Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The Libertas Flag was raised in front of the St. Blaise Church for the 69th time last night as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival officially opened. From the 10th of July to the 25th of August Dubrovnik is in the hands of art and artists as the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival fills the squares, the streets and the stone facades with culture from all over the world.
The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, opened the festival, “The city must first be the place of life, work, gathering and development of its citizens. If the city is tailored to its inhabitants, it will be more appealing to our guests and visitors alike. As a mayor, I will therefore continue to restore Dubrovnik to its citizens, to restore our young people to the city, to create a frame for a pleasant and fulfilled life, accompanied by quality infrastructure. We in our city know best what we need, what our problems are and how we want them and we can solve them.”
And added “In this respect, art is an indispensable part of a society's development. Technology and art today, almost partners, share the same fateful space of man's civilization development. Therefore, let us open, change, adapt to the times, be courageous, moderate and wise.”
After the raising of the Libertas flag, up until 25 August, 20 site-specific locations of Dubrovnik become a place of encounter of approximately 2,000 artists from all over the world with domestic and international audience of around 60,000 visitors.
The squares and public spaces will be packed tonight with the sights and sounds of the 2018 World Cup as Croatia take on England in the semi-finals.
And following the news that Dubrovnik will have a video wall in the centre of the Old City for the big game comes news that Cavtat will also organise a public broadcast. In the Dr. Frano Tuđman Square in the centre of Cavtat the game will be shown from 8.00pm.
And after the match a huge fireworks display will be held, presumably only if Croatia win.
As part of the regular testing and sampling of the sea water in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County the 118 beaches were checked.
From the 28th of June to the 5th of July the sea water was sampled in the fourth such testing carried out this summer. Out of the 118 beaches tested an impressive 115 passed the test with flying colours and were rated as “excellent.”
The only three beaches not to pass with the highest grade were the Portina beach in Ploce, the Kobas beach in Ston and the Usce beach in Ploce.
The 2018 World Cup semi/final match between Croatia and England will be broadcast live in the centre of the Old City of Dubrovnik. The game will be broadcast on a huge video wall on Wednesday the 11th of July starting from 7.30pm.
In co-operation with the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Cinemas and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival a live broadcast of this semi-final clash will be shown at the end of the Stradun on a video wall above the Small Onofrio Fountain.
A great opportunity to catch the atmosphere from Russia in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik Airport greeted its millionth passenger on Saturday the 7th of July a full six days before this mark was marked last year.
In the first six months of this year passenger traffic though the southernmost Croatian airport has increased by a little over 11 percent. In fact, the airport is on course to break the two millionth passenger mark well ahead of last year and 2018 could well be the best ever year for the airport.
To emphasize the giant steps that the airport has made in recent years in 1978 the airport welcomed the millionth passenger on the 7th of November.
Although Croatia has a long coastline and the crystal, clear waters of the Adriatic right on its doorstep it is at the bottom of the European Union in terms of fish consumption.
The Croatian Food Agency has recently carried out a survey of Croatian eating and drinking habits and whilst some of the results were to be expected the consumption of fish and seafood leaves a lot to be desired. Only 16 percent of Croatians regularly eat fish and seafood.
Somewhat expectedly consumption of coffee is high, in fact the second most popular drink in Croatia after water is coffee.
The survey highlighted that the average intake of carbohydrates by both men and women is higher than recommended. But on the positive side fat and protein intake is much better because the average intake is only several percentages higher than recommended.
"Although Croatians are thought to be great meat consumers, they are at the bottom of the EU ranking in that regard. Western countries Austria, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy consume less meat than us, while the ranking is topped by eastern countries Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic," Croatian Food Agency director Darija Sokolovic commented.
Every month, from January till June, has seen a positive increase of passengers with March seeing a massive 40 percent rise in passenger numbers. Dubrovnik Airport is certainly on course for a record year, with more international flights and airlines than ever before in its history the airport has handled an impressive 902,500 passengers since the start of this year. In June alone Dubrovnik Airport saw 365,348 passengers, an almost 9 percent increase over June from 2017.
May saw an increase of almost 15 percent with a little over 291,000 passengers using Croatia’s southernmost airport. At the beginning of the year the airport was predicting a healthy 10 passenger increase, however since the beginning of 2018 they are already seeing a 11.1 percent increase with a busy August and September expected.
As ever the airport struggles to attract airlines out of the main tourist season. For example, in January only 22,280 passengers, of which the vast majority were on domestic flights to Zagreb, used the airport which when compared to the June figure shows the peaks and troughs that the airport is constantly combating.
The Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, not only danced and celebrated in the stands but also in the got wild in the dressing room with the team after the match.
Kolinda has proved an absolute hit on social media and her special red and white outfit for the quarter-finals against Russia certainly caught the eye. She sat in the VIP area alongside the director of the Croatian Football Association, Davor Suker, and a seat away from the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.
Kolinda meets the fans before the match - Photo Facebook Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Check these videos of Kolinda celebrating a historic Croatia win in the 2018 World, Cup in Russia