Friday, 22 February 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 Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board attended this year's MATKA tourist exhibition in Helsinki, which was held from the 17th to the 20th of January.

This year the tourist board attended as a co-exhibitor at the stand of the Croatian Tourist Board, along with the City of Zagreb and the Split-Dalmatia County. The first day of the fair was intended exclusively for tourism professionals while the other days were open to the general public.

This fair was visited by 63,600 visitors in 2018, out of which 14,000 were professionals in tourism, and even bigger figures are expected at this year's fair.

In 2018, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by 31,200 tourists from Finland, who realized 169.00 overnights, compared to the previous year, with the increase in arrivals of 14 percent and overnight stays of 9 percent.

cavtat in helsinki

dubrovnik present helsinki


In the early hours of Monday morning a full Moon's eclipse will occur, a so called blood moon. This spectacular astronomical event is relatively rare and happens when the Moon enters the whole shadow of the Earth, receiving a red and brown colour, the Croatian Astronomical Alliance said.

The moon will start to glow red at 3.36 am on Monday morning with the beginning of a partial eclipse at 4.33 am, the beginning of a complete eclipse at 5.41 am, the maximum of the eclipse will be visible at 6.12 am, the end of the complete eclipse is 6.43 am and the Moon's setting is around 7.41 am.

This eclipse of the moon will be the only complete one in 2019 and will be visible from the entire western hemisphere, Europe and the western parts of Africa, as well as from northern Russia, commented NASA. This would mean that with favourable weather conditions around 2.7 billion people could see the blood moon.

A flu epidemic is currently raging through Croatia with hospitals struggling to keep up with the number of new patients every day. According to official data from the Croatian Institute of Public Health nearly 8,500 citizens have been infected with flu in Croatia and so far 9 people have died.

According to medical experts the current flu epidemic is currently at its peak with more and more patients complaining of respiratory problems. Hospitals and doctors are warning people with flu symptoms to stay at home and to avoid closed, crowded spaces.

The Croatian Minister of Health commented that “The epidemic has now come to its peak. We urge all citizens to move as little as possible, and it would be good to avoid closed spaces with a lot of people. Zagreb was now a wave of flu. Most people can be treated at home. I believe we will soon be entering a more peaceful phase soon.”

Croatia is among the three EU member states with the largest rise in apartment and housing prices in the third quarter of last year, Eurostat said. The Netherlands with 3.3 percent, Malta with 3.1 percent and then in third position Croatia with a property price rise of 2.8 percent saw the country record the third highest rise across the European Union.

Housing prices in the third quarter of last year rose across the EU by an average of 1.5 percent according to Eurostat. However, two member nations saw property prices actually fall, Italy experienced a 0.8 percent drop and Romania a 0.7 percent decrease.

Whereas properties on the Croatian Adriatic have traditionally been the most sought after and therefore the most expensive other cities are also seeing a housing boom. The capital Zagreb is leading the way with more and more interest from foreign buyers. Dubrovnik once again has the most expensive property in the whole of the country with the average price of an apartment almost double that of the capital.

Marriage is all about co-operation, listening and sharing. And my wife has devotedly taken the last of these points to the limits by sharing her flu with me. But of course, because she is a woman, she got over her outbreak of flu relatively quickly. And I, of course because I am a man, spent the best part of a week tucked away in bed shaking like a leaf in the bura.

Yes, it comes around every year, just as St. Blaise or Christmas, the flu season in Dubrovnik and seemingly every year it runs me over like a train. To be honest I thought I had avoided it this year. The early signs were positive. Whilst people close to me were being knocked down with the virus I was left standing. But just as I was cheering “this could be my year” it grabbed me with both hands and slowly strangled me. Like a silent ninja it crept up on me. I had eaten tones of oranges to build up my vitamin C defence but it was all swept aside.

Day one and I felt an aching feeling in my bones and a slight headache. I brushed it aside as just being a little tired. Day two and it had me in its grasp. Temperature soaring, head like a balloon and a headache that made me wish I didn’t have a head. “Did you measure your temperature?” my wife asked in the morning on seeing my bloodshot eyes and sweating forehead. Of course I hadn’t. we used to have one of those electronic thermometers but my wife is old school so she had gone back to the old mercury based ones. I could feel the mercury almost boiling in the glass as the temperature rose higher and higher. “39.8,” she screamed as I handed her the thermometer.

I am pretty sure that this was a new record high temperature for me. Well official record. Because when I was a child and didn’t want to go to school, probably due to some test, I would slip the thermometer into the morning cup of tea and have temperatures well over 40. But this was probably the highest official one to my memory. But my temperature didn’t get the official stamp of approval until my wife had pressed her lips up against my forehead and then shook her head in dismay. It seems that Croatian women have this special “Superhero” power in their lips. They all seem to be born with a thermometer embedded into their lips. And so I was off to bed.

It was also the longest I have ever spent in a horizontal position. I have to be honest and say that the first day in bed was enjoyable. Even though I was bathing in a pool of my own sweat and my head felt like I had an elephant sitting on it the cocktail of drugs and tablets I was swallowing numbed the pain enough for me to relatively enjoy the peace and warmth of my bed. This initial euphoria soon passed.

The following day and no sign of my temperature dropping. In fact, I awoke like I had been sleeping in a swimming pool. My pillow was completely soaked and resembled a tea bag that had been left in a cup for a few hours. And now the word was out that I was sick and the messages started arriving. “Drink as much as possible,” and “Sweat it out” and of course “If you have a headache soak a tea towel in rakija and wrap it around your head.” We all know that if you are sick, whatever the diagnosis, a few drops of rakija will get you back on your feet.

All I had to do was drink litres of soup and watch daytime TV which seemed to be a mixture of terrible soap operas and endless adverts mattresses. I am not what was more painful – my flu or watching these mind-numbing adverts. My temperature wasn’t dropping. And now I had a new problem, backache. Lying endlessly had given me the back of a 90-year-old man. Whichever way I turned the pain followed me. And of course when I got up to walk around and left the warm hug of my bed the cold hit me so hard that I started shaking like a vibrating mobile phone.

“If this goes on much longer then you should go to the hospital,” added my wife. No, not the H word! If there is one thing I hate more than the flu its hospitals. And it seemed that my flu germs had heard my wife. The next day my temperature dropped like a pebble in the Adriatic. Goodbye flu, see you again next year, same time, same place.

The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, received a visit from the Hollywood actor Goran Visnjic yesterday.

Visnjic, best known for his role as Dr. Kovac, in the popular TV series ER, is currently staying in Dubrovnik with his family and took the opportunity to meet with the mayor. During the meeting a number of topics were discussed, especially regarding culture and the film industry. Goran Visnjic recalled his first roles in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which this year marks the its 70th jubilee season.

Goran Visnjic is a well-known promoter of animal rights and is personally very interested in the issue of adequate animal care in the area of Dubrovnik. Therefore, Mayor Franković, explained to him the recent moves the city has been taking. Namely, after selecting the location of a future shelter for abandoned animals, the City of Dubrovnik in the budget for 2019 provided HRK 2 million for the purchase of land and an additional HRK 500 thousand for the preparation of project documentation.


goran visnjic meets dubrovnik mayor

It was a year of music based movies that dominated the box offices in Croatia in 2018. Two of the top three most watched films at the cinemas across the country in 2018 were based around the music industry. Bohemian Rhapsody sold the most cinema tickets in 2018 (194,497) followed by The Grinch (156,785) and A Star Is Born in third position (132,153 tickets) according to information from Continental Films.

The total number of tickets sold for cinemas up and down Croatia was 4.7 million, which is slightly upon 2017 when 4.6 million were sold.

However, 2018 won’t be remembered as a great year for Croatian movies. Tickets sold for Croatian produced movies were considerably down last year when compared with 2017, this was mainly due to the fact that the number of home-grown films made dropped last year to only seven, whilst in 2017 16 were released. The biggest hit at the box office in 2018 was The Eighth Commissioner (31,828 admissions) followed by Comic sans (14,030 admissions).

Time may not be at your side after you’ve been charged with a DWI (driving with intoxication) offense in Rochester New York, especially if you got involved in an accident. The other party, for instance, may also be working on all possible ways to make sure you’ll get what you deserve under the law.

That in mind, you also need to get legal representation as fast as you can. However, you’ll not know if the person handling your case is capable of protecting your rights without learning how to spot them.

Read on this article as it provides the four signs of a reliable DWI attorney in Rochester NY.

1. Experience

When dealing with a DWI case, it’s essential to hire a lawyer with a valuable experience and reputation. That’s because you want the best person to safeguard your interests especially when your freedom is hanging the balance.

If you’re looking for a strong legal advocacy like the ones offered by The DWI Guys, don’t forget to factor out the attorney’s experience.

A trustworthy DWI attorney has a proven track record of winnings and successes in the field of criminal law. Using their years of experience, they can come up with a solid defense that protects your rights and well-being throughout the litigation.

2. Recognition

The legal profession has several prestigious and professional organizations that are dedicated to assessing lawyers’ performances across Rochester NY.

If you’re searching for someone who’s committed to advocate for you in all legal proceedings, look for an attorney who has received plenty of recognition from well-known legal organizations such as Avvo and National Trial Lawyers. That way, you can be sure that the person taking care of your DWI case is trustworthy.


3. Attributes

Attorneys are also responsible for defending the rights of those who are arrested or charged with a crime. Although people may see them with contempt, they still play an essential role in winning the cases for their clients. Below are the attributes that you need to look for in an attorney:

● Research Skills – A good DWI lawyer knows how to research other cases as well as circumstances that may help increase your chances of winning. They should familiarize the location’s driving and road-traveling tips to understand the situation.

For example, if you’re caught in Croatia for drunk driving, the lawyer should research and come up with the assemblage of driving tips in Croatia to make sure they don’t miss anything in creating a good defense for you.

● Negotiation Skills – With an overwhelming number of out-of-court settlements, it’s important to find an attorney who can give you the best possible deal for your settlement claim.

● Perseverance – They will do everything in their power to defend you in court. They should get the most out of every opportunity to convince the jury and make sure that all possible appeals are exhausted if you’ll be found guilty.

● Knowledge – Handing a DWI case can be a complicated and confusing process. That’s why it’s important for an attorney to know the intricacies of the DUI/DWI law. They should also have a better understanding of the personalities of the judges presiding the case as well as the opposing prosecutors.

● Integrity – As a person whose task is to defend you, a reasonable attorney should possess a high level of integrity. This means they should be transparent and honest in keeping you informed about any update of your case, as well as the possible outcome of the proceedings.

● Analytical Skills – Make sure the attorney you’ll get should be thinking at all times. They should have a sharp mind and the ability to make quick judgments with regards to negotiating a settlement or challenging the prosecution.

● Communication Skills – Your attorney should be an excellent communicator in and out of the courtroom. Also, their ability to write briefs and other legal documents should also be of high caliber.

● Caring – They shouldn’t only advocate for your rights, but they should also care about you, your family and the legal consequences of the judgment. Remember, a guilty verdict can mean jail time, suspension or revocation of professional licenses, and other effects.

4. Locality

A reliable DWI attorney is someone you can connect and work closely with your case. This means you should have a local lawyer who will handle your situation.

For example, if you’re living in Rochester NY, look for someone who’s also practicing within your locality. That way, you can be sure that your lawyer can understand your needs and viewpoints.


Nobody wants to be charged with a DWI crime. Thinking about the short-term and long-term legal consequences, you may find yourself in a miserable situation. Thus, if you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Rochester NY, keep these things in mind to ensure you’ve got a reliable attorney.

Having them on your side can improve your chances of getting your life back once you’ve obtained a favorable verdict.


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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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