Monday, 26 June 2017

There comes a point in everyone’s life when we just can’t keep up with the pace of modern life. We look back with ever “rose-tinted” nostalgia at the times when we were younger and our knees didn’t creak when we walked up stairs. When we looked at ourselves in the mirror and wondered “where did that hair come from?” Now I look in the mirror and wonder “where did that hair disappear?”

The speed on innovation is just getting too much for me and I am wondering do I really need that confusion in my life. I can’t help think that my generation is a blessed one. We remember the times before computers, the internet (well of course if there were no computers the internet would be useless), of mobile phones and countless apps. My generation is the one that would sit every Sunday by the radio taping the Top Forty pop list on a cassette. We would hammer the record button is an attempt to edit out the adverts and the presenter and then spend a week listening to the same bloody tape until we wore it out.

Then the Sony Walkman came along and we could listen to our heart’s content and on the move, well at least until the batteries lasted. I know live in a time where tapes are extinct, the Top Forty has disappeared (to be replaced by the Top Forty downloaded tunes from the iTunes!!!) and a Sony Walkman is probably worth millions to a retro collector.

And then the cassette would get eaten by our Walkman and we would rewind the tape back inside with a pencil, those were the days when technology couldn’t exist without a pencil.

We now live in a time where everything is on one device in our pocket – our Smartphone. Yes as we generally get much dumber we have started to give our products the prefix Smart. Smart Car, Smart Phone, Smart House, Smart Windows, Smart Watches...every bloody thing is smart apart from the person actually using it. Apps of all shapes and sizes have “changed” our lives for the better, or have they?

“Can you explain this Snapchat to me I really don’t understand it,” I asked a much, much younger friend. “Well you can take photos and send them to friends immediately, and the great thing is that the photo only stays for a maximum of ten seconds and is then deleted,” he smiled. Ten second and then it gets deleted what the hell use it that? Of course this showed the gap in the age groups, from generation to generation. It turned out, after more explanation from my friend, that teenagers use it to send semi-naked photos of each other, in what is called sex texting. WTF! Well at least it is safe sex I guess.

So into this mix of Smart products comes a new player – my wife. If there is anyone who has resisted modern technology then that is my wife. Apart from Facebook, which she describes as like visiting the “green market” and having a good chat, she is in a black hole of technology. For her a piece of paper and a pen rather than a computer and a keyboard or anything smart. She has been hanging onto desperately an old and rather outdated mobile phone for the past few years. She still gets excited that you can change the ringtone of a mobile! She has never owned a “touch” screen, no, it’s buttons for her. That was until “Jessica” (yes she gave her mobile a name) fell on the ground for the millionth time (after being drowned twice in the sea) and committed suicide. Time for an upgrade as we buried Jessica.

Pretty much the only choice left when she visited the shop were touch screens, although she did have her eye on a specially made mobile for the elderly that had buttons the size of an M&M. It was with a heavy heart that she walked out of the shop with a touch phone. I already knew in advance how this learning process would look. It was like watching man discover fire all over again. When you are used to an array of tactile buttons and now are faced with no buttons it is a culture shock. Of course within the first few hours I had a call every minute, or rather a pocket call as she played with the mobile. Then my phone rang for the eighty-seventh time “Just checking it works,” she answered and hung up immediately. I don’t know if she hung up on purpose or just slide her finger over the wrong button. The digital world has getting up close and personal with the analogue world right in front of me.

The first question came “how do I change the ringtone?” I knew it. And then “can you download some apps for me tonight,” she added. As soon as she said that the Snapchat formula shot across my mind. “Do you want Snapchat?” I had to ask. “Is it useful?” she replied. Well...maybe.

What could be more beautiful than spending Sunday away from the crowds? Lokrum is like an oasis, with beautiful nature, rocks and sea that is so inviting that you just have to jump in. And many did jump, relax, swim and walk - and inspired photographer Zeljko Tutnjevic to make beautiful photos.

Take a look at photo gallery and feel Lokrum magic.

The International Day of Yoga was marked on Saturday in Dubrovnik. On the tranquil island of Lokrum various yoga associations from the city joined together for a session of yoga surrounded by peacocks and glorious Mediterranean nature. It was a day of yoga and meditation and breathing exercises in the Dubrovnik sunshine.

The Ambassador of the Republic of India in Croatia, His Excellency Mr. Sandeep Kumar, and the special representative of the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Miho Katušić, also attended the celebration of yoga on Lokrum.

According to the UN around 2 billion people around the world practise yoga, the International Day of Yoga was introduced on the 11 December 2014 following a decision from the UN.

yoga dubrovnik lokrum

lokrum yoga

 

Looking to escape Dubrovnik through the winter months for a long weekend in a major European capital? Spanish low-cost airline Vueling have announced that this winter they will operate flights from Dubrovnik to Rome twice a week. And with return prices starting at only 70 Euros this new winter connection is sure to be popular.

Vueling already operate flights from Dubrovnik to Rome, and other European destinations in the summer, but now these flights will be extended into the winter. An Airbus A320 will fly twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, all throughout the winter. The airline had planned to introduce these flights last year but they decided to pull out. And with Croatia Airlines dropping their winter flights from Rome to Dubrovnik the Spanish airline now will not have competition on this 45-minute route.

Tickets are already on sale on the website of Vueling.

Summer has arrived in full force this weekend in Dubrovnik with temperatures measuring 32 degrees today and humidity levels reaching 60 percent.

The beaches of the county are doing a roaring trade as tourists and locals look for refreshment from the heat. Weather forecasters predicted a mini heat wave this weekend and they weren’t wrong. A thermometer left on a balcony in Dubrovnik registered 51.5 degrees!

Tourists in the historic core of Dubrovnik gathered around the public fountains, the small and large Onofrio fountains, or in the shade of the terrace of a cafe bar.

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heat wave dubrovnik

The premiere performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream was greeted by deafening applause and endless encores last night in the Lovrijenac Fortress. In front of a packed audience the opening night of the Midsummer Scene festival was an absolute hit.

With a creative set design, brilliant Bollywood choreography, superb acting and the atmospheric stone fortress as a background the performance of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream is a hit.

midsummer dubrovnik

Numerous locals and tourists enjoyed this English language Shakespeare theatre and the Midsummer Scene runs through until the 5th of July. This production is directed by Helen Tennison and the British cast is supported by an international creative team. These performances, and this will be the fourth year that the Midsummer Scene, has been held, have been critically acclaimed and the combination of the Shakespeare and the Dubrovnik seems to be a winning one.

Midsummer Festival Scene is a project of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, and produced by Brilliant Events Dubrovnik and Honey-tongued Theatre Productions from London.

midsummer night dream dubrovnik

midsummer nights dream dubrovnik

A mini heat wave is currently hanging over Dubrovnik brining soaring temperatures and extremely high humidity. The energy sapping humidity has seen locals and tourists escape to the shade of the city's beaches to find refreshment.

The historic core of Dubrovnik was alive with tourists yesterday and it was hard to find a spare table on the terraces of the city’s cafes and bars.

Check out our photo gallery from this weekend in Dubrovnik

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Who, what, when, where and how! We have the answers to all your questions about Dubrovnik from one of the leading tour guides in the city – Ivan Vukovic.

If you have ever had a guided tour of Dubrovnik there is a good chance that you have bumped into Ivan Vukovic. For the past decade Ivan has been leading visitors around Dubrovnik, thousands and thousands of guests have been captivated by his local insight and wealth of knowledge. From Game of Thrones to walking tours and even Star Wars tours Vukovic is always thinking ahead of the game. You can find more information on Ivan Vukovic and his tours at his website - dubrovnik-tourist-guides.com

Send your questions to Ivan and “Ask the Guide” at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the social media accounts of The Dubrovnik Times...if you don’t ask you will never know.

What are the main architectural styles in Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is truly a goldmine for architect lovers; the stone façades of the historic Old City carry many different styles. Baroque, renaissance and gothic are the most common styles inside the historic walls. In 1667 the Old City had one of its blackest days, an earthquake that devastated the entire city. So as the city was rebuilt after this black day you will see lots of baroque architecture.

What museums are there in the Old City?
You could argue that the whole of the Old City is a museum, but a living museum. My advice would be to buy a Dubrovnik City Card, with this card you will save not only money but also time. The card, which offers one – three – or weekly options, will allow entrance into the vast majority of museums in the city as well as the Old City walls. For an additional cost, as they aren’t included in the card, I would also suggest the Franciscan and Dominican museums, the cathedral treasury, the War Photo Limited and the Synagogue.

Is there free Wi-Fi in the city?
Everywhere! All of the bars and restaurants have free Wi-Fi. All you need to do is to ask the waiter for password. Or, of course, you could just be social and talk to your friends.

What cuisines is Dubrovnik well known for?
You are right by the clean Adriatic Sea so sea food and fish should be high up the list. In general the pleasure to be wined and dined in a healthy way, so try some black cuttlefish risotto, oysters and grilled fish. If you want some meat in your diet then a beef stew – called “pasticada” is a must. And for dessert rozata or bitter orange ice cream or jam.

Where are the best spots for swimming?
There are a few iconic swimming spots in Dubrovnik; I wouldn’t necessarily call them all beaches more swimming spots. The Buza bar is one of those, located outside of the city walls on sheers cliffs that drop down to the Adriatic. It isn’t a beach more like rocks, but there are ladders that let you climb out easily. This isn’t a spot for families as you dive into very deep water. Then the iconic Banje Beach with fantastic views over the Old City and the island of Lokrum, this is a better bet for families as there are some shallower waters. But be careful there can be strong currents. And finally the new beach on the Dubrovnik swimming scene, the Coral Beach Club on Babin Kuk. This is a very fancy beach area with a nice bar and lots of sun beds and sun umbrellas.

banje beach swimming

 

"We kept closed windows all winter and we did not say anything, but this has passed all normal behaviour,” commented Frano Gverović on the clouds of dust and noise coming from his new neighbour Slavica Ecclestone.

The construction works on the former wife of the Formula 1 guru, Bernie Ecclestone, have been going on for months as she builds an exclusive villa on the seafront in the tranquil bay of Zaton.

And it seems that neighbourly co-operation is not high on the list of Slavica’s priorities. Frano Gverović rents out apartments and because of the stone dust and deafening noise many of his guests have already cancelled or left early. He had presumed, wrongly, that when the summer months arrived the building work would stop as is the law in Croatia. "Five buildings stopped work on the construction site, but nothing here," he added. The building work is still continuing and the clouds of stone dust still rising every day, it would appear that Slavica has friends in high places.

frano near slavica

Frano Gverović has problems with his famous first neighbour 

The twelfth Dubrovnik Forum is on the horizon and the theme of this year’s forum is "Adriatic-Mediterranean Cooperation and Security in Southeast Europe." The traditional Dubrovnik Forum will be held on Saturday the 1st of July and it would appear that the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, will also be attending the event.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, who was in Belgrade recently on the occasion of Vučić's inauguration, will also attend the important Dubrovnik congress and there seems a chance that the Serbian President will be joining her. Both presidents are convinced that the two countries are in a period of positive bilateral relations and they have already announced the continuation of next week's talks in Dubrovnik. Vučić was not on the Forum last year, then serving as prime minister, and when questioned by the media why he didn’t turn up his statement was full of negative comments. It would now seem that the negativity has disappeared and he could well be in Dubrovnik next week.

As in previous years the Dubrovnik Forum 2017 will be dedicated to the most current topics, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. The focus of this year's Dubrovnik Forum is on the Adriatic-Mediterranean area, which is a geographical point of contact, and at the same time the intersection of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The focus will be on addressing the common challenges of security and stability in the Mediterranean and neighbouring areas by strengthening cooperation and fostering dialogue, while also addressing the opportunities for more concrete action.

Partly cloudy

30°C

Dubrovnik

Partly cloudy
Humidity: 42%
Wind: SW at 6.44 km/h
Tuesday
Sunny
23°C / 27°C
Wednesday
Partly cloudy
26°C / 28°C
Thursday
SP_WEATHER_BREEZY
26°C / 28°C
Friday
Sunny
25°C / 28°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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