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 parking in front of the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace today as the opening stage of a classic old-timer rally kicked off. Classic Jaguars, beautiful Mercedes, a 1964 Austin Healey and a 911 Porsche Targa were all on show today as the rally from Dubrovnik to Athens started.
The 16-day rally will take in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Kotor, Tirana and Aristi amongst other cities before ending on the 18th of October in Athens.
The rally, which is a pre-1980 classic touring event, is organised by ROARR who have been, as they state, “running classic car rallies since 1999 in some of the most exciting locations on the planet.”
Croatia’s economy is slowly but surely seeing the green shots of recovery with news that the gross foreign debt once again falling. In the second quarter of this year the debt totalled 40.1 billion Euros, or 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Compared to the same quarter from last year the debt has fallen by around 97 million Euros and financial analysts predict that it will continue to fall. And when compared to the first quarter of this year the debt has fallen by around 500 million Euros.
Speaking to the press analysts at Raiffeisenbank Austria commented that "Looking at 2018 as a whole, we expect the trend of falling gross external debt to continue... The lower debt should come as a result of deleveraging in all key sectors. Combined with the projected GDP growth, we expect the debt-to-GDP ratio to drop below 80 percent by the end of 2018.”
Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik or Dubrovnik and the Game of Thrones the pair are inseparable. Ever since the directors chose Dubrovnik as the location for King’s Landing for season two of the series the city has become a part of the Game of Thrones world.
Hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans visit the city every year to see the sights and the backdrops in real life. Themed tours, souvenir shops, visitor’s centres, even restaurants offering Game of Thrones style menus, you name it and Dubrovnik has seen it.
But this latest offer rather caught our eyes. Dubrovnik is no stranger to international hen parties, but a Kings Landing Walking Tour Hen Party, well that’s a first. This UK based travel company is tempting future brides-to-be with the chance to see the Red Keep and tour the filming locations and as they advertise “Perfect for your Instagram feed.”
Looking for a holiday destination with crystal, clear seas and dreamy beaches, look no further than Croatia. Anyone who has ever set eyes on the Croatian Adriatic Sea know that the transparency of the water is amazing and now this has been recognised by an international publication.
In an article entitled “5 Crystal Clear Beaches for a Dreamy Holiday” the popular newspaper The Indian Express has been singing the praises of Croatia. “The scents of lavender, olive trees and wine spiced up with picturesque locations make it among the most popular places in Europe,” writes the newspaper on Hvar. Croatia is placed in second position, behind Thailand, with Belize, the Bahamas and Vietnam making up the rest of the list.
Dubrovnik is again a world record holder, but this time it has nothing to do with the tourism industry. Due to the unbelievable amount of rain that fell on the city early this morning Dubrovnik was officially the wettest city in the city over the past 24 hours with almost double the amount of rain of any other of the 6,000 world destination measured.
An incredible 260 litres of rain per metre squared fell on the city in a five-hour period from 2.00 am to 7.00 am!
This is the most rain since 1961 and more rain than has fallen on Dubrovnik than in the whole of the past six months. Dubrovnik had twice as much rain in a few hours than cities in India and Sri Lanka that are at the end of their monsoon season.
“I can’t remember rain like this ever before, it was like the sky opened a bath full of water was dropped, no not a bath a swimming pool,” commented Alan Walters for The Dubrovnik Times.
Roads flooded, trees fell down and the fire brigade were called to almost 100 different interventions to pump flood water out of shops, homes and businesses. However, this was hardly surprising given the sheer weight of water.
River Ombla turns brown - Photo Tonci Vlasic
Speaking to The Dubrovnik Times Daniel Pavlinović from Storm Chasers Dubrovnik commented that “The amount of rain in such a short period of time was just unseen. Traditionally the wettest month in Dubrovnik in November and on average 147 litres per metres squared fall throughout the whole month. In just a couple of hours we had more rain than the whole of the wettest month in the city, just incredible.”
Flooded building site in Dubrovnik - Photo Boris Radić/Hanza Media
To add some perspective according to figures from the Metrological Office in the UK the capital London receives around 557 litres per metres squared annually. Do the maths. More rain fell in five hours on Dubrovnik than six months in London.
The second wettest city in the world was Ratmalana in Sri Lanka which received 134 litres per metre squared and in third place was Surigao in the Philippines that saw 133 litres. In fact, the Dubrovnik region dominated the top ten with Konavle coming in eighth position with a whopping 99 litres.
Dubrovnik a world beater - Photo Ogimet.com
Zagreb police have reported that a 23-year-old and four 18-year-olds have been charged with stealing 38 bicycles in the capital from the beginning of this year. Almost all of the bicycles stolen were taken in front of shopping malls in the capital and the vast majority were secured with a chain.
However, the group of bike thieves used industrial style cutters to free the bikes and then rode them away. It is estimated that the value of the stolen bicycles is around 90,000 Kunas. The bike band resold the stolen bikes and would then split the profits.
Summer ended with a bang in Dubrovnik as an explosive thunderstorm struck the region last night. Torrential rains started falling at around 4.00 am and lightening hammered down all around the city. The rains fell so heavily that they caused instant flooding, Dubrovnik firefighters were called to 30 separate interventions, mostly involving pumping flooded homes and business premises.
Roads are flooded and authorities are warning drivers to take extra care on the roads today due to the slippery conditions.
The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service has warned that “Thundershowers and flash floods, locally possible severe! rainfall 15-45 mm; lightning risk 60-80 % STAY ALERT for possible heavy thunderstorms. Be especially careful in high-exposure areas such as mountains, forests, meadows and open grounds. Interruptions in outdoor activities are possible.”
However, the bad weather is also predicted to last only today with sunshine and more stable weather expected to return tomorrow and remain for the rest of the week.
Following the commemorative program on the occasion of marking the 27th anniversary of the attack on Dubrovnik in the Old City of Dubrovnik the service moved to the top of the Srd Mountain. Representatives of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik – Neretva County said prayers and laid wreaths as they paid tribute to the brave men and women who defended Dubrovnik in one of the darkest pages in its history.
On this day, the 1st of October, 27 years ago the city was attacked by forces of the Yugoslav National Army in what was the beginning of a military action that would see the city under siege and without water, communications or electricity for the following three months.