Saturday, 22 January 2022

From Vials to Valium, Rijeka's JGL Pharmacy Museum Is a Delight

January 23, 2022 - Visiting the JGL Pharmacy Museum in Rijeka, a modern cabinet of curiosities where vintage tablet-making machines meet the latest technology and elegant design

Tucked away in the Old town in Rijeka is one of the city’s most unique collections to discover. Explore the hissstory of pharmacy, says the snake on the wall, nudging us towards the entrance. Fear not - the snake is here as a symbol of health, rejuvenation and medicine, the mascot of the JGL Pharmacy Museum.

The specialised museum presents the history of pharmacy in a global context with a focus on Croatia and Rijeka in particular. Opened in October 2020, it was founded by the Croatian pharmaceutical company Jadran-Galenski laboratorij d.d. (hence the JGL in the name), whose vision is for the museum to become a reference institution in research of pharmacy history and a tourist attraction in Rijeka.

Based on what we’ve seen, it’s definitely an attraction. Albeit small, the permanent exhibit is a modern cabinet of curiosities where vintage tablet-making machines and hundreds of tiny vials and test tubes meet the latest technology and elegant design.

A wonderful garden of health (hortus sanitatis) featuring medicinal and other herbs covers the wall and guides you to the entrance: 

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Inside, a sleek glass timeline snakes through the exhibition space and comes to life through AR, with distinguished individuals from the history of pharmacy telling their stories and teaching us a few interesting facts along the way.

You’d be perfectly fine just checking out the exhibits as the display is engaging enough as it is, but the AR points significantly add to the experience as they expand on the info presented on the panels, making the historical personalities more entertaining and lifelike - this will likely be a deciding factor if you’re visiting with kids. The AR guide is available in Croatian and English - pick up your tablet when purchasing tickets at the entrance.

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Here are a few things we learned to spark your curiosity:

  • The inventor of diazepam was born in Opatija, Croatia! Chemist Leo Henryk Sternbach invented the medicine first marketed as Valium in the early 1960s, after he’d moved to the US where he worked for Hoffmann-La Roche. By the end of the 60s, Valium became the top-selling medicine in the US. Sternbach soon retired but didn’t rest on his laurels, instead going on to work at the lab and mentor students for another 30 years.
  • The Dalmatian town of Trogir was home to the oldest pharmacy in Croatia; the establishment was specifically mentioned as a pharmacy in historical records as early as 1271!
  • The first monastic pharmacy soon followed: the Friars Minor pharmacy in the Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik was founded in 1317. The Croatian Ministry of Culture placed the Dubrovnik pharmacy on the list of intangible cultural heritage in 2019.

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  • Another nod to Dubrovnik as the first place in the world to introduce mandatory quarantine. In 1377, the Great Council of Dubrovnik passed a legislation that had all arrivals from areas ravaged by plague spend 30 days on Mrkan island before entering the city. (In comparison, today's isolation guidelines don't seem that harsh anymore.)
  • Among the Nobel prize winners for chemistry are two Croats - a mentor and his protégé, Lavoslav Ružička and Vladimir Prelog. They were both involved in medicine development and won the Nobel prize in 1939 and 1975 respectively.


Hidden behind the timeline is the central exhibit, an impeccably recreated front-end space of a historic pharmacy (oficina) dating to the early 20th century.

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Front-end spaces were intended for the reception of patients, as well as preparation and dispensing of medicine. The one displayed here was in operation until 2019 in the pharmacy ‘Kolodvor’ near the railway station in Rijeka and comes complete with a pharmaceutical balance and a vintage cash register.

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The exhibition gives us insight into local history as well, featuring two pharmaceutical companies from Rijeka, ‘Alga’ and ‘Ljekarna Jadran’. A pioneer not only in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics but in advertising as well, Alga was a marketing powerhouse and a household name in the interwar period. Their first product, named ‘Alga za masažu’ (massage algae), was made of natural extracts of native plants and was said to heal every malady from a toothache to influenza.

The ad below urges retailers to buy Alga in bulk and guarantees they’ll sell every single unit, or else they can return the unsold stock to the manufacturer:

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A section of the permanent exhibit is dedicated to medicinal herbs, including a modern twist on a herbarium and many cabinets and drawers to peek into:

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The entire display is superbly designed and allows the visitor to decide how much time and attention they want to dedicate to each exhibit; it doesn’t overwhelm with historical facts or scientific data, instead presenting information in an engaging and interactive way.

Indulge your obsession with historical curiosities and vintage bric-a-brac (just me?) and leave with a renewed appreciation for science. Overall, an excellent place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

 

Learn more about the JGL Pharmacy Museum on their website, and discover other attractions worth visiting in Rijeka in our guide here.

 

Friday, 21 January 2022

Rijeka-Belgrade Flight to Connect Krk with Several International Destinations

January 21, 2022 - The return of the Rijeka-Belgrade flight is already great news, but also because it allows travelers to connect to numerous destinations around the world. 

After the announced return of Ryanair and Condor, another very important airline that operated to Rijeka in the pre-pandemic period - Air Serbia - is returning to Rijeka Airport, reports Novi List.

After cutting the direct line to Belgrade in 2020 after the pandemic, Air Serbia returns to Krk with the Rijeka-Belgrade direct flight. The first flight is expected on June 15, and flights will run until September 17, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Tickets went on sale in the middle of the week, and the price of a one-way ticket is currently only 374 kuna, while the return ticket is 676 kuna. The flight lasts an hour and 20 minutes, and ATR72 aircraft will operate on this route.

Air Serbia launched flights to Rijeka in June 2019. The last flights ran in December of that year, after which they were suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. In that year, the direct line between Rijeka and Belgrade was established after thirty years, with the proviso being year-round, so even in winter, it was possible to fly to Belgrade. After the line was canceled due to the pandemic, there was talk that it would be permanently abolished, but, fortunately, those announcements proved wrong.

"Air Serbia offers good connections from Rijeka, via Belgrade, to Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Dusseldorf, Milan, New York, Oslo, Paris, Podgorica, Rome, Stockholm, and Tivat, as well as to Rijeka, via Belgrade, from Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels, Zurich, Frankfurt, Milan, Podgorica, Rome, Stuttgart, and Tivat," according to the Serbian national airline.

"We are happy to significantly improve and diversify our network by carefully selecting new destinations, following the wishes of passengers and strategic plans for future expansion," said Boško Rupić, sales manager at Air Serbia.

Commenting on the introduction of the new line, Irena Peršić Živadinov, director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, reminded of the importance of this market for the region and pointed out that the significance of this line is that the Serbian partner has several connecting flights. 

"It is an important market for us anyway. Guests from Serbia traditionally love Kvarner and are excellent consumers. They spend when they visit, considering that the upper class visits us. Moreover, they often come for extended weekends, so in that sense, the air connection from Belgrade to Rijeka will undoubtedly make their arrival easier. Another key feature of this line is that it has a lot of connecting flights, either with Europe or with further destinations such as New York or Moscow.

Therefore, this line is important to us not only for connecting with the Serbian market but also for easier access from several other markets. So we had the Belgrade-Rijeka flight set on the days of the week when the connecting flights were in Belgrade.

We have many additional airline connections with several countries," said Peršić Živadinov, adding that partners in Air Serbia are optimistic about the new route, especially since, for example, the route from Belgrade to Pula last year proved extremely popular.

Serbian tourists were loyal to Kvarner during the pandemic. According to the Kvarner Tourist Board, there were even more overnights by Serbian tourists in Kvarner in commercial accommodation last year than in the pre-pandemic 2019. Specifically, in 2019, about 21,000 guests from Serbia arrived in Kvarner, who spent about 111,000 nights, while last year, about 20,000 Serbian tourists arrived, who spent about 114,000 nights. If those in non-commercial accommodation, i.e., in cottages, are taken into account, overnight stays are doubled. In 2019, 206 thousand overnight stays were realized in commercial and non-commercial accommodation, and last year 190 thousand overnight stays.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Getting Around Rijeka by Bus Just Became Easier With Google Transit Now Available in Maps

January 15, 2022 - The transit feature in Google Maps allows users to view public transportation options and keep track of departure times and stops

IT company Exevio from Rijeka helped implement the Google Transit feature in their city after a year of collaboration with Google, announced the bus company Autotrolej.

Autotrolej allowed Google access to their unified database of routes, timetables and other relevant data. After a successful collaboration of the local bus company with the tech giant, getting around Rijeka by bus will be easier than ever for locals and tourists alike.

Google Transit is a service within Google Maps that allows users to view public transportation options including detailed information about the route; it lists the next few departure times and all the stops between the starting point and the end destination. In Rijeka, for example, the user is guided to the nearest bus stop; once they board the bus, they can track the route along the way and are alerted to the destination stop.

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Why enthusiastically report on a feature that’s technically a navigation standard these days? This isn’t exactly groundbreaking technology in this day and age; the Transit feature has been available in Zagreb since 2014, and is also available in Google Maps for Osijek and Pula.

However, it’s something that Rijeka has been sorely lacking until now. With the local bus network being the only available mode of public transportation in Rijeka, the way information is presented leaves a lot to be desired.

Even though the Autotrolej website provides detailed information regarding bus lines, routes and departure times, one would need to know their way around the city quite well for the said information to make sense.

It’s unlikely that first-time visitors to the city would be able to smoothly navigate the bus network based on Autotrolej maps and timetables alone, and Google Transit will certainly help tourists get around town by bus more easily. A small but important step in making the public infrastructure in Rijeka more tourist-friendly.

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Locals are sure to embrace the new navigation service as well - this particular local is happy to attest to this. While we do have a solid grasp of all the bus routes in town, departure times and schedules have always been somewhat of an enigma.

Until now, the timetables only specified departure times for the first stop of any given line, and some of the lines operate on considerably long routes. Knowing when a bus is departing from the other side of town doesn’t mean much, especially during rush hour or in busy downtown traffic. Add to that the frequent schedule changes that are easy to overlook, and you end up missing a bus by a few minutes and having to wait for another 20 minutes quite often. 

Unlike the lucky folk in Zagreb where tram stops are equipped with digital displays showing when the next trams are about to arrive, so far in Rijeka we could only resort to waiting around and hoping that a bus will eventually show up. Not anymore!

Thanks to Google Transit, departure times are now listed for every bus stop in town, and even though the information might not be 100% accurate as of yet, it’s definitely a massive help when getting around town by bus.

I put Transit to the test a few days ago to see how reliable and accurate the schedule is in Rijeka. I changed location a few times and used them as starting points, and picked a few random addresses as the end destinations just to get route suggestions and a list of estimated times of arrival. 

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In this example, bus no.2 was supposed to show up exactly at 12:00pm at this stop. It ended up arriving a minute early, not too bad!

The other two showed up exactly on the specified time of arrival. It’s a relief to have a bit more certainty when it comes to public transportation - it looks like the dark ages are finally behind us indeed.

While the schedules are currently based on fixed Autotrolej timetables, Google Transit in Rijeka should soon provide public transportation updates in real time as well.

 

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Rijeka Carnival Rescheduled for Summer 2022

January 13th, 2021 - Rijeka’s biggest annual event was rescheduled for the summer due to epidemiological measures currently in effect

The city of Rijeka was just about to enter the so-called fifth season of the year - the carnival. St. Anthony’s Day on January 17th kicks off the festive season of carnival parades, costumed parties and related traditional customs such as the burning of the Pust effigy.

However, preparations came to a halt earlier today when the City of Rijeka announced that the two central events won’t be taking place in February as they usually do.

The International Carnival parade and the Children’s Carnival Parade were postponed until early summer 2022, as confirmed by Rijeka City Mayor Marko Filipović.

‘Unfortunately, due to the new strong wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to adhere to strict epidemiological measures, the Rijeka Carnival cannot take place in its full scope at present, which is why the central carnival events won’t take place at the time they usually do’, said Filipović.

The two parades won’t be cancelled in full this year, but have instead been rescheduled for early summer, a season in which a better epidemiological situation is expected.

‘The International Carnival Parade and the Children’s Parade are postponed until the beginning of the summer and I hope that the pandemic won’t mess with our plans again at that time. The same goes for the Charity Masked Ball, which was also rescheduled for the summer’, said Filipović.

He went on to add that some of the carnival events haven’t been rescheduled, such as the traditional ceremony that kicks off the carnival season in Rijeka: on Monday, the key to the city will be handed over to the Carnival Master.

Petar Škarpa, the director of the Rijeka Tourist Board, also commented on the City’s decision to reschedule the two grand parades.

‘Even though we all eagerly anticipate the carnival season, we’re aware that the present time is particularly challenging, that we have to be responsible and carefully consider the dangers that holding the Rijeka Carnival at this moment could cause. The epidemiological situation is dire all over the country and as long as that’s the case, the Rijeka Carnival cannot take place in the form that we’re used to. The carnival is a festival of costumes, joy, fun and gathering, and this is exactly what we need to give up temporarily, keeping in mind the health of our citizens and guests, as we hope to return to normal as quickly as possible’, said Škarpa.

The Tourist Board director also said that despite all their efforts to come up with an acceptable alternative way of holding the popular parades within the restrictions of the current epidemiological measures, it became clear that any alternative would mean forsaking the essence of the carnival - a day when people don masks to forget all their troubles and enjoy the festivities in absolute freedom.

‘We hope and believe that things will improve by summer and that we’ll be able to focus on sweeter kinds of worries, e.g. what costume to put on when it’s 25°C outside. Let’s use the months ahead to be even more creative and come up with new ideas that will further improve the quality of Rijeka’s best known tourism product’, said Škarpa.

He added that the Rijeka Carnival is proud to host carnival groups and interested visitors from all over the world each year, and expressed his hope that the new carnival dates will be seen as an opportunity by those who have always wanted to see Rijeka, but perhaps had no chance to visit the city thus far.

Small-scale events are moving forward according to schedule, such as the Carnival Days of Laughter, a programme of 4 attractive comedies to be performed at the HKD Sušak.

 

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Stormy Winds on the Croatian Coast Tore Down Trees and Electrical Cables

January 12, 2022 - In the past two days, stormy winds on the Croatian coast on Tuesday tore down trees and electrical cables, raised the roofs of houses and overturned vehicles, and some citizens were without electricity for several hours.

HRT News reports that yesterday the County Center 112 Rijeka received several reports of disasters caused by stormy winds in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, according to the website of the Directorate of Civil Protection.

In the area of ​​the municipality of Čavle, several telephone poles were broken and a tree fell on the road. In Crikvenica, in King Tomislav Street, the wind blew away part of the tin roof of the family house. A telephone pole in Selce was broken, a tree in the yard of a family house was knocked down in Dramalj, and a truck overturned on a local road in the Kraljevica area. An electric cable fell on the family house in Križišće.

In the area of ​​Rijeka, the tree fell on a personal vehicle in Braće Stipčić Street and in the Orehovica area, and in a warehouse in the port, the wind blew away part of the tin roof. Due to broken poles on the transmission network of Tribalj, Drivenik, and Grižane in Vinodol municipality 1000 users were without electricity from 12:22 pm to 14:26 pm, and in Bribir in Vinodol municipality 200 users from 13:15 pm to 15:14 pm.

In Split-Dalmatia County, the County Center 112 Split received about 20 reports during the day about fallen trees, broken branches, traffic signs, and various objects that fell on the road and obstructed traffic. According to the reports, the competent services were informed. There were no reports of major damage.

In Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the "Dr. Franjo Tuđman" bridge was closed to all traffic due to strong winds from January 10 at 4:50 pm to January 11 at 11:00 am. It was closed again at 3:50 pm, the Civil Protection Directorate reported.

For more about the weather in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

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

Monday, 10 January 2022

Rijeka Airport Bounces Back With Passenger Traffic Doubled in 2021

January 10th, 2022 - Almost twice as many passengers traveled through Rijeka Airport in 2021 than in the previous year, with the upward trend expected to continue due to new summer lines announced for 2022

Rijeka Airport recorded 56,388 passengers in 2021. It’s an increase of almost 29,000 passengers compared to the airport traffic in 2020, reports Croatian Aviation.

Unsurprisingly, the largest number of passengers was recorded in summer months. Rijeka Airport saw over 15,000 passengers in July 2021, around 20,000 passengers in August and some 13,000 in September.

In contrast, there was very little off-season air traffic on Krk island. At present, Rijeka Airport only has two flights on its winter schedule, those of a local carrier operating from Rijeka to Osijek and Rijeka-Split-Dubrovnik. 

On the upside, international airlines have lately been announcing plans to boost their existing summer lines from Rijeka and introduce new routes, so we can expect a further increase in traffic this year. It might be a while before the airport bounces back to its pre-pandemic levels; in 2019, over 200,000 passengers traveled through Rijeka Airport. 

Low-cost carrier Ryanair will operate from Rijeka to London, Brussels and Stockholm twice a week starting from March 27th, 2022.

German airlines Condor and Lufthansa have announced summer lines between Rijeka and Frankfurt, once and twice a week respectively. Lufthansa and Croatian Airlines will also operate from Rijeka to Munich.

In 2021, eight Croatian airports recorded a total of 4,771,520 passengers combined. It’s a significant increase compared to a little over 2 million passengers in 2020; in the record 2019, Croatian airports saw a total of 11,376,915 passengers.

 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Croatia’s First High School for Classical Ballet to Open in Rijeka?

January 10th, 2022 - The City of Rijeka announced plans to open a high school for classical ballet, the first of its kind in Croatia. The City is also planning to introduce an elementary school programme in English in one of the schools in Rijeka

The City of Rijeka and Vežica Elementary School sent a letter of intent to the Ministry of Science and Education in which they expressed interest in establishing a new high school for dance in Rijeka.

Vežica Elementary School Principal Violeta Nikolić said there had been a need for a school of this kind for a long time now. Such an educational institution in Rijeka would be the first of its kind in Croatia, reports Novi list.

‘This year, the Elementary School for Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance [in Rijeka] marks its 15th anniversary. In those 15 years, around twenty of our pupils had to continue their education in Zagreb or abroad. Namely, students are leaving for Ljubljana, Milan and Budapest. There is interest in higher education, and if Rijeka had its own school, there would certainly be even more interest. The idea is to open a four-year vocational school after which our students could find employment right away. The school would have two departments, for contemporary dance and classical ballet. It would be the first such school in Croatia’, explained Nikolić.

The principal believes that the new school would certainly attract students, not only from Primorje-Gorski kotar county, but from other parts of Croatia as well. Asked about the personnel that would work in the future school, she said this definitely wouldn’t be an issue as they already have staff that are experts in the field of dance. ‘A high school would only be an extension of what we’ve already been doing for 15 years’, said Nikolić.

The City is on board with the plan, according to Rijeka Deputy Mayor Sandra Krpan, who said the City would find a location for the future school. It wouldn’t be implemented in Vežica Elementary School, but would be an autonomous institution located in the city centre.

‘We embraced the idea of establishing a dance school right away. We’re also planning an expansion of Elementary School Vežica to fit the needs of the Elementary School for Ballet’, said Krpan, adding that the funds for the school expansion have already been set aside in this year’s city budget.

That’s not the only new school the City of Rijeka has in the works, as there are plans to open a new elementary school that would offer a programme in English. Krpan explained that establishment of a new educational institution wouldn’t be necessary in this case, as the new programme would be implemented in one of the existing schools in Rijeka.

‘Rijeka is developing, international companies are increasingly present and we believe that there’s a need for an elementary school programme in the English language. We would introduce it from the first grade of elementary school. We believe that personnel won’t be a problem’, said Krpan, adding that they haven’t yet decided which school would offer the new programme and that it might be implemented in multiple schools.

 

 

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Lufthansa Rijeka-Frankfurt Flights Boosted for 2022 Summer

January 8, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Lufthansa Rijeka-Frankfurt flights are boosted for the 2022 summer season. 

Star Alliance member and German airline Lufthansa will increase the number of weekly rotations between Frankfurt and Rijeka in the upcoming summer flight schedule, reports Croatian Aviation.

While Lufthansa has operated a regular flight between Munich and Rijeka for many years, in 2021, Lufthansa also introduced a regular line between Frankfurt and Rijeka, which was also in operation once a week, every Saturday. The company has announced operational changes to this line for the 2022 summer season.

Namely, instead of once per week, Lufthansa will operate twice a week between Frankfurt and Rijeka. The line should begin operations from Saturday, April 9, and the second weekly flight will be introduced from Wednesday, May 25. Flights on Wednesdays will take place in the evening, and on Saturdays in the morning. This will give passengers more flexibility when planning a trip to and from Kvarner, which was practically impossible with one flight a week.

A320 aircraft with a capacity of 168 seats have been announced on the route between Frankfurt and Rijeka for this summer.

Croatian Aviation adds that German Condor too will operate between Frankfurt and Rijeka in the upcoming summer season, once a week, also on Saturdays, between May 21 and September 24. Thus, Rijeka will be connected to this famous European hub by three weekly flights. 

As for Munich and Rijeka, Lufthansa should operate on this route once a week in the summer, and Croatia Airlines is expected to launch three weekly flights on this route. However, we must wait to see how airlines will react to the new tender for joint advertising announced by the Croatian National Tourist Board.

Rijeka Airport is continuously recording positive announcements from airlines for this year, and several strategic partners have yet to announce their increases towards Kvarner.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Ryanair and RegioJet to Kvarner: New Air and Rail Routes Planned for 2022 Tourist Season

January 6, 2022 - The announcement of Ryanair and RegioJet to Kvarner will strengthen connections in the region during the 2022 tourist season.

The pandemic has brought significant changes in the last two years in connecting Kvarner with its most important markets. Last year, after many years, the region was left without Ryanair. On the other hand, in the first pandemic year, a completely new line arrived - the RegioJet railway line from Prague, reports Novi List.

This line proved to be a complete success in the first year, and RegioJet introduced Split into its itinerary last year and changed the route, which included Budapest and Zagreb instead of Ljubljana.

From the end of May to the end of September, they transported a total of 90,000 passengers with an average occupancy rate of more than 90 percent, and compared to 2020; they had 50 percent more passengers.

As things stand, the region expects to strengthen the connection this year, including the return of air traffic.

Ryanair has already announced three routes to Rijeka Airport, and RegioJet, in addition to the current line from the Czech Republic, is also announcing a line from Poland.

Specifically, according to current announcements, Ryanair will fly from Krk to Brussels, London and Stockholm. This low-budget airline, which opened a new base in Zagreb last year, first announced the Brussels-Rijeka route at the end of last year.

There will be flights from Brussels Charleroi Airport from March 27, with the line running twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. The B737-800 aircraft with a capacity of 189 seats will service this route, offering more than 23,000 seats on this line. Recall, Rijeka Airport had a direct line with Brussels before the pandemic, only in the peak summer months.

At the end of last year, Ryanair also released tickets for the Rijeka-London route, as usual, for Stansted Airport. However, this line was also canceled after the pandemic, and the region did not directly connect with Great Britain.

On 62 return flights, Ryanair will offer more than 23,000 seats next summer between Rijeka and London. In addition, Rijeka will be connected to Stansted, an hour's bus ride from central London, starting March 27. Fights will run twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, throughout the summer flight schedule until the end of October.

From March 27 to October 27, the line to Stockholm is also announced twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. Ryanair already flew from Rijeka to Stockholm, but to the secondary airport Skavsta, with this line being interrupted before the pandemic.

Ryanair will now fly to Stockholm's main airport, Arlanda, instead of Skavsta. For now, Condor flights to Düssledorf and Frankfurt, and a Lufthansa line to Frankfurt are also announced.

This year's novelty is that the Czech RegioJet will introduce a new railway line from Poland into its itinerary. Not all the details have been defined, but the recognizable yellow trains will likely run from Krakow.

Namely, RegioJet submitted a draft timetable to the competent Czech railway office, applied in the 2022 summer season. The train will run three times a week, Polish media write.

According to Nakolei.pl, the Railway Office has published a request from RegioJet regarding the launch of a passenger train on the route Kraków Główny - Rijeka / Split - Kraków Główny.

The carrier has expressed readiness to provide a new passenger transport service from June 15 this year to September 26, 2026, with the new service to be provided every year from June to September during the summer school holidays.

This shows that the Czechs are counting on this line in the long run and that they see potential in the Polish market, which this year was extremely important for Croatia and is one of the four strongest markets for Croatia. Namely, Poles achieved an 8% better turnover in Croatia in 2021 than the record 2019.

Therefore, it is clear that RegioJet is counting very seriously on this large Central European market and the desire of Poles to spend their holidays and holidays on the Adriatic.

Preliminary agreements say that RegioJet plans three lines a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from the Rijeka / Split station and three lines a week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from the Krakow Główny station.

However, in case of high demand for tickets, the carrier leaves open the option of trains running daily during the summer, as is the case with the line from Prague, which runs daily through July and August.

According to Polish media, the train will be available in Poland only in international traffic, so the new RegioJet service will not be available for domestic transport.

Although the RegioJet timetable is still under development, it is estimated that the new railway line would depart from Krakow in the afternoon and pass Katowice, Tychy, Rybnik, Wodzisław Slaski, Ostaw, Hranica na Morawie, Przerów, Otrokowice, Brzecław, Vienna, Wiener Neustadt, Graz, Zagreb and Ogulin.

As with the line from Prague, the train would be divided into two, and one part of the wagon would go on to Rijeka and part to Split. The train will consist of 7 to 15 carriages.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

What Do X-Rays, Bullets and The Sound of Music Have in Common?

January 5th, 2022 - On this day in 1896, the discovery of X-rays first made the news. The groundbreaking invention soon had its Croatian debut, and once you start looking into the story, it quickly becomes apparent what a lively place Rijeka was at the time. Join us as we go down a historical rabbit hole, featuring a naval academy, a few visionaries - and Captain von Trapp

On January 5th, 1896 a groundbreaking scientific discovery was presented to the public. The Austrian newspaper Wiener Presse first reported that Wilhelm Röntgen discovered a new type of radiation - X rays.

While the German scientist himself named the radiation ‘X’, to this day it’s referred to as Röntgen rays in many European languages, including Croatian (getting an X-ray translates to taking a Röntgen).

A lesser known fact is that X-rays made their Croatian debut shortly after the first international reports of Röntgen’s discovery.

In the late 19th century, the Royal Naval Academy in Fiume (Rijeka) used to be one of the leading educational and scientific institutions in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Its prestigious reputation attracted a lot of talent from all over the empire, including an Austrian physicist named Peter Salcher.

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Peter Salcher (1890)

Salcher joined the academy as a physics and mechanics professor, and soon became head of the meteorological station. He was a Renaissance man of sorts, a curious mind interested in science at large, as well as scientific photography and photojournalism.

It’s no wonder that the news of Röntgen’s discovery piqued his interest. On February 21st 1896, Salcher held a public lecture in Rijeka at which he demonstrated the usage of X-rays. Naturally, the local high society was eager to attend the thrilling presentation, among them baroness Josephina Mollinary-Vranyczany.

The baroness bravely volunteered as a test subject for the curious invention, and so Salcher took an X-ray of her hands before the excited audience, the first X-ray image created in Croatia. This one:

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X-ray image of baroness Josephina Mollinary-Vranyczany's hands (1896)

Shortly thereafter, the city hospital in Rijeka adopted the invention and began using an X-ray device.

This is not the only thing Salcher’s remembered for, as he was the man behind another groundbreaking scientific experiment that took place in Rijeka. A decade before X-rays were invented, Salcher made history by recording the flight of a bullet shot from a firearm using a special high-speed photography technique.

He devised the experiment after he’d been approached by Ernst Mach, a physicist who was having trouble proving his shockwave theory in practice. Salcher got to work with the help of his associate Sándor Riegler, resulting in 80 shots of supersonic flying bullets. It was the first such achievement in history, and the images can be seen at the permanent exhibit at the Rijeka City Museum.

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An image of a flying bullet taken by Peter Salcher (1886)

At this point, we very well might be playing six degrees of separation. Many prominent figures were part of the scientific community in Rijeka back in the day, including a particular student of professor Salcher who would later gain international fame.

It was Georg von Trapp - yes, that von Trapp, the head of the family whose story inspired The Sound of Music. A member of a noble family of Austrian origin, Georg Ludwig von Trapp was born in Zadar and entered the Naval Academy in Rijeka at the age of fourteen, which led to an illustrious military career as a naval officer.

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Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp

Von Trapp married Agathe Whitehead, granddaughter of Robert Whitehead, the inventor of the modern torpedo and founder of the world’s first torpedo factory. The couple met at the launch of a newly built U-boat in Rijeka where Agathe had the honour of christening the vessel; Georg reportedly fell head over heels for her at the celebratory ball on the same evening. They were married after a two-year courtship - learn more about their love story on the pages of the Georg & Agathe Foundation.

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Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead (circa 1909)

Agathe died of scarlet fever in 1922, and Georg moved into a villa near Salzburg with their seven children. You surely know how the rest of this story goes - he hired Maria Augusta Kutschera as the kids’ tutor, they got married a year later and had three more children together. Since everyone in the family was musically gifted, they soon started performing as a vocal ensemble around the world, eventually moving to the United States.

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The Trapp Family ensemble at a 1941 performance

Maria Augusta wrote a memoir about the musical journey of the von Trapp family. It served as inspiration for several German films, the 1959 Broadway musical, and the 1965 film The Sound of Music.

So many good stories, all connected to each other - it seems Rijeka really was the place to be at the turn of the century, wasn't it? 

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