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.
And so it begins. The first steps of the new Peljesac Bridge were taken yesterday as the state owned, Croatian Roads, signed project documents with the constructor, China Road and Bridge Company, in Ston.
And so the Peljesac Bridge saga, a saga that has been going on since 1997, has a fresh start. Mismanagement, corruption and political manipulation have meant that Croatia, and in particular Dubrovnik, have been waiting twenty long years for this project to be realised.
With this document signing yesterday in Ston the Chinese company have officially started the 36-month deadline to complete the bridge and access roads.
"We have been waiting for a long time for the works to start, and a huge amount of paperwork has been done. Today marks the official start of the deadline for the Chinese contractors. We have notified the contractors about everything expected of them, both in terms of work performance and administration, so that we would not be subject to any corrections by the European Union," the CEO of Croatia Roads commented.
It is believed that all the necessary heavy plant and construction equipment should be on site by the end of August.
The bridge will be 2.4 kilometres long and 55 metres high. It should be built in 36 months starting from today.
Temperatures are rising throughout the whole of Croatia and with a mini heatwave on the way it is important to know what to drink and eat throughout the hot period.
As Dubrovnik melts in temperatures rising up to the high thirties you can expect the beaches of the city to be packed and the ice-cream sellers to be rubbing their hands. Not only will the heat bring on a loss of appetite, poor sleep, nervousness and heart problems it will also bring some changes to our body temperature. So how do you keep hydrated in the heat.
How much water do I need to drink?
According to experts you should drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water daily on normal days, however you should increase your intake on warmer days. Although your daily fluid intake can include sugar-free drink as well as tea and coffee, you need to take into account that caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect, in other words help you lose fluids. Keep a water bottle with you wherever you go to ensure you drink enough during the day.
What to eat to keep you cool?
Around 25 percent of our daily fluid intake comes from the food we eat, however this can depend on what you eat. Of course certain fruits and vegetables contain much higher levels of fluids than processed foods.
The best food to keep you hydrated are -
Does ice-cream keep me cool?
We wish it did, but no it doesn’t. Experts suggest that cold food gives you a short lived cool feeling but that this will soon turn to heat. Whilst an ice-cream, ice-lolly or slushies might seem tempting on a hot summer’s day they are actually warming your body up rather than cooling it down.
Get your sun cream at the ready this week will be the hottest week of the year in Dubrovnik so far with temperatures expected to reach the highs thirties.
The heat wave that was left London’s parks brown, Norway banning BBQ’s for fear of fires and Scotland considering a hose pipe ban is on its way to Croatia. Highs today will reach 32 degrees and for the rest of the week wall-to-wall blue skies and soaring humidity are expected. The Croatian Meteorological Service have warned that the mini heat wave could bring temperatures as high as 37 degrees this week.
And the specialised weather website, AccuWeather, have issued an orange weather warning, with the recommendation “Severe Weather Alerts – stay alert for heat and high temperature induced health risks in the vulnerable population, in particular senior citizens and small children.”
Authorities are recommending avoiding the direct sunshine from 11.00am to 2.00pm, to drink plenty of water and to avoid heavy labour in the heat of the day.
One of the greatest ever Croatian musicians passed away this morning at 5.00am in Split General Hospital. Oliver Dragojevic had been battling lung cancer for a year and this morning sadly lost the battle and died at the age of 71.
Oliver Dragojevic, who was born in Split, spent most of his childhood in Vela Luka on the island of Korcula. He attended a music school in Split, where he studied piano, then clarinet and guitar.
His career is marked with many timeless classics and his music will live on for the centuries to come.
The demographic woes of Croatia continue with news that amount of births in 2017 in the country was a record low in the 21st century. A report published by the Croatian Public Health Institute shows that in 2017 a total of 36,600 babies were born in Croatia which is around a 1,000 less than in 2016, and continues the negative birth rate trends.
In 2009 a total of 44,500 babies were born, a record for this century, but since then the number has fallen. The negative trend was worryingly continued in recent years, from 2009 to 2013 the number of newbrons fell by around 4,000 every year.
The age of mothers in Croatia is also increasing, over a third of all mothers in Croatia last year were aged between 30 and 34, followed by women between 25 and 29 years-old.
Overall, the number of births by younger women has been declining over the years, with births by older women on the increase, which is attributed to the limited socio-economic opportunities because of which youths gain employment increasingly later in life, meaning they also buy homes increasingly later - both of which are seen as prerequisites for starting a family with children.
It was a colourful and international evening in Dubrovnik last night as the YIP Children’s Choir from Hong Kong delighted the packed audience.
The concert, organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik, was held in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik on the steps of the St. Blaise Church.
Their repertoire included well-known jazz and pop songs, themes from movies and modern classics. The choir will also perform in Split on July 31st.
One of the rising stars of Latin music, Juan Luis Londoño Arias, or as he is known Maluma, has arrived in Dubrovnik for a break.
The Colombian singer and songwriter, who has collaborated with Shakira and Ricky Martin, flew into Dubrovnik with his stunning Cuban model girlfriend, Natalia Barulich (25), who actually has Croatian roots.
“I am part Croatian! What a pleasure it is to be in this beautiful country for my first time,” wrote Barulich on one of her social media posts.
Maluma has been filling his Instagram account with shots of Dubrovnik, and as he has 35 million followers it is sure to be great promotion for our coastline.
Stunning Natalia Barulich in Dubrovnik - Photo Instagram
Bravo! Croatia’s water polo team have won bronze at the 2018 European Water Polo championships in Barcelona. After a hard fought match Croatia finally beat Italy 10 – 8 to claim the bronze medal.
A whirlwind start saw Croatia charge off into a 4 – 0 lead but the Italians fought back in the second quarter and brought the match back to 8 – 5 at the break.
Croatia’s incredible sporting summer continued in Barcelona, after the football team won silver at the World Cup in Russia now it was the turn of the water polo team to grab the bronze in Spain.
Playing some tight defence in the third quarter Croatia controlled the match at 9 – 6 going into the fourth quarter. They came out winners 10 – 8 at the final whistle and joyous scenes erupted in the pool.