Sunday, 16 January 2022
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.


Andrea Bocelli, the famous Italian tenor who has been completely blind from the age of twelve, has sold more than 85 million albums, more than any other opera singer in history. His music is a universal language that connects people around the world just like the state of the art communication solutions which make our daily lives much easier. That is why Deutsche Telekom, one of the leading telecommunications groups in Europe, choose the famous tenor to participate in its new "Europe" campaign highlighting the idea of a connected Europe.

The campaign "You can’t see what it is that connects Europe. But you can feel it." featuring the famous tenor conveys Deutsche Telekom’s and the artist’s shared belief in the idea of the connectedness of countries and people, through a network that is invisible but always provides this feeling of connectedness.

For Andrea Bocelli, today's network technology is one of the great achievements of our modern world. “The network turns Europe into a community and brings people closer together. Like my music. Music is a special language that everybody understands – and thus connects people”, says the tenor. “Life is a complex web of relationships with people. With the help of this network and new technologies, I want to stay connected with all the people who are important to me. What is true for music is also true for the network: You can’t see what it is that connects Europe. But you can feel it.”

Andrea Bocelli stradun

Andrea Boceli on the Stradun...or at least his body double 

In the last few days, as a part of the Deutsche Telekom campaign in Croatia, big posters of Hrvatski Telekom can be seen throughout the country showing people with their arms flung wide open to the world forming the letter ''T''. The message is quite clear – the best network gives you a sense of freedom wherever you are.

Otherwise, this TV commercial have been already broadcasted throughout Europe and was recorded at various locations in a number of European cities. We are proud to say that Dubrovnik features in this TV commercial with the most famous street in the world Stradun and Dubrovnik's Franjo Tudman Bridge on which the famous world tenor Andrea Bocelli stands and throws his arms up to the world and to freedom.

The most popular low-cost airline in the world, Ryanair, could soon start flights to Dubrovnik. There have been rumours for several months that the Irish airline has shown an interest in operating between Dubrovnik and the UK and it seems that these negotiations are coming to a head.

Ryanair recently held talks with the three main parties in Dubrovnik, the mayor, representatives from Dubrovnik Airport and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and it appears that some movement has been made. Following these talks Ryanair has approached Dubrovnik Airport to reduce its landing fees and to sign a long-term contract. Speaking to the specialised website EX-YU Aviation the Route Manager from Ryanair, Luis Fernandez-Mellado, stated that the budget airline is interested in operating year-round flights to Dubrovnik, he described Dubrovnik as an “extremely interesting destination.”

Without doubt there would be a strong demand for Ryanair flights to Dubrovnik, who would be in competition on the London to Dubrovnik route with easyjet. But the fact that the Irish airline has shown interest in flying outside of the summer season should prove tempting for the local authorities. Fernandez-Mellado added that Dubrovnik would prove to be an excellent city break destination during the winter months.

On the other side the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, has publically stated that he would be willing to sign a long-term contract with Ryanair up to 2024. So as both sides see an interest and both seem willing to negotiate we can only assume that the current sticking point are the financial terms.

The Dubrovnik Times contacted both parties, however both we keeping their cards very close to their chest. The press office of Ryanair commented that “While we are always interested in new routes, we do not comment upon or engage in rumour or speculation.” Whilst the City of Dubrovnik gave a similar response, telling us that “the negotiations are currently ongoing and we will let you know as soon as we have more news.”

Ryanair currently operates flights to four airports in Croatia, Pula, Osijek, Zadar and Rijeka to various European destinations. Within the next weeks we should uncover whether Dubrovnik will be the fifth Croatian airport to welcome the budget airline.

The Croatian Tourist Board has published an analysis of the tourist traffic in the continental part of Croatia which, in terms of tourism, encompasses clusters of Slavonia, central Croatia, the Lika-Karlovac region and the city of Zagreb.

According to data of the eVisitor system, so far this year these four clusters have accounted for 14.6 percent in tourist arrivals and 7.1 percent in overnight stays in the total national tourism traffic.

The biggest tourism traffic has been recorded in the Lika-Karlovac cluster which accounts for 6 percent in the total national tourist arrivals and around 4 percent in the total national overnights. The city of Zagreb placed as the 2nd with a share of 5.7 percent in the total national arrivals and 1.84 percent in the total overnight stays. On the other hand, the clusters of Central Croatia and Slavonia have less effective results.

stunning slavonia

Stunning Slavonia 

''Green or continental Croatia encompasses 12 counties and the city of Zagreb which do not have direct access to the Adriatic Sea. In terms of tourism, this area was divided into marketing clusters of Slavonia, Central Croatia, Lika-Karlovac and Zagreb by the Strategic marketing plan of the Croatian tourism industry. Certainly, these clusters have great potential for further development of tourism in Croatia which is still predominantly recognized as a ''sun and sea'' destination.

Numerous promotional activities that have been carried out by the Croatian Tourist Board tend to change such perception i.e. our goal is to present Croatia as a tourist destination which has much to offer throughout the whole country. The tourism results on the continent are getting better every year and I'm sure that this positive trend will continue and that more tourists will recognize quality tourist offer of our continent'', said Ratomir Ivcic, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board.

Website Thrillist has published a list of 13 overlooked European cities. The article is aimed at Americans, who according to the article, go to the 'old, safe locations' such as London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Barcelona... Because of that, this article offers alternative locations and Dubrovnik found its place on this list too.

- We've rounded up cities well worth a trip on their own, when the spirit or flight discounts move you. A visit to any of these towns -- as explained by people who have lived in or visited them -- will set you apart from your fellow wandering Americans. As such, the locals there will recognize you as a deliberate traveler. And you will, we promise, have a hell of a time, equalling or surpassing what the more oft-visited hubs will offer – writes the author.

Dubrovnik is described as 'Game of Thrones chapter on the Adriatic'.

- It’s hard to believe this jewel is even real – with this sentence the author starts describing Dubrovnik, praising the sea, the Old City and even its prices.

- Dubrovnik’s history and culture, and its Venetian cobbled roads, give it a sublime flair as a romantic hideout, with amazing seafood and a local brandy sljivovica, potent as wildfire. The fantastic climate and great beaches lend themselves to sea kayaking and snorkeling. It’s a must see when exploring the Adriatic, and will be temperate long after winter finds the Seven Kingdoms – writes Daniel Cole, Thrillist contributor.

Although Croatia is highly positioned on the map of Europe as a sex-tourist destination, still little is known about that.

Swingers are no different from other tourists who spend their money in restaurants, clubs, souvenir shops etc. But apart from shopping they want to spend a certain part of the day in a slightly different way, for some people even an obnoxious way.

The Adriatic coast is a real paradise for swingers who are open-minded and for all other lovers of sexual freedom. Many hidden bays, from Istria to Prevlaka, are ideal spots for these freeminders who want to spend their vacation in a way they live their everyday lives.

Among many Adriatic beaches one particularly stands out that raised a real storm in public. For many years the smooth rocks on the Cape Punta Kriza near Rovinj have been ''crime scene'' for all lovers of swinging and those who like to spice up their vacation with completely free behaviour. Despite the multilingual boards that were set up by the city of Rovinj a few years ago such as ''Attention! This is a public beach. Every behaviour that can hurt moral feelings of citizens, sexual exhibitionism, lewd behaviour etc. are forbidden'' and despite introducing stewardess service in order to maintain proper behaviour, the beach Punta Kriza is still classified as a real swinger paradise which stands out on all forums and websites dedicated to this group of tourists.

The beach which can be reached through a beautiful pine forest ''appeared'' some twenty years ago when people tried to find salvation from the teeming city streets and crowded beaches in order to enjoy love making. Therefore, it's no wonder if you come across numerous couples who have sex or orgies in the broad daylight in front of those whose fetish is - watching.

The next concert of the International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik is also the last of the project 'Key to the future' made by Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and Dubrovnik Summer Festival. It will be held tomorrow, August 30th, starting 9 pm.

The star of the evening will be the young pianist and also an originator of the program, Andrew Tyson who brought together young laureates of prestigious international competitions. The whole concert will be conducted by maestro Mladen Tarbuk.

After a series of many young musicians, Tyson who opened the program ‘Key to the future’ at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, tomorrow will close it in the atrium of the Rector's Palace.

Andrew Tyson is new, but already recognizable name on the music scene, and BBC Radio 3 called him ‘a real poet of the piano'. Among the rewards and recognition that he has so far achieved, there are some that stand out: a victory at the International audition for young concert artists in the US (2011), the prize at the International Piano Competition in Leeds (2012) and the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2013) and the first prize in the Géza Anda in Zurich (2015), where he also won the Mozart prize and the audience award.

For this occasion Tyson will perform Chopin's Concerto no. 1 for Piano and Orchestra in E Minor, and in the second part of the concert the audience will have the opportunity to listen to Bizet's Symphony no. 1 in C major.

In around 20 days, more precisely the 18th of September, the Ston Wall Marathon will be held for the 9th time. This is a unique sports and tourism event which was made by few athletes enthusiasts, who run the Ston walls, the longest preserved defensive wall in Europe. With the support of the Association of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques, the Tourist board of Ston and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the marathon has grown into an exclusive event in a special setting including marathon runners from around the world.

While passing along the famous Ston wall and further along the coast, the main feature of the race is unforgettable view of the islands of the Southern Adriatic.

In order to experience the history and beautiful views of unspoiled nature close to everyone, two shorter races are organized as well, one of 15 kilometers and another of four. Applications are in progress. For more info visit the official page.

Although the last weekend in August is behind us there is no sign that the sunshine is leaving. The weather forecast for this week is for unbroken blue skies and plenty of sunshine with highs all week to be in the low thirties. The forecast for September also looks promising with every chance of an Indian Summer.

According to the specialised metrological website the Dubrovnik region could have a long and warm autumn. They have forecast a “Surges of warmth from Africa and the Mediterranean will be frequent throughout the season, leading to above-normal temperatures across southern Spain, southern and central Italy and the southern Balkans.”

This week’s weather forecast shows constant sunshine and temperatures in the low thirties. The current sea temperature in Dubrovnik is 24 degrees.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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