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.
If you are a Star Wars fan and planning a early summer holiday you might want to save these dates. The rumors of the upcoming filming of the eighth episode of the Star Wars franchise in Dubrovnik are picking up a head of steam. From the mayor of Dubrovnik currently visiting the home of Star Wars at Lucasfilm in California to international websites publishing possible story lines for the Dubrovnik filming. Now comes unconfirmed news of the dates and locations of the filming of Star Wars in Dubrovnik.
According to the Dubrovnik based website, starwarsdubrovnik.com, the dates of the filming in Dubrovnik will be from the 9th of March until the 16th of March this year! A letter has been circulating from an international film company, Space Bear, offering information on the dates and locations in Dubrovnik. To fans of the Star Wars franchise the name Space Bear will be familiar as it is a company set up to film new Star Wars projects. This is confirmed by the website productionweekly.com, who listed the eighth episode of Star Wars production as “Star Wars: Episode VIII” (aka “Space Bear”).
Along with the dates, as unofficially confirmed by Space Bear, also comes news on the locations around the historic Old City of Dubrovnik for filming. The locations are landmark attractions around the city and, if they are not to computer adjusted, will be instantly recognizable around the world. The Dubrovnik City Walls, the Banje Beach, the Stradun, the Rectorćs Palace, the Old City harbor and a square overlooking the Old City harbor have all been listed by Space Bear as locations sites.
The first two days of in Dubrovnik, the 9th and the 10th of March, are listed as days when the scenes will be set up, leaving for five actual days of filming in the city. With the scenes confirmed, although unofficially, many Star Wars fans will be discussing the possible Dubrovnik storyboard. And as we have yet to learn the actors that will come to Dubrovnik it is even harder to suppose Dubrovnik’s purpose.
Check out our gallery of possible Star Wars locations in Dubrovnik.
For the first time in the history of the airline the Croatian national carrier, Croatian Airlines, will operate flights between Dubrovnik and Pula. According to a report on the website SEEbiz the airlines will introduce weekly connections between Dubrovnik and Pula in the north-west of Croatia.
The flights will operate from the 31st of May until the 27th of September and will fly once a week every Tuesday. With strong competition on international routes it seems that the national airline has turned their attention to internal flights. One of Croatia Airlines most lucrative routes is the three time daily flights from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. With Pula being another attractive tourist destination the connection of two cities at either end of the country might prove interesting for visitors looking to explore more of the country.
The mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, who is currently on an official visit to the United States met yesterday with his counterpart in Los Angeles Eric Garcetti.
The two mayors discussed mutual relations and cooperation between Croatia and the United States. Significantly one of the largest Croatian communities in the United States is located in California in San Pedro.
"Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I thank your mayor for visiting the "City of Angels" and look forward to my imminent arrival to the city under UNESCO protection,” commented the mayor of Los Angeles in a video message to Dubrovnik.
Eric Garcetti is the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles, a position he took over after elections in May 2013.
As part of his visit to California the mayor of Dubrovnik will also meet with representatives of Lucasfilm regarding the upcoming filming of the eighth episode of Star Wars in Dubrovnik.
Two years in the making, 350,000 photographs and a stunning background, Hvar – into the storm is a video that will blow you away. The work of the duo Mario Mario Romulic and Drazen Stojcic this recently released video of the Croatian island of Hvar shows the picturesque island in all weather conditions that nature can throw at it.
As the creative dup said “Hvar may well be "the sunniest Croatian island", clocking in the average 2726 hours of sun yearly, drawing in thousands of tourists, sailboats and yachts, but it also has a darker side.”
This stunning video took two years to create and out of the 350,000 photos that the pair took “only” around 10,000 of the best frames were used in the final video.
If you were planning on visiting the historic Old City of Dubrovnik from the Pile entrance you will have to climb over a wooden bridge. The temporary wooden bridge has been installed as works are currently being carried out on the bridge. The wooden bridge, which has steps on both sides, will prove a challenge to pass if you are pushing a pram or carrying suitcases.
According to the Secretary of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, Niko Kapetanic, reported that works will be completed by the beginning of the tourist season.
“In accordance to the instructions of conservationists we are currently carrying out the first phase and then will continue with the works on the side walls. In fact this is the second phase of the reconstruction of the Pile Gate entrance after we removed the asphalt on the paths,” concluded Kapetanic.
The very first Dubrovnik Half Marathon attracted runners from 34 countries and 5 continents. It was instantly recognized as one of the most successful and most professionally organized Croatian races, becoming a hit on the global calendar of race events.
“We had the opportunity to be a part of an amazing race, in a breathtaking city, at the other end of the world!“ - commented an American runner Michele Crim, openly expressing her enthusiasm after finishing the 2015 race. Michele was just one of the many international runners who participated in the first Dubrovnik Half Marathon.
“This event is a result of a longstanding collaboration between Dubrovnik and its twin city of Monterey, California. “More than a race” is a motto which promotes both sport and a healthy lifestyle, all within the spectacular scenery of the ancient city of Dubrovnik,” said Alen Boskovic, the race director. Boskovic was later rewarded for his hard work when he received the “Director of the Year” prize at the last year’s Event Director Conference held in Portland, USA.
This year Dubrovnik Half Marathon is again inviting all runners who are ready to test their strength, technique and speed within the historical scenery of one of the most beautiful Mediterranean locations. Runners are invited to register for the 2016 Dubrovnik Half Marathon which will take place on the 1st of May 2016.
Although the half marathon is the main event the organisers, DU Motion, have plenty else in store for runners of all levels. Over the two days there will also be a “Run the Walls” event, a race around the 2 kilometres of the ancient Dubrovnik City Walls, truly a unique race. There will also be a short “Children’s Run” which will be held along the main street of the Old City, the Stradun. And finally a “5 kilometre” race aimed at raising humanitarian awareness and sponsors. Save the date, the 1st of May is Dubrovnik Half Marathon Day, and get your registration in early to book your place for what is sure to be a popular international race once again.
For more details and registration info visit the Dubrovnik Half Marathon website - www.du-motion.com
Swan Lake delighted Dubrovnik last night. In a packed Dubrovnik Sports Centre one of the most famous ballet companies in the world, the Imperial Russian Ballet, performed Swan Lake.
“It was magical night, a real spectacular evening. I wish we could see such performances more often in Dubrovnik,” commented a member of the last night’s audience. This was the Imperial Russian Ballets second visit to Dubrovnik, last year they performed The Nutcracker. The Imperial Russian Ballet Company comprises 40 dancers from the major ballet schools of Russia: Moscow and Perm.
The fairytale of a girl who was transformed into a swan came to life in Dubrovnik last night. Today, 138 years after the first performance, the Imperial Russian Ballet presented this masterpiece as a ballet in three acts.
Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic
USA Today have published their list of the “World's most thrilling cliff diving spots” and, unfortunately, Dubrovnik is included on the list. Why unfortunately? A few years ago a popular Australian blogger wrote an article about cliff diving in Dubrovnik from the Buza Bar outside of the Old City walls. This article went viral and before long hundreds of Australians were leaping, like lemmings, from the rocks. Although the jump, or dive, is into deep water there are a few hidden rocks just under the surface. Over the past five years Dubrovnik’s emergency services have been called to the Buza Bar rocks at least three times a year, either for fatalities or severe injuries.
“I just can’t watch them jump anymore, I tried to warn them but they wouldn’t listen,” explained a local resident. “I just remember the sound as one poor girl hit the rocks, it was awful,” he added. The Australians were first, but soon the British followed and the Americans, the jump from the rocks of Buza Bar was a must do, and the injuries piled up. The locals tried to raise a barrier to stop the jumpers, it was ignored.
An article from the Croatian daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija, after another tourist was badly injured in 2012, read “Unlike similar accidents that have occurred in recent years, this time it was a Britain who was injured while jumping into the sea. Most of the people injured on these jumps are from Australia, for whom the Buza has become “cult place” to prove your courage.” Just after his article was published another young Britain jumped from the rocks and nearly died, she spent months in hospital having facial reconstruction.
And now the globally popular USA Today encourages more people to travel to Dubrovnik and jump of the Buza Bar rocks. Thankfully they do start the article with a word of warning, “just look at the activity's nickname, "tombstoning," to get some idea of its deadly reputation. This sport, in the wrong hands, is no laughing matter.” But then they also go onto to sing the praises of the Buza Bar jump, “either follow the handrails and walk down the steps, or follow the locals to a rock called lav ("lion") and dive right in!”
Our advice is to ignore USA Today! This is an extremely dangerous jump that has statistically over the years caused the most injuries in Dubrovnik. This is neither a cult place nor a proof of courage, don’t be another lemming.
Don't bring your summer holiday to an abrupt end - a scene from 2012 after another Buza accident