Monday, 06 April 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.


Tripadvisor has recently published a list of cities in Europe that you never heard of (and need to visit now) and Split is the part of this list! 

- You know all about Paris and London, Berlin and Prague. But throughout Europe there are a host of smaller cities where food, culture and historic sites reign supreme, but crowds don’t – it's written in the article.

While the title of the city ''you never heard of'' sounds a bit harsh, it has a positive turn and it's a great promotion for this beautiful city.

- Sprawling from the ruins of a Roman palace on the sea, Split is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site overflowing with restaurants, wine bars and ancient sites. The largest city on the Adriatic, Split has been ruled by everyone from the Venetians to the French –this is how Tripadvisor describes Split, continuing with tips what to do during your visit, like a walking tour of Diocletian's Palace or hiking trough Marjan Hill.

The other cities on the list are: Mostar, Annecy, Riga and Riomaggiore.

According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics from the beginning of 2016 till the end of October 769 cruises of foreign ships were recorded in the Republic of Croatia or 7 percent more than in the same period last year. Only in this October 113 cruises were recorded which was an increase of 12 percent compared to October 2015.

In the period from January to the end of October more than one million passengers arrived in Croatia or 3.7 percent more than in the same period last year. The total number of sojourns in Croatia was 1,656 days or higher by 14 percent.

The majority of foreign vessels on cruises were under the flag of Bahamas (202) followed by 165 ships under the Italian flag and 149 cruise ships under the flag of Malta.
By the 12 percent rise of foreign ships cruises in this October, this month along with April, August and September brought the largest increase in travels in absolute terms.

In comparison to the same months last year this April recorded 13 travels more than the previous one, August recorded 12 travels more and September recorded 15 travels more than last year.

Trying to save money during the holiday season is like trying to hold water in your hands. It doesn't matter how tightly you cup them, water will always find a way to seep through until it's pretty much gone. I always have a tough time keeping my spending under control during the holidays.

In my house, December is one of the rare periods of the year when we get to relax a bit, spend some time with friends, and go out every once in a while. Obviously, this means spending money. Throw in a few days out of town followed by Christmas shopping and you can be sure our wallets quickly turn as barren as the vegan section of my grandmother's recipe book. Speaking of shopping, December is truly a trying time for me. Along with buying all the Christmas presents, there are other special occasions that fall on the last month of the year. Plenty of people dear to me have birthdays this time of the year including my wife and my (only) brother. As if this is not enough, just after New Year's is our wedding anniversary which means I need to think of three presents for my wife in a span of several weeks. I know this might not sound like a big problem to my female readers, but all the guys reading this are probably breathing out a sigh of relief thinking “It could have been me”.

Financial hit you sustain in preparation for the holidays is a problem enough, but in my book it pales in comparison to the dreaded task of going around supermarkets and stores during holiday rush. Supermarket aisles are packed with people pushing overloaded carts, children hopped up on sugar are racing around me, stuffy over-heated air is filled with cheesy festive music, free parking is a distant childhood memory, and traffic jams are endless. Oh, joy! After a few hours of this, I am usually reduced to a zombie, slowly shuffling along and nodding in agreement to whatever new and exciting home decorating idea my wife throws at me. It’s no wonder those who know me call me Grinch.

If you think I don’t enjoy holidays or spending time with loved ones after reading this, you are wrong. I love all the socialising and eating and drinking and having fun. In fact this is the only reason I go through all this nonsense. It’s just that it seems to me we have a talent for going absolutely overboard during holiday season. We don’t need all the hype and material things to enjoy Christmas time. When you see people at the shops these days, they look like they are preparing for an apocalypse. They are buying ridiculous amounts of food and supplies and… stuff. But, it’s not about stuff. It’s about reminding ourselves that life is more than what the news people tell us. It’s about taking a break from everyday worries, career goals, depressing bank statements, and poisonous politicians. It’s about feeling close to each other. At least that’s what I think, but then again, I’m just a Grinch, what do I know.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

An exhibition entitled “Orenburg, lace world heritage” will open tomorrow, Saturday the 17th of December in the Pulitika Atelier in Dubrovnik. The exhibition is a joint project between the Art Gallery Dubrovnik and the Art Museum of Orenburg, Russia.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the unique opportunity to experience this fascinating part of Russia’s cultural history, the lace delights of Orenburg. At the opening of the exhibition, which I on Saturday at midday, the Croatian – Russian society “Art without Borders” will perform Russian music.

The exhibition will remain open until Sunday the 29th of January 2017.

russian lace dubrovnik

A few days ago Croatia's air traffic management – Croatia Control (HKZP) reported that on the 8th of December the HKZP together with the regional air traffic services Serbia-Montenegro's SMATSA and Bosnia and Herzegovina's BHANSA introduced the concept of the Free Route Airspace (FRA).

In 2008 the European Organization for the safety of air navigation Eurocontrol initiated the coordinated development and implementation of the Free Route Airspace (FRA) which facilitate 24-hour free planning and flights in the airspace regardless of countries’ borders and the area under their responsibility.

As the three regional countries are concerned, the 24-hour concept of the FRA means free planning and flights across borders in the southeast axis (South-East Axis Free Route Airspace – SEAFRA) at altitudes of above 9,900 metres.

"This is the first time that the Free Route Airspace (FRA) has been introduced in Europe over an area of four countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, which only indicates that cooperation is possible and beneficial for all interested parties. The project was designed mostly by air traffic workers from these three control units in order to upgrade the security and efficiency of their services as well as to lower the fuel consumption and reduce green-house gas emissions’’, a press release said.

In addition, the press release emphasized that the SEAFRA concept was initiated in compliance with the European guidelines and its introduction occurred five years ahead of the 1st of January 2022 i.e. the planned date for introducing the Single European Sky facilitating Free Route Airspace over all of Europe at altitudes of above 9,000 metres.

Winter has come to Dubrovnik! The most popular series of all time is filming in Dubrovnik again - Game of Thrones – and there were a few surprises on the streets of Dubrovnik today.

Filming started yesterday and three of the main stars were in the city, Lena Headey, or Cersei Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, or Jamie Lannister, and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, better known as Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane.

Today the filming continued in the historic Old City with a set built in front of the Dominican Monastery and a snow machine was used to bring winter to Dubrovnik, or King’s Landing. The snow machine brought a cooler feel as the seventh season of Game of Thrones is nicknamed “Winter is Here.”

Filming in Dubrovnik finishes tomorrow, but it is rumoured that the main stars have left the city, so it could be another day of snow machine filming.

game of thrones winter 2

game of thrones winter 3

winter is coming dubrovnik filming

snow machine winter game of thrones

securitz game of thrones

The largest ever film production in Croatian history ''Robin Hood:Origins'', which will be filmed in Dubrovnik and is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio is the centre of attention of the movie world. As the set grows bigger and bigger in Dubrovnik, news just keep coming. 

It seems that Ben Mendelsohn will be the Sheriff of Nottingham! According to Variety, this Emmy award winning actor and villain from Rouge One: A Star Wars Story is negotiations for this role. If all goes well, he will be a part of the famous cast: Taron Egerton, who will play Robin Hood, Jamie Foxx as Little John, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian and ladies favourite – Jamie Dornan, famous as Mr. Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey, as Will Scarlett, Robin Hood's half-brother.

And this Robin Hood will not be a typical one, according to the main star Targon Egerton, who gave interview for Collider few days ago.

- It’s a real reimagining; it’s not really very recognizable as Robin Hood. Robin Hood has a reputation for being quite clean and wholesome, aside from Alan Rickman’s amazing performance in the Kevin Costner version, but it’s tights and thigh-slapping and merry men – explains Egerton, adding that this movie will be kind of dark and gritty and a very funny version of the story.

-There’s no singing and riding through the glen in this; it’s a real war movie. Quite an anti-establishment war movie, I would say. It’s dark. And Robin’s not perfect in it either, which is what I like about it. He’s not a classic hero, he makes mistakes – explains Egerton. Watch the interview here.

Nottingham is slowly, but surely coming to Dubrovnik and the set is taking its shape. So far the confirmed filming locations include a part of Stradun, City Port, the street of St. Dominic and the area under the bridge at Ploce. Shooting will take place during three weeks in February and March.

Even though some fans could not guess where the famous actor from the Game of Thrones TV series was, loyal citizens of Zagreb recognized their beloved city instantly on photos on the actor's Instagram profile and welcomed Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Zagreb.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also known as Jaime Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones was enjoying in the Christmas atmosphere in ''The Best Christmas Market'' in Europe. The actor made a collage of photos with Zagreb motives and posted them on his Instagram profile with the description: ''Quiz time. Where am I?''

Apart from soaking up the festive atmosphere, media suggested that Coster-Waldau was in the Croatian capital filming the new BBC series McMafia and that he would be visiting Dubrovnik for three-days filming of the seventh season of the mega popular series Games of Thrones.

And yesterday, true to his word, he arrived in Dubrovnik along with fellow Game of Thrones actors Lena Headey and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. The trio filmed in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik for the upcoming seventh season of the popular HBO serial.

jamie lannister game of thrones dubrovnik

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Dubrovnik - Photo Ivana Smilovic 

The Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who became widely known to a broad audience for his current role as Ser Jaime Lannister was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television for his role as Jaime Lannister, as well as for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and for the People Choice Awards Favourite TV Anti-Hero for his performance in the show’s third season.


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