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 whole wider region of Dubrovnik awoke this morning to a thick blanket of smoke hanging in the air. Quite clearly a huge forest fire had been burning for some time and dumping this acrid smoke all over Dubrovnik.
However the cause of the smoke wasn’t due to a forest fire in Dubrovnik, or even in Croatia, but a fire in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the emergency services, who presumably received a number of calls from worried citizens this morning, the fire is in Bosnia and Herzegovina and quite some way from the Croatian border and that at this present time there is no danger that the fire will cross the border.
The Croatian Ambassador to Malaysia expressed his pride when he spotted a Croatian vehicle during the national parade.
According to a photo posted by Kreso Glavac, the Croatian Ambassador to Malaysia, on his Twitter profile, the Malaysian police is using a special robotic vehicle manufactured by the DOK-ING company from Zagreb.
The DOK-ING company specialises in manufacturing special robotic vehicles used for demining operations and fire fighting, and develops electric vehicles and robots for the mining industry.
‘’Proud to take part in the National day parade. Croatian Multifunctional robotic vehicle for hazardous environments! DOK-ING’’, wrote the proud Ambassador on his Twitter profile.
It was cabaret night last evening on the island of Lokrum as Ines Trickovic wooed the audience with the Jazz Cabaret “Lilibelle.” This was the second year in a row that this talented Dubrovnik born jazz singer has performed on the island of Lokrum and, just as the premiere year, it was a huge hit. In fact this was the Croatian premiere of the cabaret and the hour and a half long show was actually written by Trickovic.
"Lilibelle" is a 1940’s love story about a singer named Lilibelle who falls madly in love with a US solider called Johnny. Lilibelle she packs her suitcase and moves into an adventure across the world seeking her beloved Johnny. And along the journey Trickovic performed in a variety of languages, including Chinese.
This award-winning jazz singer held a concert on Lokrum last year, where she presented the same program she performed at Carnegie Hall, and the concert was completely sold out.
Ines Trickovic and Gadjo Manouche Band - Photo Vedran Levi
Although they differ in many ways, Croats and Americans are quite alike when it comes to the motives of using Instagram.
According to the digital edition of the international magazine Computers in Human Behaviour, Croats are attracted by Instagram’s social interaction, whilst Americans are attracted by the possibility of their own promotion on this social network.
The use of Instagram among Croatian students reflects their collective tendencies, primarily social interaction, however, it is not the case with American students whose use of Instagram reflects their individualistic endeavours such as their own promotion and documentation, says the article written by four authors out of which three are from different American universities and one, Sandra Car, is from the University of Zagreb.
The research offered respondents the possibility of ranking five categories of satisfaction with Instagram: social interaction (e.g. to see what others are publishing about themselves), documentation (remembering special events), redirecting (avoiding loneliness, relaxation or escape from reality), self-promotion (how to become popular) and creativity (to show your photographic skills etc.).
The study was conducted among 293 participants from Croatia, mostly students of social and humanistic studies, and 404 American students, including 72 percent of white people.
When it comes to frequency of Instagram use, there are no big differences between Croatian and American participants; however, the American students on average have 389 followers, twice as many as the Croatian students. On the other hand, Croats are more active in hash tags i.e. in using the keywords related to a topic, which they mark with so-called ‘’ladders’’ (#).
Instagram was launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately. It currently has more than 600 million active monthly users and is among the most popular social networking applications.
In addition, there are around 670,000 Instagram users in Croatia accounting for 15 percent of the entire Croatian population. In the US, there are around 77,5 million registered Instagram users or around 24 percent of the total US population, according to the research.
This weekend is a good one to visit picturesque Cavtat as a festival of vocal groups will be held. For the 18th year in a row the vocal group “Ragusavecchia” and the Tourist Board of Konavle will organize a festival of vocal groups, or Klapa, entitled “To Look at Your View.”
The music starts at 8.30pm this Saturday in the Villa Banac in Cavtat. And it certainly starts with a bang as ten different vocal groups and solo singers are involved. And then on Sunday the festival continues, also in Villa Banac, with yet more musical delights.
Entrance to both nights of the festival is free of charge. The sponsors of the event are the Municipal Council of Konavle, the County of Dubrovnik-Neretva and the Municipality of Konavle.
Dubrovnik Airport has identified the United States and South Korea as two markets which could sustain services to the coastal city but noted that the development of long haul flights is still some way off – reports EX-YU Aviation News, who got the chance to speak with Dubrovnik Airport’s Deputy Director General Frano Luetic.
He explained that these two far-away markets are the most important for Dubrovnik.
- According to the city's tourist board, visitors from the US are the second most common, behind those from the United Kingdom, which is specific to the Dubrovnik region. On the other hand, Korean tourists are most plentiful during the winter months – said Luetic for EX-YU Aviation News.
Dubrovnik currently has no regular long haul flights, besides several summer charters from Japan, operated by All Nippon Airways.
However, even though Dubrovnik Airport sees potential, there are still no concrete announcements concerning the establishment of such services.
No matter how much people complain about prices of hospitality services that jumped literally overnight in the most popular tourist centres along the Croatian coast during the summer season, they are unaware that these prices are still quite far from prices tourists pay in other famous tourist metropolises across Europe.
The prices for a service or consumption in Split and Dubrovnik are two times lower than those in Barcelona, Nice, Venice, Lisbon or Ljubljana. However, drinks, meals in restaurants or cocktails are far more expensive in Split and Dubrovnik than in Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava and Budva.
This price comparison can be found on the international web portal Expatistan which offers its users the opportunity to compare prices all over the world for a whole range of services, purchases or consumption, and which millions of visitors are happy to consult before setting off on their journeys.
Cheaper coffee than Barcelona and Venice
This portal covers prices for 516 different products, services, local cost of living, local transportation etc. for as many as 2,189 cities in 215 world countries, which can all be compared to each other.
The most popular and most visited tourist cities on the Adriatic this season are Dubrovnik and Split. The comparison of these two cities with the most famous European tourist destinations reveals what information potential visitors to Croatia get about the country before they decide to come here.
According to Expatistan, Split and Dubrovnik are at least 20 percent cheaper than several dozen European cities best known as city-break destinations. Typical tourist services such as a quick lunch, fast food, a beer in a grocery store and a beer in a cafe bar, cocktail prices, dinner prices etc. in Barcelona are 23 percent more expensive than in Split and 26 percent more expensive than in Dubrovnik. By the same categories, the two Croatian cities are also much cheaper than Venice (-26%), Lisbon (-13%), Nice (-29%), Berlin (-26%) and Budva (-10%).
Furthermore, a quick lunch in Barcelona and Ljubljana guests will pay 13 Euros, as much as they would pay in Split, whilst in Dubrovnik the lunch price is 9 Euros and in Lisbon 12 Euros. However, cocktail prices in Barcelona or even Budva (9 Euros) are almost 30 percent more expensive than in Split (6 Euros).
As far as Venice is concerned, all hospitality services are 26 percent more expensive than in Split, however, a cappuccino in Dubrovnik (1,85 Euros) is more expensive in comparison to the one in Venice (1,5 Euros), according to Expatistan. It should be noted that coffee prices in Venice depend on whether you drink coffee out of a plastic or porcelain cup, standing in the bar or sitting at the table.
Furthermore, hospitality prices in Nice on Cote d'Azur are much higher than in Croatia; they are 32 percent higher than in Dubrovnik and 29 percent higher than in Split.
If compared to Lisbon, Split and Dubrovnik are 13 percent cheaper in hospitality services than the Portuguese capital. They are 46 percent cheaper than Dublin and 57 percent cheaper than Geneva in Switzerland.
However, Croatia is not good news for tourists coming from Prague, with 11 percent cheaper hospitality services than in Split and Dubrovnik. The price of a lunch in Split is 23 percent more expensive than in Prague, whilst cocktail prices are 20 percent higher in Split. The worst thing for the Czechs is the price of a beer, which is 70 percent more expensive in Dalmatia than in their country. Warsaw prices are 18 percent lower than Croatian, whilst prices in Bratislava are 10 percent lower.
All and all, tourists coming from Western and Northern Europe can still carelessly enjoy cheaper services on the Adriatic coast unlike the Czechs, Slovaks and the Poles who will pay for hospitality services on the Adriatic significantly more than in their homelands.
This summer season has been full of stories about drunken Brits and Australians who shocked people, both locals and tourists, with their wild behaviour in some of the Croatian coastal towns. Fortunately, there are so many more of those who come to Croatia to enjoy its natural and historical beauty.
The popular Australian bloggers Emily Hutchinson and Olive Rose Cooke are certainly among those who love to enjoy natural beauties in every sense of the word. These two are the current “it” girls of social media and have been the topic of a lengthy article in The Daily Mail. The attractive pair has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram as they travel the world and pose bikini-clad in breathtaking locations.
Judging by their profiles and photos they have been posting, Hutchinson and Cooke are absolutely thrilled with the Croatian coast. They also keep praising Croatia's natural beauty as well as the attitude of Croats towards nudity by saying ''Europe is in being completely comfortable with letting it all hang out’’.