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.
August is certainly ending as it began in Dubrovnik, with raging temperatures and high humidity. Temperatures in Dubrovnik today are around 30 degrees, however due to the humidity the real feel is closer to 36 degrees.
In fact, humidity levels are extremely high in Dubrovnik today with measured levels at an amazing 81 percent. The forecast for the weekend shows similar weather patterns with scattered clouds and high temperatures, meaning once again humidity levels will be high. Experts are warning people to drink plenty of fluids as the real feel temperatures are very high.
And night time temperatures in Dubrovnik will not drop much below 25 degrees, meaning a rather warm and sticky night on the way.
For the weekend the wider Dubrovnik region can once again expect close and muggy weather, with highs on Saturday predicted to touch 32 degrees and on Sunday 31 degrees Celsius. However, at the beginning of next week the weather could change slightly with a few thunderstorms predicted for Tuesday and even Monday evening. Although the long-range weather forecast for the whole of September shows warm and sunny weather with average temperatures in the high twenties or low thirties.
The Adriatic Sea is currently a very pleasant 24.5 degrees and is offering some respite from the humid end to August.
Croatia’s population could well shrink to 2.2 million by the end of the century according to findings from the UN. The data shows that Croatia’s population is decreasing rapidly at estimated predict that the current population of around 4.1 million could drop on an annual basis to reach 2.27 million by 2095.
The UN’s World Population Prospects figures highlight one of the most concerning issues to face Croatia for decades. Croatia’s population has been ever decreasing since the early 1990’s, coinciding with the Homeland War. In 1990 4.77 million people lived in the country, but just twenty years later, in 2010, that number had dropped considerably to 4.32 million. Now in 2019 it is hovering around 4.1 million.
Projections from the World Population Prospect indicate that the population will dip below 4 million by 2025. As the number of people living in the country decrease by around 0.6 percent every year this would mean that by 2050 Croatia would be down to 3.3 million and by the end of the century to 2.2 million.
“Croatia is in demographic crisis and losing people each year. Its fertility rate is just 1.5 children per woman, one of the world's lowest, and its death rate has exceeded the birth rate since 1991,” states the World Population Review. Adding that “Croatia is now ranked as the 14th fastest shrinking country in the world. It's predicted that Croatia's population will shrink to 3.1 million by 2050, after reaching its peak of 4.7 million in 1991.”
Work has begun on harvesting the salt from one of the oldest salt pans in Europe, in Ston. Harvesting the salt from the Solana in Ston is back breaking work, pretty much everything is done by hand, its old school harvesting, and as temperatures reached 32 degrees’ yesterday it was certainly a hard day’s work.
The salt pans are a trade mark of Ston, these same salt pans have existed since the 14th century. The salt pans are divided into 9 crystallization basins, and each is named after a Christian saint. The appearance and manner of salt production has not been changed over the centuries.
And the salt harvest proved to be somewhat of a tourist attraction yesterday with even a few tourists rolling up their sleeves and helping.
A donation of 26,450 Kuna was handed over to the Dubrovnik Animal Protection Society yesterday, which was raised during a donor dinner on the 26th of July to mark the 10th anniversary of the Dubrovnik Sun Gardens. This humanitarian event has been supported by numerous guests with the aim of raising funds for the welfare and protection of animals in the Dubrovnik area.
The donation was presented on behalf of the Dubrovnik Sun Gardens by the General Manager of the Hotel, Christian Larss Krekovic, and was received by the President of the Society, Sandra Sambrailo, who thanked everyone involved in the initiative and emphasized that any assistance was welcome to restore the shelters and improve the conditions of abandoned animals in Zarkovica.
"I am happy that we celebrated the birthday of the resort in this way and I thank all those who supported us in the realization. This project is part of the socially responsible business that the Dubrovnik Sun Gardens has been operating in the community from the very beginning,” Krekovic said.
Every week through the height of summer we are hitting the streets of Dubrovnik to discover what you, our visitors, think about the city as a tourist destination. This week we caught up with two young travellers and their lovely dog from France who were all was visiting Dubrovnik for the first time.
Melody and Giome – France
What are your impressions of Dubrovnik so far? What have you seen and what have you liked?
We haven’t had so much time to explore yet but what we have seen until now has been very nice and clean. It looks like a nice city to live in. This is our first time in Dubrovnik and we are excited to explore some more. In fact, this is our first time in Croatia.
What do you think about the prices in Dubrovnik? Are we more expensive than France?
We have to say that the prices are much cheaper than in France, especially when you compare Dubrovnik with a popular tourist destination in France. The food in the shops seems cheaper and the drinks. We have also found the restaurants cheaper than in France. So far we have eaten for around 40 Euros for us both in restaurants here, but in France you can’t find a good meal for under 30 Euros for one person.
What have you been doing since you have arrived in Croatia, have you been able to explore much of the country?
We are travelling with our dog so obviously we have been spending lots of our time walking around. In fact, it is always better to explore a destination on foot. The dog is a good excuse for us to walk. And as we are travelling by car, basically on a road-trip, we need to exercise our dog as well. We have visited a few of the national parks and will stay in Dubrovnik for two days. Plitvice lakes were incredible. After Dubrovnik we will travel down to Montenegro for a few days. Croatia is such a beautiful country and we will be back for sure.
As Dubrovnik’s endless summer continues in fine form you might to seek some respite from the soaring temperatures in the Adriatic Sea. The sea water quality of the beaches up and down the coast of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County are regularly checked throughout the summer months to make sure that the water is fit for swimming.
And the latest testings show that out of the 117 beaches in the county, 113 passed the latest test with the highest rating of “excellent.”
The seventh regular sea water quality survey was conducted by the Institute for Public Health of Dubrovnik-Neretva County from the 12th to the 23rd of August.
After some pollution to the beach in front of Hotel Poseidon in Vela Luka extra tests were ordered and these showed that the short term pollution had passed.
The sea at the beaches of Hotel Plat and Kupari in Župa dubrovačka, VK Cavtat in Konavle and Portina in Ploče were rated as good.
If there was an award for the cutest postal service ever then this brilliant yellow van should be up near the top of the list. We spotted it today in the bay of Zaton, around 15 minutes from the centre of Dubrovnik, and it certainly brought a smile to our faces.
Probably ideal for getting to the more out of the way places in the Dubrovnik countryside although we can’t imagine that it is the quickest vehicle on the road, still must be an absolute blast to drive. Well done to the Croatian Postal Service for some ingenuity.
Normally I don’t need much of an excuse to visit the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. It is the lap of luxury literally on the doorstep of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik, one of the gems of Dubrovnik’s tourism offer.
This time the reason for visiting the luxurious hotel was as part of the hotel’s rather creative Summer Promotions. Every Monday the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik serves a themed menu in their Porat Restaurant, the Dubrovnik Republic Menu. I already love the title, or as Renee Zellweger would say “you had me at hello.”
A three-course meal in a five-star hotel with a Dubrovnik theme, the stars had aligned. We opened with a real beauty of a starter, soup from Ston oysters. Creamy and filling, yummy! I am a lover of oysters and Ston oysters are the Rolls Royce of oysters.
Oyster soup - Photo Mark Thomas
Themed around the meals that were served on the tables of the nobility in the times of the Dubrovnik Republic the main course is a classic. Capon stuffed with sausage and herbs and served with rosemary roasted potatoes. A real winner and a dish with a strong Dubrovnik history.
Capon with a Dubrovnik twist - Photo Mark Thomas
The capon was light and full of flavour and the potatoes were fresh and crunchy and with that rosemary twist they had a summer feel. And no Dubrovnik menu would be complete without the king of Dubrovnik desserts – Rozata. Now I have to admit that I am not a great fan of Rozata, too often it’s like eating a jelly. But this one is a real winner. Light and almost fluffy, which is unusual for this Dubrovnik sweet dessert and served with St. Blaise biscuits it was probably one of the best Rozatas I had ever tried.
A dessert with a Dubrovnik history - Photo Mark Thomas
This Dubrovnik Republic Menu is served every Monday from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Porat Restaurant in Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and at only 260.00 Kuna per person it is also great value.
It is also important to mention that all these promotional events are open to non-residents of the hotel. Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to be actually staying at the hotel to enjoy all the goodies on offer in this five-star hotel. Go on treat yourselves. Ten out of ten to the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik for not only respecting Dubrovnik traditions but promoting them. I loved the menu!