Thursday, 08 June 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 esteemed New York Times has dedicated a report to Split, highlighting its most beautiful attractions worth visiting within 36 hours.

In June 2015, the New York Times featured Split in one of their renowned "36 Hours in..." articles, praising the largest Dalmatian city with carefully chosen words. Almost exactly eight years later, the prestigious American (and global) daily newspaper returned to Split and repeated the accolades.

In an extensive report, the reputable New York Times presented Split as a city where the combination of ancient heritage and culinary offerings easily captivates visitors.

Potential visitors were offered a 36-hour travel plan in one of the most beautiful Croatian cities. The report began by emphasizing a visit to the city's largest sandy beach, Bačvice.

Of course, they couldn't miss highlighting picigin, a popular ball game played in shallow water that attracts tourists, as well as recommending a visit to one of the restaurants with the most beautiful terrace, Dvor, just a few minutes' walk away, offering breathtaking views.

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The report mentions that in Split, locals typically associate alcohol with wine, rakija, and beer, and only a few cafés offer cocktails. The ideal way to end the day, according to the New York Times, is to visit the Vidilica on Marjan Hill, which offers a mesmerizing view of the entire city and the surrounding islands, especially during a spectacular sunset.

The following day, tourists are advised to enjoy one of the numerous cafés on the Riva promenade and visit the main market and fish market, known as the "Pazar" and "Peškarija."

The highlight of a visit to Split is exploring the over 1,700-year-old Diocletian's Palace, where the Cellars, Peristyle, and numerous small streets provide a unique encounter with the authentic ancient atmosphere and the spirit of old Rome.

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"Step out through the Golden Gate and admire the statue of medieval bishop Grgur Ninski, sculpted by the famous Croatian artist Ivan Meštrović. If you want to continue enjoying art, visit the nearby Gallery of Fine Arts. The next day, you can enhance your experience by visiting Meštrović's gallery, which is a bit further away and surrounded by the beautiful Marjan Park Forest," writes the New York Times.

In addition to describing a range of restaurants, taverns, cafés, and local shops worth visiting, the report also highlights shorter trips to the medieval fortress of Klis, located between the Kozjak and Mosor mountains, and a visit to the remains of the ancient city of Salona.


The small nation of Malta often ranks as one of the safest in the world for LTBTQ+ folks, so it’s no surprise that Malta ranks number one in a new ranking in the Global Trans Rights Index from

In an extensive article entitled “203 Best (& Worst) Countries for Trans Rights in 2023,” Croatia came it at a very worthy 7th position on the list and was ranked as a “A” country on a scale from A to F.

Following Malta, Portugal, Canada, Sweden, and Bolivia emerged as the next leading countries for trans rights. These nations have implemented legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and afford the right to change gender identity legally without the prerequisite of medical transition. Notably, Europe dominates the list, with 16 out of the top 20 countries for trans rights being located within the continent.

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And then after Bolivia in 6th position came Croatia in 7th place, followed by Denmark in 8th place. Larger European countries came further down the list, with France in 12th position, the UK in 15th place and Germany in 23rd position.

The research showed that Croatia has a 0.0 percent trans murder rate and that it is legal and no surgery is required.


On June 4th a guided walking tour entitled "Čilipi - from Ladanje to Ladanje" took place, organized by the Agrotourism Association Konavle. A significant number of participants gathered at 3:30 PM at the Novaković Family Rural House, from where they embarked on an 8-kilometre hiking adventure.

The paths and trails led through untouched nature and passed by eight economic and/or country estates dating back to the time of the Dubrovnik Republic. With two hours of walking, the tour concluded around 7 PM, accompanied by the hosts' stories and treats. Special thanks were extended to the Butigan and Novaković families for providing treats to the participants on this hiking tour.

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As a reminder, guided walking tours are organized as part of the "Konavle hike" project, which continues the activities of this year's "Spring in Konavle" event. During the spring activities, the Agrotourism Association Konavle organized the cleaning of the area for the future "Konavoski Eco Park," while upcoming events such as "Konavle under the Stars" and "Picnic Park" will be organized in the coming period. The "Spring in Konavle" event is co-financed by the Konavle Municipality Tourist Board.


Did you know that Orlando is the number one tourist destination in Florida? It’s no wonder as white-sand beaches, world-class theme parks, international restaurants, and unique attractions galore fill this vibrant city. From its emergence as a playground for fun seekers to its place today among the most visited travel spots in the country, Orlando has plenty to offer every single traveler. Whether it’s adults looking for a romantic getaway or families eager for an unforgettable vacation – with 6 incredible theme parks throughout town – there’s something magical around each corner when visitors explore all that Central Florida has to offer. Let's take a look at some of those magic moments and how they can help create lasting memories on any trip!

1. Explore the various theme parks

With so many options to choose from, you can experience different types of adventures, from the magical world of Disney to the adrenaline rush of Six Flags. Take a journey through time at Universal Studios or immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter. Each park has its unique charm and endless fun activities for all ages. So, whether you're a family with kids or someone seeking adventure, there's a theme park waiting for you to explore. Get ready for a day filled with thrilling rides, mouth-watering treats, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Universal Studios

As soon as you walk through the gates, you'll be transported to a world of adventure and excitement. From the moment you step foot in the park, your senses will be overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, and smells of Hollywood. With thrilling rides based on some of the biggest blockbusters of all time like Jurassic Park and Transformers, as well as a range of family-friendly attractions, there really is something for everyone at Universal Studios.

Disney World

Imagine a place where reality fades away and dreams come true. That place is Disney World. With its enchanting theme parks, thrilling rides, and beloved characters, Disney World is a paradise for children and adults alike. You can order your WDW tickets and get transported to a magical world of wonder and excitement that will stay with you for a lifetime. Whether you're exploring the whimsical streets of Magic Kingdom, braving the twists and turns of Space Mountain, or meeting Mickey Mouse and friends, every moment at Disney World is filled with unforgettable memories.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando is a unique and exciting theme park that offers visitors the chance to interact with marine life, learn about conservation efforts, and experience thrilling rides. From getting up close and personal with dolphins and sea lions to watching mesmerizing orca performances, this park provides a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages. In addition to the animal encounters, there are also thrilling roller coasters, water rides, and live entertainment shows to enjoy.

2. Immersive and enchanting themed lands

Immersive and enchanting themed lands at Orlando's theme parks transport visitors to extraordinary worlds filled with wonder and excitement. From the whimsical streets of Diagon Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the futuristic landscapes of Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, these meticulously crafted areas captivate guests with their attention to detail and immersive experiences. Step into these themed lands, and you'll find yourself surrounded by intricately designed architecture, vibrant landscapes, and even interactive elements that bring your favorite movies, stories, and characters to life. Each themed land offers its own unique atmosphere and attractions, creating a sense of magic and adventure that makes your vacation in Orlando truly unforgettable.

3. Experience thrilling rides

Get ready for an exciting adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories! Enter our world of thrilling rides that will take your breath away. These coasters will make you scream with excitement. Our rides will take you on a journey full of twists and turns and will transport you to different worlds. If you're a thrill-seeker Orlandos’s amusement parks guarantee an experience like no other. Come join us and create memories that you'll cherish for a lifetime!

4. Try out unique dining options

Imagine dining with your favorite Disney characters or feasting on gourmet dishes in an intimate setting. These options offer not only delicious food but also one-of-a-kind atmospheres that can make any meal special. So, whether it's for a special occasion or just for a change of pace, why not give these unique dining options a try? It might just be the dining experience of a lifetime.

5. Stay in a themed hotel

Are you craving a truly unique and immersive vacation experience? Look no further than a themed hotel! Whether you're a fan of sci-fi or medieval times, or just want to pretend you're in a fairy tale, a themed hotel will transport you to another world. From the decor to the amenities, everything is designed with the theme in mind. Imagine sleeping in a giant castle bed or exploring a space-themed resort. It's a way to escape reality and indulge in some fantastical fun. So why settle for a run-of-the-mill hotel when you can step into a whole new world?

6. Take advantage of special discounts and deals

Who doesn't love a good deal? Especially when it comes to vacation expenses. With the cost of travel and accommodations adding up quickly, it's no wonder why many people are hesitant to take that long-awaited trip. However, there are ways to make your vacation more affordable without sacrificing the quality of the experience. By taking advantage of special discounts and deals, you can stretch your budget and make the most of your time away. From discounted airfare to package deals that include accommodations and activities, there are plenty of options available that can help you save money on your next vacation. So, why not start planning now and see how much you can save?

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All in all, visiting Orlando's theme parks is an unforgettable experience that's sure to make long-lasting memories and satisfy everyone. Universal Studios, Disney World, and SeaWorld Orlando offer a variety of attractions for adventurers of all ages to explore – from thrilling rides and shows to exclusive restaurants and themed hotel stays. You can make your vacation even more affordable through various discounts and deals available throughout the area. So plan ahead, bring along your family or friends, and get ready to have the time of your life!

The British newspaper The Telegraph has published a list of lesser-known European islands recognized as paradise destinations for summer vacations, including two Croatian jewels: the Elafiti island of Lopud and the island of Rab.

For Lopud, the British publication describes it as an island near Dubrovnik with no traffic and highlights its beautiful sandy beaches. They mention that within just an hour's boat ride from Dubrovnik, visitors arrive at the enchanting small harbor of Lopud, adorned with honey-colored houses basking in the sun.

Once the boat leaves the harbor, visitors are immersed in the tranquility of a place inaccessible to cars. A walk through its wooded hinterland leads to Šunj Beach, a crescent-shaped sandy beach with emerald green waters, considered one of the most beautiful in Croatia. Alongside the beach are bamboo-lined terraces and a variety of unpretentious bistros along the coast, serving the freshest lobster at a fraction of the cost compared to other Mediterranean rivieras. This is how Lopud is described in The Telegraph.

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FEMINA was founded with the aim of providing professional and personal support to women of all ages, nationalities and origins. In addition, we want to create and support social and cultural initiatives that at the same time benefit the entrepreneurial sector, while also providing opportunities for transnational cooperation.

And the first event in Split in modern Ambasador Hotel took place last Wednesday.

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Women and International Relations: Women's Experiences and Best Practices in International Affairs around Croatia

Their goal was to invite successful women from different countries who can inspire the female of Croatian, expat and nomad community.


Mrs. Branka Bezic, Expert Associate for International Relations, Aspira University College

Branka Bezić Filipović (1955), was born in Split, and after High school she graduated with a degree in tourism. Until her retirement in 2020, she was the Head of the Split branch of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. She deals with topics from the field of Croatian emigration, is the organizer and leader of a number of successful activities and projects related to emigration, is the author of numerous exhibitions and displays in the country and abroad with topics also related to emigration.

Mrs. Amalia Georgescu, Vice-president of the largest women in business association of the Industries in Romania

Amalia Georgescu, vicepresident in the Women Entrepreneur Organisation from UGIR Romania, has been an entrepreneur for more than 18 years.
Amalia loves to connect people, to encourage entrepreneurs to develop their personal branding and promote their products with passion and "contagious" enthusiasm, in order to have impact wherever they are.

Mrs. Ester Canata, Guest Relations Manager Brown Beach House Trogir & passionate artist

My art is emotion I fail to put into words. Esther Canata is a multidisciplinary artist, singer-songwriter and actress. Born and raised in New Jersey to an Italian family with Irish and South American roots. As an emerging international artist, some career highlights include her solo exhibit entitled, “ELEMENTAL” at the Museum of Trogir in Croatia and as a featured artist at ART BASEL/MIA in the ARTBOX series. Over 100 private collectors exhibit her work in their homes, hotels, restaurants, and workspaces. She currently spends her time between her NYC home studio and Europe with her husband and two boys.

Anna Anderson, International Trainer and Marketing Expert at 45 degrees sailing

Originally from New Zealand having now lived and worked in multiple countries for the past 10+ years, including China and Croatia. Based in Croatia, passionate about the country, the people and the opportunities, building business around winter tourism, both on and off the water.

Key Messages:

• Empowering women in business/life through self-leadership.
• Promoting business growth through content and digital marketing.
• Sharing practical hands on advice for personal and professional growth.

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Mrs. Veronica Costache, CEO, Alex Education London

Mrs. Veronica Costache is a British entrepreneur Life & Business Skills Reset Trainer, author, speaker and mentor. Currently she is the CEO of @alexeducation in London. Her newest book "Rebirth" is a real, motivational story about the inner struggle with thoughts, beliefs and barriers of the mind. About the triumph of creativity in the face of pain. About rebirth after cancer!

Moderation by the talented Lucija Peric from the professional Expat in Croatia company.

Gratitude to Aspira College Split for the professional partnership.
Lifelong learning is the only way to be competitive in the labour market. Improve your knowledge and skills or change your vocation, because the most successful people in the world have done the same. Aspira offers the most attractive training programs, seminars and tailor-made courses.

Ballet moments by Studio Dimache Split from solo to a duet and a modern group live performance everything was covered.

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International sea Networking powerd by Trofast Group - The Trend Company.

Speakers and Guest had the opportunity thank to the international Trofast Group to share a memorable experience and to share connections through a speedboat tour by catching the sunset.

Founds were raised for NGO Femina project Building bridges • Saving water.

The next event will follow in beautiful Istria end of August.

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Often overshadowed by Dubai and its unmatchable splendor, Abu Dhabi is a lesser-explored capital city of the largest emirate, the UAE. Nestled in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Oman, Abu Dhabi is known for its luxury of travel, food, tranquility, and vivid culture that’s worth exploring. The city with all its serene greenery, waterfronts, and applaud-worthy skyscrapers should be on your list for the Arabian Peninsula Tour. From deserts to river banks, the city rules the skies with its towering buildings and breathtaking skylines. The Etihad Airways Booking can make sure that comfort is by your side from your booking, and travel to landing in Abu Dhabi.

Listed below are the nine amazing ways for you to explore Abu Dhabi to its fullest.

1. Ferrari World


From taking a stroll in the Ferrari Museum to experiencing the thrill of riding the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Ferrari World in Yas Island is the best way to seek and experience the fun side of Abu Dhabi. This amusement park will take you by storm as you realize that it is indeed the world’s biggest indoor amusement park. It is the place you introduce to your kids and it works wonders for those car geeks.

2. Yas Island

Fall in love with luxury, comfort, and entertainment on this island that is blessed with everything to suffice the thirst of your wanderlust. Yas Island is not only known for the Ferrari amusement park, luxury hotels, and amazing architecture. There is something for everyone. The sandy Yas Beach to bask under the sun, The Yas Mall to shop till you drop and most of all the Yas Marina Circuit, the venue of the annual Formula One Racing events. Be sure to check out the Yas Waterworld and the helicopter ride to capture the wonder in a bird’s view,

3. Etihad Art Gallery

Choose this if you are an unusual art lover of sorts. Apart from canvas displays from world-renowned artists, this gallery also hosts materialistic art exhibits that are brought to life in all forms. A sure treat to the eyes of art lovers.

4. Heritage Village

Get into the vibes of enjoying and relishing in the pre-oil life of the Arabs in this well-planned village. The acres of fortified buildings hold history frozen in time for each of its patrons to be introduced to the journey of the Emirates to its greatness. A beach, mosque, trade center, displays, and workshops on ancient methods and practices are profoundly depicted here.

5. Desert Thrill

Chase your adventurous thrill by opting for a day’s trip and a night’s stay in the desert region near Abu Dhabi. Camel riding, sand boarding, and camping under the night sky are truly entertaining. The highlight however lies in the Dune Bashing in a 4x4 wheel ride.

6. Jebel Hafeet


The Jebel Hafeet mountain range which is the highest in the Emirates is a must-visit in Abu Dhabi. This mountain range hosts a well-built motorway that pierces the slopes of the mountains. The ride up and the view of the Alain City that awaits you down below shouldn’t be missed. The mountain is also known for its archeological and historic references.

7. Heritage Village

A stroll in the afternoon through this maintained oasis village is all you need to fall in love with the culture of the Emirates. The history of the city is well streamlined in this village which has the old building, agriculture, weaving, farming, and other occupational models for the public to view and indulge in.

8. Sheikh Zayed Grand Museum

It would be a crime for you to leave the largest mosque in the UAE unexplored. This is the prominent place for religious, educational, and cultural gatherings in Abu Dhabi. The minarets, domes, and gold chandeliers shine in ancient Persian architecture that cannot be overlooked. It also houses the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet in one of its prayer halls.

9. Observation Desk

It is a pair of towers located 300 meters above sea level offering the best 360-degree view of the city along with the Arabian Gulf at the horizon. The towers give you the best viewing point for you to be swept off your feet by the native architecture.

Football transfers are approaching, and it seems that two Croatian stars, Joško Gvardiol and Mateo Kovačić will be at the centre of attention.

The football season will end this week with the most important match in European club football, the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter.

Traditionally, Croatia will have its representative in the final, and the tradition that has lasted for ten years also says that a Croatian player will surely win the title.

This year, it should be Marcelo Brozović, who has been in excellent form for Inter in the final stages of the season, which is particularly pleasing considering the upcoming UEFA Nations League finals, where Croatia will face the Netherlands on June 14 in the semifinals.

Brozović's form and, who knows, perhaps the popular narrative that you must have a Croatian player to win the Champions League finals, is clearly in Pep Guardiola’s thoughts.

Two years ago, he failed to bring the title to City in the final against Chelsea, and we know that Mateo Kovačić later lifted the trophy that the blue half of Manchester dreams of.

Mateo Kovačić is now mentioned as a potential new addition to Manchester City, as his days at Chelsea seem to be numbered, and Guardiola loves midfielders like him. The rumours are fuelled by the exceptional form of Ilkay Gündoğan, whose departure has been rumoured before, and now City is reportedly offering him another year on his contract.

However, Kovačić continues to be mentioned in every transfer rumour about City this summer in the English media, just like Joško Gvardiol, for whom the English champions are reportedly ready to pay up to 100 million euros.

Some even speculate that Kovačić's potential arrival would further interest Guardiola in a transfer to the Etihad, as stated by the website, whose source claims that Gvardiol is one of the main targets for a stronger City in the new season.

If these abundant speculations in the English media come true, City won't have to worry about winning the Champions League titles. At least, if we are to believe the tradition of the last ten years.


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