Tuesday, 22 January 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Direct flights between the Croatian capital and the capital of neighbouring Montenegro could well be reintroduced in 2019. The CEO of Croatia’s national airline, Croatia Airlines, Jasmin Bajić, met with the CEO of Airport of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić, recently and the introduction of flights from Zagreb to Podgorica was on the table.

Croatia Airlines stopped flying to Podgorica in February 2012, having operated three flights a week, but now after a six-year break they could be reintroduced in 2019. Podgorica Airport is experiencing a bumper few years with interest from international airlines at an all-time high. Croatia Airlines is no doubt looking to cash in on this upturn of interest and connect Croatia and Montenegro again.

It has generally been a year to forget for the Zagreb Stock Exchange “Crobex” although there have been a few signs of growth in independent markets. Last week the indexes rose slightly by 1 percent however that only alleviated the losses over 2018 which reached 5 percent.

Despite last week's growth, throughout the last year, Crobex indexes lost more than 5 percent. This is for the second consecutive year that Crobex has recorded losses, since in 2017 it fell by more than 7 percent.

Among the sectoral indexes, the biggest fall 2018, by almost 40 per cent, was seen in Crobextransport, followed by Crobexindustry with a loss of around 23 percent. The Crobex construct weakened by 2.6 percent and Crobexturism by 1.9 percent.

In fact the only sector to increase in value was Crobexnutris which rose by 6.2 percent.

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for 2019 yet? Do you need a hand making that list and will you pick a top ten, top three or just one? And what are the chances of you keeping that promise to lose weight, give up smoking or spend less time in the office by the time 2019 comes to an end.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. That means over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail! But if you are glass half full kind of person that also means that 50 percent succeed.

It would appear from the research, and common sense really, that setting your resolution at a more achievable level will give you more chance of, well, achieving it. It’s all about will power, but if you’ve been overeating for years then to stop overnight to keep a promise to a New Year resolution takes bucket loads of will power.

We bring you the top ten most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019 just to give you some ideas for your own.

1 – Lose weight. Not to look trim and snappy for the beach but for your health

2 – Quit smoking. If you have to move to those steam engine style vapours

3 – Read more. No not just the headlines but a book, yes remember those

4 – Drop the Smartphone. Not literally but look up there is a whole world out there

5 – Listen. You have two ears and one mouth so use them in that order.

6 – Go for a walk twice a day. 30 mins in the morning and again in the afternoon

7 – Be punctual. Better to be an hour early than 5 minutes late. It is a question of respect

8 – Travel. The best education is travel. Destination not important

9 – Eat fruit. Five a day at a minimum

10 – Work hard, play harder. Go flat out at work and make your own luck

Whatever you choose to do, or not to do, try your best to make 2019 a year to remember!

The team from the popular cult BBC TV show, Top Gear, have published their list of the top 15 fastest and most powerful cars for 2018 and it is topped by a Croatian stallion.

“If the driver remains conscious, the Rimac will cover off 0-100mph in 4.3 seconds,” writes Top Gear on the Croatian electric speedster, the Rimac C_Two. This home-grown mega car, with a top speed of 259mph, is produced just outside of Zagreb and is one of the rare entrepreneurial highlights in the country. And Top Gear just love this electric racer, “Rimac claims the C_Two’s four electric motors develop a combined 1,914hp and 1,696lb ft – or 2,300Nm in new money. The front wheels individually use a single-speed gearbox each, while the use of twin two-speed gearboxes at the rear makes for a truly terrifying top speed. Rimac is claiming v-max at 258mph.”

rimac c top gear

The Rimac beat off such worthy competition as the McLaren Speedtail, the Bugatti Divo and the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. So if its speed and sharp looks you’re after don’t lag behind with a McLaren or a Ferrari, go all electric with a Rimac.

15. McLaren 600LT

14. Mercedes-AMG GT 4dr

13. Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye

12. BMW M5 Competition

11. Ferrari 488 Pista

10. Porsche 919 evo

9. Nissan GT-R 50 Italdesign

8. Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

7. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

6. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

5. Ferrari Monza

4. McLaren Speedtail

3. Zenvo TSR-S

2. Bugatti Divo

1. Rimac C_Two

The Gipsy Kings filled the Stradun last night in a spectacular concert. The Old City rocked to the sounds of flamenco, salsa and pop as the band belted out such classics as “Bamboleo” and “Djobi, Djoba.”

“It was great to see so many people pack the Stradun for these guys, they were absolutely brilliant and had me singing all night long,” commented a member of the audience to The Dubrovnik Times.

In spite of the biting cold northerly wind the public turned up in huge numbers to see The Gipsy Kings and danced the night away.

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crowd watching gipsy kings in dubrovnik 2018

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guitar of gipsy kings dubrovnik 2018

What an end to 2018 the weather is giving Dubrovnik. Whilst most of the rest of Europe is under a blanket of snow or hiding under umbrellas locals and visitors in Dubrovnik are soaking up the December sunshine.

Highs hit 14 degrees in the shade today and endless blue skies meant that it was an absolutely ideal day to drink coffee al fresco or stroll along the Stradun in the historic Old City core.

The forecast for New Year’s Eve is for a few spots of rain and clouds but according to the latest forecast 2019 should start with relatively mild and fresh weather.


Check out the photo gallery of today in Dubrovnik

29.12.2018 dubrovnik

girls walking down the stradun in dubrovnik 2018

stroll on the stradun in winter december 2018

winter coffee in dubrovnik 2018

winter tourists around onofrios fountain dubrovnik

 

The Croatian police will be better armed to catch speeding drivers in 2019 as new cameras and laser devices are to be employed next year. 53 million Kuna will be spent over the next three years on new speed detection devices throughout Croatia as part of the National Road Safety Program.

The Ministry of the Interior signed a framework agreement for the purchase of speed measuring devices which will increase the number of such devices in the next three years by two and a half to three times, which should contribute to increasing the level of traffic safety on the roads, writes Poslovni Dnevnik.

Police currently have 26 fixed cameras throughout the country but that number will be drastically increased to 75 with the signing of this new contract. And as well as the fixed cameras the handheld devices will also be purchased, a total of an extra 150 laser speed measurers.

And for all those drivers who use their mobiles whilst behind the wheel these new laser devices will be able to recognise this traffic violation as well as whether drivers are using a seat belt.

And the whole system will be automated for 2019. As soon as a camera recognises a traffic violation it will send it, along with the cars registration number, to a central office where the fine will be sent to the offender. In the words of the Ministry this new system will speed up the penalization process.

In the first eleven months of 2018 there were over 30,000 traffic accidents in Croatia and to date 313 people have lost their lives on Croatian roads this year. The last hit weekend before Christmas in Croatia was about 3,700 traffic violations, and two people were killed. It is hoped that these new measures, as well as a general overhaul of the road safety throughout the country, will help to reduce these figures over the coming years.

Why do we have love affair with fireworks over the festive season? I don’t! And I am sure that I’m not alone either. Is there some tradition that I don’t know about of blowing things up at Christmas? Did they celebrate the birth of Christ by shooting fireworks over the stable? Or was there a fourth Wise Man who arrived after the three bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh carrying a big bag of bangers and a box of matches?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not against fireworks per say. If they are in a controlled environment then they can bring a certain colour to a festival, such as the opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. But in the wrong hands, which they so often are, they are killers. I am basically under siege in my own home.

Every day a multitude of fireworks and bangers echo around Župa, its like living on the Gaza Strip. And with every bang and blast my pets look at me as if to say “is that the end of the world?” Yes, we celebrate the holiest of times by killing animals. Countless pets die every year due to mainly heart attacks from the sounds of fireworks. That’s how we celebrate a Christian holiday by killing animals, doesn’t sound very Christian or very humane to me.

I don’t blame the children, well not so much, for any child would be attracted to a colourful explosion. I blame the parents who are acting like children! Why the hell would you buy fireworks for your children? I really can’t understand the brain that would think – “here’s a box of 30 bangers and a lighter go and have fun.” You are giving your children explosives you morons! You might as well give them a super sharp knife and say “just be careful” or a loaded pistol and say “just don’t point it at anyone” or for that matter half a kilo of cocaine and say “just don’t get addicted.”

According to statistics the vast majority of injuries are to the eyes, head or hands – so children will have visible scars for life. And it’s your fault! You bought them. For a second of laughter your child could have their life changed. Estimates suggest that this festive season around 50 tons of pyrotechnics will be lit in Zagreb alone. Just do a rough calculation on exactly how much money is being spent on these few seconds of noise. Incredibly you only have to be over 14 to use fireworks in Croatia. That is surely a law that needs changing.

In 2017 five people actually died at Christmas and New Year in Europe due to firework related injuries and the number of casualties is in the thousands, with the majority being children, in fact boys. Well I guess if you want to give your son a Christmas present that he will remember for the rest of his life then buy him a huge box of bangers. He’ll remember the visit to the emergency room and that ugly scar across his face until the day he dies.

In our home we have what we call the “moron scale.” Basically it works on a decibel scale. The bigger the bang we hear in the neighbourhood then bigger the moron. And even though we close all the windows and doors, shut the curtains and pump up the music on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve there are always winners on the moron scale who manage to frighten the living daylights out of our pets. We try to calm them down by saying “don’t worry that was just the biggest moron this Christmas.”

Plastic surgeons have got together in the UK to lobby the government to show graphic pictures of injuries that occur to the fireworks. A little like the morbid pictures on cigarette boxes today. One leading plastic surgeon commented that “Although packaged in a jovial, toy-like fashion, people forget that when using fireworks they are handling explosives which can cause extremely serious injuries.” Yes, explosives. Explosives that mindless parents are handing over to children to have a little fun. These very parents would certainly top our moron scale!           

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

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