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.
According to the latest data from the Croatian National Bank (HNB), the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Croatia in 2016 amounted to 1.7 billion Euros, or 1.5 billion Euros more than in 2015.
After a significant annual decline in FDI in 2015 by almost 77 percent in comparison to 2014, the latest figures indicate an important recovery, commented analysts from Raiffeisen Bank Austria.
Last year most foreign direct investment came from Italy, almost 1.9 billion Euros, followed by the Netherlands (539 billion Euros), and Luxembourg (275 billion Euros), whilst the most significant net outflow in 2016 was recorded with Austria, 1.38 billion Euros.
Furthermore, according to the revised data, in the period between 1993 and 2016, Croatia recorded 30.8 billion Euros of FDI. Excluding the so-called circular investments, that have an impact on increasing FDI in both directions i.e. in Croatia and abroad, this amount is lower and amounts to 28.4 billion Euros.
During this cumulative period, the highest values of foreign direct investment in Croatia were recorded in the financial intermediation sector (more than 33 percent), and in the wholesale trade sector.
The summer arrived in full force today in Dubrovnik as temperatures hit 30 degrees! The ancient Old City was awash with tourists enjoying the baking weather and blue skies.
The cafe bars of the city were doing a roaring trade with al fresco coffee the order of the day. A great end/start to the week in Dubrovnik and according to the weather forecast the warmer weather should continue all next week with temperatures in the high twenties expected, the Adriatic Sea is still a rather refreshing 21 degrees.
Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat
Who, what, when, where and how! We have the answers to all your questions about Dubrovnik from one of the leading tour guides in the city – Ivan Vukovic.
If you have ever had a guided tour of Dubrovnik there is a good chance that you have bumped into Ivan Vukovic. For the past decade Ivan has been leading visitors around Dubrovnik, thousands and thousands of guests have been captivated by his local insight and wealth of knowledge. From Game of Thrones to walking tours and even Star Wars tours Vukovic is always thinking ahead of the game. You can find more information on Ivan Vukovic and his tours at his website - dubrovnik-tourist-guides.com
Here are this week’s questions
When is the best time of the day to visit the city walls and how long does it take to walk them?
Definitely in the early morning at 8.00 a.m when the walls open for visitors so as to avoid the scorching heat. This is particularly important in the high season because temperatures can reach 35 degree and there is very little shade on the walls. It takes around an hour and a half to walk the city walls, 1,940 metres, at a reasonable pace.
What are the top three sights that you would recommend to see in Dubrovnik?
My top three recommendations to see and do whilst in Dubrovnik are, in no particular order, the City Walls and the Lovrjenac Fortress, the Dubrovnik Cable Car and the island of Lokrum.
Minceta Fortress - the highest part of the Dubrovnik City Walls
How many gates are there into the Old City and which is the least busy?
There are three land entrances into the Old City of Dubrovnik – Pile, Ploce and Buza. There are also two gates from the old harbour into the Old City. Out of all of the three gates into the city the least busy is the Buza Gate, the north gate. But beware there are plenty of steps down from this gate to the centre of the city, not a problem when enterting, a bigger problem climbing up 200 or so steps when you leave. This gate, in spite of the steps, is the best option if you want to go on the cable car, as the crow flies it is the shortest distance from the Stradun.
How much was left of the city after the 1667 earthquake?
The 1667 earthquake was one of the darkest days of Dubrovnik’s history. The aftermath of the earthquake killed half of the population, around 3,000 citizens, and two thirds of the city was destroyed either in the quake or as a result of the ensuing fires.
WordCamp Zagreb, the biggest annual gathering of the WorldPress community will take place for the first time in Zagreb from the 1st to the 3rd of September 2017.
The three-day event is the official Croatian WordCamp in 2017 and since past WordCamps in Rijeka (2015) and Split (2016) got such a big attendee satisfaction rating of 95 percent and gathered more than 500 participants, the organizers believe that the first Zagreb WordCamp will be the largest individual event in Croatia related to WordPress.
‘’After two successful events in Rijeka and Split, we are happy to host the next WordCamp in the city of Zagreb – capital of Croatia. Aiming for 300 attendees, with three days of content (workshops, conference day and contributor day), we are confident this will help the Croatian WordPress community grow even further. Word Camp will also be a perfect opportunity to meet people that work and live Word Press. On both past WordCamps, we had around 20 percent of people who visited us outside Croatia, so this is also an opportunity for new business leads’’, said the organizers.
WordPress is a free and open-source platform and the world’s most popular website management or blogging system in use on the Web supporting more than 60 million websites.
Since it was founded in 2003, WordPress has become one of the world's most important open source projects through which online publishing is democratized and the values of joint work and contribution to open source projects are being promoted.
One of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik area, Uvala Lapad, is on the cusp of a new, brighter future. The beach, which in the summer is a hotspot for locals and tourists, is in a tourist area of the town and surrounded by many hotels. However the summer season has already begun and the beach still looks like a building site. And according to travel forums the noise for the construction works is annoying holidaymakers.
“We are looking to book a holiday to Lapad but reluctant to do so if the work is NOT completed. Various web forums are complaining about noise when staying in nearby hotels,” commented a reader of The Dubrovnik Times.
Commenting to The Dubrovnik Times the company stated that - Sunset Beach in Uvala Lapad in Dubrovnik is currently under construction, but those construction works are going on according to the planned schedule. Realistic time of completion and opening of the beach is expected end of June, as it stated in the concession contract. So all in all, works are going well, all will be on time, Uvala will get an amazing beach with bar, pastry shop, restaurant.
For the sixth year in a row the most prestigious gastro project in Croatia has awarded the best restaurants in the country for 2017.
The Good Restaurants (Dobri Restorani) award is a joint project of the Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list and Vinart with their partners and sponsors Jamnica, Metro, Koral Badel 1862, and Losinj Hotels & Villas. This event is well known for creating the only objective national and regional top list of the best restaurants in Croatia.
A professional jury of 500 voters from all over Croatia was selected, including prominent representatives of Croatia's gastro scene such as restaurateurs, chefs, food journalists, bloggers, business people, tourist workers, and winemakers. The only condition was general customer satisfaction upon leaving the restaurant.
The Dobri Restorani award was rewarded in several categories such as Best restaurants in Croatia, Best restaurants in Dalmatia, Best restaurants in Istria and Kvarner, Best restaurants in Zagreb, Best restaurants in Central Croatia, and Best restaurants in Slavonia and Podunavlje. In addition, Croatian chefs chose the best among themselves for the category Best chef.
According to the voting that was held in secret, the absolute winner this year for the second time in a row is the Pelegrini restaurant in Sibenik, whilst its chef and owner Rudolf Stefan was voted the Best chef for 2017. The team from Sibenik has been in the very top of the Croatian gastro scene for years. Their quality has been recognized outside the country; the restaurant Pelegrini is a member of the prestigious association ''Jeunes restaurateurs d'Europe'', whilst the British newspaper Telegraph included ''Pelegrini'' in the top five destinations for a gourmet vacation in Croatia.
It is interesting to note that four restaurants from Dubrovnik, ''360'', ''Nautika'', ''Proto'', and ''Pantarul'' have made it to the top ten Best restaurants in Dalmatia, whilst the restaurant ''Monte'' from Rovinj was awarded the first Michelin star in Croatia earlier this year.
Here are the top ten restaurants lists by the categories:
Best 10 Restaurants in Croatia
1. Pelegrini, Sibenik
2. Dubravkin put, Zagreb
3. Monte, Rovinj
4. Noel, Zagreb
5. Plavi podrum, Volosko
6. Vinodol, Zagreb
7. Bevanda, Opatija
8. Carpaccio, Zagreb
9. Marina, Novigrad
10. Mala hiza, Mackovec
Best 10 Restaurants in Dalmatia
1. Pelegrini, Sibenik
2. 360, Dubrovnik
3. Boskinac, Novalja
4. Laganini Palmizana, Hvar
5. Bokeria, Split
6. Nautika, Dubrovnik
7. Fosa, Zadar
8. Proto, Dubrovnik
9. Pojoda, Vis
10. Pantarul, Dubrovnik
Best Restaurants in Istria and Kvarner
1. Monte, Rovinj
2. Plavi podrum, Volosko
3. Bevanda, Opatija
4. Marina, Novigrad
5. Batelina, Medulin
6. San Rocco, Brtonigla
7. Johnson, Moscenicka Draga
8. Damir & Ornella, Novigrad
9. Stari Podrum, Momjan
10. Badi, Umag
Best Restaurants in Zagreb
1. Dubravkin put, Zagreb
2. Noel, Zagreb
3. Vinodol, Zagreb
4. Carpaccio, Zagreb
5. Bistro Apetit, Zagreb
6. Takenoko, Zagreb
7. ManO, Zagreb
8. Barbieri’s, Zagreb
9. Apetit City, Zagreb
10. Time, Zagreb
Best Restaurants in Central Croatia
1. Mala hiza, Mackovec
2. Karlo, Plesivica
3. Kod spilje, Otrusevec
4. Mundoaka, Cakovec
5. Villa Magdalena, Krapinske Toplice
6. Vuglec Breg, Lepajci
7. Djurina hiža, Varazdinske Toplice
8. Academia hotel Kaj, Marija Bistrica
9. Mon ami, Velika Gorica
10. Dvorac Mihanovic, Tuheljske Toplice
Best Restaurants in Slavonia and Podunavlje
1. Muzej okusa, Osijek
2. Baranjska kuca, Karanac
3. Zimska luka, Osijek, Hotel Osijek
4. Josic, Zmajevac
5. Principovac, Ilok
6. Lumiere, Osijek
7. Dunav, Ilok
8. Kovac, Carda Suza
9. Klub restoran Waldinger, Osijek
10. Kormoran, Bilje.
The marking of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Ombla River in Dubrovnik and the subsequent unblocking of Dubrovnik was held today in Komolac with the unveiling of a new monument in honour of the Croatian war veterans.
- It is immense honour today to stand here with you and share the feeling of pride at the place where 25 years ago our sons, husbands and fathers proudly stood and defended our city and our homeland with their lives – commented the Commissioner for the Government of Dubrovnik, Nada Medović.
The new memorial in Komolac was constructed by the T.L.O. Studio for architecture and urban planning, according to the original idea of Mr. Mario Zdraulić. The cost of building the park with the new monument to the Homeland War Veterans was entirely covered by the City of Dubrovnik.
According to the latest list ''30 Smartest People Alive Today'' from Super Scholar, three representatives from Croatia have found their place on this prestigious list.
The American portal Superscholar.org which is dedicated to education and knowledge as the most important links in the history of humans, used IQ results and other factors in compiling the list.
The average result on an IQ test is 100, with most people in the world falling in the category ‘’85-114’’. Anyone with a result over 140 is considered ‘’above average’’, and anyone with a result above 160 is considered ‘’a genius’’.
As expected, the list is topped by a brilliant Stephen Hawking, followed by an array of accomplished academics, smart young intellectuals, former child prodigies and IQ wizards such as Paul Allen, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manahel Thabet, Garry Kasparov, Terence Tao, Donald Knuth, and many others.
As far as Croatia is concerned, three super smart Croats made the country very proud; Nikola Poljak who placed as the 14th on the list, Ivan Ivec (18th) and Mislav Predavec (23rd).
Nikola Poljak is a Croatian researcher and physicist with an IQ of 183. He was born in Cakovec in 1982, and works as an assistant research fellow and instructor at the University of Zagreb’s experimental physics department. Poljak is also an assistant research fellow at CERN, working on the collaborative A Large Ion Collider Experiment in Geneva, Switzerland. Two years ago, Poljak was also among the top 30 smartest people in the world.
Ivan Ivec is a 41-year old mathematician and IQ test specialist with an IQ of 174. He has a PhD in mathematics and works as a professor in the A.G.Matos high school in Samobor. Ivec is a member of Croatia’s MENSA and has a website dedicated to IQ testing.
Mislav Predavec is also a mathematician with an IQ of 190. He was born in Zagreb in 1967 where he works as a professor. ‘’I always felt that I was a step ahead of others. As material in school increased, I just solved the problems faster and better’’, commented Predavec. His unique abilities were recognized from his early age.