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.
Croatia’s inevitable journey towards adopting the Euro as the official currency and ditching the Kuna is moving ever closer. This week, on Thursday, one of the final steps was taken when a letter of intent to enter the European Exchange Rate Mechanism was sent by the Croatian government to the EU.
Entrance into the exchange rate mechanism is one of the last procedures before taking on the Euro as the official currency.
And it seems that there will be no public referendum as to whether Croatia should adopt the Euro, in fact the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, has already stated that a referendum has already been held when the public was asked whether the county should actually enter the EU.
It is believed that the EU will discuss Croatia’s letter of intent shortly, and along with this letter was also a plan setting out all of the reforms that Croatia plans to implement before joining the exchange rate mechanism.
The letter of intent was signed by the Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric and the Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujcic.
Once Croatia is accepted to enter the exchange rate mechanism the process will last two years, during which Croatia will have to meet all the regulations laid out. “Croatia has been meeting the other criteria for a while, namely price stability, public finance sustainability and interest rate convergence, while the prudent monetary and fiscal policy should ensure that it stays that way,” read a statement from the government.
If the whole process is successful and Croatia meets all the criteria for the Euro then the earliest the country could change its currency would be 2023.
A name, or an identity, is an extremely powerful thing. Sometimes just one name, or one description, is enough for people to make up their minds whether they like it or not. Pick the right name and half the battle is won. And sometimes countries are just lucky with the names they end up with. A name can associate you to a brand, a feeling an emotion. Which is why I propose that we change the name of Croatia to Monte Croatia.
Names and brands can take on lives of their own. Take one of the biggest names in the world, Google. When was the last time you said “I am going to search for that online” or “I’ll ask my search engine?” Probably somewhere at the end of the 1980’s. In every language today we say “I’ll Google that.” We never say I’ll Yahoo that or I’ll Bing that. Google has been accepted into mainstream language.
So what’s with the idea of Monte Croatia. Over the past weeks, although it is something that I have come across thousands of times, I have been in a Déjà vu recovering conversation.
“We thought we’d go and check out Montenegro tomorrow,” said my American guests. Now that’s a fairly normal question, in fact quite common. But these particular guests had arrived from Boston, and they had arrived late in the evening at around 10:00pm. They had never been to Dubrovnik, or in fact Croatia, before and were only staying for a few days. So they had basically just arrived and the first place they wanted to see was Montenegro.
This was a little puzzling for me. I have absolutely nothing against Montenegro but I was nevertheless odd. “You are from Boston, imagine I landed in your city and the first place I wanted to visit was Canada,” I answered with a broad smile. “You are only here for a few days, like two and a half days before flying to Rome, get to know Dubrovnik and the region first,” I continued.
We then sat down and got into a longer and more in-depth discussion during which I asked them “So why was Montenegro on the top of your list for sightseeing.” They admitted that they knew absolutely nothing about the country but, and this is the key, “the name sounded exotic and romantic.”
It was basically the power of names. They had associated Montenegro with Monte Carlo, Monte Cristo and just about any other Monte they had ever heard of. “And do you know what Monte means,” I asked my American guests. They had no clue. “Would you still find that country romantic if I told you it meant Black Mountain in English?” They all laughed and agreed it wasn’t as appealing. Almost the exact same thing happened with the next group, this time from Canada. Again I went through the same explanation and their response was the same.
I have a feeling if we just put Monte in front of every destination we would see tourism double. Ston just sounds like a place in the Flintstones, but Monte Ston conjures up a picture of casinos and yachts. Cavtat, which is pretty much next to impossible for any English speaking person to pronounce anyway, would become Monte Cavtat, which isn’t a million miles away from Monte Cristo. And Srd, another impossible name for the English to wrap their tongues around, is an obvious contender for Monte Srd, it’s a Monte anyway. Slano is pretty plain and uninspiring, but Monte Slano sounds like a walled city onto top of rolling hills. The famous novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, has a ring of adventure and mystery, whereas if it was based in Konavle, The Count of Gruda, paints an entirely different picture. The Count of Monte Gruda sounds better.
So why not just go all the way and change Croatia to Monte Croatia. I mean we aren’t being dishonest. Maybe Montenegro has more mountains…sorry Monte, but we also have our fair share. Even the Bible says “a good name is better than riches.”
Works on repairing and reconstructing the road on the island of Sipan from Suđurađ to Šipanska Luka has been completed.
As part of the works, the road from the east to the west of the island was repaired and re-laid with new asphalt in the length of road of 2.5 kilometres.
The works were carried out within the framework of the Annual Road Maintenance Investment Plan, and the value of the investment amounts to HRK 2 million.
It had to happen. When you import cheap souvenirs from China at some point the wheels are going to fall off and you’re going to land on your backside. This beach towel is probably only the start of things to come, but it certainly is an embarrassing start.
The photo was uploaded onto the Facebook page of “Dnevna doza prosječnog Dalmatinca” with the comment “When the Chinese produce Croatian towels.”
Yes, there are plenty of mistakes. In the Dubrovnik – Neretva County the national park and one of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic, Mljet, is spelt, Mijet. There are many mistakes, but one of the funniest is the Dalmatian city of Split, which rather oddly has been renamed Spin.
It started with a kiss! International Kissing day is going to be especially celebrated in one of the most romantic cities in the world this weekend.
Throughout the year Dubrovnik offers its historical charm, timeless beauty and special atmosphere to those who are in love and it has long been recognized by international media as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, a top honeymoon destination, a top destination for proposals and weddings... Why wouldn't it become a top kissing destination as well?
Kiss in Dubrovnik and send your #kissfromdubrovnik into the world, for International Kissing Day the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik will celebrate International Kissing Day at the most romantic place in the Old City, the traditional meeting place for those in love, Porporela.
Come to Porporela on Saturday the 6th of July, International Kissing Day, take a picture on a special kissing bench and send it into the world with the hashtag #kissfromdubrovnik. From 8.00pm to 11.00pm a special romantic atmosphere will draw lovers to celebrate this international day, a kissing bench, photo booth and the melody of guitar floating over the Adriatic.
Celebrate International Kissing Day in Dubrovnik!
One of the stars of the globally popular cult TV comedy show That 70’s Show has been having a ball in Dubrovnik.
Danny Masterson, who actually acted in all eight seasons of the show from 1998 to 2006, has been spotted on the iconic Dubrovnik city walls as well as on the island of Korcula. Masterson (43) who played the dry witted and often sarcastic Steven Hyde in the serial alongside Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace.
He has been filling his Instagram account with photos of Dubrovnik and as he has over half a million followers has been collecting plenty of comments.
So why does Dubrovnik look, well bigger and even more impressive, as King’s Landing in the HBO global hit Game of Thrones. Probably because a large chunk of the overall budget was spent on CGI, or computer generated imagery.
But how did they build that castle on top of that existing Dubrovnik fortress, by spending another pile of cash on 3D modelling of Dubrovnik. When you see the amount of work that went into making Dubrovnik into the centre of the Seven Kingdoms it is no wonder that the series was a hit, if only they hadn’t ballsed up the ending.
A new video has been released giving a brief insight into a small part of the technology, in fact Lidar technology, that went on behind the scenes. “Lidar technology is more present in our lives than we realize – and sometimes even while we watch television, for instance. Imaging hardware and software from Teledyne Optech helped to enable 3D spatial data acquisition and visual effects for HBO’s hit series, 'Game of Thrones'. A team utilized Teledyne’s Lidar technology to create a detailed 3D representation of the old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, as the model for the fictional city of King’s Landing,” states an article on gim-international.com
Check out the video
The connections between South Korea and Croatia are growing stronger, with more and more Korean tourists visiting every season, more direct flights between the two countries and even South Korean Police patrolling three streets of major cities in Croatia this July and August.
Now comes news that Korean Air have increased the number of direct flights between Zagreb and Seoul. Korean Air has until now connected the two capitals with three direct flights a week throughout the summer season, but now from the 30th of August until the 20th of September they will add an additional flight to make it four weekly rotations. Presumably this additional flight is due to customer interest.
Speaking to the website EX-YU Aviation Korean Air commented that “Since the launch of the route between Seoul and Zagreb, it has been performing with a high load factor. There has been growth this summer season, mainly on demand originating from Korea.”