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.
The children of Župa showed the real Christmas spirit today in Mlini when they took part in a special humanitarian action to raise money for needy families- The action, names “Have a heart for others,” saw young people of Župa sell Christmas treats, such as decorations and cakes, that they had made themselves.
Starting at 3.00pm this afternoon the sale was very well attended by the local community with one festive shopper commenting that “It is such a nice idea and I love to see people coming together at this time of the year, this is the true spirit of Christmas.”
In addition to the Christmas gifts and decorations with festive messages visitors could also try some traditional Christmas foods and drinks. The special Christmas action was organised by the parish of St. Ilar in Mlini.
Do you really understand the festive traditions in Croatia through the Christmas period?
Take our Christmas quiz and see (and maybe learn) how much you know about Croatians and their festive traditions.
The governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, announced that Croatia will soon send a letter of intent regarding the introduction of the euro as the official currency.
"The first step to entry into ERM II is the sending of a letter of intent to enter the ERM II exchange rate mechanism and this will be sent relatively quickly. In addition to the formal disclosure of intent to enter the exchange rate mechanism, all activities planned to make Croatia become credible as a candidate for the exchange rate mechanism need to be carried out. Entrance to ERM II could probably be about a year after the letter's intentions, so sometime in 2020," Vujčić said in a conversation for the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List.
He added that "There are no formal criteria for entry into ERM II, but current members of the European area must accept Croatia as a good candidate. The only additional request for entry into the exchange rate mechanism is to join so-called close co-operation with the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).”
Although there is no official date when Croatia will adopt the Euro and ditch the Kuna it is widely believed that this will happen between 2021 and 2023.
Christmas in Croatia is a time to bring out the traditional recipe books and respect the past generations. Angel Wings, or Kroštule in Croatian, are a typical sweet delight served though the festive period and they are extremely easy to make and very tasty.
This sweet pastry is made from dough and twisted into thin ribbons and sprinkled powdered sugar. Follow our Kroštule recipe and make your own Croatian Christmas treats this holiday season.
Ingredients for Angel Wings
For approximately 25
o 1½ cups plain flour
o ¼ tsp salt
o 3 egg yolks
o 1 tsp caster sugar
o 1 tbsp sour cream
o 2 tbsp rakija
o 1 tsp vanilla paste
o 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
o Cooking oil, for frying
o 2 tbsp icing sugar
Just follow these steps
Place the flour onto a work surface, sprinkle with the salt and form a well in the centre.
Place the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, sour cream, rakija, vanilla and lemon rind into a bowl and mix with a fork and pour into the flour well.
Mix ingredients together with your fingers.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth.
Roll with a rolling pin and then cut the strips into pieces 15cm long and 2 cm wide. If you have a crimped pair of scissors or cutters it’s even better.
Place strips gently into the preheated oil and cook on both sides until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with icing sugar and hey presto you have kroštule.
Bon appetite or dobar tek!
Not one but four Santas will descend on the Old City of Dubrovnik today and share presents and sweets to the children. Today at 3.00pm in front of the St. Blaise Church the Christmas Fairy Tale will be held on the Stradun with a fun entertainment program for children. It might be a little chilly but at least it isn’t raining.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board this year, as part of the program of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, has organized a holiday show for children from Dubrovnik, including the Art School Orchestra, the Mak Theatre who will perform a children's play, the Lazareti Dance Studio, Le Petit Festival and the Župa majorettes.
The entire program will also complete four of Santa Claus, who will share more than a thousand sweet gifts for the youngest citizens of Dubrovnik.
Once again Dubrovnik is leading the way in terms of property prices with a rise of almost 6 percent in November. According to advertising data from the online property website crozilla.com the average price of property in Croatia rose by 0.8 percent in November, compared with October, and apartments are much more expensive than houses with a difference of 21 percent.
Dubrovnik and Porec saw the largest property prices rises in the county, the average price of an advertised property in Dubrovnik climbed by 5.8 percent meaning that the average price per metre squared is a huge 4,145 Euros, whereas in Porec the average price is 1,911 Euros.
In fact the difference in property prices across Croatia when compared with Dubrovnik is substantial. The average price per metre squared in Zagreb in November was 1,261 Euros, in Split 2,417, Sibenik 1,529, Varaždin 713 and Bjelovar only 434 Euros.
I have just passed yet another birthday, seems like they come around every year and not just that it also seems like they are getting closer together. It wasn’t a landmark birthday, I didn’t reach the half century mark, but let’s just say I am right on the doorstep of it. I’ve never been a big one for actually celebrating the day that I was born, I mean I was pretty passive in the whole day, so really it should be my mother who should be celebrating the most to be honest!
But on this day, and as I get bombarded with messages and photos of me in my nappy, it is a time for reflection. Not really just to look back at a year just gone, another one that has flowed under the bridge, but at my successes and failures in my first 49 years. “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” as the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wisely wrote.
But more importantly to be grateful for what I have. My wife reminded me just last week of what it means to be grateful for what you have. I won’t go into the circumstances, but it made me and her, take a long hard look at our lives and to realise what is really important and what is just fluff. Our most precious commodities are not our smartphones, 3D TVs, brand new cars, or even our big and impressive houses. Our most precious commodities can’t be found at the bank. They can’t be ordered online. The truth is, they are on a very short list. And it is a list of course headed by health. You go pretty much go without everything else but the one thing you can’t live without, literally, is health. Family, friends, love, freedom and peace all come a joint second place to health.
And I should have added time. Time is one of the things that Dubrovnik has brought me, although even that is getting more and more tight. We all have the same number of hours in our day. Why do some of us run around, constantly stressed, complaining we “don’t have time,” while others seem to approach life in a relaxed and happy state but still get plenty done? Though we all have responsibilities and obligations, this often comes down to choices. Many of us make poor exchanges on our time on a daily basis. Each time we say yes to something, we are effectively saying no to something else. The problem is, we often say yes to too much. This is where a balance starts to tip. That’s when time gets short. Time is a finite resource; once spent, it’s gone. We can’t get time back but we can be selective and intentional with the time we have. Those are the thoughts that have been bouncing around my head since my birthday. Time is flying and stops for no man.
Finding time for the little things in life, really the things that matter, is vital. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And as Christmas is just around the corner now is the time to cherish the little things in life. Find someone who really needs help and donate them your time. Stay focued on what really matters. Be with your family, laugh until you can’t laugh anymore, love until you drop and enjoy your festive holiday with the people you care for the most. As my most favourite politician of all time, Winston Churchill, once famously said “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”
The budget of the City of Dubrovnik for 2019 is the largest ever budget in history. On the 10th of December at the 18th sitting of the Dubrovnik City Council the 2019 budget was approved.
The largest ever city budget amounts to 741.7 million Kuna and is a massive 22 percent larger than in 2018. In fact, Dubrovnik has the fourth biggest city budget in Croatia, which for a city with just over 40,000 inhabitants is even more surprising. Only Zagreb, Split and Rijeka have larger budgets than Dubrovnik, an indication of the huge amounts that the city earns from tourism.
This year’s budget is a whopping 41 percent higher than in 2017 and as a statement from the city states will “make the continuation of all major investments possible and will raise the quality of life for all citizens.”