Monday, 06 July 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.


Croatia can expect more than 20 billion Euros to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Nikolina Brnjac, commented in an interview with Sunday's Vecernji List.

State Secretary Brnjac empathised that the proposal of the European Commission's Recovery Package consists of two parts: a modified Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of EUR 1,100 billion and the Recovery Instrument (Next Generation EU) of EUR 750 billion, of which EUR 500 billion is a grant and 250 billion in soft loans. The recovery instrument will be financed with money that the EC will borrow from the financial markets based on the EU credit rating, and the repayment of these loans would begin in 2028 and last until 2058.

"According to preliminary calculations, Croatia can expect a little more than 20 billion euros from this package. However, the entire package must be accepted by all member states at the level of the European Council," Brnjac said.

She also confirmed that the government had collected extensive documentation on the damage caused by the earthquake in Zagreb and applied for financial support from the Solidarity Fund. The estimated value of the total direct damage is approximately 86 billion Kuna, or more than 11.5 billion euros, according to the World Bank methodology.

"We are convinced that it is necessary to use European funds for the reconstruction of Zagreb precisely because we can count on grants, not only from the Solidarity Fund, but also from other programs that will be available through the new MFF. Our goal is not to put children in debt, but responsibly address priorities through grants and soft loans,” she said.

She assessed that the pandemic in some way "kidnapped" half of Croatia's presidency of the EU Council, which is why many planned topics were overshadowed by the global crisis, but she believes that Croatia reacted excellently in completely unforeseen and unexpected conditions.


We are trying to keep your spirits up with some beautiful Dubrovnik photos from Instagram this week, even though it would seem that the worst of Covid-19 is behind Croatia, with the Dubrovnik – Neretva County not seeing a new case for well over a month, however many of our friends around the world are still struggling.

Check out our top five spirit lifting Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.



Air France has announced that they will fly from Paris to Dubrovnik at the beginning of July. Slowly but surely international flights are coming back to Dubrovnik as the tourist season splutters forward. Air France announced this week on its official website that it is re-launching international routes to numerous destinations in Europe and the world, including three in Croatia, reports Croatian Aviation.

Air France originally planned to introduce a second daily rotation between Zagreb and Paris (thus connecting the two cities as many as 14 times a week), but the plans were of course disrupted by a pandemic and this will not happen this year.

The company will gradually increase the number of weekly flights to destinations in Croatia.

The Paris-Zagreb line is being reintroduced, from July 1, 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays),

The Paris-Split line is reintroduced, from 13 July, 4 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays),

The Paris - Dubrovnik line is being reintroduced, from July 4, twice a week (Saturdays and Sundays). On the Paris-Dubrovnik route, another flight will be added per week, on Mondays, from 13 July.

Whilst this is great news for the Dubrovnik tourism industry it is only one small step in a long marathon to get tourism numbers back to the city.


Some famous faces from all over the world have visited Dubrovnik over the years, and the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum have published a few of them on their social media. From Queen Elizabeth II to Tito, the museum has released black and white photos taken at the time of official visits.

Interestingly when Queen Elizabeth II visited Yugoslavia in 1972, the same time as this photo was taken it was her first state visit to a communist country. Of course the country that she actually visited no longer exists.

“In the past, the Maritime Museum in Dubrovnik was visited by many prominent people such as kings of various European monarchies, world statesmen, naval officers, as well as many representatives of political, scientific and cultural life of the world,” commented the museum on their social media.

The Russian astronaut, Gherman Titov, visited Dubrovnik in 1962, just one year after he became only the second human to orbit the earth, after Yuri Gagarin. He was also the first person to sleep in space, the first person to film the earth from space with a movie camera and at 25 years-old he still holds the record as the youngest person ever to go to space. He died in Moscow in 2000 aged 65.

And in 1955 King Paul of Greece visited the museum. He was first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He died in 1964, aged 62, in Athens.

And singled out for this post visits from the President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito (1954), the Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi (1955), the Greek King Paul I (1955), the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov (1962), the British Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.

The museum adds that the historic photos are kept in the photo library of the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum.

Planning on visiting Dubrovnik in the near future? Well in those post-corona times you’ll not only pretty much have the beaches and restaurants to yourself you’ll also be able to grab some great bargains. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board have published an article highlighting all the special offers that are currently available in the city, from museums, restaurants, tours and even discounted entrance prices to the iconic Dubrovnik City Walls.

And here is the special offers currently available in Dubrovnik and the wider region published by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, enjoy!

The promotional action of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, "Beginning of Summer in Dubrovnik", includes discounts and benefits for visitors to Dubrovnik on numerous tourist services from a number of different categories, from sights, museums, galleries, accommodation providers and hospitality.

Find all benefits and discounts at

DUBROVNIK CITY WALLS – from the 20th of May until the 30th of June 2020

- Dubrovnik City Walls - 50 Kuna

- The walls of Ston - 30 Kuna

- Sokol tower in Konavle - 30 Kuna

LOKRUM RESERVE – from the 30th of May until the 30th of June 2020

- boat transport and tickets to the Lokrum Reserve - 100 Kuna

- children up to 15 year FREE

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES - FREE ENTRY – from the 15th of June until the 30th of June 2020

- Trsteno Arboretum

- Dubrovnik Museums (Cultural and Historical Museum in the Rector's Palace, Maritime Museum in the Fortress of St. John, Ethnographic Museum in the Rupe granary, exhibitions of the Archaeological Museum in the Revelin Fortress)

- Art Gallery Dubrovnik

- The Home of Marin Držić 

- The Natural History Museum

- Homeland War Museum

- Lazareti

DUBROVNIK CARD – special action from the 1st of June until the 15th of June and the 1st of July until the 15th of July

Weekly Dubrovnik card – buy one get one free


- tickets per person– 30 Kuna


- Tickets for adults – 30 Kuna

- Tickets for children 4-12 years-old – 10 Kuna

Dubrovnik Escape Room

Tickets per person – 50 Kuna

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HOTELS - June 15th to June 30th 2020

Hotel Bozica - Sudurad, island of Sipan

-special offer with breakfast and dinner included in the price

-special prices for the best rooms depending on availability: 70,00 EUR / person / night / HB

- reservation by e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hotel Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

Link to special offers:

- Special offers and discounts on request: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hotel Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

- Special packages on request: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Importanne Resort

Hotel The Pucic Palace

- Up to 40% discount on all types of accommodation units (hotel rooms)

- For reservations of 4 nights or more, one night free

- Free upgrade to higher category room subject to availability

- A la carte bar and restaurant of the hotel The Pucić Palace - reduced special prices with up to 50% discount

Hotel Stari Grad

- 15% discount on the standard booking option and 30% on the non-refundable booking option

Kalamota Beach House

- Discount on request with promo code: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RESTAURANTS - June 15th to June 30th 2020

Bota Oyster & Sushi Bar

20% discount on the a la carte menu

30% discount on the delivery menu

Tavern Veranda - Štikovica

- 10% discount on all dishes and Croatian wines

- Free transport by prior arrangement

Pub Dubrava - Babin kuk

- 15% discount for payment in cash

Chihuahua Restaurant

- 10% discount on the a la carte menu

Restaurant Forty-Four

- 20% discount on the final bill

Restaurant Kantenari - Sunset Beach Dubrovnik

- 20% discount on dinner reservations at Kantenari or Lounge restaurant

- 50% discount for deck chairs and cabanas

- 50% discount on all cocktails

Restaurant Lucin Kantun

- 20% discount

Restaurant Orsan

- 20% discount on the entire menu and drinks

A la carte bar and restaurant of the Hotel Pucić Palace - reduced promo prices with up to 50% discount

Restaurant Porat

- 15% discount on the entire a la carte offer

Restaurant Posat

- 20% discount

Restaurants Taj Mahal – Old City and Taj Mahal at Hotel Lero

- 20% discount on the main menu

- 10% discount on the seasonal menu

TRAVEL AGENCIES – June 15th to June 30th 2020

Ariva travel agency

30% discount on passenger transport and excursion organization

Buggy d.o.o.

20% discount on standard and premium buggy tours


Direct Booker

19% discount on all active online accommodation prices

Send the desired location, preferred dates and number of people to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Dominum Travel

Discounts of 20-30% on all stated accommodation prices, depending on the facility

Dubrovnik Coast Online - Mlini

15% discount on the following excursions:

1.Wine Tour Konavle

Discount price - 510 Kuna / 68 Euros

2. Gastronomy Tour Croatia

Discount price - 550 Kuna / 75 Euros

3. Bike & Food Bite

Discount price - 510 Kuna / 68 Euros

4. Konavle Tour

Discount price - 420 Kuna / 55 Euro

5. Ston

Note: This trip does not include a visit to the Vjetrenica cave.

Discount price - 400 Kuna / 50 Euros

6. Dubrovnik Panorama

Discount price - 320 Kuna / 40 Euros

Reservations: via the online booking form on the website stating the discount code JD20, reservations must be made at least 3 days before the trip

Gulliver Travel

25% discount on the four best excursions in the period from the 15th of June to the 30th of June

Contacts: mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - mobile: 091 6035 117

Korkyra Dubrovnik

25% discount on the following services:

- airport transfers

- private excursions

- boat rental

More information at:

MACK rent-a-car

Discount of 20% on all services

TM Adventure - Cavtat

Discounts on prices for activities in the Cadmos Village Adventure Park:


Discounted price - 180 Kuna per person

Adventure park

Discounted price - 150 Kuna per person.


Discounted price - 150 Kuna per person

Tree house for 6 people

Minimum 2 nights - price for one night 600 Kuna

Viator Travel

50% discount on the prices of the following excursions displayed on the website:

Bike excursion -
Hike excursion -
Hike excursion -
Bike excursion -


Over the past 24 hours there have been no new recorded cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik -. Neretva County, in fact the last time a case was detected was back on the 8th of May.

Testing continues across the county and on Friday 14 samples were sent for analysis to Zagreb and they have all been returned as negative. Of the total number of 118 positive cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County only one person is still infected.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,280 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis. As of today there is not a single person in self-isolation in the whole county.

The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County continues to appeal to the citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.


According to an old Croatian saying, without suffering, there is no learning. The point of the saying, of course, is that we learn through being challenged. We don’t learn from what we can already do well. For far too many students, the act of writing an essay is an exercise in exquisite suffering. However, it doesn’t have to be. In today’s article, we’re going to explore the opinion essay, a relatively rare form of essay that often gives students a great deal of trouble as they struggle to balance traditional academic writing against the need to express an opinion in the paper. We’ll look at ten tips to help you write a better opinion essay so you can be prepared for your next opinion paper.

1. Know what an opinion essay is. An opinion essay states an opinion, but it isn’t simply an editorial in which you say only what you think. This type of essay requires you to present facts and evidence to support your point of view. You are explaining why your viewpoint is right but defending it like the conclusion to a research paper.

2. Develop your view on the subject before writing. Since an opinion essay requires you to have an opinion, it’s important to develop that opinion before you start writing. Why do you believe in your point of view? Be sure you can explain why you are right and can formulate your point of view clearly and effectively.

3. Do your research. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to research your topic before you write. You may find that reading other people’s opinions will change, shade, or shape your own point of view. The worst thing you can do is to write the entire essay only to discover at the end of that there are facts that completely change your opinion.

4. Don’t save your opinion for the end. The reader isn’t going to wait around for the end of your five-paragraph or five-page opinion essay to find out what you think. You need to be sure that your opinion is clearly stated at the beginning of the essay, in the thesis statement, so that the reader understands your perspective from the start. This will also help to ensure that every part of the essay works to support the thesis.

5. Begin with an attention-grabbing opening. Your essay should grab the reader’s attention from the first line. Be sure to start with a strong hook, such as a dramatic fact or statistic, or an anecdote, to draw the reader in and interest them in learning more. After all, if readers aren’t interested, they won’t listen to your opinion.

6. Never title your essay with a question. A wit once said that if you title your opinion essay with a question, the reader will always answer “no.” More accurately, readers will answer the question for themselves in terms of their own experience, and that will make them less open to your perspective and point of view.

7. Start with your strongest argument first. Your opinion essay should begin with the strongest and most convincing reason you are right and then work down to less important points. Readers want to know right away what the best argument is because, if they don’t believe it, the rest won’t convince them. Nobody likes to wait for the good stuff.

8. Try to use the active voice. Academic writing often causes writers to slip into passive-voice constructions. For a research paper, this isn’t as much of a problem as it is for an opinion essay. This is your opinion, so take ownership of it with the active voice.

9. Don’t be afraid of a little emotion. A research paper focuses entirely on facts, evidence, and reasoning, but an opinion essay has room for emotion. Tug at the reader’s heartstrings a little to show why your perspective is emotionally correct, not just logically correct.

10. Don’t be afraid of professional help. When all else fails, you can always pay someone to write essay sections or an entire opinion essay for you. Online writing services like WriteMyPaperHub have experts who can help you with any opinion paper you need written. Feel free to contact a professional writer for an expert’s opinion on the best way to approach your topic, develop a strong opinion about it, and support that opinion in writing.

By using these writing tips, you’ll be in a stronger position to produce a powerful opinion essay that will make a great case for your point of view. Mastering the art of opinion can be a challenge, but with the right approach and a little help, you, too, will soon be delivering exceptional opinion essays whenever your professor assigns you an opinion paper.


If you are reading this column and are living outside of Croatia then I would advise you to find a way of visiting this year, you have never see anything like this before and you will never see anything like this again in your lifetime again. Unprecedented times is the understatement of the century. I know that I use this line from Charles Dickens often but it really is “the best of times, the worst of times.”

With Dubrovnik almost completely devoid of any tourists whatsoever my wife and I decided take the time to explore, we headed north without a plan, without any accommodation booked and without a destination, as the Americans would say, “we went on a road trip.” It was one of those times when you just follow your nose and when you find somewhere you like you stop.

As we left Dubrovnik and drove up the coastline the first car we saw with foreign number plates was as we were passing Split on the motorway. We pushed on, until deciding to stop at Plitvice literally when we saw a sign on the motorway for the national park. It is a long, long time since I’ve been to the 16 chained lakes so why not. And clearly since the last time I have been there a whole host of new apartments, villas, camping, glamping and everything else in between has opened up. Like mushrooms after the rain they have sprung up to presumably deal with the demand. This year that demand has dried up. From the turning off the motorway to the lakes we saw two more foreign plated cars, and they were both Slovenians.

So carpe diem, we pulled into the national park. “We are seeing one of the best national parks in this part of Europe, pretty much on our own, and we got in at heavily reduced prices,” I said to my wife as we sailed out across the first lake. What seemed like a full team of staff were on duty and they had time to talk and give advice, it almost seemed like we were breaking their boredom by speaking to them. There were almost as many members of staff as visitors.

“For years they have been struggling with crowds and thinking of ways to reduce the number of guests and then along comes Covid-19 and overnight their problems are solved, well probably too solved,” I commented to my wife as we sat in front of Veliki Prštavac waterfall not having to barge through selfie-taking Koreans.

We easily found accommodation in the national park, again a heavy discount, and were greeted like long-lost family members. “We are so happy to see you, and were so surprised that you booked our chalet,” they said as the rakija of all flavours flowed. And this is the flip side of the coin. On the selfish side my wife and I had a fantastic road trip, and went from Gospic to Slunj, from hidden caves to wide open plains. And because there were no crowds at all we pretty much visited all the highlights in two days.

Not only that but we had the best seats at the restaurants, the best service ever and everyone was falling over themselves to give us a discount. However, on the other side of the coin, “We have rented three cars in the last six days,” said a rent-a-car with over 120 cars in his parking. “You are the only guests for lunch,” said a waiter, one of four waiters, at a leading restaurant in Lika, a restaurant that normally has booking weeks in advance. And “Normally we would guide around 5 to 6 thousand guests a week through these caves, but we actually counted yesterday and we are now welcoming a few hundred a week and they are all Croatians,” said the pleasant guide at the Barać Caves. And then I asked “Are you self-funding or do you have help from the state?” – “Our wages are paid for from tickets sales, so yes this year will be challenging,” he answered with a wry smile. That is the flip side of the coin.

However, if there is any way for you to get to Croatia this summer I would heartedly recommend it. Of course I don’t want you to have to spend two-weeks in quarantine when you get home, but if you can come and return normally then once again I’ll say that you will never, ever see Croatia like this again.     

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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