Friday, 13 December 2019
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

Today is the 4th of July, or for Americans – Independence day. Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.

It is said that the Republic of Ragusa, a merchant republic centered at our Dubrovnik, was first of the foreign countries to recognize independence of the United States. According to Wikipedia, sources differ on when the recognition took place: some travel guides and tourist portals claim that Ragusa was the very first country to recognize the United States as early as 1776a document whose copy was presented to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006 reportedly puts the date at 1783,while the Council of American Ambassadors claims that the recognition was extended during the term of the second President of the United States, John Adams, thus between 1797 and 1801.

'Legends of Lokrum' is the name of the exhibition that has been opened this weekend as a part of British week on the beautiful island of Lokrum that is situated just 600 meters away from Dubrovnik.

Templars have been a real attraction on Saturday, while they were walking to Old Port where they took a boat with the visitors and went to the exibition opening. There, everybody got a real treat: journey to the past at the multimedia exibition by Ivana Dabrovic. Exhibition brings the story of Richard the Lionheart, as well as Benedictines, their life, costumes and also the curse.

Exhibition is located at the basement of the Benedictian monestery and it's opened every day from 9 am to 8 pm. Entrance is free.

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Dubrovnik is constantly having great tourist numbers but now also has an increase in tourist traffic in first six months and in June as well, when Dubrovnik had 133.467 tourists, what is two percent higher than June 2015. There was 467.828 overnight stays what is one percent higher compared to June 2015 and the most numerous guests were from UK, USA, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Croatia and Ireland.

By the avaliable data of the eVisitor system, in the first six months Dubrovnik achieved record-breaking results in all types of accomodation. There were 364.887 arrivals, what is six percent more than at the same time last year. During the first six months of 2016 there was 1.156.943 overnight stay, which is five percent increase comparet to 2015.

Top list of the countries that provided tourists in Dubrovnik in the first six months of 2016 are: UK, SAD, Germany, France, Croatia, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Korea and Ireland.

Premiered in June 2015 at the Perforations Festival, The Stranger project produced by BADco. will be performed at the 67th Festival, on 15 August at Revelin Fort Terrace. That will be the first time that this Croatian performance group, which is considered to be an internationally significant artistic phenomenon, appears at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The Stranger project, using Camus’s antihero Meursault, provides a view of the social and systemic hypocrisies that are hidden behind relationships based on transparency. This stage reading of The Stranger focuses on three dominant images borrowed from the novel: the situation of confession, prison, and the moment of the murder itself as the point where all of the novel’s forces accumulate.

The director is Goran Sergej Pristaš and the dramaturgy and text author is Goran Ferčec. Credits for the choreography and performance go to Nikolina Pristaš, Zrinka Užbinec and Ana Kreitmeyer. Live music is performed by Sinkauz brothers.

Since its foundation in 2000, BADco. systematically focuses on the research of protocols of performing, presenting and observing by structuring its projects around diverse formal and perceptual relations and contexts. Reconfiguring established relations between performance and audience, challenging perspectival givens and architectonics of performance, problematizing of communicational structures, makes BADco. an internationally significant artistic phenomenon and provides one of the most differentiated performance experiences.

Contemporary performance practices at the 67th Festival are also represented by the Zagreb Dance Company and their performance of the piece „Anything” by the famous Spanish choreographer and dancer Daniel Abreu, on 6 August. This guest performance is realized through Croatian Dance Network.

Festival audience will also see the new piece by one of the most prominent and active European choreographers and the artistic director of the SNG Maribor Edward Clug - Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faun. Ščedrin’s „Carmen“ choreographed by Valentina Turcu is a complementary part of this ballet diptych which will take place at the ruins of the Benedictine monastery on the Island of Lokrum, 15, 16 and 17 July.

It was a lovely weekend to be on the beach in Dubrovnik, with temperatures in the thirties and endless blue skies the city’s beaches were full.

The long-term forecast shows more unbroken sunshine on the way and the next week should see temperatures soaring even warmer.

Check out our photo gallery of the atmosphere on the iconic Banje Beach in Dubrovnik.

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One of the biggest chains in the fast food world, McDonald's, could soon be opening its first restaurant in Dubrovnik. With the news that the Port of Dubrovnik will receive massive new investment as contracts have been signed with Global Ports Holding and the fact that the project for the new port building includes a shopping centre it is believed that McDonald's have shown interest in entering.

The McDonald's franchise owner in Croatia, Globalna Hrana Ltd, stated in 2013 that they had no future plans to open a restaurant in Dubrovnik. The reasons given at that time were it wasn’t commercially feasible and that Dubrovnik was isolated from the rest of the country. However it seems that they have changed their tune, the new port building with its shopping centre and high traffic of passengers has turned their heads. The PR for Globalna Hrana Ltd Ivana Sapina commented that “Above all one of the most important goals of McDonald's in Croatia is to enlarge our offer in Croatian cities. We are very pleased with the expansion of McDonald’s restaurants in Croatia and we aim to continue this development.”

Rumours are abound that McDonald's have been waiting for such a development to surface in Dubrovnik, one that has a high turnover of people and that will attract both tourists and locals. “Whenever the right business opportunity appears McDonald's is ready and willing to take advantage. Dubrovnik is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Croatia,” added Sapina.

This change of direction for McDonald's in Dubrovnik is probably due to the fact that 1.3 million cruise ship passengers pass through the Port of Dubrovnik every year. It could also be connected to the planned shopping centre in the Port of Dubrovnik which has already caught the interest of many world known brands. The whole investment into the Port of Dubrovnik project is reported to be worth over 93 million Euros. In the autumn of 2016 works will begin on the project and the plan is to complete the port and connected buildings by 2018.

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

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One of the highest paid ice-hockey players in the world danced the night away in the Culture Club, Revelin in Dubrovnik last night. P. K. Subban plays for the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League, in fact he has just signed for the Predators from his former club the Montreal Canadiens.

The ice-hockey star was almost immediately recognised by American and Canadian tourists in the popular Dubrovnik night spot and was more than willing to pose for photos and sign autographs. P. K. Subban and his friend were in the VIP section of the club and according to sources danced until the early morning hours, he also got up on stage and waved to the massed partygoers. Last night was a special night as the mega-popular British DJ, Doorly, was performing and quite clearly P. K. Subban had an evening to remember.

Apart from recently signing a multi-million dollar contract with the Nashville Predators P. K. Subban also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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Photos Dino Avdic 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

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