Friday, 07 August 2020
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

Croatia’s national airline, Croatia Airlines, is to be sold off by the government in cost cutting move. This week the government adopted the National Reform Program for 2018, which has the goal of increasing economic growth, and the sale of Croatia Airlines was in the program.

The sale of Croatia Airlines has been on and off the table for the past five years. In 2014 the airline was put up for sale by the government but no interested investors came forward. And then it was taken off the market with the Minster of State Property, Goran Marić, stating that “the Republic of Croatia must continue to be the owner.” This situation has been reversed and an investor is being sought.

In the first quarter of 2018 Croatia Airlines recorded a net loss of 84.5 million Kuna (11.4 million Euros) which compared to the same period from 2017 was a significant loss. In the first three months of 2017 Croatia Airlines has a net profit of 9.05 million Kuna or 1.2 million Euros.

In 2015 the airline went through a complete reconstruction process and this lead to a growth in passengers and ultimately an increase in profits. However, figures from this year mean that the airline needs fresh investment and a new partner.

Marin Čilić and his beautiful bride, Katarina Milković, partied the night away in the Revelin Fortress in the heart of Dubrovnik last night after their romantic wedding in Cavtat.

The newlyweds were quick onto Instagram to publish a joint selfie with Čilić adding the description “My wife and me.” Čilić also published a photo with his brother just before the ceremony with the caption “Go Time” as the pair stood overlooking the Adriatic Sea in Dubrovnik.

Around 400 guests attended the “after party” in the Revelin Fortress were revellers partied long into the early morning hours. The Croatian pop star Gibonni entertained the gala night.

go time marin cilic 2018

The DU Motion Runner’s Days got off to a great start in Dubrovnik today with the “Run the Wall” and the “Kid’s Day” events.

The winner of this year’s Run the Wall was one of the youngest competitors, Luka Đurović, from Dubrovnik who ran the two and a half kilometre track around the historic walls of Dubrovnik in 11 minutes and 24 seconds. The race around the ancient walls included the 1,940 metres of the walls as well as 1,080 steps, making for a very challenging race and the warm and sunny weather conditions meant that the runners had to take on plenty of water. In second place was Rolf Majevic from Austria and third was Vito Papić.

race the walls lolol

In the women’s competition the winner was Melanie Nicolle from Great Britain with a time of 13 minutes and 47 seconds. Whilst the silver and bronze medals in the women’s race both went to Dubrovnik born athletes, Nela Madeško came second with a time of 13 minutes and 55 seconds and Dijana Urlić Obuljen came in third place with 15 minutes and 21 seconds.

race the walls kiss

Runners from all over the world took part in this year’s Run the Walls race, which is a warmup for the big event on Sunday the Dubrovnik Half Marathon.

After the Run the Walls it was the turn of the children to take centre stage in the Kid’s Day race. Running the length of the main street, the Stradun, through the centre of the Old City around 500 children took part.

race the walls winners 2018 dubrovnik

This year's winners of the Race the Walls event - Melanie Nicolle and Luka Đurović 

man run the walls in dubrovnik

race the walls minceta

kids day dubrovnik du motion 2018

kids day race in dubrovnik 2018

The Croatian tennis number one, Marin Čilić, married Kristina Milković, this afternoon at the Church of St. Nicholas in Cavtat.

In what was an intimate and romantic ceremony the couple drew attention, especially Milković in her elegant designer wedding dress, from the media and the numerous tourists in Cavtat. The bride even insisted on traditional earrings from Konavle to complete her look. Čilić seemed relaxed, dressed in a classic black suit and black butterfly, and was happy to pose for photos.

marin cilic gets married in cavtat dubrovnik

After the wedding ceremony, the celebration will continue in Revelin Fortress where there will be about 400 guests who will be entertained by the popular Croatian singer Gibonni. It is also rumoured that the Swiss tennis legen Roger Federer could be one of the party goers tonight. And it is expected that Croatian tennis stars, such as Goran Ivanisevic and Dubrovnik born Ana Konjuh will also be in attendance. 

wedding in cavtat 2018 998On the eve of their big day the new couple has been in Miami and Monte Carlo.

It is no wonder that this harmonious couple decided to marry in Dubrovnik because the city was crucial for the beginning of their love. Marin and the beautiful brunette met in Dubrovnik in 2008 at the Davis Cup, where Kristina worked as a hostess, and soon afterwards their friendship turned to love.

kristina wedding cavtat 2019After that, the couple started living together in the Marin's apartment in Zagreb. Kristina attended almost every Cilic’s match. A successful tennis player often emphasized that his beautiful girl brought him happiness on the field and found comfort in her embrace after losing the Wimbledon finals. But he won in private life, after he got a big ‘’yes’’.

cilic katarina wedding croatia 2018

Immediately after marriage, the wedding plans began. Through the relationship, Kristina successfully completed her college duties along with traveling with Marin, and she has a degree in psychology and political science. In the younger days, she was in fashion and in 2005 won the title of the first runner up at Miss Alpe Adria.

Details of the newlyweds honeymoon plans have yet to been announced.

first kiss marin cilic

 

This week the third-year students of the Libertas International University, majoring in International Relations, had the opportunity to simulate the Model United Nations in the City Council of Dubrovnik. Each student represented a member state of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. The topics of the simulation were ensuring equitable access to education and the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance.

Model United Nations is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. It involves and teaches participants researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.

united nations 2018 dubrovnik

During the three-hour simulation, the students could see how even simple resolutions, like the implementation of a special holiday to end religious intolerance, could fail due to the different interests of nations states.

Tim Schacht, a third year student from Hamburg said "It felt like every student felt committed to his/her role as a delegate of a country which was an important aspect of the simulation to be successful. I am thankful that I was given the chance to participate in Model United Nations to gain a better understanding how multilateral negations look. For me personally, this exercise was an extraordinary chance to use all the skills and knowledge I have gained during the last three years in a “real world” situation. All aspects of the Model United Nations, from the research phase to the actual General Assembly meeting, made me feel like I was an actual delegate representing the interests of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by lobbying for resolutions in the General Assembly".

libertas in dubrovnik city council

 

Ruben Zilberboim from Israel, who will graduate soon, commented that "the experience of this simulation was very refreshing and uplifting, considering we are at our last stage before graduating from LIU. It allows us to implement our skills and knowledge, what we knew and what we have learned as a direct result from the preparation to the actual simulation, and it gave us the opportunity to act and be in the shoes most of us wish for. I personally appreciate the opportunity to be the Chair of this simulation. it gave me the opportunity to learn about each nation state and understand their positions and interests when addressing those subjects on the table.”

Croatian television is going global. Three popular home-grown series have been purchased by Sweden and the UK. “The Paper”, “Rest in Peace” and “Guardian of the Castle,” have been recognised by international television stations and will be broadcast in Sweden and Great Britain.

Guardian of the castle is a four-part mini-series and has been purchased by Channel 4 in the UK and SVT from Sweden.

“I believe we have once again confirmed we can make a globally competitive product,” said the head of the national TV broadcaster, Kazimir Bacic.

The series Guardian of the Castle is set in the 1980’s and is about the Secret Police and the collapse of the intelligence system.

The series “The Paper” was sold to Netflix at the beginning of the year, and “Rest in Peace” was also sold to Channel 4.

“The wedding is on Saturday, May 19 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry was christened. It is said to have become a very special place for the couple in their relationship so far. The service will begin at 12pm,” was the official line from Buckingham Palace on the wedding of the year. Yes, a couple of weeks before Great Britain comes to a complete standstill as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot.

Preparations are well underway, or put another way there is nothing on British television and generally in the media than reports on the royal wedding. I literally watched a 20-minute documentary on the company who was in charge of printing the invitations. However, it would appear that my invitation has got lost in the post.

But the date could prove both problematic and positive. Falling on a Saturday it means that there will be no need to make a public holiday, as was the rule with the weddings of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer in 1981 and Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2011. However, there is a downside as the 19th of May is the day of the FA Cup final at Wembley. Every cloud has a silver lining. The government is planning to let pubs open longer on the day of wedding (yes, the pubs will be full of wedding watchers) meaning that pubs will go serving beer from the wedding to the match in one day…busy day on the way. From cheering Harry and Meghan to cheering Chelsea and Manchester United, sound like a good plot for a Monty Python sketch.

“I really can’t understand why you Brits love the Queen and the Royal Family so much,” questioned an American friend recently. Even though had a sarcastic answer about former colonies and how he his homeland had been under Royal control up until 1783 I bit my tongue. Although to be fair I have been asked the same question in Dubrovnik several times before.

There isn’t really a logical answer, for at the end of the day Britain isn’t really a logical country, you only have to look at Brexit to realise that. This isn’t something new.

The British have always chosen the quirks of our history against foreign rationalism. The Romans tried to give us the metric system but as soon as they left we went back to the much more complicated Imperial system. Great Britain is full of eccentric traditions that are so beloved that they will never change and anyone foreign power who tries to change them will fail. That again is the Brexit effect, it makes no sense to leave but we left anyway.

You could argue that the Royals generate millions of dollars in tourism every year, and you would be right, but that isn’t important. One the other hand you could argue that how is it possible that in a democratic country a royal is chosen as the head of that state simply from birth, again that isn’t important. Logic in this question is not relevant. If I try to explain the popularity of the monarchy, then the answer would not be based on reason. It might not make sense but does everything have to make sense? Why would we drive on the left, serve beer in pint glasses, sell petrol by the gallon, have different electrical plugs, play cricket, etc. if we wanted to make sense.

We don’t think is straight lines and traditions are extremely important to us. As one famous journalist once wrote “The British monarchy is valued because it is the British monarchy. We are an old and complicated society that yields a deference to the theatrical show of society.” So that is why we are all fascinated by the latest royal wedding, because we are complicated. And whereas political parties, governments and politicians change the royalty remains a constant pillar of society.

The 19th of May will see people from all backgrounds, all races, all religions, all social classes, come together to celebrate a wedding. An event on a global scale to rejoice in the love of two young people. I personally can’t see anything wrong with getting behind the couple and enjoying their special moment. In these testing times it’s nice to be able to reveal in a celebration of love. Yes, it is a little eccentric, and yes there will be odd customs, strange cultures and unconventional behaviour, again this isn’t important. Celebrate differences, accept diversity and of course be a little bit eccentric.

With temperatures up in the high twenties and the glinting Adriatic Sea looking extremely inviting it was a day to hit the beaches in Dubrovnik.

The Banje Beach was a popular destination as locals and tourists took the opportunity to cool off in the turquoise sea. The forecast for the weekend is for more of the same, clear blue skies and rising temperatures, so expect the beaches to be magnets again.

The current sea temperature in Dubrovnik is around 18 degrees.

swim in the dubrovnik sea 2018

kajaking in dubrovnik adriatic sea

parasail boat on banje beach dubrovnik

sitting by the beach in dubrovnik banje beach

sunbath in dubrovnik 2018 99

adriatic in dubrovnik banje beach 2010998

paddle on banje beach dubrovnik 2018

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