Friday, 23 February 2024
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.


The captain of the Croatian national football team, Luka Modrić, will reportedly leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, claims Turkish insider Ekrem Konur. The legendary midfielder's contract signed in the summer of 2023 will then expire. Modrić had previously turned down lucrative offers from Saudi clubs to extend his collaboration with Real Madrid, reports sportklub.

Konur asserts that on the verge of his 39th birthday, Modrić will receive offers again from Saudi clubs Al Ahli, Al Hilal, and Al Nassr, which operate thanks to the nearly unlimited wealth of the state fund. There is also concrete interest from Inter Miami, an MLS club owned by David Beckham and featuring all-time greats Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets.

Numerous media outlets have been reporting for months that Modrić is dissatisfied with his status at Real Madrid. After being an undisputed starter for years, coach Carlo Ancelotti now sees him as a backup. He has made 28 appearances but often comes off the bench, accumulating a total of 1461 minutes on the field.

Before making a decision about the continuation of his club career, Modrić will lead the Croatian national team as captain at the European Championship in Germany in June and July. He has previously won silver and bronze at the World Cup with Croatia, and in 2018, he was named the best player in the world.

Ryanair has stepped in to offer assistance to Croatian passengers impacted by Wizz Air's abrupt cancellation of its Dubrovnik-London route, with rescue fares starting from only €24.99. This move comes in response to Wizz Air's recent decision to cut over 80 routes across Europe in the last 6 weeks, affecting destinations such as Albania, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Amidst Wizz Air's route reductions, Ryanair, renowned for its reliability and affordability, is once again coming to the rescue. Passengers can now avail themselves of rescue fares starting from €24.99 for Ryanair's 14x weekly flights between Dubrovnik and London, accessible for booking on

Jade Kirwan, Head of Communications at Ryanair, commented, "As Wizz Air continues to scale back its operations, reducing both routes and aircraft across Europe, Ryanair, Europe's most dependable and budget-friendly airline, is stepping in to offer assistance with rescue fares starting from just €24.99 for passengers affected by the sudden cancellation of the Dubrovnik-London route. These discounted fares are now available for booking on"


An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale struck Croatia this morning at 5:07 a.m., as reported by EMSC. It was felt 24 kilometres southwest of Metković, 54 kilometres south of Mostar, and five kilometres southwest of Neum, at a depth of 6 kilometres. It was also felt in the Neretva Valley area.

This is the second earthquake following last night's minor earthquake near Žuljana on the Pelješac peninsula, measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale.

Today, on February 21, 2024, at 18:57 (CET), seismographs of the Croatian Seismological Service recorded a weak earthquake with a magnitude of M 2.6 in the sea off the coast of Pelješac, southeast of Žuljana.

The intensity at the epicentre, estimated from the magnitude, was reported to be III-IV (three to four) on the EMS scale.

Readers report that it was brief, shaking was felt, and the earthquake was of lower intensity.

The earthquake was also recorded by the renowned Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, stating that the earthquake occurred 22 km from Ploče.

The gastronomic event organized by the City of Dubrovnik - "Dubrovnik Table on Stradun" has received a special award from the national annual award "Simply the Best." This award, given for creativity, innovation, development, and improvement of the destination's tourist offer, is presented by UHPA - the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, the business tourism exchange PUT, and the tourist magazine Way to Croatia.

PUT Tourism Fair is the oldest Croatian B2B tourism meeting, bringing together professionals from agency business, tourism service providers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and tourism community systems. For 23 years, the meeting has been organized in a different Croatian destination, and this year it will take place from April 10th to 12th in Biograd na Moru, coinciding with the awards ceremony.

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"Dubrovnik Table," a traditional gastronomic event, is held in October as part of the Good Food Festival. Along the entire Stradun, numerous Dubrovnik hotels and restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, caterers, and winemakers showcase their knowledge and skills. Every year, the "Table" also has a charitable aspect, with proceeds from food and drink sales donated to needy associations.

The organizers of the "Dubrovnik Table" are the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Croatian Chamber of Economy - Dubrovnik County Chamber, the Craft Chamber of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Guild of Caterers, and TUŠ Dubrovnik.

For the year 2022, the City of Dubrovnik received the Simply the Best award in the category "New projects in tourism, tourism community systems, and local self-government" for the successful implementation of the Dubrovnik Pass project - an information system for electronic payment and access control to the most significant cultural and monumental sites of the City of Dubrovnik.

After nearly a decade since its inception in 2009, a visionary project finds new life in 2021, driven by the collaborative efforts of parliamentary members, local leaders, and regional administrators. This initiative, spearheaded by a collective will to safeguard Croatia's natural heritage, is gaining momentum under the stewardship of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

With a focused commitment to preserving the pristine landscapes of Ivanščica, Strahinjčica, Maceljska gora, and Ravna gora, the Ministry is diligently advancing efforts towards the establishment of a nature park in the heart of Croatian Zagorje. This endeavour, born from a fusion of environmental consciousness and strategic planning, is poised to redefine the region's ecological future.

The recent collaborative strides made with the Krapina-Zagorje and Varaždin counties underscore a unified vision for the protection and sustainable management of over 31,000 hectares of natural terrain. Through inclusive consultations with stakeholders from 14 municipalities, the Ministry aims to cultivate a shared understanding of the transformative potential inherent in the nature park designation.

Poetic Inspiration UK Reader Shares Emotional Journey Through Croatian Fishing Village 3

Beyond its ecological significance, the proposed nature park represents a multifaceted opportunity to harness the intrinsic value of Croatia's Zagorje region. By harmonizing natural preservation with cultural heritage, this initiative envisages a paradigm shift in regional development, fostering a symbiotic relationship between environmental stewardship and economic prosperity.

Underpinning this transformative journey is the establishment of a dedicated public institution tasked with overseeing the park's management and development. By fostering collaboration, facilitating community engagement, and championing sustainable practices, this institution is poised to catalyse positive socio-economic outcomes while safeguarding the region's ecological integrity.


In 2022, renewable energy sources accounted for 41.2% of gross electricity consumption in the EU, marking a significant increase of 3.4 percentage points from 2021 (37.8%). This surge places renewable energy well ahead of other electricity-generation sources such as nuclear (less than 22%), gas (less than 20%), or coal (less than 17%).

The total contribution of renewable energy sources saw a notable 5.7% increase from 2021 to 2022. Wind and hydropower emerged as the primary contributors, collectively representing over two-thirds of the total electricity generated from renewable sources (37.5% and 29.9%, respectively). Solar power, although comprising a smaller share, experienced the most rapid growth, having risen from just 1% in 2008 to 18.2% in 2022.

When focusing on specific countries, Croatia stands out with a noteworthy share of energy from renewable sources in its gross electricity consumption. In 2022, Croatia reported a 55.5% share, showcasing a significant reliance on renewable energy, particularly from sources like hydro and wind. This places Croatia among the leading European countries in renewable energy adoption.

Despite such advancements, there remain challenges, with some countries like Malta, Hungary, Czechia, and Luxembourg reporting lower shares of electricity from renewable sources, indicating a need for further development and investment in sustainable energy practices.

Overall, Croatia's commitment to renewable energy underscores its dedication to environmental sustainability and positions it as a promising player in Europe's transition towards cleaner and greener energy solutions.


We love the contact we have with all our readers, the daily photos, letters, comments and videos we receive fill our social media and inbox. However, one reader from the UK has been a little more creative than normal and written a poem.

“I recently wrote a poem about an experience which I had in a Croatian fishing village on the island of Korčula - Prigradica, whilst on holiday,” wrote Cameron Reed from Durham in the UK.

Adding that “The poem itself is about pain of the past and the suffering which can occur if one allows the inner-pain to take control of life. This pain which can be felt throughout the majority of the poem, concludes in the final verses by showing that through the power of love and embracing simplicity, even the most painful of traumas can be shifted.”

And here is his poem in full:

Parables from Croatia: The Fishing Village

During a scorching afternoon at the end of May, back in 2023, former Croatian serviceman, Tomislav, and I, ambled down the rugged foothills of Southern Dalmatia, sweating profusely, with the aim of carrying a Gorenje refrigerator down to the car in order to transport it to Tomislav’s parents’ home in Prigradica, where my significant other and myself were blissfully staying. The conversation went a bit like this:

So, you’d like to discuss about what happened at Vukovar?
Well, young man, we best save that until we get to the bar.

For I have pain in every quarter, stuck inside all jumbled and deep,
sometimes, it hurts so much, that all I can do is sit back and weep.

I can achingly recall each and every conversation with my parents that were had,
to be honest with you, the topics were enough to make any grown man sad.

We fought tooth and nail for the heroic defence of our land,
even to this day, there will still be blood embedded beneath the sand.

Nowadays, I work long and hard at the port, repairing damaged ships, mostly to forget.
Yet, it does not always mean that time successfully heals you from your regret.

A shot of Borovnica after work alongside a warm dish put onto the table,
these pleasures of life are enough to make any Croatian man feel stable.

When the lady of my dreams, Anita, came into my life and became my wife,
she was able to help me to get past some of those deep scars of strife.

Therefore, rejoice, dear child, for you’re now in the world’s most beautiful place!
Living here makes you understand that time is simply no longer a race.

Why don’t you grab a hold of your beloved one’s hand and take her down to the sea?
It shall teach you both that life is to be enjoyed and lived at every possible degree.

If you need to find me again, in this life or the next, I will be sitting here on the hill by the tree – enjoying an ice-cold Karlovačko onwards anytime from quarter-past three.

Just remember this: "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves."


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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