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.
Every year, the Du Motion 5K race on the city streets of Dubrovnik attracts more and more people from Dubrovnik and across the globe. And the race every year has a humanitarian heart with the money raised donated towards a good cause. On the 28th of April hundreds of runners in blue shirts will take part in this year’s Dubrovnik 5K.
"The response of people every year really motivates us, from schoolchildren and students to entrepreneurs, retirees and very often to entire families, all of whom come together to participate and help a good cause,” commented the organisers of Du Motion.
“We are running this year to raise awareness of the need for greater caution in traffic, all revenue from the Dubrovnik 5K is intended for the rehabilitation of 20-year-old Ante Kolunđija, a volunteer of Du Motion who was injured in a car accident last year,” added the Director of Du Motion, Alen Bošković.
The Neuro-rehabilitation performed by Polyclinic Glavić is intended for patients who, due to various accidents or illnesses, have weakened or completely blocked extremities of the body.
"It is about robotic neuro rehabilitation, the most modern and effective treatment concept with the help of the most sophisticated robotics and conventional physiotherapy therapies. The concept and treatment program at Glavić Polyclinic are individually tailored to each patient depending on his diagnosis and medical condition. Ante, who has rehabilitation up to 9 hours every day in order to achieve a faster recovery, has already seen excellent results,” commented Mirna Golubić, the deputy polyclinic therapist.
To celebrate World Poetry day on the 21st of March you can pay with your morning coffee with a poem.
The coffee producer Julius Meinl has organised a “Pay With A Poem” special action in which customers to their 250 cafes across Croatia will be able to sip their cappuccino free of charge. All you need to do is write a poem, song and thoughtful phrase, hand it into the staff at the café bar and a free cup of coffee is yours.
Over 30 countries around the world will take part in this poetry action and this is the sixth year in a row that Julius Meinl have organise this global event.
Check out the map on the Julius Meinl website to find a café bar near you
That the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is a magnet for international tourists and a perfect location for travellers looking to enjoy both a unique view on history as well as spectacular stone facades is nothing new. But now the Australian version of the popular magazine Vogue has found yet another reason why you need to visit the city this year. In a lengthy article entitled “The 20 best cities to explore on foot” the magazine lists Dubrovnik.
“What’s the fastest way to get to know the customs and culture of a city? If you ask any avid traveller, they’ll tell you to engage a local’s expertise. From seeking out insider knowledge on the finest places to dine and the best hotels to stay, to discovering the most enriching cultural events to take part in – trust that local knowledge is king. And if you want to take it even further, why not walk in local’s footsteps, too?” opens the article in Australian Vogue. And then goes onto list the top twenty destinations, which includes Dubrovnik. Other destinations on the list are San Francisco, Amsterdam, Salzburg and Boston.
This publicity in a leading Australian destination will only help raise the interest for more Australians to visit Croatia, and especially Dubrovnik where more and more visit every year.
The low-cost airline, Lauda Motion, has announced that they will upgrade their flights to Split from Stuttgart from seasonal only flights to year-round operations from this winter. Split Airport, which handled almost 35,000 passengers in February this year, has been steadily improving over the past few years and is the second busiest airport in the country after Zagreb.
And with these new all year flights the airport can expect another impressive year. Lauda Motion had originally planned to fly from Stuttgart to Split until the end of October but now they intend to fly three times a week through the whole year with flights starting on the 31st of March.
Lauda Motion is based in Austria, near Vienna, and the former Formula 1 driver, Niki Lauda, once had shares in the airline before he sold them to Ryanair in 2018.
And who said romance is dead? In front of thousands of screaming fans, with his teammates going wild and a Croatian love ballad booming out from the PA system, Ivan Bender proposed to his girlfriend.
The Croatian basketball ace surprised his girlfriend, Andrea, by going down on one knee on the centre of the court on senior night of the Maryland University where he plays for the Terrapins.
The reaction of the rest of his team is brilliant as 206cm tall Bender stooped down to ask Andrea to marry him, she said “yes darling.”
From 2021 United States citizens will require a visa to visit Europe, reports CNN. The European Union stated on Friday that American tourists thinking of coming to any of the member countries will need, as of 2021, a new type of visa, named a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) for entry into the Schengen region.
Up until now US citizens haven’t required a visa for EU countries, and were free to stay up to 90 days without any visa. In two years’ time these visa-free days will be a thing of the past. From 2021 a visa will be required for the 26 EU countries inside the Schengen area, Croatia is still outside of this border-free system but plans to enter in the next few years.
This new ETIAS visa for Americans will, once issued, be valid for three years and allow US citizens to enter countries in the Schengen area as often as they like. And to apply for this new visa US tourists will need a valid passport, an email account and a credit or debit card. In June 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Commission imposing visas on US citizens.
According to the European Union website the new visa has been brought in “to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism.” However, the new visa regime is also being seen by some political analysts as a response to the US still refusing visa-free travel to certain European Union members. Currently citizens of five EU countries, Croatia, Poland, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, must apply for a travel visa before heading across the Atlantic. The EU have been pushing for visa-free travel for all their citizens for a few years, but so far these calls have fallen on death ears.
The three busiest Croatian airports, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, have all recorded an impressive start to 2019 with February seeing huge increases. The capital’s airport saw 181,154 passengers through the doors in February, meaning a 6 percent increase compared to 2018. And the airport has announced that they expect a 5 percent increase in passenger numbers this year.
The second busiest airport in Croatia, Split, also had a healthy increase in February this year and handled 34,825 passengers which represents a 14 percent increase over last year. And a number of new flights and airlines, such as Ryanair and British Airways, meaning that 2019 is predicted to be another record breaking year.
And Dubrovnik Airport has experienced a massive boost to the year with an incredible 40 percent increase in passenger numbers in February. Croatia’s most southern airport saw 33,765 passengers in February, an indication that the introduction of new flights and destinations throughout the winter is paying dividends. Since the beginning of 2019 Dubrovnik Airport has handled 60,088 passengers, a growth of almost 30 percent when compared with the same two months from last year.
Some things are illogical are some are just plain stupid. Croatia imports more food than it exports, a statement that is both illogical and stupid, but sadly true. From the vast and wide plains of Slavonia with its endless fertile fields, to the bountiful Adriatic lapping at our doorstep, valleys and hills, lakes and rivers, all the elements in one small country. And when combined with idyllic weather and the fourth largest fresh water supply in Europe then you have agricultural utopia.
We should be pumping food into all our neighbours in the European Union on a daily basis. So how is it I’m buying strawberries from Spain and cucumbers from Portugal?
On a county basis Dubrovnik is just as blessed, if not more so, than the rest of the country. Whereas before in the days of the Republic the fields of Konavle, Župa and Šipan would be bursting at the seams with all kinds of fruit and vegetables to feed the population on a year-round basis, now they echo to the sound of silence.
Even though the world is slowly turning its back on mass produced GMO vegetables and looking for more naturally grown produce we are missing the chance to shine. And this modern term of organic food is should exactly where Croatia should find its niche in the market. For what did the farmers back in the times produce if not organic food.
Organic food, or as some people like to call it “bio”, is nothing new, far from it. It is producing food in a way that is in line and harmony with nature. For example, instead of throwing artificial fertilizers over everything you use what comes out of the rear end of most animals. Nothing new. Organic fruit and vegetables is what people were doing in the 16th century, this isn’t some ground breaking new technology. It’s just that mankind’s stupidity, thinking that we knew better than Mother Nature, has led to us now looking to turn back the clock and return to our forefathers. Organically produced is what we should we doing, it’s what we used to do anyway. The possibilities for Croatia are endless. “Europe’s back garden” – “Fish from crystal clear seas”, the marketing possibilities are endless as well. However instead of embracing and nurturing what we have we have turned our backs on our agricultural history and turned to importing shrimps from the seas of China and grapes from Israel. Unbelievable.
“Everyone wants to be strong and self-sufficient, but few are willing to put in the work necessary to achieve these worthy goals,” once wisely said the great Mahatma Gandhi.
Instead of going to a German supermarket every week to buy fruit and vegetables, or even cheese and milk, why aren’t we going to markets to buy produce from our neighbours. Produce that we know we can trust in terms of quality. Some people will say that we have busier lives today and that we don’t have time to tend the fields. Sorry, I don’t believe that. Are we lazier than we were centuries ago? Yes, now that I do believe. We spend our time looking for the latest and greatest new thing when the answer is staring us right in the face.
We live in a world where lemonade is now made of artificial ingredients, without a hint of lemon, and the window cleaner I spray proudly states “contains real lemons.”
And we have ingredients that the world is desperately searching for and paying good money for. The Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest in the world for a reason. The ingredients of that very diet grow, swim and walk around us, every day. You don’t have to be Einstein to connect the dots and see the wider picture. Not only should Croatia be completely self-sufficient with its food production but we should also be filling the supermarkets shelves in Germany. Yes, instead of us buying our food from a German supermarket we should be filling theirs with all the goods we have at our fingertips. Let’s grow organic food, or as your grandparents called it just food!