Monday, 16 September 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.


The ferries, catamarans and ships of the state ferry company Jadrolinija are having an extremely busy year, carrying until now 8.5 million passengers.

From the beginning of the year until the 18th of August Jadrolinija have transported a total of 8.5 million passengers and 2.2 million vehicles. Despite the fear of a worst tourist season than last year the company have carried 1.5 percent more passengers than last year.

July was a bumper month when the company handled 2.3 million passengers and 560,000 cars and trucks. The company is on target to beat last year’s figures when they recorded 12.3 million passengers and three million vehicles.

Geri Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice, is enjoying an active break in Croatia and is certainly making the most of the crystal, clear Adriatic Sea. Halliwell, or rather Geri Horner after her recent marriage to the supremo of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, Christian Horner, was spotted a few days ago in Dubrovnik with Bernie Ecclestone and his wife.

Geri has obviously caught the speed bug from her husband and posted a photo and video on her social media profiles of her skills on a jet-ski.

Halliwell came to international prominence in the 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of the successful girl group the Spice Girls, the best-selling girl group of all time with over 85 million records sold, of which more than 75 million copies sold with the quintet lineup with Halliwell. In 1998, Halliwell left the Spice Girls to pursue a solo career but later returned to the group when they reunited in 2007. Halliwell reportedly amassed a $40 million fortune during her last two years in the group.

It’s a big end to the week in the leading Dubrovnik nightclub Culture Club Revelin.

Tomorrow night there will be a gig from the popular Italian DJ duo The Cube Guys. The Cube Guys are known for performing a special 4 hands DJ set.

Nightclub Revelin is continuing to prepare the best summer parties in Croatia. Nightlife in Dubrovnik is finally at the very top of clubbing destinations in Croatia, owing it to the spectacular summer season line up of the most unique and special club in the world – Culture Club Revelin.

The Cube Guys is a club project born in 2005 from the collaboration between two of the most important Italian producers: Roberto Intrallazzi and Luca Provera. Their particular house sound, combined with tech-tribal elements and vocal contributions, evolved during the years, becoming more and more international and original.


This summer has certainly been a “who’s who” of the rich and famous in Dubrovnik and none more so than the latest mega yacht to drop anchor in front of the Old City. It is a beauty. Odessa II at 74 metres in length and accommodating a dozen passengers in the height of luxury, she set her owner back a cool $100 million when he purchased her back in 2013. Sir Len Blavatnik, a Russian born businessman, is, according to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2019, the fourth wealthiest man in Britain with an estimated fortune of £14.4 billion.

odessa 2 in croatia

Blavatnik (62), who is a close personal friend of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, received a knighthood for services to philanthropy. He was born in Odessa, hence the name of the mega yacht, and now lives in He owns a grade II listed building in Kensington Palace Gardens which is valued at £200 million.

close up russian yacht dubrovnik

His mega yacht certainly caught the attention of tourists and locals in Dubrovnik and as he is a close personal friend of the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who has several properties and businesses in Dubrovnik, he could be in the city on a business deal. In fact he was at anchor in sight of one of Vekselberg’s Dubrovnik properties, the hotel Belvedere.

Len Blavatnik yacht dubrovnik

The third multimedia event of the Salt Festival will open in Ston on the 28th of August. This interesting festival, which runs until the 2nd of September, covers various events in the historic ambience of Solana: gastronomic events, a fair of traditional products, music evenings, concerts, performances, workshops for children and much more.

The Salt Festival will be held from the 28th of August to the 2nd of September at multiple venues in Ston, and entry to all events will be free of charge.


The Salt festival in Ston is held in the oldest salt works in Europe. In the time of Dubrovnik Republic, salt was very important and was called a "white gold." Salt was the main reason why the city walls were built so this valuable treasure needs to be in the centre of an attention as it was in 14th century.

For more information the Salt Festival visit the website

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board continues to organize a number of fun summer events on the Elaphite Islands and other tourist destinations.

For this week, they announce these various events:

Thursday, August 22

Zaton Bay, beginning at 9 pm, will host its traditional floating concert by the Zaton Barss Band.

Guitar evenings continue at Porporela from 9pm to 11pm, with academic musician Per Skobel.

Saturday, August 24

Zumba kids Dubrovnik will perform at the sports field at 9pm in Trsteno.
On the island of Kolocep, on the waterfront of Donji celo, Vocal group Kasa will entertain everyone starting at 9.30 pm.

On the island of Sipan, in Suđurđ on the waterfront, there will be a traditional Fishermen's Night with the popular pop star Giuliano. The concert starts at 10.30 pm.


Dubrovnik born and raised politician and current MEP, Dubravka Suice, has been confirmed as the new Commissioner in the new European Commission.

The Croatian prime Minster, Andrej Plenkovic, confirmed yesterday that Suica was the government’s nomination for this leading European position.

"Following internal consultations and talks with the new EC President Ursula von der Leyen, we are going to make the decision at tomorrow's meeting of the inner cabinet that we nominate Dubravka Suica for our new member of the European Commission," commented Plenkovic.

A Croatian member of the European Parliament, Dubravka Suica, has been elected to the EP three times, and her first election of a Croatian MEP was in 2013 when Croatia joined the Union. She was re-elected in 2014 and in 2019.

The nominated commissioners proposed by EC President Ursula von der Leyen are to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

It is though it was planned, somehow prearranged, by a greater spirit. All the moons were in alignment when the Neretva Valley was created, and man helped along the way to polish this already shining diamond. From the first time you lay eyes on the Neretva Valley you’ll have the “wow effect,” and for good reason. The highway snakes along the coastline and then, almost in a Western movie, turns through a high mountain ridge and in a flash a panorama of a vast plain opens up before you. The Neretva River spears through this enormous expanse, like an arrow piercing through the air, long and straight. Stop for a while to take in and admire the view and it will become clear that this mighty river has been beavering away for centuries, slowly but surely forging a path to the Adriatic Sea.

aerial neretva valley

And what nature has brought, man has profited from. Known by many as the “mandarin valley” the Neretva basin’s rich soil, from years of sediment, has brought many a successful harvest for the inhabitants. Over the generations families have worked the land, cut their own channels from the Neretva River to feed their crops. The combination of rich soil and a constant supply of fresh water is a winning one. This region is the garden of Dubrovnik. These fields and plantations have supplied the Dubrovnik region and beyond with high quality fruit and vegetables. It is estimated that there are 1.4 million mandarin seedlings in the valley, producing over 60 tonnes of mandarins every year. Harvest time in the valley means all hands to the pumps. And it isn’t only the locals that pluck the fruit from the trees, tourists are also invited to help, let’s face it there is plenty of fruit to go around. As you drive through the valley you will notice roadside stands selling all kinds of local produce, from the tree to your mouth. Apples the size of melons, melons the size of beanbags, ruby sweet cherries, oranges that drip in flavour and juicy lemons, all of this and more grow in the Neretva Basin.

From its humble beginnings in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina the Neretva River plays an important role in the life of the people it touches. It provides drinking water, drives hydroelectric power stations, is used as a means of transport and feeds the crops of the Neretva valley. Its final meeting with the Adriatic is a crescendo after its long journey. The river estuary opens its wide mouth to the sea and is still somewhat undiscovered by visitors to the region. Wetlands, marshes and lagoons that form as the river empties into the sea are abundant with wildlife, if you are a bird lover then the expansive estuary is a must see. Kingfishers, Oystercatchers, egrets and herons, amongst others, all live in harmony and in relative solitude in this stunning nature.


The river has also shaped the inhabitants, shaped their future and their past, brought trade, caused conflict and also prosperity. The Romans discovered the area and built a stronghold in the 1st century. The remains can still be seen today in the Narona archaeological museum where you will see relicts of an ancient civilization. In fact the Narona museum is the only one in the whole of Croatia that is constructed at the site of a Roman temple. The towns of Metkovic and Opuzen both lie on the banks of the Neretva River and have traditional restaurants offering the best of Neretva cuisine. Eels and frogs are a local specialty, as well as game and seafood. And if you really want a taste of Neretva then try the highly acclaimed “Nerevta Brodetto,” a stew like no other.

mandarins in neretva near dubrovnik

Neretva Valley will leave you with a smile on your face and a sense of harmony with nature. We'd also recommend taking a few bags of those juicy mandarins back with you!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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