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.
Dubrovnik is experiencing a bumper start to the 2017 tourist season and this is best shown by the increase in passengers through Dubrovnik Airport. Figures just released from the airport show that April was the busiest April on record with 143,912 passengers handled. This figure is a massive 52 percent increase over April from 2016.
Part of this increase comes from the fact that Nissan held a major event in Dubrovnik in the first three months of this year, during which at least one extra flight was put on every day. However regardless of the boost from Nissan the increase is still significant and highlights the fact that Dubrovnik’s traditional summer tourist season is slowly being expanded.
Since the beginning of the year Dubrovnik Airport has handled 219,888 passengers which is a healthy 26 percent increase over the same period from last year. And as the airport missed the two million passengers mark last year by a few thousand it would seem that it is well on course to smash the two million barrier this year.
The Croatian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) is considering on buying drones to control Croatian borders in places where the terrain is inaccessible.
According to unofficial information, the Ministry of the Interior is considering the possibility of purchasing the technical equipment in the near future for the purpose of controlling parts of the country's borders where any other type of surveillance is difficult or less efficient.
This option was mentioned recently in the report on implementation of the revised Schengen Action Plan for 2016, with which the Ministry of the Interior notified the Government about preparations for Croatia's accession to the Schengen area. The Croatian government adopted this plan at its session in April.
In the document, the MUP referred to the technical equipment for surveillance of the exterior border and stated that it considered ''the need to acquire additional terrain vehicles, quad bikes as well as drones and unmanned aerial vehicles'' that would be used in inaccessible terrain such as woods.
At the 12th edition of the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles on 27th of April, the Croatian film ‘’The Constitution’’ was awarded the Grand Jury Prize ‘’Bridging the Borders Award’’ for Best Feature Film.
The Constitution (Ustav Republike Hrvatske) is a 2016 drama film directed by Rajko Grlic, starring Nebojša Glogovac, Ksenija Marinkovic, Dejan Acimovic, and Bozidar Smiljanic.
During the eight-day of the festival which was held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, this remarkable and very comic ‘’love story about hate’’ was screened among 12 feature-length films, 8 documentaries and 36 short films.
The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Montreal World Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Grand Prize of the Americas for the Best film.
Apart from winning the Grand Prize of the Americas in Montreal, and Best International Feature Film Award of the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January 2017, among other awards, ‘’The Constitution’’ has enjoyed critical and commercial success wherever it was shown.
Tourists always try to find new ways to enjoy Dubrovnik. Since it’s a popular destination, most of them are trying to find less mainstream places and views.
Sometimes they get a bit adventurous, like this group of tourists that decided to sit back and relax on the top of Lovrijenac Fortress. Brave and risky with a spectacular view for sure – but a bit too dangerous for our taste.
According to a press release from the President’s office, the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will be visiting Malta from the 8th to the 10th of May 2017.
The three-day official visit of the Croatian president is the first such visit to this European country, which is presiding over the EU for the first six months of this year.
During her visit, Grabar-Kitarovic is to meet with her Maltese counterpart Marie-Loise Coleiro Preca in the Maltese capital of La Valleta. In addition, Grabar-Kitarovic will hold several working meetings; with the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta Angelo Farrugia, as well as with other people from the political and cultural life of Malta.
The visit of the Croatian president to Malta coincides with the celebration of Europe Day on the 9th of May.
The latest research of the Croatian book market, conducted by the agency GfK Croatia in March 2017, on a sample of thousand of people over the age of 15 using the method of personal interviewing in households showed that in the past year 53 percent of the population read at least one book, compared to last year's 47 percent– Novi List reported.
In the first months more than 908 thousand of citizens bought at least one book, or every fourth, or 25 percent – which is an increase compared to the last year's 19 percent. We are still mostly buying books for ourselves or for children (59 percent). Most of the books that are read are in Croatian (82 percent), while 15 percent of the books are read in English. Zagreb (64 percent) and Istria and Primorje (62 percent) are the regions where people read more than average. Books are mostly borrowed from libraries (46 percent).
When it comes to buying, Croatians mostly buy books at bookstores (53 percent), mostly with a discount (56 percent). The most commonly read is belles letters (58 percent), professional literature (30 percent) and fiction (29 percent), while the share of children's books is 15 percent. Reading of e-books increased from 8 to 12 percent.
The results of this survey showed that majority of readers are the citizens in the larger cities (70 percent), highly educated (69 percent), women (65 percent) and young people up to 24 years (62 percent).
Meteoalarm issued a yellow warning for the Dubrovnik area. We can expect periods of hard rain and strong south wind that will turn into very strong north-west wind. It’s expected that wind will blow around 75 kilometres per hour.
The warning is also valid for Monday, May 8th, when thunderstorms and strong winds are also possible.
According to the website Accuweather, spring will be back with plenty of sunshine on Wednesday, May 10th.
French speleologist and diver Frederic Swierczynski is the first man in history who went to the bottom of Red Lake near Imotski and succeeded. The dive was done yesterday and lasted for four hours.
Swierczynski hit the bottom at 245 meters. It was expected that the dive would take around nine hours, but Frederic managed to get to the bottom considerably earlier. He also took sediment samples for the scientific part of this spectacular dive.
Red Lake is a famous Croatian attraction. It’s a sinkhole, containing a karst lake. It is known for its numerous caves and remarkably high cliffs, reaching over 241 metres above normal water level and continuing below the water level. The total explored depth of this sinkhole is approximately 530 metres with a volume of roughly 25–30 million cubic meters, which makes it the third largest sinkhole in the world. The sinkhole is named after the reddish-brown color of the surrounding cliffs, colored by iron oxides.