Game of Thrones came to Dubrovnik for the final season! The filming of the eight season has started yesterday, all under a veil of secrecy. However, even though security measures are extremely strict, one of the biggest stars of the serial has been spotted while filming – Kit Harington or as the all GOT fans know him – Jon Snow!
For days now there have been rumours that Harington arrived to Dubrovnik, but now we can truly confirm he is. Even though it has been cloudy and rainy day, that didn't stop the filming, and Harington was spotted at the Minceta Fortress.
This are huge news for GOT fans, that will surely think of the numerous theories about Jon Snow in King's Landing. However, it still remains to be seen who (if anybody) of the major characters will join him at the Dubrovnik set.
The production put a lot of effort in keeping everything as private as they can – security guards are almost everywhere, actors can't be seen leaving the veichles and approaching the set and until now we weren't even sure if anybody came to Dubrovnik. We know something now – Jon Snow is in town!
All photos by Tonci Plazibat - CROPIX
It is your chance to win with The Dubrovnik Times and Turkish Airlines. We have teamed up with Turkish Airlines to offer you the chance to win two return tickets from Dubrovnik to Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines has been operating flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik since May 2016 and since those early days of three summer season flights a week have increase to year-round flights, with eleven flights planned for this season. There is no doubt that Turkish Airlines is an important partner for Dubrovnik, and their winter flights open a whole new dimension for the city.
With Istanbul as a gateway for the rest of the world many tourists use Turkish Airlines to visit Dubrovnik all year round. In fact, the airline flies to more worldwide destinations than any other airline, 290 different cities. So with a connection from Dubrovnik to Istanbul you can use this as a springboard to explore the world, and not just through the summer months.
Turkish Airlines is your gateway to explore the world
And The Dubrovnik Times have teamed up with Turkish Airlines to offer you the chance to win two return tickets from Dubrovnik to Istanbul. And it’s easy to enter! Just follow the steps on our Facebook page and you could be jetting off to Istanbul. The competition starts on the 7th of February and ends on the 28th of February at midnight (CET) and the two complimentary tickets are valid for use up until the 15th of May 2018. The winner will be announced and contacted by midnight on the 28th of February 2018.
The second day of filming for the final season of Game of Thrones is upon us and after an eventful first day which saw car chases, dangerous cliff climbs and bodyguards (and that was only the press corps) day two is expected to be the day when the actors arrive. There is no doubt that security has been stepped up a few notches, presumably after a huge spoiler video was shot in Belfast by a member of the public, and there are more security guards in the city than pigeons!
Security cover all the angles - Photo Mark Thomas
Rumours are flying around the set faster than one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. Kit Harington was supposedly spotted by someone on a driving lesson, then it was rumoured he was sleeping in Hotel Excelsior and then it was believed he is still in Iceland.
First it was thought that none of the main actors had arrived in Dubrovnik, but then hair and make-up vans for the principals was spotted and then rumours that three main actors had in fact been spotted. Very few extras have been spotted at all bringing home the theory that main actors will be on screen and not many extras.
However with Day Two of Game of Thrones filming in Dubrovnik starting with torrential rain and a thunder storm we could well see a “washed-out” day and an extension of filming in Dubrovnik.
What is Faith of Angels - Photo Mark Thomas
Patrolling the seas in front of the set - Photo Mark Thomas
In front of the Dubrovnik set - Photo Mark Thomas
Trying to hide the flag - Photo Mark Thomas
Panorama of the Dubrovnik set - Photo Mark Thomas
The low-cost airline easyJet will launch flights from Dubrovnik to Venice for this summer season. The UK airline will connect the two Mediterranean cities three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with flights to start on the 26th of June and run through until the 1st of September.
Tickets for this new connection are already available for sale on the easyJet website and a single ticket starts from around 35 Euros.
After the national airline, Croatia Airlines, the low-cost easyJet carried the second highest number of passengers to Dubrovnik last year and with the introduction of new destinations we can expect that 2018 will be another bumper year for the airline.
easyJet flies to fourteen different destinations from Dubrovnik, including Belfast, Milan, Geneva and London.
Of the 128 cities in Croatia only two registered a growth in the unemployment rate last year.
Analysis by the IT company COIN show that the city of Buzet in Croatia has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at only 2.6 percent, whilst the city of Križevci had the largest drop in unemployment, from 7.3 percent in December 2016 to 4.1 percent in December 2017.
According to this new data, out of the 128 Croatian cities only two registered unemployment decreases of less than ten percent, while the rest were mostly double-digit drops. 15 cities saw drops of 30 percent, 52 cities drops of unemployment rates between 20 and 30 percent and 50 between 10 and 20 percent. There are a few factors for this decrease in the level of unemployment, from more seasonal jobs in the tourism industry to people leaving the country to find work in other European Union countries.
The ten cities with the highest unemployment levels in the country are mainly in the region of Slavonia.
The Croatian tennis ace, Marin Cilic, is planning to get married in Dubrovnik this year. Cilic, the third ranked world player, made the finals of the Australian Open in January.
According to reports Cilic will marry his long-time girlfriend, Kristina Milkovic, in Dubrovnik in April this year. Dubrovnik is the hometown of Milkovic and the couple met when in 2008 when Cilic was playing in Davis Cup match for Croatia.
The happy couple in Dubrovnik on Christmas Eve last year - Photo Instagram
Tourists in Croatia spent on average 79 Euros a day in 2017, which is 19 percent more than in 2016. According to results from the Institute of Tourism tourists spent 13 Euros daily than in 2016.
The average spend per tourist in Croatia last year varied widely, according to a few key factors, with guests from the US the biggest spenders at 160 Euros a day, followed by tourists from the UK who spent on average 140 Euros a day, then Spanish at 126 Euros. Interestingly the most numerous tourists in Croatia, in terms of nationality, the Germans were in the group of the lowest spenders, at only 75 Euros a day.
Of the total average daily consumption per person of 79 Euros, tourists spent the most, 40 Euros spent on accommodation, 13 Euros for food and drink and 12 Euros for shopping.
"One of the most important indications from this study is the noticeable increase in other motives of arrivals apart from the sun and the sea. While vacations on the coastline accounted for 55 percent of tourist arrivals, a percentage of those coming for new experiences and experiences is up 31 percent, and gastronomy vacations is up 29 percent. This is what we aspire to, and it shows that other motivations have become more and more important, along with sports, recreation and active holidays, which can be done both in the pre and post season, and thus Croatia is approaching the goal of all-year round tourism," emphasized the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli.
The State Protection and Rescue Administration started the process of modernization of the alert system in Dubrovnik. The first phase of the work on the establishment of a new population alert system has been completed, and on Thursday, February 8th, from 11am to 12pm on the territory of the City of Dubrovnik, several sirens will be examined on several occasions, followed by the whole alert system.
The State Protection and Rescue Administration therefore notifies residents and their guests to remain calm when they hear sirens on Thursday, February 8th, since the testing of the alarm system elements is necessary for the functional verification of the correctness of the new alarm system.
Filming of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones began this morning in Dubrovnik. It is believed that the HBO crew and cast will remain in the city for three days and a number of locations are rumoured to be used. However, the levels of security are much stricter than previous years as the series comes to a conclusion so the production company are trying to hide the outcome as much as possible.
Filming in the Pile area of Dubrovnik for season 8
Although it was rumoured that many of the stars would be in town so far they have managed to avoid the press. The action today was down in the Pile Bay area, under the Lovrijenac Fortress, and there was even security out in speedboats on the Adriatic to keep prying lenses at bay. Kit Harington, or Jon Snow, was believed to be on his way to Dubrovnik and there are even speculations that fans have spotted him in the city. However, there was no evidence today that the popular British actor was actually in Dubrovnik. “Is Jon Snow in town?” questioned a tourist from Spain to the waiting press, showing that the heartthrob actor is one of the main characters in the serial.
Former producers of Game of Thrones visit the set today
Banners were hung from the Old City walls, props went in and out of the locked down set and hair and make vans were spotted but security, including police, was ramped up to the maximum. The Old City walls were closed in one direction and numerous security patrolled the walls. There were even a handful of fans who had turned up this morning in front of the set to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
Dubrovnik is in Game of Thrones mode and all we are missing are the actors.
Banners flying from the Dubrovnik City Walls
Watching you from all angles
A quick glimpse behind the scenes
Watching me...watching you
Set under the Fortress Lovrijenac
Part of the set or a pile of rubbish...make your own conclusions
It isn’t only in Dubrovnik that the Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of the city, is celebrated. The Dubrovnik Club in New York organised a festival on the 3rd of February at a popular restaurant in New York to celebrate this important day. Around seventy members of the club and their friends and family enjoyed a full celebration of the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
The President of the Dubrovnik Club, Šime Šimunović and the Vice President, Noris Boccanfuso, both made short speeches and introduced the special program for the night. A musical program, with the band “Dalmati” playing for the fifteenth year running, and all of the ceremonies that you would expect from the Day of St. Blaise made this celebration in New York extra special.
The Day of St. Blaise celebrations in New York were held in Restaurant Dubrovnik, owned by Željko Tomic originally from the island of Lopud, and a traditional Dubrovnik style meal was served.
Restaurant Dubrovnik in New York hosted the celebrations