Category: Latest

Private Schools Dying Out in Croatia

CroatiaWith the new school year about to begin in Croatia, the demise of private secondary schools across the country has become obviously apparent, with record low enrolment numbers…

The abolishment of state funding seven years ago, and the economic crisis has taken its toll on enrollment numbers at private schools, with 2014 looking it could well be the worst year yet for private school enrolments, according to a report by daily Jutarnji list. Out of what was 1,700 students at just over 40 private schools in the country, only a few hundred have enrolled this far. One economic private school in Zagreb planned to have around 30 students this school year, but as of today still not one student had enrolled.

“In the 14 years that we have existed, this has never happened. I am afraid that this year will be very difficult and painful. At the end of September we will decide what we will do next. If we decide to close the school it won’t happen overnight, there will be a procedure,” said the school’s founder and director Asima Selaković.

Private secondary schools in Croatia had been partly funded by the Ministry of Education, but that stopped in 2007 and now most survive on enrollment fees alone, which are on average around 27-30,000 kuna (4,000 euros) a year. Selaković says that the only solution is that the Ministry return funding for schools like his.

“Croatia is one of the fee nations that does not co-finance private schools. The result is what we have now,” said Nikica Simić from a private school in Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.

 

Croatian Comedy ‘Cowboys’ is Oscar Candidate

Croatia472014 hit Croatian comedy feature film Cowboys directed by Tomislav Mršić has been selected as Croatia’s nomination for an Oscar Award…

Croatia will submit Cowboys for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Each year at the Oscar’s an award is handed out to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue. Croatia has submitted 23 films since 1992, but none have gone on to be short-listed and nominated by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but Mršić will be hoping that Cowboys becomes the first.

In Cowboys, which set box office records in Croatia, theatre director Sasha returns from the big city to his home town where he is offered to re-start the neglected local theater. The problem is that the city does not have any actors. After they advertise auditions for a new show, five very interesting candidates show up. Their only common ground in the field of culture is the Western genre – so the director and his new ensemble decide to stage a Western. The lead roles in the film are played by Saša Anočić, Živko Anočić, Hrvoje Barišić, Kruno Klabučar, Rakan Rushaidat, Radovan Ruždjak, Ivana Rushaidat, Matija Antolić and Nina Erak.

Record Rain Falls in Dubrovnik

CroatiaTourists and locals were scattering for cover and keeping dry in cafes as the popular southern Dalmatian city of Dubrovnik recorded record rain falls on Monday…

The whole of Croatia was feeling the effects of cyclone Simeon overnight, with rain up and down the country. One of the worst places effected was Dubrovnik, where a record 128 litres per square metre fell in just 24 hours. The amount of rain that fell on the first day of September, was more than the September average. Meanwhile, services were stretched across other parts of the country also with the Zagreb fire department attending over 100 call-outs due to incidents resulting from floods and wind damage around the city.

The strong winds on the coast also played havoc with boaters and kayakers. A group of seven kayakers had to get rescued just off the coast of Vis after getting into trouble on Monday, whilst strong winds damaged a number of yachts along the coast. Weather is expected to improve for tourists on Wednesday.

Niko Kranjčar Back in English Premier League, Milan Badelj off to Serie A

CroatiaWith just over an hour before the August transfer window in Europe closed last night, English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers have secured the services once again of Dynamo Kiev’s Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjčar on loan…

Kranjčar, who joined QPR last season to help them earn promotion to the top flight in England, will again join the Londoners on loan.

“Niko is class! I am a big fan of his and I am really pleased that he has come back,” said QPR boss Harry Redknapp, who has also coached Kranjčar at Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur.

In other transfer news, Croatian midfielder Milan Badelj has moved from German Bundesliga side HSV to Italian side Fiorentina after signing a 4-year deal. (pic: qpr.co.uk)

Record-Breaking Month for Zagreb as Tourists Keep Coming

CroatiaCroatia’s capital Zagreb has set another tourist record in the month of July, according to data from the city’s tourist board…

In July 2014 there were 101,824 visitors, up 11% from the same month last year. Overnight stays were also up 9% to 167,722. Foreign tourists made up 92,379 of the total number of tourists, which was an increase of 13% from July 2013. The most number of visitors came from South Korea, Spain, USA, Germany and Great Britain. Zagreb Tourist Board can be extremely pleased with the results in July, which also saw the city featured in a number of international tourist magazines, including being the main theme in his month’s German edition of Geo Saison, which has more than 700,000 readers. (pic: Wikipedia)

Famous Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan Set for Action in Dubrovnik

CroatiaHBO classic Game of Thrones has beamed the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik into the homes of millions, now the popular Dalmatian tourist spot will be beamed out to hundreds of millions more with confirmation that one of India’s biggest superstars will perform ‘dare devil stunts’ in Dubrovnik for a new film…

Considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, with a fan following claimed to number in the billions, Shah Rukh Khan will shoot high action scenes in Dubrovnik for Yash Raj Films` upcoming movie `Fan`. After scouring for suitable filming locations, the Mumbai team have zeroed in on Croatia, reports India’s Zee News.

“A high energy action sequence for `Fan` will be shot in Dubrovnik. The local Croatian crew along with the YRF team from Mumbai met months in advance to meticulously plan this sequence to be shot with Shah Rukh Khan,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The action sequence is an integral part of the film. Hence the team met up months before the actual shoot is supposed to take place, to meticulously plan this sequence for Khan. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times called him “the world’s biggest movie star.” He has also been regularly featured in listings of the most influential names in Indian culture and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Khan is also the co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders.

Rise in the Number of Foreigners Getting Married in Croatia

CroatiaAccording to information from local travel agencies and other service providers, the number of foreigners choosing Croatia as a wedding destination has increased rapidly since the start of the year, writes Lider.hr

Croatia is proving a popular place for foreign couples to say ‘I do’, with Americans, Germans, French, Canadians and Australians leading the way. When it comes to location, Dubrovnik on Croatia’s southern Dalmatian coast is the most popular, along with Istria, whilst an increasing number of foreigners are choosing Zadar, Split and the islands of Hvar and Korčula.

It is not just wedding planners and venue owners who have felt the benefits of the increase, other tourism service providers, such as car rental companies, are also cashing in.

“We recently supplied 30 luxury vehicles from our fleet for a wedding for a young American couple which was held in the south of Croatia,” said Fleet.

Kovač: “Mexico Preparations at Full Steam, it is Our Final”

CroatiaCroatia has returned back to their Praia do Forte camp from Manaus, with coach Niko Kovač already fully focussed on Monday’s do-or-die match with Mexico…

“We are already in full steam preparing for Mexico. We need to win, we are working towards that. We have watched all of Mexico’s matches, there are no surprises. We know their strengths and weaknesses, and I believe in my side. We have prepared excellent for two matches already, so why not for the third?,” said Kovač, who gave his players a day off on Thursday to recover from the long trip and exhausting conditions in Manaus.

Mexico’s 0-0 draw midweek with Brazil means that a draw for Croatia will only do if Cameroon can cause an unlikely upset and beat Brazil.

“Mexico is strong, but so are we. They have a strong attack, and defence. It will be difficult, but we are hoping for victory. Our confidence has grown, as has Mexico’s. It is a final for both sides, the winner advances to the second round,” Kovač said.

Croatia will have a light training run on Friday, and will have one day less to prepare than they did for the Cameroon match. One thing Kovač will be thankful for is that all his squad will be available for selection, with no injury or card troubles. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Lošinj – First Aid Instructions for Debilitated Turtles

Croatia1By Anna Tucker

In the unlikely event that you happen to collide with one of the three species of sea turtles that inhabit the Adriatic while roaming about in a motorised sea vehicle this summer, you will likely have to deal with rescuing a comatose creature from drowning…

Luckily, Croatia Week visited the new Sea Turtle Rescue Centre on the island of Lošinj and has received valuable life-saving instructions, as seen on the illustration below, which enable one to successfully deal with such an unfortunate event. By applying these very same rescue procedures that are now, thanks to the educational efforts of Lošinj’s Blue World Institute and its Turtle Rescue Centre, a regular practice for local fisherman in cases of turtle bycatch, you are sure to save a life of an endangered animal whose population in the Adriatic has been severely diminished.

valuable life-saving instructions

valuable life-saving instructions

Unfortunately, just in Croatia alone, it is estimated that up to 2,500 sea turtles per year become victims of human activities, which is why this centre, only the second of its kind in the country, is an important link in the preservation efforts of this endangered and rarely seen marine reptile.

In any case, if you decide to visit the nature-rich and eco-oriented island of Lošinj, whether by sea vessel or any other way, be sure to stop by the Centre, where Mrs. Kristina Volarić aka Kiki, a friendly and knowledgeable student of environmental sciences, or another volunteer of the centre, will show you around and introduce you to Lošinj’s Blue World Institute, and EU’s NETCET project for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Adriatic.

This Centre is the place where you will learn tons of fun facts, such as that the loggerhead turtle – one of the three species that is found in the waters of Croatia – originates from Greece’s party island of Zakynthos and travels to our waters to spend the winter and feed; that the Green turtle – the most endangered species in the Adriatic – is the only vegetarian of the trio; or that the leatherback turtle can cross a staggering 20,000 km in just two years.

Apart from providing the visitors with an opportunity to learn more about these animals through films, touchscreen applications and models, the Centre offers various training courses and workshops, and organises numerous awareness raising activities targeting local fishermen, school children and the general public.

CroatiaIn addition, the Rescue Centre provides facilities for the professional care of these endangered animals, including an operation room, an isolation pool and longer-term environmentally controlled recovery pools.

The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation and its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre operates on donations and offers various volunteering opportunities and adoption programs, as well as souvenirs for both children and adults who want to support the conservation of the Adriatic’s marine life.

So, in case you feel like learning more about these endangered sea animals or are looking to spend a holiday doing more than just chilling on the beach, be sure to visit Lošinj’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. You can also learn more about their activities or how to get involved by visiting the Institute’s site at www.blue-world.org

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Croatian Hotel Among Booking.com’s World Top 10

CroatiaOne of the world’s biggest online booking sites, Booking.com, which daily processes more than 550,000 room nights reservations, has named one Croatian hotel among its top 10 in the world in their latest ‘The Best of Booking’s Best’ list

Villa Meneghetti, situated in Bale in Istria, was ranked number 8 in the world as the reviewers’ favourites in Booking.com’s The Booking Truth campaign with a score of 9.5 out if 10. Great recognition from a site that deals with millions of reviews a year.

“This secluded retreat is highly reviewed for its rustic aesthetic mixed with modern amenities and stylish décor. All this just a short distance from the area’s beautiful beaches,” said Booking.com.

“We get new reviews every second of the day from our reviewers, each one a fount of knowledge about the world’s most amazing places. So browse our Best of Booking’s Best selections and discover the accommodations our reviewers love,” explained the website.