 godina života ovdje da se pomirim sa svojim frustracijama, koja sad mogu sažeti u jednu rečenicu savjeta na novopridošle. Prihvatite ovu rečenicu savjeta od početka i živite prema njoj, i život će vam biti beskonačno bolji. Odbijte prihvatiti taj savjet i vjerojatno ćete ili iz frustracije odustati od Dalmacije ili ćete završiti tako da ćete je nakon par godina ipak prihvatiti i živjeti po njoj. Rečenica je jednostavna:

Nemojte pokušavati promijeniti Dalmaciju, ali očekujte da će Dalmacija promijeniti vas.

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Toliko je toga posebno i jedinstveno u Dalmaciji, a među tim i navade Dalmatinaca. Kad kao stranac istaknem neke od njih, često me optuže da se referiram na zaostale stereotipe. Zato sam bio tako sretan kad sam prošle godine od supruge dobio zaista krasan Božićni poklon, knjigu “Oni” koju je napisala Tisja Kljaković Braić. Smijao sam se ostatak toga dana.

Tisja je pronašla malo vremena da mi odgovori na neka pitanja o knjizi, Dalmaciji i svojim planovima.

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Priznat ću vam da se nikad nisam toliko smijao zbog Božićnog poklona, NIKAD, kao kad mi je supruga poklonila vašu knjigu Oni. Posebice zbog slike sarme. Recite nam nešto o knjizi, te kako ste odlučili napisati/ilustrirati je?

Oni su davno nastali u mojim slikama na drvu. Na njima Oni lete plavim nebom i rade sve šta se u pjesmama radi. U jednom momentu izasli su u formi crteža i počeli živjeti stvaran život. Mnogi te crteže nazivaju karikaturom mada ništa nisam iskarikirala. Naprotiv, ni zarez nisam promijenila da bi bili što životinji.

I tako, objavila sam prvi crtež na fejsu i počelo me veselit to da mogu nasmijati ljude. Ubrzo se crteža namnožilo i izdala sam knjigu Oni koja je doživila veliki uspjeh.

Ono što je Njih učinilo tako popularnima jest zapravo to šta su tako obični. Svak se u njima prepoznao. Mislim da je došlo do jednog zasićenja photoshopom i nestvarnim svijetom, a Oni nemaju filter.

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Imate TOLIKO opservacija o životu u Dalmaciji. Kada ste ih prvo počeli primjećivati i koliko vam je trebalo da skupite kolekciju za knjigu?

Nisam nikad razmišljala o životu u Dalmaciji kad ga ja naprosto živim. Iz mene prirodno izlazi ono šta mi je u krvi. Mislila sam da zbog toga što predstavlja tipične Dalmatince knjiga neće bit zanimljiva dalje od Dalmacije, međutim desilo se baš suprotno. Evo i Srbi i Slovenci kupili su prava na knjigu.

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Stil vaših ilustracija je jedinstven i vrlo prepoznatljiv. Recite nam nešto o njemu, te jeste li imali neke posebne modele u glavi dok ste stvarali ilustracije.

Uvijek mi je bio san da u tri poteza mogu nacrtat sve i napokon sam uspila. U crti koja glumi oko možete vidit kako ga ona gleda. Mislim da ih se u zadnje vrijeme može i uti. Njihov izgled, njihova razlika u visina... ma koliko se odupirala tome to smo muž i ja.

Međutim oni nose karakteristike naših roditelja, sve ono šta nam je išlo na živce i u šta ćemo se u skorije vrijeme pretvorit.

Knjiga Oni postala je svojevrsni bračni udžbenik.

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Možete li nam reći kojih je vama omiljenih pet ilustracija iz knjige, te nam u jednoj rečenici objasniti zašto su vam one posebne?

Moja najdraža ilustracija nije uopće smiješna. Ima u sebi poeziju koju imaju moje slike. Zove se Pomirbeni nogododir. Mislim da se u njoj krije tajna braka.

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Kako biste u jednom pasusu objasnili sljedeće osobi koja prvi puta posjećuje Dalmaciju? a) mladog Dalmatinca, b) mladu Dalmatinku, c) dalmatinsku nonu, d) dalmatinskog dida?

Na to pitanje ću odgovorit ovako. Amarcord, Fellinijev Amarcord je to.

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Koja stvar vas najviše frustrira kod Dalmacije i Dalmatinaca?

Zapravo to je isto kao da me pitate šta me ljuti kod mene same. Ima puno toga al neću kazat i neću priznat.

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Koju stvar najviše volite kod Dalmacije i Dalmatinaca?

A šta volim kod sebe, o tome nije red govorit, nije se lijepo hvalit? Samo ću reć da ne bi promijenila kvart, a kamoli grad.

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Što je sljedeće u kreativnom svijetu Tisje Kljaković Braić?

Sve šta sam napravila napravila sam bez plana i programa i ne pada mi na pamet da ikad išta planiram. Evo i knjigu koju sam napisala o svom djetinjstvu U malu je uša Đava napisala sam sebi za uspomenu. U jedanaesti mjesec u HNK Split trebala bi bit premijera predstave po toj knjizi…

Sve što radim je upravo ono što me u tom trenutku čini sretnom, i ne razmišljam o ničem dužem od tog trenutka.

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Hvala na intervjuu, Tisja, i hvala za mnogo smijanja. Ako želite dodati malo smijeha u svoj dan, možete zapratiti Facebook stranicu Tisja Kljaković Braić Art.

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Monday, 20 April 2020

Brilliant Caricatures of Dalmatian Life: Tisja Kljakovic Braic Interview

April 20, 2020 - How to capture the uniqueness and brilliance of the wonderful phenomenon that is life in Dalmatia? Meet Split artist Tisja Kljakovic Braic, author of the brilliant book of caricatures of Dalmatian life, ONI.

Dalmatia is unique. I love it to death and it frustrates the hell out of me. And it took me a full 15 years of living here to find the way to come to terms with my frustrations, which I can now summarise in a single sentence of advice for newcomers. Accept this sentence of advice from the beginning and live by it, and your life will be infinitely better. Refuse to accept it, and you will probably either quit Dalmatia in frustration or end up accepting it and living by it in several years.  The sentence is a simple one:

Do not try and change Dalmatia, but expect Dalmatia to change you. 

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There are SO many things which are special and unique to Dalmatia and the habits of Dalmatian people. As a foreigner, when I highlight some of them, I am often accused of referred to outdated stereotypes. And so I was VERY happy to receive a truly wonderful Christmas present from my wife last year - ONI by Tisja Kljakovic Braic. I was laughing for much of the rest of the day. 

Tisja kindly found the time for a quick interview about the book, Dalmatia and her plans. 

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I will confess I have never laughed so much because of a Christmas present, EVER, after my wife gave me a copy of your book ONI. The sarma picture in particular. Tell us a little about the book, and why you decided to write/illustrate it?

They were created long ago in my paintings on wood. On them, Oni fly around in the blue sky and do everything they do in the songs. At one point, they came out in the form of drawings and started living real life. Many people call these drawings a caricature even though I never drew caricatures. On the contrary.

And so I posted my first drawing on Facebook, and I was glad that I could make people laugh. Soon, the drawings multiplied and I published a book called Oni that ended up becoming a great success.

What made them so popular is actually that they are so ordinary. Everyone recognised themselves in them. Oni doesn't have a filter.

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There are SO many observations of life in Dalmatia. When did you first start noting them and how long did it take to come up with the collection for the book?

I never thought about life in Dalmatia, given the fact that I live my life here. What is in my blood just naturally comes out. I thought that because this is all about typical Dalmatian things, the book would not be interesting beyond Dalmatia, but the opposite happened. Both Serbs and Slovenes bought the rights to the book.

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Your illustrating style is unique and very distinctive. Tell us about it, and did you have any particular role models in your head as you did the illustrations.  

It was always my dream for me to be able to draw everything in three moves and I finally succeeded. In the drawing, you can see the way they look at each other. I think by now, you can probably even hear them. The way they look, their height differences, however much I try to fight it... that's my husband and I.

However, they all bear characteristics of our parents, everything that once got on our nerves and everything that we'll eventually turn into ourselves.

The book ''Oni'' became kind of a marriage manual.

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Can you give us five of your favourite illustrations from the book (please send the images) and tell us in a sentence each why they are special to you? 

My favourite image is actually not funny. It has a poem in it, like my pictures do. I think a secret marriage hides within that picture.

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How would you describe the following to a first-time visitor in Dalmatia in a paragraph?

a - a young Dalmatian male

b - a young Dalmatian female

c - a Dalmatian nona

d - a Dalmatian dida

I'll respond like this to this question - Fellini's Amarcord.

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What is the thing that frustrates you the most about 

Dalmatia? 

Dalmatians?

That's like asking me what annoys me about myself, there's a lot and I won't say or admit anything.

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What is the thing you love most about 

Dalmatia? 

Dalmatians?

What do I love about myself? It's not good to talk about those things, it isn't nice to brag. I'd just say that I wouldn't even change my neighbourhood, let alone my city.

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What's next in the creative world of Tisja Kljakovic Braic? 

Everything I've done, I've done without a plan and without a programme and it hasn't occurred to me to plan anything ever. There's also a book that I wrote about my childhood called ''The kid taken by the Devil'' which I wrote for myself as a memoir. In November at the Croatian National Theatre in Split, the premiere of a show based on that book should take place.

Everything I do is what makes me happy at that moment in time, and I don't think about anything longer than that moment.

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Thanks Tisja, and thank you for the many laughs. If you want to add a little humour to your day you can follow the official Tisja Kljakovic Braic Art Facebook page.

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Introducing the Traditional Dalmatian Games Olympics: Get Involved!

February 17, 2020 - There are SO many obscure traditional Dalmatian games that are local to individual villages that are slowly dying out. So why not revive and celebrate them with the Traditional Dalmatian Games Olympics? Get involved!

Almost 8 years ago, a new wine festival in an inland village on Hvar was announced. It was to be a celebration of the local Bogdanusa grape variety, as well as different aspects of culture of the village of Svirce. 

Among the attractions was a game called Zoga Falo, a traditional game played mostly in Svirce, as well as occasionally in the villages of Vrisnik and Velo Grablje and one or two villages on Brac. 

In ten years of living on Hvar, I had never heard of it. And neither had most locals I asked about it. What a fantastic idea to revive some of the traditions of the island I thought, and when we found a 90-year-old Zoga Falo player in the village who was able to relate his sporting experiences in his youth, it was the icing on the cake of a great idea. You can learn more about zoga falo and the atmosphere on an unforgettable evening in Svirce in the Hvar TV report below. 

Time passed, and as I got to know Dalmatia better, so too I learned all about some of the unique Dalmatian games that were played in various parts of the region. Many were particular to just one village, and many were slowly dying out as the new generation prefers gadgets to the traditional Dalmatian games of their grandparents' generation. 

And then, last November, in glorious sunshine on a truly special day, Trogir launched its fabulous new branding, Marked by Masters. It was an outstanding day, bringing the very best of Dalmatia and its traditions to life. 

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Among the many cool things that unforgettable day in Trogir was the sight of Trogir's young children playing traditional Dalmatian games in the streets and squares of that exquisite old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site (this one is called trilja, and it the basis of the new Trogir logo). 

Tourism is in danger of losing its authenticity, and I personally think that if we can put the community back into tourism as it was just 15 years ago, everyone would benefit, as I wrote recently. What if we could revive and celebrate all these traditional Dalmatian games and bring them into one place for locals and tourists, learn about and compete in?

Why not have the Olympics of Traditional Dalmatian Games?

Walking around Trogir, I could imagine an event with locals and tourists competing in different Dalmatian games on different squares, bringing the whole town to life in a celebration of the region's heritage. And it would be a great opportunity to get the older generation involved. 

Over lunch that day, I got chatting to a lovely couple dressed in traditional Dalmatian clothing. They had been married for almost 60 years and spoke with enthusiasm about Trogir in their childhood and the games they used to play. It got me thinking - if we could get the older generation involved with their memories, experiences, photographs etc. how much richer would the event be? And where better to hold such an event than Trogir. 

I decided to post on Facebook, asking people to contribute any traditional Dalmatian games that they could remember from their village. The list so far is a little disorganised, but is a good basis. Not all of them can be turned into competitive sports, but certainly some can. 

Are there any more? Send us some info (and which village/town it is played) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Games, and let's see what else is out there and if we can organise a great alternative Olympics. 

If you are interested in helping us take this idea forward, please contact me.  

 

TRILJA

PLJOČKA

BALOTE

PIKE

PIKULE

ŠPEKULE

FRANJE

FEFA

ŠKOLICA

Zoga falo

LAŠTIK

MINČO

PLOJKE 

BALINJERE

GURANJE KOLA OD BARILA

OBRUČ NA KLIN

Picigin

Trula kobila

Lovice

Frnje

Kušini

Ševa

Shalikurca

Papagalo koja ura ze

NA GUZE & MALE BRANKE

Na graničara 

Koja je ura

Že Crna Marica jen', dva, tri!

Na slije (sličice)

Rampada

Balun o' ruke

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Marvie Hotel, For a Healthy and Happy Holiday in Split

February 10, 2020 - Recover, reshape, and recharge at Marvie Hotel & Health in Split. 

Wellness is the ‘active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life’. 

The World Health Organisation considers it “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being,” while it is "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential” by The National Wellness Institute.

With more stressors surrounding us today than ever before, wellness has become the focal point that aids us through the day-to-day. Whether we turn to meditation, yoga, skincare or eating better, wellness shows its face in many ways and comes in a selection of shapes and sizes. 

Travelers today are increasingly turning away from the busier tourist cities and instead opting for wellness breaks, healing retreats, or spa getaways to help improve their physical or mental health. With that idea in mind, wellness tourism has taken off. 

Thus, in the heart of Split, you’ll find a hub for health and wellness - Marvie Hotel. 

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After opening its doors in 2017, Marvie became Dalmatia’s first hotel focusing on medical tourism, targeting quality self-care in all of its segments. 

Located in Split's quiet residential area of Zenta, just a five-minute drive from the bustling city center, Marvie is spacious and modern, boasting an underground garage on three floors, 74 rooms and two suites, and modular halls that can accommodate up to 65 people. 

However, what truly makes Marvie the heart of medical tourism in Split is its health and wellness offer. 

The Renevie wellness zone is where guests can recover, reshape, and recharge. With relaxation at its core, the Renevie wellness zone offers an indoor hot tub and pool, as well as an outdoor rooftop infinity pool that boasts breathtaking views of the city. In the summer, the rooftop becomes an oasis for guests looking to enjoy the easygoing Mediterranean lifestyle, where sunbeds are offered for you to kick back with a cold drink and light snacks, while summer yoga sessions and exercise programs are held to encourage the more active vacationers. 

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The Renevie wellness zone offers two private saunas that provide a variety of ways to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. The Finnish sauna is for those looking to detox or enhance their skin elasticity, while the Turkish sauna benefits the immune system and helps with hydration. A fully equipped gym is also available for guests looking to push their fitness limits. 

AquaMed Medical Wellness, which is a modern clinic for physical medicine and rehabilitation, is a fundamental part of Marvie’s wellness offer. With a focus on physical therapy, manual therapy using the Maitland concept, hydrotherapy pool exercises, massages (medical, sport, AquaMed, aroma, anti-cellulite), beauty treatments, acupuncture and nutritional counseling, AquaMed aims to prevent and eliminate health and aesthetic challenges, while preserving your power and beauty.

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Whether you require a physician, acupuncturist, nutritionist, masseuse, beautician, or pedicurist, Marvie’s specialists provide a full range of physical therapy and aesthetic services for guests to enjoy. 

Because Mediterranean cuisine is a vital organ to the region, Marvie fuses fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients with a scientific approach to ensure your dietary needs are fulfilled. Whether you have a specific medical condition or are looking to detox and adopt healthier eating habits, Marvie’s nutritional experts will craft plans tailored to your wishes. 

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The Da’Mar restaurant at the hotel adds a modern touch to Mediterranean-inspired dishes, which are adjusted to service the gluten-free guests. Everything at the hotel, from light bites to dessert, is prepared fresh and in house daily. 

Finally, what completes Marvie is its partners. 

The Mediderm clinic at Marvie, which is led by dr. med. Sanda Peric-Susak, boasts twenty years of experience and specializes in dermatovenerology and anti-aging treatments. Their team of experts focuses on aesthetic and vascular surgery, immunology, endocrinology, allergology, orthopedics, and sports traumatology. Whether you’re looking to reduce the signs of aging or want a clearer picture of your overall health, the Mediderm clinic is at your service to ensure your body is taken care of. 

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Therapists Vanja and Kristijan Kasalo are on hand to look after your mental health. After years of experience from Split to Norway and back, their private practice of integrative psychotherapy will give you professional insight and offer techniques to help you maintain a healthy mindset.

IDC Ruzevic, on the other hand, is the most modern facility for dental medicine and implantology in Dalmatia. Led by Niki Ruzevic, M.D., who boasts 35 years of experience as a dentist and more than 15 years of experience in implantology, its modern facilities include four dental offices, a surgical room, a sterilization room and an X-ray area. Offering a range of treatments for your oral health, IDC Ruzevic uses sophisticated methods, premium materials, and modern devices to care for each patient individually. 

With a full range of quality services on offer for its guests, there is no better way to optimize your well-being than at Marvie Hotel. 

You can find out more about Marvie Hotel here.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

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