Monday, 25 October 2021

“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony,” once said Friedrich Nietzsche. It has been an emotional week in the Thomas household, a week of reuniting.

One of the toughest sides of a global pandemic is the separation. Yes, we’ve been able to keep in touch virtually, but physical contact can’t be replaced with a Zoom call. But finally after almost two years I felt the embrace of my mother again. Tears of joy and relief. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It was a journey, or rather a holiday, that we’ve been planning for a long time. We had missed too many family celebrations over the last two years.

“I’m more than a little nervous about travelling alone,” said my mother on the eve of her journey. Yes, apart from travelling in a pandemic my mother was also coming to Dubrovnik alone as my father had sadly died just before Covid reared its ugly head. It made me think about the billions of other families that had been divided due to the virus.

We had, of course, planned a busy week in Dubrovnik with my mum. In many ways it was strange for her to be out and about in society again. “I can’t remember the last time I saw so many people,” was a phrase that we’d hear a lot over the week. After almost two years at home Dubrovnik probably felt like New York for her. And as she hadn’t been here for over five years everything looked new for her.

Of course we jumped through all the hoops that travelling at this time brings. And ended up spending more on the PCR tests than the actual flights! When she arrived it looked like she had more weight in paperwork than luggage. And just to highlight the absurdity of travel, when she returned home she had to take another test of day two after arrival. But this could be done via post! “What’s stopping you doing the test on another person, or even a dog?” was my question.

From the far reaches of Konavle to the glorious Baćina lakes in the north, we travelled the length and breadth of our county. 24 hours a day together for seven wonderful and unforgettable days.

And clearly I am not the only member of our family with a love for the written word. “This is for you,” said my mum as she dug into her luggage. My father had started an autobiography before he fell ill. It had remained an unfinished piece. However, my mum had been busy over the past two years and had finished the last chapter in his name. Not only had she finished it but she had found a publisher, who had edited and laid out the book. She then had it printed in enough copies to hand out to all the family. Now if seeing your mother after so long isn’t enough of a shock, then receiving a book that your late father had written, and had been completed by your mother, was a shock to the bone (more tears). In these days of blogs, vlogs and posts, there is still nothing as permanent and tactile as an actual book. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword.



We reminisced, we joked, we debated, we ate and drank (thank you Dingač) and above all we laughed. It was so nice to see my mother laughing again after the past period, and it was even nicer to be the one laughing with her. As we plan to have a big family Christmas all together in England this year the final goodbye wasn’t as tearful as it could have been.

“See you in a couple of months,” I said with a smile as she made her way through the airport. And clearly this made the goodbye easier for her. Quality time with our families is something that should never be taken for granted, because time moves so fast. Cherish those moments, as I will cherish that week in the Dubrovnik sunshine with my mother.   

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to      



It’s official, it’s Autumn.

I know it’s here, as I’m having to wear warmer clothes when I get out of the sea. I even wore socks today for the first time in about 5 months.

Weirdly I’m excited about it.

I’m usually grieving the end of summer about now, but this year, I decided to surrender to it, and embrace the new season in all its golden glory.

For our connection to nature in this time is at it’s strongest and there is so much we can learn from Autumn.

Watching the leaves fall, we are reminded of how important it is to let things go that no longer serve us.

Gathering our harvest shows us how many hidden treasures there are to be found when we take the time to look for them.

My local friend is away at the moment in Zagreb, and she’s invited me to go and help myself to what’s growing in her garden. I’m like a kid in a sweet shop.

I find the biggest butternut squash I’ve seen in my life, so it’s like Ready Steady Cook in my house, thinking of all the things I can create with it. There’s a tray bake, there’s soup in the freezer, and there’s still leftovers !

This is food at its best, straight from the garden, full of nutrients and it’s brimming with life energy. My body feels it and says a big “yes”,

Nature really does have everything we need. We just need to look for it.

I can’t help thinking that what we need to do right now is go back to nature.

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It’s not just the hippies like me that think this way. Some of the greatest minds that ever lived know that nature is the answer.

Einstein knew:

“Look deeply into nature and you will understand everything better”.

There was never a more important time than now to do this.

Look to the news and nothing makes sense, look to nature and you remember where you came from, what it’s all about and how to best take care of yourself right now,

As I’m learning, we need to embrace the season.

Don’t grieve the passing of summer, but take some of that summer sunshine and keep it in your heart to warm it through the colder nights of winter.

For the beauty of nature is that it is a cycle, it’ll all come round again.

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This is where we are right now, coming into Autumn, and it is glorious in all its abundant beauty.

Last night, after my evening swim, I sat in my local cafe bar, Eve, on their closing night, and watched a dolphin playing in the bay as the sun melted into the horizon.

Everyone there was captivated, filled with a sense of wonder and excitement. We turned and looked at each other and grinned. It was really a moment of magic, and a sign of the colder days as the dolphins come back!

It was the first time I’d seen a dolphin right here, it felt like a sign, to tell us to look for the magic that is everywhere. The golden treasure of Autumn.

What a wonderful world this is (when we choose where we place our focus).

It’s hard right now, I feel it too, but we still have the choice as to how we see the world and how we respond to what’s going on.

For me, boosted by the knowledge that Einstein thought the same way, my choice is to look to nature.

To remember that life is magic.

And to embrace the changing of the season.

Read more Gillie here...  


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Cavtat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to

The National Headquarters has published new figures on coronavirus infection in Croatia.

In the last 24 hours, 1,448 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 9,221.

Among them, 746 people are in hospital, of which 96 are on ventilators.

14 people died in the past 24 hours.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 407,755 people have been infected, of which 8,664 have died, a total of 389,870 recovered, of which 1,203 recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 20,474 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 2,843,039 people have been tested, of which 9,883 in the last 24 hours.

In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 22 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

These are 11 males and 11 females: 15 from Dubrovnik, three from Smokvica, two from Vela Luka and one from Konavle and Župa dubrovačka. 

One male person from Dubrovnik (born in 1938) died.

28 people made a full recovery: eight from Dubrovnik, five from Metković, four from Ploče, three from Opuzen and two from Blato, Konavle, Vela Luka and Župa dubrovačka.

In the last 24 hours, 450 samples were processed, and a total of 141,419 samples have been analyzed since the beginning of the pandemic.

21 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. One patient requires intensive care and is on a ventilator.

There are 467 people in self-isolation, and no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been recorded in the last 24 hours. 


The Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik is once again organizing the eighth Good Food Festival, a gastronomic event for all lovers of good food, which will be held from the 7th to the 10th of October 2021, in accordance with the prescribed measures due to the epidemiological situation.

This year's program will include the traditional Restaurant Week with festival menus, wine tastings, sweet festival offer, gastro tours, culinary workshops in Deša, beer evenings with good street food in the Dubrovnik Beer Company, various themed dinners and more.

Throughout the festival week, from the 4th to the 10th of October, the Restaurant Week will be held, as well as a sweet offer, wine tastings and gastro tours. Diligent chefs from more than thirty Dubrovnik restaurants have created festival menus especially for the Good Food Festival at promotional prices, and you will be able to taste them throughout the Festival Week. Take advantage of this great opportunity and visit restaurants you have never been to before, let Dubrovnik caterers show you how delicious, creative and tempting the dishes from their offers are.

Participating Restaurants: Restaurant Arsenal (City Café), Restaurant Banje Beach - Bistro 49 - Restaurant Blidinje - Cantina Mexicana Chihuahua - Tavern Dalmatino - Pub Dubrava - Restaurant Gusta Me - Bistro Izvor - Café Lazareti - Hotel Kazbek - Hotel Lero (Piano bar) - Restaurant) - Taverna Loggia - Restaurant Lucin kantun - Restaurant Maskeron - Restaurant Mimoza - Hotel More (Restaurant More) - Restaurant Orka - Restaurant Orsan - Restaurant Pantarul - Bistro pizzeria Prova - Hotel Pucić Palace - Restaurant Rhea Silvia (Old City and Lapad) - Hotel Rixos Premium (Umi Teppanyaki) - Royal Hotels & Resorts Restaurant Zoe and Restaurant Castile - Restaurant Sebastian - Sunset Beach Dubrovnik - Restaurant Taj Mahal, Hotel Lero - Restaurant Taj Mahal, Stari grad - Bistro Tavulin - Tavern Vita Bella.

The sweet festival offer is offered by Gianni Confectionery, Hotel Lero Piano bar, Pool & Lobby Bar of Hotel Lapad and Libertas Terrace & Lobby Bar. Choose an interesting gastronomic tour through a walk through the city that will introduce you to the specialties of Dubrovnik cuisine or a wine tasting in Bakus and Škar wine bars.

GOOD FOOD FESTIVAL 04.-10.10.2021

Find all the restaurants and menus here 

207,558 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport in September this year, as many as 166,000 more passengers compared to the same month last year! Dubrovnik Airport has released its statistics for September, and the airport recorded a significant increase in passenger numbers for the sixth month in a row, reports Croatian Aviation.

Exactly 207,558 passengers passed through Croatia’s southernmost airport this September. Last year 40.952 passengers used the airport and in 2019 405.924 passed through the airport. It was predicted that this year’s figures would be closer to the figures from 2019 than last year, and that has certainly proved to be the case.

From the first of January to the 30th of September, a total of 787,590 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport, while in the same period last year there were only 306,949.

dubrovnik airport passenger numbers 2021

Given that Dubrovnik will be well connected to a number of European destinations in October, a significant increase in the number of passengers on a monthly basis is expected, and Dubrovnik Airport will approach the number of one million passengers by the end of this year. This landmark looked almost impossible at the beginning of the year.

Dubrovnik Airport was one of the most affected by the crisis caused by the global pandemic last year, but in the summer flight schedule this year it was well connected with a number of European and world destinations, especially with daily flights to Moscow, as many as 8 flights a week with two major American airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines between Dubrovnik and New York. These transatlantic flights, the only such flights in the whole of Croatia, will soon come to an end.


In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 36 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

These are 16 males and 20 females: 12 from Dubrovnik, seven from Metković and Ploče, five from Konavle, three from Župa dubrovačka and one from Janjina and Smokvica.

31 people made a full recovery: 12 from Dubrovnik, five from Vela Luka and Župa dubrovačka, three from Konavle, two from Metković and Opuzen and one from Slivno and Trpanj.

In the last 24 hours, 721 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 140,969 samples have been analyzed.

23 people tested for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. One patient requires intensive care and is on a ventilator. 

There are 520 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there have been no cases of violation of the self-isolation measure. 

During September 2021, there were 176,558 tourist arrivals in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is an increase of 316 percent compared to the same period in 2020. In September 2021, there were 866,847 overnight stays, which is 213 percent more overnight stays than in the same period in 2020.

Most overnight stays were made by guests from Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, the United States, Croatia and France.

From the beginning of the year to the end of September, 4,867,620 overnight stays were realized. Compared to the same period in 2020, 77 percent more overnight stays were realized, while compared to the same period in 2019, 60 percent more overnight stays were realized.

In hotel accommodation, from the beginning of the year to the end of September, 1,311,249 overnight stays were realized, which is 117 percent more than in the same period in 2020, and compared to 2019, 41 percent of turnover was realized.

From the beginning of 2021 to the end of September, 2,439,442 overnight stays were realized in household facilities, more precisely 66 percent more than in the same period in 2020. Compared to the same period in 2019, 69 percent of overnight stays were realized.


Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a stunning photo. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely blasting images of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected this week our top five “Is it October already!" photos from Instagram. Check out our top five inspiring Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region. We just love your feedback!

And don't forget to follow our Instagram page


September was a busy month for Dubrovnik and the tourism industry were more than pleasantly surprised at the number of guests in the city. According to official data there were around 101,000 tourist arrivals in Dubrovnik in September and 580,000 overnight stays were achieved. Now clearly any comparison to the chaotic 2020 are difficult, but these figures represent four times as many tourist arrivals as last year.

Once again the most numerous travellers in the city were Brits, followed by tourists from the USA, Germany, France and Russia. Ever since travel restrictions were made simpler for British tourists they have been the most frequent visitors to Dubrovnik. And as they are set to get even easier, and indeed cheaper, from the beginning of October when the need for expensive PCR tests is phased out and lateral flow tests are allowed. This easing of restrictions should attract even more Brits to travel in October, meaning another bumper month.

In the first three quarters of this year around 450,000 tourists arrived in Dubrovnik, and close to 1.7 million overnight stays were recorded. Whilst this may sound impressive it is in fact only 44 percent of the tourist traffic from 2019. However, it must be said that 2019 was a record year for tourism in Croatia, and this year the preseason months were almost empty. The season really started in earnest in the middle of July.

There are currently around 8,000 tourists in Dubrovnik, with the majority coming from the UK, the USA, Germany, France, Croatia and the Netherlands.


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