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.
One of the largest, and quite possibly most expensive, yachts in the world is currently docked in Dubrovnik. The super yacht, and yes this is a super yacht, at 124 metres in length is the plaything of the Emir of Qatar, and she set him back a massive $300 million in 2010.
The luxury yacht Katara squeezed under the Dubrovnik Bridge and didn’t look out of place next to the cruise ships. But why would she, with a crew of 60 to take care of a maximum of 28 guests in 14 luxury cabins the Katara cuts a fine line. Her owner, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who was the founder of the Arabian news network Al Jazeera, is worth a reported $2.5 billion.
The Summer Olympics are underway, no not the Olympic Games in Rio, the D’Vino Summer Games in Dubrovnik. This popular wine bar in the Old City of Dubrovnik has organised a summer games with a difference, from pass the pigs, thumb wrestling to coin tossing, popular “pub games” with a twist, and all in a good cause.
“We wanted to organise an annual event that would be unique in the city at more importantly help to raise funds for a worthy cause,” explained Sasha Lusic the owner of the D’Vino wine bar.
In total there are 28 different games, some of them will be well known, such as darts and wheel-barrow racing, whilst many are the product of the D’Vino team’s imagination. “I saw my daughter playing with some penguins and out of nowhere came up with the idea of Penguin Bowling,” laughed Lusic.
And just as in Rio the D’Vino Summer Games have begun, through the month of August the fun and games will continue, get involved and win some great prizes and help raise funds for a good cause. All the proceeds from the entry tickets will go towards the League Against Cancer in Korčula.
Entry tickets for the games vary from only 50 Kuna to 100 Kuna and all the games start at 10.00pm. Participants are asked to register for the games an hour before the fun starts, at 9.00pm. Be a part of the inaugural D’Vino Summer Games and win your own medal this summer.
For more information follow the Facebook page of the D’Vino wine bar.
Property prices in Dubrovnik are falling; however before you start to reserve your place in the sun real estate in the city is still by far the most expensive in Croatia. According to the specialised Croatian property website Crozilla.com a metre squared of property in Dubrovnik will set you back an average of 3,073 Euros. Meaning an average two to three-bed roomed apartment will cost over 300,000 Euros.
In July property prices throughout Croatia fell, with Dubrovnik and Sisak recording the largest decrease. The average price of a metre squared in Sisak was recorded at 652 Euros, a far bit cheaper then all of the coastal cities.
The capital Zagreb also saw decreases in house prices with the average price per square metre coming in at 1,589, or half the price of property in Dubrovnik. On a country wide level house prices fell by 2.5 percent in July when compared to July 2015. The highest demand for apartments was registered for apartments situated in Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Pula and Osijek.
Always the best way to understand a society and get closer to its people is to learn the local language. And now, even if you are only in Dubrovnik for a few days, you have the chance to pick up a few phrases and words with a free mini-course of Croatian.
The Europe House Dubrovnik is organising daily free of charge lessons so that you can learn a few Croatian basics as well as getting to know your surroundings.
“The Croatian language mini-course is a non-formal way to learn the basics of the Croatian language by socializing with local youth. The course is free of charge, and the content is being tailored to participants' interests and needs on a daily basis,” commented Adriana Kremenjaš-Daničić from Europe House Dubrovnik.
The courses are open every day, from Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 1.00pm, and on Wednesdays from 7.00am to 10.00am. The Europe House Dubrovnik is based at Nikola Tesla Street 9, Dubrovnik.
You like our city and would love to learn more about your hosts, but you are here just for a few days? No problem – Nema problema!
I have ruined a shirt, burnt two saucepans, lost the keys, stuffed myself on pizza and gorged myself on action movies. Yes, you have guessed it I am home alone!
Once again I am Kevin McCallister alone in a big house all on my own. The only difference is that I am not defending myself from burglars, just mosquitoes. Come to think of it I don’t seem to find myself Home Alone very often. Could it be that my wife loves me so much that she doesn’t want to leave me? Or maybe she doesn’t think I can survive on my own? Let’s hope it is a combination of the two.
When I say Home Alone that isn’t strictly true. Every night I am having a bed full of friends! And before you start getting the wrong idea, these friends are man’s best friends, my two dogs. In fact I probably have more room in my bed when my wife is here...less dogs. I guess they feel sorry for me, all on my own some, and have decided o comfort me.
Generally I enjoy my own company; in fact I really enjoy my own company. We always seem to have the complete opposite of Home Alone – “Full House.”
But the problem with being alone is that I start doing wacky things, probably because I have lost my rudder. My compass is spinning around all over the place and my once structured life is now chaos system. I forget to eat. There was one day last night when I woke up starving hungry, “What did I eat today,” I asked the pair of blinking eyes lying next to me. He looked back as if to say, “go back to sleep.” Instead of eating at regular times I only eat when I’m hungry, if I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat. However I have managed to destroy two saucepans, one looks like a Picasso painting and the other an atomic explosion with the additional bonus of some of my finger skin.
Realising I was running low of supplies I headed for the supermarket. Half an hour later and my three bags were full. It wasn’t until I got home and unloaded them that I saw the horror of a man going food shopping. I had nothing green in any of the bags. Nothing resembling anything healthy at all, no fruit, no vegetables, nothing that had actually been grow! I had tonnes of red meat, like half a cow. Junk food, sauces, crisps, chocolate, cereals, M&Ms (of course), peanuts, biscuits, a frozen pizza, dog food (not for me) and for some unknown reason an extra large family-pack of chewing gum, I don’t even remember picking that one up. I had cereal but no milk! Half a cow, and probably most of a pig, and yet no vegetables, not even one solitary potato.
To say that I have been eating sporadically and one-dimensionally would be an understatement. At least I am getting vitamin D from the sun and an overload of vitamin B from all the red meat, although my coronary veins are probably slowly closing.
And then, quite out of the blue, came an unusual request. “Can you go to the Rixos hotel and write a report about their breakfast?” I only had one question, “do I get to eat a breakfast?“ I heard, somewhere in the distance, “of course” as I rushed to phone the hotel. “Can you come at 8.30am,” said the voice at the other end of the phone. “I can come tonight and wait,” is what I wanted to say.
I was there at 8.20 the next morning, oh man was I hungry. Well not particularly hungry, just in need of something that had been grown in soil. I met the hotel representative and we sat down for a coffee. Unfortunately right in my eye line was a chef! And not just any chef, the fruit chef, I’m not even sure that there is such a thing as a fruit chef. But this guy was slicing up ripe watermelons, dicing grapefruit, peeling oranges and halving pineapples right in my eye line.
As hard as I tried to concentrate on the attractive lady in front of me and her PR talk about the hotel all I could see was the fruit juice running down the knife. I was in love with a grapefruit. He slowly skinned a melon, the peel falling to the chopping board, this was fruit porn!
Every inch of my body craved fruit, all of it. “Would you like to join me for breakfast,” I think she got to “join me” and I was already out of my chair. Destination fruit bar, mission – grab as much as possible. The fruit mountain on my plate grew until snow formed on the upper slopes. “Oh, I see you like a healthy breakfast,” my friendly PR lady commented as I struggled to carry the plate to the table. Oh, maybe I had gone a little over the top. How could I explain that I was Home Alone and living off a diet similar to a wolf, with the red meat, and Homer Simpson with the junk food? “Well, yes, I do like to look after myself,” was the only answer I could think of, which in fact was a complete lie. But I didn’t care I was getting a fruit infusion!
Indian dancer and choreographer Sneha Bharadwaj will perform on Thursday the 11th of August at 9:30pm on the Fort Revelin Terrace as part of the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Bharadwaj will bring an international feel and a taste of classical dances from her homeland to this year’s festival.
Bharadwaj started dancing at the age of five and today is one of the most famous dancers from India. She was educated in Bangalore University where she achieved a degree in dance. In 2005 she won the prestigious Indian awards in Aryabhatta and has performed at various dance festivals all over the world, in the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland and many other countries.
Thanks to the patronage of the Indian Embassy in Zagreb audiences in Dubrovnik will have this unique opportunity to experience classical Indian. Tickets are on sale at 100 Kunas and are available at the box office in the ground floor of the Festival Palace or on the door one hour before the performance begins.
As today is a public holiday in Croatia the weekend started early. With temperatures soaring to 33 degrees in the shade and the historic Old City glinting in the August sunshine it was another active day in Dubrovnik.
Check out our photo gallery today by Niksa Duper.
According to the words of Anton Kliman, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, this year Croatia will have a record-breaking tourist season and can expect to generate an income of more than 8 billion Euros from the tourism industry.
The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has published an analysis titled ''Assessment of the increase in the number of consumers and the potential consumption of food and beverage during tourist season''. The HGK included all of the data from the 2015 tourist season when the revenue from tourism amounted to 7.96 billion Euros.
Using data from the Institute for Tourism, the HGK's analysis showed that foreign tourists on holiday in Croatia spent on average 66.4 Euros a day, of which 18 per cent or 12.2 Euros was spent on the consumption of food and drinks outside of accommodation facilities.
According to the analysis foreign tourists who spent the most in 2015 were British (122 Euros) followed by Russians (99 Euros), French (95 Euros) and Austrians (72 Euros).
The HGK analysis also showed that the number of consumers during peak season (including locals and tourists) in terms of food and beverage, in the Istria County increased by 350.5 per cent. In the Zadar County the increase was 228.6 per cent and in the Sibenik-Knin County 219.6 per cent. This percentage in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was 203 per cent whilst the Split-Dalmatia County recorded 175.9 per cent.