Monday, 01 June 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.


A bear has been spotted in the hills above Dubrovnik. Lazar Badanjac, a hiker and mountaineer from Dubrovnik, was walking in the rugged terrain above Dubrovnik in preparation for an expedition to Kilimanjaro when he came face to face with a bear. “A bear the size of a man, dense brown hair, Jesus I still can’t believe it,” wrote Badanjac on his Facebook profile with a video of the area in which he had the brief encounter.

He has ten years of experience in the mountains of Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro and was shocked to see a bear so close to home. “Today, during a routine training I climbed the mountain over Mokošica (616 metres) when I saw a bear.”

Badanjac had approached the bear from the back, without knowing, and got to within 15 metres of the bear. When the pair released the situation the bear run away and Badanjac “escaped.” When he calmed down he tried to find where the bear had disappeared to but concluded that he had hidden in a cave or escaped into the wilderness.

The European brown bear does live in parts of Croatia however it is extremely rare to see a bear in the Dubrovnik region. They can weigh up to 360 kilos and reach heights of 2.8 metres. Bears usually stay clear of any humans but encounters have been reported. In these cases it is best to stay far away from the animal and not give it any reason to feel threatened.


Dubrovnik can expect a bright and chilly week as the winter arrives slowly but surely. The cold north wind “bura” will blow on Monday making temperatures, with the added wind chill factor, around 10 degrees and then from Tuesday the sunshine and bright weather will continue with temperatures around 14 degrees all week.

There is a very small chance of rain this week, only around 10 percent chance, as the stable and bright weather continues. From Tuesday the wind direction will change to a south-easterly and therefore there is the chance of a few overcast days. But in general it will be a stable and bright week with patches of cloud and sunshine.

Monday – High 13 – Low 9 - Intervals of clouds and sun
Tuesday – High 13 – Low 8 - Intervals of clouds and sun
Wednesday – High 15 – Low 9 - Intervals of clouds and sun
Thursday – High 16 – Low 10 - Mostly sunny
Friday – High 16 – Low 10 – Pleasant sunshine
Saturday – High – 15 – Low 11 – Mostly sunny


‘’Public awareness of the problems encountered by premature born babies and their parents is very low so it is important to educate everyone in our society’’, said the Croatian Parents’ Club of premature babies ‘’Palčići’’ on the World Prematurity Day marked on the 17th of November.

According to data, around 2,000 children are born prematurely in Croatia annually, whilst 400 of them need intensive care.
Premature babies are children born before the 37th week of pregnancy. The preterm births death rate has been constantly decreasing, however, children born too early are very likely to suffer from severe and numerous long-term problems.

Furthermore, premature birth is one of the leading causes of mortality of newborn babies in developed and underdeveloped countries, and the second, right after pneumonia, cause of death of children up to the age of five.

At the initiative of the Parents’ Club of premature babies ‘’Palčići’’, in 24 Croatian cities involved in the marking of the World Prematurity Day purple balloons were released into the sky as a symbol of premature born children in Croatia (the purple colour represents sensitivity and exceptionality).

The first international awareness day for preterm birth on the 17th of November was created by European parent organizations in 2008. It has been celebrated as the World Prematurity Day since 2011.

Dubrovnik will have eight weekly flights to Helsinki for 2018 after the Finland national airline announced an increase in flights for the next summer season. Finnair already operates flights to Dubrovnik and as a result in the rise in interest in Dubrovnik the airline has announced that they will operate eight flights a week in the summer of 2018. Dubrovnik isn’t the only destination to receive more flights, as Split will have five weekly flights and Pula twice weekly.

Speaking to the website EX-YU Aviation News, Finnair Manager, Satu Haataja, said, "Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan".

Finnair is the largest airline in Finland and transports over 10 million passengers a year, and is also the fifth oldest airline in continuous operation.

Tickets for the Dubrovnik - Helsinki route are already available for sale on the Finnair website and a return tickets starts from around 220 Euros and the first flight of 2018 takes off on Saturday the 14th of April.


In 1999 the Croatian government passed a decision to proclaim the 18th of November is “The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar in 1991” in order to honour in a dignified manner everyone who took part in the defence of Vukovar.

Various events were held in Dubrovnik to mark and remember this day and one of the most colourful was held last night on the main road into Dubrovnik. In front of the mural, which is dedicated to the “City of Heroes,” on the main road members of the Hadjuk Spilt supporters group, known as Torcida, lit candles and flares to commemorate the day.

light candles for vukovar

Atlantic Grupa has launched the production of Argeta pate in the United States with high sales revenue expectation, announced the company a few days ago.

One of the leading food companies in the region, the Croatian multinational company Atlantic Grupa started the production of the delicate spread Argeta in the city of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania. In the first year of its operations, the company expects sales revenue of $3 million.

The Argeta pate will be produced in accordance with strict criteria and top class technology exclusively for the North American market in cooperation with the Brother & Sister company in Harrisburg.

During November and December, in cooperation with local distributers, Atlantic Grupa will launch an intensive distribution of Argeta to almost 2,000 sales outlets in the US and Canada followed by a powerful promotional campaign, first at sales outlets and in digital media.

‘’As one of the bearers of the internalization process in the whole of Atlantic Grupa, we have decided for a brave and ambitious but well-planned and realistic strategy of expansion outside Europe, where we have already confirmed our position’’, emphasized Enzo Smrekar, the director of the Strategic Business Area Delicate pate at Atlantic Grupa.

According to Smrekar, Argeta accounts for 37 percent of the Austrian market, almost 30 percent in Switzerland, whilst in Germany and Sweden the Croatian pate is progressing from stable 10 percent of the market.

‘’We are now opening the door of the American market with a great potential which we will surely know how to use’’, commented Enzo Smrekar.

Looking for a luxury yacht with a colourful history? At a starting price of only 80,000 Euros. One of the yachts of Tito’s former yachts “Jadranka” is up for sale, according to an announcement by the Government of Montenegro the yacht was proclaimed as “redundant for the needs of the state intuitions and bodies” and is therefore up for sale.

The starting price was decided by a court appointed valuator as 80,000 Euros, but it was added that if there were no offers the yacht would be sold for parts and scrap. Jadranka was built in 1977 in a Croatian shipyard and at the beginning of the Homeland War was withdrawn from its berth in Croatia to Montenegro.

There is a good chance that Jadranka will not meet the starting offer of 80,000 Euros as the vessel is in need of very complicated and expensive repairs and is far from seaworthy.


Just at the entrance to the Old City, at Pile bridge, tourist from South Korea made a spontaneous photo exhibition! He presented his photographs that were made on his journeys.


Everybody are welcome to take any photo that they like while passing by. If they wish they can also leave money contribution, but it's optional, since all photos are free.

-I'm not selling pictures, I'm sharing memories. Live today, not tomorrow – it's written above his photos.


There was a great interest around this spontaneous exhibition – amongst locals and tourists. Some were really excited to see the places that they visited captured by the camera of this special Korean photographer.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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