Saturday, 08 August 2020
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.


It’s that time of the year again – to sit in the boat and come to the beautiful island of Lokrum. This magical island is a perfect place to relax, walk, take photos and if you are brave enough since it’s May – to jump into the sea.

Today it was perfect day to enjoy the beauty of nature. Peacocks and rabbits were parading all over the island (ok, some more than the others) and teachers decided that it’s time to take their pupils to enjoy the wonders of Lokrum.

It was all captured by Zeljko Tutnjevic. Take a look at our photo gallery!

On the initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), every year the 17th of May is dedicated to the World Hypertension Day (WHD) in order to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens worldwide to prevent and control this ''silent killer''.

According to the latest data, around 37 percent of the population in Croatia has elevated blood pressure, i.e. every third adult has arterial blood pressure higher than 140/90. Experts are most worried about the growing frequency of hypertension when it comes to children and adolescents.

Hypertension is considered the number one killer disease in the world today, whilst cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in almost all countries worldwide. In Croatia, cardiovascular diseases caused death of almost 26,000 people in 2015.

The data also show that 60 percent of Croatian citizens with hypertension are being treated with medicines, i.e. they receive recommendations and medical prescriptions for high-pressure drugs. However, ''the pressure control is achieved only in 20 percent of patients'', commented Bojan Jelakovic, the president of the Croatian Society for Hypertension.

The causes of hypertension are obesity, a lack of body activity, an excessive salt intake, alcohol, smoking, as well as diabetes and kidney damage.

With a top speed at 45 knots a new high speed boat service from Dubrovnik to Split will be introduced this year. Starting on the 12th of June and running until the 19th of September the new ship “Krilo Eclipse” will be operated every day leaving Split at 7:30 in the morning and arriving in Dubrovnik at midday. The Eclipse will then leave Dubrovnik at 4.00pm and arrive back in Split at 8.30pm.

This new fast catamaran, which was built in 2002, was outfitted in Abu Dhabi and equipped for the Adriatic Sea. From Split the Krilo Eclipse will also stop at Bol – Makarska – Korcula and Sobra on Mljet on its way to Dubrovnik.

With a capacity for 450 passengers and 54 metres long the catamaran can reach top speeds of 45 knots and will bring these two cities much closer.

The internet edition of the American New York Times has published an article about the Top 10 favourite places on European rivers, lakes and coastlines.

Croatia's National Park Plitvice Lakes has also found its place on this prestigious list.
''For many Croats, however, the park’s importance is more than just physical. Near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plitvice is a symbolic and strategic fulcrum at the crux of the country’s boomerang shape, with one arm thrust east to the Pannonian Plain and the other south along the Adriatic’’, described New York Times in its article.

The New York Times journalist Alex Crevar also praised natural beauty of the Plitvice Lakes, ''I have worked as a travel writer in the Western Balkans for two decades, and for me, there are few places in the region that can compete with the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia''.

Crevar also recommended places to visit while in the National Park, ''You have to visit the Great Waterfall, the largest waterfall, and then take the stone stairs to the viewpoint overlooking the Lower lakes''.

Apart from the Plitvice Lakes on the New York Times list, there are also Brighton Pier (UK), Utrecht (the Netherlands), Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (Paris), the Elbe river (Hamburg), fjords off Bergen (Norway), the Vltava river (Prague), the Eftalou hot springs and the Golden beach on Lesbos (Greece), and Cinque Terre (Italy).

One of the world's oldest air carriers and a member of the Star Alliance, LOT Polish Airlines has launched its summer flights between the Polish capital of Warsaw and Pula.

According to the LOT's summer schedule, seasonal flights between the two cities will be operated twice a week until the 8th of October 2017.

In addition, Adrian Kubicki, the spokesperson from LOT commented, ''Croatia is one of the most attractive countries on the Mediterranean but has not been fully discovered yet. Thanks to our summer flights from Warsaw as our hub airport to the Croatian coast, we will contribute to promoting Croatia as a perfect holiday destination, not just in Poland but in other countries as well’’.

Apart from LOT Polish Airlines, a number of world air carriers will operate seasonal flights to Pula this summer such as British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Eurowings, Transavia, Red Wings Airlines, Jet2, and Thomson Airways.

Using a fleet of 43 aircraft, LOT Polish Airlines operates a complex network to almost 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia. Most of the destinations are served from its hub, Warsaw Chopin Airport.

One of the most popular attractions in Dubrovnik, the Rector's Palace, will be closed until June 7th. The second phase of reconstruction was scheduled to be completed by the 31st of May this year, but had to be prolonged due to request of the Institute for Reconstruction of Dubrovnik for the extension of the works on the atrium of the Palace.

On Wednesday, June 7th, the Cultural and Historical Museum will work normally – from 9 am to 6 pm.

It will surely be great to get a chance to visit Rector’s Palace again, since it is closed from December 2016.

On the occasion of marking the Day of Nature Protection and the International Day of Biodiversity, the cleaning of the Saplunara beach and the area of the Natura 2000 ecological network on the island of Mljet was organized.

The pupils of the Lapad and Mljet primary schools, together with their teachers Ivan Cikatic and Katarina Lackovic Poruglas, were welcomed by the representatives of the Public Institution, the Director Ivica Grilec, the expert associate Margarita Polzer and the Director of the Municipal Mljet d.o.o. and Voda Mljet d.o.o. Ivan Srsen. They explained to the pupils the work of their institutions, as well as the harmfulness of marine waste for the ecosystem and the importance of preserving natural values, such as the Saplunara protected area.

During the cleaning of Saplunara as well as Blace Bay, dozens of waste bags, mostly plastic and styrofoam, were collected.

Saplunara has recently been listed as one of the best secret beaches in Europe by The Times.
- A wonderfully unspoilt beach, Saplunara is a kilometre- long cove split into two pine-backed sweeps of sand – the only non-pebble beaches on Mljet. Edged by a swathe of botanically rich natural park, Saplunara’s location on the southeastern tip of the island means it remains peaceful for most of the season. It is quite a drive from most of the places to stay in Mljet, but roads are quiet and the scenery is beautiful – it was written in the article.

The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will have a concert tonight, Tuesday, May 16, at the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik. The orchestra will be conducted by maestro Christoph Campestrini and the soloist will be Toni Kursar, the first horn of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The start of the concert is at 9 pm.  

Program includes Mendelssohn's Hebrides (Fingal's Cave), Symphony no. 88 in G major, while soloist Toni Kursar will perform the Concert for Horn and Orchestra by Dubrovnik composer Petar Obradovic. This work has been dubbed two years ago in the Dominican church, and tomorrow we have the chance to hear it again in a completely different setting of the Museum of Modern Art, where Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will have its concerts throughout May.

Hornist Toni Kursar was awarded the first prizes at national competitions during his schooling and in 2004 received the Rector's Award from the University of Zagreb and the Ivo Vuljevic Croatian Music Youth Award. He was a part of the international youth orchestra YMISO, the Young Danube Philharmonic, the Junge Philharmonie Salzburg, the Mostar Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian Chamber Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of Liechtenstein. In 2006 he enrolled in postgraduate studies in the class of  Radovan Vlatkovic at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst "Mozarteum" in Salzburg and in 2008. got his Masters degree. Since 2009 he has been employed as the first hornist of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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