Tuesday, 21 August 2018
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Today, the 15th of August, is a public holiday in Croatia, the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin or the Assumption of Mary. Most shops will be closed or at least be working half days in Croatia today, although bars, restaurants and hospitality objects along the coastline in tourist areas will all be open.

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (often shortened to the Assumption) is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, as well as parts of Anglicanism, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

The second best scorer in the history of the Croatian national team with 33 goals in 89 games has decided to hang up his boots and retire from international football.

Mario Mandžukić, who shone at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has retired from the Croatian national tram at the age of 32.

He commented that “As much as silver fills me with new energy, it has made it easier for me to make this impossible decision. We have experienced our dreams, they have made historical success and I felt the incredible love of fans. It was the most beautiful trip with the team and the best return home.”

Adding that “There is no ideal time to go. If we can, I believe that we all would play for Croatia while we live because there is no bigger pride. But I feel that the moment is for me now. I did my best to contribute to the greatest success of Croatian football.”

Every day in Croatia around 60 people are diagnosed with some form of cancer. According to the Croatian Health Institute every year in Croatia over 22,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and over 14,000 lose the battle with the disease.

“We don’t have a plan for fighting the biggest health threat of the modern age, which is cancer. For me, that is alarming, and we need a plan to battle this disease since our success rate is the worst in all of Europe,” commented Dr Eduard Vrdoljak from the Oncology and Radiotherapy Department in the University Hospital Split.

The number of people diagnosed in Croatia every year with cancer has been rising steadily for the past few decades. And Croatia, along with Hungary, have the highest cancer mortality rates in the whole of the European Union.

According to data by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, Croatia is among the five European countries with the lowest survival rates for lung cancer, which only 10 percent patients survive, prostate cancer (81 percent), stomach (20 percent), colon (51 percent, rectal 48 percent), and adult myeloid leukemia (32 percent).

The former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad, and member of the ruling Qatari Royal Family paid a flying visit to the island of Korcula yesterday.

The Sheikh spent a few days on the island last August and clearly he enjoyed the island as yesterday he came back for another visit. Sailing on the luxury yacht Katara, which set back the Sheikh a massive $300 million, he arrived on a fast tender into the coastline destination of Lumbarda.

It is believed that he is on the yacht with three of his wives, as well as children and grandchildren. And he took the whole family for a meal in a local restaurant on Korcula. Al Thani was introduced to Korcula by a friend and associate, famous Croatian architect Otto Barić, son of the former Croatian national football team coach, who has a house in the old town.

Hamad seized power in a bloodless palace coup d'état in 1995. During his 18-year rule, Qatar's natural gas production reached 77 million tonnes, making Qatar the richest country in the world per capita with the average income in the country US$86,440 a year per person.

emir korcula 2018

katara yacht korcula

With the Dubrovnik heat wave in full force and temperatures in the mid-thirties since the beginning of the month cooling off in the Adriatic Sea is a must. As part of the regular testing of the quality of the sea water in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County the 118 beaches were tested from the 23rd of July until the 31st of July.

These regular water quality surveys are carried out throughout the summer months every year. And of the 118 beaches checked a massive 110 passed the test with the highest mark of excellent. The current sea temperature in the Dubrovnik region is around 26 degrees, although it is a little cooler early in the morning, so jump on in the water is clean and warm.

A Croatia Airlines Airbus flying from London to Zagreb landed at the capital’s airport on only one engine last night. The flight, OU491, was on its way into land at the Zagreb Airport when a vibration indicator lit up and the pilot shut down the engine as a precautionary measure, meaning that the Croatia Airlines plane landed with only one engine.

According to reports the passengers were informed on the event and knew what was happening and the airline announced that the safety of the passengers wasn’t compromised at any time as the Airbus 320 is able to land with only one working engine.

After landing at 8.30 pm the plane was sent for a technical inspection to discover why the vibration indicator had been tripped.

An All Nippon Airways airplane certainly caught the eye tonight as it landed at Dubrovnik Airport, a Star Wars decorated plane. ANA started the Star Wars themed planes back in 2015 and they have proved to be a hit.

The R2-D2 planes aren’t only cool from the outside they also continue the theme in the interior.

Check out this great video from the Facebook page of Dino Alberini

Is Dubrovnik packed in the height of summer, yes. Is the city fighting with problems of overcrowding and a breakdown of infrastructure in the main tourist season, again yes. Is this Adriatic gem a unique world city, third time lucky, yes. Is Dubrovnik a cheap destination? If you have just answered yes then you would disagree with the latest promotion by an international publication which lists Dubrovnik as one of the fourth cheapest destinations in Europe.


Millions pound the stone streets of Dubrovnik every year 

“Europe is a bucket-list chart topper, to say the least. The romance, the food, the adventure, the culture - it's all simply intoxicating. Unfortunately for those of us ballin’ on a budget, visiting may seem like little more than a dream. What’s unfortunate that you’re missing out on a trip that may be way more accessible than you could have imagined. Check out our breakdown of the cheapest airports to fly in/out of, and the most affordable places to crash - then put some of that paid time off to good use,” opens the article entitled “4 Cheap European Destinations To Visit This Summer” on the popular website The Discoverer.

Along with the cruise ship situation one of the most debated topics in the city’s tourism industry is the pricing structure, or more precisely the lack of a pricing structure. In many ways Dubrovnik and Croatia in general have been caught in the perfect storm. As more established tourist countries have been fighting their own battles and bad publicity Croatia has been sailing on much calmer waters. Turkey has had political unrest, many countries in North Africa have seen terrorist attacks, Greece is still recovering from economic turmoil and Spain and Portugal are in need of reinvention, in all of this Croatia has been flying under the radar. And Dubrovnik in particular, the Pearl of the Adriatic, has been basking in the spotlight, or rather limelight, of international film productions. The demand has been constantly rising, far outweighing the supply for hotel rooms overlooking the Adriatic. Almost every hotel in the city and wider region is working at 90 to 100 percent of capacity for six months of the year.

And this “perfect storm” has led to unprecedented interest in the city. Dubrovnik is often described as a victim of its own success, however a victim of bad organisation and planning would be closer to the truth.

Prices of accommodation range hugely, excursion prices, restaurant prices and even the price of a ball of ice-cream can have a 100 percent swing. From 39 Kunas in a popular Konavle restaurant to 5 Kunas in a beach bar in Mlini, the price of a ball of ice-cream shows the wide price fluctuations throughout Dubrovnik. If you wish to sip your cappuccino on the Stradun in the centre of the Old City then expect to pay twice as much as the same coffee would cost you away from the historic core. It’s not rocket science.

lavender dubrovnik price

Prices can vary hugely from shop to shop and city to city 

Clearly one man’s Monaco is another man’s Manchester and for the folk at the America website The Discoverer Dubrovnik is very affordable. “We’re all suckers for a city by the sea, and Dubrovnik’s weather-worn walls seem as if they’ve spent their whole lives patiently waiting to give you the experience of your dreams. Share in the stories of hundreds of years of lovers and adventurers that have walked the bright white limestone streets before you. This hotspot tourist destination goes wild in the summer, especially for the cruise crowd. Tourist prices can get a little high, but if you search for lodging outside the Old City, prices drop drastically,” writes the website.

The three other destinations on the list are Berlin, Prague and Brussels.




Humidity: 53%
Wind: NE at 28.97 km/h
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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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