Monday, 21 June 2021
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Today, the 30th of May, is a public holiday across Croatia as the country celebrates Statehood Day.

Statehood Day is a holiday that occurs every year on 30 May in Croatia (from 2002 to 2019 was on 25 June) to celebrate the constitution of the first modern multi-party Croatian Parliament in 1990. The Statehood Day is a National Day of Croatia, being both an official holiday and a day off work.
On 30 May 1990, the first modern multi-party Croatian Parliament convened, following the 1990 Croatian parliamentary election. This date was from 1990 to 2002 marked as the Statehood Day.

The Government of Ivica Račan moved the Statehood Day to 25 June in 2002, and 30 May was marked as a memorial day (working) under the name Day of the Croatian Parliament. On 25 June, after the independence referendum held on 19 May 1991, Croatia proclaimed its independence, but due to the negotiation of the Brioni Agreement, a three-month moratorium was placed on the implementation of the decision and the Parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia on 8 October 1991.

On 14 November 2019, the Croatian Parliament adopted a new law on holidays, and moved the Statehood Day back to 30 May. The previous date, 25 June, became a working memorial day under the name Independence Day.

 

The first seasonal RegioJet train on the Prague-Zagreb-Rijeka/Split line arrived at the Rijeka railway station today, and RegioJet says that more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for this train this season so far.

The train left Prague on Friday afternoon with about 400 passengers. Part of the train separated in Ogulin and headed for Split, where it is expected this afternoon.

In Rijeka, the passengers were welcomed by the director of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) Kristjan Staničić, the director of the Rijeka Tourist Board Petar Škarpa and the mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel.

RegioJet reports that more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for this train this season.

Train tickets can be purchased via the RegioJet application.

The price of the ticket includes additional services on the train (water, coffee, breakfast, Wi-Fi). The price of the ticket also includes bus transport from Ogulin, Gračac, Rijeka and Split to other destinations on the Adriatic coast.

 

In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, six new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the last 24 hours, four of which were determined by a rapid antigen test. Two people were infected from Slivno, one each from Dubrovnik and Metković, and two who do not reside in the county.

10 people made a full recovery - five from Dubrovnik, two from Konavle and Opuzen and one person from Ploče.

In the last 24 hours, 392 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 74,204 samples have been analyzed.

Nine people tested positive for coronavirus are hospitalized in Dubrovnik.

There are 179 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours, two violations of the self-isolation measure were recorded, one of them at the border.

Sometimes I’m unsure why I actually live by the sea. I hardly ever go swimming, I don’t really enjoy fishing, I get seasick on the boat to Lokrum and I’d rather have root canal surgery than go scuba diving.

I really only use the Adriatic for two reasons – to gaze blankly at to get inspiration whilst I’m writing and as a form of navigation. If the sea is to my left then I’m going north, to my right south, and if it’s in my rear view mirror I’m probably going the wrong way. The Adriatic is like my basic GPS, my internal compass.

So when the opportunity came to spend some time on a sailing yacht bobbing around, or should I say skimming over, the sea I had my reservations. The first one being – if this thing starts swinging around and I turn green I hope I won’t be sick.

I know as much about sailing as I know about nuclear physics. There always seem to be lots of ropes, winches being jerked around and people shouting “mind the beam.” Luckily for everyone involved I wasn’t going to be in control of anything, in fact I tried to make sure that I was as out of the way as possible.

As is so often the case I found myself in the middle of the Adriatic on a huge catamaran due to work. Just one of the perks of the job I guess. “So first you need to release this catch before tying the rope around this and then you can winch the rope in,” instructed my friendly skipper. I looked at him as if he’d just told me how to perform brain surgery in French. I wasn’t wrong about the number of ropes everywhere. To me it looked like spaghetti Bolognese, but clearly everything was just how it should be.

Now coming from an island I should have saltwater running through my veins as our former empire was basically built on the strength of our navy. However, clearly this nautical DNA skipped my generation. As I boarded the catamaran, my first ever steps on a double hulled yacht, I was struck by the actual size. “This is like a camper van with sails,” I joked to the crew.

 

 

 

With another yacht in our mini-flotilla we headed out of the shallow waters of the bay and into the deep blue seas. “Bloody hell these things really move,” I shouted as we raised the sails and flashed over the waves. “Where are the brakes?” I joked. With the engines off and the sails raised it was almost a spiritual experience as nature powered our journey. The sails caught the full throttle of the wind and it was almost silent, the whole yacht was caught in a zen moment.

I’m not saying that I’m a converted yacht lover but I can now certainly see the attraction, especially when under sail. “Unfortunately, very, very few people actually sail with the sails up, most of the time they just fire up the engines and chug around,” commented another crew member.

“OK, let me try and put up one of the sails,” I half joked. They looked at me with expressions of WTF. However, not only were they experienced sailors but also pretty good teachers. Ropes flew around, handles moved in a clockwise direction and sails slowly unfurled. It’s no wonder that Popeye was based on a sailor.

Cranking this handle round and round was workout. “OK, that one’s nearly done, now you have these other two as well,” said the captain. I thought he was joking as the sweat poured out my forehead, unfortunately he wasn’t. It wasn’t until I’d pulled up the third rope that he said, with a broad smile on his face, “Oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention, if you press that button with your foot the winch turns automatically, so there’s no need for muscle power.”

Muscle power has never been my strong attribute. We made a few more tours, the pale blue of the horizon and the turquoise blue of the sea fading into one on the horizon. Would I like to go on a yachting holiday around the thousand islands dotted along the coastline, no, not really, but would I go out for a day’s sailing again, absolutely yes.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever,” once said the legendary French diver Jacques Yves Cousteau. Maybe I have found another use for the Adriatic after all. 

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to            

Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a stunning photo. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely blasting images of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected this week our top five “Summer is Coming Fast” photos from Instagram. Check out our top five inspiring Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region. We just love your feedback!

And don't forget to follow our Instagram page

 

Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beroš, announced on Twitter on Thursday that after a long time in Croatia, in the past 24 hours there are less than 1,000 hospitalized with Covid-19 and less than 100 patients on ventilators.

"We are monitoring the improvement of the epidemiological situation and health indicators. After a long time, in the past 24 hours we have less than 1000 hospitalized people and less than 100 people on ventilators,” stated the Minister.

He added that “Thank you to all the citizens who contributed to this significant drop in numbers. Let's show that we can do even better.”

 

In the second episode of our four-part promo video series by the Dubrovačko Primorje Tourist Board the gems of nautical tourism in the crystal, clear Adriatic Sea are discovered.

With its guaranteed sunshine, calm sea and favourable winds it is no wonder that Croatia is a magnet for nautical tourists from all over the world. And with its indented coastline, hidden bays, charming beaches and of course first-class infrastructure Dubrovacko Primorje is very much on the radar of skippers. This latest promo video takes viewers on a four-minute journey across the brilliant blue seas of the region, including the ACI Marina in Slano and the yacht charter company Sunsail.

“We are continuing to highlight the tourist possibilities in the region and clearly it is important for us to bring our region and marina closer to potential nautical tourists from all over the world,” commented the director of the Dubrovačko Primorje Tourist Board, Slaven Zvono.

And the director of the ACI Marina “Veljko Barbieri" in Slano, Danijela Crljen, added that “Around 80 percent of the boats and yachts in the marina are located there on an annual basis and that during the warmer summer months we receive boats from all over the world.”

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And from the yacht charter company Sunsail Dubrovnik, the base manager, Keith Harvey, stated that “When our boats come to Slano we know that we have a safe anchorage and the marina has all the facilities required as well.”

The video was filmed by the Dubrovnik based LMT Studio and features some absolutely stunning aerial shots of the Bay of Slano and the wider region. “After the first promo video was released, entitled History and Heritage, the feedback was extremely positive,” commented Toni Miletic, the owner of LMT Studio.

Two further videos are planned in the series, with the gastro offer of Dubrovacko Primorje and finally a video for lovers of a more active vacation.

Check out the latest promo video below

In the last 24 hours, 375 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 2,968. Among them, 968 people are in hospital, of which 95 are on ventilators.

Unfortunately, a further 10 people passed away due to the virus in Croatia in the past 24 hours.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 355,296 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 7,981 have died, a total of 344,347 have recovered, of which 509 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 12,259 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 1,994,545 people have been tested, of which 6,319 in the last 24 hours.

As of May 26, 1,221,109 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, of which 424,223 have received both doses.

 

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