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.


After the disastrous performance by England against Iceland on Monday the 27th of June and being knocked out of EURO 2016, Roy Hodgson resigned as England team manager. The English media have not held back in their criticism and expressed their regret that he didn’t leave the national team job after the unsuccessful World Championship in Brazil in 2014.

The English FA have immediately started looking for Hodgson’s replacement. The favourite candidate for the England bench is Gareth Southgate, the actual team manager of the ‘under 21’ national team but some other names are also in the running such as Alan Shearer, Gary Neville, Glenn Hoddle, Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp have appeared on the list of possible candidates. However one name stands out Croatia’s own - Slaven Bilic.

The Croatian football expert is a firm favourite in England and after having a great season with West Ham he was put forward as one of the possible replacements for Roy Hodgson. Bookmakers have already opened odds on Slaven getting the role, all the media is talking about him and the portal Football Target, apart for naming him Super Slaven, has released an article titled ‘’Five reasons why England should opt for Slaven Bilic’’. And here they are:

1. Even though Slaven Bilic is a Croat in the UK he knows and understands the English mentality. Slaven played in the English Premier league in his playing days and he’s currently managing the Premier league team, West Ham United.

2. As the English national football team needs a rejuvenation Slaven Bilic is a good option because he knows how to manage young players. Before taking the job as the main national coach of Croatia, he coached the youth team, Under 21, with which he had good results. Afterwards he made a great job with young football players in the main national team.

3. Slaven played for the national team of Croatia during the Golden Generation era and then he coached the Croatian national football team. In 2008, Bilic on the helm of Croatia, celebrated twice against England, thus leaving the Three lions at home during the Euro 2008 competition.

4. On the bench of Lokomotiv Moscow, Slaven did a good job, but he failed to grab the Russian’s league title. A year later he took the job in the Turkish Super Lig and coached Besiktas. In season 2015/16 he had great results with West Ham and qualified for the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League.

5. Whenever Bilic left a team the fans were unhappy. Bilic made strong connections bonds wherever he was playing or coaching. He’s a charismatic and an intelligent person who enjoys football and everything around the most popular game in world.

Couple of days ago Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic had a meeting with representatives of the investor and the designers of the project 'Belvedere'.

On this occasion, Mayor and associates were presented with the winning preliminary design by 3LHD Architects studio, which was chosen at the international public competition.

Luxurious, but not oversized building – as they said - is adorned with modern architecture, and after the demolition of the existing hotel, new facility will be fully integrated into the landscape and become one of the most luxurious hotels in the Mediterranean with a series of brand new content.

The City of Dubrovnik will do what it takes to realize this project as soon as possible.





Elite daily has recently published an article with the list of 20 cities to travel to when you're young, broke and open to anything and Dubrovnik is on the 6th place.

Author says that traveling the world in your 20s is possibly one of the most carfree experiences and even though the traveling doesn't become less enjoyable as you get older, it gets different.

- Now at 29, I simply don’t have the patience to share a dorm with 20 other snoring and highly sexually active backpackers, and I don’t have the stamina to party until the wee hours of the morning, or the ability to hold down terrible-tasting, cheap shots. Although, come to think of it, I don’t think my younger 20-year-old self possessed that ability either. As you get older, your tastes and priorities change, which is why you should make the most of travel while in your carefree 20s – it's written in the article.

Dubrovnik found its place on the list between the cities like London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Budapest and Berlin.
- Blessed with a mesmerizing locale on the Croatian coast, Dubrovnik is a must-see for all 20-somethings. Although not as renowned as its island counterparts for its party atmosphere, there is still plenty to do within the ancient city walls of the Old Town, which has its own unique aura of Adriatic charm – writes the author of the article and adds that you shouldn't miss the Buza bar, because you'll need to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming.

Valamar Riviera, the leading tourism company in Croatia, is organizing a concert of the world renowned concert pianist Maksim Mrvica on the beach at Valamar President Hotel in Dubrovnik on the 9th of July, 2016.

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.

Even though all of his albums were great successes, the one of them that deserves to be singled out is ‘’The Piano Player’’ which was his breakthrough album into the world music scene in 2003.

Always inventive and interesting Maksim Mrvica has excited the audiences especially with tenth studio album ‘’The Movies’’. This album encompasses classic movies and blockbuster movie themes such as ‘’The Glass Mountain’’, ‘’Rollerball’’, ‘’Spartacus’’ as well as ‘’Rocky’’, ‘’Gladiator’’, “The Godfather’’, “Pirates of the Caribbean’’, ‘’Mission Impossible’’ and ‘’Amelie.’’

As always the audience can expect a top performance and priceless experience becoming a part of the unique musical story that has been written by Maksim Mrvica. His concerts and performances always bring a special energy making his crossover performances breathtaking and combining all the elements from his abundant musical opus.

Tickets for this special concert range from 250 to 350 Kunas.

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A spectacular setting for a concert, the Valamar President beach in Dubrovnik

The popular Dubrovnik Card will be spreading its offer with a range of new options announced at a press conference held today in Dubrovnik. “We want the entire region, from Prevlaka in the south to Ston in the north, from the islands of Mljet and Korcula to benefit from the Dubrovnik Card,” commented the mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic.

The Dubrovnik Card is a city card that allows visitors entry into museums, travel on public buses and entrance to the city, amongst many other benefits and is available in a one-day, three-day and seven-day format. Until now the card had only concentrated on the actual city of Dubrovnik but now that offer has been enlarged. Konavle will now have many attractions that will be included inside the card, including the Vlaho Bukovac Home.

“The whole region has always been historically linked, and now with the extended offer of the Dubrovnik City Card guests can experience the richness of the city and the whole region at a reasonable price,” concluded the mayor. He added that next year the Dubrovnik City Card will be the first in the world to offer travel insurance.

The new daily card will now include five museums, two galleries, the city walls, the Franciscan monastery and a 24-hour bus ticket for use inside the city limits. A three-day ticket will include all of this, plus the Vlaho Bukovac Home, six city bus tickets and two suburban bus tickets, whilst the seven-day card will include ten city bus tickets and four suburban tickets. A three-day ticket also includes a 30 percent discount on the Racic Mausoleum, the Lokrum Reserve and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The seven-day ticket includes discounts for Mljet and greater discounts for Lokrum and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

International Opera Arias Festival Tino Pattiera is coming to Dubrovnik again this year,  from first to sixt of July. This is the 9th Festival, for the third time in a row organized by Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.

The Festival was presented at the press conference and the speakers were Damir Milat, the director of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Noam Zur, festival director and the conductor, deputy mayor Tatjana Simac Bonacic and head of Marketing and PR of Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Iva Svetac.

- I hope that this Festival will be successful as it was last couple of years – said Damir Milat. He added that Dubrovnik, as the town of elite tourism needs elite festivals, which is not so easy to organize.

- I'm very, very happy to be back! -  said Noam Zur, adding that he's also 'very, very happy' about the solists this year. Which are Liana Aleksanyan, soprano from Armenia, mezzosoprano from Spain Marisa Martins, tenor Hugh Smith from the USA, baritone Ionut Pascu from Romania and pianist from Dubrovnik Stefani Grbic.

Zur said that there will be many surprises, but what is known is that this Festival will be inspired by William Shakespeare and will be the great opportunity to celebrate the artistic ties between literature and opera.

- I'm feeling joy because of the new festivals and new events – sad the deputy mayor Tatjana Simac Bonacic, emphasizing that the City of Dubrovnik is thankful to the people with ideas. She added that they see the value of this kind of festivals and hope that the others will to.
Iva Svetac said that Dubrovnik Sun Gardens are honoured to be the part of this Festival.

- As the sponsors of the final concert we will celebrate the 7th year of our resort – she added.

Just a reminder – International Opera Arias Festival Tino Pattiera is named after and organized in the memory of the world famous tenor Tino Pattiera, born on 27 June 1890 in Cavtat, a town situated about 20 kilometers away from Dubrovnik, where he died in 1966.

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Another major international film production is now filming in Dubrovnik. The American historical series Knightfall has occupied the bay of Pile, right at the entrance to the Old Town. You can't miss the actors, roaming around in their costumes and attracting the attention of tourists and locals.

The series follows the fall, persecution and burnings at the stake of the members of the ancient order of the Templars. The History Channel is behind the latest film production in the city and the famous American actor Jeremy Renner will play one of the main roles and is also the producer.

After the success of the Game of Thrones and Star Wars, which were partly filmed on location in Dubrovnik, Knightfall will also bring international publicity and recognition to the city.

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                  Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic



Project 'Active Croatia' came to Dubrovnik, more precisely on the Saint John's Fort. It's organized under sponsorship of Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and the goal is to make citizens more active, especially the young ones. It was quite cheerful and entertaining and we can't think of the better location to exercise.

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