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 forest fires that burned above Dubrovnik have once again started this afternoon. The fires, covering a large area of land above the town of Ivanica, are on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Dubrovnik fire brigade were on the scene last night as smoke filled the air and flames raged through the grasslands. It was believed that the fires were started by lightning and they were thought to have been extinguished at 5.00 am this morning. However, these latest photos, sent to us by readers of The Dubrovnik Times, clearly show that they are back and once again sending clouds of thick smoke in the sky.
Photo by Russel Gardner
“Coming into Dubrovnik and can see the forest fires @DubrovnikTimes,” commented Richard McKelvey and sent us exclusive photos as he was coming into land at Dubrovnik Airport.
One other eye witness, Russel Gardner, also took some amazing photos of the plumes of smoke and added “The fires didn’t really go out and they have flared up again. I can’t see flames only smoke. Will wait till it goes dark to see if there are any flames.”
American Airlines have confirmed that a direct connection between America and Dubrovnik will be operated in the 2019 summer season. According to information from the company the new flights will operate three times a week with the first flight starting on the 7th of June.
America Airlines, the world’s largest airline, will fly direct from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik and this will be the first direct scheduled connection since the early 1990s.
The flights, which will be operated until the 27th of September, will operate using Boeing 767s.
“By providing the only nonstop service from North America to Dubrovnik and adding Berlin to our international footprint, American is making it easier to see the world,” said Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning. “Through our Atlantic Joint Business, we have seen increased interest to these markets from the U.S., and adjusting our network to introduce these destinations will provide more choices for customers on both sides of the Atlantic.”
These seasonal flights will be operated June through September on Boeing 767 aircraft, featuring lie-flat business class seats, Cole Haan amenity kits and chef-designed meals with award-winning wines. American’s new flights will be available for sale from the 27th of August this year.
Dubrovnik is certainly on the radar for American tourists, fuelled to a certain extent by the popularity of the serial Game of Thrones which was largely filmed in the city. With the introduction of these new lines even more American guests will be able to visit the city. Until now there have been no direct flights between Croatia and the US so the news that flights will be opened for next season is sure to be welcomed.
In Dubrovnik, the end of August and almost all of September are reserved for top classical music concerts. For the sixth year in a row, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has organised the Dubrovnik Late Summer International Music Festival, bringing together many national and internationally acclaimed artists.
The music director of the festival is the Austrian conductor Christoph Campestrini, and this year's festival will run from August 28th to September 21st. Over the course of 13 festival concerts, the orchestra will host many internationally acclaimed conductors, such as Nicholas Milton, Christoph Koenig, Darrell Ang, TaeJung Lee, and Tomislav Fačini, and of course, the music director of the festival, Christoph Campestini.
Many renowned Croatian and international musicians will perform during the festival: Ukrainian violinist Aleksay Semenenko, Bulgarian pianist Plamena Mangova, one of the best and most sought after Croatian musicians abroad – pianist Martina Filjak, clarinet player Marija Pavlović and cellist Monika Leskovar, Russian violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky, violinist Đana Kahriman, cellist Smiljan Mrčela, pianists Marija Grazio and Aljoša Lečić, mezzo-soprano Dubravka Šeparović Mušović and others.
“Croatia officially rules,” commented the lead singer of the American rock band One Republic, Ryan Tedder on his Instagram story. Tedder (39) is enjoying a Mediterranean vacation and has visited Rome and is now in Croatia.
After a flying visit to Dubrovnik the rocker took a luxury yacht to the island of Hvar. It is rumoured that One Republic were in Rome to record their latest album and are now in Croatia to relax.
Forest fires have lit up the night sky tonight. In the town of Ivanica on the border of Croatia and Bosnian and Herzegovina a forest fire is filling the sky with black smoke. These photos were sent to us by a reader and clearly show the size and scale of the fire. A dry storm is currently over the region and it is possible that the fires were started by lightning.
So far there is now news from the Dubrovnik fire brigade as to if they will assist in fighting the fires. Just three days ago a forest fire in the same area was extinguished with help with the fire brigade of Zupa. A strong to moderate southerly wind will make fighting the fire even more challenging. The Dubrovnik Fire Brigade have reported that they are aware of the blaze and that they have sent a team on site to observe the extent of the fire and possible fire-fighting measures.
Fires burn over the border - Reader's photo
Croatian captain and real Madrid midfield star Luka Modrić has been shortlisted by UEFA as one of the players of the year for 2017/2018.
Modrić is in lofty company with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah the other two candidates in the three-man list.
According to UEFA the winner will be named – along with the UEFA Women's Player of the Year and UEFA Champions League positional award winners – during the group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 30 August.
Along with picking up a silver medal with Croatia at this year’s World Cup in Russia Modrić was also named Player of the Tournament and won the Golden Ball. Interestingly there are no French players in the top three candidates, although the French striker Antoine Griezmann came in fourth position.
Three candidates - Photo UEFA
The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations. Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
Lionel Messi came in fifth position, Kylian Mbappé, Kevin De Bruyne, Raphaël Varane, Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos.
Croatia has another link with Ukraine after the opening of a consulate in Split. At the opening ceremony held today the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, commented that “The consulate would help to advance economic co-operation and trade and investment between the two countries.”
The Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Split is Ivica Piric, a retired Croatian football player and president and co-owner of Arsenal-Kiyv football club.
“Consul Piric showed throughout his professional career, but also with his great heart and expressions of solidarity with Ukrainian children in the last few years, that we can help each other in difficult situations,” Plenkovic added.
Last year about 80,000 Ukrainians spent their summer vacation in Croatia with the vast majority on the Adriatic coastline.
Oprah Winfrey is currently cruising the Croatian Adriatic with the Italian businessman Giancarlo Giammetti. The talk show host, actress and producer appeared on a photo taken by Giammetti on a luxury yacht with the comment “An evening in Dubrovnik with a great woman I am proud to call a friend @oprah.”
Giancarlo Giammetti is the Honorary President of the fashion giant Valentino and is also the cofounder of Valentino Company.
It had been rumoured back in 2007 that Oprah planned to purchase real estate in Dubrovnik, however this proved to be only a rumour. At the time it was thought that Oprah was interested in a stone house in the heart of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik on the market for $5 million.
Oprah has yet to be spotted in the Old City of Dubrovnik on this trip, but it would appear that she is on-board a luxury yacht on anchor between the island of Lokrum and the Old City. Giammetti on the other hand has been more adventurous and has explored the stone streets of the city.
Giancarlo Giammetti enjoys the sights of the Old City of Dubrovnik - Photo Instagram
Giancarlo Giammetti on the Adriatic - Photo Instagram