Friday, 22 September 2023
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.


The latest episode in the Star Wars franchise “The Last Jedi” hits the screens on December the 14th in Croatia and thanks to a new teaser trailer video released yesterday we now have a good idea what Dubrovnik will look like in the sci-fi blockbuster.

star wars teaser video dubrovnik

The Star Wars cast and crew filmed in Dubrovnik at the beginning of last year with several locations in and around the historic Old City used as backdrops for the movie. The main street through the heart of the Old City, Stradun, was the centre of attention and a massive film set transformed the 16th century facades into a galaxy far, far away.

Dubrovnik plays Canto Bight in the movie, described as a casino planet, and the latest video show stunning scenes of filming in Dubrovnik as well as glimpses of the final cuts.

Rian Johnson, the writer/director, of The Last Jedi commented that “Croatia was the perfect location to shot Canto Bight. We are in this alleyway in Dubrovnik smashing speeders, and it was just one of those Oh my God what are we doing moments.”

speeding car on stardun star wars

Dubrovnik awoke to a cold morning as temperatures dropped to only 3 degrees with the northerly wind giving a “real feel” of minus.

The mountains of the Konavle region reassembled an Alpine scene as a fresh covering of snow blinked brightly in the midday sunshine. The forecast for the next ten days is for rain, storms and generally overcast weather meaning that Dubrovnik could well be in for a wet Christmas and not a white Christmas.

snowy mountains in konavle 2017 december

snow konavle december 2017

Advent in the Croatian capital was declared the best Advent in Europe for two times in a row, and this year Zagreb is also one of the main favourites for winning this prestigious winter award.

However, Advent in Zagreb recently got another award. This time, CNN included the Croatian capital among the 15 best Christmas fairs in the world. As one of the main reasons, CNN mentioned a Christmas train that drives children through the centre of the city, accompanied by Santa Claus and his elves.

advent market in zagreb

CNN also mentioned numerous attractions around Ban Jelačić Square such as ‘’fuliranje’’(‘’fooling around’’), an ice-skating rink at ‘’Tomislavac’’, street food stands, music events, etc.

The first place, according to CNN, goes to Strasbourg in France, which is followed by Vienna, Montreal, Prague, Florence, Krakow, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona, Budapest, Stockholm, Zagreb and New York.

Gale force southerly winds brought rolling seas and rain to Dubrovnik this morning with rain predicted for most of the day.

The southwest winds blew for most of last night and, as ever, meant that the region was overcast and stormy. These photos and video were taken by a reader on the beach of Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and show the force of the waves at midday.

crashing seas in december in front of hotel palace

More than often Croatian citizens complain about the overall situation in the country and the government and problems they do nothing about in order to prevent or solve.

Among many, one of the biggest issues in Croatia is child adoption. There are thousands of couples in the country who cannot have children due to medical reasons and they are eager to adopt a child or children. However, the governing system became so slow and inefficient this year that it literally destroys children’s future and prevents them from having a loving home.

Despite the fact that thousands of married couples want to adopt a child, according to data, only one child was adopted from the Children’s Home in Zagreb this year. In previous years, that figure was around 30 to 40 children, however, the inefficiency of the governing bodies led to this devastating statistics.

The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, received an official visit from the Managing Director of Croatia Airlines, Jasmin Bajic, today. At the very beginning of the meeting Mayor Frankovic congratulated Croatia Airlines on a successful season and commented that the national carrier should be of strategic interest to the Republic of Croatia because it is one of the indicators of a stable market.

During the official visit Frankovic and Bajic discussed the future cooperation between the City of Dubrovnik and the national air carrier.

Mayor Frankovic said that currently the City of Dubrovnik currently spends around two and a half million Kuna annually for ticket subsidies for citizens. And added that unfortunately it has not been able to make financially easier for the inhabitants of Dubrovnik to travel to the Croatian capital because in the meantime Croatia Airlines has raised ticket prices.

The mayor also appealed to Croatia Airlines to find new ways to make it easier for the citizens of Dubrovnik to travel to Zagreb as a certain number of these passengers are travelling to visit hospitals in the capital.

Bajić thanked Mayor Frankovic for his comments and introduced him to the way the air carrier operates as well as the problems facing the national air carrier.

It must be egret season in Dubrovnik (and no, it isn’t a stork) as the second sighting of this in the city was recorded today.

The graceful bird seemed quite at home wandering around near a busy road to the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Whether the bird was looking for a mate, a place to next or a lift to the hospital we will never know.

egret bird dubrovnik

As a sign of gratitude for their commitment, IKEA Group will pay more than 1,2 million Kunas to a special pension fund for its employees in Croatia, said IKEA Croatia recently.

Three years ago, IKEA Group introduced ‘’Tack!’’, a unique fidelity program within which the company pays an annual contribution to all its employees for future retirement (‘’tack’’ is a Swedish word for ‘’thank you’’).

‘’We believe in rewarding loyalty and expressing gratitude to colleagues who stay with us and continue to work for the success of the entire IKEA Group. Our colleagues need to know how much we appreciate their experience and commitment, and I am proud that IKEA Group in Croatia will allocate additional 4,176,38 Kunas per employee for pensions of our 295 colleagues this year’’, commented Stefan Vanoverbeke, the director of IKEA Croatia and the regional director of IKEA South East Europe (SEE).

As IKEA Group explained, the same amount is allocated to all those who have worked at least one full fiscal year in the company. After five years of working in the company, the accumulated money is paid to a special pension fund for employees, and then it is paid directly to the fund every year.

It is interesting to note that since the ‘’Tack!’’ fidelity program was introduced three years ago, IKEA Group has paid 509 million Euros to the fund for better pensions of IKEA employees.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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