Saturday, 1 December 2018

Rijeka Advent Has Officially Started!

December 1, 2018 - Advent in Rijeka: the coolest Yule so far has finally started!

While the Trsat Castle isn't lit up with thousands of sparkling holiday lights just yet, Advent in downtown Rijeka has officially begun and it is Rijeka's most lavish one so far, Croatian RTL reports. You can watch the video here.

And even though Rijeka Advent is still incomparable in size to the spectacular Advent in Zagreb which has been voted the best Christmas market in Europe three years in a row, it seems that the City of Rijeka together with its Tourist Board is indeed going in the right direction with the 2018 Christmastime festivities.

Rijeka Tourist Board marketing director Dominik Damiš said that even more effort has been made to put Rijeka on the list of best Advents in the region. The 2018 festivities are organized in 10 different locations, 4 of which are new, and the most interesting one by far is the underground tunnel that spans about 350 meters under the city of Rijeka. In collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Rijeka, the TunelRi will host puppet theatre shows and workshops for children and families, but also concerts and DJ parties on weekends.

And of course, what everyone is most excited about is tomorrow's opening of Advent on Gradina which is scheduled for 5:00 PM, so if you're nearby, make sure you don't miss the spectacular illumination of the Trsat Castle and Nugent Park.

You can see the opening night highlights from last year in the video below, and for the 2018 program, check the Advent on Gradina official page.

Stay tuned for more related news on Rijeka Advent by following our lifestyle page.

Friday, 30 November 2018

New Croatian Ferry Line from Baška to Lopar to Operate All Year

New ferry lines are always needed, and it's one of the top complaints of Croatia's permanent island inhabitants, as the availability of their connection to the mainland is often governed too much by the tourist season. Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has decided to introduce a new Croatian ferry line which will connect the Municipality of Lopar and Baška, located on the nearby island of Krk.

As Morski writes on the 30th of November, 2018, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has launched a welcome new ferry connection between Baska and Lopar, and the move was announced Primorje-Gorski Kotar County's deputy prefect, Marina Medarić.

Novi List reported that she spoke to the press on the matter and stated that the proposal for confirming the establishment of a year-round ferry connection which will cover the line of Baška-Lopar-Baška, will be one of the points of the County Assembly session this week.

The initiative was initiated by the Krk Harbour County Administration, and so far, the plans are for the connection to run once weekly during the more sparse winter months, twice weekly during the pre-season, and in the very height of the summer season, as many as four times per week.

If the County Assembly approves the proposal, the procedure of a public tender will be launched, where all interested shipping companies who desire to carry out the activity of this line will be able to make their interests known and submit their bids.

Make sure to keep up with our travel and news pages for more information on any other new Croatian ferry line, as well as for all the goings on from up and down the country, from continent to coast.


Click here for the original article by Tihana Tomicic for Novi List

Friday, 30 November 2018

Rijeka Advent: Ready for Cool Yule?

With the most wonderful time of the year just around the corner, Rijeka is full-on getting into the Christmas spirit. Everything is ready for the 2018 Rijeka Advent festivities, reports Rijeka Tourist Board on November 30, 2018.

As Christmas draws near, we are delighted to announce the opening of Rijeka Advent which is to take place tomorrow, December 1, 2018. Advent in Rijeka traditionally begins with lighting the first Advent candle on the Ivan Kobler Square followed by the ceremonial illumination of the city's holiday lights which are guaranteed to give Rijeka an instant festive makeover. This year, we will see an upgrade of Rijeka's holiday decor with brand new 7,458-meter long string lights and lighting decorations in 20 different designs.

Since last year's edition, Rijeka Advent has also grown in size. The 2018 event features new locations like TunelRi, the city's first underground tunnel that was built beneath downtown Rijeka in 1942, and served as an air raid shelter during WW2. Because of its special vibe, this 350-meters long tunnel is expected to be one of the most frequented attractions of this year's Rijeka Advent. It will be hosting various events like food fairs and wine exhibitions, but also theater shows for children, and for grownups, there'll be music events and parties on weekend nights.

Another novelty is the month-long Rijeka Gastro Advent which will be held at the Rijeka Resolution Square. Make sure you do regular rounds of this market because Gastro Advent is expected to offer various street food extravaganzas as well as traditional homemade specialties, artisan products, mulled wine, craft beer, etc.

And although there will be stands and stalls popping up everywhere, the city's largest Christmas market remains the one located downtown – whether you’re looking for decorations, handmade arts and crafts, or that perfect last-minute gift, you'll probably find it in one of the wooden chalets lined all along Rijeka's main pedestrian street Korzo. Also, another Christmas Art Bazaar has been announced, and with more than 30 independent designers and artists taking part, you're bound to pick up some really unique gifts you won't find in department stores.

The magical Trsat Castle will host Advent on Gradina which had its premiere last year, and in 2018 it boasts an even better program, while its biggest surprise is definitely the beautiful outdoor ice rink nestled in the heart of Nugent Park that overlooks the Kvarner Bay.

To find out more, check out the entire program here; there's definitely something for everyone! So just put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and come immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Rijeka Advent...

For more related news, make sure you follow our dedicated lifestyle page.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Civic Engagement in Rijeka: "Kvart za 5"

November 28, 2018 - Could civic engagement success stories spark hope for a better tomorrow? Get to know one such story about the 'Kvart za 5' initiative.

With Croatia being awash in a sea of incompetent and corrupt politicians at every level of government, including local self-governing bodies, and with most Croatians being oblivious of how we are systematically being deprived of real democracy, it is a really nice surprise to see a group of young people (none of whom have ever been part of a political party!) organized in a civic initiative with the idea of being the change they want to see in their local community.

And that is what 'Kvart za 5' initiative is all about. These five fellow lady citizens of Rijeka met through volunteering in their local community and are engaged in projects of public importance. They are united by the same goal and vision: to make their city a cleaner, more safe, and pleasant place to live in. And what better place to start than their own neighborhood?

kvart za 5

For years before the 'Kvart za 5' initiative was launched, Sandra Ivić (lawyer), Nina Majcan Šprajc (film location manager), Sandra Grozdanov (preschool teacher), Barbara Miletić (entrepreneur) and Palma Karković Takalić (archaeologist) were individually trying to work towards improving the quality of life in their local community. It all started by repeatedly contacting officials of the Školjić - Rijeka Old Town area committee about the problems they've been encountering in their neighborhood: environmental nuisance and the ever-increasing number of offenses against public peace and order during any time of day or night, casual littering and poor hygiene of public spaces, urination and unattended dog fouling, poor pest control, etc.

Their neighborhood was also lacking green spaces, while the few parks and recreation facilities were poorly maintained and in desperate need of makeovers. On top of that, the ladies demanded complete reconstruction of the Ivan Klobučarić Square – what was once a beautiful park and Nikola Tesla Elementary School playground is now a vast concrete floor that's been for years a constant reminder of a disgraceful waste of city's money and the failed Rijeka City Library project.

46847010 737409089968512 5921080474481983488 o

Driven by the same desire to turn Školjić - Rijeka Old Town into a "five-star hood," the forenamed residents decided to take matters into their own hands: they've teamed up, joined forces and in December 2017 'Kvart za 5' was born. Since then, they've managed to get funds from the Rijeka Local Partnership Program and used the granted 40.000 kuna to revitalize the Školjić park with children's playground equipment, plus they invited their neighbors to help them repaint the park benches. And that's just the beginning of the 'Kvart za 5' story.

Ladies of 'Kvart za 5' have no intention of running for any kind of political office. Besides, the last thing this country needs is more politicians. What we do need, especially on a local level, is more good neighbors and active community members like the women standing behind the 'Kvart za 5' initiative.

And while the rest of us can only look up to these five ladies – or maybe even try to actively participate in our own local communities to address health, environment, safety, and other needs – their neighbors are invited to show support by voting for them at the Rijeka 2018 local committee elections which are to take place Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 at the Nikola Tesla Elementary School.

Stay tuned for more related news by following our dedicated page here.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Smile! Here Comes Rijeka's Favorite Humanitarian Event

November 22, 2018 - Ready to give the gift of your smile for the smile of others?

Smiješak! is an all-day humanitarian event that is held annually every December at the Cukarikafe Bar in Rijeka, and offers all people of good will a chance to be photographed together with their family, friends, and pets in exchange for a symbolic donation, each year for a different cause.

Ever since it first took place in 2010, Smiješak! has been repeatedly supported by countless citizens of Rijeka and its surrounding area, as well as a number of other intentional and accidental visitors.

Smijesak 2016 Rijeka

So who are the people behind the project?

The Smiješak! team includes a number of incredibly enthusiastic volunteers and talented professional photographers. More precisely, they currently count 12 photographers and 4 "print Fräuleins," as the rest of the team endearingly calls them, so in total, that's 16 active members. Sometimes that number changes a little, depending on who is available for participation.

At the 2018 edition of Smiješak! you will be greeted by: Dalibora Bijelić, Vladimir Mudrovčić, Viktor Pravdica, Karlo Čargonja, Ivan Vranjić, Aleksandra Đorđić, Ivana Kutni Mihić, Damir Plavotić, Davor Pavlović, Mateo Udovičić, Tomislav Rašetina, Tanja Kanazir, Martina Perković, Sanda Hunjak, Mateo Antić, Jana Rajnović, and Nataša Slavić.

Smijesak 2015 Rijeka

 Year after year, these guys are so invested and driven by the desire to help others and raise not only money but also awareness for different charitable causes, inspiring everyone around them with their amazing positivity. Investing wholeheartedly their time, skills, and energy, so far they have managed to raise quite a significant amount of funds for the Ivana Brlić Mažuranić children's home and various other non-profit organizations like Rijeka 21 Down's Syndrome Association, Šarolija, Koga Briga, Lovran's Lunjo & Maza and Rijeka's Animal Protection Association, and Kitten Safe House, among others.

With the 8th edition of Smiješak! coming up, we'd like to remind everyone not to miss this year's event. Photos are usually developed and printed on the spot, though additional copies can be ordered post-event, and all you have to do is arm yourself with a smile and come make memories with the Smiješak! crew in downtown Rijeka.

More details are yet to be announced so to keep informed about all the upcoming events, you can follow Smiješak! on Facebook and Instagram, where you can also check out photo galleries from past years.

And make sure you stay tuned for more heart-warming stories like this by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Kvarner Gourmet: Opatija's Thirteenth Chocolate Festival

November 22, 2018 - Only 15 days until Opatija's 13th Chocolate Festival! Fancy some Kvarner gourmet? Chocolate lovers rejoice! We are delighted to announce that the three-day annual chocolate festival held in Opatija, the Croatian capital of chocolate, will traditionally take place the first weekend of December, starting on Friday 7th at 2:00 PM.
For the 13th year in a row, the sweetest Croatian festival offers its visitors a chance to taste and discover the amazing flavors of both domestic and international chocolates, as the festival-goers get to indulge not only in sweets and desserts but also in a number of other chocolate-flavored gourmet dishes, liqueurs, cocktails, hot toddies... And of course, don't forget the vino! Here is a good rule of thumb: try pairing white chocolate with a sweet bubbly, whereas more full-bodied red wines with go hand in hand with richer, darker chocolates.
Opatija choco fest
Once you're done stuffing your face with all things chocolate – there's plenty more to do! Opatija's favorite festival features workshops and live concerts at the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, chocolate expo and fair at the Gervais Center, Choco & Coffee day at the market, etc. This year's festival includes even a number of different activities for the youngest visitors such as The Nutcracker gingerbread workshop, Santa Claus Post Office, cake pop workshop, and many others.
During the Chocolate Magic fair at the Gervais hall, festival guests will be able to taste different sweet creations made by over 20 chocolatiers and pastry chefs, and on that same location, an exhibition on the history of chocolate will be held. In addition, there will also be an educational corner for children.
While counting down the days to getting your hands on some Kvarner gourmet and heading to Opatija's thirteenth chocolate festival, you can check out the full program here.
And to stay up to date with more information like this, make sure you follow our dedicated gourmet page.
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Draga di Lovrana: The Haunting of Hill Hotel at Foothills of Učka

The renowned Draga di Lovrana is located at the foothills of the Učka mountain range, just above the eponymous municipality of Lovran. Built on the edge of a cliff, it overlooks the entire Bay of Kvarner, and the view is nothing less than spectacular. To get to the hotel, you have to drive up the serpentine road to an elevation of about 380 meters – for those who don't speak metric, that's a little over 1200 feet – but Draga di Lovrana is indeed "worth every curve," as their motto says.

Draga di Lovrana 1908

With an eerie history of mysterious accidents, lightning strikes, fires, and other unfortunate events, the hotel had become notorious for its macabre past and tragedies that have haunted its halls for over a century. In fact, the locals often say that the entire estate is haunted, and that ever since it was built in 1908 by a Viennese entrepreneur Anton Urm, and then intentionally burned to the ground in 1923, it's been as if the house itself had been choosing its new occupants while the ghosts of old ones still roamed around, keeping company with the living.

So is it really haunted? – I asked Dragan, the charming hotel manager, jokingly stating it was only logical that the house named Draga would choose to be managed by someone bearing the same name. And he does take good care of the classic-looking beauty, together with the rest of the personnel, because Draga di Lovrana is in mint condition. It has a special kind of energy, Dragan said to answer my question, and I immediately agreed – its aura is almost tangible.

Draga terrace foto Damir Fabijanic

And even if numerous stories about Draga had some truth to them, it seems the bad luck had turned around in 1978, when the Nikolac family bought the place, with the intention of restoring it to its original splendor. In 2005, the hotel underwent a complete renovation, retaining its historical design.

Tuna sous vide 2

Over the following years, the owners' vision and hard work have transformed Draga di Lovrana into what it is today – a successful boutique hotel whose restaurant received the Michelin Plate designation in this year’s guide; the newest hallmark of fine dining quality.

 Chef Deni Srdoc Sanja Nikolac

Under the creative guidance of chef Deni Srdoč – Gault & Millau Young Talent of the Year 2018 – the restaurant offers mostly seasonal food, combining gourmet cuisine with traditional flavors, using only top quality, hand-selected local produce, while all the fish comes from the Nikolac family's fishing business.

Kvarnerski ceviche

Apart from the amazing lodging options and an outstanding cuisine, with such a romantic setting suitable for the most intimate celebrations, Draga di Lovrana is also known for organizing weddings and various other gala events.

Draga pool view

Today, this magical place seems to be haunted only by good spirits, and it stands there proudly defying time, inviting anyone to visit and experience their own kind of happy ending.

Keep up with our lifestyle page for more.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Croatian Company Paying High Wage Receives Offer to Move to Ireland

One Croatian company which pays its employees wages of over 1,000 euros per month has had an offer to move its business operations to Ireland. The company currently employs 100 people in Croatia and 50 people from outside Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of November, 2018, the managing director of the Rijeka-based Alarm automatika company, Boris Popović, warned about the problems of entrepreneurs with employment and the retention of experts in domestic companies from the ICT sector in Osijek last week.

He said that in his Croatian company, which employs engineering teams, he always fears the departure of experts who are getting more profitable business deals. However, as Glas Slavonije reports, tempting offers are not only received by employees, but also by entrepreneurs.

Alarm automatika deals with delivery solutions in multiple segments of technical protection, ie security systems. The company buys hardware from across the world, but develops its software, creates its own brands and eventually puts it all together into a unique solution offered to customers across multiple markets. Approximately one third of the total revenue is realised by the company's export of its products, and the plan, according to Popović, is for export revenue to reach half of the company's entire revenue by 2020.

Popovic spoke in depth on the topic of how the Croatian state can assist exporters in Osijek, including examples from some countries such as Canada, which funds research and development salaries in strategic industries. He also mentioned the fact that both China and South Korea have measures in place to reward their exporters.

"The interests of the state and society are for entrepreneurs to open up new jobs and invest more in development. The state should therefore encourage those who invest and open new jobs. How can it do that? It can do so by covering part of the costs incurred in research and development, and also with tax breaks on that work. We've seen that with the example of Romania, which has deemed their ICT industry a strategic industry, and has reduced the costs to all employees in that sector to as little possible. 300,000 foreign companies are now active in Romania. This country has become the largest centre for the development of the ICT industry and now the average salary in that sector in Romania is two thousand euros,'' Popović pointed out.

''We now have one hundred employees in Croatia, and 50 more outside of Croatia. On average, their salaries are over a thousand euros, of course, depending on the segment in which they work. It would be good if the taxes on these salaries were 20 to 30 percent lower, and that our employees' salaries were higher by that same amount. We're always in fear that the most important people will leave us, as they constantly receive offers from other companies. And not just those, but our company gets offers. We were the guest of the Irish development agency who suggested we move the entire company over to Ireland. For now, we're not going to do it, but if we end up in a situation where we're without people (staff), then what else can we do other than go there with them,'' admitted Popović.

In Croatia, this Croatian company has offices in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, and outside of Croatia it operates in all the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as well as in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.

According to Popović, the best operating conditions are in Slovenia, followed by Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. In Croatia, the highest taxes are paid on employee salaries.

Want to keep up with more news about the domestic economic climate and doing business in Croatia? Make sure to stay up to date with our business page.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Fines Await Irresponsible Pet Owners in Kastav

Fines await those who fail to pick up their animals' faeces, those who let their animals wander and/or breed without control or supervision, and those keep their dogs on chains or outdoors.

Page 4 of 6