Isolation as Zirje Has No Internet or Phone Connection for One Month

Lauren Simmonds

While life on an isolated Croatian island, away from the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland might look like a dream, the reality is often a stark contrast. These gorgeous islands, of which Croatia has more than 1,000 in total, are dotted along the glorious coastline like rough emerald gems, some are inhabited and some aren’t, but the islanders have it far from easy. Zirje is just one example.

As Jurica Gaspar/Morski writes on the 4th of January, 2020, more complaints have come from Sibenik city councillor and environmental activist Anton Dobra after a series of traffic problems affecting the island of Zirje. This time, the complains have been about another, rather pressing problem; there has been no telephone signal and internet connection on Zirje for a month now. And we’re now very deeply in the 21st century.

“Greetings from one of Zirje’s peaks. What a wonderful view of the Kornati islands. Now, they’re all going to say, ah, look at that Dobra guy, how he’s taking photos of the sunset again, he’s really gone mad.

But it’s the morning, the bura has blown, it’s freezing, and there’s not so much as a seagull to be seen, let alone hear. But, there’s a telephone signal and internet connection at the top of this peak. God forbid you slip and fall down this cliff, who would you call when your connection to the world from the island of Zirje has been gone for weeks? So, if you are thinking of falling down and breaking your leg a bit then you have to do it from up at the top of the hill.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been hunting squid from here, at 100 metres in height, and I must add that I’ve not managed to catch any, but I do it because at least here I’m sure that if my fuel runs out I can call someone for help. So, if any of you people know anyone from t-com, tell them there’s been no mobile network for weeks. I mean… we don’t have shops and ships when the bura blows, but for even our phone network disappear in the winter, well, you just can’t believe it,” Dobra wrote on social media.

Nevertheless, Morski were actually able to contact him, but as he says, that was only because he climbed to the top of the hill to grab some phone signal.

”I’m at the top of the hill now, the top of this hill in my car is practically my office now. I come in the morning and evening to browse through my emails. I’m shocked and sad that in the 21st century there’s simply no telephone and internet signal on most of the island of Zirje. God forbid something happens…” then Morski and Dobra were disconnected, and indeed until the conclusion of the original article, they were not able to reach him again.

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