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 most successful franchise from Croatia, that was launched in 2009 by Andrija Colak and Denis Polic from Rijeka, is now set to expand its business into Dubai, China, Russia, the United States etc.
In last seven years Surf'n'Fries has opened franchises in Germany, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Norway, Vietnam and Iran. This Croatian franchise is now ready to conquer some of the biggest world markets.
According to the words of Polic, the first Surf'n'Fries outlet in Moscow is to be opened by the end of this summer but they are planning to open more than just one outlet. Their master franchisor has big expectations and announces at least 100 Surf'n'Fries outlets in Russia. Jekaterina Sojak, the director of the Russian Franchise Association, confirmed this agreement by saying that the fast food market is one of the rare sectors in the Russian business that rises despite the economy crisis.
This year Colak and Polic have expanded their business into markets in Ireland, Germany and Iran and signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates. The first Surf'n'Fries outlet is to be opened in September at the popular Kite-beach in Dubai. In Ireland there is a Surf'n'Fries mobile trailer which travels around to various events. In Stuttgart, Germany there are five Surf'n'Fries outlets and they are planning to open the first Shop-In-Shop model at a gas station by the end of the summer. Next month a Surf'n'Fries franchise will be opened in Vienna with two new outlets.
Surf’n’Fries specialises in a range of various fries, from classic to crinkle wedges and chocolate coated fries, as well as nuggets, chicken wings and hot dogs. They are famous for their new oil free technology, which they claim solves the problem of notorious unhealthy fast food items by only using air to make fries, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and other Surf’n’Fries specialty products.
Polic and Colak are currently negotiating with partners in USA and China and actively work on the development of new products and technologies.
Among 300 franchises from 38 countries Colak and Polic won an award in America for the most promising young franchise business in 2015.
The forest fire on the island Olipa is still not under control. Even though three fire planes have been dropping their payloads of water on the fires and crews of firefighters have been onto the uninhabited island to try to extinguish the blazes the island continues to burn.
Huge columns of smoke can be seen from miles around as the dense and extremely dry vegetation continues to burn. The cause of the fire is still unknown, and as this Elaphite Island is completely uninhabited it remains a mystery. There is only one building on the island, an unmanned lighthouse.
The terrain is proving a major problem for firefighters, with steep rocky hills and thick pine forests. A fourth plane has been called to help fight the fires and over 17 hectares of forest are believed to be destroyed. The fire is so intense that the smell of burning can be detected in Dubrovnik.
Watch this dramatic video taken by the Dubrovnik Fire Brigade
According to the first data from the eVisitor system, in the period from the 1st of July till the 20th of July, Croatia achieved 2.4 million arrivals or 15.2 million overnight stays, reported the Croatian Tourist Board.
The most numerous tourists were from Germany followed by tourists from Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. Croatian destinations with most overnight stays in the same period of July are Rovinj, Porec, Medulin, Dubrovnik, Umag, Mali Losinj and Crikvenica.
As far as the Croatian counties are concerned, the Istria county achieved the most overnight stays (4.15 million) where Germans, Slovenians and Austrians accounted for the largest percentage in the structure of overnights. In the same period the Primorje-Gorje county realized 3.08 million overnights with the same nationality structure of tourists. The Split-Dalmatia county achieved 2.84 million overnight stays with the largest number being Czechs, Polish and Slovakians. The Zadar county and the Sibenik-Knin county achieved 2.10 million overnight stays, the most numerous guests were from Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Poland.
''The latest results achieved in July indicate that our expectations and our announcements at the beginning of this season were accurate. We are very satisfied with a regularity of the tourist traffic in July and each day brings even more overnight stays in Croatia. On Monday, on the 18th of July, for the first time this year, we achieved more than 900,000 overnights in one day. We expect this figure to rise in days ahead of us and reach 1,000,000 overnights per day'', said Ratomir Ivcic, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board.
The eVisitor system enables detail insights in the various indicators of the tourist traffic such as a number of tourists by gender and age. According to this data the most numerous tourists by age were guests aged 35 to 54 followed by a young population aged 15 to 34 and children up to 14 years of age. On the other hand, data by gender show that equal number of arrivals of male and female tourists was achieved in July.
Andrew Dalgleish became the eighth Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Croatia on Tuesday the 12th of July when he handed over his credentials to President of the Republic of Croatian Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Ambassador Dalgleish was previously the Deputy Ambassador and Director of UKTI's (Office of Trade and Investment) at the British Embassy in Seoul, South Korea from 2011 to 2015.
And now the new Ambassador has taken to social media to deliver a message on the relations between the UK and Croatia. “It is an honour that in the next four years I will represent the British Government in this beautiful and interesting country,” states Ambassador Dalgleish in fluent Croatian at the beginning of the short video, before moving onto English. Adding that over the past few months he has not only been studying the language but also the history and culture of Croatia.
Dalgleish has held a number of posts, including in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 where he served as the head of strategy for the European Union. “This is my first job as an Ambassador, for me this means looking to the future, what can we achieve together what are the opportunities ahead?” said Dalgleish.
Ambassador Dalgleish succeeds Mr David Slinn, who has retired from the Diplomatic Service.
The famous Mexican conductor and pianist Enrique Bátiz will have a piano recital in front of the Franciscan monastery in Pridvorje in the Konavle region, on Saturday, 23 July beginning at 21:30. Discovering forgotten places outside the historical centre of Dubrovnik and around the county represents a novelty of this year’s program. No doubt that Maestro Bátiz will make summer eve in Pridvorje beautiful and special with the sonatas of Beethoven i Chopin. A bus transfer is organized and included in the entrance ticket price.
Enrique Bátiz was born in Mexico City and after a brilliant career as a pianist he devoted himself to conducting and became one of the most famous conductors of Latin America. He has conducted more than 500 orchestras around the world and has recorded for the BBC in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Artist appreciated for his vehemence and his enthusiasm, he expresses a deep and special musical understanding even among the most recognized conductors. For some years now Bátiz has returned to his first love, the piano, with the enthusiasm and the musical experience with the ability to recreate the colourfulness of the orchestral sound palette. For the festival audience he will perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathetique, Frédéric Chopin's Sonata No. 2, Op. 35 and also Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53 – Heroic and Robert Schumann's Novelette No. 1 in F major, Op. 21.
A bus transfer is organized and included in the entrance ticket price. A bus leaves at 20:15 from the main bus station and stops at the Grawe building bus station (20:20), Cable car station (20:25), Mlini (20:35), Zvekovica (20:40) and Čilipi (20:45). Entrance tickets are available at box offices in the Festival Palace (Od Sigurate 1) and Luža Bell Tower and at the venue, one hour prior to the performance.
Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, is currently on holiday in Dubrovnik. This mega popular UK nutritionist and personal trainer has been working out in Dubrovnik and posted a video on his social media channels this morning. “Just bossed this 20 minute workout in the sun,” commented Wicks and he can be seen working out with the Croatian Adriatic in the background.
The Body Coach has over 90,000 clients, a television series and his first book “Lean in 15,” sold more than a million copies. His second book is due out this month and once again is expected to top the best-seller charts.
Good to see The Body Coach recognising the power of the Dubrovnik sunshine as a tool in his workouts.
Ivica Kostelic has invited his ski colleagues to the island of Mljet for a break in the Croatian sunshine. The Croatian ski champion has posted an interesting video of his first day with his friends on Mljet as they frolic in the Adriatic Sea.
Former Italian skier Cristian Deville, Canadian skier Jeffrey Frisch and American downhill ace Warner Nickerson are among the group of Ivica’s friends enjoying the delights of Mljet.
Ivica has promised to add more videos and photos as the summer break with his ski-buddies continues.
Check out the video.