Saturday, 23 February 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.


Knowing your target audience and catering directly for their needs is one of the keys of organising any event. If you are able to create an atmosphere to the requirements and expectations of the public, then your event will go swimmingly. If, on the other hand, you fail to hit the right spot and miss what your audience are expecting, then you are in for a disaster. One such disaster happened a few weeks ago.

A classic example of bad organisation and not thinking ahead. Basically you wouldn’t organise a children’s party and invite a stripper to perform. It’s all in the planning. "Failing to plan is planning to fail," I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said that. My old boss back in London had another term, he called it the five P’s – proper planning prevents poor performance.

So my wife, mother-in-law and a few lady friends had decided to go on a night out to watch the concert by the “Četiri tenora” in Dubrovnik. The concert was held in the Revelin Fortress, or as anyone under 25 calls it, Culture Club. I always thought it was strange that the club was named after a gay band from the 1980’s, and yes I am often asked if it is a gay club. So music being performed in a night club, nothing ground-breaking there, what could go wrong. Well pretty much everything.

What would the demographic be for a classical concert featuring four tenors? I hate to generalise but it isn’t really going to be the same crowd you’d get for a normal night of techno music at the club. Surely any fool would realise that. Apparently not.

My group of four ladies made their way into the club and were surprised to be stopped at the door by some kind of quasi security and asked to open their bags. “I’m not flying anyway,” joked my mother-in-law. But open their bags they did. “You can’t take that in here,” said the guard pointing at a bottle of water in her bag. Rather shocked and not wishing to ruin the mood of the night my wife handed in her “smuggled” bottle of water. Imagine all the other ladies, for the concert was mostly full of ladies, who were forced to hand over water. And imagine going to a concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra or a performance in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and not being allowed to take water in with you. Of course I realise that the club was trying to make some extra money from selling drinks but a classical concert probably was not the right occasion.

So already slightly annoyed, and they weren’t the only ones, my group continued into the nightclub. And to their horror it was exactly like a nightclub. Instead of setting up the interior for a classical concert it was set up, well as a nightclub. “Maybe they will have forgot to put out the chairs,” said my mother-in-law. They hadn’t. They just hadn’t planned ahead. So as the other slightly older audience flowed into the fortress they were just as shocked as my group. “I can’t believe it, how can we stand for the whole concert,” commented one elderly lady who had probably just had her water pulled from her bag as well. Any places to rest legs and sit somehow where soon taken and the four tenors were probably just as surprised as the audience when they walked out onto the stage.

Now just to get some more context, this concert was organised as part of the St. Blaise festivities, actually on his special day, and started at 8.00pm. So you’d hardly expect young ravers at this concert. Anyone with half a brain could predict that the demographic of the audience would be locals and slightly older. So why hadn’t they put any chairs out, would you stand to watch the ballet? Not only had the organisers failed to respect the older guests but they had failed to respect local citizens. If only St. Blaise were watching, he would have been just as shocked!

Of course for the next week or so all I heard, not just from my wife, was how great the singers were but who terrible the venue was. On the one day of the year when the city is supposed to come together and unite and celebrate this nightclub had shown they couldn’t care less about the local citizens. The Mayor’s project of “Respect the City” clearly hasn’t filtered through the heavy stone walls of Revelin yet.

A police dog has successfully sniffed out an incredible haul of marijuana at a border crossing between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina near Metkovic.

Yesterday afternoon the border police stopped a VW Sharan with Montenegro number plates at the international border near Metkovic. The police had suspicions due to the unusual behaviour of the two people in the car, two men aged 33 and 50. The car was also pulling a trailer. The police therefore called the sniffer dog “Molly” and she successfully discovered a massive 60 kilos of top grade marijuana.

The two men, both Montenegrin citizens, were arrested and taken to the Dubrovnik Police Station. An incredible 118 packets of marijuana were densely packed in the car and weighed more than 60 kilos.

The latest Croatian city to be featured in the “Cities in 4K” series of videos is Šibenik on the Adriatic coast.

“A small gem in Croatia, the beautiful city Šibenik, was also on the travel list of Cities in 4K. This beautiful city is located in Dalmatia and known as a getaway to the Kornati islands. It is located at the Adriatic Coast,” state the creators of the new video.

Using drones, time-lapse footage and stunning special effects the video really captures the spirit of Šibenik.
Check out the video below

Plane tickets bought – check. Hotel booked – check. Passport ready – check. You’re ready for a holiday in Dubrovnik in the Adriatic sunshine.

But what are the unmissable attractions. Although we could probably list over a few dozen sights to see we have whittled it down (at least for this first list) to the top six.

From the iconic Dubrovnik City Walls to the golden Banje Beach and of course the tranquil island of Lokrum. Our top 6 unmissable attractions in Dubrovnik will help point you in the right direction.

Looking for a delicious hamburger and not sure where the best burgers in Croatia are. Well according to the popular website the best burgers in Croatia are in the capital Zagreb in the Submarine Burger.

“With travellers starting to think about shaking off the winter cold and hitting up Europe for their holidays over the coming months, Big 7 Travel has put together the list of the ultimate burgers so that you’re never stuck for a cheat meal fix again,” stated the website and out of the top fifty burgers in Europe the Croatian Submarine Burger came in at a respectable 26th position.

The top fifty burgers in Europe list was compiled using an online voting system through the website’s social media channels, of which they have 1.5 million subscribers, as well as online reviews and media coverage and travel blogs.

“They focus on super quality organic ingredients here, which you can taste in the end product. There’s a huge variety in the toppings and meats you can order, meaning you might never have the same burger twice,” wrote the website about Zagreb’s leading burger restaurant.

See the full list here


The renowned Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra has been featured in the popular BBC magazine “Music.” In the October edition of this monthly the Dubrovnik orchestra were highlighted with the program for 2019 and a season guide.

BBC Music Magazine is a monthly magazine. The first issue appeared in June 1992. BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC was the original owner and publisher together with the Warner Music Enterprises during its initial phase. The magazine reflects the broadcast output of BBC Radio 3being devoted primarily to classical music, though with sections on jazz and world music. Each edition comes together with an audio CD, often including BBCrecordings of full-length works. The magazine's circulation is 37,530.

Certainly great publicity for the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.

Position – Personal Assistant

Location – Zagreb

Time period – 25th February to 27th February 2019

Description - I am a British businessman doing business across the region on this occasion in Zagreb. I would appreciate the assistance of a business assistant for a forthcoming trip to Zagreb from Monday 25th Feb until 27th Feb. Requirements are female, 25 -45, good English language skills, good IT and keyboard skills, full driving licence or good knowledge of public transport system, presentable appearance (smartly dressed).

Duties – assisting in getting around the city between British Embassy and various government agencies and buildings. Note taking at meetings, typing reports, solving IT hitches. A knowledge of MUP and MOD an advantage.

Payment - Around 5 hours per day 15 Euro per hour plus lunch

How to apply - Please apply by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More details - You will find details of my company here

Croatia, along with Hungary, is among the ten countries with the highest cancer mortality rate in the European Union, states a project by the Washington University.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on policy challenges and strategies against women’s cancers and related comorbidities, calling for stronger engagement in the fight against women's illnesses and for developing an EU-level strategy for equal access to health services for all women. "One in three Europeans develop some form of cancer during their life. About 600,000 women die each year as a result of cancer and 90,000 women die of breast cancer," said Italian MEP Daniela Aiuto.

She added that as many as 80 percent of women could survive breast cancer if it was diagnosed on time.

The resolution that the Parliament adopted recommends that a strategy is based on "collecting accurate and comprehensive cancer incidence/survival data disaggregated by sex in order to ensure that specific actions are targeted at cancer patients, while undertaking research, initiating preventive action against particular types of cancer, and providing access to accurate information, screening, diagnosis, monitoring, treatment and post-therapy support in order to guarantee medical healthcare."

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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