Last Saturday, on the French national television station France 5, in the prime time of 20:50, a 90-minute travel show about Croatia was shown. The show “Echappées belles”, or in free translation “Beautiful Sanctuaries”, presented Croatia as the youngest member of the European Union with an incredible natural heritage, rich culture, a number of protected monuments on the UNESCO list, but also as a country of extremely hospitable people.It is a show that shows well-known tourist destinations through unknown facts about the lives and customs of the local population, while special emphasis is placed on active tourism and gastronomy. The recording of this show, which is estimated to be watched by more than two million viewers, was also supported by the Croatian National Tourist Board.Thus, many French spectators had the opportunity to get to know Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar in more detail, and Hvar, Dugi otok, Pašman, Brtonigla, Buzet, Pula, Gorski kotar, Kuterevo, and the national parks Paklenica and Brijuni were also presented. The show talked about the connection of Croatian man with the sea, ie the rich maritime tradition, trends in the production of local organic agricultural products, but also about the valuable historical heritage evoking life and historical events. Thus, Dubrovnik is presented through the artistic vision of Igor Hajdarhodžić and his studio in which he makes models of old ships and through the original works of Croatian artist Lena Kramarić who adorns the interiors of some of the best Croatian hotel buildings.Istria was presented in the show as a gastronomic oasis through the testimonies of famous Istrian olive oil producers, truffles and restaurateurs. As part of the original tourist offer, illuminated cranes of the Pula shipyard, better known as the “Shining Giants”, were singled out. Presenting life on the islands, French host Raphael de Casablanca, during the filming of the show, met with many islanders who live and work in the traditional spirit. The beautiful shots of the protected landscape on the island of Hvar delighted the Frenchman Olivier Grinberg a few years ago, who in May this year opened a luxury boutique hotel on Hvar with his sister, which is also recommended by the prestigious French magazine Vouge. The Croatian hotel in the hands of French hoteliers was the reason for the arrival of the French camera crew on Hvar.Leader Raphael de Casabianca said that he was so delighted by the sight of a lavender field on Hvar, not far from a small white chapel surrounded by millennial olive groves, that he would surely return to Croatia in October. “I am amazed by the richness of the country, the many influences we find in architecture, gastronomy and the Croatian temperament. It feels like a country at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Slavic temperament, Latin culture and Mediterranean style. At first the contact may seem cold, but from the moment you gain trust, the human heart speaks”, Concluded de Casabianca.The show can be viewed in its entirety below in the attachment.
After a tiring but successful 10-day road trip that saw the Wisconsin softball team play 11 games, the Badgers took a couple well-deserved days off early this week before gearing up to face Northwestern in the Big Ten opener next weekend.After opening the trip with losses to nationally ranked Stanford and BYU as well as to Pacific, the Badgers won six of the last seven games, including their final five. Keying the win streak was sound defensive play by the Badger infield. Head coach Chandelle Schulte made particular mention of junior Athena Vasquez as the main catalyst of the improved defensive effort. “Third base had been a position where we were having some problems with errors,” Schulte explained. “We moved [Vasquez] to third base and got very good defense out of her, which was a huge help.”The improved defense has done more than simply lower the number in the error column of the box score. Schulte credits the defense with helping the overall performance of her pitchers.”When the defense behind a pitcher is not making errors, it gives the pitcher a lot more confidence,” Schulte said.Schulte also mentioned that after an early season, which saw the Badgers use 11 different starting lineups, the coaching staff has settled on a lineup that it likes and that has produced results.”Everyone has been contributing, but you never know who is going to come through each day,” Schulte said. “Every day it is someone different who helps carry the team, which is good. I like it better than relying on one player to come through every game.” The Badgers were afforded the chance to play both Utah State and Miami (Ohio) multiple times during the trip, giving the team a taste of what Big Ten action will be like. During conference play, teams play each other in two-game series.”The second time playing those teams, we played much better, and the players gained a ton of confidence,” Schulte noted.While the benefits of playing so many games cannot be overstated for such a young and inexperienced team, there are some minor drawbacks to all the play.”After all that game action, we really physically and mentally needed some time off,” Schulte said. “We have some minor injuries, but mostly just sore muscles from overuse that will be better with some time off.”Besides the game experience and confidence the Badgers gained during the trip, this particular Badger team has something Schulte sees as equally important.”In my 12 years coaching, this team has the best chemistry by far. Off the field, the kids really enjoy each other. We learned a lot about each other during the trip, which will help us work through any tough stretches in the season.”Having found such chemistry and riding a five-game win streak, tough stretches seem like something this Badger team won’t have to worry about for a long time.