Tuesday, 22 January 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

Many pensioners across Croatia will struggle this Christmas period with paying the household bills let alone stocking the fridge for the festive table. Due to awfully low pensions the older generation of the country will find it hard to make ends meet this Christmas.

One good deed highlighted the serious problem Croatia’s pensioners face. The city of Umag have decided to help their pensioners with a cash windfall, meaning many of those with low incomes will at least be able to survive this Christmas.

"We appreciate the contribution of our pensioners and we understand their needs, so we have decided that all those with income of up to 800 Kuna we will help with a payment of 4,200 Kuna, whilst those with a pension of up to 1,100 Kuna, we can help with 3,000 Kuna," said the Mayor of Umag, Vili Bassanese.

Whilst this news and this action is indeed well meant it also helps to highlight the monthly struggle of many of the “grey generation” in Croatia. As one reader commented “Small communities with good tax revenues should take more care of societies. It is incredible to me how someone can live with a salary of less than four to five thousand Kuna per month?”

The nativity came to life last night in the Old City of Dubrovnik as a full scale scene was organised in front of the Dubrovnik cathedral.

Hundreds turned up to watch as the Holy Family arrived in the city, first with a walk along the Stradun and then onto the manger.

This traditional event is organised every year by the Dubrovnik Diocese and this year Josip and Mary were “played” by the Milićević  family and their four sons.

jesus on the stradun last night

The new Peljesac Bridge moved a step closer yesterday as a ship from China sailed into the Port of Ploce. The ship, Zhen Hua, was carrying technical equipment, including a huge crane as well as platforms and drills for working, needed for the next phase of construction.

On the ship, which is around 200 metres long, there are also two steel pillars that will be placed under the sea. Work on the construction of the foundation for the new Peljesac bridge is expected to be carried out at the end of January.

A spokesperson for the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the company that won the international tender to construct the largest infrastructure project in Croatia for decades said “About 300 workers will work on the construction of the bridge.”

china boat croatia bridge

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic on Sunday offered their best Christmas wishes to Croatian citizens and Croats living abroad.

"Christmas is a holiday of family and togetherness, a holiday of peace and hope. The love for the neighbour, mutual acceptance and respect are the most important values of the Christmas message. The spirit of Christmas reminds us again and again of the need to promote, with our everyday actions and conduct, dialogue and responsibility and solidarity and tolerance in our society and community," Plenkovic said in his message, among other things.

"Christmas is a symbol of light with deep spiritual meaning - the light of victory over darkness, the light of good that defeats evil, the light of love that overcomes hate and the light of life that defeats death," Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said in his message.

"May that Christmas light awake and enrich our inner spiritual strength and be a constant anchor in our lives," said the parliament speaker, wishing Croatians also all the best in the New Year.

So you think you’ve been following the news from Croatia and Dubrovnik in 2018. But just how closely have you been paying attention?

Take our big 2018 news quiz and discover if you are a news hound or have been in hibernation this year.

 

After a long 28-year break Croatia will be linked with direct flights from the USA in 2019. American Airlines announced a few months ago that they will connect Dubrovnik with Philadelphia for the summer season of next year and according to a report in EX-YU Aviation the company is “looking forward to serving our customers on this new and exciting route.”

The world’s largest airline will start flights to Dubrovnik from Philadelphia on the 7th of June 2019 and speaking to EX-YU Aviation American Airlines commented that "We are pleased about the advanced bookings we have already received to Dubrovnik and we are looking forward to serving our customers on this new and exciting route. We will, in due course, consider prolonging the flying season to the coastal city. We always review the performance of our new routes and ensure we have the right schedule for our customers".

And the airline also revealed why they plumped for Dubrovnik over the capital Zagreb and the popular Dalmatian destination of Split. American Airlines said that they decided on Dubrovnik due to “popular request” and added that “we are always looking at new opportunities to grow our network to ensure we offer service to where our customers wish to go.”

Speaking to The Dubrovnik Times the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasić, commented that “through our representative office in New York we have made contact with the airline and the travel company that represents them. We have already arranged joint marketing opportunities and co-operation. We are only too happy to help fill these flights and make sure that this new link is successful.”

Tickets for the direct flights between Dubrovnik and the US have gone on sale on the American Airlines website. This is a historic flight connection for Dubrovnik, the first direct, or non-stop, flight connection between Dubrovnik and the US for almost 30 years. And according to information from the company the new flights will operate three times a week with the first flight starting on the 7th of June. The flights, which will be operated until the 27th of September, will operate using Boeing 767s.

We are getting in the Christmas spirit and offering a pair of Dubrovnik City Cards in our festive prize draw. To enter all you have to do is follow the rules on our Facebook page and the Dubrovnik City Cards could be yours.

Be prepared for 2019 and your visit to Dubrovnik with these cards that open many doors in the city. The 1-Day Dubrovnik Card is a unique pass allowing entry into 9 cultural-historical monuments, the top attractions of Dubrovnik. The 3-Day and 7-Day Dubrovnik Card are a unique pass allowing entry into 10 cultural-historical monuments, 9 top attractions of Dubrovnik, and 1 gallery in Cavtat.

By purchasing a Dubrovnik Card, you will get a bus card valid throughout the city of Dubrovnik, and also coupons for a suburban ride by purchasing 3 – Day and 7 – Day Dubrovnik Card.

Enter today for a chance of winning the Dubrovnik City Cards!

British humour will come to the Croatian capital this spring as the stand-up comic Eddie Izzard will perform as part of his Wunderbar world tour. Izzard will bring his comedy show to Zagreb and will perform in the Vatroslav Lisinki Hall on the 15th of April 2019.

The British comedian isn’t a stranger to Croatia and as part of his last world tour, five years ago, he actually brought his comedy show to Dubrovnik.

His comedic style takes the form of rambling, whimsical monologue, and self-referential pantomime. He has also had a successful career on the big screen and has starred in movies such as Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Valkyrie and Victoria & Abdul.

“It is getting close to the time when I have to go off for a while to have a political life. But before I do that, I want to keep giving audiences around the world the best stand-up comedy shows that I can – especially at a time of Brexit-hate and Trump-hate. My new show is about everything from humans over the last 100,000 years to talking dogs and animal superheroes. I am looking forward to coming to see everyone again,” commented Izzard.

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