Saturday, 19 September 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 is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a great image. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely stunning images of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected our top five just as a Sunday pick-up. Check out our top five spirit lifting Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.

 

In the past 24 hours, 312 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded across Croatia, and the number of currently active cases today is a total of 2,654.

There are 211 people in hospital, including 12 people on a ventilator. Unfortunately, over the last 24-hour period 3 people have died as a result of the virus.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 9,861 people have been infected, of which 183 have died and 7,024 have recovered.

There are currently 9,148 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 165,716 people have been tested, of which 3,415 were tested in the last 24 hours.

Two regions dominate the number of new Covid-19 in Croatia, the Split-Dalmatia County with 110 new cases and the City of Zagreb with 93 new cases.

 

Coronavirus Dubrovnik – 13 new cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County – one US citizen among new cases

 

In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 13 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

These new cases include four males from Dubrovnik, two of whom are contacts of previously infected people, and one became infected outside of the county. One female and one male from the borough of Zupa, one male from Korčula, one female from Ploče who was most likely infected in Montenegro.

One female from Metković and the borough of Dubrovnik Primorje, two women who reside in Zagreb but are currently in Zupa, and one US citizen who is currently in Dubrovnik are also positive for Covid-19.

Over the past 24 hours 5 people have made a full recovery, 3 from Dubrovnik, 1 from Ploče and 1 from Metković.

There are currently 9 people tested positive for coronavirus hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 9,221 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.

There are 403 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no cases of violation of the self-isolation measure have been identified.

 

The tourist season in Croatia is coming to an end, and depending on the epidemiological situation, we are waiting for what the postseason will be like.

There are currently 460,000 tourists in Croatia, and most of them are in Istria, Kvarner, Zadar and the Split-Dalmatia county. Currently, most guests are from Germany, Croatia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia, according to e-visitor data.

So far in August, there have been 2.5 million arrivals and more than 20 million overnight stays in Croatia, which is about 66 percent of last year's result measured by overnight stays in the same period.

In August, most overnight stays were realized from the markets of Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and most overnight stays this month were realized in Vir, Rovinj, Medulin, Poreč, Crikvenica, Umag and Mali Lošinj.

So far this year, 6.7 million arrivals and more than 46.5 million overnight stays were realized in Croatia, which is about 53 percent of last year's result measured by overnight stays in the same period.

 

The eighth edition of the Dubrovnik international music festival the “Late Summer Music Festival” kicked off last night with a spectacular concert in front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral. The opening night featured the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marc Tardue, and pianist Jasminka Stančul.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, last night’s audience had the opportunity to listen to the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C major, while the selection of Symphony no. 8 in F major, the chief conductor of the DSO and music director of the festival Marc Tardue explained the eighth year of the festival, which aims to maintain the presence of music and excellent performers in Dubrovnik after the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

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Pianist Jasminka Stančul can be said to be a true friend of the city and the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. She is connected to the city by numerous performances, the first of which was almost thirty years ago. Since then, the connection between this artist and the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra has grown into a friendship that always gives birth to concerts of special energy, just like last night.

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Based on her musical talent and exceptional approach to Beethoven's music, Jasminka Stančul was awarded the 1st prize at the Beethoven International Competition in Vienna. Since then, she has continued her musical career in the same city. She has also performed as a solist with Camerata Salzburg, Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic, Nuremberg Philharmonic, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonic, Würt Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

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The next concert on the festival program is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, when professors and students of the Laus Academy Dubrovnik will perform, and among them are renowned violinist Goran Končar, then our world-renowned pianist Bruno Vlahek and great pianist Dubravka Vukalović.

The concert will be held in the atrium of the Rector's Palace starting at 9 p.m.

 

The Croatian Government's autumn package of measures to alleviate the crisis includes subsidies for a shorter working week, the renovation of schools and hospitals in Zagreb, but also the suspension of wage growth in the public sector, writes Jutarnji list.

Citing urgent steps to save the economy, the newspaper points out that the government will help activities in tourism, catering, transport with co-financing of 2,000 Kuna per worker for a shortened working week.

Favourable loans for entrepreneurs are also planned, and Hamag-Bicro and HBOR will continue to provide loans with interest rates of 0.25 percent to maintain company's liquidity.

Croatia also has at its disposal 6 billion Euros in grants that can be used for various projects. The funds will also be used for the reconstruction of schools, health and cultural facilities after the earthquake in Zagreb.

In addition, a new tax reform will take effect on January 1, reducing the income tax rate from 24 to 20 percent and from 36 to 30 percent, as well as the income tax from 12 to 10 percent for income-generating small and medium-sized enterprises up to HRK 7.5 million.

Negotiations with the unions on the (non) increase of salaries are also planned. According to Jutarnji list, the government wants a compromise to either freeze the salary increase until the GDP starts to rise or for the increases to be smaller.

 

“Was that your first swim of the season?” commented a friend from the UK who saw me jumping from a boat in Pile as part of a promo video for Dubrovnik, a couple of weeks ago. It was true. And probably if I hadn’t filmed that video I still wouldn’t have tasted the Adriatic this year.

I wasn’t always such a shy swimmer. But in recent years the appeal has certainly worn thin. It could be the theory of “it’s there so I have plenty of time to go.” The same as when I lived in London and hadn’t visited many of the main tourist attractions. You see them every day and think “one day, one day.” But that one day doesn’t come.

Even though I was born on an island the sea hasn’t really held some great appeal. Of course I swam as a child, even though the sea temperatures were ideal for penguins, but it seems the older I get the less attractive it is. I even recently spent four days on Lastovo and not even the incredibly translucent sea could tempt me in.

From the front window of my house I can watch the sea all day and from the back window the mountains. I seem to spend more time fascinated by the view from the back window than the front.

However, the first swim, or rather leap from a boat, wasn’t the last. I waited until the sea reached a bath-like 26 degrees and eased myself in. Slowly, and like a pensioner. It was so warm I felt like a potato boiling before being mashed. Did I enjoy it? Of course I did. Will I be rushing to the beach every day, of course I won’t. Last year I dipped into the Adriatic three times and I’m well on course to beat that record this year…just.

It could well be that one of the factors I am not in the sea is that the idea of sunbathing is horrific. The mind-numbing monotony of heating up and then taking a dip, heating up and then taking a dip, heating up and then taking a dip. Kill me now! I would rather have root canal at the dentist than lay in the sun slowly burning my skin. Layered in oil, like a lamb rotating on the spit, slowly cooking seems like a completely pointless experience. Lying in the sun has to be the most boring, non-activity ever.

It could also be a male thing. Scan any beach and you’ll probably see more females than males. Culturally, being tanned is a beauty standard that is desirable. It's stupid, and it is improving, but it's so entrenched in society that it's going to take a long time to change.

Maybe I have some Japanese blood in me. Their thinking that the whiter you are the higher class you are (because people with suntans work in the fields) is parallel to mine. Whilst friends and family fry on the beach I am normally found hidden like a vampire under the biggest palm I can find.

I’m not really avoiding the sun because I don’t want skin cancer (although obviously I’d like to avoid it) or that I don’t want to look like a prune in later life after years of abusing my skin, rather it is just a colossal waste of time. Instead of reading a book on the beach try writing one.

This is the active/passive argument I have with myself all the time, and normally the active side wins. Life is just too short to be passive, and you only get one chance. Instead of reading or watching or hearing about how fun/entertaining/worthwhile something is go out and try it for yourself. Lizards and snakes have a good excuse to lounge in the sun, they need the Vitamin D to stay alive, we on the other hand don’t.

Tourist who fly half way around the world to simply collapse in the sun are in a whole new category of passivity. “Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing,” once said the American businessman Warren Buffet.

 

Last night, the people of Korčula were greeted by a rather unusual sight, instead of the multitude of tourists typical for the end of August, three goats walked through the town, writes Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

One was walking along the walls of the Petar Kanavelić Promenade near the restaurant tables, the other was found in front of the post office while the third allegedly ended up in Mayor Fabris's garden, but this has not been confirmed.

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