Sunday, 18 August 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.


Every week through the height of summer we are hitting the streets of Dubrovnik to discover what you, our visitors, think about the city as a tourist destination. This week we caught up with Miao Ren and Shang Su, Chinese students who are currently studying in Germany.

Miao Ren and Shang Su from China

What are your impressions of Dubrovnik?

It is very nice. The nature is so clean and beautiful. And also we are fascinated by the roads, they are so narrow and tiny. The Old City is seems very well preserved and look after, we were on the walls yesterday and the views over the city are fantastic. We aren’t fans of Game of Thrones but we did see lots of photos on social media so that was one of the reasons we decided to come here.

What do you think about the prices?

Although we are from China we have lived in Germany for many years, so compared with the prices in Germany it is a little bit more expensive in Dubrovnik, but not much. And as it is a tourist city we expected prices to be higher slightly.


How long are you staying in Dubrovnik, and indeed where are you staying?

We will have ten days in the city and we are staying in a hostel. In fact, the quality of the hostel is good and we see that the prices are less than in Italy.

Is there something you would have liked to do in Dubrovnik but weren’t able to?

No, so far we have been more than impressed with everything we have seen. You have an extraordinary beautiful city. The restaurants inside the Old City are maybe a little expensive, but we have been getting lots of tips from the hostel owner as to the best places to eat and drink. Really friendly people in Dubrovnik. Although we were surprised that the level of English isn’t that good.


Could Dubrovnik be the location of another blockbuster TV series to follow on from the fame of HBO’s Game of Thrones? The cobbled streets of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik could once again be the setting of a fantasy drama, this time not as King’s Landing but as the setting of the new Amazon series Carnival Row starring Orlando Bloom.

After The Last Jedi, Robin Hood, Game of Thrones and countless Bollywood flicks the next big thing to hit the pearl of the Adriatic might just be Carnival Row. The first eight-part series, which was shot exclusively in Prague, will premiere on Amazon on the 30th of August and apparently Amazon are so satisfied with the quality of the first season that they have immediately commissioned a second season. And that second season is exactly where Dubrovnik might find itself.


Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom in Carnival Row - Photo Amazon 

One of the executive producers of Carnival Row, Marc Guggenheim, is currently in Dubrovnik and apparently “Location scouting in Dubrovnik for Carnival Row Season 2,” according to his official twitter feed. Guggenheim has had an impressive career, both as a writer and producer, and is probably best known for writing the film Green Lantern, and producing TV hit serials such as Law & Order and CSI: Miami. He has also authored several comic books for Marvel Comics including the X-Men.



twitter carnival row

Photo - Twitter Marc Guggenheim 

Carnival Row is a neo-noir fantasy television series created and stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. And according to IMDB it is about “a human detective and a fairy rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world, where the city's uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.”

And clearly the Game of Thrones connection to Dubrovnik has caught the eye of Guggenheim who commented on Twitter that “The streets are literally packed with GOT tour groups.”

They say that honesty is the best policy, but probably not when you are begging for money for drugs! This tourist couple set up camp today in the middle of the afternoon on the main street running through the historic Old City of Dubrovnik, Stradun, and were painfully honest why they were begging. With a sign that read “for beer and weed” the duo was snapped by a passer-by.

In recent years we have seen more and more visitors to Dubrovnik travelling on a tight budget. Hostels have sprung up like mushrooms after the rain, and even these are too costly for some backpackers who chose to set up camp by the side of the road or in a public park. But such blatant begging on the streets of the city is extremely rare, and to beg for money for alcohol and marijuana is unheard of.

We can only presume, and indeed hope, that the couple were moved on by the city inspectors, or even the police fairly sharply. When the City of Dubrovnik launched the campaign “Respect the City” we are pretty sure that this is not what they had in mind.


The Emergency Medicine Institute of Dubrovnik-Neretva County received the keys to four new vehicles today, intended for operation in Dubrovnik, Metkovic and Ploče. “Today we are delivering four new emergency vehicles. This renews the Institute's rolling stock, which has 25 emergency vehicles and needs to be refurbished every year to reach the desired standard, which is that vehicles are no more than 5 years old and do not exceed 200,000 kilometres,” said the County Prefect Mayor Nikola Dobroslavic on the occasion.

The vehicles are worth 2.2 million Kuna, with the County allocating around 1.4 million, 00,000, the Institute funding 500,000, the City of Metkovic 200,000 and the City of Ploce 150,000.

The director of the Institute for Emergency Medicine, Luka Lulic, said that every new vehicle is an added value to the Institute because it is a basic tool for work and stressed that these are very high quality vehicles that will mean a lot. “These are vehicles of the brand VW Transporter Furgon 2.0 TDI 4 Motion, which are slightly more expensive than the others because they have independent suspension, and which is especially important for the inhabitants of the Neretva Valley who have more than 100 kilometres to the hospital. The vehicles are specifically tailored to the needs of lying patients to help them 'tolerate' the road,” said Lulic.


One of the most iconic Dubrovnik landmarks could soon have a facelift. The massive plane tree that dominates the Pile entrance into the Old City will soon be the centre of a new project.

The conceptual design of the landscaping around the plane tree has been completed. The new landscaping aims at improving the habitat conditions for the plane tree which in fact is protected as a monument of park architecture, even though past mayors in Dubrovnik have attempted to cut it down.


This new project will create a new public space for citizens and children and also a shady spot for tourists in the summer heat.

Based on the conservation guidelines and conditions, the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Parts of Nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County will prepare the project, while the execution of the works, expected in 2020, will be funded by the City of Dubrovnik.

This plateau is a remnant of a former historic building garden at Brsalje, erected in the 18th century. The plane tree is the largest tree in the Pile area and has been under preventive protection since 2007. Since 2012, it has acquired the protected status of a Park Architecture Monument.


plane tree pile 2019

August is on the doorstep and the height of the summer, and indeed the height of the season is here and when the temperatures rise you’ll need to cool off in the Adriatic Sea. And according to the latest sea water quality testing the sea in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County is clean and clear.

The fifth regular sea survey of the sea water on the 118 beaches in the County was carried out from 15 to 25 July 2019 by the Institute for Public Health.

And of the 118 beaches 112 beaches passed the strict tests with the highest rating of “excellent.”

The sea at the Grand Hotel Lopud beach at Lopud, Blace beach at Slivno and Hotel Park beach at Korcula was of good quality, while the sea at Molunat beaches in Konavle and Mlini beach in Župa was rated as satisfactory.

During the fifth test cycle, the sea at Donje Čelo beach on the island of Koločep did not meet the requirements of the Regulation, and the environmental inspection issued an official prohibition warning against bathing. After removal of the pollution source, the Institute for Public Health of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County conducted a sampling of the bathing sea on the 19th and the 20th of July 2019. The test results met the requirements of the regulation, indicating the cessation of sudden contamination, and the bathing ban was lifted.

One of the most important politicians in Europe visited Zagreb today. The newly elected European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in the Croatian capital and met with Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic.

"My goal is to balance the European Union. The east, west, north and south. To bring balance to the small and large members and the younger and older members," commented Von der Leyen at a press conference. And this statement is certainly in line with her comments before winning the job as the next European Commission President. It is also presumably why she chose to visit Croatia so early into new position as Croatia is the newest member of the EU family, joining in 2013. She will also find a strong ally in the Croatian Prime Minister, who is a steadfast supporter of the European Union and is leading Croatia to much closer ties with the EU.

ursula von der leyen in croatia

Photo - Twitter Croatian Government 

"We all know that problems can only be addressed if we are united, successful and strong. The world is calling for a strong European voice, and this can only be achieved if we are together," said Von der Leyen in a possible reference to the UK leaving at the end of October as Brexit becomes a reality.



Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold the post of President, will officially take up her new role at the end of October and replace Jean-Claude Juncker, who assumed office in November 2014.

Von der Leyen arrived in Zagreb after visiting Berlin, Paris and Warsaw, pointing out that it was very important for her to arrive in Zagreb after these three cities and that "Croatia is the youngest EU member state, but extraordinary".

"The fact that you will hold the presidency early next year shows that Croatia is an exceptional success story for the European Union and that it can be a role model to other countries," added the next President.

Organized by the Central State Office for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia and the Association of Croatian American Professionals from the 10th of July until the 25th of July the project "Summer School Homeland” was held. This project is aimed at strengthening the Croatian identity, promoting global networking of Croatians, cultural and scientific cooperation with young generations of Croatian emigrants and introducing Croatian culture, heritage and tradition.

And as part of the project 33 participants from Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Peru and the United States visited Konavle where they met with the Deputy Mayor Ivo Radonić, visited the Mausoleum Racic and the House Bukovac and made a trip to the river Ljuta.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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