Sunday, 26 May 2019
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, will visit Croatia this summer in his first ever official visit. From the 16th to the 17th of May 2019 Prince Edward will visit the Dalmatian city of Split where he will meet with representatives of state and local authorities and join in the celebrations of the partnership between Great Britain and Croatia as NATO partners, in the year that Croatia marks the 10th anniversary of its membership in the NATO alliance.

During his visit to the Croatian coastline the Royal Prince, the youngest child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, will take the time, however short to get acquainted with the customs, cultural and artistic ties and other connections between the United Kingdom and Croatia.

edward to visit croatia 2019

This will be the first official visit of Prince Edward to Croatia, but Prince Edward's brother, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, has visited Croatia several times, the last time back in March 2016 when he visited Zagreb with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall as part of the mini Balkan tour. And then in 2008 his sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, spent several days in Croatia. And in 1972 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was in Croatia during which she spent time in Dubrovnik.

At the time of his birth, Prince Edward was third in line of succession to the British throne; he is now tenth. The Earl of Wessex is a full-time working member of the Royal Family. He supports Her Majesty in her official duties – often alongside his wife The Countess of Wessex - as well as undertaking public engagements for a large number of his own charities. His work has a particular focus on the development of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, from which he has taken over many responsibilities from his father.

The rise of online accommodation agencies over recent years has almost completely changed the way that people travel. The days of booking package holidays, that included flights, transfers and accommodation, are a thing of the past and more and more travellers are going their own way and organising everything digitally. Major online booking agencies, such as Airbnb and booking.com, have created a new “peer-to-peer” way for travellers to book accommodation and local hosts to earn a living. And according to recent figures released by Eurostat business is booming, with 19 percent of accommodation now booked using these digital services.

According to 2018 survey results on the usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 19 percent of individuals in the European Union arranged accommodation (room, apartment, house, holiday cottage, etc.) via websites or apps from another private individual for private purposes in the preceding 12 months. Most of the individuals used dedicated websites or apps, but other websites or apps (including those of social networks) have also been used. These peer-to-peer services are part of the so called 'collaborative' or 'sharing economy'.

eurostat online bookings european union

Among the EU Member States, the country with the highest proportion of individuals arranging accommodation online from another private individual in 2018 was Luxembourg (44 percent), followed by Ireland and Malta (both 26 percent). In contrast, the proportion was below 10 percent in seven Member States: Cyprus (3), the Czech Republic (5), Latvia (7), Greece, Romania, Slovenia (all 8).

It would appear from the figures that Croatians still aren’t up to speed with using online services as, at only 12 percent, they come in under the European Union average of 19 percent. However, they aren’t alone as many other Mediterranean countries, such as Portugal and Greece, are under the EU average. So the flip side of the coin the Irish, Brits and Spanish have caught onto the benefits of modern technology and frequently use digital booking agencies.

Employees of the largest supermarket chain in Croatia will have a happy Easter as the CEO has decided to give them all a 700 Kuna Easter bonus as well as a free day on Easter Monday.

All workers in Konzum will get a long Easter weekend as the supermarket giant has decided to close all their stores on Easter Sunday and Monday as well as a bonus.

"I believe that the decision to pay the bonus as well as the free day on Easter Monday is the best indicator of how much we value our employees and their contribution to achieving excellent business results for Konzum. I wish all of my colleagues a happy and pleasant upcoming holidays," said Slavko Ledic, the CEO of Konzum.

So if you were thinking of doing your Easter holiday shopping in Konzum you’ll have to go a day before, on the Saturday.

Easter is traditionally the opening of the tourist season in Dubrovnik, basically because it it is the time of the year that flights from all over the world start landing at Dubrovnik Airport. But this year it would seem that the season has opened a few weeks earlier than usual and already hotels are reporting high levels of occupancy.

The weather, however, isn’t playing ball and helping tourists to get some Spring sunshine. Constant grey, overcast skies and rain for ten days at the beginning of the month have meant that temperatures have been unseasonably fresh. These photos, sent to us by a reader, clearly show that the Adriatic Sea isn’t yet up to a comfortable temperature, today it is around 17 degrees.

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The Banje Beach have, rather optimistically maybe, placed a handful of sunbeds on the beach in the hope that the sun will shine all day, and a few tourists paddled in the Adriatic. The forecast for the next few days, and for the Easter holidays, is for warmer more settled weather with highs expected to reach the low twenties. 

Easter is on the doorstep and already homes all over the Dubrovnik region are preparing for one of the most religious holidays on the calendar. Traditions are respected, past generations are listened to and Easter will pass as it has for centuries. One of the most important customs of Easter in Dubrovnik are Easter Eggs, and no we don’t mean chocolate eggs. These elaborately decorated Easter Eggs are a thing of beauty and decorate homes during this period.

In the Holy Week before Easter, locals begin to hand paint eggs in the traditional way, using the “penganje” technique that is especially widespread in the Dubrovnik region of Primorje and in the region of Konavle.

These hand painted eggs, or “pengana” eggs, are characterized by the harmony and beauty of making the ornaments, written messages and greetings that are specific to this region. Although the old-fashioned “penganje” technique seems extremely complicated at first, the experienced ladies from Primorje and Konavle claim differently. As they say, the more eggs that are painted, the more beautiful they become.

easter eggs traditional dubrovnik 2019

Raw eggs are painted using a needle with a protruding tip that is mounted onto a piece of wood, most often laurel. This tool, called a “penica,” is then dipped into melted beeswax and is used to write the message.

In the old days when the old farmhouse kitchens were still in widespread use, women would hold a bowl with ashes and embers in their lap, where the beeswax would dissolve at a constant high temperature. Today, the bowls with the beeswax are kept on a stove or on a special stand with a small candle that melts the wax and makes the work easier.

It is said that for Easter the first painted egg is given to a person dear to you, so it is no surprise that many of them feature a heart as the fundamental theme. Expressions of love and affection are the purpose of “pengana” eggs, gifts that often revealed romantic crushes or hidden feelings. Therefore, in times past, one would carefully choose the recipient of such gifts. Red “pengana” eggs are especially appreciated because they symbolize life and nature.

Source – The Dubrovnik Tourist Board

Have you always wanted to travel to amazing places? If you have, it is time for you to volunteer in Croatia. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you to visit one of the best countries in Europe. Located between Southeast and Central Europe, this amazing location offers one of the greatest experiences on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

Croatia is made up of over a thousand islands and twenty countries. It’s a popular tourist destination and the home of many volunteer and work programs. If you are interested in spending quality time in a country with one of the richest national histories, amazing infrastructure, and mesmerizing beaches, you should definitely consider visiting this European pearl.

Types of Volunteer Programs

For those interested to do some volunteering in Croatia, there are plenty of different opportunities and programs available. Some of the most popular programs you can select from at the moment are:

Environment and Conservation

Being the home of many nature reserves and a myriad of different species, Croatia is the perfect place to do some volunteering in the environment and conservation sector. As a volunteer, your tasks will be to catalogue the species, help cultivate plants, and conduct research on the amazing fields in the country.

Community Development

Croatia is undergoing a huge number of improvements and grand changes in the social, economic, and cultural institutions. If you choose to volunteer in Croatia and help the development of the community, you’ll have a chance at experiencing the unique and warm community and culture spirit of the country.

According to statistics, around 20% of people in Croatia live in poverty.

Youth Development

A youth development volunteer works hard to empower the youth in a country to become more productive, engaged, and healthier. Your task in this position will be to help strengthen the educational and community institutions, implement youth development that’s focused on job skills, life skills, sexual health, healthy relationships, etc.

Education

Due to the many conflicts in the past, people in Croatia have suffered a lot. Many of its people were given a refugee status and were displaced, which naturally, has caused a lot of tension between the different ethnic groups in the country. This also led to many financial troubles and psychological issues, especially after the war in the 90’s. This can be noticed in many ways, especially in terms of infrastructure and jobs.

As a volunteer in this position, you can take part of projects that provide education and training for young people with the goal of providing them with chances of a better future.

These volunteering opportunities can potentially start your career and provide you with guidance on how to be successful, too. There are plenty of jobs in Croatia you can actually work while or after you finish your volunteering journey. If you’re a college student, the volunteering experience in Croatia will fit perfectly in your job resume. When the time comes for you to apply to a job, make sure you hire the most reliable service to help you with it. At the moment, the best we can recommend is Edu Birdie.

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Volunteer Programs in Croatia

Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteering and work in a popular place such as Croatia, but if you need some help finding the great ones, here is a list of the top volunteer programs at this moment:

Eastern Europe Conservation and Community Development Projects

Bottlenose Dolphin Research Volunteer Project with WorkingAbroad at Croatia

Operation Wallacea in Croatia

• Volunteer World: Best Volunteer Abroad Programs Worldwide

• Explore Croatia and Teach English to a Host Family!

How to Plan a Trip

Have you made up your mind about going to Croatia? This can be the most memorable experience you’ll ever have, but if you want it to go as you wish, you need to plan for it.

Volunteering Tips

If this is the first time you’re volunteering outside of your hometown or country, there are some tips that can come very handy.

• Use the time you spend volunteering to explore different options for a future career. Try to gain as much training as you can during this period and build yourself professionally. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to see what a potential career could look and feel like for you in the future.

• Reach more than one organization for volunteering. Consider all your options. Find the country’s volunteer opportunities form and fill it out to make yourself available to potential volunteering organizations that might want people like you in their ranks.

• Make use of your current skills. Think of the things that you are great at and put them to good use. Volunteering can help you further develop these skills.

• Look for volunteering opportunities that would provide you with fulfillment and pleasure. Don’t choose just any volunteering position – find one about which you’ll feel strongly.

• Meet some new people abroad. This is an excellent way to form long-lasting relationships with people who share the same interests as you. Who knows, it might even open up potential job opportunities for you for later!

• Find people who have volunteered there. If you don’t have a friend who has volunteered in Croatia, ask the ones who volunteered anywhere abroad for advice. With technology, you can now find advice by simply joining volunteering groups and asking people for it.

• Don’t focus too much on your college major, trying to find a volunteering opportunity that’s directly related to it. Sure, this would be a nice chance for you to build your skills in the field, but something similar to it is also a good opportunity.

Best Places to Volunteer

There are many places where you can volunteer in Croatia. Some of the most popular ones include Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Korcula, Vukovar, the Plitvice Lakes, and the Komati Islands.

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Croatia

The healthcare in the country are of high standard. Since the country became a member of the European Union, volunteers and other visitors can now use the European Health Insurance Card to get healthcare. For members of EU who travel to Croatia, this card is free to use, so if you come from such countries, make sure that you obtain it.

If you’re not a resident of EU, you should definitely obtain good travel insurance before you go there, or speak to the volunteering program representatives about this.

In terms of safety, Croatia is a very safe country. Thefts and mugging aren’t a grand or common issue there, so you can walk safely around, even at night. Of course, you should still take common precautions for safety.

Are you ready for your new Croatian journey? This is one of the best places in Europe for you to visit and, if you can find a nice volunteering opportunity that will keep you there for at least a short while, you are in for many wonderful moments and experiences.

Make sure to do proper research, choose an excellent volunteering program, pack your bags – and go to Croatia! This is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Europe, making it a must-visit place for every college student. Good luck!

Author’s Bio:
Robert Everett is a travel enthusiast, popular blogger, and an expert writer with years of content creation experience. You can follow him on Twitter. In his writings, you’ll find tons of travelling tricks and tips, as well as very useful advice for college students.

A record-high number of foreign nationals lived in Germany in 2018, having gone up by around 292,000 to 10.9 million, including 27,772 Croatians who moved to Germany in 2018, the national statistical office in the city of Wiesbaden said on Monday.

The number of Croatian nationals residing in Germany rose by 27,772 in the period between 31 December 2017 and 31 December 2018, which is a considerably smaller number than the year before, when the number of Croatians in Germany rose by 35,295.

2018 was the first year since Croatia's accession to the EU in 2013 in which the number of Croatian immigrants in Germany dropped on the year.

At the end of last year, 395,665 Croatians lived in Germany, 170,694 more than at the end of 2012, the last year before Croatia joined the EU.

Most Croatian nationals living in Germany, or 117,660, lived in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

In terms of the number of foreigners in Germany, Croatia comes after Turkey, Poland, Italy, Syria and Romania.

Easter is just around the corner brining more good news for the already buoyant Croatian egg industry. Exports of Croatian eggs rose by a massive 133 percent in 2018 and amounted to an impressive 2.1 million Euros in value or around 24 million eggs.

At the same time imports of eggs fell by 28 percent in 2018, when compared with 2017, to around 5 million Euros. Meaning that the gap between imports and exports closed significantly, although home-grown eggs are still considerably outnumbered on the market.

And on the eve of Easter, one of the busiest periods for the egg industry, it is hoped that the gap will once again be closed. Even though statistics show that in March this year 6 million eggs were imported into the country.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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