Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Solving Dubrovnik Winter Connectivity: Flights to Belgrade

February 1, 2023 - Why year-round flights to Belgrade could solve Dubrovnik's huge connectivity problem.

The most important event in the Dubrovnik calendar takes part this year, and - don't tell anyone - this is the very best time of year to visit the Pearl of the Adriatic. The Feast of St Blaise, the much-beloved patron saint of Dubrovnik, is an extraordinary event when the UNESCO World Heritage Site, stripped back to its bare stone with most cafes and restaurants closed, comes to life and is packed once more. But not with tourists, but with locals, emerging from the winter hibernation to celebrate this most important of days. If you have never been, I rate it as one of the top 10 experiences of my 20 years in Croatia - you can read more in Dubrovnik Full of Life as St Blaise Celebrated in Style.

Want to come and enjoy the festivities, or chill in Dubrovnik in the off-season? Good luck, unless you live in Zagreb.

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After a week working in Montenegro last week, I got to see the realities of tourism and connectivity in January. 

It was a little sobering when I saw the Dubrovnik timetable, a European tourism champion and iconic city which could - and should - be a 12-month destination.

Above is the timetable for the next few days, including those magical St. Blaise festivities. Apart from one flight to London, Zagreb is petty much the only choice. 

And even those flights to Zagreb are crazy expensive - despite the fact that they are subsidised with the PSO (Public Service Obligation) scheme.

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Here are your one-way options from Dubrovnik to Zagreb a week from now, for example.

I have spent the last week on Lustica, the lovely and almost totally unspoiled peninsula south of Tivat in Montenegro. I flew in and out of Dubrovnik, and I was struck by how poorly serviced Dubrovnik is in the winter, and how the rise of Tivat from nothing has made it arguably a more interesting destination in winter - certainly livelier - than the Pearl of the Adriatic itself. Here is what I wrote:

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Croatian tourism tragedies in road signs and airport departures. 25 years ago, Tivat was a coastal backwater on the Montenegrin coast. Today, even though it is 3 times smaller than a nearer town to Dubrovnik (Herceg Novi), it has its very own sign as you leave Dubrovnik Airport. Porto Montenegro was supposed to have been built in Croatia, but someone got greedy and Tivat became its home. Today, there are 3 luxury resorts with investment totalling 2.5 billion euro in the Boka region of Montenegro, with many other large developments. By contrast, the largest hotel investment on the Croatian coast in today's money is Haludovo on Krk, a joint venture between Tito and Penthouse in 1971 (and now a ruin for over 30 years) at a paltry 250 million. Not only is the luxury tourism going across the southern border, but so are the locals for entertainment in winter. And flights. Tivat Airport connects to the world 12 months a year, while Dubrovnik is serviced by almost exclusively domestic routes this winter (see timetable in photo). On the positive side in the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism, the sun is shining, and soon the tourists will just come.

tivat.JPGTivat's daily schedule - windows to Belgrade and Istanbul, which are both outstanding destinations in their own right but are also windows to the world with the global network of Turkish Airlines and the rapidly expanding network of Air Serbia. Tivat to the world in 100 different combinations, four times a day. And the world to Boka Bay. 

And the prices aren't bad compared to those singles with Croatia Airlines (flights February 8-13 - a return not single):

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I asked legendary tourism consultant, Mario Seric, for his opinion. The first sentence shows the benefits of being connected to Belgrade, as well as Zagreb, whose connectivity pales by comparison.

Air Serbia will be offering direct flights to 93 cities /destinations worldwide, of which 62 are direct, scheduled, and year-round, 16 direct scheduled seasonal, and 15 direct charter seasonal!

This is impressive compared to the poor connections being offered by Croatia Airlines from Zagreb with direct flights to only 21 destinations (16 year-round and 5 seasonal).

So these connections with Belgrade can also be great to access other destinations as well, especially those that are far away because Belgrade has direct flights to New York, and as of this year also to Chicago and Tianjin...

Air Serbia is currently also considering the introduction of direct flights to Toronto, Miami, Bangkok, and Beijing.

And the good thing in this is that all these flights can be operated by smaller airlines that do not consume a lot of fuel. Turboprop airlines are perfect for intraregional connectivity, and you have a lot of great examples in Europe for this.

Thanks, Mario. And to connect all that network to one of Europe's top destinations, so that tourists could enjoy it out of season, as well as allowing locals to travel with ease, would it really be so hard to connect Belgrade to Dubrovnik 12 months a year? After all, if it is clearly working for tiny Tivat next door, surely it would work for a tourism giant like Dubrovnik. Worth the small investment to try?

Of course, I can understand that there might be some objections in certain quarters given recent history of the connection between Belgrade and Dubrovnik, but the Croatian tourism chiefs decided to move on from the recent past in 2011 by being the main tourism sponsor at the regionally significant Belgrade Tourism Fair back in 2011

Dubrovnik to the world, 12 months a year. It could - and should - be closer and more realisable than one might think. 

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

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia & Balkan Expert YouTube channel.

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

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Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Dubrovnik Marks Anniversary of its Defence, Honours its Defenders

December the 6th, 2022 - The 6th of December 1991 is a date which has burned itself into the eternal memory of the City of Dubrovnik and has become as much a part of its long history as Saint Blaise or Marin Drzic.

What do you think of when you think about the 90's? Maybe you think of the then mobile phone giant Nokia and the phones that could break concrete if dropped, or Haddaway's eternal question about what love is. For many it was a happy time, a time of good music, technological advancement and anticipation of the turn of a brand new century. For others, it was a time of fear, death, oppression and destruction, and for those of us who come from Europe, it was shocking to see such a thing occurring on our doorstep - once again.

The Serbs and their hangers on, the Montenegrins, pressed on with their imperialistic style regime through unfathomable attempts at mass murder, butchering innocent civilians in Srebrenica, in Vukovar, in Skabrnja. Children killed, women raped, men slaughtered and buried in pits, given no more dignity than diseased livestock. Europe had not seen such bloodshed and brutality since Adolf Hitler and his army of black-shirts had reigned. For most people from outside of the former Yugoslavia, the reasons for Serbian aggression were shrouded in mystery, for many, they still are.

It's known to most that both Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia (SFRJ) in 1991 following numerous attempts at gaining political distance and finally through a referendum. The formerly Socialist Republic of Croatia became the Republic of Croatia, an independent state of its very own after what seemed to many like an eternity under a cruel and unyielding Yugoslav thumb. That was about as much as those lucky enough not to be involved knew about the situation which led to the above.

On the 6th December 1991, Dubrovnik was viciously attacked by the JNA (Yugoslav Peoples Army), it was the culmination of a siege which sought to raze the globally adored UNESCO World Heritage Site to the ground. A similar and unfortunately successful action was seen much more recently in Palmyra at the hands of ISIS. The horrific bombardment of Dubrovnik resulted in international condemnation of the JNA and rightly became a public relations disaster for Serbia and Montenegro, contributing to and furthering their diplomatic and economic isolation and winning them powerful enemies across Europe and the rest of the world. It was a shot in the foot from which the still-estranged Serbia has hardly ever recovered in the eyes of the international community, and rightly so.

To go into it a little more deeply, the JNA was composed primarily of Serbian nationals, and it was no accident that they targeted a location which had been totally demilitarised back in the 1970's to try to prevent it from ever becoming a war casualty. The JNA's barbaric attack on the beloved UNESCO city of Dubrovnik was met with international condemnation and political outcry, resulting in the aforementioned isolation of Serbia. Threats to Serbia from numerous powerful European politicians echoed around the globe, the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously stood defiantly by Croatia, claiming publicly that had it been up to her, she would have bombed Belgrade immediately.

The attack lasted seven long months, the heaviest attack took place on this day, the 6th of December (now celebrated as the Day of the Defenders in Dubrovnik), killing 19 people and wounding another 60. Artillery attacks on Dubrovnik damaged 56% of its buildings, and the Old City was the innocent victim of 650 shells. Neighbouring Montenegro grew ever hostile, led by President Momir Bulatovic and Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic who rose to power following the popular anti-bureaucratic revolution, the nation was allied to the fanatical Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. It was declared that Dubrovnik would not remain in Croatia, with both of these nations who have since failed miserably in comparison to Croatia falsely claiming that it had never been a part of Croatia at all. The war ended with Croatian victory, earned with blood, with the siege lifted in May 1992. The Croatian Army liberated Dubrovnik and its surroundings, but the danger of sudden attacks from the internationally villified JNA remained a threat for a further three years.

The cruel and unjustified siege and naval blockade by the JNA and the Yugoslav Navy resulted in the direct deaths of between 82 and 88 civilians and 194 Croatian military personnel. By the end of the bloody year of 1992, when the entire region was recaptured by the HV, 417 Croatian Army (HV) troops were dead. Approximately 19,000 refugees were displaced. 11,425 buildings suffered varying degrees of damage, numerous homes, businesses, and public buildings were torched and property was looted by the JNA and their Montenegrin counterparts. In 2000, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic apologised for his country's part in this utterly devastating attack, prompting anger from his political rivals and feelings of betrayal from the still very much isolated and globally condemned, small nation of Serbia.

Today, Dubrovnik is known across the world as an enviably successful tourism giant which has to do very little but lie on its laurels. A far cry now from a war zone without running water and electricity, outside of the summer months, the Pearl of the Adriatic sits relatively silenty in its peace, with only mere calls of seagulls and anchors of ships cutting through that hard-earned silence. It has won many titles since that awful day, and gained many nicknames, from the fictional Kings Landing and Naboo, to the non-fictional Pearl of the Adriatic. A lifetime has passed since those dark says, and the costly mask the city so perfectly wears would never reveal its wounds, its pain or its suffering to the untrained and naive eye.

Following the war, damage was repaired adhering to UNESCO guidelines between 1995 and 1999. The ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) issued indictments for the JNA Generals and officers involved in the disgraceful siege of Dubrovnik, with the architect of the attack, General Pavle Strugar sentenced for his role. Strugar passed away in 2018, and while one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, it doesn't seem appropriate to hope his rest is a peaceful one.

For more on Croatian history, keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 October 2022

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

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

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

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

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Hi Paul,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kindest regards

Lee 

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

Friday, 14 October 2022

Dutchman Finds Dubrovnik Father after 55 Years

October 14, 2022 - Some 55 years after a holiday romance that brought him into the world, a Dutchman comes to Dubrovnik to search for his father... and finds him!

It has been quite a 3 weeks since I published the appeal of a Dutchman trying to locate his biological father, with just a grainy old photograph of a Dubrovnik waiter, a name which was probably not correct, and a few details of a holiday romance on the Adriatic back in 1967 - Looking for My Dad, a 1967 Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik Waiter.

My inbox was flooded with offers of help - paid and unpaid - and leads to the father in no less than 5 countries. Cometh the hour, cometh the legendica. I asked for help from my partner-in-crime, Laura Siprak from 24Sata, from last year's story identifying the mystery woman on Krk who had lost her memory

Laura took over the story completely, and all credit for finding Stefan's father and uniting them is 100% hers. Here is her story, published earlier in Croatian on 24Sata.

Stefan found his father! 'I found peace and a piece of family. After a whole 55 years, I hugged my dad!'

It all started with an email that Stefan Brouwers sent to Paul Bradbury on the Total News Croatia portal. He was looking for a father he had never met, and his mother was not comfortable talking about it. He had one blurry picture, the name of the Hotel Bellevue and his name: Gojko Smiljanić.

Bradbury published his email and contacted 24sata reporters to help, based on previous good cooperation. And we helped. After a video call with Stefan and his wife, the two of them packed up and set off from the Netherlands on a 1,500-kilometer journey to Dubrovnik.

At the same time, Bradbury was getting information from people from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and we set about checking directories, asking former hotel drivers who are still alive, looking into old school and military archives, even the first director of the Dubrovnik - Neretva tourist board, Anto Štrbić - Fulina. In his youth, he was a baker in Dubrovnik, and even today he runs a restaurant in Ploče, so he knows most of the restaurateurs from that area. But the number of people named Gojko Smiljanić is higher than expected, so the elimination process took a few days.

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In the end, the friend of Gojko we were looking for called and, after the initial uncertainty and cancellation, Stefan managed to find his father.

- I have to thank everyone who called, you who did an excellent job with Paul, and my father's friend who acted as a mediator and helped us meet. The people in Croatia are truly wonderful, we could not have imagined such a turn of events. It was emotionally draining, but also beautiful. The mediator drove us to the restaurant where we met, introduced us and left after 15 minutes. My father is a warm and gentle person with a great sense of humor. We were both a little nervous at first, but he had a relaxed 'it happened' attitude, so it was easier. We spent several hours together, exchanged numbers and will try to stay in touch. We didn't do a DNA test, but it's him, the story matches and we look very similar physically - says Stefan.

He is not his only child and after the summer romance with Nettie, Gojko met his wife and built a family, so he will leave the remnants of the meeting and photos for himself. This is a shock to everyone, which is why the meeting was arranged in five days, but the most important thing is that they found each other.

- Emotions were everywhere. For most of my life, I was interested in who my father was. I've been looking for him for over 20 years, ever since I had my son, and my mother gave me that blurry photo and told me the basic information. This was my last attempt, to find him where he and my mom met. A month ago, I did not believe that I would find him. When we arrived two weeks ago, I was excited and nervous because it looked like you found it. And it is! At that moment, I could not even imagine that I would meet him. I am glad that he is understanding and accepted me from the moment we met. There were a lot of emotions in me, but happiness is the strongest one. Now I can say that I have found peace and that part of my family that I have been missing all my life - concludes Stefan.

And besides his father, he also got a large family. Life is unusual, so it turned out that some relatives live scattered around the world, some of them very close to Stefan. The unusual search, fortunately, ended in the best way: two families have expanded, and Stefan now knows what interests every person - where we come from. 

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

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

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

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

m&i Private 2022 with over 200 Buyers and Suppliers Returns to Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

October 11, 2022 - Press Release. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a premier five-star resort and member of The Leading Hotels, provides event planners and the MICE industry with a choice of 201 hotel rooms and suites and 207 residences on the Adriatic coast, as well as one of the best conference centers in the region, featuring some of the largest and most flexible meeting space in Dubrovnik, such as spacious ballroom, eight meeting rooms, and a range of on-site venues for hosting memorable events.

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It is no surprise that Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has been chosen to host the leading specialist event of the MICE industry - m&i Private Forum - from October 9 to 12, 2022. m&i Private Europe connects independent and boutique hotels, as well as local hotel groups, with event planners looking for unique properties. The Forum, organized by Worldwide Events with a support of Croatian Tourist Board, the DMC operator Korkyra Travel and AV specialist FIFI Sound, will bring together more than 200 suppliers and buyers from the MICE industry.

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The m&i Forum seeks to bring together major European buyers and MICE suppliers in Dubrovnik so that they may connect and network. Three days of high-quality networking, events, and tailored 1-2-1 introductions will help them to form solid business partnerships with one another. Such events are held in carefully chosen places and destinations and give an excellent chance to showcase the destination's complete conference offer.

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This event once again confirms Dubrovnik as one of the best conference destinations in Europe, and Sun Gardens Dubrovnik as one of the leading conference centers in the region, for which this event comes as the crown of a very successful MICE season.

To learn more about Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, visit the official website.

To learn more about Pearl of the Adriatic, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide.

 

 

Monday, 10 October 2022

Dubrovnik Through the Local Lens of Ivan Vukovic

October 10, 2022 - There are many promoters of destinations in Croatia, all doing their own thing. Meet one of the best in Dubrovnik, Ivan Vukovic, and his magical lens.

Dubrovnik in the international media again, this time on CNN. Someone sent me the link, and I smiled. I didn't even have to guess which name would be featured as the local expert, for I already knew based on past experience.

Ivan Vukovic.

An accomplished tour guide, photographer, world traveller, and plenty of things I know little about, when it comes to the local flavour of international promotion of Dubrovnik, the name of Ivan Vukovic is usually involved. 

One thing I really appreciate about his photography of the Pearl of the Adriatic is how Ivan manages to capture a more less touristy flavour with his shots. He kindly sent me these photos and (his) descriptions to give a little more colour to the magnificent Pearl of the Adriatic. 

And if you are looking for a tour guide with an alternative take on the city,  check out his Dubrovnik Tour Guides site.

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Tiramola in the backstreets. Typical laundry line and way of life in the old town.

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Blue hour in Dubrovnik. Windy September night on Stradun.

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Minceta fortress - standing proud and tall.

The views from there are the best in the sunset for photo enthusiasts.

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Lovrjenac fort - Gibraltar of Dubrovnik.

Famous Red Keep in Game of Thones.

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Sunrise in Dubrovnik. In case you want to avoid crowds and heat in the high season, just wake up early.

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Stradun in early morning. Old town wakes up slowly. Soft light and quietness.

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The view from Bogisic park.

St. Ignatius church and Lokrum island in the background.

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Stradun - main promenade. Typical example of roman urbanism. Do not be afraid to explore side streets. Beware of stairs and cats :)

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Saltwater pool by Banje beach.

Instagrammable hotspot.

 

Thursday, 22 September 2022

European Film Academy Shines Spotlight on Most Famous Croatian Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 12 September 2022

Driver of Dubrovnik Newlyweds Fined for Parking in Heart of Old City

September the 12th, 2022 - A pair of Dubrovnik newlyweds were fined in the amount of 2000 kuna due to their driver's behaviour behind the wheel and his disrespect to the UNESCO-protected city itself.

As Morski writes, a driver of two Dubrovnik newlyweds who completely nonchalantly parked his car next to the Small Onofrio fountain in the very heart of the ancient old city last week did not get permission to do so from the Dubrovnik city utilities. Because of him deciding to park his car carrying the Dubrovnik newlyweds inside the walls, no more and no less than on Stradun itself, he was forced to pay 2000 kuna out of his own pocket as a fine.

As local Dubrovnik portal DUlist found out from the Dubrovnik City Administration, the car entered the heart of the walled city with a permit for wedding purposes, but that permit didn't include parking the car there under any circumstances.

This type of permit only applies to cars physically entering the historic core and letting the newlyweds exit the vehicle, after which the car may no longer remain within the walls and must leave, let alone park. This time, that didn't occur, and the car remained parked near the Small Onofrio fountain during the church wedding ceremony, which took place in the church of St. Blaise (Sv. Vlaho).

From the Dubrovnik City Administration, thoughts about the complete abolition of permits to enter the historic core of the city for wedding purposes can be heard more and more loudly. Many people are of the firm opinion that there is nothing more beautiful than walking from Pile Gate or Ploce Gate to the Church of St. Blaise, and that this practice of entering the city's core with a car for newlyweds is actually unnecessary, and is often abused.

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

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Delivery Vehicles in Dubrovnik Old Town Causing Issues, Solution Found?

August the 21st, 2022 - Only emergency vehicles and those with specially issued permits can enter Dubrovnik Old Town by car, but delivery vehicles are continuing to cause issues for the UNESCO-protected tourist Mecca.

As Morski writes, for the residents of the historic core of the Pearl of the Adriatic, the same old story is being repeated and relived almost every day. Despite the extremely clear rules for vehicles entering Dubrovnik Old Town which is shielded by exceptionally well-preserved Medieval walls, delivery vehicles constantly violate local communal rules, so the city administration has decided to put an end to this with a proven method.

In the area of ​​Ploce Gate which leads you into the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, local municipal wardens fined the driver of delivery vehicle extremely heavily recently for illegally entering a part of the old city centre in said vehicle.

The City of Dubrovnik has since announced that the Municipal Police Department, following an event in which a delivery vehicle entered the historic centre through Ploce Gate without any of the proper authorisation to do so, turned the driver back and charged them a hefty fine of twelve thousand kuna in total.

Due to continuous violation of the city's very clearly and simply explained decision to not allow any vehicles into Dubrovnik Old Town unless they're emergency vehicles or have special permission to be there, the City of Dubrovnik will implement a passage control system by means of the lifting of pneumatic bollards at the entrance to the heart of the historic core from Ploce Gate.

The move will see the city utilise a physical barrier to prevent any would-be violators from carrying out illegal activities such as entering with a vehicle that cause communal disorder in the UNESCO-protected area of Croatia's southernmost city.

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

Monday, 15 August 2022

Dubrovnik and Porec Sustainable Tourism Resulting in Great Numbers

August the 15th, 2022 - Dubrovnik and Porec sustainable tourism is resulting in some excellent numbers this summer tourist season, as both cities, but particularly Dubrovnik, desperately needed a more sustainable strategy than the mass tourism they've become (in)famous for.

As Morski writes, Dubrovnik's deputy mayor Jelka Tepsic has stated that since the beginning of this year, Croatia's southernmost city is at 80 percent of the overnight stays and 70 percent of the arrivals realised back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

''Currently, 26,000 guests are staying in the City of Dubrovnik and this is a real indicator of the success of this summer season, but also of the good management of the destination, because through our ''Respect the city" project, we want to provide a high quality of stay to our visitors, but also boost the quality of life of our fellow citizens,'' said Jelka Tepsic.

Porec has also achieved two million overnight stays on the same day as it did back in 2019, and Porec sustainable tourism is the new way in which this gorgeous Istrian city is leaning.

''We've reached two million overnight stays, we're also happy that we've managed to reach that number of overnight stays we have at the time we have, even when we have 700 less beds in the city due to the reconstruction of two hotels. We extended our summer tourist season, the pre-season was also good, as even before Easter we had 40 percent more visitors staying in Porec than we did back during the record year of 2019. All this is happening because we combined what's private and what's public, sport and tourism, and in doing so we brought a large number of tourists to the city,'' said the mayor of Porec, Loris Persuric.

One of the key goals for Dubrovnik is the creation of sustainable tourism. Jelka Tepsic explained what this specifically refers to:

''Five years ago, Dubrovnik was highly prominent among European destinations as a city that is actually in danger of being crippled beyond return due to too many tourists. We were almost on the blacklist for many people, so we made a management decision to change with the desire to achieve a balance between the quality of the stay for our visitors and the quality of life of our fellow citizens,'' she stated, emphasising that they managed to introduce rules and restrictions for cruise ships, so now they have a limit of 4,000 guests in one part of the day, or just two cruisers. So this year, she said, we're witnessing the full application of these new rules in Croatia's tourist Mecca. They can now limit traffic around the historic core, have a surveillance system, have improved parking conditions, and the list goes on.

''Sustainable development is also important in Porec, as is Porec sustainable tourism,'' said Mayor Persuric. The basis of everything, he explained, is the spatial plan of the local self-government unit, which, in addition to accommodation capacities, also develops the city's complete infrastructure. They are ready, he says, for a large number of apartments and accommodation capacities to spring up, and although they definitely do have some unfortunate examples of illegal construction, that number is thankfully not that large.

For more on Dubrovnik and Porec sustainable tourism, not to mention that of other Croatian cities and destinations, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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