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.
A spectacular concert last night in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik marked the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving.
The concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and the vocal group Subrenum was a gift from the City of Dubrovnik to the fellow citizens on the eve of the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving and the Day of Croatian Defenders and was held in front of the Church of St. Blaise.
At the concert under the guidance of the conductor Đelo Jusić, the people of Dubrovnik and guests had the opportunity to hear some of the most beautiful songs dedicated to the homeland and the city.
Today, August the 5th, Croatia both celebrates and remembers. 'August the 5th is a public holiday in the Republic of Croatia – “Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders.”
On this day in 1995 the Croatian Army took the city of Knin from Serbian forces in a military offensive known as Operation Storm. The victory at Knin brought an end to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which had been a Serb territory in Croatia.
And today the city of Knin is the focus of the celebrations marking the event. A holy mass is followed by the laying of wreaths in honour of those who lost their lives during the conflict.
Croatia's tourist offer has another attraction. The first theme park in the country was officially opened on the 3rd of June 2017.
The Fun Park Mirnovec, which is located 2 km south of Biograd na Moru in the Zadar County, is the biggest investment in the entertainment industry worth 15 million Euros. It was built for children and adults following the example of the world famous centres of adrenaline fun such as Gardaland in Italy, or theme parks in Florida and Orlando.
The park spreads across 45,000 square metres, whilst one of the best and most famous architects for fun parks in the world, the Italian architect Franco Barazzoni designed the park.
The newest attraction in Croatia employs 120 people, whilst the park with 30 attractions is divided into three parts – the Wild West, the Universe and the Pirate City. Each part is combination of attractions and games for children, teenagers and whole families.
The park also has roller coasters, carousels and water rides as well as the 30-metre high ‘’Adriatic Eye’’ similar to the famous London Eye.
Last week state statistics published preliminary data on retail trade in June thus confirmed the continuation of favourable trends in consumer spending which was 5 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
The latest Eurostat data show that in the EU28 countries the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.4 percent on a monthly basis.
In relation to the rest of the European Union, Croatia is the leading country in terms of the growth dynamics of retail trade with the largest increase of 5.8 percent in retail trade compared to the previous May.
Croatia is followed by Portugal (+2.4%) and Slovenia (+1.7%), whilst the largest decreases were recorded in Lithuania (-1.7%), Latvia (-0.8%) and Bulgaria (-0.5%).
Furthermore, retail trade volume rose by 3.1 percent in the EU28 on an annual basis. The highest increases in the total retail trade volume were recorded in Slovenia (+10.2%), Croatia (+8.2%) and Slovakia (+8.1%), whilst the largest decrease was recorded in Luxembourg (-25.8%).
After a decline in consumer optimism in April, these indicators recovered in May and June, partly due to expectations of record tourism results with positive effects on personal consumption, household income, etc.
If you were wondering how to keep cool at night without air-conditioning maybe this photo from 2013 will give you some ideas. Of course we aren’t suggesting for a moment that sleeping on the terracotta roofs of the historic Old City is a wise idea, or even a safe one, but this photo reminded us of summers past.
Dubrovnik is in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures racing up to almost 40 degrees. The air temperature in Dubrovnik was measured at 37 degrees today and if you were thinking of cooling off in the Adriatic Sea, think again!
The sea temperature in Dubrovnik today was a bath-like 27 degrees. In other words the sea in Dubrovnik is currently warmer than Paris (24 degrees, Berlin (24 degrees) and London (21 degrees). And the night time temperatures in Dubrovnik are just as warm. Last night the temperature at 1.00am was a boiling 26 degrees and tonight will again be a warm one with 25 – 27 degrees expected.
But before you were considering to sleep al fresco, like the man in the photo from 2013, think again, you just might wake up with a bump.
Close to Dubrovnik, more precisely just in front of island of Daksa, 'Amadea' yacht is anchored, a 106-meter-long luxurious beauty, built in 2017 at the German shipyard Lurssen.
The ownership of this yacht is wrapped up in the veil of secrets. Although it is alleged that the yacht is intended for rental, the charter website does not provide the possibility of renting 'Amadea', so it remains unknown to whom and for how much money is rented for sailing.
''The maximum load of the power system has been recorded between 2 pm and 3 pm today, whilst high loads are expected in the next following days'', informed the Croatian Operator Transmission System (HOPS) on the 3rd of August 2017.
Due to extremely high temperatures, Croatia recorded high electricity consumption and the maximum load of the Croatian Electric Power System (EES) of 3029 megawatts, which is the new summer maximum in electricity consumption; not only this year but also the highest ever recorded since EES measurements.
So far, the highest maximum in electricity consumption of 3,009 megawatts was recorded in 2015.
The energy needs of the Croatian power system are supplied from domestic power plants and by energy imports. Production in the Croatian Electric Power System supplies around 47 percent of the required energy, whilst imports supply the rest of energy needed. Around 12 percent of the total energy needs are supplied from the Croatian part of the nuclear power plant Krsko.
“I just love learning languages, for me it is like different types of music,” commented Samatha Becker from South Africa after a Croatian language course at the Europe House in Dubrovnik.
And Samatha wasn’t alone at the language course; she was joined by a young couple from Australia, Luke Zhang and Shifra Joseph, who also sang the praises of the course.
Getting to grips with the basics
Europe House Dubrovnik is located at Nikola Tesla Street 9 which is in the Batala suburb of Dubrovnik. It is easy to reach and there are plenty of buses that stop almost directly outside of the offices. The Croatian language mini-courses run every day from 2.00pm to 6.00pm, from Monday to Friday, up until the 15th of September, and the courses are free of charge.
The course lasts for two hours which is more than enough to give you a good basic understanding of the language. At least you’ll be able to ask your waiter a few questions and meet and greet people. “I think what I have learnt today will be very useful to at least establish an initial rapport and then I will flip into English. But at least I won’t go straight into English,” explained Shifra with a smile.
Easy to find the offices on Nikola Tesla Street
These courses are aimed at visitors to the city and as the President of Europe House Dubrovnik, Adriana Kremenjaš Daničič, explained “Croatia is a small country and in comparison with the world's largest languages, the very few people speak Croatian. That is why we do not expect our visitors to know our language. But everywhere in the world, even in Croatia, people are delighted when foreigners try and speak their language.”
And they seem to be working well. Luke from Australia added that when asked how difficult it had been to learn Croatian answered “It has been really fun, our teacher Barbara was excellent. It will take me a while to get the hang of the language but this course has certainly helped.”
Mini-course proving popular
Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) is very active in the Dubrovnik community. Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) was founded in March 1995 as a non-profit, non-party and non-governmental association. The Statute was signed by the representatives of 24 legal entities from various parts of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The founding goals were to affirm the concept of European unification, to inform Croatian citizens, especially young people, on the progress of European integration, to foster their understanding, tolerance and dialogue with the citizens of other states, and to promote Croatia through cooperation with foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations.
And apart from the Croatian mini-course that are currently being held in the Europe House Dubrovnik the organisation also organizes educational workshops, lectures, exhibitions, round tables, media campaigns, celebrations for Europe Day, international seminars and conferences. Besides releasing its own publications, EHD also collects and distributes publications on various aspects of European integration, in several European languages. The activities are mostly youth-oriented, so that most of the associates are young people. After Croatia's EU-accession in 2013, Europe House Dubrovnik became part of the European Commission's network Europe Direct as a host of the Europe Direct Dubrovnik Information Centre
Find the Europe House Dubrovnik