Saturday, 25 June 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.


Beach Blues

Jun 25, 2022

I don’t go to the beach. It’s not that I don’t want to; I just can’t find the time. Trying to run a private business tied to the summer season in Dubrovnik can be pretty exhausting. There are no days off and stress levels are such that even when you find the time to do something like that, you simply don’t feel like it. This is why I am doomed to walk the earth six months out of a year with those ridiculous t-shirt tan lines where your torso is left pale while your arms and head are Caribbean-bronzed. It’s not flattering at all.

There is one more reason for my lack of beach enthusiasm. My grandparents on my mother’s side used to live on one of the islands of the local archipelago and I spent my summers there growing up. This meant the entire island was my playground. My cousins and I could always find a perfect spot away from the crowds regardless of whether we wanted to go swimming, cliff diving, snorkelling, or anything else we might think of. Every day was a beach day. So, you could say I’m just a tad bit spoilt when it comes to everybody’s favourite summertime activity. Trying to find a spot to lay down my towel in the middle of an overcrowded city beach among hundreds of sweating people and screaming children is not my idea of a good time. No, I’m used to a completely different experience.

We would make our way barefoot through the village and the nearby woods, trying to avoid sharp rocks along the footpath. After about 15 minutes of walking, beyond a flimsy old hand railing, a breath taking sight of sea cliffs descending down into a small rocky cove would make us pause for just a second, before racing to an old staircase leading all the way down to the cove. There, huge rocks which tore away from the cliff centuries ago formed natural sun bathing platforms, small pools of sea water, and underwater pits and crevices perfect for exploring while snorkelling. When entering the water I would be facing a dark blue vastness disappearing on the horizon. Behind me, tall cliffs lined with crooked cypress trees. Dancing around them, swooping swallows and swifts. Underneath the surface of the sea, silence. The kind of silence that is hard to bear for a human. A perfect place to simply float, suspended on the calm waters, facing the skies. Content and peaceful.

It makes a regular beach with an overpriced bar and plastic sun beds for hire look pretty drab if you ask me. I’m hoping to go back to my favourite island one of these days, as it’s been too long since I last visited. After all, isn’t that how life works? The moment you start appreciating things you took for granted as a child, you find they’ve become distant and scarce, and all you are left with is a yearning to go back in time and re-live those perfect moments.

Bozidar Jukic is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

More praise for the Croatian tourism industry are flooding in from all around the globe. The international media cannot stop marveling at Croatia especially its Adriatic region and Croatian cuisine as one of the best and healthiest in the world.

The popular portal BuzzFeed, a media company from New York, has published a list of food and drinks that guests to Croatia definitely have to try when they arrive in the country. According to the BuzzFeed list here are some of the popular Croatian dishes and drinks guests should taste:

- octopus

- oysters

- seafood risotto

- cheese

- olive oil

- handmade pasta

- local wine and spirits

- rozata

- almond cake

- Bosnian specialties like cevapi and burek.

According to preliminary data from the Croatian National Bank (HNB) the value of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Croatia in the first quarter of 2016 was 503 million Euros. Compared to 2015 it was an increase of 107.4 million Euros or 27.1 percent more than over the same period last year.

''After a significant decline of almost 86 percent in foreign direct investments last year, the first quarter of this year brought a certain recovery thus the highest quarter value of the FDI was recorded since the second quarter of 2014'', said Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) analysts in the review of the data from the HNB.

The RBA analysts have also reminded of two transactions in 2015 that made a significant impact on the amount of direct investments in Croatia.

The first was the sale of the tobacco company TDR to the British BAT for 510 million Euros. The amount of foreign investments last year was influenced by banks losses caused by the conversion of bank loans in Swiss francs to Euros, which as a result, largely neutralized the positive effects of BAT's investment.

In the first quarter of this year the most foreign direct investments were from Austria, around 184 million Euros or 36.5 percent in the structure of the total foreign investments in Croatia. The Austrian investment was followed by investments from Luxembourg of 139 million Euros accounting for 27.6 percent whilst investments from Germany amounted to 49.3 million Euros or 10 percent in the structure of a total FDI.

According to revised data, in the period from 1993 to the end of the first quarter of 2016 Croatia recorded 29.6 billion Euros worth of FDI.

''Excluding the so called ''circular investments'' which have the effect of increasing foreign direct investments in both directions i.e direct investments into the Republic of Croatia and direct investments abroad, this amount was actually 27.2 billion Euros'', emphasized the RBA analysts.

The RBA analysts have also stated that the highest values of foreign direct investments in Croatia for the same period were in the sector of financial intermediation (more than 25 percent) followed by trade investments (16.3%) and business and equity investments in real estate business (13.4%). The lowest amount of investments was recorded in the tradable sector.

The renowned Dubrovnik jazz musician Ines Trickovic will perform a special concert on Saturday the 23rd of July on the island of Lokrum. Trickovic, who spends her time between three bases Dubrovnik, New York and Macau caused a sensation in the musical world in April this year when she performed in the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York where she promoted her second album “Tales of Quiet Lands and Other Stories.”

And now audiences in Dubrovnik will have the unique opportunity to experience that Carnegie Hall hit as Trickovic will perform an identical concert as the one held in New York. On this magical evening Trickovic will perform with Julian Shore (USA), Joe Pandur (Croatia), Shin Sakaino (Japan) and Alan Polzer (Croatia).

“All of my life I am on Lokrum, my family actually lived on Lokrum and it is just a place that relaxes and inspires me. I can’t imagine a more perfect place in which to hold a concert,” commented Trickovic.

The concert will be held on the island of Lokrum on Saturday the 23rd of July at 9pm and Trickovic thanked the Lokrum Reserve for all their help. Tickets are priced at 160 Kuna and go on sale on Monday the 18th of July at the offices of the Lokrum Reserve (Od Bosanke 4) and in the Old City harbour at the ticket desk for the Lokrum ferry. The special ferry for the concert will leave at 8.30pm.

ines concert lokrum

Ines Trickovic

Mixed choir from France ''ROYE de Choeur'' will perform in front of St.Blaise church on Saturday from 8 to 9 pm. The concert is organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
The choir was founded in 2008. They have international repertoire, made up of songs from all over the world, from traditional to contemporary African songs.
They first stay in Croatia was in 2013 at the invitation of Croatian singing society ''Klek'' from Ogulin and on this occasion they've learned a couple of Croatian songs. They perform accompanied by piano, guitar and drums.

Dubrovnik is an ideal destination for summer vacation and many celebrities recognize that. Adam Gallagher, world famous blogger is roaming around streets of Dubrovnik and sharing beautiful photos on his social media platforms. Fun fact: on his Instagram account he has almost 2 million followers!
Adam Gallagher is the founder and mastermind behind the highly-popular blog I AM GALLA, which aids the men’s demographic with styling tips, trend forecasts and third party inspiration. He's 25 and he started a blog when he was 17, slowly growing and improving and finally becoming one of the most famous bloggers.
 In the menswear world, Gallagher stands out due to his exceptional ability to blend his native California aesthetic with a sharp New York approach to fashion.

In a gala ceremony held at Farnborough Air show on the 12th of July, the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax presented the 2016 World Airline Awards. The leaders and top management from over 40 airlines around the world attended the event, where Emirates was voted the World’s Best Airline by air travellers.

This year the Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines has found its place among the best ten airlines in Eastern Europe. Croatia Airlines was voted Eastern Europe’s fourth best airline following Aeroflot, the winner in the category of Eastern Europe's best carrier, LOT Polish Airlines and S7 Airlines. The Croatian national carrier was followed by ČSA Czech Airlines, Wizz Air, Air Serbia, Adria Airways, TAROM and Pobeda. As a result, the Croatian and Slovenian carriers retained their positions from last year, while Air Serbia made its debut.

Skytrax World Airline Awards are coveted Quality accolades for the world airline industry. Travellers from across the globe take part each year in the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners. The World Airline Awards are a global benchmark of airline excellence, and widely known as the Passengers Choice awards.

The largest ever film production in Croatian history is set to be filmed in Dubrovnik in 2017 “Robin Hood: Origins.” Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and starring a handful of Oscar winners the production of the blockbuster is expected to be filmed in January and February next year, according to an announcement made today by the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic. The mayor stated that “four or five Oscar winners will act in the film,” which will be produced by Lionsgate Films.

DiCaprio is the executive producer and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, according to reports, will play Little John. Robin Hood will be played by Welsh actor Taron Egerton, famous for his role in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Maid Marion will be played by Irish actress Eve Hewson, who is the daughter of Bono from U2. Robin Hood: Origins will be directed by Otto Bathurst.

After the hit serial Game of Thrones, the latest episode of the Star Wars franchise, and the Bollywood blockbuster Fan, Dubrovnik will once again be in the limelight in this star-studded action movie. The City of Dubrovnik commented that they are already in talks with Lionsgate Films and that Robin Hood: Origins will surpass all previous productions in Dubrovnik, with tens of millions of dollars expected to be spent on this lavish production. The representatives of Lionsgate Films apparently commented that Dubrovnik is “the most desirable outdoor film location in the world.”

Robin Hood: Origins follows the return of Robin Hood fighting in the Crusades and finding that Sherwood Forest is rife with corruption. Robin Hood then forms a band of outlaws and sets about riding the forest of evil, a classic Robin Hood tale but with a twist.

As Dubrovnik is not blessed with typical English forestry we can only assume that the historic Old City will act as Nottingham Castle. However as Nottingham is miles away from the sea the speculation as to what role Dubrovnik will finally play can only be speculated. One thing is for certain the proposed film will have a knock-on effect to the city’s tourism industry. And if that effect is anything close to the Game of Thrones then Dubrovnik could soon find itself as a “must see” movie destination.

jamis foxx robin hood

Oscar winner Jamie Foxx to play Little John in Dubrovnik 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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