Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Visnjica (Slavonia), Croatia June 24, 2008

You will get attention here, if you want to learn how to ride. Plus great restaurant, with variety of foods, from vegetarian cuisine to the local specialties.

Vlado Mihajlovic, Nevenka Topic, Bojan Plantak (on the horse), Ksenija Plantak our host and owner and Nenad Bach

Vlado introduced me to Ergela Visnjica and we put an article on CROWN about this Slavonian pearl. First story was published in "slavonski Poduzetnik", one of the best business magazine for entrepreneurs in Croatia. The same day I got some juice samples from Nevenka and we tested them here in New York. Visnja Juice got the best ratings, then Apple juice (not clear one). Beside Ksenija Plantak, Nevenka is another very successful entrepreneur in Slavonia. Her company is called Prirodno Vrelo.

Ergela Visnjica stables. World class. You have to see it to appreciate it. One of the most beautiful stables I have seen. Contact School for Horseback Riding. Škola jahanja tel: +385 91 654 6135.

Slavonian Road. Going back to Zagreb, through Bjelovar, Daruvar...Slavonian Soul.

Slavonia has a soul and culture of entrepreneurship. See what Slavonia does in the next 7-10 years. Croatians around the world, pay attention and invest in Slavonia. This will be next Istria. Do not wait for Zagreb to send you help. Help yourself, you have everything you need to become the richest part of Croatia.

Lipik June 24, 2008

Beautiful Lipizzaner, finally at home in Lipik, Croatia

Lipik's mayor Antun Haramija and Nenad Bach.

A briefing about the history and present of Lipik. Informative and cordial at the town hall. Lipik opened its heart.

mr.sc. Mato Čačić, dipl.ing. and Nenad Bach, dipl.ing

Mato Cacic is one of the most prominent Croatian expert on Lipizzaners. Mr. Cacic was instrumental in now famous Return of Croatian Lipizzaners from Serbia, stolen in the war.

The beauty of Lipizzaner is evident more so in the real life than in the photos. I love this horses. How they behave and how elegant they are.

I was mesmerized, simply by being so close to perfection.

Strolling with famous Dr. Marica Topic. Tough and sweet. Croatian War Hero. Croatians around the world are specially proud of her and the role she had in Vukovar Hospital. I was deeply honored by briefly meeting her. Simplicity is quality of great people.

Ivo Puscenik, former Mayor of Lipik Stjepan Horvat and Nenad Bach

Stjepan Horvat, Nenad Bach, Ivan Puscenik and Goran Puscenik, in discussion.

Nenad Bach and Ivan Puscenik.

Ivan was "guilty" of bringing me to Lipik and I thank him for the opportunity to see this gorgeous small town in the Heart of Croatia.

Lipik Orphanage rebuilt with the help of Colonel Mark Cook. Little that I've seen, I've seen a lot of love coming form teachers and children.

Mr. Mark Cook at the opening of Children's Orphanage in Lipik, 1993

See You Tube.

Mato Cacic, Nenad Bach, Antun Haramija, Stjepan Horvat, Ivan Puscenik and Frank Westerman. Looking at Kursalon that was destroyed in Serbian aggression 1991.

Nenad Bach and Mayor Antun Haramija (photo taken by Nenad Bach from his right hand)

Nenad Bach and Antun Haramija inside Kursalon.

Jadranka Sirovica with her children's choir. They sang "Lipik, grade moj", "Lipik, my town".
Children from left to right: Vlatko Sirovica, Glorija Novokmet, Ana Novokmet, Arijan Karačić, Tamara Prohaska, Danijela Prohaska, Vedrana Cah, Zvjezdana Cah, Timotej Prohaska

Frank Westerman, Jadranka Sirovica, Glorija Novokmet, Vlatko Sirovica, Arijan Karačić, Nenad Bach, Ana Novokmet, Tamara Prohaska, Danijela Prohaska, Vedrana Cah, Timotej Prohaska and Zvjezdana Cah.

Jadranka Simunovic - Katunar, Dejan Ilicic, Darian Husko, Ivan Puscenik, Ivana Bukvic, Nenad Bach, Goran Puscenik, Srecko Belac, Frank Westerman, Anita Major, Antun Haramija, Stjepan Horvat and Mate Cacic.

Nenad Bach being interviewed.

Sanda Ivanovic, Nenad Bach and Ivan Puscenik walking through Lipik.

Stable in Lipik built in 1938.

Antun Haramija, Stjepan Horvat, ivan Puscenik, Nenad Bach and Mato Cacic

Darian Husko, Anita Major, Stjepan Horvat, Jadranka Simunovic - Katunar, Antun Haramija, Mato Cacic, Nenad Bach, Ivan Puscenik, Sanda Ivanovic, Dejan Ilicic, Ivana Bukvic and Srecko Belac

Photos by Mario Barac, Dejan Ilicic, Sanda Ivanovic.

Slavonia has a soul and culture of entrepreneurship. See what Slavonia does in the next 7-10 years. Croatians around the world, pay attention and invest in Slavonia. This will be next Istria. Do not wait for Zagreb to send you help. Help yourself, you have everything you need to become the richest part of Croatia.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Zagreb June 23, 2008. Jakov Lovric, Marijan Busic,

Tramway ticket in Zagreb. Did you know that Croatia produces one of the most sophisticated Trams. CroTram. See one article on CROWN: www.croatia.org See them in Helsinki, Finland: www.croatianworldcalendar.com

Nenad Bach and Jakov Lovric, Hotel Dubrovnik Jelacic Square Zagreb

First time I met Jakov in New York on a Klapa Sinj and Nenad Bach USA Tour. Besides his successful business MEL Mesnice Lovric Jakov support art and life around him. Special man in my eyes. He does what he says.

Nenad Bach and Klapa Sinj, Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall. Klapa Sinj and Nenad Bach USA Tour 2005. New York, Washington DC, Chicago. Full venues with standing ovations. Tour to remember.

Nenad Bach and Marijan Busic in front of the Arena with The Cravat

Now, Marijan is a heavyweight. People who can talk about concepts for hours are my kind of people. He is the man behind the story and a historic fact of where The Cravat came from. I guess, your guess is right. Croatia. Or as my kids say: "Everything came from Croatia", like I am a character from the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Joke on a side, see their website From the homeland of the first tie.

Necktie of the day

There is much more than this story that comes out of Marijan Busic and I would need more pages to even just scratch the surface. He is a visionary man, that understands and knows what common good means. What history teaches us and where the future lies in front of us. If I was running the premiers, or presidents cabinet of our country, he would be an adviser from the day one.

From their page:
any events in the history of mankind eventually fade into oblivion, but others, leave their indelible marks for the entire world to see. More than 350 years ago, the Croats initiated one such influential occurrence. Although started in the 17th century in a small region on the Adriatic coast, the consequences of this event are still very much evident the world over. 600 million people now wear the ubiquitous symbol of Croatia around their necks, close to their hearts.

Did you know that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie?

In his book, La Grande Histoire de la Cravate (Flamarion, Paris, 1994), François Chaille tells us about the appearance of this article of clothing and how it became fashionable.

"... Around the year 1635, some six thousand soldiers and knights came to Paris to give their support to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Among them were a great number of Croatian mercenaries led by a ban, or Croatian viceroy.

The traditional outfit of these Croats aroused interest on account of the unusual and picturesque scarves distinctively tied about their necks. The scarves were made of various cloths, ranging from coarse material for common soldiers, to fine cotton and silk for officers. This elegant "Croatian style" immediately enamoured the French, who were delighted by the new article of clothing, which had been previously unknown in Europe.

For the gallant French officers in the thirty-year war, the advantage of the Croatian neck scarf was its enviable practicality. In contrast to the lace collar that had to be kept white and carefully starched, the scarf was simply and loosely tied around the neck without need for any additional care. Just as elegant as the stiff, high collars, the new scarves were less awkward, easier to wear and remained visible beneath the soldiers’ thick, long hair.

Around the year 1650, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Croatian scarf was accepted in France, above all in court, where military ornaments were much admired. The fashionable expression, ’a la croate’, soon evolved into a new French word, which still exists today: la cravate. This innovation symbolized the height of culture and elegance. On his return to England from exile, Charles II brought with him this new word in fashion. Over the next ten years, this fashion novelty spread across Europe, as well as across the colonies on the American continent..."

Since that time in the 17th century, derivatives of the word croata have been present in many languages, (i.e., English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian), meaning cravat or tie. It follows then that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie, as France is the mother country of high fashion, Brazil of coffee, Switzerland of cheese and watches, Portugal of port wine etc.

For those who are looking for an authentic Croatian necktie, all roads lead to Zagreb.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Friday to Monday June 20- 22, 2008 Novalja, Croatia

Ivo and Nenad on the ferry boat to Novalja. Friday late afternoon. Pristine beauty in the air and the sea. You fill your nostrils with the salty air for a year.

After rehearsal, first night of arrival. Klapa Navalia. Stronger than ever.

In the company of a famous poet Ivan Palcic of Novalja and his friends. The wine was of superior quality.

My inlaw Dubravko Jancic. Witty and no nonsense man.

Olive tree in the middle of Novalja.

Ivo Bach on Zrce beach.

Mirna and Nenad, enjoying fruits and beach

Croatia is beautiful, wouldn't you say. I guess no argument here.

Ivo and our Kornjaca. Domestic garden turtle.

Tomislav Škunca, Ante Tonči Dabo, maestro Ivica Žan and Nenad Bach. Sunday, Novalja. Coffee. Klapa Navalia. I feel privileged working with them at steady and reliable pace.

Pebbles of Zrce.

Family and friends on Zrce beach. Novalja, Island Pag, Croatia

Our house in Novalja. I remember the day palm trees were planted by my mother and father. Most of my peeing outside of home, as a child in Novalja, went to these palm trees. Apparently they needed water.

Leaving Novalja. Going back to Zagreb. 6 AM. Morning still beauty.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slava Raškaj

Mysterious beauty of Slava Raškaj

painted in 1899

Extraordinary exhibition.

Self portrait

The reason I went to see this exhibition is Emil Makovicka, who praised her art. Darko Zubrinic joined me. Ticket was 20 Kunas = $4.25