Sunday, 23 September 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

Always the best way to understand a society and get closer to its people is to learn the local language. And now, even if you are only in Dubrovnik for a few days, you have the chance to pick up a few phrases and words with a free mini-course of Croatian.

The Europe House Dubrovnik is organising daily free of charge lessons so that you can learn a few Croatian basics as well as getting to know your surroundings.

“The Croatian language mini-course is a non-formal way to learn the basics of the Croatian language by socializing with local youth. The course is free of charge, and the content is being tailored to participants' interests and needs on a daily basis,” commented Adriana Kremenjaš-Daničić from Europe House Dubrovnik.

The courses are open every day, from Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 1.00pm, and on Wednesdays from 7.00am to 10.00am. The Europe House Dubrovnik is based at Nikola Tesla Street 9, Dubrovnik.

You like our city and would love to learn more about your hosts, but you are here just for a few days? No problem – Nema problema!

croatian mini course dubrovnik

I have ruined a shirt, burnt two saucepans, lost the keys, stuffed myself on pizza and gorged myself on action movies. Yes, you have guessed it I am home alone!

Once again I am Kevin McCallister alone in a big house all on my own. The only difference is that I am not defending myself from burglars, just mosquitoes. Come to think of it I don’t seem to find myself Home Alone very often. Could it be that my wife loves me so much that she doesn’t want to leave me? Or maybe she doesn’t think I can survive on my own? Let’s hope it is a combination of the two.

When I say Home Alone that isn’t strictly true. Every night I am having a bed full of friends! And before you start getting the wrong idea, these friends are man’s best friends, my two dogs. In fact I probably have more room in my bed when my wife is here...less dogs. I guess they feel sorry for me, all on my own some, and have decided o comfort me.

Generally I enjoy my own company; in fact I really enjoy my own company. We always seem to have the complete opposite of Home Alone – “Full House.”

But the problem with being alone is that I start doing wacky things, probably because I have lost my rudder. My compass is spinning around all over the place and my once structured life is now chaos system. I forget to eat. There was one day last night when I woke up starving hungry, “What did I eat today,” I asked the pair of blinking eyes lying next to me. He looked back as if to say, “go back to sleep.” Instead of eating at regular times I only eat when I’m hungry, if I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat. However I have managed to destroy two saucepans, one looks like a Picasso painting and the other an atomic explosion with the additional bonus of some of my finger skin.

Realising I was running low of supplies I headed for the supermarket. Half an hour later and my three bags were full. It wasn’t until I got home and unloaded them that I saw the horror of a man going food shopping. I had nothing green in any of the bags. Nothing resembling anything healthy at all, no fruit, no vegetables, nothing that had actually been grow! I had tonnes of red meat, like half a cow. Junk food, sauces, crisps, chocolate, cereals, M&Ms (of course), peanuts, biscuits, a frozen pizza, dog food (not for me) and for some unknown reason an extra large family-pack of chewing gum, I don’t even remember picking that one up. I had cereal but no milk! Half a cow, and probably most of a pig, and yet no vegetables, not even one solitary potato.

To say that I have been eating sporadically and one-dimensionally would be an understatement. At least I am getting vitamin D from the sun and an overload of vitamin B from all the red meat, although my coronary veins are probably slowly closing.

And then, quite out of the blue, came an unusual request. “Can you go to the Rixos hotel and write a report about their breakfast?” I only had one question, “do I get to eat a breakfast?“ I heard, somewhere in the distance, “of course” as I rushed to phone the hotel. “Can you come at 8.30am,” said the voice at the other end of the phone. “I can come tonight and wait,” is what I wanted to say.

I was there at 8.20 the next morning, oh man was I hungry. Well not particularly hungry, just in need of something that had been grown in soil. I met the hotel representative and we sat down for a coffee. Unfortunately right in my eye line was a chef! And not just any chef, the fruit chef, I’m not even sure that there is such a thing as a fruit chef. But this guy was slicing up ripe watermelons, dicing grapefruit, peeling oranges and halving pineapples right in my eye line.

As hard as I tried to concentrate on the attractive lady in front of me and her PR talk about the hotel all I could see was the fruit juice running down the knife. I was in love with a grapefruit. He slowly skinned a melon, the peel falling to the chopping board, this was fruit porn!

Every inch of my body craved fruit, all of it. “Would you like to join me for breakfast,” I think she got to “join me” and I was already out of my chair. Destination fruit bar, mission – grab as much as possible. The fruit mountain on my plate grew until snow formed on the upper slopes. “Oh, I see you like a healthy breakfast,” my friendly PR lady commented as I struggled to carry the plate to the table. Oh, maybe I had gone a little over the top. How could I explain that I was Home Alone and living off a diet similar to a wolf, with the red meat, and Homer Simpson with the junk food? “Well, yes, I do like to look after myself,” was the only answer I could think of, which in fact was a complete lie. But I didn’t care I was getting a fruit infusion!

Indian dancer and choreographer Sneha Bharadwaj will perform on Thursday the 11th of August at 9:30pm on the Fort Revelin Terrace as part of the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Bharadwaj will bring an international feel and a taste of classical dances from her homeland to this year’s festival.

Bharadwaj started dancing at the age of five and today is one of the most famous dancers from India. She was educated in Bangalore University where she achieved a degree in dance. In 2005 she won the prestigious Indian awards in Aryabhatta and has performed at various dance festivals all over the world, in the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland and many other countries.

Thanks to the patronage of the Indian Embassy in Zagreb audiences in Dubrovnik will have this unique opportunity to experience classical Indian. Tickets are on sale at 100 Kunas and are available at the box office in the ground floor of the Festival Palace or on the door one hour before the performance begins.

Sneha Bharadwaj

As today is a public holiday in Croatia the weekend started early. With temperatures soaring to 33 degrees in the shade and the historic Old City glinting in the August sunshine it was another active day in Dubrovnik. 

Check out our photo gallery today by Niksa Duper.

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According to the words of Anton Kliman, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, this year Croatia will have a record-breaking tourist season and can expect to generate an income of more than 8 billion Euros from the tourism industry.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has published an analysis titled ''Assessment of the increase in the number of consumers and the potential consumption of food and beverage during tourist season''. The HGK included all of the data from the 2015 tourist season when the revenue from tourism amounted to 7.96 billion Euros.

Using data from the Institute for Tourism, the HGK's analysis showed that foreign tourists on holiday in Croatia spent on average 66.4 Euros a day, of which 18 per cent or 12.2 Euros was spent on the consumption of food and drinks outside of accommodation facilities.

According to the analysis foreign tourists who spent the most in 2015 were British (122 Euros) followed by Russians (99 Euros), French (95 Euros) and Austrians (72 Euros).

The HGK analysis also showed that the number of consumers during peak season (including locals and tourists) in terms of food and beverage, in the Istria County increased by 350.5 per cent. In the Zadar County the increase was 228.6 per cent and in the Sibenik-Knin County 219.6 per cent. This percentage in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was 203 per cent whilst the Split-Dalmatia County recorded 175.9 per cent.

When you are going to family vacation, one of the most important information is if the destination is kid-friendly. Croatia is full of beauties and according to the site Momaboard, it's full of places that children can enjoy too.
Dubrovnik found its place on the list of the best kid friendly destinations in Croatia.
- This is the undisputed gem of the whole Adriatic Sea, an ancient town with a colourful history that changed owners and rulers again and again, but nevertheless has succeeded in carving out its own unique character and charm – writes the author of the article, mentioning that Dubrovnik reached prominence during the period of Republic of Ragusa.
-Take your kids on a cable car ride above the city to the Srdj hill and enjoy spectacular views of Dubrovnik Old Town, the deep blue sea and the surrounding islands. Or visit the Aquarium inside the Sveti Ivan tower and discover species straight from the Adriatic Sea, even including sea turtles – the kids will love them! – says the author.
Some other places on this list are: Korcula, Hvar, Trogir, Split and Vis.

Apart from its natural beauties and booming tourism industry Croatia is also rapidly becoming recognised as a hotbed for young innovators. After the smart benches that have recently been placed all over Croatia and exported all over the world, a team of young Croatians gone one step further with another ''green'' invention - the first Croatian smart shower.

Three young students of economics from Osijek, Matias Knezevic (20), Kristijan Gorupic (21) and Niko Jelec (21) have been working on their invention for over a year and a few days ago they have placed their first Smart Shower LOOPS in their native city of Osijek.

smart shower inventors

''This is a multi-purpose shower and is intended for outdoors. It operates using the renewable energy resources i.e. it has 300 W battery on top of the construction that collects solar energy during the day and automatically activates the lighting system after sunset. The Smart Shower LOOPS also has advertising panels and provides 4G Internet access up to a range of 500 meters 24 hours a day. Around 60 people can access the internet at the same time'', commented the young trio.

The construction of the Smart Shower is made of stainless steel whilst a base is made of quality wood which is much better in terms of hygienic conditions. It also has a purifier that provides protection from lime scale.

The young innovators have been searching the internet in order to find a similar product but, as it seems, their smart shower is the first of the kind on the planet.

They expect their invention to be recognised on the market and hope to expand their business along the Adriatic coastline next summer.

smart shower croatia

Another great green invention from Croatia - Photo Vlado kos / Cropix 

A group of tourists from Luxembourg sailed the Croatian Adriatic coastline this summer and were left breath taken by the bays, islands, coves and nature. In fact they were so impressed that they decided to film their sailing adventure and have put together this stunning aerial video.

“Epic landscapes, amazing colours, beautiful weather, soothing breeze of the Mediterranean and lots of fun - this video is a glimpse on our journey,” commented the sailors on their YouTube channel.

The drone video was recorded in various locations along the Croatia coastline including the islands of Brac, Vis and Saint Klement.
A great advert for sailing in the Adriatic Sea, now check out the video. .

Mostly cloudy

20°C

Dubrovnik

Mostly cloudy
Humidity: 79%
Wind: NE at 11.27 km/h
Monday
Rain
17°C / 25°C
Tuesday
Windy
17°C / 21°C
Wednesday
SP_WEATHER_BREEZY
16°C / 22°C
Thursday
Mostly sunny
14°C / 21°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

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