Friday, 19 October 2018
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.


Mexican beauty and Playboy model, Celia Lora (34), has been holidaying in Dubrovnik and published a photo in the city that certainly grabs attention.

And with over a million followers on Instagram Lora has attracted lots of attention, although whether her fans were looking at the Adriatic Sea in the background or the busty model in the foreground is questionable.


The summer tourist season hasn’t even ended in Dubrovnik for this year but already one of the largest low-cost airlines in the world is advertising flights to the city for next year. EasyJet have opened flights for spring 2019 to Dubrovnik and have immediately started with some cheap deals to Dubrovnik with single tickets starting at 25 Euros!

Start planning your Easter break to Dubrovnik for 2019 and see the city before the summer crowds arrive, flights from three London airports, as well as Manchester and Bristol are all on offer. In fact, EasyJet will connect Dubrovnik to a total of ten European destinations next spring. The airline has put 14.4 million seats on sale for travel between the 31st of March and the 23rd of June.

Speaking to the UK newspaper The Mirror, Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK Director, commented "We’re really pleased to be putting our flights for spring 2019 on sale today. Passengers can look forward to even more low fares to Europe’s best beach and city destinations. We have a number of exciting destinations to choose from for those looking to jet off on holiday and passengers travelling for business can also take advantage of our regular and convenient flight times to major city airports across our network."

Check out the flights on the EasyJet website

It might be officially autumn but the warm weather in Dubrovnik is showing no signs of slowing down. While most of the rest of northern Europe is wrapped in overcoats, and even Zagreb is relatively chilly, Dubrovnik and southern Croatia is still bathing in temperatures in the low thirties.

Whilst a cold snap is predicted for the beginning of next week it will only see temperatures fall to the low twenties for a few days. September is one of the best months to visit Dubrovnik, the crowds have eased off and the Adriatic Sea is just as warm as it has been all summer.

Zeljko Tutnjevic was out this weekend and once again brought us captivating images of the city

sunset beach 2018 september






How did a ship from the Dubrovnik Republic change the English language and even had the great William Shakespeare using it in his play? Dubrovnik was a republic built around trade and maritime ventures. In the early days of the Republic in the 16th century the city could count on a fleet that held up to 200 ships, by the 18th century this had grown to 300 ships.

Such was the reputation of Dubrovnik as a city of sailors and shipbuilding that there was a phrase at the time top describe a ship constructed to last the ravages of time “Built in the Dubrovnik way.” There were even two sailors from the republic chosen to be part of the Columbus crew of 1492, Martin de Araguis and Pedro de Arague.


And by far the most famous ship to come out of the Dubrovnik shipyards was the so called Argosy. And here is where Shakespeare and the English influence comes into play. One of the Republics’ trade partners was Great Britain. Ships would dock in Margate, Southampton and Portsmouth and the ships were so much larger than the other ships in port that the locals would be impressed and used the word argosy, which is a distortion of the word Ragusa the original name of Dubrovnik.

The word became so well-used that over time it was used to describe a large merchant sailing ship. And in the Merchant of Venice Shakespeare used the same word to describe wide, wooden ships which would sail across the Mediterranean. The word had stuck in the English language. And still today the Oxford English Dictionary describes argosy as “A large merchant ship, originally one from Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) or Venice.”


Check out more from our series From the Archives

What’s in the name of Dubrovnik

Porporela stone with a story to tell

Complicated history of the theatre scene in Dubrovnik 

From the Archives – south wind stops Senate



The renowned British author, David Mitchell, will hold a reading and conversation event this Sunday in Dubrovnik. The New York Times best-selling author will be in the Lazareti complex, just east of the Old City, on Sunday at 8.00pm.

Mitchell (49) is probably best known for the novel Cloud Atlas which was made into film starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant, however he has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize Number9Dream, Black Swan Green and The Bone Clocks.

After visiting The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb on the 21st of September Mitchell is looking forward to his first visit to Dubrovnik, where he will discuss the relationship between literature and travel with the most prominent literature promoter in Croatia, Miljenka Buljević.

Croatia will play in the finals of the 2018 Davis Cup against France in Lille from the 23rd to the 25th of November, the International Tennis Federation announced this week.

The Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille will host the Davis Cup for the second consecutive year, as the French have beaten Belgium in the same stadium and have been triumphant ten times in the competition.

Croatia will be aiming for their second victory in the Davis Cup after winning for the first time in 2005 in Slovakia. And in 2016 Croatia reached the finals for the second time where they lost to Argentina.

This will be the second time that Croatia and France have met each other in the Davis Cup with France holding two wins to Croatia’s one.

Are we living in a “fix it” or “throw it” world? Do we even bother to try and fix things anymore? Is it even worth the time to try and mend something? No, to answer my own question we are absolutely living in a disposable society.

I remember when I was a young adult spending half my weekend under the bonnet of my car trying to fix a problem. OK, my first car, a Mini Morris, cost me about 2,000 Kunas so there was always plenty of work to be done. We, my father and I, even took the whole engine out once and replaced to with a new, or rather second hand one. I would honestly spend hours unscrewing things to see what they did, and then putting them back on. Sundays were reserved for wandering around scrap yards trying to pick up “new” bits and bobs for this old Mini.

I guess my father was the inspiration for this curiosity. I never ever remember a plumber, electrician, mechanic, engineer, builder, carpenter or brick layer ever coming to our home to fix or build something. Why, because my father would do it all himself. What he didn’t know he would learn, and when he made a mistake, and he made a few, he would learn from them. And it wasn’t only he who was learning. Lots of the time I was on his shoulder passing him screwdrivers, hammers and cement.

These were also days before the internet. You couldn’t just Google “How to fix a washing machine.” No, you tried and tried to find the problem by yourself. The “hard disk” that we now all carry in our pockets in the form of a smartphone wasn’t there to back you up. He built walls, garages, ran electricity, changed bathrooms, fixed exploded toasters, maintained the car, sculptured the garden and fixed the leaking roof all with a tool box and logic.

It was a “DIY” or Do It Yourself generation. If you couldn’t fix it yourself then you went without. Oh, how times have changed. Finding someone today who is good with their hands is like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I was fortunate. Shadowing my father taught me many invaluable lessons. And although I don’t have the practical skills that he acquired I still can do many of the jobs that most people would call for outside help.

And calling for outside help is becoming harder and harder, especially it seems in Dubrovnik. “He told me he could do it but not for six weeks,” said my friend thee other day who helps a small wall building in his back garden. It is probably a three-day job maximum, but this particular builder has so much work that he can’t come for six weeks. It seems that you wait longer for a builder than a doctor in Dubrovnik! And that’s a good builder, for there are many, many, many who are, well, not so good.

As we force all our younger generations into desk jobs, management and pushing paper around an office we are seriously lacking in the practical skills department. You may argue that Dubrovnik is a city dominated by tourism, and therefore a need for tourism workers. It is true. But who services the bus in which tourists go on their day-excursion, who fixes the air-conditioning that keeps them cool at night, who maintains the ice-cream machine, who builds the new apartments to rent on Airbnb and who repairs the leaking swimming pool. The list could go on and on, but the list of actual trained and qualified workers on the other hand is surprisingly short.

Often the marketing or sales or human resources department is overloaded with staff whilst the technical department is seriously understaffed. And it isn’t only the technical department, finding a good chef in Dubrovnik is like finding a four-leafed clover. We have plenty of people to sell rooms and meet and greet the guests but finding people to feed them and fix their leaking shower isn’t so easy.

We are living in a throwaway society. In a society that doesn’t value the skills and knowledge of people who work with their hands. “On the right side of the pendulum, consumerism has reached an all-time high, with products reaching their planned obsolescence within absurdly short timespans and new products being rolled out (and bought) by the millions every day. And, since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we have to expect consequences,” wrote an expert of waste management Kristi Gartner. It is true. We are already feeling the consequences.


Croatia will have direct flight connections with the US in 2019 after American Airlines announced that they would connect Dubrovnik with Philadelphia and now news has broken that the popular airline is looking to recruit cabin staff with a knowledge of Croatian.

The airline is looking for trainee flight attendants according to their official website, presumably for the Philadelphia – Dubrovnik connection for next year.

“We are looking for people who want to be a part of the largest airline in the world. American Airlines is in the business of serving the travel needs of our customers. A warm welcome, gracious service and a safe and comfortable feeling, makes our customers' journey something they will always remember,” write American Airlines in the job advert.

And one of the job qualifications you must have is to read and speak Croatian fluently. Find more info here




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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