Monday, 25 January 2021

Falling Snow Causes Treacherous Conditions on Croatian Roads

January 25, 2021 – Released images show falling snow is causing extremely difficult conditions on some Croatian roads, both motorways and state roads, with the mountainous regions of Lika and Gorski Kotar most affected

Any optimists living in Zagreb could be forgiven for thinking winter was over. Over a succession of two days last week they were basking in the relatively balmy daytime temperatures of 16 degrees. The sun shone brightly, the boots stayed indoors and lighter jackets were thrown on to visit the shops. Not everyone in Zagreb is an optimist, though. And those with an experience that is greater than their hope knew the reality of the situation; Croatia's winter can turn round at any moment to bite you in the ass.

croatia-4082276_1920.jpgSnow covering the Lika region

And that's exactly what happened this weekend, when falling snow produced treacherous driving conditions across a wide area of Croatia. On some motorways, a ban on trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers is in place because of the continually falling snow. Another response to the falling snow has been to make winter vehicle equipment mandatory.

HAK1.jpegA thick layer of snow covers the road near Delnice at 19.14 on Sunday 24 January 2021 © HAK

While the Croatian capital was experiencing its warm spell, falling snow continued to descend on more mountainous regions of the country, Lika and Gorski Kotar in particular. And it is those that remain most affected by the treacherous driving conditions. Hrvatske Autoceste (Croatian Motorways) are responding to the continuing weather conditions. But, they released pictures of one motorway section near Delnice which, even after plowing, was 30 minutes later again covered by the falling snow.

HAK2.jpegA snowplow arrives at 19.15 to clear the snow © HAK

Thick falling snow and ice made it difficult to drive on the A6 Zagreb - Rijeka highway. The National Association of Drivers and Vehicle Owners (HAK) issued a series of warnings for the following routes: A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Maslenica, A6 Rijeka-Zagreb between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Kikovica, state road DC1 between Zagorje and Gračac and state road DC3 through Gorski Kotar between Zdihovo and Kikovica.

HAK3.jpegBy 19.45 the road is in the same state as before the snowplow arrived, because of continually falling snow © HAK

HAK also reported that there is currently no passable road for trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers from the direction of the continental interior towards Rijeka and Istria and Dalmatia and vice versa. The colder temperatures are expected to stick around for most of the early part of the week, although the skies may be clearer in some regions. Temperatures will rise again heading towards next weekend under an increasing cloud cover, but the chilly conditions might well bounce back towards the end of next weekend. Zagreb itself could even experience more snowfall at that time.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Cold Snap Might Make A Surprise Visit to Wintertime Croatia This Month

January 12, 2021 – Following a mild December 2020, truth be told, residents of the country were rather pleased to welcome the sight of snow falling on wintertime Croatia over recent days. Many headed into the mountains, like Sljeme and Ivanscica, taking advantage of the pristine blanket of crunchy white for selfies that appeared on social media all weekend. However, the novelty of the temperature drop and its postcard-pretty backdrop may well wear off soon if some meteorologists are to be believed.

Rising temperatures recorded high in the atmosphere above the Arctic are leading some to predict a sustained and considerable cold snap affecting the northern hemisphere towards the end of January, including wintertime Croatia. The wave of icy weather is even predicted to possibly reach the considerably cold conditions of wintertime Croatia 2014, when the same set of circumstances saw the temperature in Chicago drop to a remarkable minus 27. In wintertime Croatia it dropped below minus 10.

As reported by Bloomberg, the end of January could be particularly hard hit, with the cold weather reaching North America, Europe and Asian countries. Both of the previous two wintertime Croatia seasons (2018/2019 and 2019/202) have been comparatively mild. This cold snap, if it happens, could have you reaching for your hats and scarves despite the days having now gotten noticeably longer. Heaven help the youngsters still walking around with bare ankles and summer socks if it does bite.

In Paris, the temperature is currently 3.5 degrees Celsius lower than the average for this part of the year, in Madrid, it is 6.9 degrees colder than usual, and in Beijing, this winter's temperatures dropped to a record low - minus nine was measured there on Thursday.

Numerous meteorologists say that there are no guarantees that forecasts of such cold weather conditions could come true. Others say that, if it does happen, it will be north America that will be most affected. We might just have to wait and see what the weather Gods still hold in store for wintertime Croatia 2020/2021.

Monday, 21 December 2020

Winter Solstice 2020: Jupiter and Saturn Align in Night Sky Tonight

December 21, 2020 – At around 4.30pm this evening, Saturn and Jupiter will align creating a Christmas star. It will be very brief, as the planets will quickly fall below the horizon on Winter Solstice 2020. It has been 800 years since this event occurred in the night sky.

Every day is extraordinary, depending on your perspective. But, today, 21st December 2020, is extraordinary on an interplanetary scale.

Here on earth, for us in the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice 2020, the shortest day of the year, the day with the least amount of sunlight and the official start of winter. With our Vitamin D-deprived skin sensing more than a minor chill, it's a day we'd probably prefer to be over rather quickly.

However, hundreds of thousands of kilometres above us in the night sky, an event some 800 years in the making is about to happen. Tonight, at around 4.30pm in the evening, the gas giants Saturn and Jupiter will align creating a Christmas star for Winter Solstice 2020. If you can see the night sky at that time, the occurrence will be visible with the naked eye and the planets together may look like one huge star. The distance between them will only be one-tenth of a degree, around the width of a coin held at arms length.

Jupiter_and_its_shrunken_Great_Red_Spot.pngJupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System and has a total mass that is two-and-a-half times greater than that of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. It is one of the brightest objects visible to the naked eye in the night sky, second only to the Moon and Venus.

The great conjunction that we will see on the Winter Solstice 2020 has not happened since 1623. However, that alignment wasn't visible to skywatchers across much of the Earth because of its location in the night sky. The last time this event was visible in the night sky was in 1226.

Jupiter takes some 12 years to make one full orbit around the sun. Lying further out and moving more slowly, it takes Saturn some 30 years to make its own journey around the star. These two planets pass each other on their circular tracks every 20 years, coming relatively close to one another. However, their orbits do not occur on exactly the same axis, meaning that the planets very rarely align. That they will tonight is an extremely rare happening.

Of course, the planets aren’t really coming that close to one another. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is 886,440km from the Earth and Saturn, the second-largest, is another 733,205km beyond it.

Saturn_during_Equinox.pngSaturn is the second-largest planet in our Solar System. It is named after the Roman god of wealth and agriculture, after whom we also name Saturday - Saturn's Day. Saturn is famous for the rings which circle the planet. These are made mostly of ice particles, with some rock and dust. The planet has at least 82 moons that we know of, separate from the small moonlets that lie within its rings. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the second-largest moon in our Solar System, and is larger than the planet Mercury. It is the only moon in our Solar System to have a substantial atmosphere of its own.

The 'Christmas Star' of the Winter Solstice 2020 may be rare, but it is not the first time it will have captivated those looking into the night sky. Some people speculate that this very astronomical incident may be the same one that, according to the Bible, led the three wise men to Joseph, Mary and the newly born Jesus. That is not just modern speculation. The theory that Jupiter and Saturn's conjunction might be the source of the Star of Bethlehem was proposed in the early 17th Century by Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer and mathematician. Certainly, 2,000 years ago, at the time of Jesus's birth, people would have been acutely aware of what was happening in the night skies above them. With no man-made pollutants in the air and almost no light pollution at all, the stars in the sky would have been a vivid spectacle. If not the TV screens of its day, the night sky would certainly have been a backdrop more integral to every day than it will be for many with multiple modern distractions on Winter Solstice 2020.

Giotto_di_Bondone_-_No._18_Scenes_from_the_Life_of_Christ_-_2._Adoration_of_the_Magi_-_WGA09195.jpgGiotto di Bondone - No. 18 Scenes from the Life of Christ - 2. Adoration of the Magi (1303). The Star of Bethlemhem is depicted at the top of this fresco.

The coastal areas of Croatia look like they will have the clearest skies on Winter Solstice 2020, particularly in southern Dalmatia, where you have the best chance to see the event. But, you never know. You should have a glance to the heavens wherever you are this evening – the event will be visible across much of the planet, just after dark.

To be in with the best chance of seeing the conjunction, look outside at around 4.30pm. You'll have to be quick – in relative terms, the event won't actually take place over a short period of time but, because this is the Winter Solstice 2020, the two planets are very low in the night sky and will pass quite fast beyond the horizon. You should look in a south-westerly direction and keep your eyes quite low.

Give it a go wherever you are – it's unlikely you'll be here in another 400 years when it will happen again. If you have cloudy skies above you tonight, you can still look for the aftermath of the alignment the planets will be incredibly close to one another for the next few days. And, if you get a photo of the conjuncture of Winter Solstice 2020, TCN would love to hear from you.

All images used lie in the public domain, except main image, a composite made by TCN

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Silba's Third ''Christmas Magic'' Event Opens Festive Doors

The rather far flung northern Dalmatian island Silba might not strike you as a particularly sought-after destination for the festive season, but you might be surprised...

As Kora Dilic/Morski writes on the 29th of December, 2018, this year, the already traditional and entirely unique island advent event has kicked off on the beautiful island of Silba. This year it will be held from the 29th of December, 2018 to the 2nd of January 2019.

This is the third year in a row that the picturesque island in the Zadar archipelago has put on a show for locals and visitors alike following preparations for advent oriented entertainment concerts, as well as a multitude of interesting content that relies on Silba's cultural heritage and quirky specifics of this small but dear Dalmatian island.

Silba is not just an island of music and the arts, it is also very much an island with a huge religious and spiritual heritage, with a rich tradition here. Owing to that, this little, usually overlooked island boasts seven churches.

''As of this year, we've organised the event all together, islanders and volunteers have come from the surrounding islands, and also from Zadar County. We have prepared content that only Silba can offer and we expect the arrival of our people from the diaspora and tourists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries,'' said Kristian Lopac who, together with the volunteers, had his hands well and truly full of work on the island when preparing for the formal opening ceremony which took place on Saturday, December the 29th.

On Sunday, December the 30th, Silba will play host to Zoran Jelenković's live concert, and on Monday, December the 31st, a spectacular island New Year's Eve will take place, with a helping hand with traditional music performed by klapa Leut.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything going on up and down the country, from continental Croatia to the coast, and from the coast to the furthest flung Croatian islands by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

 

Click here for the original article by Kora Dilic for Morski.hr

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Advent in Pag: Ice Skating Rink Comes to Pag for First Time!

Advent in Pag is said to boast a very rich program this year!

Winter is just around the corner, and that means that numerous cities across the country are turning the page from summer tourism to winter tourism and opening up their respective Advent programs. With Advent in Zagreb, the winner of the best European title for three years running, boasting the best Advent festivities yet, and Advent in Split and Dubrovnik doing the same, what can other, smaller destinations offer this winter season?

Pag has become a hit destination in recent years, with tourists flocking from all around to this other-worldly looking island in the Northern Adriatic sea during the warm summer months. As Croatia's fifth largest island, and the one with the longest coastline of them all, Pag has a lot to offer its visitors during the summer, from history to one of the world's most famous beaches and party destinations, Zrće, in the town of Novalja in the island's northern region.

That being said, Pag is much more than just sea and sun on an island with a bizarre and unusual landscape that looks as if it fell from Mars.

As eZadar/Radio Pag writes on the 14th of November, 2018, Pag is set to put on a proverbial show for Advent in Pag this festive season, and for the first time ever, an ice skating rink will be placed on the island for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. 

Under the organisation of the Tourist Board of Pag and the City of Pag's administration, this year Advent in Pag will boast a very rich festive program for all. In addition to the new ice skating rink which will make its Pag debut this winter, there will be much more content including festive cottages and stands with traditional food.

Pag's old streets will be richly decorated, as will the squares and the waterfront. Pag's mayor, Ante Fabijanić, has stated that this year, Advent in Pag will be even better than previous ones held on the island.

Make sure to keep up to date with our lifestyle page for more.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Advent in Zagreb: Less is More This Festive Season?

Could less be more for Advent in Zagreb this year? This year's five-week-long Advent celebrations in the capital are set to have a smaller offer and less ''cottages'' in order to reduce consumerism and improve the overall quality of what is on offer.

As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of November, 2018, at the presentation of this year's Advent in Zagreb, which has held the title of the best in Europe for three years now, it has been announced that the emphasis of the event, which will last from the 1st of December to the 6th of January, will be placed more onto cultural events in order to reduce the atmosphere of consumerism and restore the true Christmas spirit.

The novelties this year will be the city's various locations,  Advent in Maksimir, Advent on Old Tkalča, where traditional crafts will go hand in hand with the spirit of some of Zagreb's oldest townhouses in Gradec and Kaptol, and the ''Film Advent'' in Kino Europa will be presented. As they say from the Zagreb Tourist Board this year, there will be three locations less than last year, and although they couldn't precisely quantify the number, there will be a decrease in cottages in the city.

During last year's Advent, 110,707 people spent up to half a billion kuna in Zagreb alone, with most of them spening as much as 139 euros per day, the number of overnight stays and arrivals was also 23 percent higher in the first thirty days of Advent in Zagreb than in 2016. Poslovni Dnevnik asked those who earn their money during Advent in Zagreb what they think about reducing the number of cottages, but it seems that everyone involved understands the good intentions of the organisers, as they themselves think the crowds are by far the biggest problem.

Saša Frid, who for three years at Advent in Zagreb recalls that the sheer wave of people is what is causing "chaos" for those working, and most of those with stands and/or cottages simply cannot produce the right quantities to meet the wishes of all of those visiting.

"The first three weekends are a real hit, and only when that crowd goes down is there any room to improve the offer, since it was physically impossible and technically hard to do before then. It would be great to have as few industrial and as many domestic products as possible, but I think it will be difficult to change all of that because to most, Advent still looks like a chance just to make money,'' noted Frid.

Matej Đorđević, co-owner of the Time restaurant, who will also take part in Advent in Zagreb this year, argues that the problem is not really to do with stands or Advent cottages, but the fact that this event in Zagreb brings "a sea" of people into Zagreb from all over Croatia and Europe.

"Our city is simply incapable of dealing with such a massive inflow of people and it's therefore necessary that the city infrastructure itself is gradually adapted. However, the fact remains that Advent in Zagreb has ''made'' the city (in touristic terms) and that's an immense tourist achievement for this city, for which the leadership of the Zagreb Tourist Board is the most deserving,'' stated Đorđević.

Want to keep up with what's going on across Croatia for Advent this year? Make sure to follow our lifestyle page. If it's Zagreb you're interested in, make sure to follow Total Zagreb.

 

Click here for the original article by Marta Duic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Advent in Zagreb Begins Preparations for Earlier Beginning

Advent in Zagreb has seen Croatia's capital go from strength to strength in terms of tourism over the last few years.

Attracting visitors from all over the world and gaining the title of the Best European Advent Destination for three years running, Advent in Zagreb isn't messing around when it comes to turning the city into a winter wonderland to get you ready for the most wonderful time of the year. Scrooge or not, it's hard to resist Zagreb at this time of year.

As 24sata writes on the 3rd of November, 2018, Zagreb's tourist board has its fingers crossed that this year will also be a great one, with the aim of attracting a record number of arrivals and overnight stays. 

This year, the much loved Advent in Zagreb will begin on December the 1st, and as Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board told RTL, the christmas spirit and cheer is spreading out over the city much more, and advent will also take to some new locations across the capital.

Advent in Zagreb's organisers are already claiming that this year will be the most beautiful to date, and things have already got started.

There are already decorations being readily put up along the streets of Zagreb, given the fact that, as previously mentioned, this year things kick off as early as December the 1st with a little warm up taking place just a few days earlier.

As Bienenfeld stated, Advent in Zagreb will take to some brand new locations in the city, and owing to that some of the locations people have frequented in the past few years will naturally be overlooked, therefore they will be shut down.

To briefly recall Advent in Zagreb's incredible rise to fame and recognition, Zagreb's advent has been proclaimed to be the most beautiful in Europe for three years running and continues to attract very high numbers to Croatia's previously very much overlooked capital city. The Christmas spirit will stay in the capital in the form of advent for five weeks.

Want to stay up to date with Advent in Zagreb and what's going on in the capital? Make sure to follow Total Zagreb and keep yourself in the loop.

 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Winter Time: Drivers, Keep Your Headlights On!

Winter time is upon us: in the night of October 29, we're to put our clocks an hour back at 3 AM.

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