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.
One of the absolute main attractions of Dubrovnik, the iconic Cable Car, was forced to close down today after the Excelsa Real Estate, the company that owns and operates the cable car, lost a dispute in court. The Customs Administration closed the cable car this morning until further notice for non-payment of concession fees.
Speaking to Dubrovacki Vjesnik the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković commented that “This is proof that how a legal country functions. Without a concession the cable car is closed and there is simply no denial and disrespect for clearly defined decisions. I hope that Excelsa Real Estate will pay their debts from the past and after that a concession will be signed which is mutually satisfactory for both sides.” When questioned how long he thought the cable car would be closed he answered, “I hope the situation will be solved in the period of 20 days to one month and that the cable car will be in operation again. I would like to point out that in future all the money that the city earns from the cable car will be invested into sports infrastructure.”
"We are extremely disappointed that today the Customs Administration closed the cable car on Srđ, after nine years of waiting from the Republic of Croatia and the City of Dubrovnik for a concession," commented Excelsa Real Estate today after Dubrovnik's Cable Car was forced to stop working. Adding that “This decision will jeopardize a significant number of jobs at Excelsa Real Estate and its 343 business partners, of which 130 are from Dubrovnik.”
The Director of Excelsa Real Estate, Anto Rusković pointed out that "We are proud of this investment because the cable car has generated significant economic benefits over the past nine years, not only to our owners, but also to other business entities, and also to the community itself. Since the very beginning of Excelsa Real Estate has contributed more than HRK 122 million in taxes and contributions to the state budget, mainly from the cable car. “
One of the most popular places for parking and waiting to pick someone up from the Old City is Dubrovnik has now been blocked up with bollards.
This move by the City of Dubrovnik has now made this busy intersection a lot safer as drivers will now be able to see before pulling out. It will, on the other hand, not be so popular with drivers who are used to illegally parking on this spot and waiting to pick passengers up.
This is just a small part of the current infrastructure project of the City of Dubrovnik with the aim to make driving safer around the city.
The summer tourist season is slowly starting and with it the unemployment rate in Croatia is continuing to drop. New figures released by the State Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate dropped once again in March and now stands at 9.5 percent.
At the end of February, the rate was 10.2 percent meaning that an extra 8,600 people found work. At the end of March there were 1.38 million people in employment in Croatia, a 0.6 percent increase over the previous month. Undoubtedly the upcoming tourist season combined with the demographic issues that Croatia faces have meant that unemployment is again falling.
Gale force southerly winds started yesterday in the wider Dubrovnik region bringing with them “dirty rain” from the Sahara. With rolling seas, rain and completely overcast skies the summer seemed miles away yesterday as rain fell for most of the day. The southerly winds and unsettled weather is expected to continue today and then tomorrow the blue skies and sunshine will return.
These strong southwest winds came from northern Africa, from Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, and scooped up huge amounts of dust and sand and then, along with the rain, dumped them all over Dubrovnik and the wider region.
Cars covered with orange spots, windows dotted with sand blotches and twisted umbrellas sticking from rubbish bins, this Sahara “dirty rain” is not an uncommon occurrence in Dubrovnik.
Anyone who’s walked the cobbled streets of the historic Old City, or marvelled at the ancient stone facades or climbed to the top of the Srđ Mountain to breathe in the 360 degree views will know that Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream. And according to the popular website Big Seven Travel the most Instagrammable European place in 2019 is Dubrovnik!
The top fifty most Instagrammable places in Europe in 2019 is headed by Dubrovnik with the website commenting “As George Bernard Shaw once said, “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik.” With its winding streets, cliffside beach bars and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is such a popular spot. Looking down across the terracotta rooftop tiles that cover the city with the sea in the background is unbeatable.”
The website final results of their survey were based on a combined score of Instagram data, travel expert’s votes and reader opinions, with 30 percent of the overall score coming from hashtags, 30 percent from judges, 30 percent from surveys and 10 percent from an overview. In total 1.5 million were involved in the social media audience of Big 7 media.
After a whirlwind visit to Dubrovnik the Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo waved goodbye to the city yesterday afternoon as he left his luxury seafront villa. The richest footballer in the world had arrived in Dubrovnik just before Easter and just after winning the Italian Championship, Serie A, with Juventus.
In fact, Ronaldo became the first ever player to win Europe's top three leagues. The 34-year-old had already picked up the English Premiership with Manchester United, the Spanish League with Real Madrid and now the Italian Serie A with Juventus. "I'm very happy to have won in England, Spain and now the league title in Italy as well,'' commented Ronaldo, adding that, "It meant a lot to me and it means a lot to us as a team.''
Ronaldo arrived for his Adriatic break in his own private jet and spent his time in the city in many of the best restaurants, as well as visiting the local islands. He travelled with his 25-year-old Spanish model girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, as well as some of his closest personal friends.
Check out the video by Tomi Surakka posted on his Instagram profile.
Hollywood actress Salma Hayek seems to be enjoying her time in Croatia as she posted an Easter message to her fans on Instagram showing the picturesque coastal town of Rovnij in the background.
Hayek is currently filming the follow up to “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in Istria, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” The cast and crew arrived in Croatia back at the beginning of this month and certainly haven’t been shy on the social media with Reynolds in particular filling his Instagram with shots from the set.
“Happy Easter from Croatia! - Joyeuses Pâques de Croatie! - Felices Pasquas desde Croatia!” added Hayek to her Easter photo message and as she has almost 10 million followers the photos had soon collected thousands of likes.
It is believed that filming will last until the end of May and although the shooting is based in Rovinj other locations such as Zagreb and Rijeka have also been used. The movie will be released in early 2020.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s own private jet is sitting on the tarmac at Dubrovnik Airport waiting for its owner to finish his Adriatic vacation. The $32 million Gulfstream jet is the most expensive private jet owned by any of the world’s leading footballers. It can carry 18 people and can hit top speeds of 610 miles an hour.
According to Spanish website “El Confidencial”, Ronaldo rents out his jet at a cost of 6,000 euros an hour to recoup some of the cost. Apparently the player has a deal with charter company Executive Airlines, and receives a percentage of all rental income.
Lionel Messi has the second most expensive private jet from the leading football stars, and his Embraer Legacy 650 set him back a whopping 28 million euros.
Personalised private jet - Instagram