Sunday, 16 June 2024
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

Croatian captain Luka Modrić was aware that the game against Spain was not good, but he is confident that the Vatreni will respond appropriately...

"It was one of those days where nothing went right. We weren't ourselves, especially in the first half. We lacked energy, aggressiveness, and were too far from their players. We conceded three goals too easily," Modrić commented for HRT.

"The second half looked much better, but it wasn't enough. The ball just didn't want to go in. They turned all their shots into goals. A deserved victory. We need to regroup and be much better. Maybe in a way, it's not bad that we no longer have any options but to win the next games."

The first half was particularly bad.

"It happens, that's football. The Spaniards didn't surprise us. We knew they wanted possession and to keep the ball, the problem was that we weren't aggressive and didn't stay close to their players. Against teams like this, it's very difficult to play that way. But I am sure that we will show our quality and character again."

On Wednesday in Hamburg against Albania, there is no room for error.

"There is no other option. We need to rest, analyze what went wrong, and be better. I am sure that will be the case," concluded Modrić.

“I just pray to God that he doesn’t say that again in English,” said the female passenger next to me. A second later he announced “Ladies and Gentlemen…” and her head dropped as she crossed herself.

Traditionally I go to the capital at this time of the year, probably not the best time of the year to visit Zagreb I know as the asphalt is radiating heat like underfloor heating. However, when the King calls you don’t hesitate and we celebrated his birthday in style, if somewhat in humidity as well.

So the plane to Zagreb was as busy (and as expensive) as ever, and I was sitting in what felt like the 51st state of the US. Americans to the left of me, Americans to the right of me. And as the flight was already delayed by 30 minutes they weren’t in the best frame of mind as they were all on connecting flights, to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, etc.

“You have such a lovely country,” said Virginia, who rather amusingly lived in Richmond, which is in the state of Virginia, so yes, Virginia from Virginia. “Well, it isn’t actually my country, but thank you,” I joked with here.

They giggled and chatted as we sat on the runway with the pilot apologising that the “plane was delayed in Amsterdam.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time that the pilot had to say sorry on this flight. The American accent drifted into the distance as I fell asleep. I actually fell fast asleep before the plane took-off, probably before it had even taxied into position, so I am not really in a position to comment much about the flight.

I awoke (as I often do) with a jolt as the plane touched down in Zagreb. Rubbing my eyes, I glanced over to Virginia, “I hope I didn’t snore too much.” To which she just raised her eyebrows.

The plane pulled up outside of the terminal, a newish terminal that was shining like aluminium foil in the June sunlight. We stopped, people started standing, luggage was being arranged and the American group were nervously looking at their watches and murmuring about “running to the next flight” and “hope our luggage doesn’t get lost.” We all waited. And we waited. Heads started looking down to the front of the plane. Nothing was happening. No hiss as the door opens.

Then, “Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry for the delay, but due to a lack of staff of the airport they aren’t able to connect the air bridge to the plane.” The Croatian speaking people looked at each other. And that’s the moment when the passenger said to me “I just pray to God that he doesn’t say that again in English.” He did!

“How embarrassing, the capital’s airport doesn’t have enough staff to let us off the plane,” said another passenger from Dubrovnik. I had to agree with her. Virginia and her group didn’t know what to think. “That’s the first time in my life that I’ve heard a pilot say that,” I tried to comfort her and let her know that this wasn’t a daily occurrence.

It took a further 25 minutes before they let us off the plane. And it was then they I noticed that the director of the Dubrovnik Airport was sitting a few rows in front of me. “That’s ironic,” I whispered.

But that wasn’t the only irony.

As we filtered out of the airport I waited for a colleague from Split, and yes you’ve guessed it her plane had been delayed “due to issues at Amsterdam airport.” I have a feeling that Amsterdam airport is a code word they use to cover any delays, sorry just being sarcastic.

So I waited for her to land, but all of a sudden hundreds and hundreds of passengers from India flooded out of the doors. “You are in Bus 1, and you in Bus 2,” shouted the organiser. Quite clearly these were foreign workers going to work in the construction industry near Zagreb.

I felt like asking “If any of you know how to operate air bridges, or indeed drive an airport bus, then I am pretty sure they are in need of workers right here.”   

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

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About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik

In the ferry port in Sobra on Mljet, on Saturday, June 22nd, the Mljet Municipality Tourist Board is organizing a craft beer festival for the first time, named "Beer on the Pier."

Visitors and beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to taste various craft beers from domestic and international producers. The entertainment program will feature the musical group Mjesni Odbor from Šolta. The program starts at 9 PM.

“We look forward to seeing you in large numbers and hope for a great time,” stated the Mljet Tourist Board.

Organized by the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, as part of the "Streets of Our City" and "Serenade to the City" programs, as well as the Summer Events in Tourist Areas, an entertainment and music program has been prepared for the summer. Below is the list of events for the upcoming week.

The program starts on June 17, 2024, at 10 PM in Lapad Bay with a performance by Trio Lausa as part of the "Streets of Our City" program. The next day, June 18, at 10 PM, in front of the Rector's Palace, Klapa Subrenum will perform as part of the "Serenade to the City" program.

In celebration of World Music Day on June 21, at 8 PM in front of the Rector's Palace, there will be a performance by the Libertas Choir, followed by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra at 9 PM in front of St. Blaise's Church. The evening concludes with Trsteno Night and a concert by Matko and Brane.

The weekly program ends on June 23 at 10 PM in Lapad Bay with a performance by the female vocal group Amfora as part of the "Serenade to the City" program.

Active holidays in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County are the main theme of the new issue of tipTravel magazine, a well-known digital tourism magazine available in three online editions: Croatian, English, and German, read in more than 140 countries worldwide. Under the title "Top 9+1 Outdoor Experiences in Southern Croatia," the magazine dedicates ten pages to Dubrovnik-Neretva County, highlighting it as a fantastic destination for active holidays and outdoor adventures in stunning nature.

The article outlines a range of activities for adrenaline and endorphin release in the destination, from hiking, mountaineering, cycling, sailing, and diving to activities like windsurfing on Pelješac, kayaking on Mljet's lakes, SUP on Baćina lakes, and quad and buggy adventures in Konavle. Although the focus of the article is on active holidays, the final section promotes other assets of the county - cultural attractions, excellent gastronomy, and diverse events.

A special feature presents the island of Korčula as an excellent year-round destination for religious tourism, with a focus on the Camino Korčula route. The magazine, with its cover for all three editions featuring the motif of Prožurska Luka on the island of Mljet, also includes a preview of summer events on the island.

Among other Croatian destinations, the magazine features, among others, the Šibenik-Knin County, Central Dalmatia destinations, the Plitvice region, and the Kvarner islands of Krk and Rab. In a year when sustainable and responsible travel is a global focus in the tourism sector more than ever before, the magazine places special emphasis on this trend and its contemporary necessity.

We remind you that tipTravel magazine has been published for eleven years with the aim of quality online promotion of Croatian destinations, their attractions, and tourism offerings, and is completely free for all travel enthusiasts to read on Issuu.com, the world's leading platform for digital publications. The magazine is read online in more than 140 countries worldwide, and links to the magazine and all its editions can be found on tiptravelmagazine.com.

Spain and Croatia are set to renew their rivalry at the European Championships for the fourth consecutive tournament today, marking a rare streak in the competition's history. Only Spain and Italy have previously met at four straight Euros, from 2008 to 2020. The two teams are also slated to face off at a fifth successive tournament on June 20th in Gelsenkirchen.

Spain holds the upper hand in recent encounters with Croatia, securing two wins out of their last three meetings (5-3 at Euro 2020 and 1-0 at Euro 2012), while Croatia triumphed 2-1 at Euro 2016.

Fans can expect another thrilling match, as past games between these sides have often been high-scoring. Notably, three of their last five encounters have featured at least five goals. Spain's dramatic 5-3 extra-time victory over Croatia three years ago is the second-highest scoring game in Euros history. 

According to the Opta supercomputer, Spain are favored to win, but their 50% win probability indicates the outcome is uncertain.

In simulations, Croatia emerged victorious in 24% of scenarios, while 26% resulted in a draw, which could potentially benefit Italy in the group standings.

From the midweek to the weekend, there are around 18,000 tourists in the city, which represents a four percent increase when compared with the same period from last year.

According to the registrations and check-outs of tourists through the eVisitor system, the most numerous tourists are from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Ireland, France, Finland, and Australia.

Out of the planned one million euros, the Central State Office for Croats Abroad has allocated 906,000 euros for projects and individuals of interest to the Croatian diaspora and socially vulnerable individuals.

The Office supported 216 projects and individuals, and provided one-time financial aid to around 70 socially vulnerable Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo.

The highest amount, 20,000 euros, went to one project: a charity event by the Croatian Catholic Centre "Marija Kraljica Hrvata" in Wollongong, Australia. A smaller amount, 14,000 euros, was given to the Croatian Home in Montevideo, Uruguay, for its 96th anniversary activities.

Two projects from Serbia received 12,000 euros each: one for student transportation by the Croatian National Council in Subotica, and another by the Srijem Diocese in Srijemska Mitrovica.

An association in Bijelo Brdo, Derventa, received 11,000 euros to complete an outdoor square for the local Croatian community.

Ten thousand euros each were awarded to a local community in Čitluk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, for cultural center renovations, and to Marina Stojak from Salzburg for the CroExpress media.

Other projects received less than 10,000 euros, with the smallest amounts, 1,000 euros each, going to projects from Zagreb, Grude, and Belgium. One-time financial aid for 70 socially vulnerable Croats abroad ranged from 350 to 1,200 euros.

The funds were allocated based on a one-million-euro public call from February, the largest in the past 10 years. The previous calls were worth 880,000 euros and 800,000 euros.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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