Friday, 17 June 2022

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Rescues Goat from Sheer Vis Cliffs

June the 17th, 2022 - The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) is usually busy saving tourists from precarious mountain situations at this time of year, with more and more strange and often highly dangerous escapades being cleaned up after as the tourist season goes on.

From tourists attempting to climb Biokovo in Lidl flip-flops without any water on them during hot August afternoons to people who thought they'd be able to skip the ferry and use a giant inflatable flamingo as their mode of transport to get from Makarska to the island of Brac, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service are known to use humour to cope with what must be absolutely frustrating situations.

Goats, however, aren't usually the type of mammal being rescued by this praiseworthy group of people. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service branch in Split had an unusual intervention to deal with recently. The person on duty at the time received several calls about a goat that appeared to have become somewhat stuck on a sheer cliff above the sea. As there is an attractive cave nearby which is visited by a large number of tourists, people noticed the unfortunate animal and naturally became worried about the precariously positioned goat and alerted the rescuers.

following a brief search for the exact location on the rocks (calls from worried individuals were made to several different places), members of the Vis Branch of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service arrived by boat to the foot of a sheer cliff, and upon looking up, they saw their stuck individual - not a human, but a goat.

A veterinarian on the mainland was also contacted and concluded that the goat would not survive if it remained stuck there on the cliff, and that it was unable to climb alone. Two rescuers climbed up the rock, pushed the goat down into the sea, and the animal was then pulled aboard, rescued, and taken back to safety, they wrote from the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.

In the end, the goat was accepted by a local Family Farm because unfortunately there are no veterinarians on the island.

Three members of the Split branch office and six members of the Vis branch office took part in the action to save the goat.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 June 2022

Rewilding Velebit: Another Eurasian Lynx Released - Meet Ljubo

June the 17th, 2022 - The Rewilding Velebit team have released another gorgeous Eurasian lynx on Croatia's famous, imposing mountain range. Ljubo has become the sixth Eurasian lynx to be released into the wild in Croatia.

As Morski writes, as stated, Ljubo the lynx was released by the Rewilding Velebit team as part of the wider LIFE Lynx project, which aims to save the population of this species because since the 1990s, hunters have noticed fewer and fewer lynxes and declining populations, which unfortunately is still the case to this day.

The most significant cause of Croatian lynx extinction, as well as their dying out in neighbouring countries, is inbreeding. For almost 45 years now, the offspring of a mere six animals have been mating exclusively with each other, which causes tremendous issues.

''We estimate that today there are 30-40 lynxes living wild in Croatia, in neighbouring Slovenia, there are only 10-20, and in Italy, the situation is even more critical. Scientific research indicates that the lynx will become extinct again if new animals don't come here and settle and as such increase the genetic diversity of the population. Therefore, representatives of the forestry, hunting and scientific institutions jointly prepared a project proposal for the rescue of a lynx for whom they applied to the LIFE tender for co-financing from the European Commission. The project was positively evaluated and has been being implemented from July 2017, it will continue to be implemented until March 2024,'' wrote the team from the LIFE Lynx project.

The project involves eleven institutions from five countries - Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Slovakia and Romania, and here in Croatia it will be implemented by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Zagreb, the Polytechnic of Karlovac and the BIOM Association. In addition to the European Commission, the Croatian part of the project is being co-financed by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, and significant funds are being provided by the Slovenian Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

The long-term goal of the project is to prevent the extinction of the lynx population in the Dinarides and in the Southeast Alps as a whole, which will be achieved primarily by settling four animals from Slovakia and Romania here in Croatia and ten others in neighbouring Slovenia. The success of their settlement will be monitored by scientific research, which will include the monitoring of these animals and their offspring using automatic cameras and GPS collars, and many genetic and ecological analyses. The countries involved in the project will coordinate and improve the management of this endangered species and strategic documents will be prepared to ensure long-term cooperation in this area.

''The beautiful lynx is an enormous treasure of Croatian nature and it's our responsibility to preserve it for future generations. A prerequisite for achieving this goal is the cooperation of all relevant institutions and public support,'' they added from LIFE Lynx.

A male lynx named Lubomir, or Ljubo, was caught in Slovakia and has spent the past two months in quarantine to make sure he's healthy. This male lynx was released recently at the Ramino Korito hunting ground, managed by Rewilding Velebit, and its arrival was welcomed by members of the Gospic Handball Club and representatives of the local community. Ljubo will join the other Carpathian lynxes Emil and Alojzije who already live on Velebit, and about 30 other local Velebit lynxes.

In the last three years, the project has released a total of 15 animals, five in the Croatian part of the Dinarides, five in the Slovenian part of the Dinarides and five in the Slovenian part of the Alps. Ljubo the lynx was released from his transport box by Marija Krnjajic, the director of the Rewilding Velebit Foundation, Mile Ugarkovic, the secretary of the Hunting Association of Lika-Senj County, and Ira Toplicanec, an employee of the LIFE Lynx project.

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

Friday, 17 June 2022

New Sarajevo-Ploce Train Line to Begin Running This July

June the 17th, 2022 - After an almost decade-long break, the Sarajevo-Ploce train line is set to be introduced next month, as we approach the very height of the summer tourist season. The direct line will certainly make travelling to southern Dalmatia that bit easier for many from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As Morski writes, as of next month, the Sarajevo-Ploce train line (which will be direct and will operate on a seasonal basis) will run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July the 1st, 2022 to September 11th, 2022.

A meeting of the representatives of the Croatian Railways and the FBiH (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Railways was held recently in the City of Zagreb, during which it was agreed that the Sarajevo-Ploce train line would be reintroduced after a long eight and a half year break, much to the delight of many would-be travellers.

It hasn't yet been stated how long a single trip on this particular line will actually last, but it was said that passengers will be transported by modern and comfortable Talgo wagons and that those travelling in groups of six or more adult passengers will have a 30 percent discount on their ticket price.

Children aged four to twelve, blind people and their entourage and groups of more than thirty passengers have a discount of as much as fifty percent on the ticket price.

The public will be informed about the exact timetable of the new and likely highly popular Sarajevo-Ploce train line and ticket prices in a timely manner, they announced from FBiH Railways.

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

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Eurogroup Recommends Croatia's Accession To Euro Area

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - The Eurogroup, a body that brings together the finance ministers of the euro area member states, on Thursday made a positive recommendation for Croatia's accession to the euro area on 1 January 2023.

"I am very pleased to announce that the Eurogroup agreed today that Croatia fulfils all the necessary conditions to adopt the euro. This is a crucial step on Croatia’s path to become the 20th member of our euro area and a strong signal for European integration," Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe said.

"I want to pay particular tribute to the Croatian government for its commitment and hard work to achieve this result over the past few years, in particularly challenging circumstances," he added.

The recommendation was sent to the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), which consists of the finance ministers of the 27 EU member states.

ECOFIN is expected to adopt the Eurogroup's recommendation and endorse a letter from the ECOFIN president to the European Council at its meeting in Luxembourg on Friday. The European Council is due to discuss the matter at its meeting on 23-24 June.

The process will conclude with the adoption by the Council, after it has consulted the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, of three legal acts that are necessary to enable Croatia to introduce the euro on 1 January 2023. The adoption of these acts is expected to take place on 12 July.

The finance ministers share the opinion of the Commission and the European Central Bank that Croatia is legally compatible and compliant with all the convergence criteria and consider that Croatia meets the necessary criteria for euro adoption, according to the draft letter which will be sent to the summit of EU leaders.

The draft letter notes that it is important that, after entering the euro area, Croatia should continue to meet the obligations undertaken two years ago when entering the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II).

Croatia is invited to implement further structural reforms and investments under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and pursue a sound fiscal policy.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Croatian Tourism Minister Attends UN Security Council Meeting On Women

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac has participated in a UN Security Council meeting on the topic of women, peace and security and held several meetings, the Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.

Brnjac met with the leaders of the Economic and Social Council and the UN Office for Intergovernmental Support and Cooperation for Sustainable Development.

"At the meetings, I presented all the Ministry's activities that contribute to the realisation of UN policies and the Sustainable Development Program until 2030. Our new strategy, which is in its final phase, addresses all challenges recognised at the global level and follows sustainability trends and the green and digital transition," Brnjac was quoted as saying.

According to Minister Brnjac, Croatia, as the country chairing the UNWTO Committee on Sustainability and Tourism, aims to promote and work on strengthening the resilience of tourism and its sustainable development.

At the meetings, Brnjac underscored that Croatia has allocated a significant amount of money from European funds that will finance projects to contribute to achieving these goals.

Brnjac attended the presentation of the film "Stepinac - The Cardinal and His Conscience" at the Nikola Tavelić Croatian Centre in New York, where she met with representatives of the Croatian community.

While in New York, Brnjac will participate in the sixth annual conference organised by the Association of Croatian-American Professionals (ACAP), entitled Innovation, Cooperation and Sustainability, where she will present the strategic direction of Croatia's tourism for the next decade.

She is also due to meet with American tour operators and travel agents that are important for the Croatian market, as well as with ACAP members with a special focus on health and wellness tourism, the press release said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Croatian Officer Goes Missing From Ship In Atlantic

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - Ship's officer Toni Jurišić has gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between the Gibraltar and Trinidad and Tobago, the Nestali website of the national register of missing persons said on Thursday.

Jurišić (35), of Split, disappeared from a ship owned by a Greek company on 10 June. He is a member of the crew, and his disappearance is registered with the Split-Dalmatia County Police Department.

The secretary-general of the Croatian Seafarers Union (SPH), Neven Melvan, confirmed to Hina that Jurišić is an officer, that the SPH was notified on Monday and that they are in contact with the family and the company.

He said that the vessel in question is owned by a Greek company and is used for the transport of liquefied natural gas. He said that the search and rescue operation is continuing and that the ship has covered more than 200 miles in search of the missing Croatian officer.

Melvan said that the police are expected to conduct an onboard investigation once the ship has reached port.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Grlić Radman: Things Moving Towards Opening Talks With N. Macedonia, Albania

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, said in the North Macedonia lakeside town of Ohrid on Thursday that "things are moving towards" opening European Union membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania.

Grlić Radman was participating in the Prespa Forum together with Western Balkans leaders and senior EU officials. He said that talks are under way and "things are moving towards finally launching accession negotiations" with North Macedonia and Albania.

He said he believes there is still enough time to reach an agreement before the EU-Western Balkans summit next week.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi are also in Ohrid, but representatives of Bulgaria have not been announced. Bulgaria has blocked the opening of talks with North Macedonia over identity issues, thus also blocking the path of Albania because the EU treats the two countries in a package.

Grlić Radman said that EU enlargement is the strategic interest of Croatia and the EU and that the Union must use all its legal mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the necessary reforms in the membership candidate countries so that they can join the bloc as soon as possible.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Green Action Urges Shift To Reusable Packaging

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - The Green Action NGO has joined a global action of some 400 associations calling for a shift to reusable packaging, saying reusable packaging is the only viable alternative to disposable plastic and plastic packaging.

On the occasion of World Refill Day, marked on 16 June, Green Action on Thursday called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development "to recognise reusable packaging as the only truly sustainable alternative to disposable plastic and plastic packaging."

The NGO expects the ministry's new rules on disposable plastics, packaging and packaging waste, and fishing tools will encourage the development of reusable systems and reduce the generation of plastic waste.

Green Action said that a global coalition of more than 400 organisations is calling on the world's five largest plastic polluters and governments to switch to reusable packaging and commit to transparent and accountable reuse and refill systems.

"In an open letter, members of Break Free From Plastic, Greenpeace and the largest network of environmental organisations, Friends of the Earth, called on the CEOs of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble to finally address the impact of their business and use of plastic on the environment, society and health, and the disproportionate impact on communities," Green Action said in a press release.

In the next 10 years, plastic production is expected to increase by as much as 40%, which will only exacerbate the climate crisis. The largest part of the increase accounts for disposable plastics and plastic packaging, the NGO noted, adding that governments have a responsibility to protect people from toxicity and should compel corporate polluters to take responsibility for the pollution they cause.

"A survey conducted in 28 large countries has shown that 85% of people believe that manufacturers and retailers should take responsibility for reducing, reusing and recycling plastic packaging,"  Green Action said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls: 2. The Island of Lopud

June 16, 2022 - Dubrovnik is perceived to be a 2-day destination with everything concentrated inside the UNESCO old town, but it is so much more than that. Find out what, in the second of a new TCN series - Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls. Meet the island of Lopud. 

Seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes is always instructive. Almost a year ago, at the conclusion of the Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence programme, A Dutch digital nomad gave an initial presentation to the mayor, tourist board, media and public on his group's findings after 4 weeks as guests of the city. Their brief was to look at Dubrovnik through the eyes of digital nomads and to work with Dubrovnik to create an effective strategy for future development. His presentation was simple, concise, in many ways obvious, and made the whole room pause to think. 

His first slide showed the first 30 images on Google Images of Dubrovnik, and they all showed the same thing - the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the old town of Dubrovnik. One nomad commented that prior to coming to the city, he was not even sure if Dubrovnik had anything of interest or substance beyond the walls. The perception that Dubrovnik was a 2-3 day destination is one that changed during his stay of four weeks, and he announced that after almost a month, he was still not ready to go home. 

The magic of Dubrovnik for all these nomads was not the gorgeous old town, stunning as it undoubtedly was, but what lay beyond the walls - the rest of living, breathing Dubrovnik and its surrounding area. In some ways, it was an obvious point, but taking the focus away from the old town seems somehow innovative. And having thought about it, the perception of the reality of Dubrovnik as a destination can only change if we show Dubrovnik, the reality, rather than Dubrovnik, the Instagram poster child. 

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Welcome to Dubrovnik Beyond the Walls, a new TCN series showcasing the magic of this incredible city, but away from its photogenic famous old town. There you can take in centuries of history, culture and tradition, but if you take a bus, boat, or short walk, there are many other Dubrovnik experiences to be enjoyed which complement the famous main attraction. After our first feature article on the Island of Kolocep, also known locally as Kalamota, it is time to swim a little further to the second car-free of the Elaphite Islands, gorgeous Lopud. 

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One of the few constants in my Facebook feed during the summer is an almost daily dose of the magical sunsets of Lopud. A friend of mine has roots on the island, and it seems he never tires of the beauty of what he sees before him every evening. I felt that I knew the island's views long before he invited me to visit a couple of summers ago. 

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And it did not take me long to fall in love with yet another exceptional Dalmatian island, or to discover that the sunset views were just part of the magic. How about this for a bedroom room with a view, for example? No wonder he was spending less time in Zagreb...

There is an excellent and regular ferry service from Gruz harbour in Dubrovnik, which takes passengers to all three of the Elaphiti islands, stopping firstly on Kolocep, before arriving in Lopud just under an hour after departure. While most of the life on the island is concentrated in the village and riva close to the ferry, sun worshippers in search of a sandy beach make the journey and then hike to the other side of the island for a rare treasure - a high-quality sandy Dalmatian beach. 

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There are quite a few popular beaches in the Dubrovnik area. Some are popular with locals, some with tourists, but none is universally as loved as Sunj Beach. Sunj is located on the south-eastern end of the Island, facing Dubrovnik. Notably, it is Elaphiti’s most popular port of call for private and chartered boats. You can get to it on foot from Lopud village by following one of the marked footpaths through the woods. It bears the name of Czech writer and politician Viktor Dyk who was in love with Lopud. The path also features a monument built in his honour in 1936. Sunj Beach has some beach amenities available like a bar, restaurant and lounge chairs. It is indeed the most spacious sandy beach of Elaphiti and it will remain everybody’s favourite for quite some time.

For the buzz of daily life, however, simply step off the ferry and into the relaxed bustle of traditional Dalmatian island life, where the pace of life is slow and chilled. The riva appeared to me almost like a living room, with some residents actually bringing out chairs in front of the house to soak up daily life. 

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It did not take long on Lopud to work up an appetite. If you are into your seafood, just grab a coffee at a cafe on the riva and watch the catch of the day pass by. 

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Or check with the local restaurants what they have on offer for the catch of the day. There was something about the riva on Lopud that really appealed to me - something for everyone, including a family-friendly beach, local honey and fig selling their wares, full-time locals greeting Zagreb-based 'part-time islanders' with island banter. Relaxed, jovial, welcoming, safe. 

But Lopud also has some rather remarkable and unique treasures to boast, some of them really rather unusual. 

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Did you know, for example, that the island of Lopud is home to the tallest palm trees in Europe? 

And behind these majestic palm trees, which adorn the Lopud waterfront, is something really quite unusual and unexpected - the world's first concrete hotel, built back in 1936! 

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The hotel was opened by Czech owners just 3 years before the opening of the Second World War and is a major example of the bold architecture of Nikola Dobrovic, whose reinforced concrete hotel was his crowning work. It was designed in the shape of a ship from above, complete with a tennis court on the roof, and it looked out to the Adriatic through those impressively tall palm trees, as well as ubiquitous bitter orange trees, for which Dubrovnik is famous.   

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Then came the Second World War, an end to tourism temporarily and a new use for the young concrete hotel - an internment camp for the Jews of the Dubrovnik region. Some 600-700 were interned there. The glory days of this unique concrete hotel were undoubtedly the 1980s before the Homeland War. Life in former Yugoslavia was cheap, life was very liberal, and tourists came to visit knowing they would have a wonderful sun-soaked relaxing vacation at an affordable price. 

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Plans are in place to renovate the famous concrete hotel, reducing the number of original rooms to provide more spacious accommodation for modern needs. And while we wait, those tall palm trees will continue to sway gently in the evening breeze, as they observe yet one more of some of the best sunsets in Europe.

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And while Lopud might have set the pace in 1936 in the world of concrete hotels, today it is leading the way with luxury boutique hotel tourism. Located on the northern peninsula, LOPUD 1483 is a restored Franciscan monastery that has been overlooking the Elaphiti Islands and Croatia’s Dalmatian coast for centuries. After an extensive and sympathetic restoration by renowned art visionary, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, LOPUD 1483 has opened its doors to guests and this five-suite, 15th-century monastery is available to rent exclusively for private stays and events. It is one of THE places to stay on the Adriatic. 

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For those on more of a budget, there are two more hotel options, both in Lopud village. They are both close to the sea but are vastly different in their design and feel. Hotel Glavovic is a 3-star property and is a recently revived historical hotel originally opened in 1927. On the other hand, 4-star Lafodia Sea Resort is quite a different story. It is a big, modern, and stylishly designed property featuring plenty of amenities and amazing sea views. The island of Lopud also has an excellent range of luxury private villas, many of them with pools. 

The majority of Lopud Island’s dining spots are in Lopud Village with some dining options also on Sunj Beach. You will find great choices in the historical Lopud with restaurants Dubrovnik and Obala worthy of a special mention. Hotel Lafodia is also a place where you can find great cuisine. Their La Baja Bar & Grill is a cool option for enjoying a bite to eat or a refreshing drink next to the beach. This restaurant is known for featuring live entertainment in the evenings as well. Many of Lopud restaurants have terraces with amazing views over the bay and will not let you forget what a gorgeous place you are spending your vacation. 

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A quite magnificent island, and one which is less than an hour by regular ferry from Dubrovnik. The pace of life on the island of Lopud could not be more different from historic Dubrovnik. 

Dubrovnik beyond the walls, a new way to look at the Pearl of the Adriatic. And with so many different options available, tailor your Dubrovnik experience to your specific needs. 

To learn more about the Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls series, follow the dedicated section

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Property of the Week: Renovated Stone Trogir Property in Heart of UNESCO Old Town

June 16, 2022 - A rare chance to buy renovated Trogir property in the heart of the historic UNESCO Old Town. 

Looking for a slice of authentic and historic stone in a very desirable location and close to the action? There are few options which tick all the boxes more than the old town of Trogir. 

Truly one of the Adriatic coast's true gems, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also an old town which is very much keeping the traditions of the past alive, with several master craftsmen still plying their trades within the historic stone walls of the old town. 

Not everyone knows that the old town of Trogir is actually a small island, connected to the mainland by bridges,and access to the glorious Adriatic is just metres away, with the Trogir riva a perfect place for morning coffee and soaking up the Dalmatian lifestyle. And with Split Airport and magnificent  Split just a bus ride away, there are truly many pluses to being based in Trogir. 

And it is not every day that a quality property in the historic centre comes on the market. Over to our friends at Trgostan to introduce this week's property of the week.

Beautiful 300-year-old stone house on 4 floors + mezzanine, located in the heart of the old town of Trogir under the protection of UNESCO, of ​​approximately 120 m2, consisting of living room and toilet on the ground floor, larger bedroom and bathroom upstairs, two smaller rooms and bathrooms on the 2nd floor, and a kitchen with dining area with access to the terrace of 14 m2 and a gallery space / mezzanine above which is used as a working space, reconstructed in accordance with the strictest conservation guidelines, using the highest quality materials, rarely on the market. 

For more details, price, and to book a viewing, check out the original listing on the Trgostan website.  

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