Thursday, 4 November 2021

Split Beard Auction Returns at New Location with Same Movember Fun

November 4, 2021 - The atypical humanitarian Split Beard Auction is part of the global Movember movement. The highly anticipated event celebrates its jubilee 5th edition this year.

The auction urges men to stop shaving in November and determine the price of their beards or the amount for which they are willing to shave them off. Then, if enough donations are collected for that beard, the person shaves at the Beard Auction on the first Sunday in December, and the collected funds are donated to the Split County League Against Cancer. People can also nominate a "beard" or "mustache" via social media to encourage relatives, colleagues, and friends to donate. In both cases, you can support the auction in an informal and fun way to raise awareness about various forms of cancer, with special emphasis on prostate cancer in men - which in 90% of cases is curable if detected in time!

The auction has so far been accompanied by the immense enthusiasm of locals, and at the last 'Covid' edition in 2020, the auction collected 93,000 kuna, of which fixation material was provided for radiotherapy of prostate cancer patients at the Split Clinical Hospital Center.

This year, the goal is to exceed 100,000 kuna, and the funds raised will be spent on educating the general public about the importance of preventive examinations. Thus far, they have shaved the beards of Alkars, many current and former athletes, singers, actors, politicians, and bikers, and everyone is welcome!

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DJ Matthew Bee will enhance the atmosphere on Sunday, December 4, at Plan B pub, starting at noon and lasting until the evening when the band Little Sisters will perform.

Participants who cannot come to Split in person can shave at an earlier date and film the spectacle for all to see! Post a picture of your face adorned with a beard or mustache on social media, tag @bradata.aukcija, and invite friends and acquaintances to join the auction. The collected amount should be brought to Plan B on December 4 or paid directly to the Split County League Against Cancer, IBAN: HR4824070001100579328 (payment description - za Bradatu Aukciju + name of donation).

The Beard Auction is organized by the Split County League Against Cancer with partners: Ka'brada, Rotary Club Split Plus, PromoPlan, and Kazinoti & Komenda and barbers Leekarija Barbershop, Barbershop Ivan, Stil A and Španić Barber from Vinkovci.

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

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Valdas Dambrauskas Named New Hajduk Split Coach

November 2, 2021 - Valdas Dambrauskas is the new coach of HNK Hajduk Split.

The club today agreed to work with Dambrauskas, who signed a contract until the summer of 2024.

Coach Dambrauskas was born in Pakruojis, Lithuania, on January 7, 1977. He has 14 years of football experience behind him. He started at the Fulham, Manchester United, and Brentford Football Academies. His first senior coaching engagement was in the Kingsbury London Tigers, which he led from 2007 to 2010.

He then worked for the next two years as the coach of the U-17 and U-19 national teams of Lithuania, and in that period, he was also an assistant coach at Lithuanian club Ekranas. In 2014 he took over the independent management of Ekranas. He soon moved to the head coach of Žalgiris, where he remained until 2017, during which time he won three consecutive titles. Before coming to Gorica, he worked as a coach of the Latvian RFS. He arrived in the HNL in February 2020 and stayed until September 2021, when he transferred to the Bulgarian Ludogorets, his last coaching engagement before coming to Hajduk.

With coach Dambrauskas arrive two assistants, 47-year-old Marius Skinderis and 36-year-old Justinas Gasiunas. Skinderis played as a defender in his senior career and played for numerous clubs from 1993 to 2010. In his coaching career, he worked as an assistant with Ekranas and Panevėžys, then as the first coach with Nevežis, and then as an assistant coach of Dambrauskas in RFS and Ludogorets. Justinas Gasiunas will be the new goalkeeper coach in the first-team staff. In his coaching career so far, among other things, he has many years of experience working at the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and Brentford and in the Lithuanian national team. Mislav Karoglan, Šime Veršić, and Antonio Sebežević remain in the staff of the first team as assistants.

"Valdas Dambrauskas is a coach who led very well organized and successful teams, which he upgraded with his coaching knowledge. I am convinced that he will bring us new energy and that with his knowledge and experience, he will contribute to the improvement of quality in all segments of football. It is the profile of the coach who primarily seeks to establish a positive relationship with the whole team, which we consider a fundamental prerequisite for success. He prefers to work with players of a strong character; he believes that working with such a player profile is essential for success and reaching the highest football level. I believe that in addition to all the above, in a relatively short period he will raise the level of quality of our game, the value of players, and thus give a new dimension to the team needed in the fight for trophies," said sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Mayor Says PM Blocking Split’s Development, Ministry Refutes It

ZAGREB, 31 Oct, 2021 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Sunday to "stop blocking the development" of Split, while the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure dismissed such a claim and reminded him of the projects that have been launched.

Speaking of the granting of a concession for the city's Žnjan beach, Puljak told N1 television that Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković had said on a number of occasions that, as far as the ministry was concerned, everything was ready and that it was forwarded to Plenković to put it on the government's agenda.

"I invite Prime Minister Plenković... to finally decide who will get the concession so that the project can really be realised. I hope the concession will go to the Žnjan d.o.o. company, which is a city company, and that we will start realising that project," Puljak said, adding that the realisation was almost six months late.

"I think Plenković should stop blocking the development of the City of Split and that he should move away from cheap politics. He should realise that they lost this election, he should get over it in a way and he really must not hold this city back any longer. I think the problem now is him," Puljak said, referring to Plenković's HDZ party and local elections this past May.

The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said Puljak's claims that Plenković was blocking Split's development by allegedly procrastinating with a decision on the Žnjan concession were "entirely unfounded and incorrect."

The granting of said concession passed regular government procedure and the opinions of the relevant state bodies are now being collected so that a decision on who will get the concession can be made, the ministry said.

It added that the Plenković cabinet was doing everything for Split to develop as much as possible, and mentioned the transport projects that have been launched as well as a HRK 42.6 million reconstruction project in the city port.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

"Vienna" Initiative, HNB Hold Annual Conference on Financial Trends in Split

ZAGREB, 28 Oct 2021 - A two-day conference on economic trends in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe, the consequences of the corona crisis, climate change, and inflation, which was organized by the European Bank Coordination "Vienna" Initiative and the Croatian National Bank (HNB), started in Split on Thursday.

The European Bank Coordination “Vienna” Initiative is a framework for safeguarding the financial stability of emerging Europe. The Initiative was launched at the height of the first wave of the global financial crisis in January 2009.

Opening this annual conference, the HNB Governor and Chairman of the Vienna Initiative Steering Committee, Boris Vujčić, said that the availability of bank lending was currently much better than in 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, during the lockdown of economies there was no need for taking funds, as economic activity was suspended, but the price of the money today is more favorable, the governor said in his opening speech.

Asked whether he feared inflation, Vujčić said that he could now, perhaps, be more afraid of inflation than other citizens, however, inflation was not currently an important issue.

He elaborated that this year's 2.3% inflation rate should not be a rate that caused concern.

It will grow into a bigger problem if such a rate remains present for a long period, he explained.

The governor also admitted that a part of bankruptcy proceedings that had not happened during the pandemic could ensue later and that state grants for job-keeping measures helped to achieve employment even higher than before the corona crisis.

He said that Croatia would get an exact date for the euro changeover next summer.

HNB survey shows that 61% of Croats are for switching to the euro

As for a referendum initiative by a few right-wing parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties against the adoption of the euro in Croatia, Vujčić said that not one country that introduced the euro had experienced a decline in living standards.

He went on to say that opinion polls conducted by the central bank show that 61% of Croatians support the euro, 19% are against it, and the remaining respondents are also in favor of the euro on certain conditions. 

The HNB reports on its website that the participants in the Split conference include Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mark Bowman, the European Investment Bank Vice-President, Lyiana Pavlova, World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia, Anna Bjerde, who will join virtually, as well as central bank Governors of Estonia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

Representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the European Investment Fund will also be participating in the conference together with commercial banks and other financial sector stakeholders.

As the region recovered, the Initiative’s focus shifted to addressing the remaining and new challenges in the financial industry, including the resolution of non-performing loans, the development of local capital markets in emerging Europe, funding innovation, and green transition.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Split Policemen Rescue Tangled Dolphin Near Ciovo (PHOTOS)

October 27, 2021 - Not the everyday mission as Split policemen rescue a tangled dolphin just off the coast of Ciovo. 

The commander of the Split police vessel, Mate Merčep, and his two fellow police officers (Marko Tadić and Jure Katavić) from the Split-Dalmatia Police Department set out to monitor the state border towards Vis on Tuesday morning. However, a sudden call for help diverted them eight kilometers from their route, report Slobodna Dalmacija.

The policemen turned the vessel around and embarked on a new mission - rescuing a two-meter long and 70-kilogram dolphin, which they untangled from a net near Ciovo for about forty minutes.

"The fishers noticed a wounded and helpless dolphin and informed the 112 Center, and they informed us. If we had arrived half an hour later, the dolphin would not have been alive. He was wrapped in ropes that inflicted deep wounds on his body, so he didn't even move from helplessness. That bundle of ropes damaged the back of his fin, and about fifty meters of rope were wrapped around him," they said. 

Marko Tadić went down to the ship's edge and carefully tore those ropes after the three lured the dolphin to the boat.

"The dolphin received us as if he felt we wanted to help him. He was calm the whole time, and I guess he couldn't be any different since he was exhausted. Who knows when the poor thing got entangled in a fishing line? Maybe it was five hours, and maybe it was a couple of days, we don’t know that. While I was slowly cutting the ropes around the dolphin, I was careful not to cut the rope with which my two colleagues held the dolphin," Marko said.

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Split-Dalmatia County Police Department

"The dolphin jerked a little because he thought we had released him, but it didn’t go that fast. A professor from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb helped us with advice and guided us on the phone. He told us that when the dolphin breathes and dives several times, then he can swim away. That's how it was in the end," Katavić and Merčep added.

In March 2019, Merčep was on a similar animal rescue mission, saving a Maltese dog that was drowning in the cold in the Lora area.

"Now he is housed in Kaštela, and I am thrilled that he is safe and warm," said Merčep.

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

Friday, 22 October 2021

Poljud Ticket Sales for Decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup Qualifier Announced

October 22, 2021 - Tickets for the decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup qualifier at Poljud will go on sale on Monday!

The Croatian Football Federation has announced that the online ticket sales for the final 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia will start on Monday at 1 pm.

The Croatia-Russia match is scheduled for Sunday, November 14 at Poljud, starting at 3 pm, and tickets will be sold through the HNS ticket portal at the following prices:

West middle - 200 kuna, West - 150 kuna, East Middle 120 kuna, East - 100 kuna, North / South - 80 kuna.

On the day of the match, tickets will be sold at the following prices:

West middle - 250 kuna, West - 200 kuna, East middle - 150 kuna, East - 120 kuna, North / South - 100 kuna.

The Croatian Football Federation emphasized that all persons coming to the stadium must have an EU digital COVID certificate, i.e., that vaccination certificates or recovery certificates will not be recognized, as well as various test results, but only an EU digital COVID certificate with a valid QR code that will be checked at the entrance.

HNS will also provide rapid antigen testing points, after which everyone who tests negative will receive an EU digital COVID passport necessary to enter the stadium. The price, location, and opening hours of the testing point will be announced at a later date.

Ticket sales include e-tickets that the customer must download and print, and only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase, regardless of residence address, by filling in the required personal information.

Due to special epidemiological measures in the stands, one person can buy up to four (4) tickets. In addition to their data, the customer also enters data on the other ticket holders, where they do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

Tickets will be available at the ticket portal, where you can find detailed information on ticket sales and payment methods.

HNS warns fans that guards will check the accuracy of personal data on the tickets when entering the stadium. Fans who try to enter the stadium with a ticket under another name will be denied entry. Therefore, HNS urges fans not to buy tickets on the "black market" or from scalpers.

The Croatia-Russia match will decide the winner of the Group H World Cup qualifying group, i.e., the team that will secure a direct place in Qatar, while the second-placed team will advance to additional qualifications. Two rounds before the end, Russia leads the group with 19 points and in second is Croatia with 17 points. Before the decisive clash at Poljud, Russia will host Cyprus, while Croatia will host Malta. Both Russia and Croatia are expected to win their penultimate matches. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Building Community, Offering Content at European Freelancer Week in Split

October 21, 2021 - Small events all over the country are building community, as digital nomads discover the magic of Croatia while connecting with new contacts from a similar mindset. 

One of the things I have never understood about living in Croatia is why everything shuts down over winter on the coast. As we learned in this very revealing interview with a UK tour rep based in former Yugoslavia in 1990, Croatia was very much Full of Life before the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism took over. 

And it can be again. 

These are very early days in the digital nomad story for Croatia, but the early signs are very encouraging indeed. Each week seems to bring a new event or announcement, and the community is slowly building. Events are being organised all over the country, and they are proving popular. Having lived full-time through 13 Dalmatian winters, I have some experiece of what life is like with little happening. But with just a bit of effort, communities can come to life in these quieter months - with benefits for tourists and locals alike.

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The recent announcement of the Zadar Digital Nomad Valley project brought over 200 applications in the first 10 days. Meetups in other cities are also attracting interest, and the more of these events that are available, the more attractive it is to come and work and stay through the winter months. 

One great example of this was a lunchtime event in Split yesterday, as Charlie Brown, one of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence earlier this year, together with husband Sam hosted a talk on life on the road and the digital nomad lifestyle with lunch and winetasting at Zinfandel in the centre. 

Lunchtime on Wednesday in mid-October is hardly peak season, but the event was a sellout, with diners from a number of countries: New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, USA, Cananda and Croatia. 

The event, part of European Freelancer Week, was streamed live by Nick Hathaway from Hashtag Content Agency, and you watch thee Browns in action, above. 

As an ice-breaker, guests were asked what was the highest mountain peak they had scaled in their lives. With the highest number somewhere around 3,000 metres, up stepped Croatian legend, Stipe Bozic, with 8,848.46 metres - Bozic was only the second European to scale Mount Everest twice. 

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The Browns are great examples of the type of spending digital nomads who are falling in love with Croatia, spending more time here than they originally envisaged, and telling their own family and friends all about it. 

As as more events are planned, and as the community grows, more will come. 

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The Zinfandel event was organised by Saltwater Nomads, who will be restarting its popular Nomad Table next Friday, a weekly gathering of nomads at Zinfandel.

Meanwhile, in an alternate reality - Gourmet Croatia: 35% Off Popcorn the Only Offer in Kingdom of Accidental Tourism.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

After Dubrovnik's Success, Will North America and Split Airport be Connected?

October 20, 2021 - With the success of Delta and United Airlines in Dubrovnik, are flights between North America and Split Airport next?

In the first ten days of October, 80,000 passengers traveled through Split Airport, almost as before the pandemic. This year it holds the title of the busiest airport in Croatia, but with the winter flight schedule, only eight direct flights will survive. So for now, there are no announcements or direct flights from North America, although this is an excellent wish of tourist workers, but also Croats after the recent announcement of visa-free travel. 

After a successful first season, United Airlines announced flights between New York and Dubrovnik on May 1, 2022. As a result, the American market has become Croatia's strongest non-European market. They reached 55 percent of overnight stays from the time before the pandemic, statistics say.

"For us in Split-Dalmatia County, it is very interesting, and I can say more, given the completion of the Peljesac Bridge, I believe that it will be easier and more accessible for all American tourists to come to other destinations that are not only related to Dubrovnik," Jože Tomaš, President of the Split County Chamber, points out for HRT.

The announcement that Croatians could travel to the US without visas and the desire for more American guests in Split, Hvar, Trogir has again updated the story of direct flights to Split Resnik, this year's busiest Croatian airport.

"I think it is simply time for both the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism to start working on it. Unfortunately, we do not have enough capacity on our own, but we are ready to help and participate in extending the season," said the mayor of Trogir Ante Bilić.

They also want a possible connection with the other side of the Atlantic at the Airport. If there were no pandemic, Split would already be connected to Canada.

"We expect that these facilitations that have occurred around abolishing the visa regime will contribute to the fact that we are next in line to establish such a flight," said the assistant director of Split Airport Pero Bilas.

The Split runway is 600 meters shorter than the Dubrovnik runway, but that is not a problem, said Resnik Airport.

As with other airlines, the problem is the destination itself, which with its facilities generates a desire for flights, and in central Dalmatia, when there is no sun and sea, it isn't easy.

That is why this winter will be just as slow as the previous ones, except during the Christmas holidays. Croats can travel to the United States visa-free, for example, via Venice, which offers very tempting direct flights.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Revamped Ferry Port: Split East Coast Reconstruction Completed by End of 2021

October 20, 2021 - With the tourist season behind us, the Split East Coast reconstruction is currently in full swing. By the end of the year, the ferry port area should boast a completely new look.

"The works are progressing well. The first part of the coast is in the phase of laying stones, the second part of concreting is underway, installations are being carried out, followed by communal equipment. We hope that, if there are no major weather conditions, the works will be completed by the end of the year," said the director of the Port Authority, Vice Mihanović for Dalmacija Danas.

Most of the money comes from EU funds, while a small part will be financed from the state budget.

"The value of the works is 42 million kuna, co-financed from EU funds, and the rest from the state budget. Therefore, the whole East Coast project will not cost a single kuna from the Port Authority, the City, or the County. In my opinion, this is the right direction in which to work - preparation is important, we should constantly work on resolving property-legal relations, on project documentation, to somehow meet all the needs and conditions for applying for European money," says Mihanović.

Nothing was done on the East Coast for a long time. But, every year, as more and more tourists pass through the city of Split, it is time for things to move.

"The coast is being rebuilt after 150 years. It was built during the Austro-Hungarian Empire when the notch of the railway was dug, and the excess material was poured. This time lag speaks volumes about how much it was needed because in 150 years, our city and port have experienced a big step forward and expansion, and therefore the needs are greater. What makes me happy, apart from the operational part and the operational needs of the port, the city of Split and the citizens of Split will get a beautiful, modern promenade paved with stone. The project is adapted for people with disabilities, so the operational part is separated from walking. The width will be nine and a half meters; the length is 260. I hope that this is the beginning of arranging the entire East Coast and surroundings," explained Mihanović. 

In addition to the new promenade, there will be new berths.

"We will get four berths for high-speed lines or catamarans. We assessed this as necessary because this type of maritime transport has increased by 60 percent and is by far the fastest-growing type of maritime transport. This is the result of changes in travel habits because we want to get from point A to point B as soon as possible," Mihanović continued.

And the only thing left to solve is the biggest problem of the port of Split, which is one-way traffic that was supposed to relieve the port. Namely, the Jadran Bridge cannot withstand heavy traffic.

"It is not within the competence of the Port Authority, but it indirectly affects us as well. Unfortunately, we witnessed that people could not get out of the city port for two hours last summer. We could have done that at one point; we even shared water for free with those passengers, no longer knowing how to help them. As a city councilor and politician, I presented the solution for constructing a new two-lane exit from the city port, which would start from the Prince Domagoj Coast, be a 70-meter-long tunnel, and exit at Mihovil Pavlinović Square, i.e., at the beginning of Bijankinijeva. This would bypass the part of the Jadran Bridge where the traffic is one-lane, and the entire length of such a solution would be two-lane.

The Faculty of Civil Engineering did the traffic simulation in Split, and one-third of the conceptual design was paid by the Port Authority, one-third by the City of Split, one-third by Hrvatska cesta. This simulation showed that such a solution meets current needs. This is the fastest thing that can be done, and now it is the turn of the City of Split. I called the mayor to accept my proposal because it is the turn of the City of Split. The first step needs to be taken, and that is the changes to the GUP. I am the president of the commission for urbanism; on that commission, the representatives of the political option of the mayor and deputy Ivošević were against the inclusion of the exit from the city port in the changes to the GUP that follow us. They were outvoted because there was common sense in other political options, and it was unanimously adopted at the last session of the GV. It is now up to the City to start changes to the GUP as soon as possible, which is an essential precondition for Croatian Roads to obtain a building permit and realize that solution.

What is essential with this proposal is that the deadlines are 12 months for execution, and the property-legal relationship has been entirely resolved, i.e., all plots through which the road passes are owned by either Croatian Railways or Croatian Roads or the City of Split," he concluded.

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

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence Giving Back at European Freelancer Week

October 17, 2021 - European Freelancer Week kicks off tomorrow, with participants in the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence taking part in events in both Split and Dubrovnik.

It is a year since the first-ever dedicated digital nomad conference in Croatia. Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads was held this time last year as part of European Freelancer Week, an event delivered by Saltwater Nomads, TCN, the City of Dubrovnik, and Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

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One of the highlights of the conference was the virtual presentation by Kashlee Kucheran, co-owner of the influential Travel Off Path website and community, which is dedicated to travel information for remote workers. You can read Kashlee's subsequent interview with TCN in full here, but one of the quotes of the conference - and I will confess that it surprised me a little - was in Kashlee's slide above, that Croatia was the Number 1 Digital Nomad Country in her opinion. 

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Fast forward a year, and it appears that a growing number of nomads are beginning to agree with her, as Croatia was named the second-most liked country by users of Nomad List in a major survey recently

There is no conference in Dubrovnik for this year's European Freelancer Week (but watch this space for 2022), which runs from October 18-24, but there will be plenty of activity for participants of the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which was delivered by the same team in April this year. 

Saltwater Nomads will be offering a week of free coworking in Split, as well as hosting what should be a very entertaining evening of good food, wine and conversation with Charlie and Sam Brown, two of the stars of the DNIR programme. 

Charlie and Sam Brown: from couple to colleagues to competitors (but still a couple!)

British digital nomad couple Charlie and Sam Brown talk about how they sold everything they own, from their successful wine business (voted the best Independent Wine Shop in the UK!) to their house for a life on the road.

They are now both freelance writers in the same field, so have gone from being colleagues to competitors.

They'll be talking about everything Life on The Road, from giving up everything they own in their mid-thirties when most of their friends were settling down, to the challenges (and advantages) of travelling as a couple, to what it's like working together, then against each other...

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Meanwhile in Dubrovnik two of the very active contributors to the DNIR programme from the local Dubrovnik community, Vesna Celebic and award-winning photographer, Ivan Vukovic, will be hosting a wine night at D'Vino under the topic - Fearful + Fearless Freelancers with lessons from Dubrovnik. 

Details of all the events here

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

 

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