Friday, 18 October 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 New York Times has published an article titled ''20 places to travel in your 20s'', bringing a list of suggestions where to go if you're young and searching for a way to change your perception of the world. They bring the good and the bad sides of traveling in your 20s – meeting new cultures, friends and lifelong memories but with financial constraints, limited time off from work and concerns about safety. That's why they bring this article as a starter kit to world travel.

Dubrovnik hits this list as many others, with other places on Croatian cost.
- It’s gotten fancier over the years, but bopping down the Adriatic coast in Croatia is still a great option for young travelers. Start in scenic Dubrovnik and hit laid-back and gorgeous spots like Rovinj, Kornati Islands National Park and Makarska. You’ll find great food and wine, dazzling vistas and a welcoming attitude – writes The New York Times.

Other suggested places for young travelers are Cuba, Costa Rica, Iceland, Barcelona and some more. 

In response to numerous inquiries from the public that lives in the part of Dubrovnik called Babin Kuk, who seeked the construction of social facilities, primarily for children and youth, the City of Dubrovnik ordered development of the project and signed a contract with the company "Oluja projekt" in the amount of 98 thousand kuna.

Recreational park at Babin Kuk will have: playground for younger children, playground for older children, training space for young people (street workout), training space for seniors (outdoor fitness), playgrounds for various sports, skate park, square with a sundial and bowling.

According to the concept, Smart City technology will be implemented, which provides features such as LED lighting, video monitoring with integrated counters and Wi-Fi Internet access.

Project documentation will be finalized by the end of this year. Construction will start next year, as well as equipping of sports and recreational park in phases.

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The main street in the Old City of Dubrovnik, the Stradun, was awash with Old Timers today as the Dubrovnik Old Timer Club organised their 13th vintage car rally.

The rally began in the Port of Dubrovnik and then at 10.00am the old beauties made their way into the Old City and lined up along the Stradun. In total 26 old timers, all older than 30 years old, paraded in the centre of the city and attracted admiring glances from tourists and locals.

Check out the photo gallery of today’s vintage fun by Tonci Plazibat.

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The largest moon in 69 years will shine tomorrow night. The so called Super Moon will be at its biggest and brightest for almost 70 years and according to experts midnight on Monday night will be the best time to see the lunar spectacle.

It will be a great opportunity to photo this mega moon, and the forecast shows north winds which should be clear night skies on Monday night. It is called a Super Moon because the moon will pass closer to the earth than it normally does, even though the distances are still enormous, the moon will be 356,511km from the earth.

The cold northerly wind, known as the bura, blew last night and “cleaned” the streets of Dubrovnik of all life.

The city is in between seasons, the tourist season has come to an end and the life that the Dubrovnik Winter Festival brings still hasn’t begun.

The historic Old City of Dubrovnik looked slightly sad last night, as you can see from this photo gallery by Ahmet Kalajdžić.

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Saint Martin was a bishop from Tours in France who is worshiped all around Europe as the patron saint of winemakers. St. Martin's Day, in Croatia known as Martinje, celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting, but it also marks the day when must traditionally turns into wine.

St. Martin’s feast is a ritual of wine baptism that has been celebrated since the 17th century in the northern parts of Croatia. Wine lovers gather in vineyards of their hosts in middle of November. In the ritual of baptizing, actors dress up and take roles of judge, bishop, godmother and godfather of the wine. In Croatia and Slovenia on the Saint Martin's Day people cherish the tradition of making grape juice ‘’must’’ into wine. At the celebrations they usually prepare Martin's goose.

There is an interesting story about the goose. Martin, who was a Roman legionary and a great lover of wine, was released from service due to his faith prohibiting him from fighting. After finishing his education he was supposed to become a Christian bishop. According to legend, that is not what Martin wanted. On the day of his appointment as bishop he hid in a goose pen. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by the cackling of the geese and became a bishop after all.

Especially big celebrations in Croatia are in Sveti Martin na Muri, Pozega, Kutjevo, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Sv. Ivan Zelina and many other places. St. Martins Day is always celebrated on the 11th of November in Croatia.

The Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavic, received an official visit from the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia in Croatia Mira Nikolic this Friday.

This was the first visit by the Ambassador to the county and Dobroslavic introduced her to the historical, cultural and economic characteristics of the county. He pointed out that tourism is the most important industry in the county, but also stressed the importance of agriculture in the Neretva valley and the importance of the port of Ploce and how vital it was for the economy of Serbia.

Ambassador Nikolic pointed out that there are an increasing number of guests from Serbia in Dubrovnik which has certainly contributed to the introduction of direct air routes between Belgrade and Dubrovnik.

The mayor stressed the good relations with the minority Serbian community in Dubrovnik, as is the case with other minority communities in the county. They also talked about the experience of using European funds as a good basis for investment.

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I knew that I was getting old but this is ridiculous. They say that “you’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken.” So to set the scene. I don’t often go to the cinema in Dubrovnik, in fact I didn’t really go when I lived in London, I guess it is a little like oysters you either love them or hate them. The only time I really go is when my friends or family visit Dubrovnik.

We have a couple of friends in Dubrovnik who like going with us; I won’t be offending them if I say they are slightly older than me. These friends had already picked out the film, the latest flick with Helen Mirren, sorry Dame Helen. The film and the time were agreed and we all met at Cinestar, in what must be one the ugliest and “out of place” apartment blocks in the Mediterranean. How someone got permission to build a giant sized Lego block in Dubrovnik I will never know!

Anyway we are moving away from the subject. “Let’s go in and get the tickets before the rush starts,” my friend said to me. As it was five o’clock in the afternoon and the film wasn’t a blood-thirsty blockbuster I didn’t really expect much of a crowd...I wasn’t wrong.

As we wandered up to the counter my friend produced his “Cinestar Senior Club Card.” I immediately took the opportunity to joke with him, to which he replied that “at least I get discounted ticket prices.” I waved my friend forward with a friendly, “ladies and elderly men first.” After he had got his senior discount I asked for four tickets, at which point my friend added “he is a senior too, he should get a club card.” The man serving looked at me for a few seconds whilst I smiled. I was waiting for the “yeah right, if he is a pensioner I am Oliver Twist” line from his mouth but instead he silently walked away and produced a Senior Club Card application form. Was he having a laugh? But then the sentence that my friend had said a fee moments before replayed through my mind...”I get a discount.” If this man serving was willing to give me a senior card then who was I to decline it.

To be honest he could have offered me a junior card, a pregnant card or even a new born baby card and I would have taken it.

“Just fill out your details here,” he said and peeled away my shining new senior card. Everything seemed quite straightforward until I came to the date of birth section, I can lie or I can write messily so that he could confuse a 6 with a 9 or a 9 with a 6...I wrote like a doctor on LSD! “Thank you Sir and here is your card,” he announced, thankfully to an empty cinema reception. “You will get discount on two tickets today and every Monday there is a special matinee showing of a film for your age group,” he continued. Well I was watching a film now at five o’clock in the afternoon so his suggestion seemed reasonable.

He then handed me a small brochure and that’s when I almost lost my control. The brochure was incontinence nappies from a company called Simbex! And then I looked down at my senior card and saw the immortal words “powered by Simbex.”

Needless to say the brochure I was holding in my hands was advertising nappies for adults! The opening line in the booklet read “We were the first to address the taboo issues in the field of incontinence, problems people so reluctantly talk about.” I looked down at the card, then the brochure and then at the stone face on the man serving me. Was I too embarrassed? Should I have owned up and given the card back? Did I need nappies? No, no and no! If you want to give me a discount I will take it.

I shyly moved away from the counter, thinking off reaching for my glasses to add to the overall picture and went out to be greeted by my parents, our friends and my mother-in-law. Needless to say my friend had already informed the rest of the group of my deception. „We can ask them to stop the film if you need to change your nappy,“ chorused the group. Followed by “we can sit near the front if you can’t see.” I didn’t care, I am in the Senior Club, at least until someone from Cinestar reads this!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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