Friday, 06 December 2019
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

It was a busy Saturday for weddings in Dubrovnik. At least five weddings were held in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik with flags of all nations flying along the stone streets.

Among the wedding ceremonies was an interesting one from Australia, yes that is a long way to come to tie the knot. The groom’s family had Croatian roots but the bride’s family knew little of their wedding surroundings. Standing on the steps of the St. Blaise Church the wedding party looked overjoyed and pleased that they had chosen a great day to say their vows in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is proving a very popular destination for weddings from all over the world. According to information from a local wedding planner more than eighty foreign weddings were performed in the city last year.

The Croatian music and wedding traditions were greeted with open arms by the bride and her party. We wish the newlyweds all the best, and we are sure they will remember their Dubrovnik wedding for the rest of their lives.

Croatia has found a new tourism market, Iran. From the 8th of July the Iranian airline, Qeshm Airlines, will operate weekly flights to the Croatian capital Zagreb.

In total Qeshm Airlines will fly eleven charter flights between Tehran and Zagreb this summer.
Qeshm Airlines has a fleet on sixteen aircraft and manly operates in the Persian Gulf and many internal flights inside Iran. The flights to Croatia will land every Friday until the 16th of September.

With the international community lifting sanctions in January this year Iran is now an attractive destination for investment and tourism. As well as flights to Zagreb the airline is also in negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding direct links to Sarajevo for 2017.

The iconic Banje Beach is the place to be this weekend. The summer has been stuttering to start but finally the sun has broken through the clouds over the past few days and temperatures in the mid twenties are the norm.

Banje Beach, with glorious views over the Old City of Dubrovnik and the island of Lokrum, has been full with swimmer and sunbathers for the past few weeks. This weekend, with its endless blue skies, all of the Dubrovnik beaches should be just as busy.

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Every Sunday our resident "Style Guru" will be scanning the streets of Dubrovnik for the latest and greatest in fashion.

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Experts from “EarthCam” the global leader in providing webcam content, technology and services from Northern New Jersey have named the TOP 10 live webcams in the world and Rijeka in northern Croatia has found its place in this prestigious group.

The live webcam in Rijeka overlooks the Croatian National Theatre and was chosen in the top 10 list due to its top quality picture, original content and technical support. The third largest city in Croatia was accompanied by Venice, Toronto and Sydney on this Top 10 list.

The Rijeka Tourist Board have become aware of the great potential in the popularity of the live webcam and announced the introduction of a new production technology for the current live webcam.

As leading experts from EarthCam select the best out of hundreds of popular webcam submissions Rijeka making the Top 10 group is a significant award for Rijeka.

Dubrovnik’s water polo club “Jug” are, for the fourth time, champions of Europe. Jug beat Olympiakos from Greece in a closely fought final - 6: 4. After losing three finals in the strongest water polo club competition in the world, Jug won the fourth. The match was played in front of a full house in the centre of Budapest.

This is the first time in the clubs history that they have won four trophies in one season, the Croatian Cup, the Regional League, the Croatian Championship and he icing of the cake, the European title.

Congratulations to the pride of Dubrovnik – JUG!

FINAL Jug CO - Olympiakos 6: 4

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JUG Champions of Europe! 

A themed cruise with a difference is on its way to Dubrovnik in 2017, the world’s first sex cruise, the Desire Cruise! Naked frolics, erotic playrooms and couples workshops will all be onboard the cruise, sounds like the idea of the Love Boat has been taken to another level.

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The sex cruise will call at three Croatia destinations, Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik in the summer of 2017.

The cruise is organised by the Mexican adult hospitality company Original Group and will set sail from Venice in Italy, or as advertised by the company – Venice Foreplay. Speaking to the Miami Herald the CEO of Original Group, Rodrigo de la Peña, said “We’re thrilled to bring to the sea our more than 30 years of experience in creating the perfect sensual atmosphere for adults, and we have no doubt that the Desire Cruise experience will be life-changing for our passengers and will become the sensual way to get away.”

According to the ships schedule the sex cruise will dock in Dubrovnik on the 29th of September 2017 carrying a capacity of 690 passengers. The Azamara Quest from Royal Caribbean Cruises, has been charted for this inaugural cruise.

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The cruise is a “couples-only” trip offers all of the facilities that you would expect from a normal cruise voyage, and many you wouldn’t! Pumping Pool Parties, Intense Icebreakers and Spicy Signature Theme Nights are just three provocative titles that will raise eyebrows, and temperatures. And the pool deck of the ship could prove a centre point as it is one of the “clothing optional” areas of the ship.

This is not an orgy at sea, as the company goes to lengths to point out, members of staff on the ship are strictly off limits, and the noise must be kept down after midnight. The eight-day Mediterranean cruise includes Italy, Croatia and Slovenia and prices start at around $3,000 per person.

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“Do you think it is dangerous,” I asked my wife as we looked down in horror at a snake slithering through the grass towards our front door. “I don’t know, I am no snake expert, but I don’t think so,” she answered reaching for her mobile phone. Of course in these modern times if you are unsure of something you simply ask Google. This search engine has replaced our brains; it is our external hard drive, yes you can argue it has made us lazy, even dumb, but it is the easy option.

So with a few photos of the wiggly intruder we asked the online community of Facebook. The answers ranged from “It isn’t poisonous, the dangerous ones aren’t that long,” – “if it was on my doorstep I'd have a heart attack!” and my personal favourite “The way you two have started you will probably adopt it.”

I am neither a fan nor afraid of snakes. I have to be honest the first experience I had of actually seeing a snake up close and personal was in Dubrovnik, the fields of England aren’t really ripe with poisonous snakes. The very first one I saw wasn’t that scary, mainly because it was squashed in the middle of the road.

Then I saw a monster glavor, basically a lizard that has lost its legs over generations! How was I to know that it wasn’t a killer? It was a real monster; I thought it was some python or boa constrictor. As it slithered through the grass you could see all the blades of grass waving under its weight. When I discovered it was basically a legless lizard I wouldn’t be afraid to pick it up. Maybe it is because of their seemingly slow speed, I always think that I could outrun a snake, that I am not afraid.

Of course seeing one on your doorstep it never pleasant, but this one seemed relaxed. About the most dangerous animal that I came across in England in the wild was a hedgehog, and they aren’t known for their attack abilities, although I guess they will give you a nasty prick if you pick one up.

“Do you think it is hungry,” my wife asked me. I knew it; we were going to have another pet! “What do they eat anyway,” she continued. I am not sure what they eat, but I do know what they bite. I had visions of her feeding the snake with dog biscuits or cat Whiskers, would the snake sleep on our bed as well?

And then I saw it had a slippery friend, maybe a distant cousin. This time the rustling sound seemed much louder. Blimey, although this first snake was small, about the size of a large shoe lace, was it possible that it had a bigger friend, even a mother or father. The grass continued to shake; a snake earthquake was coming our way. We could have sold tickets to our snake farm.
“Oh, that is alright, it is my friend,” said my Dr. Doolittle wife. “You have a snake as a friend,” came the answer. A glavor, as thick as my arm, appeared from the long grass. Blimey we were having a snake party. This was a real whopper of a glavor, an adult that looked like he wasn’t hungry.

“How is that thing your friend,” was the obvious question. “Anytime I have leftovers from fruit I throw it to him to eat,” she answered. That solved the question why this glavor was a monster, a Loch Ness monster sized leg-less lizard. Not only were we about to have a snake as a pet, we were on the verge of having a pair!

But wait, where had the little one gone...oh no! “Can you see the other snake,” I asked with a slightly raised voice. A shake of the head was all I got in return. I then looked around to see that the front door of the house was still open. Was the snake already waiting for us one the bed?

The glavor moved on its way, slowly but surely pulling its belly of fresh fruit through the undergrowth. Its little friend was nowhere to be seen. Now I know I told you that I am not afraid of snakes, however finding one curled up under my pillow was not a thought that filled me with pleasure. The messages were still coming on Facebook, “Be careful, Boba. This looks like a copperhead. It is poisonous but mostly not life threatening.” Oh, that’s OK then, mostly not life threatening.

Then I saw the answer to all our problems, and the beginning of the snake’s problems – our cat! She had already hunted down the intruder and, well lets be diplomatic, dealt with our problem. “That’s one less mouth for us to feed,” was what I felt like saying...I held my tongue.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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