Thursday, 22 August 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

One of the most iconic Dubrovnik landmarks could soon have a facelift. The massive plane tree that dominates the Pile entrance into the Old City will soon be the centre of a new project.

The conceptual design of the landscaping around the plane tree has been completed. The new landscaping aims at improving the habitat conditions for the plane tree which in fact is protected as a monument of park architecture, even though past mayors in Dubrovnik have attempted to cut it down.

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This new project will create a new public space for citizens and children and also a shady spot for tourists in the summer heat.

Based on the conservation guidelines and conditions, the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Parts of Nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County will prepare the project, while the execution of the works, expected in 2020, will be funded by the City of Dubrovnik.

This plateau is a remnant of a former historic building garden at Brsalje, erected in the 18th century. The plane tree is the largest tree in the Pile area and has been under preventive protection since 2007. Since 2012, it has acquired the protected status of a Park Architecture Monument.

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plane tree pile 2019

August is on the doorstep and the height of the summer, and indeed the height of the season is here and when the temperatures rise you’ll need to cool off in the Adriatic Sea. And according to the latest sea water quality testing the sea in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County is clean and clear.

The fifth regular sea survey of the sea water on the 118 beaches in the County was carried out from 15 to 25 July 2019 by the Institute for Public Health.

And of the 118 beaches 112 beaches passed the strict tests with the highest rating of “excellent.”

The sea at the Grand Hotel Lopud beach at Lopud, Blace beach at Slivno and Hotel Park beach at Korcula was of good quality, while the sea at Molunat beaches in Konavle and Mlini beach in Župa was rated as satisfactory.

During the fifth test cycle, the sea at Donje Čelo beach on the island of Koločep did not meet the requirements of the Regulation, and the environmental inspection issued an official prohibition warning against bathing. After removal of the pollution source, the Institute for Public Health of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County conducted a sampling of the bathing sea on the 19th and the 20th of July 2019. The test results met the requirements of the regulation, indicating the cessation of sudden contamination, and the bathing ban was lifted.

One of the most important politicians in Europe visited Zagreb today. The newly elected European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in the Croatian capital and met with Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic.

"My goal is to balance the European Union. The east, west, north and south. To bring balance to the small and large members and the younger and older members," commented Von der Leyen at a press conference. And this statement is certainly in line with her comments before winning the job as the next European Commission President. It is also presumably why she chose to visit Croatia so early into new position as Croatia is the newest member of the EU family, joining in 2013. She will also find a strong ally in the Croatian Prime Minister, who is a steadfast supporter of the European Union and is leading Croatia to much closer ties with the EU.

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Photo - Twitter Croatian Government 

"We all know that problems can only be addressed if we are united, successful and strong. The world is calling for a strong European voice, and this can only be achieved if we are together," said Von der Leyen in a possible reference to the UK leaving at the end of October as Brexit becomes a reality.

 

 

Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold the post of President, will officially take up her new role at the end of October and replace Jean-Claude Juncker, who assumed office in November 2014.

Von der Leyen arrived in Zagreb after visiting Berlin, Paris and Warsaw, pointing out that it was very important for her to arrive in Zagreb after these three cities and that "Croatia is the youngest EU member state, but extraordinary".

"The fact that you will hold the presidency early next year shows that Croatia is an exceptional success story for the European Union and that it can be a role model to other countries," added the next President.

Organized by the Central State Office for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia and the Association of Croatian American Professionals from the 10th of July until the 25th of July the project "Summer School Homeland” was held. This project is aimed at strengthening the Croatian identity, promoting global networking of Croatians, cultural and scientific cooperation with young generations of Croatian emigrants and introducing Croatian culture, heritage and tradition.

And as part of the project 33 participants from Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Peru and the United States visited Konavle where they met with the Deputy Mayor Ivo Radonić, visited the Mausoleum Racic and the House Bukovac and made a trip to the river Ljuta.

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It was forecast, but nevertheless it caught a few people out. The incredible rains that hit Dubrovnik on Sunday caused flash floods all over Dubrovnik, and none more so than the historic Old City core.

With a hundreds of cruise ships in the town and thousands of tourists the Old City centre was awash with guests, and in a relatively short period of time it was awash with flood water. Dubrovnik resembled another stop on the cruise ships normal route – Venice.

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Photo by https://www.instagram.com/d.my.photography/ 

According to data from the Croatian Meteorological Service 55.4 mm of rain fell on Sunday. This is more in one day than the average for the whole month of July in Dubrovnik, the average normal rainfall for the whole month is normally 32.5 mm.

“We consider that the drinking water purifiers in Komolac are in operation and that they have passed their first test,” commented the President of the Board of the city’s public water company.

The torrential rains and storms that hit the Dubrovnik region over the weekend, and especially on Sunday, brought with them a huge about of water causing flash floods in the city. Whereas these rains only really lasted for a day and a half they at least gave the new water purifying system a chance to operate. And it would seem that they passed with flying colours, and that the drinking water system was uncontaminated by flood water.

“Indeed, I am convinced that it has achieved its function, but we can only expect real testing of the system when the rains come in the autumn and when they fall heaviely over a longer period,” added Luksa Matusic.

“We just have to wait for the first big downpour so that we can get a clearer picture on how the whole system functions,” he concluded.

When it rains in Dubrovnik it really rains! Summer storms aren’t that rare, in fact in recent times they are more and more frequent.

The heavens opened yesterday and within a few minutes completely flooded the Old City and much of the rest of the city. The flash floods had emergency services on full alert all day with the Dubrovnik Fire Brigade reporting numerous interventions to pump out homes and shops.

These heavy storms and torrential rains aren’t unusual in Dubrovnik, in fact on an annual basis Dubrovnik receives more rain than London, and yes it all tends to fall over a short, sharp period.

Tourists in Dubrovnik normally enjoying a paddle in the Adriatic, but a paddle along the Stradun is probably something they will remember for a long time.

The former resort of Kupari is still waiting for a brighter future, as it appears that the investor is moving slower than expected, but in the meantime the landscape and the abandoned resort is proving a haven for campers, or rather “wild camping.”

Even though camping in Croatia outside of designated camp sites is actually illegal it doesn’t stop hundreds of campers using the former resort of Kupari every summer. According to the law, camping outside legal campsites is forbidden and you can be penalised for it – currently anyone caught passing a night or two in a vehicle or tent in unregulated and free-from-charge locations, can be fined up to 3,000 Kuna.

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This latest camper seems to have at least made an effort to blend in to the surroundings. Parked, or rather camped, in front of the destroyed Hotel Grand in Kupari this camouflaged van brought back memories or a darker chapter in Dubrovnik’s history.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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