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 mid morning traffic in Dubrovnik was slower than normal today as a multiple car accident temporarily blocked the main coastal road. At around 11.00am this morning on the main road that leads to the airport an accident involving four cars stopped traffic.
According to police reports there were no injuries. This section of the road has been particularly dangerous this summer season as more and more cars have been using the small side road up to the top of the Srd Mountain.
Quite clearly this traffic junction needs drastic alterations as the sheer number of cars turning up towards Bosanka is causing tail backs. The cause of the accident is not yet known but the turning to Bosanka and a lack of braking space could well be the culprits.
Over the past few years, an eco-lifestyle has become massively popular all around the world. It is mainly related to food; however, some store shelves are full of products that are anything but ''eco''.
The same situation has been happening in Croatia as well. There are many products with ''the original Croatian'' and ''Croatian quality'' labels, but unfortunately, currently there is no adequate laboratory in the country to determine whether these products are really of Croatian origin.
However, things may change after all in the near future. A kind of CSI for food will be established in the country to determine whether Croatian citizens are buying food from Croatia or not.
The Institute of Public Health ''Dr Andrija Stampar'' and the Faculty of Agriculture are expected to build and equip the Centre for Food Safety and Quality with European money next year. Thus, for the first time in Croatia and by using isotopic analysis, the centre will determine whether the product is really of Croatian origin and from which part of the country it originates.
''Each region, each area has a unique natural barcode, i.e. a characteristic ratio of isotopes of characteristic elements such as oxygen, hydrogen and carbon from the organic component which then undoubtedly demonstrates that the product is grown in that area'', explained Sandra Sikic, the deputy director of the Institute of Public Health ''Dr Andrija Stampar''.
This product testing is mainly related to 80 products bearing the ''original Croatian'' label. The labels are designated by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), whilst the Centre will have a double role.
''The testing will improve the quality control of food for the benefit of consumers, whilst on the other hand, the producers will be protected against possible counterfeit products'', commented Martina Sokac Saraga from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The result of the tender for the project within the EU funds is expected by the end of this year. If approved, the construction of the Centre would start at the beginning of next year.
The popular Microsoft browser Bing.com always posts a photo on its front page, and yesterday the honour went to the beautiful beach Zlatni Rat on the island of Brac. However it appears that the search engine forgot to check the photo for details.
Zlatni Rat is one of the most unique beaches in the whole of Croatia and an iconic landmark, however in this Bing photo there is another interesting feature – a giant penis!
Someone seems to have sketched the penis in the sand while on the beach. A closer look reveals that it is a drawing of the male genitals, however, how it got there, remains unknown.
In any case, we believe that this drawing will not spoil the image of one of the most attractive beaches in the world.
''When I heard how many people like us here, I had an attack of stage fright'', commented Jamie Hince from The Kills.
The world popular cult rock band is to perform in the Croatian capital of Zagreb on the 19th of August 2017. The Kills are a British-American indie rock band formed 16 years ago by the American singer Alison Mosshart and the English guitarist Jamie Hince.
After releasing five hit studio albums including the latest ‘’Ash&Ice’’, the cult rock band will perform in front of the Zagreb audience at the Factory of Culture (Tvornica kulture) this Saturday.
On this occasion, Hince commented, ‘’I do not know why it took us so many years to come to Croatia. I have visited the country so many times; I have been listening to only nice and positive things about Croatia, from my friends and my colleague musicians. Now, I have to admit, I have stage fright’’.
Hince also added that it is a wonderful feeling to perform for the first time in a new country, but pressure is inevitable because he does not want to disappoint their fans.
‘’It is phenomenal to see complete strangers enjoying songs that you wrote ten years ago and identifying with them...I hope our fans in Zagreb and Croatia will feel the same’’, Hince commented.
The legendary 48 year-old rocker, who played in the Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power bands before The Kills, has more than a friendly relationship with his fans. Before and after the concert he likes to hang out with them, sit in the bar and have a drink with his fans.
‘’If you are a rock star, it does not mean that you are untouchable to the people you literally live upon’’, concluded Jamie Hince.
One of the most favourite festivals in Dubrovnik returns again this year – Good Food Festival will be held from 19th to 22nd October this year. Dubrovnik Tourist Board has created a gastronomic treat for all lovers of good food with numerous interesting events.
A rich four-day program for the fourth edition of the Good Food Festival will offer delicious food and wine. Preparation of dishes typical for Dubrovnik region, tastings of award-winning regional wines, culinary workshops, Healthy and homemade goods fair, programs such as ˝Dinner with a famous chef˝, Priska Thuring, “Gipsy table”- dinner with a secret menu and a special secret venue, visiting cuisine representing traditional dishes from Vukovar region, workshops on preparing Dubrovnik delicacies, special menus in Dubrovnik restaurants, ˝Eat & Walk˝ culinary tours and other surprises will surely delight each and every visitor just like previous three editions of the Good Food Festival.
Today was an extremely busy one in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik with over 7,000 cruise ships passengers arriving. The scenes of long queues of passengers in the old harbour area waiting to board tenders back to their ships caused problems for other tourists wishing to travel to Lokrum or just get to the beach. It seems hard to believe that these cruise guests today will leave the city with fond memories.
The crowds were so bad that a barrier tape was installed to direct the cruise ship passengers to one side of the path so that other people could pass unhindered. Four cruise ships docked in the city today, MSC Poesia, Wind Star, Mein Schief II and Costa Luminsa, carrying with them just over 7,500 passengers. The weekend will be less hectic with around 5,000 passengers expected tomorrow and just over 2,000 on Sunday.
A few days ago, the producer organization ''Mlijecni put Hrvatske'' (Milky Way of Croatia) requested a meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
The organization wants to warn Plenkovic about an unsustainable situation in the milk production sector so they can find a solution with joint efforts. Otherwise, Croatian milk producers will be forced to organize protests and bring their cattle on the streets of Zagreb in front of retail chains and dairies.
''The situation in the milk production sector is unbearable. For a long period of time now, milk producers have been facing an unsustainable purchase price that is considerably lower than the cost of milk production'', it is said in a request by which leaders of the ''Milky Way of Croatia'' are requiring a meeting with the Prime Minister.
In addition, the leaders of the producer organization have presented data that only confirm this difficult situation. For comparison, in 2005 there were 65,000 family farms engaged in the milk production, however, over the past decade that number plummeted to only 6,000 producers.
''We consider this data alarming and we think that in a very short period of time the total milk production in the Republic of Croatia will disappear. Therefore, once again, we would like to invite you to meet with us on the 23rd of August 2017 in order to try solving this problem together and to keep the milk production in Croatia. Otherwise, we will be forced to organize protests and bring our cattle on the streets of Zagreb as well as in front of retail chains and dairies'', it is stated in a letter to the Prime Minister Plenkovic signed by the president of the ''Milky Way of Croatia'' Mario Rengel and the vice presidents Mladen Solcic and Branko Karamarkovic.
Dubrovnik has been struggling to cope with the sheer number of tourists and visitors this summer. With over two million tourists expected this year the summer months are traditionally the busiest and the infrastructure of the city is at breaking point.
For the first time ever a barrier was placed on one of the main entrances into the Old City the Pile Gate. Whilst locals were obviously surprised when they saw the new traffic regulations they followed the flow and the constant stream of guests entering the city.