Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Run for the Soul: Road Running Competition is Back in Imotski

April 27, 2022 - As part of the BlueRedGreen Lake project in Imotski, the 2nd Run for the Soul (road running competition) organized by the Triathlon Club Imotski will be held on May 14, 2022.

As part of the 2nd Run for the Soul competition in Imotski, there will be a 10 km competition, a 5 km competition, and a children's race, reports tportal.hr.

The basic idea is that children and parents perform together at one sporting event, both as competitors and as fans, which would be positive and affirmative for both of them. The organizers want both children and parents to be actively involved in a form of recreational sports, and to feel the joy of running and participating in a sporting event in their city.

run-for-the-soul_1.jpg

Image: Run for the Soul/Facebook

The Run for the Soul is part of a project supported by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Economics in Split and the Association of Croatian Tourist Guides. The children's race takes place in cooperation with primary schools in the Imotski region. The ambassador of the race will be the celebrated Olympian Matea Parlov Koštro.

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Image: Run for the Soul/Facebook

The start of the race at 10 km and 5 km is at 9:00 am, and the start of the children's race is at 11:00 am. The start and finish of all races are in the center of Imotski, in front of the main square (Stjepan Radić Street). The trail passes through the old town of Imotski, next to the football stadium Gospin Dolac (one of the 10 most beautiful stadiums in the world), and the Blue and Red Lakes (soon among the UNESCO list of geoparks).

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Image: Run for the Soul/Facebook

Registration and details of the 10 km and 5 km races can be found in this LINK. More information can also be found at the official Facebook event and the official website of the Triathlon Club Imotski.

Applications for the children's race can be done in primary schools in the Imotski region.

For more on things to do, holiday homes, lakes, wines, and more about Imotski, be sure to check Total Croatia's complete travel guide HERE.

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

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Walk for Life to be Held in Ten Cities

ZAGREB, 27 March 2022 - This year's Walk for Life will be held in ten cities across Croatia on Sundays in May and June, a news conference heard in Osijek on Sunday.

Representatives of the civic group "Walk for Life, Family and Croatia" told reporters that marches would be held in Vinkovci, Varaždin and Slavonski Brod on 7 May, in Zagreb on 14 May, in Split and Imotski on 21 May, in Zadar and Ploče on 28 May, and in Osijek and Sisak on 11 June.

Lidija Blagojević of the civic group said that the Walk for Life was a peaceful walk for every human life from conception to natural death, for the protection of unborn children and their mothers, and for the protection of every family.

The national coordinator of the Walk for Life, Željka Markić, said this year's campaign was taking place in the context of a horrible war in Ukraine, noting that many volunteers of the Walk for Life initiative were involved in collecting aid and providing accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

"The killing of people we have been witnessing every day makes us particularly sensitive to the need to build the culture of life and fight for every human life, from its beginning to its end", Markić said.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

No Seagulls Allowed: Two Hawks Employed to Guard Imotski Lake from Unwanted Guests

February 23rd, 2022 - Two hawks named Seka and Bea have been tasked with keeping the Blue Lake in Imotski safe from seagulls

Known to invade urban areas in search of food, seagulls are generally seen as a nuisance all over the Croatian coast. In Istria, the onslaught of gulls is being fought through measures such as nest monitoring and replacing seagull eggs with plastic fakes.

Further south, in the Dalmatian hinterland, things were taken up a notch with proper guards employed to fight the good fight against the annoying gulls.

For a while now, seagulls have been treating the stunning Blue Lake (Croatian: Modro jezero) in Imotski as their living room, and plastic eggs probably wouldn’t have been of much help here - the situation called for more extreme measures.

Enter the guards: Seka and Beatrice Bea, two female Harris’s hawks who’ve been tasked with keeping the Blue Lake safe from the gull invasion.

As reported by Slobodna Dalmacija, seagulls laid siege to the Blue Lake in Imotski about ten years ago and haven’t shown any intention to leave ever since.

Every year from the end of February to September, i.e. as long as there’s water in the lake, seagulls flock to the lake in large numbers, devastating the flora and fauna and inconveniencing the people of Imotski and their guests who often go swimming at the lake.

The gulls eradicated all the frogs, gone is the song of the blue rock thrush, and grass snakes have left the area too. Not to mention all the gull feathers and feces covering the rocks and cliffs around the lake aren’t exactly a pretty sight.

Modro_jezero-min.jpegThe Blue Lake in Imotski / Image by Yacht Rent, Creative Commons

There have been efforts to scare the gulls away with the sounds of cannon fire, firecrackers, scarecrows in various forms, but nothing seemed to work, and the seagulls kept flocking to the Blue Lake to rest after feasting at one of the landfills in the wider Imotski area.

And then came the hawk guards. Someone realised that the solution for the gull problem lies in nature, and soon there was talk of trained falcons and hawks, who apparently have the ability to make seagulls pretty nervous.

Falconers Emilio Međušić and Stipe Klisović of the Šibenik Falconry Center arrived in Imotski last year and brought a trained hawk along to test the hypothesis.

It only took for the hawk to spread his wings over the Blue Lake, and the flock of seagulls panicked and flew away in a frenzy. They reportedly sent a few scouts back to the lake some time later to see if the coast was clear, but as long as the hawk was seen somewhere in the area, not a single gull dared to fly down to the lake.

The Public Institution More i Krš (Sea and karst) and the City of Imotski decided to open two permanent positions for hawks to guard the lake from the pesky gulls. They acquired two hawks and ensured the birds were properly trained.

Grgo Nikolić from Imotski, a self-described bird lover and member of the hunters’ association Imotska Krajina, took over the training together with his son Slavko. They themselves trained at the Falconry Centre in Šibenik, and are now tasked with taking care of Seka and Beatrice Bea.

‘We’ve been working with Seka and Bea and we’re very pleased with what we achieved so far. We now have to get them accustomed to the environment they’ll be working in, our Blue Lake with its surroundings. We’re in the area every day, getting Seka and Bea familiar with every part of the lake, as that’s where they’ll be operating. Slavko and I both have to gain the full confidence of those birds; they’re starting to get settled in their new habitat, and are growing more accepting of us as their friends and trainers’, said Grgo.

harris-g630cb78d6_1280.jpgHarris's hawks / Pixabay

A few days ago, a handful of seagulls tried to scout the area and were promptly chasen away by Seka and Bea. The time of year when gulls are known to gather at the Blue Lake is fast approaching, so the two hawks will soon have a lot of work to do.

‘I’m convinced that Bea and Seka will manage to drive the gulls away, back to their main habitat on the other side of Biokovo mountain, where they could settle on the coast once and for all’, said Nikolić.

Imotski Tourist Board Director Luka Kolovrat is also pleased with Seka and Bea’s performance so far. He pointed out that the presence of two hawks might become a tourist attraction as well.

‘Last year, we saw just how much attention a single hawk from the Falconry Center drew among the tourists; they filmed the entire thing, asked about how the gulls are being chased away. Our Seka and Bea will surely make for a good addition to the tourist offer in our town’, said Kolovrat.

 

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Imotski Apartments Prove Hit, Reservations for Next Summer Already Coming

October the 19th, 2021 - When most of us who live in Croatia think of Imotski, we tend not to think of tourism and foreign tourists arriving en masse. The image of this inland Dalmatian destination, however, is gradually altering as foreign visitors discover the hinterland and all of its wonder a stone's throw away from the coast. Imotski apartments have done exceptionally well, prices have increased and reservations for summer 2022 are already coming in.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, yet another tourist season marked by the coronavirus pandemic has passed us by, and for the Imotski region it was especially lucrative, because their 2.5 thousand beds were more or less all filled.

Namely, after a successful tourist season, most of the 384 owners of luxury holiday homes with swimming pools in Imotski are satisfied. Imotski will, this year for the first time in history, record as many as 100 thousand overnight stays, four thousand more than back in pre-pandemic in 2019 when staying in private Imotski apartments with pools and amazing views was nowhere near as popular as simply heading straight for the coast.

"We had a great peak of the season and we also did well in September, but the pre-season was a non-starter and that's why we're still behind that year. This year in the Dalmatian hinterland was marked mainly by guests from Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Austria.

Reservations came in at the last minute, and 2022 already shows that it will be different and the competition will end up being much stronger. That's why marketing will be very important to us, which will be done during the winter, because the market needs to be reached with quality messages,'' said Ana Marija Paleka, head of the Novasol office for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Everyone involved in the home and private apartment rental business agrees that there has been a lot of thoughts being put into and around pricing formation this year, so some have significantly lowered their prices in fear of vacant properties, while others have increased them significantly as demand has visibly and in some cases quite rapidly grown.

"All this is logical because we went through the night from despair to euphoria, or from 50 euros to 300 euros per night in the same building. No one expected such interest at once and not everyone coped equally in it. It's really important that we keep the quality up. People should be prudent and careful in thinking about business for 2022, because there can be surprises. We're entering a normal year with strong competition and not everything will be like this year was,'' warned Boris Zgomba, President of the Association of Agencies at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Austrian Visits Imotski, World Mercedes Capital, In Her 1931 Oldtimer

September 11, 2021 - It's not easy for anyone not from Imotski to understand the connection the people of the town have with the Mercedes Benz cars, but one Austrian lady seems to embrace it stronger than most.

We've written about the connections between the inland Dalmatian town of Imotski and the Mercedes Benz cars in the past, including their plans to build a monument to their beloved car. Of course, things didn't go as planned, almost nothing did in the past two years, but even before the monument was built, Imotski was visited by two amazing guests this summer.

The first is Hermi Kürner, a renowned visual artist from the town of Wels in Austria. The second is her Mercedes 170, a ninety-year-old oldtimer, in which Frau Kürner did a tour of the Adriatic, and couldn't resist a visit to Imotski. Braco Ćosić writes for Slobodna Dalmacija about the visit, which was prompted by an article about the town in the "Mercedes-Benz me Magazine". Mrs. Kürner actually drove around the South-Eastern Europe in the 1931 oldtimer, which she says is the only one left in the world. You can see some photos of her adventures on her Facebook site, including some photos which were taken while driving the old car on the Croatian highways, which we in no way endorse!

She has travelled over 3500 kilometres already on this tour, with her plans to make it a nice round 5000 by the time she comes back home. She has an entire collection of the oldtimer cars, but if you plan to visit Imotski - you gotta do that in an oldtimer Mercedes, right? The president of the Imotski Mercedes Association, Ivan Topić Nota organised the car to be shown to the public in Imotski, where a lot of interested Merz fans came out to see the six-cylinder, 32-horse-power oldtimer.

Mrs. Kürner expressed her desire to be present at the Mercedes monument opening in Imotski. Maybe her 1931 car can also make an appearance as a special guest star!

Thursday, 24 June 2021

First Camino Imota Weekend Attracted Several Pilgrims to Imotski Region

June 24, 2021 - The first Camino Imota weekend, organized by the Imotski Tourist Board and the Brotherhood of St. James, gathered more than a hundred participants in three days. It was the first organized pilgrimage along the new Camino Imota route. In addition to the pilgrimage, an international round table, "Camino pilgrimage in the 21st century," and an exhibition of photographs were held.

The Imota Tourist Board organized a free bus transport from Imotski to the starting points of certain sections and a return to Imotski after the pilgrimage, whichh speaks volumes about the great interest in participating in the Camino Imota weekend, reports HRTurizam

“Interest in the Camino Imota route, according to the number of pilgrims, but also according to the number of interested people who want to pass the route, is great. The Facebook group quickly gathered more than 600 members. On Tuesday, two days after the event, we already had the first individual pilgrims, who decided to cross the Camino Imota trail," said Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imota Tourist Board.

Several pilgrims walked the new Camino Imota route. Despite the high temperatures, their impressions are very positive, and this is not surprising given the spectacular landscape offered by the Imotski region. However, besides the natural beauties on the Camino Imota route, there are also numerous sacral buildings and significant sites of natural and cultural heritage. Pilgrims received commemorative stamps in their pilgrimage passports, which serve as a confirmation of the route crossed - Camino Imota Compostela.

“On the first day, we had about 40 pilgrims, on the second about 60, and the third about 90. Some of them walked all three days, and some only one, so we can say that more than 100 pilgrims visited the first Camino Imota weekend. We are pleased with the response, and participants expressed satisfaction with the trail. About twenty of them already had experience with Camino routes, especially the one starting from France. When they passed the route, they shared their impressions with us and gave us suggestions. According to them, the Camino Imota reminds of the trail through Galicia," says Kolovrat.

And for Camino Imota to fully justify its name, it is essential to cooperate with the local population, which on this first pilgrimage proved to be an excellent host by offering pilgrims refreshments along the way.

“In April, we held meetings with parish priests who are on the route and introduced them to our plans. They passed it on to their parishioners, which gave excellent results, and the residents of this area were pleased to help the pilgrims," said Kolovrat.

In addition to the pilgrimage on the new route, Camino Imota weekend also had an accompanying program in which a round table called "Camino pilgrimage in the 21st century" was included. The roundtable brought together representatives of Camino associations, priests, theologians, and scientists from as many as nine countries. A special guest was Igor Vidmar, president of the Brotherhood of St. James from Slovenia, who announced the arrival of Slovenian pilgrims on the Camino Imota trail next year.

“The Round Table, which was actually a video conference, discussed why people choose the Camino pilgrimage, whether it is for religious or adventurous reasons, and why the pilgrimage has gained so much popularity. At the moment, about one and a half million people are making a pilgrimage to the Camino, and that number is increasing every year," Kolovrat emphasizes.

The first Camino Imota weekend met the organizers' expectations, who are now facing the continuation of work on the route itself, to be even better marked. A mobile application is also planned, and a website is already online and should be filled with information about the route, instructions, and practical tips for pilgrims in the next few days.

“After the first Camino Imota weekend, which was a great success, we are even more optimistic, and I believe that this route will come to life in the future. Interested individuals already contact us, but also entire parishes, who want to take an organized walk along the trail," emphasizes Kolovrat and adds that the Camino Imota weekend also served as an agreement on intensifying works on the second phase, i.e., connecting the route to Sinj and Medjugorje.

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

SPORTbible Features Ante Rebić: One Of World's Most Generous Footballers

February 20, 2021 - "AC Milan's Ante Rebic has gone above and beyond to look after his own," one of the world's largest sports communities begins about a famous Croatian footballer from a small village near Imotski. SPORTbible features Ante Rebić. 

Earlier this week, Novi Zivot reported that the 27-year-old Croatian footballer Ante Rebić has continued his charitable work years after he was recognized for paying off the debts for all 500 residents in his native village of Donji Vinjani near Imotski. 

Namely, the Croatia and AC Milan star has donated 10 thousand euro to develop and construct a new facility for rehabilitation and education of children "Zlatni Cеkіn" in Slavonski Brod.

Thanks to Ante's donation, 100 thousand kuna from the City, and a larger number of smaller donations, they hope that the new building will welcome a roof by the summer. However, several months into implementing this project, they have encountered certain difficulties, mainly financial.

In the new 520-square-meter building, emphasis will be placed on autistic children.

"We thank Ante Rebić from our hearts for this extreme gesture and the great financial support he gave us. Thanks to our brothers from Dalmatia, Rebić's friends who recommended us to him. Later, the City of Slavonski Brod was included in the action so that we will be able to continue our labor engagement which began last year," said Ilija Jerković, director of Zlatni Cеkіn.

The center of about 220 children is a non-profit institution where parents of children with developmental difficulties can find the necessary professional skills. Despite all the difficulties they have encountered during the decades of their work and activities, they have never given up.

"I would like to meet Mr. Rebić if there is ever the chance. He is an excellent football player. I remember his good games at the World Cup in Russia, and now he has also shown that he is a great and noble man."

Ante's wonderful gesture did not only touch fans in Croatia. Known as "one of the largest communities for sports fans across the world," SPORTbible highlighted Ante's humanitarian side in an article titled 'AC Milan's Ante Rebic Is One Of The Most Generous Footballers In The World.' Their Facebook post garnered 5.8k likes and 167 comments.!  

You can read the full SPORTbible story on Rebić HERE.

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

Saturday, 20 February 2021

From Bare to Brimming: Blue Lake Transformation Video

February  20, 2021 - EdoStuff Aviation films the Blue Lake transformation, from bare to brimming. 

Dalmacija Danas writes that the Blue Lake is one of the most beautiful Croatian lakes, reachable by a staircase, making it a favorite beach in the summer months. It often dries out, and football is traditionally played at its bottom. 

Another natural charm of the area is the Red Lake, named after the red rocks at the edge of the lake. This karst pit is about 528 meters high, and the depth of the lake is about 281 meters, which, according to some data, could be the deepest lake in Europe. The Red Lake cannot be accessed due to the steep cliffs that surround it.

Imotski is known for these two natural pearls. However, an increasingly popular destination for adventurers and guests is Lake Ričice, better known as the Green Lake.

The lake is located near the village of Ričice in the northwest of Imotski Krajina. The lake is fed by the Vrbica and Ričina rivers. It was created in 1985 when a dam was built to prevent water penetration, and the water from the reservoir was to be used for irrigation. However, the project was never completed so a lake was created at this location.

In the last few months, the Imotski area, as well as the entire region, has gone through hydrologically extremely different periods. By November, we experienced an extreme drought, and the Blue Lake dried up as much as twice in late summer and fall. It has been raining since November, and the peak of rain was in December and January when precipitation records were broken locally.

Not only are the dry riverbeds full, the groundwater is at maximum capacity, and the level of the Imotski lakes is also extremely high. 

Both situations were recorded by YouTuber EdoStuff Aviation, which compared the appearance of Imotski lakes during the peak of the drought to today. Incredible scenes! 

 

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

Friday, 29 January 2021

Hercegovac Begs Cro PM 'Open Borders So I Can Send My Wife To Her Mother'

January 29, 2021 – Lockdown is apparently taking a toll on one Hercegovac. The man from Široki Brijeg wrote to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and begged him to reopen the borders between Croatia and Herzegovina so he could eject his wife from the family home for a month and send her to his mother-in-law's

The message from Hercegovac Ante Zovko (Ante Marinkov) was reposted on the Facebook page Imocki crnjaci where it picked up some 3 thousand likes in less than 6 hours.

siroant.jpg

The town, Široki Brijeg, where this particular Hercegovac (a man from Herzegovina) lives is just 35 kilometres from the border with Croatia. Lots of Croatians live in this area, including this Hercegovac, his wife and his child. But not, it would seem, his wife's mother, who apparently lives in Croatia.

AnyConv.com__Panorama-široki07419.jpgŠiroki Brijeg in Herzegovina, around 35 kilometres across the border from Croatia © Anto (talk)

The Hercegovac's reason for wishing to eject his wife and child for a month was to change up the atmosphere for a time. One presumes he was not being entirely serious with his request.

The Hercegovac is not the first man to seemingly reach the end of his tether while restricted to staying in the family home. In April 2020, after just one month of being housebound, a man from a village near Osijek in Slavonia left his wife in the family home and went to live nearby in a tent.

Speaking anonymously at the time, the man's neighbour told the local SiB.hr news portal the couple have been happily married for 30 years. But, it seems the pressure of being around each other so closely during the lockdown was too much even for their strong union.

The neighbour was happy to report that since his friend pitched his tent in the nearby locale, relations between the man and his wife had actually returned to their usual levels of warmth and friendliness. The wife even came regularly to visit her husband in his tent.

6081683_f79a9255_originaldoggo.jpg© John Waring

"My neighbour has been in his tent for a few days now,” he told the portal back in April. “He puts up a table and chairs in front. Occasionally our other neighbour comes over to drink some rakija (with him). I visited him too.”

The neighbour said his friend had quit the family home due to boredom more than anything else. Even after being happily married for 30 years, being around each other 24 hours a day was apparently just too much.

Perhaps in this more chivalrous response from the Slavonian man, Hercegovac Ante Marinkov could take some inspiration? After all, it's surely easier if one person departs from his family home in order to change the atmosphere than if two are forced to leave. Ante should find a nice spot in the fields nearby – not too close – and simply pitch up a tent. Problem solved! If he's lucky, his wife might come to visit bringing rakija.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Heavy Rain Fills 11 Imotski Lakes To Almost Record Highs

January 20, 2021 – Famous for its Red and Blue lakes, there are in fact 11 Imotski lakes located around the Dalmatian hinterland city. Due to high rainfall, their rising water levels are nearing the highest point in living memory

Inaccessible without advance preparation and experience, visitors to the Red Lake in Imotski can only admire the spectacle from the upper edges. The lake is referred to as 'red' because of the red clay colour of the rock face which surrounds the water below. There's a challenge traditionally tasked to those brought here – see if you can throw a stone from the brim into the water. It's harder than it looks. The walls are steep and wide, the water a good long way below. Except for now. Like the water in all 11 Imotski lakes, the water level is currently at the highest point is has been for as long as anyone can remember. The height of the water in the Red lake alone exceeds 309 meters.

AnyConv.com__RedLakeCroatia.jpgImotski's Red Lake © Tieum512

Heavy rainfall over recent months is the cause for the high and rising water levels in the 11 Imotski Lakes. In December 2020, about 700 litres of rain per square metre was recorded in the area, practically filling all 11 Imotski lakes, as well as the river Vrljika.

High water levels are recorded in Galipovac Lake, Lokvičićko Lake (or Mamić Lake), Prološki lake and the Knezović lake. The water level in the Vrljica River is still high. Along with the picturesque Green Lake, named after the beautiful, icy turquoise green appearance of its water, the 11 Imotski lakes are an appealing topography for hikers, walkers and climbers to explore. Accurate data on the height of the water in Imotski's Blue and Red Lakes was recorded within the past few days.
imotle.jpgPhoto of Lokvičićka jezera, one of the 11 Imotski lakes, taken by Josipa Rimac Vlajčić and a team from the Imotski Mountaineering Society during a mid-January expedition © HPD Imotski Facebook

In the Blue lake – the one closest to Imotski centre and a popular summertime swimming and recreational site - the current water level is at 91.5 metres. It is still rising. Whether the water level will reach the record 102 metres recorded in 2012 will depend on rainfall within the region over coming days. Rains do not necessarily have to fall in Imotski to fill this or some of the other 11 Imotski lakes – they are fed by underground channels which flow from Bosnia.

Reporting on the rising water in Slobodna Dalmacija, local photographer and writer Braco Cosic informed that Imotski-based surveyor Ante Škeva had measured the current water level of Red Lake as a quite considerable 309 metres on Tuesday. If there was ever a time to take on the challenge of hitting its water surface with a stone, it is surely now.

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