Sunday, 21 July 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.


Gale force northerly winds have been ripping through the Dubrovnik region all day bringing polar temperatures as well as causing havoc to traffic. The Dubrovnik Bridge has been closed all as winds of up to 140 km/h battered the bridge and it could be seen physically moving in the wind.

Trees were uprooted all over the county and the fire-brigade had their hands full all day clearing roads from branches. With temperatures dropping to – 3 degrees ice formed on many roads and with the strong winds the “Real Feel” temperature plummeted to – 15 degrees. Dubrovnik Airport was also closed all day to all flights, with flights to Dubrovnik being rerouted to Split Airport.

This caravan was picked up and tossed like a toy in the wind near the Ombla River in Komolac.

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Three days in Dubrovnik are enough to make lifetime memories – especially in the case of Florian Champain who spent three months to make a perfect three minute video! In this video Florian transforms his travel photos from Dubrovnik into scenes from Game of Thrones. He used scenes from seasons two, three and five, and really did magnificent job. Some of the locations that are shown in the video are Minceta Fort, Jesuit stairs and much more...

In case you didn't know, mega popular series Game of Thrones have turned Dubrovnik into King's Landing, making it even more famous all over the world. Last month some scenes for season seven were shot, even though it was announced that GOT will bypass Dubrovnik in 2016.

The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, currently on a visit to the United States, met with the Republican senator Marc Rubio on the 4th of January and discussed ways to strengthen relations between the two countries within NATO.

In addition, Rubio posted a photograph of their meeting on his Twitter account, saying that they ''discussed ways to deepen our ties to a close NATO ally."

On the 31st of December the Croatian President's Office announced that Grabar Kitarovic was leaving for the United States for a visit until the 5th of January, however, no further details of the visit were given.

On the other hand, Croatian media said unofficially that the Croatian president was to meet with several members of the transition team of the new US president Donald Trump and several other people being considered for office in the new US administration.

In order to clarify the whole situation about her visit, on the 5th of January the Croatian president said for Croatian Radio Television (HRT) that ''this visit was aimed at people who are in the US administration, or will be, or are close to the elected president of the United States Donald Trump or to the Republican Party or Democratic Party in any way in order to make them aware of the problems and issues in Croatia and Southeast Europe''.

''The fact is that we are small country and as such we cannot wait for someone to put us on the agenda, but we have to impose ourselves. In other words, to be here'', explained Grabar Kitarovic.

Ana Konjuh is in the finals of the WTA tournament in Auckland! There she'll play against four years older Lauren Davis from the US. 

Davis is for the third time in the finals of the WTA tournament, she played both previous ones during the last year, but still waits for her first title, while Ana was celebrating at her, until now, only finals. That was 19 months ago in Nottingham.  Now, at the start of the new season which she entered with a new coach (Goran Prpic), 19 year old tennis player from Dubrovnik made it to second WTA finals of her career with four wins in a row.

Konjuh's last win was 9 years older Julia Goerges, who made two big wins before semifinals. At the start she won 27th player of the world and sixth bearer (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova) and in quarterfinals 19th player of the world rank list and third bearer (Caroline Wozniacki). She was also the winner of the first match between her and Ana, at the end of 2015 in Wuhanu, China, because of what Ana wasn't considered a favorite in this match. However, after two hours and three minutes of the game 6:3, 4:6 and 6:3 for Ana, who had a great support of the Croats who live at New Zealand.

By placing it to the finals of Auckland Ana jumped on 36th place of WTA rank list. The finals will be played on Saturday, January 7th.

The polar conditions in Dubrovnik are continuing, with temperatures this morning measured at – 1 degree. The north wind picked up overnight to gale force and speeds of 140 km/h were measured. These freezing winds forced the Dubrovnik Bridge to close as well as the Dubrovnik Airport.

The north winds also caused havoc with the Christmas decorations in the Gruz area near the Port of Dubrovnik. As these photos from Adriatic Images show the biting north winds ripped up many of the festive decorations and tossed them around the park. It also blew strong enough to knock over scooters that were parked nearby.

And there is no sign of the winds dropping, the only thing that will be dropping is the temperature. Today temperatures between – 2 and – 6 are predicted and with the northerly wind it will feel even colder.

Photos by Adriatic Images

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Great news continue to arrive to Dubrovnik in 2017. At the beginning of this year The New York Times included Dubrovnik in its top list of 52 most beautiful world destinations to visit during 2017 and placed it on the high, sixth place.

Istria also made it to The New York Times list and it’s on 41st place, which in the opinion of the Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic talks about new perspectives of Croatian tourism.

On this occasion Mayor Vlahusic sent a letter to the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, in which among other things he says that the US market is one of the world's most important source markets for Dubrovnik,which is clear if we look at numbers. Over the past year, guests from the United States were in second place with 82,287 arrivals and 254,931 overnight stays. Number of passengers from the United States on average ranges from about 200 passengers a day that is 1600 per week or during the peak of tourist season about 500 passengers a day and 3000 per week.

In the letter to the Minister Capelli Mayor Vlahusic points out that one reason for nearly triple increase in the number of arrivals and overnight stays that American guests made in Dubrovnik in the past six years is certainly globally popular Game of Thrones, which was filmed in Dubrovnik again in 2016, which was pointed out by The New York Times too.

While highlighting the excellent tourist results and records that Dubrovnik achieved Dubrovnik in 2016 Mayor Vlahusic said that according to current indicators, the number of guests from the US will continue to grow in the coming years and that with joint efforts and investments of the Ministry of Tourism, Croatian Tourist Board, Croatia Airlines and Dubrovnik Airport is necessary to get back direct air-route New York - Dubrovnik.

It has been a cold, cold day in Dubrovnik today. Temperatures barely rose above zero all day and a freezing north wind made sure the wind chill factor was even colder. With ice-cold rain and snow on the higher ground Dubrovnik certainly didn’t look like a holiday destination today.

And colder temperatures are on the way for tomorrow with temperatures between -2 and – 6 degrees predicted. The Dubrovnik Airport has been closed for most of the day and the Dubrovnik bridge is also still closed to all vehicles. It is expected that both the airport and the bridge will be closed again tomorrow as the polar winter hits the region.

Today in Dubrovnik by Zeljko Tutnjevic

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''If the size of the Croatian economy is taken into account, it should have almost 2,000 robots, however, according to our estimates only 175 are used in the industry thus Croatia is 1,800 robots short. The increased use of robots can be considered as one of the most important ways in increasing productivity'', commented the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

The HGK in cooperation with the Nikola Tesla Innovation Centre (ICENT) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is part of the CROBOHUB project, whose main goal is to establish a regional competence centre for robotics within the ICENT.
Emil Peric, the head of the HGK's Department of Technology Development and IT said that the Croatian economy needed at least 2,000 robots, whilst there were only 175. ''It only indicates the unused potential and the need for further development and investments'', said Peric.

'' Many stakeholders in the economy do not see robots as a threat that would completely replace human work. Actually there will be need for more staff to control robots, service them and produce new ones. With a lack of skilled labour and the workforce in general, with many industrial sectors based on low wages, robotics can be seen as a way to increase productivity, or even perhaps as the only way to do that”, concluded Peric.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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