Thursday, 29 October 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Dubrovnik can be really crowded during the summer, everybody knows that, and tourists are often trying to find a way to avoid the crowds. Daily Mail published an article yesterday, offering the quieter side of Croatia – Elaphiti Islands

- Nothing can be said to be certain in this world, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, except death, taxes — and that there are more tourists in Dubrovnik than there are teapots in England – with this witty intro starts the article and the author continues with an explanation that Dubrovnik's walled seafront old town is a marvel, as picturesque and romantic as anywhere in southern Europe, but sometimes even the most committed sightseer needs a hideaway.

And what is a better solution than the Elaphiti Islands? The Daily Mail brings a few details about Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan – picking Lopud as their favourite.

- Dubrovnik surely ranks among Europe's top 20 destinations, but with travel, juxtaposition is all — and the Elaphiti Islands offer just that – concludes Daily Mail.

Zagreb the final frontier! The tourist offer of the Croatian capital has been enriched with a new facility, the Subspace hostel, the first and only such hostel in the European Union.

On the 1st of December the futuristic hostel was opened in the Tesla Street in Zagreb and offers its guests an overnight stay in space capsules and an opportunity to experience the feeling of being aboard a spaceship.

The capacity of the Subspace hostel is 20 single bed capsules, bathroom facilities, a kitchenette, a cafe bar and a terrace at the Tesla Street. Each capsule is 2 metres long and 1.2 metres wide and high, it has a ventilation and is equipped with a bed, an android monitor, USB ports and chargers for mobile devices, a safe for money and valuable documents as well as a mirror. Yes, this is not an accommodation option for those with a touch of claustrophobia.

subspace hostel in croatia opens

The hostel ceiling and walls are painted with unique drawings that become visible under ultraviolet light and create a special impression of the night sky as if one is really in the space.

Targeted guests are all those who seek privacy, or as the owner said ‘’the Subspace hostel offers privacy of a hotel room at a hostel price’’.

The idea was inspired by Sci-Fi films such as Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and Avatar. The project was realized within a year and a half, whilst the value of this investment is slightly more than two million Kunas.

subspace hostel croatia

 

The latest Volvo Trucks live test brings an amazing video that was shot on Dinaric Alps in Croatia. It connects pro paraglider Guillaume Galvani and truck driver Louise Marriott in the live test that has a goal to maintain speed to keep paraglider in the flight.

The most breathtaking part is for sure when a truck goes beneath the bridge – all while making sure that the paraglider is safe. This promo video ends with a note to find out how to maintain speed and still save fuel on the official Volvo pages.

Video also shows amazing beauty of Croatia that can be seen during the drive – and the flight too!

November exceeded expectations of tourist workers and despite a small number of direct flights from European centers this month record results were achieved again. According to the E-visitor system, in November there was 21 632 arrivals, which is an increase of 32 percent and 50,842 overnight stays, an increase of 27 percent. Most of the guests in November were from Croatia, Albania, the United States, Bosnia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Slovenia... Dubrovnik is starting to get more and more attractive in the late autumn. The fact that direct year-round flights were established from Frankfurt and Istanbul and that the flight from London was kept meant a lot for the results.

Since the beginning of 2016 to the end of November in Dubrovnik, including the results of nautical tourism, there was 1,017,756 arrivals, or 12 percent more and 3,684,626 overnight stays or 13 percent more. Top guests were from the United Kingdom, followed by the Germans, the US, France, Croatia, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Australia and Italy.

Tonight, the 2nd of December, at 7.30pm in the Dubrovnik Cathedral a rather special concert will be held. To mark the 15th anniversary of the musical workshop “Sorgo.” This anniversary will see a special concert organised in the atmospheric Dubrovnik Cathedral to which entry will be free of charge.

The musical workshop Sorgo was created with the intention of reviving forgotten music from the archives of Dubrovnik and to explore new ways to perform these contemporary pieces. Over the years the workshops have become a meeting place for the old and the new as well as a space for dialogue between different musical styles.

I've been fortunate enough to have to travel to Istria on business last week. This northernmost coastal region of Croatia is lovely to behold any time of the year, but I found it completely empty of all the tourists. Yes, it seems “Croatian Tuscany” as some like to call Istria, is struggling with off-season tourism, much like us down south.

Most of the historical places on the coast: Pula, Rovinj, Porec, Umag, were all pretty much desolate. Many of the local hospitality businesses were closed. Stone cobbled streets in historical districts were quiet and felt as if they are hiding some horrible secrets. They would make few people traversing them pick up their pace wishing to escape this realm of silence as quickly as possible. The entire thing felt very familiar.

Dubrovnik Region and Istria share many similarities. Both are highly esteemed tourism destinations and both boast wonderful natural resources, picturesque countryside, well preserved historical cities, and great food and wine. However, one major difference is the location. Istria is very close to Italy, Slovenia, Austria, and even Germany, so most of Istrian guests travel there by car. This leaves them free to decide to travel spontaneously and they can do so any time of the year. Meanwhile, our most frequently visiting guests – the British, Americans, Scandinavians, Western Europeans...all fly to Dubrovnik. When major airlines stop their direct flights to Dubrovnik, it pretty much disables our guests from coming over without going through the hassle of many connecting flights. We do get cruise ships, unlike Istria, and while this is not as good as having guests that live 2-4hrs drive away from you, it does make our city a bit more active during off season periods. Still, it seems we are equally inefficient in getting guests to visit during winter.

One thing that struck me while visiting this time is that neither the people of Istria nor Dubrovnik travel much among our two regions, which is a real shame. Istria is a perfect place for someone from Dubrovnik to visit. There is plenty to see and do and much of it is relatable to what we have at home, but different enough to be interesting to explore. Historical cities are wonderful, scattered villages absolutely charming and food and wine is to die for. The people of Istria could love coming to Dubrovnik for practically all the same reasons. Also, travelling like this would give us the perfect opportunity to better exchange experiences and ideas about tourism, hospitality, managing historical sites, and traditional agriculture– all crucial things for both regions.

We Croatians are competitive people and we often mistrust each other. There is a silly trend of rising animosities between the country's north and south and it has to be stopped. Did I say „silly“? I meant „stupid“. It's a very stupid trend and so are the people who support it. Even though we are a small country in size, we have quite a few different regions and it seems to me we simply don’t know enough about each other. We desperately need to explore our country more, so we can appreciate it more. The people of Istria and Dubrovnik would benefit greatly from travelling among these two regions. We would get to know each other a bit better and could enjoy in the best of what these two beautiful parts of Europe have to offer – something that we usually reserve for our international guests. Who knows, we might learn a thing or two in the process.

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Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.
www.insiderholidays.eu
www.facebook.com/insiderholidays

The Portuguese airline company TAP Portugal (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) has been considering to renew its services from Lisbon to Zagreb in 2017.

As part of its growth initiative the airline carrier is finalizing plans for the launch of eleven new routes next year. Seven of them will be in Europe thus Zagreb is highly likely to be included in the TAP’s airline network again.

Previously TAP operated flights to Zagreb via Bologna during the winter months but earlier this March the Portuguese carrier cancelled its operations to Zagreb. As a result, Zagreb had no longer nonstop flights to Lisbon.

However, in response to the situation, Croatia Airlines introduced seasonal flights between Zagreb and Lisbon three times a week during the summer months of 2016, which were code shared by TAP.

In 2010, TAP also operated seasonal summer flights between Lisbon and Dubrovnik, however, the service was not renewed.

Nicole Isaacs, American trendsetter, is enjoying Dubrovnik. That is clear from the photos that she posted on her Instagram account, where she has almost 150 thousand followers. For now she has published seven photos, promoting beauty of our City and her beauty as well. 

Nicole is travel and food blogger, founder of multimedia creative agency HungryApe, former member of the girl band Soccx and has also former producer of the show Fashion Police. She was all over the press when it was asumed that she's in the relationship with Terrence J, American actor and TV personality.

She has celebrated her birthday in Culture Club Revelin last year and it seems that she fell in love with the City.

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