Category: Magazine

[VIDEO] Award-Winning ‘Dancing With Maria’ Coming to Croatian Cinemas

1Italian-Argentinian-Slovenian documentary film Dancing With Maria, which is about the works of famous Argentinian dancer, choreographer and dance pedagogue María Fux, is coming to Croatian cinemas…

The film will be announced with a series of dance events and flashmobs in Croatian cities (Varaždin, Rijeka, Zagreb and Pula). A big surprise is awaiting passers-by this Saturday at noon in front of Cinema Europa in Zagreb.

Audiences in Zagreb will have a chance to see the film at Cinema Europa (Varšavska 3) from 28 to 31 March. Subtitled Tuesdays, a new programme, will screen Dancing With Maria at Cinema Europa on 31 March with both English and Croatian subtitles. The film will also be screened at Dokukino KIC from 9 to 19 April and on 29 April at Art-kino Grič.

Maria’s dance method is based on the perception of inner rhythms and the symbiosis with music. In her studio in the centre of Buenos Aires 90-year-old Maria welcomes dancers from all walks of life, including women and men with physical and mental impairments, and arranges integrated dance groups. Maria Fux is now dealing with one last student, possibly the most difficult one: herself. We all have limits that we can acknowledge and finally overcome. The film is directed by Ivan Gergolet and it won an award at last year’s Venice Film Festival in the Critic’s Week programme.



How to Make Stuffed Peppers – A Croatian Favourite

stuffed-peppers-croatan-cooking-960x500This week Croatia Week spoke to expat Australian blogger SJ Begonja, who moved to Croatia to live just over two years ago. SJ has immersed herself into the Croatian way of life, picking up the language slowly and mastering a number of famous dishes served in Croatia…

SJ revealed in her interview that one of her favourite dishes were stuffed peppers or capsicums (punjene paprike).

441d37b8eb1b11e2aeb222000a1f9e7e_7“Every Croatian I know has their own variation on this recipe, and they of course all claim that their way is the best way to makes them. Also, I have come to notice of my years of being in a Croat family that, people have different ways of eating them,” said SJ.

Head on over to her blog here as she takes us step by step through how to make the popular Croatian dish.

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(photos / chasing the donkey)



Ultra Europe Croatia to Release Discounted Tickets

ultraOne of the most anticipated happenings of the summer in Croatia – Ultra Europe music festival – is not far away, and on Wednesday organisers are releasing a deal for Croatian citizens…

Citizens of Croatia will be able to pick up tickets to Ultra Europe at discounted prices from Wednesday 25 March. A limited number of tickets at 899 kuna (120 euros) will be available at T-Com shops until they are sold out. If there are some still available after two weeks then they can be purchased via Ultra Europe sales channel. Regular admission for the festival starts at 1,289 kuna (169 euros).

Some of electronic music’s biggest names will performing in Croatia at this year’s festival, which is now in its third year, including Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Carl Cox, The Chemical Brothers (live), David Guetta, Hardwell, Knife Party, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Steve Angello, Tiësto and Zedd.

Ultra Europe Week in Croatia (9 – 15 July) will be held at Poljud Stadium in Split, and will also feature after parties on the islands of Hvar and Vis, as well as a yacht regatta in Bol on the island of Brač. (photo / Ultra PR)

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Restaurant Review: Trajbar Team

ttBy: S.P

My daughter loves horses. Like most daughters do at some point or another. So one day we embark on a little trip to Zaprešić, just northwest of Zagreb. It isn’t all that far, very near to West gate shopping center.

We arrive at Trajbar Team and are immediately impressed by the beautiful surroundings. Woods, pastures, huge manicured lawn, a children’s playground. Riding hall and stables in excellent condition and very clean. The restaurant has a big terrace and the ambience is very nice. It is a happy place for children with pony rides available on the weekends and a big secure place to play in. If you have children, at this point you are already happy with any kind of food. Children happy, parents happy.

We order the homemade Istrian pasta (fuzi) with beef in truffle sauce and a stuffed pork chop (punjeni lungic). And the food is excellent. Well presented, cooked to high standards. The pasta, unlike in most places is really homemade, the pork chop melts in your mouth.

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Nicely seasoned and well-balanced. For dessert I have a panna cotta. I get to taste a little bit after unfortunately leaving it unattended with my children. The wine list is decent with some choice by the glass. As a parent and a foodie, this place is your jackpot.

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Trajbar Team also organizes functions like weddings and children’s birthday parties either outside or inside. Additional they regularly organize children’s weeklong riding camps in holiday times. (photo credit / Hungry Foodography)

EXPAT INTERVIEW: Australian SJ Begonja Talks About Life in Croatia

sjbIn 2013 Australian Sarah Jane Begonja packed up her things in Sydney, along with her Australian-born Croatian husband and son, and left the rat race to live in a small village outside of Zadar on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Two years on we talk to her about how life has been treating her so far in Croatia, how picking up the local language is going, and her popular blog Chasing the Donkey…

So SJ, how did you decide to leave a life in Australia and move to live in Croatia?

We took an extended vacation travelling around Europe in 2010 and used Croatia as our base, it was then that we realised just how much we loved the lifestyle here. It took us 2 and a half years to save enough money to be in a position to move – and now here we are.

Through your experience, do you have any advice for those who find themselves in the same boat and fall in love with Croatia after a holiday and are keen to move over to live?

The current tough economic circumstances here make it very difficult to obtain work, and so if you plan to move to Croatia – you will need a generous amount of savings to get started. The cost of living on a foreign salary is less than Australia however once you transition to earning money in Kuna, things can be expensive.

Begonja family photo in Croatia

Begonja family photo in Croatia

What do you miss the most about home?

It’s always on my mind how far away my family and friends are. I miss them terribly every day. The other things I miss are so silly, like home delivery for my groceries and international food. Those things that I can do without, but if any of my family wanted to move in with me, I’d open the door to them in a heartbeat.

Favourite food?

I am a sucker for all Croatian food. I don’t even know if I can choose just one. Stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbages, krafne…need I go on?

Stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers

Favourite drink?

Each weekend I enjoy a rakija with the family before lunch and love most flavours. Best of all walnut…or maybe cherry, depending who makes it.

Favourite place in Croatia?

Choosing just one place in Croatia, is like having to choose your favourite child. You can’t just pick one. Although I can tell you my favourite island, that has to be Brač, specifically the area of Bol. That place has something for everyone and THAT beach, wow. I have also loved the area of Zagorie, we stayed in Marija Bistrica and I’d love to go back and explore that area more.

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SJ and family on Brač

You have been here a while now, how is your Croatian language coming on?

Ja ucim hrvatski s moja učiteljica i svaki dan govorim sa svojom obitelji. I get told that my pronunciation is great, but the grammar makes things very complicated for me. I am helping my son learn, and in doing so learn lots with him. I have a long way to go, but you have to start somewhere. Polako, Polako.

Do you have any tips for those expats living in Croatia who don’t know the language?

Sit at cafes and listen. Ask lots of questions, and just speak what you know. I have found that repeating the same things over at your local cafe, with shop assistants etc and over has given me more confidence.



Have the locals been welcoming since you arrived?

The ones that I have connected with in person are, although they think I am mad for wanting to live here while so many people are doing their best to ‘escape’ abroad. I hope that once the house is finished, we can make even more friends and be welcoming to new people moving to the area.

You have started a blog called Chasing the Donkey, which has become very popular. Can you tell our readers how it started and any anecdotes from your last couple years blogging about Croatia?

It all started with a way for me to mentally prepare for my new adventure, and as a way to communicate with those back home. Because our house took so long to get approval we started travelling and exploring Croatia, readers started asking me advice about where to go and what to do in Croatia. So, I started jotting down more and more posts down about travel, and it just took off from there. It’s been a wonderful way to connect with other expats, people planning to move here, travellers and also many Croatians who are curious about our life here. My blog has become like a child, it requires a lot of time (and money) and I’ve been very proud to see it get bigger each month.

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What are your plans….are you here for the long haul?

Yup. We are about 5 months away from moving into our new house here, and I plan to send my son to the local school in a few years. 2016 will see us launch into a new business venture and if all goes well, I’ll become a Citizen in 2018.

(main photo / Milina Opsenica Photography)

 

The Croatian Promo Blog that went Viral – 1 Million Hits in 24 Hours


For most bloggers, writing an article that goes viral is the holy grail. That is what happened to award-winning Croatian tourism blogger Paul Bradbury when he decided to embark on a social experiment recently…

Using the strategy of reverse psychology to attract tourists, Bradbury has humourously listed 25 reasons why you should not visit Croatia in a blog published on the website of Private Accommodation Croatia.

“I recently came across a very clever blog called 27 Reasons to Never Visit Poland. Tongue in cheek, it was a visual introduction to the country that changed my perceptions of tourism in that country. Could it work in Croatia?,” questioned Bradbury.

It sure could. The blog went viral and after just 24 hours it had over one million hits, with all major portals in Croatia publishing the blog. If you are not one of the million-plus who have seen it, then here are the 25 reasons..

25 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Croatia

1. Their buildings are falling down

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Croatia has a heritage dating back thousands of years, which spectacular ruins such as the Pula Arena, the sixth largest Roman Amphitheatre in the world.

2. Their planes have no wheels

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Last year the first scheduled seaplane service in modern European aviation history was introduced to Croatia. Travel like never before.

3. Their buses look funny

With more than a thousand islands to choose from, ferry travel is a romantic part of a Croatian holiday.

With more than a thousand islands to choose from, ferry travel is a romantic part of a Croatian holiday.

4. Their taxis are different

And if you have the money for a taxi, why not enjoy speedboat heaven?

And if you have the money for a taxi, why not enjoy speedboat heaven?



5. The food looks funny

Each region of Croatia has its own cuisine, which all have one thing in common – freshness of ingredients!

Each region of Croatia has its own cuisine, which all have one thing in common – freshness of ingredients!

6. The wine is unpronounceable

With 130 indigenous grape varieties, including the original Zinfandel, getting to know the wines is a challenge. How do you pronounce Grk?

With 130 indigenous grape varieties, including the original Zinfandel, getting to know the wines is a challenge. How do you pronounce Grk?

7. They dress funny

Croatia is a land of tradition, and many festivals include spectacular traditional local dress.

Croatia is a land of tradition, and many festivals include spectacular traditional local dress.

8. Their music has no instruments

Dalmatia's a capella sing is spectacular, and a UNESCO intangible world heritage.

Dalmatia’s a capella sing is spectacular, and a UNESCO intangible world heritage.

9. They talk a lot about olives

Croatian olive oil is among the best in the world, something you will come across a LOT on your holiday.

Croatian olive oil is among the best in the world, something you will come across a LOT on your holiday.

10. All their towns are made of stone

If you are looking for beachfront modern skyscrapers, you are in the wrong place. The coast is littered with picturesque walled stone towns.

If you are looking for beachfront modern skyscrapers, you are in the wrong place. The coast is littered with picturesque walled stone towns.

11. They eat octopus

One of the most popular and unfamiliar dishes is octopus. Don't leave without ordering an octopus salad.

One of the most popular and unfamiliar dishes is octopus. Don’t leave without ordering an octopus salad.

12. They have the weirdest food festivals

They eat dormice, celebrate with broad bean ice-cream, and even a chestnut festival with 40,000 people.

They eat dormice, celebrate with broad bean ice-cream, and even a chestnut festival with 40,000 people.

13. Coffee takes an hour

There is no such thing as a quick coffee.

There is no such thing as a quick coffee.

14. They don’t understand the need to be on time

Time is relative, perfect on a lazy holiday.

Time is relative, perfect on a lazy holiday.

15. There is almost no sand in the beaches

Not familiar with non-sandy beaches. Just look at the clearness of that water.

Not familiar with non-sandy beaches. Just look at the clearness of that water.

16. Summer is too hot

What to do in summer with the non-stop sunshine and 1000 islands and more than 1000 km of coast – the beach!

What to do in summer with the non-stop sunshine and 1000 islands and more than 1000 km of coast – the beach!

17. Winter is too cold

Croatia is regarded as a summer destination, but attractions such as Plitvice Lakes are stunning in winter.

Croatia is regarded as a summer destination, but attractions such as Plitvice Lakes are stunning in winter.

18. They have more UNESCO sites than World Cup medals

Seven in all, testament to Croatia's rich heritage and natural beauty.

Seven in all, testament to Croatia’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

19. Their fish have to swim three times

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First in the sea, then in olive oil during cooking, then in wine as part of the meal. Quality and fresh, caught, prepared and enjoyed in Croatia.

20. The Spanish word “manana” comes from the Croatian “pomalo”

The pace of life in Spain may be world famous, but life in Dalmatia could challenge it.

The pace of life in Spain may be world famous, but life in Dalmatia could challenge it.

21. The weather never changes

With an average of 2718 hours of sun a year, Hvar is the sunniest island in Europe.

With an average of 2718 hours of sun a year, Hvar is the sunniest island in Europe.

22. They think they have the best beaches in the world

You won't find a Croat who says the beaches are better anywhere else.

You won’t find a Croat who says the beaches are better anywhere else.

23. They think they have the best sea in the world

You won't find a Croat who says the sea is better anywhere else.

You won’t find a Croat who says the sea is better anywhere else.

24. They think they have the best lifestyle in the world

And while the world argues and fights, life on the Split riva every day of the year.

And while the world argues and fights, life on the Split riva every day of the year.

25. After a week there, you never want to come home

Once you visit, you will fall in love and never want to leave. How do you explain THAT to your boss back home?

Once you visit, you will fall in love and never want to leave.
How do you explain THAT to your boss back home?

 

Sinj to Host 10th National Pršut Fair

Croatia27Sinj, located in the continental part of Split-Dalmatia County, will play host to the 10th National Pršut fair starting next weekend…

For the 10th year in the row the fair is expected to gather the leading pršut and cured meat producers in Croatia, as well as guest producers from Italy, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Exhibitors will have an opportunity to present their delicacies to a large crowd that is expected to turn when the fair gets underway on 28 March. The fair will also have an educational and competition aspect. Lectures and expert roundtables will be held with an emphasis this year on how producers can access grants and stimulant packages from the Ministry of Agriculture as well as from EU funds.

Exhibitors can also enter the competition section which will award the best pršuts and cured meat products at the fair. The fair runs for two days and ends on 29 March. (photo / Tim Ertl)



The 24 Million People Plus Promotion That Cost $0

DubrovnikThe Marketing Director at the Dubrovnik Tourist Board must be one very happy person. When your destination is promoted to over 13 million Facebook fans and 11 million followers on Twitter, and it has not cost a cent of your budget it is one of the better days at the office…

That is what happened this week when India’s biggest movie star Shah Rukh Khan told over 20 million of his social media fans how beautiful the southern Dalmatian city was.

‘How beautiful is Dubrovnik…makes me want to write’ – wrote Khan, who is currently in Dubrovnik shooting scenes for his latest film ‘Fan’. Khan and a crew of over 50 from India will be in Dubrovnik filming for the rest of this week.

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A price can not be put on what filming HBO classic Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik has done for tourism in the city after the show was beamed into the homes of millions around the world, and perhaps this Bollywood hit, and Khan’s praise, can open up a new market which is relatively untapped for Dubrovnik and Croatia – the 1.2 billion populated India.

Considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, with a fan following claimed to number in the billions, Khan was called “the world’s biggest movie star” by the Los Angeles Times. He is reportedly worth over 600 million USD.

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Khan, currently filming in Dubrovnik

Time will tell if Dubrovnik’s spotlight in recent days in India, where the story of Khan filming in Dubrovnik was covered extensively, urges locals to head to their travel agents.



Pay With a Poem at Cafes in Croatia Later This Month

juliusPoems will be the accepted currency at a number of cafes across Croatia later this month…

Croatia will be one of 23 countries taking part in the Julius Meinl pay with a poem initiative to celebrate International Poetry Day on 21 March. Free coffee will be served all day at more than 250 cafes across Croatia to those who are prepared to pay with a poem, song, lyrics, thought or phrase written on a piece of paper. This will be the second year in row that Croatia has been involved in Julius Meinl’s international Poetry Project.

Founded in 1862, Julius Meinl manufacturers and retails coffee, gourmet foods and other grocery products. The company is based in Vienna, Austria and is named after its founders Julius Meinl I, and Julius Meinl II.



The 3rd International Croatian Tattoo Convention

ttZagreb will play host in May to the 3rd International Croatian Tattoo Convention…

International and local tattoo artists, enthusiasts, collectors and those just curious will gather at the Student Centre in the Croatian capital for a 3-day festival of tattoos.

“Our goal is to once more make a three-day gathering for tattoo collectors. For three full days this imposing venue will be filled with renowned local and international tattoo artists, various vendors,colorful tattoo collectors as well as those more “shy” with one or two small tattoos and a few piercings,” said the organisers Zele of Tattoo & Piercing “Zagreb” and “BRM Croatia”.

A number of competitions will be held over the 3 days, including the best tattoos completed on each day, as well as the best black and grey tattoo, best coloured tattoo and best ornamental tattoo. Visit the official website here for more information.