Saturday, 22 September 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

 

Five things you won’t find in a Dubrovnik tourist guide

 

Not as easy as it looks - On a section of the wall of the Mala Braća church a stone protrudes out, in fact it is a gargoyle. The expert challenge is to climb onto the protrusion and try and take your T-shirt off.

stand on stone dubrovnik

 

Why run when you can walk - It’s like taking a social stroll; you never know who you’ll bump into and who you’ll end up sitting and having a coffee with, the locals can it a “đir” or Gir in English. 

walk on stradun

 

Messing around in the water – it’s called Picigin the idea is to keep the ball in the air as long as you can, great fun, but harder than it looks.

picigin dubrovnik

 

High noon feeding time – at exactly midday the pigeons are feed on Gundulić Square in the heart of the Old City. Great photo opportunities, but mind the flapping wings.

pigeons dubrovnik

 

Be a cave man...or woman – the Betina cave is a secluded beach that can only be reached from the sea. Take a kayak or, if you are a good swimmer, under your own steam. It is located between two beaches, Banje and St. Jacob.

betina cave dubrovnik

 

 

This is probably not the best place to park your car and a lesson that when you park near the sea to always pull the hand-brake. Yesterday afternoon passers-by in the centre of Korcula were left scratching their heads as a car slowly made its way, seemingly under its own steam, into the Adriatic. The Mazda was left half floating in the sea.

“No one seemed to notice as the car slowly edged towards the harbour and before we realised the car was in the car and dropping into the sea,” explained an observer.

Apparently the driver of the male driver of the car had stopped by the quay side to buy movie tickets and had forgotten to pull the handbrake. As he appeared from the cinema he found his car bobbing with the boats in the Korcula harbour. Fortunately there was no one in the car when the accident occurred.

Later in the afternoon cranes arrived on the scene to fish the soaked Mazda from its watery grave. Apart from water damage the car was relatively unscathed. We only wonder whether the driver was buying movie tickets for the latest instalment in the Ice Age series – Collision Course!

car korcula sea

Temperatures will hit 32 degrees today in Dubrovnik as the height of the summer is upon us. Endless blue skies and baking hot sunshine have been pretty much the order of the day from the beginning of June, and the sunshine doesn’t look like ending any time soon. In fact the popular weather website AccuWeather.com has a yellow warning for the Dubrovnik region which means “extremely high temperatures.”

The public fountains of Dubrovnik are doing a roaring trade as thirsty tourists and locals like for refreshment. The beaches of the city are also busy, although as the current sea temperature of the Adriatic in Dubrovnik is around 25 degrees it isn’t offering much cooling relief.

Sunshine and temperatures in the mid to low thirties will continue until the end of July and the long-term weather forecast for August is again unspoilt blue skies and temperatures even warmer, an average of 34 degrees expected. Experts are warning people not o go out in the midday sun and to drink plenty of fluids.

melting dubrovnik 2016

melthing dubrovnik heat wave

A new sign has been installed over the entrance to the underpass leading into Dubrovnik with the simple inscription in English and Croatian “Welcome.” The new sign was sponsored by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and a reader sent us in this photo.

Generally the signs leading into Dubrovnik are old and in need of repair or completely changing. So at least we have one new sign…that’s a start.

welcome to dubrovnik

The most successful franchise from Croatia, that was launched in 2009 by Andrija Colak and Denis Polic from Rijeka, is now set to expand its business into Dubai, China, Russia, the United States etc.

In last seven years Surf'n'Fries has opened franchises in Germany, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Norway, Vietnam and Iran. This Croatian franchise is now ready to conquer some of the biggest world markets.

According to the words of Polic, the first Surf'n'Fries outlet in Moscow is to be opened by the end of this summer but they are planning to open more than just one outlet. Their master franchisor has big expectations and announces at least 100 Surf'n'Fries outlets in Russia. Jekaterina Sojak, the director of the Russian Franchise Association, confirmed this agreement by saying that the fast food market is one of the rare sectors in the Russian business that rises despite the economy crisis.

surf n turf 2

This year Colak and Polic have expanded their business into markets in Ireland, Germany and Iran and signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates. The first Surf'n'Fries outlet is to be opened in September at the popular Kite-beach in Dubai. In Ireland there is a Surf'n'Fries mobile trailer which travels around to various events. In Stuttgart, Germany there are five Surf'n'Fries outlets and they are planning to open the first Shop-In-Shop model at a gas station by the end of the summer. Next month a Surf'n'Fries franchise will be opened in Vienna with two new outlets.

Surf’n’Fries specialises in a range of various fries, from classic to crinkle wedges and chocolate coated fries, as well as nuggets, chicken wings and hot dogs. They are famous for their new oil free technology, which they claim solves the problem of notorious unhealthy fast food items by only using air to make fries, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and other Surf’n’Fries specialty products.

Polic and Colak are currently negotiating with partners in USA and China and actively work on the development of new products and technologies.

Among 300 franchises from 38 countries Colak and Polic won an award in America for the most promising young franchise business in 2015.

The forest fire on the island Olipa is still not under control. Even though three fire planes have been dropping their payloads of water on the fires and crews of firefighters have been onto the uninhabited island to try to extinguish the blazes the island continues to burn.

Huge columns of smoke can be seen from miles around as the dense and extremely dry vegetation continues to burn. The cause of the fire is still unknown, and as this Elaphite Island is completely uninhabited it remains a mystery. There is only one building on the island, an unmanned lighthouse.

The terrain is proving a major problem for firefighters, with steep rocky hills and thick pine forests. A fourth plane has been called to help fight the fires and over 17 hectares of forest are believed to be destroyed. The fire is so intense that the smell of burning can be detected in Dubrovnik.

Watch this dramatic video taken by the Dubrovnik Fire Brigade

According to the first data from the eVisitor system, in the period from the 1st of July till the 20th of July, Croatia achieved 2.4 million arrivals or 15.2 million overnight stays, reported the Croatian Tourist Board.

The most numerous tourists were from Germany followed by tourists from Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. Croatian destinations with most overnight stays in the same period of July are Rovinj, Porec, Medulin, Dubrovnik, Umag, Mali Losinj and Crikvenica.

As far as the Croatian counties are concerned, the Istria county achieved the most overnight stays (4.15 million) where Germans, Slovenians and Austrians accounted for the largest percentage in the structure of overnights. In the same period the Primorje-Gorje county realized 3.08 million overnights with the same nationality structure of tourists. The Split-Dalmatia county achieved 2.84 million overnight stays with the largest number being Czechs, Polish and Slovakians. The Zadar county and the Sibenik-Knin county achieved 2.10 million overnight stays, the most numerous guests were from Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Poland.

''The latest results achieved in July indicate that our expectations and our announcements at the beginning of this season were accurate. We are very satisfied with a regularity of the tourist traffic in July and each day brings even more overnight stays in Croatia. On Monday, on the 18th of July, for the first time this year, we achieved more than 900,000 overnights in one day. We expect this figure to rise in days ahead of us and reach 1,000,000 overnights per day'', said Ratomir Ivcic, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board.

The eVisitor system enables detail insights in the various indicators of the tourist traffic such as a number of tourists by gender and age. According to this data the most numerous tourists by age were guests aged 35 to 54 followed by a young population aged 15 to 34 and children up to 14 years of age. On the other hand, data by gender show that equal number of arrivals of male and female tourists was achieved in July.

Cloudy

23°C

Dubrovnik

Cloudy
Humidity: 81%
Wind: N at 11.27 km/h
Monday
Showers
20°C / 26°C
Tuesday
Windy
18°C / 22°C
Wednesday
SP_WEATHER_BREEZY
16°C / 23°C
Thursday
Partly cloudy
16°C / 23°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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