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 number one tourist attraction in Dubrovnik, the City Walls, could soon offer night time tours, according to a statement from the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic.
At a press conference held today in the city council offices Vlahusic brought up the subject of evening tours of the walls. “I don’t mean opening the walls in a way of just selling tickets but rather that organised tours of some parts of the walls could be arranged,” commented the mayor.
The idea of opening the possibilities of the iconic city walls at night isn’t a new one, however it has yet to be realised mainly due to safety concerns. The 1.9 kilometre long walls include hundred of steps and the safety of visitors when walking at night has to be a concern, especially as the walls aren’t lit.
“In agreement with the Ministry of the Interior we would propose installing security and thermal cameras on sections of the walls to ensure maximum safety,” said Vlahusic. He added that Red Cross would also be willing to provide two members of their staff to be present on the walls, and empathised that these walks would be organised tours and not just open to all of the public. One thing is for certain experiencing the views from the city walls at night would be magical.
The 2016 Good Food Festival ended tonight in spectacular fashion with a gala evening at the Hotel Rixos Libertas. An evening of colour, dance and glamour was a fitting end to this year’s festival. Guests to the evening, Gala Dinner of the Land of Legends Theme Park, were treated to a five course meal which included a fusion of the best of Turkish cuisine and Mediterranean specialities.
In a menu dominated with fish and seafood delights, including marinated fillet of sea bream served with chili and garlic and warm cabbage sarma with taggiasca olives, and finished off with a baklava with pistachio, all prepared by the executive chef of the Rixos Libertas Ozgur Donertas.
And most importantly the evening had a humanitarian character as a prize draw was organized, with three and five-day breaks at the newly opened Land of Legends theme park in Antalya, from which all the funds were donated to the Dubrovnik General Hospital. In total 62,150 Kuna was collected, 13,200 from the evening’s lottery, from the Good Food Festival events and the money will go towards purchasing a FibroScan for the Dubrovnik hospital.
The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, took the opportunity to thank all the organizations involved in this year’s festival, a festival that will be remembered for its rich and varied program.
The Dubrovnik diving club, in co-operation with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, held a special action to clean the sea bed on the island of Kolocep.
This cleanup operation is part of a series of environmental actions to clean the sea bed after the tourist season. The divers commented after the cleanup that the bay of Gornjeg čela on the island of Kolocep one of the cleanest in the region.
“Beautiful town, nice weather, good food, what else?” commented a tourist from Budapest at the opening of the Dubrovnik Table.
The final day of the Good Food Festival 2016 began impressively with a 115 metre long table along the Stradun in the historic core of Dubrovnik. Numerous Dubrovnik restaurants, hotels, cafes, winemakers and bakeries took part in this traditional event, the Stradun was transformed into a giant dining room as tourists and locals enjoyed high quality food al fresco.
At 11.00am the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, pronounced the Dubrovnik Table 2016 open. Delicious desserts, mouth-watering pastries, traditional dishes, smoked ham and cheese, meat and fish specialities, all of these and much more were on show.
“It all looks so delicious and such a great idea,” commented Anna an English tourist from Manchester. For a symbolic price of 35 Kunas guests could try exquisite dishes made by some of the leading chefs from eateries in Dubrovnik. Whilst 15 Kuna bought you a ticket for the wine tasting, and all of the proceeds from the Dubrovnik Table will be donated to the Dubrovnik Hospital to help purchase a mammography machine.
A great start to the final day of the 2016 Good Food Festival.
One of the most famous Croatian TV chefs, well known to the wide public after being a judge in TV show Masterchef and also very respected by the culinary world – Andrej Barbieri had prepared a dinner for the third day of the Good Food Festival in the beautiful ambient of Hotel Hilton Imperial.
In the warm atmosphere visitors got a chance to meet so-called 'evil judge' of the Masterchef with the help of host Darija Mikulandra Zanetic and learnt that he's really down to earth and friendly. He started loving food and cooking when he was a little kid and was very fascinated with restaurants and hotels. He started professional cooking relatively late – at the age of 30.
When it comes to Masterchef, he said that it's always important to know who you are.
- I judge about food, taste, the things I know about, I don't imagine that I'm some kind of TV celebrity – said Barbieri.
He also commented the never ending question – what is more important: talent or effort?
- Talent is the start, it's like the seed that you've just planted. Without an effort, talent is nothing – explained the famous chef.
Barbieri said that his kitchen is partly based on the sea and partly on the coast and the visitors had a chance to try a rather interesting menu, accompanied with great wines and beautiful performance of the musician Nevio Koncic.
The menu was: Raw Adriatic calamari salad, Monkfish and fresh cheese capellaccio, Swordfish fillet, Duck leg confit and Chocolate cake and flower of salt.
At the end of the night Andrej congratulated the Hilton team, saying that he was just a guest in their kitchen and that they were a big part of this beautiful dinner.
Don't miss our photo gallery that brings the atmosphere of the night and of course – the food.
“And can you now pass me your driving license,” added the police officer in the near darkness. This was going from bad to worse; it was only the next step in a list of things that I was missing. To be fair it wasn’t my entire fault, well 90 percent, but that isn’t 100 percent. They say that bad things, and maybe good things, always come in threes. This was definitely the case as my driving experience last week proved.
It wasn’t that late at night, around nine o’clock in the evening, when I was pulled over with a wave of a police sign. I slid down the window and the moment the large policeman asked “license and registration please,” I knew I had a problems. I was one of those standard police checks, the ones they run every now and again to catch unsuspecting drivers without their seatbelts on or blind drunk.
“Ah, I have a slight problem,” I said to the officer. The problem began last week when I took a rent-a-car on Mljet. I had, as if often the case, forgotten to take everything out of the car when I returned it…well I forgot my driving license. “Well my license is on Mljet, well not on Mljet but in another bag, you see I…” I started to explain, realizing that I was probably sounding drunk. “Can I just stop you, do you have your driving license or not,” said the officer. “Well yes and no, yes I have it, meaning it isn’t on Mljet, but no I don’t have it with me,” I was sounding even more drunk. “So the answer to my question is no,” said the officer. “Well yes, the answer is no, although I can go and get it as I only live 200 metres away,” I said.
I wasn’t being dishonest. This police check was set within a stone’s throw of my house. “Did you also know that it is legal requirement to wear your seatbelt,” he started. This was strange I always wear my seatbelt, but then I saw he was directing his question at my mother-in-law in the back seat. “Excuse me Sir!,” came an ear deafening cry from the back seat. The officer made a motion, like he was playing pantomime, to her to do her seatbelt up. “What does he want,” she asked me. I could see that this could take some time. “Is it the law to wear a seat belt in the back seat then,” added my wife. Oh no, this was turning into a full blown debate.
“If it wasn’t the law then why would I mention it,” came the reply. “I knew it was the law in the front but not the back,” argued my wife even more. I just wanted to get away from the situation; we had been waiting for ten minutes now having a discussion with a police officer who was standing almost in the middle of the road. “Is he talking to me,” came the familiar voice from the back seat. She still didn’t have her seat belt on.
And just as the conversation was still unfolding, with the police officer slowly losing patience, my wife arguing why people didn’t have to wear seatbelts on buses and my mother-in-law struggling to find her seat belt, I heard a familiar noise...beep, beep, beep, and one of my headlights stopped working. The third offence, three strikes and you are out.
“Either you will have to drive in the day or you will need to fix that tomorrow,” said the officer, he probably thought he was in the middle of a comedy show. “I will fix the light, find my driving license and promise to tie my mother-in-law to the seat the next time I drive her,” I said hoping he would feel sorry for me and let me go. “I found it!!” exclaimed my mother-in-law from behind me. She had actually only found the belt and not the hole to stick it into. Raised eyebrows from the officer, “you can’t just hang onto it, find where to secure it.” This was going to take a long time, it would have been much quicker if she had just got out of the car and walked home, I thought to myself. Again the officer looked at me, there seemed to be a look of sorrow in his eyes, as if he felt sorry for me. “I have to ask this question, have you been drinking tonight,” he looked at me as if to say I wouldn’t blame you if you had. “No, not tonight but maybe when I get home I will have a couple,” came my answer. And just then the car bounced from left to right...”done it, its in.” Yes she had found the right place to fix the seat belt.
From the three offences I had committed one had been solved. Well one offence, leaving my license on Mljet, the other was not my fault and the last one had happened when I was stopped. All I can say in my defence it that we were lucky to get such an understanding officer, and if he ever reads this I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry for taking up so much of his time.
The Small Onofrio Fountain, one of the iconic symbols of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik was damaged today in a freak accident. According to reports from eyewitnesses a tourist leaned on the edge of the 15th century fountain and caused one of the heavy stone slabs that form the outer rim to come crashing to the ground.
Thankfully the weighty stone didn’t injure anyone as it smashed into pieces of the ground. Although the incident is believed to be an accident the police are investigating the matter further and the Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, the organisation that looks after the City Walls and other monuments, have also been on the scene.
The Small Onofrio Fountain, located at the end of the Stradun, is a magnet for tourists and in the warmer summer months is a source of much needed refreshment, and quite often small children climb on this edge to reach one of the fountains. The fountain was designed by the Italian architect Onofrio Della Cava and was constructed between 1440 and 1442.
Missing stone slab
Third day of the Good Food festival was really spicy with the presentation of the tourism and gastronomy of India, with the support of the Embassy of India in Croatia. The event took place in the Lenga Restaurant, Hotel Palace and was a real treat for all those who like the taste of international cuisine.
A guest chef was Stephan Lobo, an established Indian chef with German address. He was friendly, introduced himself to the visitors and then took them trough his interesting experience from India, Dubai and Germany.
-Don't ask me if it's spicy! – joked Lobo about the served dishes, adding that all the chefs that have been working with him last couple of days needed time to adapt themselves to the spices. Every meal was different, with different spices, so the visitors had a real Indian journey.
Sandeep Kumar, ambassador of India in Croatia, also came to the event and got an applause because of his well spoken Croatian. He invited all the visitors to be ambassadors to connect Goa and Dubrovnik, two towns that share the same patron saint – Saint Blasius.
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