Monday, 1 February 2021

Bernard Tkalčec Will Not Open Zlatni Klas Today: "But I Will Peacefully Protest Wednesday"

February 1, 2021 - Bernard Tkalčec has decided against opening Zlatni Klas today and instead will peacefully protest with Croatian caterers on Wednesday in Zagreb. 

Although it was rumored that more than 100 caterers in Zagreb would open their facilities on February 1, or at least start issuing coffee and drinks outside despite the work ban, the protest will not go ahead, as many pulled out after considering the consequences, said the president of the Zagreb Caterers' Association, Franz Letica, by telephone for Hina after their meeting.

After announcing that he would open the doors of the Zlatni Klas in Otrovandc on Monday, Bernard Tkalčec decided not to go ahead, after all, epodravina reports. 

"I am will not open until February 15th. We have positive announcements from the Prime Minister that he will change his lockdown decision if the situation is good. My recent speech was not focused on rebellion and anarchy, but on seeking the right to work and live if we cannot be helped," said Tkalčec.

"I am waiting for the measures to be relaxed so that we can work fairly. The caterers were revolted by numerous illogicalities and discrimination in the measures of the Headquarters. Twenty-five people stand in front of the kiosks drinking coffee; the pools are full, people are on top of each other on Sljeme, and young people travel to BiH for fun. We are all human; we all want life. I do not condemn anyone, but we also have our rights; we are the only ones who have minimum technical conditions, and we do not work," he complained. 

Tkalčec employed 16 people in Otrovanec, but he had to let go six of them when the first measures were announced.

"I can't afford to have 10 people come to my lunch, as it was before, and pay so many people. Now I kept 11 of them, but I promised the others that I would return them to work if we would work normally," he said.

Tkalčec said he received many calls and messages, mostly of support, after his opening announcement last week.

"This is not an initiative that calls for rebellion and riots, but the requested realization of our right to work and to understand that we are alive. On Wednesday, I am going to a peaceful protest in the center of Zagreb; we are looking for a way to survive," he concluded.

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Zlatni Klas Celebrates 40 Years of Rural Tourism: A Croatian Success Story of Outstanding Hospitality

October 13, 2017 was a significant day for Croatian tourism which went largely unnoticed by the media - the 40th anniversary of the oldest rural tourism business in the country, Zlatni Klas in Otrovanec. TCN was a very impressed spectator. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Meet the Heroes of Croatia 365 Tourism: Zlatni Klas in a Village Called Poison

Far from the fashionable Adriatic coast, a rather unlikely and heart-warming tale of tourism success by one family close to the Hungarian border. TCN reports on the fabulous 40-year story of Zlatni Klas in Otrovanec on September 15, 2017. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Croatian Rural Tourism: Zlatni Klas in Otrovanec

Continuing TCN's look on October 21, 2016 at some of the highlights of Croatia's emerging rural tourism industry, a visit to Zlatni Klas in Otranovec near Virovitica.

With much of the population and tourism concentrated on the coast, eastern Croatia gets very few column inches by comparison. Once the bread basket of Croatia, the region is suffering from an alarming depopulation, especially among its youth, who are being forced to leave in search of economic opportunity. But not all are leaving, and there are some real beacons of light and hope to be found. 

I had never heard of Otrovanec before my very hopsitable guide from the Croatian Rural Tourism Association took me there after a spectacular introductions to its members at Seoski Turizam Rakic near Krizevci, and its name did not sound particularly inviting. 'Otrov' means poison in Croatia, hardly the most welcoming advert for a village, its origins harking back to the fight against the advancing Ottoman Empire.

Legend has it that the Turks were camped close by with their front line close to Otrovanec. Promised reinforcements to defend their attack on Otrovanec had not arrived, and the locals were facing an imminent slaughter and loss of their homes. Between the two sides was a lake, which the Turks would surely use to water their horses prior to their attack. The village defenders decide to poison the lake as their only hope of repelling the attack of a force of much greater number and firepower. The Turks did as they hoped, the attack was beaten off, and Otrovanec remained unconquered. 

Poison is the last thing that comes into mind on entering Zlatni Klas, the main attraction in Otrovanec these days - a restaurant, accommodation and hospitality centre which literally breathes natural goodness at every step. This place was GORGEOUS, and filled with so many intricate details of the past, that one could spend a day just going through the little artefacts of the past which contributed to its immense character. 

And although Otrovanec is a little off the beaten track (but only 130 km, or 2.5 hours east of Zagreb, west of Virovitica), word is getting out, and there has been a steady increase in business for those in the region in search of great food and comfortable accommodation. It is growing in popularity as a cycling stop, for example, and with the rise of regional cycling tourism in Croatia, the existence of such places as Zlatni Klas are an essential component of Croatia's quality offer.  

The main buildings at the front of the plot housed most of the accommodation and restaurant, but behind lay a delightful open plan garden with a host of fun things for the little ones - I particularly liked this tree house in the centre. 

But not as much as my two daughters when they saw the pictures, and now we have to return to visit. 

Zlatni Klas has a very relaxed feel which compliments the approach of its owners, and everyone is a friend upon entering. There is ample space to relax, allowing the little ones to explore, and Zlatni Klas is a popular destination for local schoolchildren, whose primary aim in visiting may well have been to experience how life used to be 100 years ago, but increasingly it is also a valuable lesson of healthy living and how life was just 25 years ago... before the Internet. 

The attention to detail and creativity was mightily impressive, all the work of the owner, who had a vision to create something special in this place where tourism did not exist  - here some wood carving decoration on the outer walls of the accommodation - all carpentry done by himself. As luck would have it, we arrived on the 39th anniversary of the opening of Zlatni Klas. A big celebration is planned for the 40th, a chance to reflect on four decades of amazing achievement. 

This was my favourite thing, and perhaps the best example of how one man's creativity and vision can bring that little extra to a room's furnishing. Having found a piece of wood, a little dexterity and skill and a rather unusual umbrella holder was born in the shape of this giant shoe, complete with laces. One of the legends told to the visiting schoolchildren is that the giant lives in the house, and will soon be waking up and looking for his shoe... 

The true fairytale house, however, is right at the end of the plot, past the stables which are home to the ten horses, cow and a pig, at the bottom of a field in total isolation. 

A tiny traditional house in total isolation to fire the imagination of young minds. 

Complete with its own garden, the view it to the open fields and the horses taking their daily exercise. 

The small lake was at a low level currently, but it is an additional feature most of the year. 

The view from the front door. Cosy!

Room for another bed up the tiny ladder. 

And a delightful little terrace from which to enjoy that morning coffee and natural start to the day. A true hidden gem, which can be rented out on request.

Back in the main complex, accommodation is obviously more spacious, but with a similar commitment to the traditional heritage combined with a little more modern comfort. 

The fireplace was just the start of a very warm welcome, and Zlatni Klas has very spacious restaurant accommodation of two floors. All food is locally sourced, of extremely high quality, and includes one rather intriguing speciality. 

Stinging nettle pancakes, anyone? 

They were delicious, and just part of a sensational meal, of which stinging nettles played a major part. Stinging nettle bread..

Stinging nettle mlinci - not quite sure how to describe them, but akin to the pasta in lasagne. 

And no Otrovanec meal would be complete without a little stinging nettle pie. 

Outstanding hospitality, and a genuinely stunning introduction to the natural world of rural tourism in Croatia. 

Take a look at Zlatni Klas in more detail in the video below, and learn more from the official website