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.
Calling all bargain hunters…. Dubrovnik’s biggest second hand sale of the year is approaching! Now in its 10th year, the Dubrovnik Foreign Circle’s annual second hand sale is a great opportunity to both donate your used items and find unusual treasures at bargain prices.
Donations of clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, small appliances, and household items will be accepted at the congress centre of the Grand Hotel Park in Lapad, from April 29 through May 2 from 10am to 6pm. All donated items are clean and in good working condition. (Please, no large items of furniture.)
Sale dates are May 1-5, from 10 am to 6 pm.
This year, proceeds benefit two local charities: Dva Skalina, the association of parents of children with developmental difficulties, and Slatki Zivot, which supports children with diabetes and their families.
For more information, call 098 139 7774, visit www.dubrovnikforeigncircle.com or find us on Facebook.
Happy Easter from all the team at The Dubrovnik Times
The Red History Museum in Dubrovnik opened today. The newest hotspot of the Dubrovnik cultural trail will open visitor’s eyes to the world of socialism and the traces it left all over Croatia.
This trip through history is made possible by a team of young, motivated people, who have spent the last couple of months seeking out objects that represent that period in Croatia all over the web and also on numerous fairs.
And The Dubrovnik Times was at the opening to give you a sneak insight into the newest Dubrovnik museum.
According to new information released by the Croatian State Statistics Office the average net salary across the country in February 2019 amounted to 6,369 Kuna or €857. This figure is a 3.9 percent increase when compared with the same month from 2018.
The highest average net salary in Croatia was reported in the “pharmaceutical products” industry where it totalled 15,262 Kuna and the lowest paid workers were in the “security” section with 4,115 a month net.
Experts believe that economic growth across the country, fuelled by a booming tourism industry, and a chronic lack of workers has meant that salaries are rising constantly as employers try to fill holes in their workforce.
The summer season is within touching distance and Dubrovnik is on the verge of what would appear to be another bumper season. In spite of a renewed competition from the likes of Greece and Turkey and the chaos around Brexit it seems that the city will have another busy year.
On the back of the recent final season of the HBO series Game of Thrones and the introduction of direct flights from the US to Dubrovnik with American Airlines we can expect a serious influx of American travellers and fans of the show. And the publicity doesn’t stop there with a whole host of international publications now advertising Dubrovnik as an ideal summer getaway. And with so many flights coming this way from the UK, traditionally the city’s biggest market, this latest full page article in one of the biggest selling newspapers in the UK will certainly help.
Under the headline of “Dubrovnik for £100 a night” the lengthy article in The Daily Mail explains to readers how to get the biggest bang for your buck in the city. Yet more great marketing before the summer season.
To steal a line from the one and only Frank Sinatra, “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.” Well we, not I, are facing the eighth and final season of a series, that has for many, put Dubrovnik on the map, Game of Thrones.
By the time you need this the final season will be up and running and once again millions and millions of people all over the globe will be glued to watching Dubrovnik in the leading role. Love it or hate it, you certainly can’t deny that it has helped earn the city a mountain of cash. When Mr George R. R. Martin started to write and to describe a kingdom with a walled city that would be the heart of the whole story nobody knew at that time that he was actually describing Dubrovnik.
With a few strokes of his pen, or probably fingers pressing at the keyboard, he had inadvertently changed our future. The old saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” is completely true. By creating this magical fantasy kingdom, he had also created hundreds of jobs in the city, opened countless souvenir shops, sold tonnes of memorabilia, attracted thousands of new visitors and brought priceless marketing and PR.
All this basically dropped out of the sky like rain. We did zero lobbying, paid no under the table sweeteners (Sanader style) or even approach the producers to propose the idea. It fell like rain from the sky. “The first time we saw Dubrovnik, I was in shock, because the whole city really looked the way we pictured King's Landing looking,” said one of the executive producers David Benioff. And I remember it clearly as I was there when he said it, in fact I was standing right next to him. I remember quite vividly when Game of Thrones rolled into town. It was season 2 and apart from a few hard-core fans nobody had really heard of the show. “If you are in town they are filming some historical drama, I’ve no idea what it’s about, probably nothing special, but try and take a few photos,” my editor at the time told me. I literally walked right through the middle of the main set with my camera, I still have a selfie with Peter Dinklage. Little did I, and lots of other people, know at the time just how gigantic this “historical drama” would be.
Although for millions of people around the world Dubrovnik has been renamed King’s Landing at least they actually know where the city is located now. I remember a few years ago sitting in a café near Central Park in New York when the young waiter, probably an art student or a budding actor, asked me where I lived, “Dubrovnik, Croatia.” He looked at me with a blank look on his face as he handed over my morning bagel and caramel coffee. I was just about to start explaining geography when his face changed expression and he blurted out at me “King’s Landing…you live in King’s Landing…that’s incredible…congratulations.” My first reaction was to ram the bagel in his face and scream. Centuries and centuries of history and yet my young waiter had only heard of us because of a modern series. But I stopped myself (and saved my bagel). I realised that, even though it was at first frustrating, it was only really important that my waiter friend had actually heard of Dubrovnik, how we had come into his radar was in fact the least important factor.
He would, thanks to Mr. Martin, forever know about Dubrovnik. And he isn’t the only one.
A major Chinese newspaper contacted me about an interview and I presumed it was because their Prime Minister was on his way here. But no all he wanted to talk about and to ask me about was the Game of Thrones effect on Dubrovnik. He was clearly more interested in the Lannisters than Li Keqiang. But to be honest I can’t say that I’m sad to see Game of Thrones ending. Although I was hooked at the beginning I later lost interest.
It just became too long and as soon as I had missed one whole season I really didn’t have the energy to follow it any more. It has been an interesting ride but enough already. We don’t want to be King’s Landing anymore. Can we have our Dubrovnik back!
Guess the finale of Game of Thrones and win a dream Croatian holiday. With the euphoria around the most popular TV series of all time building to a climax as the eighth and final season got underway a few days ago a UK based travel agency has come up with an ingenious way to celebrate the end of an era. Unforgettable Croatia is offering a luxury Croatian holiday in Split and Dubrovnik to the person who correctly guesses what will happen at the end of the serial.
It isn’t as easy as it seems, as any fan of Game of Thrones will testify, as the serial has more twists and turns than an Alpine road. Who will end up of the throne of King’s Landing? Or in fact will anyone sit on the throne? Only a handful of people actually know. And as HBO and the entire Game of Thrones production team take security extremely seriously any inside information will be non-existent.
But guess the end of the series and Unforgettable Croatia will give you a week on luxury on the Croatian Adriatic coastline. And as both Dubrovnik and Split were used as locations in Game of Thrones, with Dubrovnik playing King’s Landing, the choice of both cities is very apt.
But what if more than one person correctly guesses the outcome. Well according to the travel company “Where multiple entrants answer correctly, entries will be placed into a prize draw and winner picked at random.”
The luxury “Game of Thrones Holiday" includes three overnight stays in Split and four in Dubrovnik, accommodation in five-star hotels and land and sea tours with a special emphasis on locations on which a series was filmed in Croatia (King's Landing, Warth, Braavos , Riverland ...). The competition is open until the 5th of May, so get your thinking caps on!
Check out this link on how to enter and all the rules of the game…and good luck!
The UNESCO list of geological parks has increased for eight new places in South America, Asia and Europe, and the UNESCO Executive Council has decided, and among the three European parks to designate one Croatian island.
UNESCO’s Executive Board yesterday approved the designation of eight new sites demonstrating the diversity of the planet’s geology as new Geoparks. The Executive Board also approved the extension of three existing Geoparks. With this year’s additions, the number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network is brought to 147 in 41 countries.
“The Vis Archipelago UNESCO Global Geopark is located off the coast of Croatia, formed by some of the oldest rock in the Adriatic Sea. The northeastern region of the archipelago features large sand deposits formed by fierce winds in the Ice Age, which also created several unique caves and land formations. Before the sudden rise of the sea level around 12,000 years ago, these islands were much larger and extended more than 20 miles. In this extended area, called the Mala Palagruža, archaeologists discovered flint quarries that served for the production of early tools, believed to have been made by the islands’ first inhabitants up to 8,000 years ago. Some of the most famous sites on this Archipelago are the Blue Cave (Modra špilja) and the Monk Seal Cave (Medvidina špilja)”, stated UNESCO on the inclusion of Vis on the Geopark list.