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.
“I just love learning languages, for me it is like different types of music,” commented Samatha Becker from South Africa after a Croatian language course at the Europe House in Dubrovnik.
And Samatha wasn’t alone at the language course; she was joined by a young couple from Australia, Luke Zhang and Shifra Joseph, who also sang the praises of the course.
Getting to grips with the basics
Europe House Dubrovnik is located at Nikola Tesla Street 9 which is in the Batala suburb of Dubrovnik. It is easy to reach and there are plenty of buses that stop almost directly outside of the offices. The Croatian language mini-courses run every day from 2.00pm to 6.00pm, from Monday to Friday, up until the 15th of September, and the courses are free of charge.
The course lasts for two hours which is more than enough to give you a good basic understanding of the language. At least you’ll be able to ask your waiter a few questions and meet and greet people. “I think what I have learnt today will be very useful to at least establish an initial rapport and then I will flip into English. But at least I won’t go straight into English,” explained Shifra with a smile.
Easy to find the offices on Nikola Tesla Street
These courses are aimed at visitors to the city and as the President of Europe House Dubrovnik, Adriana Kremenjaš Daničič, explained “Croatia is a small country and in comparison with the world's largest languages, the very few people speak Croatian. That is why we do not expect our visitors to know our language. But everywhere in the world, even in Croatia, people are delighted when foreigners try and speak their language.”
And they seem to be working well. Luke from Australia added that when asked how difficult it had been to learn Croatian answered “It has been really fun, our teacher Barbara was excellent. It will take me a while to get the hang of the language but this course has certainly helped.”
Mini-course proving popular
Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) is very active in the Dubrovnik community. Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) was founded in March 1995 as a non-profit, non-party and non-governmental association. The Statute was signed by the representatives of 24 legal entities from various parts of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The founding goals were to affirm the concept of European unification, to inform Croatian citizens, especially young people, on the progress of European integration, to foster their understanding, tolerance and dialogue with the citizens of other states, and to promote Croatia through cooperation with foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations.
And apart from the Croatian mini-course that are currently being held in the Europe House Dubrovnik the organisation also organizes educational workshops, lectures, exhibitions, round tables, media campaigns, celebrations for Europe Day, international seminars and conferences. Besides releasing its own publications, EHD also collects and distributes publications on various aspects of European integration, in several European languages. The activities are mostly youth-oriented, so that most of the associates are young people. After Croatia's EU-accession in 2013, Europe House Dubrovnik became part of the European Commission's network Europe Direct as a host of the Europe Direct Dubrovnik Information Centre
Find the Europe House Dubrovnik
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, has been spotted on his summer holidays in Dubrovnik. He is currently on a break in Croatia and was spotted in Dubrovnik by some English tourists.
Looking relaxed and wearing casual the leader of the Labour Party was seen in a Dubrovnik side street. According to reports he has been enjoying a cycling holiday in Croatia, although as temperatures are around 35 degrees he will do well to avoid the midday sun.
Jeremy Corbyn has been the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition since 2015 and the Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983.
With the heat wave raising temperatures in Dubrovnik, fountains turn to be real life savers. Tourists and locals approached them the whole day – drinking water or even washing themselves as the temperatures got higher and higher. We can expect to see this kind of scenery tomorrow too, as the temperatures will rise to around 37 degrees at will remain at least that high for the next seven days.
Check out this interesting fountain photo gallery by Niksa Duper.
In the first seven months of this year, Dubrovnik has achieved record breaking tourism results! According to the system of registration and booking system E-visitor, from January 1st to July 31st, 649,440 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, which is 18 percent more than in the same period last year. There were 2,151,212 overnight stays, or 15 percent more than in 2016. In the first seven months, the largest number of tourists came from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Croatia, Sweden, Spain, Australia, Norway and Finland.
In the hotel accommodation, in the same period, there were 360,479 guests, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year, and there were 1,171,391 overnight stays, 4.5 percent more than last year. The largest number of guests in the hotels were from the United Kingdom, USA, France, Germany, Croatia, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Finland and Ireland.
Private accommodation in the first seven months of this year generated 208,899 arrivals, or 32 percent more than in the same period last year, and 724,513 overnight stays, which is 27 percent more than in 2016. The largest number of tourists in private accommodation were from the United Kingdom, USA, France, Germany, Norway, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Canada and Finland.
This year's July recorded excellent results! Only in July there were 208,355 arrivals, up 14 percent more than in the same month last year and 759,231 overnight stays, which is 9 percent more than 2016. Number one visitors in July were tourists from the United Kingdom, followed by tourists from the United States, France, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Finland and Ireland.
The temperatures are about to get even warmer in Dubrovnik as heat wave warnings are released. From tomorrow the temperatures will rise to around 37 degrees at will remain at least that high for the next seven days.
“Red warning for extreme high temperatures. Maximum temperature 35-39,” is how the weather forecasters predict the upcoming days in Dubrovnik. The current temperature in Dubrovnik is 33 degrees with around 45 percent humidity.
The forecast for the weekend is for extremely warm weather with highs to hit 36 degrees. With a very slight southerly wind and absolutely no rain forecast Dubrovnik is in for a period of high humidity and scorching sunshine. The night time temperatures will also be high, around 26 degrees, and the long range forecast shows more sunshine for the rest of August.
The first human milk bank is to be opened in Croatia within a year. ''The bank will be part of KBC Zagreb, whilst the investment is estimated at 2 million Kunas. This project has been initiated in order to provide the best possible care to premature born infants and ill newborns. Each year around 2,000 children are born prematurely in Croatia, whilst 400 of them need intensive care. In this case, breast milk is crucial to their survival and a healthy growth'', commented Gorana Banda from UNICEF.
Banda also explained that a human milk bank or breast milk bank is a service, which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant. This milk is intended for premature born infants whose mothers cannot be with their children, as well as for all infants whose mothers cannot supply their own breast milk to their child for some reason.
‘’Breast milk has nutritional properties and is a cure when talking about premature infants. Once the first bank opens, all mothers, who want that, will be able to donate their milk, if they meet certain conditions. Mothers who decide to donate their milk should be healthy as it is the case with blood donors’’, explained Gorana Banda.
In order to popularize this project and to gather donations for the first human milk bank in Croatia, UNICEF will organize a humanitarian race titled ‘’Milky Way’’ in Zagreb on the 10th of September 2017.
In addition, the International Milk Banking Initiative (IMBI) was founded at the International HMBANA Congress in 2005. It lists 33 countries with milk bank programs. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the first alternative to a biological mother not being able to breast feed is the use of human milk from other sources.
Croatian Mountain Rescue Service is well known for their quick and effective reactions, but has become a real hit on the social media channels too. One of their latest posts jokes around with the hottest accessory this summer – inflatable flamingo.
‘’Hold on to it. Makes it easier for us to find you.’’ – it’s written on the photo, along with the caption ‘’#deartourists we noticed a pattern...so...’’ with hashtags such as #isurvivedholidaysincroatia and #bura.
Their posts has numerous reactions, with people saying that they are thankful – for their help but also for bringing smiles to their faces.
Parking in Dubrovnik can be tricky in the summer months, finding an empty space is challenging. But even parking in the tiny seaside village of Brsečine can prove difficult. This Mini almost had much bigger problems as it stopped halfway over the edge of a Cliffside in Brsečine.
It appeared that the driver had been attempting to turn around on the small road and even though he was driving a Mini he quite clearly didn’t have enough room to manoeuvre. Luckily he stopped, pulled the hand brake, and was left dangling over the edge. Passersby tried to help drag the car back from the edge but to no avail, until a tow truck was called.