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Exploring the parks of Vienna

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Vienna, Austria’s capital, is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. However, it is also home to a plethora of beautiful parks and gardens that offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. Here, we highlight some of the most beloved parks in Vienna that are worth a visit.

Stadtpark (City Park)

Stadtpark, located in the heart of Vienna, is one of the city’s most famous parks. Opened in 1862, it spans 65,000 square meters and is known for its picturesque landscapes and numerous statues and monuments. The most iconic of these is the gilded bronze statue of Johann Strauss II, the “Waltz King,” which has become a symbol of Vienna. The park is divided by the Wien River and features beautiful flowerbeds, a large pond, and a variety of trees and shrubs, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

Schönbrunn Palace Gardens

The gardens of Schönbrunn Palace are a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vienna’s top attractions. Covering 160 hectares, these Baroque gardens offer visitors a chance to explore beautifully manicured lawns, elaborate fountains, and impressive statues. Highlights include the Great Parterre, the Neptune Fountain, and the Gloriette, a hilltop pavilion offering stunning views over Vienna. The gardens also house the world’s oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, and the Palm House, a magnificent greenhouse with exotic plants.

Prater

Prater is not just a park but an expansive recreational area that includes the famous Wurstelprater amusement park with its iconic Ferris wheel, the Riesenrad. The larger Prater area, known as the “Green Prater,” is a vast parkland covering 6 million square meters. It features wide meadows, wooded areas, and several small lakes. The Hauptallee, a 4.5-kilometer-long main avenue lined with horse chestnut trees, is popular for jogging, cycling, and leisurely walks. Prater is an ideal destination for both fun and relaxation.

Augarten

Located in the second district of Vienna, Augarten is a Baroque park that dates back to the early 17th century. It is home to the Augarten Palace and the Augarten Porcelain Manufactory, one of the oldest porcelain factories in Europe. The park features expansive lawns, well-maintained flowerbeds, and old-growth trees. Two prominent anti-aircraft towers from World War II add a historical dimension to the park. Augarten is perfect for a peaceful retreat and offers plenty of space for outdoor activities.

Belvedere Gardens

The Belvedere Gardens, surrounding the magnificent Upper and Lower Belvedere Palaces, are a prime example of French formal garden design. Created in the early 18th century, the gardens feature symmetrical flowerbeds, gravel walkways, and meticulously trimmed hedges. Ornamental pools and fountains add to the elegance of the setting. The gardens offer breathtaking views of the palaces and the city of Vienna. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk through the terraced landscape and admire the beautiful sculptures and water features.

Burggarten and Volksgarten

Situated near the Hofburg Palace, Burggarten and Volksgarten are two neighboring parks with distinct charms. Burggarten, once the private garden of the Habsburgs, is now a public park featuring a large pond, statues of famous figures like Mozart, and the Palm House, which hosts a butterfly house. Volksgarten, known for its stunning rose gardens, boasts over 3,000 rose bushes of more than 200 varieties. The Theseus Temple, a small classical-style building, adds to the park’s appeal. Both parks are ideal for a relaxing break in the city center.

Vienna’s parks offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re seeking a quiet place to relax, a picturesque spot for a walk, or a lively area for activities, the parks of Vienna have something for everyone.

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Camino Dubrovnik – Međugroje: Počinje veliki hodočasničko-turistički projekt

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Gradonačelnik Dubrovnika Mato Franković održao je danas radni sastanak sa sudionicima projekta „Camino Dubrovnik“, pješačke turističko-hodočasničke staze u dužini od oko 150 kilometara od benediktinskog samostana sv. Jakova u Dubrovniku do crkve sv. Jakova u Međugorju.

Usuglašen je datum prvog Camina Dubrovnik koji će se održati 24. rujna polaskom iz Dubrovnika, a završiti 29. rujna misom u crkvi sv. Jakova u Međugorju. Sudionici projekta izvijestili su gradonačelnika o dosadašnjem tijeku i realizaciji utvrđenih aktivnosti, a sudionicima sve čestitke za sav trud, rad i detaljno trasiranje, markiranje i čišćenje staza, piše Dubrovački vjesnik.

Naime, nakon trasiranja, staza je u cijeloj dužini očišćena i označena prepoznatljivim Camino oznakama. Ova faza ključna je za funkcioniranje projekta u budućnosti jer je naglasak na sigurnosti hodočasnika, s obzirom na to da je dio terena neurban i nepristupačan. Dovršen je i proces dizajniranja pečata koje hodočasnici prikupljaju nakon završenih dionica te diplome za prijeđeni put tzv. compostele.

Pri samom završetku je izrada internetske stranice projekta i interaktivne aplikacije za hodočasnike preko koje mogu vidjeti gdje se nalaze, ali i neka mjesta koja bi bilo dobro posjetiti te hitne brojeve. Uslijedit će marketinška kampanja za novi turističko-hodočasnički projekt.

Uz stručne službe gradske uprave, sastanku su nazočili i predstavnici grada Čapljine, općina Dubrovačko primorje, Ravno, Neum i Čitluk te Turističke zajednice Hercegovačko-neretvanskog kantona/županije, Turističke zajednice Međugorja i Turističke zajednice Grada Dubrovnika, kao i tim planirana i HGSS-a koji su čistili i označavali stazu: HGSS Dubrovnik, HGSS Čapljina i Čitluk, HPD Sniježnica i HPD Brotnjo.

Podsjetimo, Sporazum o stazi Camino Dubrovnik-Međugorje koja broji šest dionica potpisan je u srpnju 2023. godine. Staza je u listopadu predstavljena u Europskom parlamentu u Bruxellesu, a Grad Dubrovnik je na temelju ovog projekta primljen i u Europsku federaciju puteva sv. Jakova.

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You are going on cacation to Croatia: These are the traffic rules you need to know

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General Information about Traffic in the Republic of Croatia

The traffic rules on Croatian roads are the same as in the rest of Europe. Traffic moves on the right side of the road. Speed limits are posted along the roads. If there are no signs, the following speed limits apply: on highways 130 km/h (81 mph), on two-lane roads 100 km/h (62 mph), in urban areas 50 km/h (31 mph), and outside urban areas 80 km/h (50 mph).

The maximum speed for passenger cars with a trailer is 80 km/h (50 mph). The amount of the fine depends on the severity of the violation. The permissible blood alcohol limit is 0.5 ppm.

A traffic accident must be reported to the police immediately. The police number is 192. The number for HAK Road Service is 978. Road information is available 24 hours a day from the Croatian Auto Club (HAK). HAK cooperates with other international auto clubs.

Additional Useful Information

By calling the HAK number: 46 40 800, you can obtain the following information:

  • Road conditions and ferry traffic in the Adriatic
  • Toll fees for using highways in Croatia and abroad
  • Driving bans for certain categories of vehicles in Croatia and some European countries
  • Fuel prices in Croatia and abroad
  • Information on the membership rights of HAK members
  • Phone numbers of foreign auto clubs
  • Advice on choosing the most favorable travel route
  • Ferry schedules in the Adriatic

You can also get information about road conditions by calling the voice machine: 060 520 520.

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Healthcare services for tourists at 36 locations on the Adriatic

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For EU tourists and domestic tourists, additional teams have been arranged in health centers for the first time this summer, contracted with HZZO (Croatian Health Insurance Fund), where everyone can receive healthcare services, prescriptions, and referrals covered by their health insurance. This is currently available at 36 locations.

Counties and health centers have so far secured staff for 36 teams out of a total of 51 teams contracted with HZZO, and they are expected to operate until September 30th.

According to Marko Rađa, director of the Health Center of Split-Dalmatia County, tourist clinics are currently operating in Supetar, Split, Trogir, and Makarska, with a clinic expected to start operating in Hvar this weekend.

He added that the clinic in Split, which has two teams, operates on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in one shift, and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in two shifts. The clinic in Supetar operates from Wednesday to Sunday, and efforts are made to cover weekends at all locations since family medicine clinics do not operate then.

All domestic tourists can use HZZO health cards, while tourists from the EU and other countries such as Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland can use the European Health Insurance Card.

An additional temporary team, consisting of a doctor and a nurse, has been working since July 1st in Novalja on the island of Pag, near Zrće beach, a popular gathering spot for young people. The director of the health center, Zoran Vidas, told Hina that they have gained a lot from this as it will reduce the pressure on other family medicine offices.

“Tourist clinics were previously not contracted with HZZO, and services were charged. With this, we have gained a lot, primarily reducing the crowds and pressure on contracted offices where tourists went to avoid paying for a service,” said Vidas.

Vidas mentioned that they know they can have over 100 patients in one shift during the peak season, and now he expects an additional increase.

The additional team will work every day except Thursday, which is when the pressure is lowest based on their experience, and on holidays. Vidas also noted that they have had a special point with a team taking care of patients from Zrće for three years now.

Ten teams distributed across five tourist clinics in Umag, Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, and Labin will be available until September 15th to numerous tourists in the Istria County area. The number of people there doubles every summer, with up to 400,000 people daily.

In the Istrian health centers, it is noted that tourists often seek medical help, causing large crowds in the emergency hospital admissions of Pula hospital.

“In the peak season, almost 600,000 tourists are in Istria, which poses a significant burden on the healthcare system, both for the Istrian health centers and the General Hospital Pula,” said the director of the Istrian health centers, Dr. Nikola Žgrablić.

Gordana Antić, head of the Department of Health and Social Care of the Istria County, emphasized that HZZO ensures free examinations, but not the salaries of doctors working with tourists, so they are provided from local funds, specifically from the tourist tax.

She added that previously there was a problem because tourist clinics existed but charged for services, so everyone went where they didn’t have to pay, namely to family doctors. This part is now better resolved and is a significant step towards relieving family doctors and emergency services.

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