Monday, 04 December 2023
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.


Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen…no this time he will be riding through Dubrovnik! The set for the latest Robin Hood: Origins is almost finished and is looking ready for the main actors Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan and the Welsh actor Taron Egerton who will play Robin Hood.

The Dubrovnik Times has learned that the set in Dubrovnik will be completed by the 20th of December. Huge piles of wood from Zagreb have been converted into a seaside set over the past weeks. Wooden piers now jut out into the Adriatic and houses butt up against the ancient stone walls of Dubrovnik.

Filming is believed to begin in the middle of January with the main stars expected to arrive in Dubrovnik in February.

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On the 17th of December Pope Francis will celebrate his 80th birthday and he has already been given a special gift from Croatia.

Viktor and Sanda Jeromel, Slovenian spouses who have lived in Prezid, Cabar in the Croatian region of Gorski Kotar for thirty years, presented their unusual and special birthday gift to Pope Francis – the handmade wood-framed glasses made of a 1,600 years-old olive tree.

The married couple have manufactured sports equipment for a very long time, whilst Viktor is especially skilled in working with wood. Encouraged by his friend he came up with an idea of making wooden glasses and so far he has made a few hundred pieces at a local workshop.

''The whole time I thought how nice it would be to make wooden glasses for the Holy Father. I searched for the right material for a long time and I finally found it. We came across a broken branch of a 1,600 years-old olive tree on the island of Brijuni. The island's authority allowed me to take a small piece of the branch and this is how this story began'', explained Viktor.

''He was very persistent and he made these glasses with all his love and knowledge'', said his wife praising her husband.

At the Papal Audience on the 14th of December Viktor and Sanda Jeromel personally presented their gift to the Pope and congratulated him on his jubilee birthday.

Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahušić yesterday received an official visit from the Ambassador of Romania Constantin-Mihail Grigorio. At the meeting Vlahušić and Ambassador Grigorio discussed relations between the Croatia and Romania as well as the situation of the Romanian community in the Croatia.

Mayor Vlahušić pointed out that through better cooperation Croatia and Romania can further enhance joint projects in the form of business, cultural exchanges, as well as special travel deals that would allow Romanian citizens favourable visits to Dubrovnik and other cities on the Adriatic coast.

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.

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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.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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