Friday, 18 September 2020
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.


Mlini at this time of the year, in the dulcet colours of late summer, is usually a thriving destination, this year is a different story. This picture-postcard seaside village is a magnet for tourists, thanks to the plethora of family-friendly beaches, vibrant cafés and restaurants and two hotels.

Directly after Cavtat, which can be seen from Mlini, this location in Župa is extremely popular with guests from the UK. However, with the two hotels, Hotel Mlini and Hotel Astarea, both closed all year, Mlini has a very different look in the summer of 2020. “I don’t know how these small, family businesses are going to survive the winter,” explained one UK tourist. He was one of the few that I spotted on my walk around Mlini.

mlini in 2020 without tourists

Empty beaches of Mlini - Photo Mark Thomas 

A handful of cafés and restaurants are open but they very much depend on the two hotels. “It’s great for me, and I am enjoying the peace and tranquillity, but it does feel a little dead,” he added with a smile. It feels as dead as a Dodo. Peaceful and sad at the same time. The stands that offer boat rides and trips into Dubrovnik and indeed Cavtat look like monuments to a busier time.

one of the few swimmers

One of the few swimmers - Photo Mark Thomas 

empty terreace mlini

Gone are the coffee mornings and evening meals by the Adriatic - Photo Mark Thomas 

“Next year will be better,” shouts a café owner and gives me the thumbs up sign. I smiled and held back from saying “I couldn’t be worse.” The beaches that are normally awash with colourful towels and now home to seagulls, seemingly gazing at the Adriatic in search of their next fish dinner. Even the ducks that swim in the nearby stream seem confused at the lack of noise, and probably the lack of bread coming their way.

The Adriatic is crystal clear and shines in the late afternoon sunshine inviting swimmers to jump in. But the swimmers are mostly at home.

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Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc. (CPWI), importer, promoter and online store for delivery in the US, today announced availability of almost 50 boutique, indigenous wine labels from three distinct Croatian wine regions, including Dalmatia, Istria & Kvarner, and Croatian Uplands.

"We planned from the outset to make our online store representative of all Croatian wine regions," said Mirena Bagur, co-founder at CPWI. "The Dubrovnik area is where I am from, so that was a natural start. We now represent three out of four wine regions, and we will add Slavonia and Danube in the future."

CPWI started by importing and promoting the naturally-produced wines from the Komarna Appellation in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, including Zinfandel/ Tribidrag, Plavac Mali, and Pošip. The company now represents more wineries from Dalmatia, including vineyards in Konavle, Pelješac, Dingač, Šibenik, and Brač with other autochthonous varieties, such as Malvasija Dubrovačka, Babić, Debit, and Vugava.


Istria's Most Prevalent White and Red Varieties: Malvazija and Teran

The company started working with two wineries in Istria both of which produce Malvazija and Teran -- Winery Fakin, from the Istrian inland and with a namesake Konoba at the old medieval hilltop town of Motovun, and Vina Ritoša, with vineyards close to the Adriatic in the old Roman town of Poreč, which also produces a little-known grape called "Red Rose of Poreč".

Pušipel and Graševina representing Croatian Uplands

Collaborating with eight wineries in the area around Zagreb, CPWI selected white wines, including Pušipel (aka Furmint), Graševina, Sauvignon Blanc, and two dessert Yellow Muscat wines.

"We collaborated quickly as a team to prepare for export and share our winemaking tradition with wine afficionados across the pond," said David Štampar, president of the Wines of Medjimurje Association and owner/winemaker at Vinarija Štampar. "We are eager for market feedback, particularly on Pušipel."

About Croatian Premium Wine Imports (CPWI)

Based in Boston, Mass., CPWI imports, distributes and promotes boutique Croatian wines in the US. The company expanded its wine portfolio from the Komarna region, Dubrovnik county, to the larger Dalmatia, Istria and Uplands.


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In the last 24 hours, 234 new cases of Covid-19 infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 2,100.

There are 280 people in hospital across the country and 21 people on a ventilator. Unfortunately, 6 people have passed away in Croatia over the past 24 hours, meaning that 244 people have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of Covid-19 was recorded in Croatia a total of 14,513 people have contracted Covid-19, of which 244 have died and a total of 12,169 have made a full recovery, of which 236 people recovered over the past 24 hours.

There are currently 8,938 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 249,023 people have been tested, of which 6,137 in the last 24 hours.

The Split-Dalmatia County has the most active cases in Croatia, with 492 cases, followed by the City of Zagreb with 353 cases, and the Brod-Posavina County with 124.


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In the last 24 hours in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 8 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded.

These new cases are two males and three females from Dubrovnik (one male and two females have an established epidemiological link), one male each from the borough of Župa and one from Ploče and one female who does not reside in our county.

17 people were cured - ten from Dubrovnik, four from Metković, one person each from Opuzen and Ston, as well as one person who does not have a residence in our county.

In the Dubrovnik General Hospital there are currently 16 people hospitalised positive for Covid-19 and 3 people are on a ventilator.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 12,595 samples have been analysed.

There are 516 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours, one case of violation of the self-isolation measure was determined.


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The first aircraft on an international flight since January, when the airport closed, landed in Wuhan, China, the first place where a new coronavirus was discovered in December 2019.

China drastically reduced its air connections with the rest of the world in late March to limit the spread of the virus.

That country has since largely suppressed Covid-19 by restricting movement, quarantine, testing, monitoring contacts and wearing protective masks. They record only a few new cases each day.

South Korean low-budget company T'way's plane landed at Tianhe International Airport on Wednesday with 60 passengers, state television CCTV reported.

According to footage released by the channels, passengers wore masks, and police officers also wore protective overalls and visors while checking passports.

According to official figures, close to 3,900 people have died from Covid-19 in Wuhan, or 80 percent of the 4,634 deaths in China.

The city has been in quarantine for more than two months since January 23. The city administration then organized tests for all 11 million residents.

China continues to ban almost all foreigners from entering national territory. Persons arriving in the country must be tested at their own expense and quarantined for 14 days.


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In the last 24 hours in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 12 people infected with Covid-19 infection were recorded.

These new Covid-19 cases three men and two women from Dubrovnik (an epidemiological link has been established for all), one man and two women from Opuzen (an epidemiological link has been established for one woman), one man and one woman from Metković (an epidemiological link has been established), one male person from Konavle (an epidemiological link has been established) and one female person from Korčula.

17 people tested positive for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, of which three people are on a ventilator.

Unfortunately, one male died in the last 24 hours, born in 1941.

16 people have made a full recovery - 11 from Dubrovnik, three from Metković, one from Opuzen and one from Ploče.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 12,496 samples have been analyzed.

There are 519 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours, one case of violation of the self-isolation measure was determined.


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Air France will continue flight operations to Dubrovnik and Zagreb in October from Paris. At the beginning of September, Air France reduced its traffic to Dubrovnik (from 4 to 3 flights a week), while traffic to Zagreb remained the same, one flight a day. According to current announcements, and the new Air France flight schedule, this plan will be in effect until the end of October, reports Croatian Aviation.

Paris to Dubrovnik is on sale 3 times a week through October, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday (until October 24 this year). The Paris to Zagreb route should operate daily through October, but it remains to be seen whether Air France will reduce the number of weekly flights on this route in the winter flight schedule, which will be in effect from the end of next month.


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The B&P (Brass & Percussion) septet of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra is preparing a completely new program for this Friday, September 18, which includes popular classics, film music and jazz. Arrangements for the concert were prepared by DSO trumpet player Damir Butigan.

The concert will be held in the atrium of the Rector's Palace starting at 9 p.m.

The B&P septet of DSO consists of wind instruments Džemal Cakić, Martin Hrćan, Toni Kursar, Damir Butigan and Ivan Kušelj, percussionist Alan Polzer and percussionist Karmen Pervitić. At this concert, the audience will be able to listen to a selection of famous classical works such as Bizet's opera Carmen, Nessun dorma from Puccini's opera The Troubadour, Brahms' Hungarian Dance no. 5, but also a selection of music from popular TV series and movies like Star Trek, M.A.S.H. and Pink Panther.

Tickets are on sale and available at the DSO office in Slanica (St. Dominic 9), at the Perla Adriatica agency in Ploče, in Luža, online via the system, as well as one hour before the concert in front of the entrance.

The concert will be held in accordance with the prescribed epidemiological measures and recommendations.


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