Monday, 21 June 2021
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.


Twelve prominent journalists of prestigious Russian media outlets such as Bazzar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle, Cosmo, Grazia and Style are staying this week in Dubrovnik where they are preparing publications and reports.

The stay of a group of Russian journalists in Dubrovnik was organized by the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik Hotel and with the support of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. During their several-day stay at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik Hotel, the journalists will visit Dubrovnik and the local islands. The emphasis of publications in the Russian media is on the cultural and historical sights and the rich gastronomic offer of Dubrovnik.

The Russian journalists were welcomed by the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnić, and pointed out that Dubrovnik is an extremely safe destination with a favourable epidemiological situation.

Russians are the ninth most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik this year, with 1,188 Russian tourists arriving in the city and achieving 3,869 overnight stays.

And the feedback from the Russian group of journalists has been positive so far with mentions of the excellent direct flight connections with Moscow and the favourable Covid-19 situation.

The journalists pointed out that there is currently a great deal of interest in the Russian market for holidays in Dubrovnik, which is certainly due to direct flights with Moscow by the airline Aeroflot.


In the last 24 hours, 18 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 847.

Among them, 404 people are in hospital, of which 26 are on ventilators.

Unfortunately, a further 12 people passed away in the past 24 hours.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 358,581 people have been infected, of which 8,152 have died and a total of 349,582 have recovered.

There are currently 6,012 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 2,080,792 people have been tested, of which 2,082 were tested in the last 24 hours.

As of June 1,413,933 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, of which 725,883 have received both doses.

And according to information, as of June 10th, from the 7-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Croatia is 30.2. Compared to 64.1 in Greece, 61.8 in the UK, 59 in France and 58.8 in Spain.

In the last 24 hours, no cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Five people made a full recovery - two from Dubrovnik, two from Opuzen and one from Ploče.

In the last 24 hours, 87 samples were processed, and a total of 79,086 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Three people tested positive for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

185 people are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there have been five violations of the self-isolation measure (all at the border).

And the whole of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has now been listed as green on the interactive map of Covid cases in Croatia. Over the last 7 days there have been only 12 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the county, and in the past fortnight that number is 24.

One Dubrovnik bar has been listed on the best rooftop bars in Europe, and it isn’t even really a rooftop bar! The popular Buža bar, located just outside the Dubrovnik city walls has been ranked as the 12th best rooftop bar in Europe on a new article from Big 7 Travel.

Taking into account online reviews from Google, Tripadvisor and previous media coverage, as well as input from the editorial team of Big 7 on factors including rooftop views, design and drinks list, they have revealed the hottest places to sip 'n' social distance this summer.

“This is a rooftop bar taken to the next level: a bar on a cliff! Buža Bar lies just outside of Dubrovnik’s city walls and because of its popularity, you’ll often find many tourists here. Best time to come here is right before sunset. Enjoy a drink of your choice as you watch the beautiful sunset at Buža Bar,” writes Big 7 on this Dubrovnik bar.


When we heard that a Danish author was including Dubrovnik and the wider region in her latest novel we just had to discover more. An-Magritt Wibell Nygaard, is a bestselling novelist from Denmark and visited Dubrovnik a few years ago, and clearly the walled city gave her a sprinkling of inspiration for her new novel. “I was instantly captured by the atmosphere, warm people, and excellent sincere hospitality,” commented Wibell Nygaard. So how did Dubrovnik, and indeed Bosnia and Herzegovina, end up in her latest book and what is the story line? The background, and this isn’t a spoiler, is a story of a strong woman discovering a family secret, solving a mystery, finding the truth and her roots. It's also a story, of how connected Europe really is through our timeline. It's a story of a woman, born in Bosnian, later moving to Dubrovnik. Her parents are from Bosnia and Croatia. All her life, she has heard her paternal grandmother speaking of a family mystery, connected to an old castle. The story will be told from the Croatian - Bosnian side, perspective and standpoint.

We were thrilled to learn that not only Croatia, but actually Dubrovnik, features heavily in your upcoming book. How did this connection begin? And why did you choose Dubrovnik as a location?

It’s a combination of many things. To start with, I had the pleasure to be in Dubrovnik for several weeks some years ago. I was instantly captured by the atmosphere, warm people, and excellent sincere hospitality. Then it was the town itself. It’s like glazing in to our past, in a very real matter. In the same time its mixed with our present time. For me this is a visible feeling of continuity. During my research, I came across names, events and places which forced me to pay close attention to Dubrovnik during our European historic timeline.

You state that the novel is based on real people and on actual facts, although of course the names have been changed. How long did it take for you to research the material you needed to start writing?

Not all the names have been changed. I have changed the name of the leading lady to a more modern name. The research goes slowly – step by step. That’s typical when I start to read and study old documents and archives. One thing leads to another. I think as the story developed, and still is, I have until now been researching for around four years. It’s a long process, to get the facts right.

We know that you’ve already visited Dubrovnik and the region, but you state “not as an ordinary tourist,” so what impression did the city leave on you?

My impression of Dubrovnik, is like Ragusa. Deep. A magical city, where the heart of Europe seems to be, in a different way than any other places in Europe. With the city walls, the forts, the old part of town and architecture, I can almost see, how it must have been to live here many centuries ago. And the people struck me as kind, open and helpful, full of smiles. It was quite sad to leave.


Are you looking for more people, such as historians and experts, to come forward and assist with your research?

Yes, I hope this can be possible. I want to tell this story, from a Croatian standpoint. Not my interpretation of how I think it is. I always work with authenticity in my novels. This is important, and the story deserve this. It is also incredible interesting to learn more about the real Croatian cultures, and traditions. So help from historians, and experts would be perfect. I also hope some publishers in Croatia discover the story, but also my two last historic novels.

Once you have all the required research how long does it usually take you to complete a novel? Finding the time, and indeed the dedication, must be challenging. What advice would you offer to budding authors?

It’s a complicated but interesting process which takes the time it requires. I do not “control the time limit”, the facts around the story control that. The time I use for one novel depends on the novel, each project has its own challenges. This one required more time, but since I am focusing on the story, and what I discover, I kind of forget the time and fall into a different time space which I call my “writing bubble.” The dedication is the love for the story I want to tell, and respect for the readers. I want to bring up our forgotten stories, happenings and things that once were important, and played a huge role in the bigger picture but are now forgotten. That’s my joy. To discover our forgotten little details and events. To try to give people who are no longer with us a new voice, bring them back to life again. I work hard to do this correctly. Every author has their approach, desires and system. My advice is to not give up. The times when the work seems difficult, remind yourself of why you started to write the story to begin with. And read. Make notes.

As Dubrovnik and Bosnia and Herzegovina are featured in the novel it would be interesting to have this book translated into Croatian. Is that something you are considering?

Yes. But it’s not for me to decide. But I have a desire for Croatian Publishers picking up this story, - and my two historical novels, it would be a great start to translate these two books, and publish them in Croatia, while I writing this one. I hope there could be some interest. We are so connected in Europe, despite our different nuances, in culture and traditions, we share the same root of a mutual old culture. That’s why we understand one another so well.

And finally, what message do you have for future readers?

I hope I manage to show how many close ties we have, how connected we really are, in many ways, through my novels. I have a desire to share this and the unity, and how important it is to protect every aspect of our culture, traditions and respect for people who were a part of the development. A story of people.


Croatia will be connected by the Pelješac Bridge before the deadline, in about 30 days, writes Večernji list.

Out of a total of 165 segments of the steel span structure of the Pelješac Bridge, according to Hrvatske ceste, 134 of them have been installed so far, with a total length of 1,850 meters. This means that only 31 segments with a total length of 550 meters remain to be installed, in order to connect southern Dalmatia with the rest of Croatia with a 2.4-kilometer-long bridge.

And this very important symbolic moment of the merging of the two parts of Croatia will happen sooner than expected. When the assembly of the segments started, the plan was to install the last segment at the end of September or the beginning of October, but now it is planned that this will happen at the end of July or the beginning of August.

So, in a little over a month and exactly three years after the Chinese construction company started work on the largest infrastructure project in Croatia the bridge could be finished.

As expected the whole of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has now been coloured green on the interactive Covid map of Croatia created by the Croatian Tourism Association (CTA) which shows information on the epidemiological situation in our country by counties and islands.

With the number of new cases across the whole of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County it was inevitable that the county would be the third county in Croatia to get the green ranking. Over the last 7 days there have been only 12 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the county, and in the past fortnight that number is 24.

This interactive map has proved a popular resource with tourists wishing to visit Croatia and has received over a million hits so far, mainly from Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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