Sunday, 19 August 2018
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

Last year over 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia and registered 270,000 overnight stays which was an increase by 36 percent in arrivals and 37 percent in overnights. This year over 300,000 Chinese guests are expected in Croatia so direct flights between these two countries are definitely 'a must'.

According to Vecernji list, Beijing Capital Airlines has announced new direct flights between Zagreb and Beijing in 2017. The flights will be introduced in June 2017 and will operate twice a week with the 222-seat Airbus A330-200 jet.

Beijing Capital Airlines is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline company in China. It currently offers scheduled flights across China as well as to South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Maldives and Spain. The airline has planned to expand its business into Europe next year, i.e. to Helsinki and Zagreb and just recently the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted Beijing Capital Airlines a permit to operate services from Beijing to the Croatian capital.

Hainan Airlines already expressed interest in Croatia last year when it negotiated with Zadar Airport over possible charter services from China to Croatia. Unfortunately, that idea was never realized. Also Hainan Airlines was linked to a potential equity investment in Croatia Airlines.

Zagreb Airport Franjo Tudman is currently the only airport in the region of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia to have been linked with the Far East. Korean Airlines maintains summer charters from Seoul to Zagreb operating a total of twelve flights with Airbus A330 aircraft.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival has started last night and like every year it offers a lot to see. Rich programme is cleverly presented in video on Youtube, showing the higlights of this, 67th, Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

During 47 festival days, more than 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 70 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet, folklore and other events in around twenty site-specific venues. It's clear that everybody can find something for themselves. Don't miss the video and if you want to more details about the program click here.

The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s music was opened by the world famous tenor, José Cura, whom music critics often call “the fourth tenor”, alluding to The Three Tenors. At the Opening Ceremony directed by Ivan Miladinov, he appeared as both conductor and singer, while today  he will perform some of the finest operatic arias with the soprano Linda Ballova and the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Mladen Tarbuk in the gala concert taking place in front of St Blaise's Church.

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José Cura became world famous for his intense and original interpretations of opera characters, including the role of Otello from Verdi’s opera of the same name. The brilliant tenor will perform several arias from this opera for the Dubrovnik audience: the Love Duet from Act 1, the realisation of Desdemona’s betrayal, and the moment Otello dies next to the body of his beloved. The programme also includes Blagoje Bersa’s symphonic poem Hamlet, his first orchestral piece intended to portray the state of mind and soul of the tragic hero from Shakespeare’s namesake play. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed his suite A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired by Shakespeare’s comedy of the same name. The Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra will perform the Wedding March from this suite, conjuring up the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. The second part of the programme will bring a breath of the Spanish and Latin American culture. After Manuel de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and two pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Cura will perform three songs by Armando Manzanero, an exceptionally prolific and successful Mexican composer, whose songs translated into English and performed by great singers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Elvis Presley became chart-toppers in the USA.

Gala concert will take place in front of St. Blaise's Church starting at 9:30 pm, but the versatile artist José Cura has prepared yet another treat for the festival audience. Apart from his successful career of a tenor, conductor and composer, José Cura is also a talented photographer. In his book Espontáneas, he presented his fascinating photos, which will be exhibited in Sponza Palace starting from 13 July.

Dubrovnik has made it to one more top list of countries to visit. It's listed as one of the top five destination for photographers at the Gildshire website

As it's said in the article, no other continent offers the wealth of diversity in subject matter, making Europe an essential voyage for every photographer and Dubrovnik is one of the cities that shouldn't be missed.

- Even today, the city is a car-free zone making it easy to imagine life hundreds of years ago. Walking on the city walls is a must-do photographic activity – the views of the city and the surrounding Adriatic Sea are simply spectacular, and it quickly becomes apparent why Dubrovnik is referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ – writes the author about Dubrovnik.

That's quite true, since anyone who visits Dubrovnik can't leave the town without bunch of beautiful photos.

The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival is officially open. With the raising of the Libertas flag and the melody of the “Hymn to Freedom” the festival opening ceremony was held last night. The packed audience, including many dignitaries, in the heart of the Old City were treated to a musical and dance spectacle at the 67th opening of the summer festival, the most important date on the Dubrovnik cultural calendar.

From the 10th of July until the 25th of August in twenty locations in and around Dubrovnik around 2,000 artists will perform. The festival will host forty-five days of world class drama, music, ballet, art and much more with an international audience of over 60,000 people expected this year.

The opening ceremony was a grand affair including a special performance by the famous Argentinean tenor José Cura.

After the main ceremony an impressive fireworks display was held just outside of the Old City walls.

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Photos Tonci Plazibat 

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

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Selfies can be dangerous for your health, that the message from the Croatian mountain rescue service. The mountain rescue service has warned people about putting themselves in danger in the hunt for the perfect seflie whilst on holiday in Croatia.

A Canadian man almost fell down a 75-metre cliff top in the Plitvice Lakes national park as he edged further back he fell and was only saved as tree branches broke his fall. The 20 year-old Canadian was lucky, although he did suffer serious injuries according to a police report.

And the Croatian mountain rescue service has urged tourists not to take “stupid and dangerous selfies.” On their official Twitter account they posted - Dear tourists, we respect you. It’s time for you to start respecting yourself. So, stop making stupid and dangerous selfies. Thank you.

This is not the first time that a photo in the Plitvice Lakes has been dangerous, just last year a Slovak tourist fell from the same spot as died whilst taking a photo.

The appeal came after the young Canadian plunged off a 75-metre (250-foot) viewpoint in the Plitvice Lakes national park while trying to take the perfect selfie.

The piano maestro Maksim Mrvica performed an unforgettable concert on the beach of the Hotel Valamar Dubrovnik President tonight in front of a packed audience. With a crossover of classics and modern Mrvica’s energetic show was extra special as the sunset over the Adriatic Sea.
Maksim Mrvica has sold millions of albums in 60 countries around the world and is one of the top classical and crossover musicians. With exceptional talent, impressive performance, outstanding styling and image as well as his musical crossover genre Maksim Mrvica has managed to popularize classical music among younger generations.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen also received the special Mrvica treatment and was well received by the audience.
“A spectacular night of unbelievable music in wondrously ambient surroundings,” commented an English couple at the concert. It was certainly a night to remember at the Hotel Valamar Dubrovnik President.

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