Friday, 04 December 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

The polar winter continues in Dubrovnik! Snow fell overnight and the city was left with a white blanket, in fact snow is predicted all day today. The roads of the county are particularly dangerous and snow ploughs have been out since the early morning.

Check out our reader’s photos of the early morning in Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik’s big freeze continued today with temperatures at around – 5 degrees Celsius all day. Thankfully the gale force northerly winds have abated so the wind chill factor was much less today. The Old City of Dubrovnik still have its ice-age appearance and most of the public fountains are frozen over.

Check out the ice in Dubrovnik

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Nenad Ban, the Croatian structural biologist who works as a professor at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at ETH in Zurich won the ''Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2017''.

With a prize fund of 300,000 Euros the ''Ernst Jung'' award is one of the most highly paid European prizes in the field of medicine which is awarded by the Jung Foundation to two scientists each year. This year's prize will be shared by Ban and the neuroscientist Tobias Moser from Göttingen.

Dr Nenad Ban is to be awarded in May 2017 for his description of the atomic structure of cellular protein production machinery. He was the first scientist to describe the atomic structure of ribosomes in the cells of higher organisms (eukaryotic cells). On the other hand, the professor Tobias Moser will receive his award for his ground-breaking work in signal transduction in the inner ear and his innovative therapy concepts for treating hardness of hearing.

"The exceptional scientists have both obtained important fundamental results that can be used for further application-related research in their respective fields and are sharing the considerable prize money of 300,000 Euros equally", said the Jung Foundation.

‘’I am delighted and honoured to receive the Ernst Jung Prize, on behalf of not only myself but my whole team,” says the ETH professor. “This award is also an acknowledgement of the interdisciplinary approach in structural biology that we have built up over many years at ETH in order to study cellular function.”

Ban comes from "a family of natural scientists" in Croatia. He discovered his passion for biology at an early age, ''Even as a child, I liked to experiment and used to study marine organisms on the Adriatic coast, where I spent my summers,” he said in a press release.

The latest edition of the German newspaper ''Welt am Sonntag'' brings an extensive article on real estate prices along Croatia's coastline. As an example, it mentions the Swiss entrepreneur Dennis Bandack who bought a small hotel on the island of Korcula for 2.7 million Euros and plans on buying nine more hotels.

The author of the article emphasizes that Bandack could have invested in any other Mediterranean destinations but....''Bandack sees Croatia as a country with the best ratio between price and profit and he is not alone in this. Croatia attracts more and more hoteliers''.

The great development of tourism in Croatia is emphasized as the main reason for this trend, but the article also points out that the purchase of property on the Croatian coast is a good move for private investors because ''in popular destinations in the western Mediterranean real estate prices have risen. On the other hand, it seems that Croatia provides favourable opportunity. According to analysts this winter brought a slight decrease of real estate prices''.

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Dubrovnik cashing in on Game of Thrones fame 

At the same time, the article advises investors to be very careful when purchasing real estate as well as to double check ownership relations and the validity of the construction permit.

Matthew Montagu Pollock the publisher of the international information service for real estate rentals Global Property Guide says that the most expensive tourist properties are in Dalmatia. The main reason for such high prices he sees in the long tourist tradition of the region and in the filming of the HBO series Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik which attracts many fans. But he also warns that once the series finish filming in Dubrovnik the interest for Dubrovnik will decrease. ''Probably the prices of weekend houses and apartments around Dubrovnik will decline very soon. But in the long term, investors will probably benefit from real estate in the region''.

''The pearl of the Adriatic will always attract tourists'', says Thomas Beyerle from the real estate company Catella.

The article also mentioned Istria as an example of the region in which real estate value will rise especially due to its geographical location i.e. the vicinity of Germany and Austria as well as to many international stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Cruise and Bernie Ecclestone who were thrilled with the Croatian peninsula.

In addition, the author of the text pointed out figures from Matthew Montagu Pollock which show that by renting holiday houses and apartments in Croatia an average profit of 6.2 percent can be generated. Pollock also advises foreign investors who want to rent ''in large'' to open a company in Croatia in order to save on taxes.

It is a well known fact that the cruise business started in the 19th century, i.e. in 1818 when the first shipping company offered regularly scheduled service from the US to England; however, few people know that the first cruise ships appeared in the Adriatic more than five centuries ago.

''Jaffa'' the pilgrimage galley in the drawing of the German knight Konrad von Grunenberg from the 15th century (Karlsruhe, 1486.), is proof that this ship used to transport pilgrims from Venice to the Holy Land i.e. to the port of Jaffa in Palestine during the 15th century and in the first half of the 16th century.

By type, equipment and characteristics ''Jaffa'' is considered an ancient cruise ship which didn't only transport pilgrims but also regular passengers. Therefore, it can be said that the Jaffa galley maintained passenger traffic along the eastern coast of the Adriatic 530 years ago.

''It was a large Venetian galley which was converted into a passenger ship. The galley was 55 metres long with three masts (two Lateen sails and a quadratic sail). Generally, the ship was trireme galley; it had three rowers on each of 58 rowing benches i.e. 174 rowers in total. There were 270 crew members on board, whilst the galley's capacity was 100 to 120 passengers. The average speed was 3 to 4 knots, whilst the fastest recorded speed was 9 knots. German pilgrims described in detail the entire galley in their records'', explained Marinko Peric, the curator at the Museum of Hvar's heritage on the island of Hvar.

The freezing temperatures in the Dubrovnik region over the past few days have brought some interesting photo opportunities.

The temperatures in the Neretva region, north of Dubrovnik, dropped so low that the mouth of the Neretva River froze in places. With temperatures measured at – 8 degrees it maybe isn’t surprising that the river froze.

Check out these amazing photos of the big freeze by Denis Jerkovic.

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Holidays are over and it's time to remove beautiful decorations that brought light to the City in the last couple of months. Festive stands also stopped working and it's just the matter of time until they will be set apart. It will be strange to see ''naked'' Dubrovnik again – until next holiday season at least...

 

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                                                                                                                                                   Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic 

-After seeing the final results, and despite the economic crisis in the world, the port of Korcula fulfilled the goals and plans for 2016, which is evident from an increase in the number of arrivals, or more precisely sailing into the port of Korcula - says Vedran Lelekovic, director of the County Port Authority Korcula for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Data shows that 1,123,085 passengers passed through port, which is an increase compared to 2015 (1,041,293) of seven percent. However, since the port of Korcula can only accept boats shorter than 100 meter, the new port will be built, and by the words of Lelekovic the project should start in 2020.
The new port will be built on the location Polacista (Zrnovska Banja), five kilometers away from the town of Korcula and the project will be led by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, and will be financed from the operational program of transport 2014/2020.

The port is optimized in accordance with the needs and the depths of the sea and is estimated to cost about 70 million Kuna, which is significantly less than the original version of the port, whose construction was estimated at two hundred million Kuna.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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