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.
In 2017, 650,000 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union, with the majority coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. This is around half of the number of asylum seekers in 2016, when 1.2 million arrived in Europe, according to new data from Eurostat.
By far the most attractive destination for asylum seekers last year was Germany, with 3 in 10 applying to stay in Germany, followed by Italy, France and Greece. 198,000 applied to stay in Germany, whilst only 33,000 applied in the UK and 30,000 in Spain.
Croatia was well down the list of attractive destinations for asylum seekers. In 2016 Croatia received 2,150 applications however this number has fallen by 59 percent last year to 880 first time applicants. In fact, the number of asylum seekers in Croatia in 2017 was a mere 0.1 percent of the European Union share.
One of the busiest roads in Dubrovnik was closed last night as the gale force northerly winds brought a massive pine tree down across the road.
The Dubrovnik Fire Brigade were on the scene quickly and had a full afternoon and evening of work removing the huge tree that had started to drastically lean over the road.
The road was closed for a few hours whilst the tree was cut down and the wood removed from the scene. The strong winds are expected to continue for most of the day today.
Batten down the hatches Dubrovnik is in for gale force northerly winds for most of the day. Started late last night and blew for most of the night bringing temperatures down to 5 degrees and early this morning some of the higher peaks had a frosty white covering.
The meteorological office has issued a yellow warning for high winds in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, with gusts up to 65 km/h expected.
Yesterday roads were closed as the winds ripped up trees and caused long tailbacks. Highs today are expected to reach 6 degrees and lows 2 degrees. The situation is predicted to calm down tomorrow with an ease in the winds and slightly rising temperatures.
Dubrovnik will join in the global incentive of turning off lights throughout the city to mark Earth Hour on the Saturday the 24th of March. The lighting on the northern and western parts of the Dubrovnik City Walls, on the façade of the City Hall and the Rector’s Palace will all be turned off for one hour to mark this special day. The City Council is also encouraging private businesses and individuals to turn off the lights for one hour on Saturday from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns across 187 countries and territories.
He might be ranked as the third best tennis player in the world, won 17 ATP titles including the US Open but it would appear that Americans have no idea who the Croatian tennis ace Marin Cilic is!
The popular Croatian/American website “Croatian Sports” asked a number of American spectators at the ATP tournament in Indian Wells who Marin Cilic was, and even though he was actually seeded second in the tournament the vast majority had no idea who he was.
“When I say the name Marin Cilic what comes to mind,” asked Ante Kvartuč to a tennis fan at Indian Wells, to which she replied “Chilli con carne.”
Kvartuč also managed to ask former world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, the same question and the look answered it perfectly.
Check out this video
Today, the 21st of March, is World Down Syndrome Day, and one of the most colourful ways to raise awareness for this day and this cause is to wear bright socks. “Rock your socks” is a creative idea to help bring more publicity for this day through social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as the hash tag #LotsOfSocks brings millions of people into the event.
World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Down Syndrome International encourages people from all over the world to choose their own activities and events on WDSD to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
And the bright socks were marked this year in Dubrovnik with the Sunsail Base Manager, Keith Harvey, and his “partner in crime” Azar Avdić, getting in the mood with some particularly loud socks. Well done to Keith and Azar for putting Dubrovnik on the map for the important day, and it isn’t too late for you to get involved, don’t forget to tag your photos #LotsOfSocks.
"In the end, our guests don't want to go to a place that's overcrowded," Donald said. "If the sites that everybody wants to see are being abused, our guests won't go. It's in our self-interest, but it's also in the interest of the places we go,” commented the CEO of Carnival Cruises, Arnold Donald, about Dubrovnik at the recent Seatrade Cruise Global convention.
This year Dubrovnik will start to tackle the problem of overcrowding, a subject that is extremely important to the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, and one way is to regulate the arrival times of cruise ships.
This was backed up by Donald in Miami at the Seatrade Fair as he said that major cruise lines had agreed to coordinate their summer schedules in the city, meaning that some ships could arrive later or earlier than planned to avoid the so called “cruise ship crush.”
Last year, Dubrovnik received around 742,000 passengers on 538 cruise ships. Recent research for the port of Dubrovnik showed that in 2016 arrivals exceeded 8,000 on 18 occasions and 10,000 passengers on just four days. And it is expected that with this new move to reschedule arrival times these number will be even less this year.
Whilst most of the rest of northern Croatia is under another blanket of fresh snow the summer seems to have arrived earlier than planned in Dubrovnik, it is bikini weather.
The finalists of the Miss Universe Croatia contest posed around the pool of the five-star Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera in Zupa today. The final of the Croatian leg of the Miss Universe contest will be held on the 21st of April in Zagreb.
The ladies today were joined by Shanaelle Petty, Miss Universe Croatia 2017, who in November last year was placed in the top 15 at the Miss Universe finals.