Friday, 16 November 2018
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.


I knew that I was getting old but this is ridiculous. They say that “you’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken.” So to set the scene. I don’t often go to the cinema in Dubrovnik, in fact I didn’t really go when I lived in London, I guess it is a little like oysters you either love them or hate them. The only time I really go is when my friends or family visit Dubrovnik.

We have a couple of friends in Dubrovnik who like going with us; I won’t be offending them if I say they are slightly older than me. These friends had already picked out the film, the latest flick with Helen Mirren, sorry Dame Helen. The film and the time were agreed and we all met at Cinestar, in what must be one the ugliest and “out of place” apartment blocks in the Mediterranean. How someone got permission to build a giant sized Lego block in Dubrovnik I will never know!

Anyway we are moving away from the subject. “Let’s go in and get the tickets before the rush starts,” my friend said to me. As it was five o’clock in the afternoon and the film wasn’t a blood-thirsty blockbuster I didn’t really expect much of a crowd...I wasn’t wrong.

As we wandered up to the counter my friend produced his “Cinestar Senior Club Card.” I immediately took the opportunity to joke with him, to which he replied that “at least I get discounted ticket prices.” I waved my friend forward with a friendly, “ladies and elderly men first.” After he had got his senior discount I asked for four tickets, at which point my friend added “he is a senior too, he should get a club card.” The man serving looked at me for a few seconds whilst I smiled. I was waiting for the “yeah right, if he is a pensioner I am Oliver Twist” line from his mouth but instead he silently walked away and produced a Senior Club Card application form. Was he having a laugh? But then the sentence that my friend had said a fee moments before replayed through my mind...”I get a discount.” If this man serving was willing to give me a senior card then who was I to decline it.

To be honest he could have offered me a junior card, a pregnant card or even a new born baby card and I would have taken it.

“Just fill out your details here,” he said and peeled away my shining new senior card. Everything seemed quite straightforward until I came to the date of birth section, I can lie or I can write messily so that he could confuse a 6 with a 9 or a 9 with a 6...I wrote like a doctor on LSD! “Thank you Sir and here is your card,” he announced, thankfully to an empty cinema reception. “You will get discount on two tickets today and every Monday there is a special matinee showing of a film for your age group,” he continued. Well I was watching a film now at five o’clock in the afternoon so his suggestion seemed reasonable.

He then handed me a small brochure and that’s when I almost lost my control. The brochure was incontinence nappies from a company called Simbex! And then I looked down at my senior card and saw the immortal words “powered by Simbex.”

Needless to say the brochure I was holding in my hands was advertising nappies for adults! The opening line in the booklet read “We were the first to address the taboo issues in the field of incontinence, problems people so reluctantly talk about.” I looked down at the card, then the brochure and then at the stone face on the man serving me. Was I too embarrassed? Should I have owned up and given the card back? Did I need nappies? No, no and no! If you want to give me a discount I will take it.

I shyly moved away from the counter, thinking off reaching for my glasses to add to the overall picture and went out to be greeted by my parents, our friends and my mother-in-law. Needless to say my friend had already informed the rest of the group of my deception. „We can ask them to stop the film if you need to change your nappy,“ chorused the group. Followed by “we can sit near the front if you can’t see.” I didn’t care, I am in the Senior Club, at least until someone from Cinestar reads this!

Dubrovnik Airport will have a new look and a new terminal for 2017.The third terminal, Terminal C, is nearing completion and is set to open for the spring of 2017. Speaking to the specialised website EX-YU Aviation the airport’s chief technical officer commented that “Construction is ongoing at Terminal C and soon work will begin on linking buildings A, B and C. The aim is to put the terminal into use by the start of the 2017 summer season. Furthermore, an additional two air bridges are in the process of being installed and should be functioning at the same time.”

He added that the new multi-million Euro terminal will be over 24,000 metres squared and feature eight security lanes, a departure lounge, a premium lounge, restaurants and shops, all in all there will be over 1,000 square metres of commercial space.

terminal c airport dubrovnik

The plan, when terminal C is completed, is to combine terminal B and C into one unit, handling both internal and international flights. There will be a total of sixteen gates, fourteen of which will be used for international flights making sure that passenger waiting times are reduced as much as possible. Dubrovnik Airport has seen passenger number steadily rising year-on-year and so far in 2016 the airport has handled 1.9 million passengers.

The current work on terminal C is part of a much larger investment project that will also see work on the runways and aprons; the total cost of the investment is around 274 million Euros.

One of the major EU institutions, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with an annual budget of more than 300 million Euros and with more than 800 employees is looking for a new headquaters. After Brexit they will move from London, and Croatia has big chances of becoming its new headquarters. The British loss could be a Croatian gain.

Biljana Borzan, the Croatian representative in the EU parliament, is convinced that Croatia has a chance even though the competition is strong. EU countries far bigger than Croatia such as Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Germany and Ireland have already expressed their interest in becoming the new HQ of the EMA. Most of these countries have established special working groups with the only task of lobbying the EMA to move with its resources and employees to them.

A small plus for Croatia is that Biljana Borzan was recently appointed to represent the EU parliament in relations with the EMA thus she met with the director of the agency Guido Rasi and found out what conditions the new HQ of the European Medicines Agency must meet.

''Croatia is not without chances. The positive thing is that we are one of the few EU member countries that hasn't become a home to any of the EU bodies yet. Brussels requires an equal representation of its institutions in all parts of the European Union. Our advantage is our geographical position because we are located in the middle of Europe, in the central time zone which is important for people who travel from the far east or west. For example, last year the EMA headquaters in London was visited more than 300,000 by various experts'', explained Borzan.

Croatia's and Zagreb's disadvantages are poor air transport connections with the rest of Europe, whilst the capacity of hotel accommodation could also be a problem.

''Our biggest minus is that some countries have already started lobbying, whilst we haven't done anything yet. The final decision will not be reached by the EMA but by the European Council which gathers prime ministers of its member countries. We should definitely try because this would mean a lot for our tourism and would open numerous new jobs'', emphasized Borzan.

It is still unsure whether Croatia will actually start lobbying for this oppurtunity, or whether it will be another missed European oppurtunity.

Justin Bieber had an amazing concert in Arena Zagreb on Wednesday, but it seems that his Croatian adventure didn't stop there. He enjoyed his time at the night clubs in Zagreb, ate local food and even listened to folk music. He also played hockey with team Medvescak. 

Apparently, Bieber also decided to make one huge thing in capital of Croatia – to record a new song! According to the young singer, accompanied by Josh Gudwin - producer that's been behind his hit album Purpose, has came to the Morris studio, well known Zagreb recording studio.
As it's written in the article, Gudwin has chosen the Morris studio because it was only one that was good enough for Bieber. Gudwin has worked with celebrities like Rihanna, Chris Brown, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez and many more, so he truly knows what he's doing.

It seems that Bieber was in the Morris studio more than two hours and his host was Filip Vidovic, studio manager and producer. When he entered the studio he sat by the piano and started playing. While he was there, more than 1000 fans came in front of the studio.

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                                                                                                                                                   Boris Kovacev / CROPIX

Trump has been elected as the president of United States and that has caused some serious reactions all over the country. Some are celebrating, others are protesting and well, some want to leave the USA as soon as possible! The proof of that is the crash of Canada immigration website just before the election resluts have been published.

Because of these recent events, website European best destinations has published a list of the best destinations to live in Europe if you want to leave the USA.

- We have selected for you some of the most welcoming destinations where people live happily together. Discover the best European destinations for you to settle down after an election storm; they are ready to welcome you with open arms – writes the author of the article.
Zagreb, capital of Croatia, is on the list accompanied with destinations like Kotor (Montenegro), Porto (Portugal), Vienna (Austria) and others.

The text about Zagreb starts by praising Croatia – called one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.
- Zagreb is the perfect city to start a new life in Europe. Everything is here: wonderful museums, a charming downtown and traditional, beautiful parks which rank among the best city parks in Europe; what is more, you are only a few hours away from the most beautiful beaches in Europe and in winter you can even ski in the hills of Zagreb. At Christmas, the city becomes magical and delights young and old. If you want a change of life, discover the capital of Croatia and leave your luggage in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – writes the author of the article.

We are not sure that leaving the USA is the best choice since every country in the world has its problems, but if you're up to it European best destinations say that Zagreb could be the right choice for you.

The torrential showers that hit the Dubrovnik region this morning and afternoon not only brought with them hail and flooding, they also made driving conditions hazardous.

The Adriatic Highway the main road that links the city with the airport was particularly dangerous this afternoon as the rains caused heavy rocks and boulders to bounce down onto the road.

The mountain side of the main road is protected by fences and reinforced metal nets, however it would seem that some rocks “escaped” and landed on the road. Be extra careful if you are driving on the main Adriatic highway this evening.

dubrovnik rocks on road

Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic made it official – during the Advent part of Dubrovnik Winter festival, from November 19 to January 8, bus rides will be free!

What it's important to emphasize is that the bus will be free from 5 pm to the last departure. This works for all City lines that drive to and from historical center.
Special line, from bus station to the Pile Gate, will operate from November 19 and will be free during the whole day.

Dubrovnik Winter Festival Opening ceremony will be on Saturday, November 19. The rich program will start by turning on the Christmas lights and the concert of famous Croatian band Colonia. 

Classic Old-timers will line the main street through the historic Old City of Dubrovnik this weekend.

On Sunday the Dubrovnik Old-timer Club will organise their 13th Dubrovnik vintage car rally in the Port of Dubrovnik at 9.00am. Then, following a tour of the city, they will enter into the Old City at 10.00am.

Visitors will have the chance to take a closer look at these rare antique cars in the Old City from 10.00am up until 1.00pm.




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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