Wednesday, 28 October 2020
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.


The first hydrogen vessel to sail around the world arrived in Croatia yesterday. Energy Observer was launched in April 2017 and is currently on a tour of 101 ports in 50 countries until 2022. Developed in collaboration with engineers from the CEA-LITEN the boat will test and prove the efficiency of a full production chain that relies on the coupling of different renewable energies.

Energy Observer is currently on its way to Venice and stopped in the Croatian port of Zadar after leaving Kotor in Montenegro.

energy zadar

The 30.5 metre-long and 12.8 metre-wide vessel was developed in cooperation with engineers from the Grenoble-based CEA-Liten, a major European research institute for development of sustainable energy technologies of the future.

The mission called "Energy Observer" is supported by the French government, the European Union and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

This expedition has for goal to reconcile ecology and technology and to prove that it is possible to reduce our impact on the environment without reducing our comfort.

Following the news from the union that represents staff of Croatia Airlines that they would strike this Monday comes the response from the management.

“Because of the current situation and the damage the strike will certainly cause our passengers, as well as Croatian tourism and economy as a whole, the decision was made that all the vacation approvals for July and August will be rescinded on the day the strike begins,” commented the management of Croatia Airlines.

They added that if the planned strike for 6.00am on Monday went ahead that they would dock the pay of the workers who go on strike.

The strike is planned to be held in front of the main Croatia Airlines offices and at all locations where the airlines carries out activities.

The union is requesting more holiday days, an agreement on a regular flight crew list, increasing sick leave benefits from 70 to 90 percent of salaries, as well as full-time employment for seasonal staff who have been employed for longer than a year, amongst other points.

An earthquake rumbled through Dubrovnik at a little after 11.00am this morning. The epicentre of the quake was in Albania but the quake was felt in the wider Dubrovnik region. “The paintings on the living room wall rattled,” commented a reader of The Dubrovnik Times.

According to information the epicentre of the morning quake was in the west-central Albaina town of Shijak which has a population of 34,513.

The earthquake was measured at a magnitude of 5 and at a depth of 10 kilometres.


Epicentre in Albania - Screnshot 

Croatia is living and breathing the beautiful game. It’s no secret that Croatians are sport mad and football holds a special place in their hearts. And with their success in the 2018 World Cup in Russia the mood in the country is effecting all different aspects of life.

Beer sales and snacks sales have gone through the roof since the tournament began with first estimates suggesting that sales went up by between 70 and 80 percent in June. And it is becoming increasing harder to find a TV to buy as the shops have seen a massive increase in the sale of large flat screen TVs. Since the beginning of the 2018 World Cup in Russia sales of televisions in Croatia have increased by a massive 400 percent, according to reports in the national media.

croatia celebrate 2018

Croatia celebrate victory over Denmark - Photo - Tom Dubravec / CROPIX

And after a victory the night sky is filled with fireworks, which is actually against the law as there fireworks can only be used at set periods throughout the year, and a spokesperson for a Croatian fireworks company suggested that people are using their stockpiles left over from the New Year. However, there are also reports that people are buying fireworks on the black market just to celebrate.

Buying a Croatian football shirt is near impossible as the whole country turns into red and white squares. The original Nike Croatian shirt is sold-out in the Nike shop in Zagreb, they only have a few children’s sizes and XXL shirts left. The original shirt, the famous red and white squares, costs 379 Kunas and the new “away” black dress costs 649 Kunas.

And now that Croatian have made it into the quarter finals where they will face the hosts Russia in Sochi more and more fans are trying different ways to get to the game. Of course the hosts will dominate the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, which holds just under 48,000 spectators, but around 6,000 Croatians are thought to have already purchased tickets.

From Zagreb to Sochi to Zagreb is 2660 kilometres, or around a 38-hour drive not including stops, and would cost around 2,000 Kuna in fuel and road tariffs. Travel agencies are selling special World Cup packages for around 7,000 Kuna, which include charter flights, breakfast, transfers, and return flights immediately after the game. But finding a ticket for the quarter finals could prove tricky. All the Croatian allotment have already been sold out but there are still tickets in the neutral zones as well as ticket agencies reselling tickets. Prices are reported to be up to 14,000 Kuna for a ticket.

The Old City of Dubrovnik reverberated to the sounds of England football fans last night as their team qualified to the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. England played Colombia in the first round of the knock-out stages and it was a nail biting affair as the English squeezed through on penalties.

Traditionally the most frequent tourists to Dubrovnik, in terms of nationality, are British, and this showed last night as many hundreds filled the cafes, restaurants and bars of Dubrovnik to watch the big game.

The Stradun was awash with England football shirts and waiters in the bars kept the beer flowing. England now face Sweden in the quarter finals with a possible clash with Croatia in the semi-finals.

england colombia dubrovnik

The staff of Croatia Airlines, the national airline of Croatia, have announced that next Monday they will go on strike.

As stated in their statement, the strike was decided because during the collective contract bargaining the union’s proposal, which was submitted on the 6th of April last year, was not accepted.

“The strike begins on Monday 09.07.2018. at 6:00 am and will run until the strike demands are met or the committee decides to end the strike,” they announced.

The strike will be held in front of the main Croatia Airlines offices and at all locations where the airlines carries out activities.

The union is requesting more holiday days, an agreement on a regular flight crew list, increasing sick leave benefits from 70 to 90 percent of salaries, as well as full-time employment for seasonal staff who have been employed for longer than a year, amongst other points.

Passengers flying from Dubrovnik airport to London Stanstead Airport this morning had an unpleasant surprise.

The Easyjet flight scheduled to depart at 10.15 from Dubrovnik airport was cancelled. According to information from the airport the reason that the London flights was cancelled was due to “crew illness.”

Apparently this was the reason that the Easyjet flights didn’t arrive from Stanstead this morning at 9.40. Information from the airline indicates that Easyjet will make sure that the passengers who were left behind in Dubrovnik will be transferred to another flight.

Almost a half of the nation tuned in to watch Croatia take on Denmark in the first round of knock out games. According to information from the Croatia Radio Television (HRT) the dramatic win over Denmark was followed by 2,000,152 viewers. The end of the match, the penalties to decide who would face Russia in the quarter finals, was watched by 86 percent of the total people watching TV. This is a record breaking number for HRT 2.

When you bear in mind that the Croatian population is around 4.1 million it means that almost half of the entire population were glued to the 2018 World Cup. The game against Denmark was Croatia’s most watched game of the World Cup so far and will go into the record books in the top ten of most watched sporting events ever.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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