Friday, 04 December 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.


Tis’ the season for being merry, and there’s nothing quite like the spectacle of some of the world’s famous Christmas trees, from the gargantuan tree that stands in New York’s Rockefeller Square, to the glistening tree that stands tall in Paris’s Galeries Lafayette.

And whilst many can’t visit the famous evergreen conifers, have crunched the numbers to reveal the top 10 of the most famous Christmas trees from around the world in the form of a popularity index based on - 

Instagram hashtags, global Google search volumes, height and the number of baubles needed to decorate.

It’s official, the Gubbio Christmas tree in Italy is crowned the most popular conifer with a grand total of 340 points

Considering it’s one of the most famous landmarks in the world, it’s unsurprising the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree ranks second with 320 points.

In third place is the Vilnius Christmas tree located in Lithuania. It may not be on your radar of expected locations, but this tree scored 310 points, just 10 behind New York. It must be a phenomenon worth seeing.

Nestled in one of London’s most iconic tourist spots, is Trafalgar Square’s giant Norwegian spruce, as the ninth most popular Christmas tree with 230 points!

At the end of the index sits the Taipei Christmas Tree in Taiwan, and the Manger Square Christmas Tree in Bethlehem with 100 and 80 points individually.

popular christmas trees around the world index

Global Google Searches

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the most googled globally, with 46,910 searches, awarding the highest points available (100).

It appears the United States is known for their elaborate displays of Christmas trees, as the National Christmas Tree in Washington had just under 12,000 global searches, placing second with 90 points overall.

The UK’s renowned Trafalgar Square tree places joint third with 90 points – with 7,660 Google queries on average every month globally.

The Great Christmas Tree, Red Square Christmas Tree, Saint Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, and Manger Square Christmas Tree all respectively scored 20 points, making them the least impressionable for people to Google.

Instagram Hashtags

The Rockefeller Center tree sparkles once again, ranking first with 100 points for its 53,000 Instagram hashtags, making it the most Instagrammable!

Washington’s favourite, The National Christmas Tree is next with nearly 15,000 tagged photos, also sharing the second spot with Lithuania’s tree in Vilnius with 3,156 tags.

The Floating Christmas Tree in Rio de Janeiro, Taipei tree in Taiwan, and the tree in Manger Square, Bethlehem all ranked with just 20 points each – highlighting their trees to be the least Insta-worthy!

Baubles Needed to Decorate

Gubbio’s Christmas tree is by far the tallest tree analysed, and as expected, you’d need a staggering 16,400 baubles to decorate the tree – that’s nearly a 1000% difference to Paris’s Galeries Lafayette tree which stands at just 26 ft high.

Up next is Mexico City, the Latino capital of Mexico with the Zócalo Christmas tree, having earned 90 points for the estimated 920 baubles needed to adorn the 138 ft tree (third tallest in the list). Sitting also comfortably in joint second is the Floating Christmas Tree in Brazil. This mammoth tree is the second tallest tree at 279 ft and would need 1,860 baubles to decorate!

In the bottom spot is Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and the Christmas Tree in Tivoli, Copenhagen. With just 10 points awarded, you’d need 173 and 213 baubles, respectively.


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“The World Health Organization (WHO) should be preserved as the leading authority and guardian of public health at the global level,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at Friday's UN session.

The Croatian Prime Minister has a completely opposite view of the World Health Organisation than the US President, Donald Trump, who once claimed that “China has total control over the World Health Organization.”

Plenković spoke at a special virtual session of the UN General Assembly about the coronavirus pandemic, which infected 65 million people and killed 1.5 million people worldwide.

"We believe that it is extremely important to preserve the central role of the World Health Organization ... Croatia firmly believes in the need for a global joint approach to the fight against the pandemic," said Plenković, who is in isolation due to being positive to Covid-19.

He reaffirmed Croatia's commitment to the United Nations Program on Sustainable Development until 2030 and the Paris Agreement, from which Trump also withdrew the United States.

US President Donald Trump cut funding for the WHO earlier this year and announced that the US would leave the Geneva-based organization, accusing it of being a puppet of China, which the WHO has denied.

In his speech, Plenković said that optimism in the fight against Covid-19 is instilled by the fact that several vaccines are awaiting approval and use, and that the next challenge at the global level is to ensure fair and timely availability of vaccines.

"An additional priority is to ensure a coordinated and clear communication on the efficacy and safety of vaccines and thus prevent the spread of false information," he said.

"Our response to this disease should include helping people, protecting their health and economic well-being, while protecting our planet," Plenković said.

And in his speech, the Croatian Prime Minister also reminded the UN session that one of the founders of the World Health Organisation was Croatian professor Andrija Štampar.


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It wasn’t a day to be eating al fresco today in Dubrovnik as a strong southerly wind swept in the rain and clouds and kicked up a storm on the Adriatic. The forecast predicted rain and it was absolutely spot on.

The stone walls of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik was battered by the rolling seas and strong winds. Highs hit 13 degrees today and the forecast for the rest of the week, indeed the next seven days, doesn’t look too promising with more of the wet stuff in the pipeline.

storm ivan vukovic 2020

Stormy seas around Dubrovnik - Photo Ivan Vukovic 

Check out this incredible video of the Adriatic Sea crashing into the Old City of Dubrovnik by Ivan Vukovic.

Mlini, and this beach in particular, is a firm favourite with sunbathers and swimmers during the summer season. With its sands beach and warm seas the terrace in front of Hotel Mlini is a normally tranquil sight. But today the picture was a different one.

After a recent spell of unusually mild and warm weather Dubrovnik has entered December with chilly temperatures and rain as south winds continue to blow. The normally tranquil Adriatic thudded into the beach today.

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There will be a stylish touch of Dubrovnik at this year’s Grammy awards. When this year's winners of the 63rd Grammy Music Awards are announced at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 31, there may be a Croatian woman among them!

Namely, among the nominated musicians is Thana Alexa, a 33-year-old jazz singer and composer, born in New York, daughter of lawyer Radovan Pavelić and Mercy Bona Pavelić, a theatre actress and investment banker. Bona are a famous old Dubrovnik family whose coat of arms is located on numerous palaces in the historic city centre. They owned many properties in the area.


Thana Alexa has been nominated for a Grammy in the category of vocal jazz album, which she recorded in collaboration with the female vocal group "Rosa." And Thana will donate one dollar from each sold copy of this album to the Croatian Solidarity Foundation in the Fund Rescue for emergency assistance to victims of domestic violence.

She lived in Zagreb for several years and speaks Croatian well, studied music as a violinist and vocalist, graduated jazz music at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, and completed her psychology studies at New York University's New School.

Her Dubrovnik singing debut was in the bar of the late Marko Brešković, one of the founders of the Dubrovnik Troubadours. Thana Alexa is married to drummer Antonio Sanchez, a four-time Grammy Award winner who was even nominated for an Oscar for music in the film “Birdman,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

- “ONA” is a musical expression of what it means to me to be a woman, says Thana Alexa. - It is my discovery of the wild female spirit within me and the experience I encountered in releasing it. This music is about what I have learned about women’s lives - starting with my own, it is about our experiences, our emotions, our sexuality, our values, our desire for freedom and our ability to overcome injustice by fighting for what we believe in – added the Grammy nominated singer. ONA translates as SHE in English.

We all wish Thana the best of luck at the Grammys.

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In the last 24 hours, 4,534 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 23,942. These latest figures represent a record day for the number of new Covid-19 cases in Croatia.

There are currently 2,501 people in hospital, of which 258 are on ventilators.

Unfortunately, a further 48 people have passed away due to the virus.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 139,415 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 1,964 have died, a total of 113,509 people have recovered, of which 3,154 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 57,894 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 780,257 people have been tested, of which 11,166 in the last 24 hours.


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Despite the pandemic and the massive decline in GDP, in the first eight months of this year, bank deposits of Croatian citizens and companies increased by almost 20 billion Kuna and amounted to more than 322 billion Kuna, writes Večernji list.

The monthly growth of Croatian savings amounted to an average of 3.2 billion Kuna, and by the end of the year it is expected that savings will increase by at least another billion.

Based on the Croatian National Bank's Finance and Consumption Survey, Croatia ranks among the countries in the world with the most pronounced inequality with an income distribution coefficient of 0.5, and social differences are growing every day.

About three million citizens hold 220 billion Kuna in banks, of which 51,000 have deposits of more than one million Kuna, which is only 1.7 percent of savers. The average amount of deposits per capita is 6,571 Euros. According to the Allianz classification of financial wealth, the middle class includes just over a million citizens.



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Get tired to decide whether to rent an RV or not for your upcoming adventure? So let us clarify your hesitation on this issue. Every year the user of RV are increasing gradually. Did think ever in this affection?

Mainly, the facilities of RV traveling are expedient for small to big grouping tour, where the other car is not caring for all age’s people along with keeping a massive amount of people. In this perspective, RVing is a worthy choice to go on a tour with loved little to elder family members, relative, and friends.

Well, if you are fond of traveling and fighting to decide on hiring an RV. Therefore, we are going to filter your intension by unfolding the top-9 reasons to rent an RV when traveling. Confidently, this article will support to realize why you should rent an RV.

1. Rent an RV can save money

rv save money

Why rent an RV- The professional traveler makes their tour to distance places or near to town. That is why it often rare to complete the tour in a day. Then RV is the apt choice for roaming to remote zones.

According to this calculation, you will not need accommodation cost, restaurant cost, RV parking cost, swearing cost etcetera. Oppositely, a normal vehicle is incapable to provide such kind of facilities, and unable to pay for the mentioned benefits. Let’s discuss more how could be it cheap?

How to save money by renting RV- Initially, the RV design looks after a little home. Therefore, you can do all the household chores at once like sleeping, cooking, swearing and many more. That indicates no need for extra cost for the temporary housing.

Secondly, cooking own self is another money-saving trick at RVing. The inside of the RV is adequately large, so can cook meals at the interior side. Even during the weather is bad extremely and unable to go for outing. Just can stay inner side and prepare food from paying additional money to the restaurant.

Now come to the large family or group, usually traveling with a large member’s family or grouping tour is costly, as need to hire more than one cars at once.

Renting an RV will contribute to cover such a big group in a twinkle of eyes. Moreover, group RVing is the utmost significant to guard money.

On the other hand, while going for loving natural prettiness, no need to spend money for parking, further will get all luxuries benefits with this even remaining at nature. Thus, this is the ultimate cause to choose an RV to travel for short or long distance.

2. Temporary Housing

rv dog sunbathe 2020
RV comes as a temporary house at the touring period. Do you know how? This car is planned with keeping all the domestic amenities, so that the people acquire maximum benefits even though while living out of the home.

Know exactly where you will sleep tonight, and when the sheets laundered- It has bedding beside the window to sleep and watches all scenery of roadside, separate sitting place and dining table to drink tea-coffee, and for gossiping.

Consequently, you may know the particular place where will sleep tonight. Besides, no require to concern about where will laundry clothes.

Traveling with kids without awful- While demand for traveling with large family members, it will decrease their distress since they can move around the vehicle to reduction boring.

The little one and elder person can sleep on the having mattress because they cannot tolerate keep sitting for an extended time on the running road. RV is obligation to go long distance with doing relax and luxuries doings.

Fun family vacation- There is sufficient area inside the car. So it could be sporty environment meanwhile your loving children can play with a ball, chess, caroms, it will make the driving time into fun. You can prepare favored dishes with a portable oven as cooking at home, so no one will be hunger anymore.

In one word, the RV roaming is getting acceptance day by day among the tourist as a provisional residence. The entire plan must keep far from thinking that you are in a car now.

3. It is easy to drive a large RV

The size of every RV is likely a giant car, right? That not means it requires a giant driver to drive it well. The person who can drive him/her private car, they can drive it seamlessly. There are no extra functions and command to run the vehicle at all. Just make sure the tank is full of fuel.

This is common that occasionally there is a lack of driver, or sometimes someone loves to drive own self as a recreation at RVing trip. If you know to drive then can run the RV smoothly. Thus, do not fear around driving.

During the driving, attempt to drive in an endurable movement to avoid risk on the road. Practically this practice is indispensable for the new and professional driver.

The inner part formed with vast furniture’s but for being longer than wide, it is simple to enter and exit the car to park at tiny places. Yet try to follow up the things before driving-

• Check the tank is full.
• The engine is oaky.
• There is no mechanical issue.
• Smooth gearing.
• All RV parts in working without damaged.

4. Seek out adventure

rock coming from sea 2020

I am not satisfied until I cannot fulfill my adventures intensely. Perhaps you also desire the same as mine. Seeking adventures create more cheerfulness while someone decides to rent an RV practically.

Originally, to touch the reality of adventures must go to a remote place. It could be a sea beach, the hill or in a deep forest where nature bloomed up with its loveliness. This tour takes a couple of days altogether.

Then, it is clear that just need to sleep at night, swearing, cooking for eating and much more. So how could get the suitable location for luxury? This is nearly extremely tough to acquire a precise locality. In this situation, an RV organized to knock out all of uncertainties.

You may stay in the car securely to shelter from danger. The experienced suggest for the new travelers to rent an RV when they go to discover the actual surveys. The new vacationer at a new place is quietly unaware with what they should or what are not. A normal car could be awful for missing the amenities like RV. Hence, RVing is a pedestrian for all types of touring especially for the new campaigner.

5. You can complete controlling your itinerary

man looking at map on bike

Dominating the preferred itinerary is our first petition. The whole itinerary is controllable if consider renting an RV from the first selection. From the beginning of the trip, you can arrange the compulsory component for future requirement.

In details, how many days have chosen, what is the chief destination, what would do at the second movement, when would return, everything should enlist while taking an RV since you do not have any intention to live in.

Therefore, you can make a layout of your activities when and what will do to lead a perfect roaming. Can also set up-

 Map out route
 Create a timeline
 Make a budget
 Create a checklist
 Use a GPS system
 Secure everything

Mapping out route allows reaching at the place timely without trouble. The timeline classify time when the activities should have done. GPS let know about the particular place where you are now.

These are definitely relevant to hire an RV that ensures a complete plan in time without being a delay. In addition, RV assembles the things overall for a flawless itinerary.

6. Will meet great friends during RV vacation

people walking on sandy beach in gold

In above, knew that you could start a trip on RV with a big family and a large group. That is why there is a chance to arrange people from different ages and class to meet them.

Make chat in parked place- Wherever parked the RV, there might have several cars and people from different locations. Accordingly, everyone chats about their personal opinion among them. This is perceptibly a great prospect to meet up with new persons as well.

Social connectivity- The person we met up already during RV touring both can make a connection to each other by social media like Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. Someone link-up between them with the professional figure in the LinkedIn platform

RVing meet up events- There are numerous RV events held around the world. The group members and new people debate on the interesting places on the events and discuss everything to arrange the next RVing. As a result, the huge public gets the chance to introduce with sharing their outlook.

7. See if the RV lifestyle is right for you

While a person gets stuck with his/ her existing life, an RV camping suitable for them as the RVing helps to get relief from the boring lifestyle. Nevertheless, to gain the seamless relaxation, you have to choose a faultless company who provides a precise vehicle as need.

All the high-class services are accessible to them. What types of RV need? Just meet them to catch the preferred car included exceptional amenities.

While having a low budget but expect for a superb RV then they are so cooperative to compromise with the remaining budget. It offers the elegant RVs to spend superior time with family, friends together.

You are the freedom to reach the destination where want to go with their cars. In fact, they do not have any hard and fast rules about going to any places.

Surely, they are committed to delivering 100% satisfaction services to the clients. If you are determined to rent a brilliant RV, simply come across them to book a luxurious RV.

8. Trying different RV, make it easy to know exactly what type of RV you need

line of rvs in snow mountains

We cannot compare the two things until we are unknown about the features of the elements. Similarly, you cannot recognize an RV whether it is best or not as they do not have familiarity from using both.

Hence, at RVing time, certainly rent a different kind of RV, doesn’t it? After hiring RV repeatedly, assist to compare which one is convenient and pledge for the finest pleasure.

However, before hiring an RV, discuss where are allows going with the vehicle. When have to return. Several providers have rules on an outing in RV.

9. When the trip is ended, you needn’t worry about the expensive and time-consuming RV maintenance

rv on sandy beach 2020

Once you rent an RV, have to return after a short or long time since the RV is expensive and tough to maintenance. While are enjoying RVing, this worry really affects to your trip.

The simple incident is the belonging RV might be water leakage, damage, breaking down. To get relief from this concern, pick the owner’s RV who releases from maintenance cost.

Nevertheless, RV renting should be delightful for recreation. For this, during handing RV, won’t need to emphasis on expensive and time consumption RV maintenance.

TOW-MAX supply good quality RV parts and accessories, can save much money and time on maintenance. Trying RV from this site is an intelligent decision.

The Bottom Line

While a new RV campaigner agrees to rent an RV, they should bear in mind the indicated points before going to rent an RV ultimately. Especially, look for that RV owner who has a lot of fame and reputable for their services.

Honestly, if you are able to find out the great RV from the trustworthy owner, confidently you are fortunate to pass the interval satisfyingly. Hope you won’t be disappointed after getting their outstanding amenities. Have a preeminent RVing.


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