Saturday, 24 August 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

The sexiest beach in Croatia, at least according to the Travel Channel, is in Dubrovnik. With summer approaching fast and guests busily booking their two-week break in the sunshine what better place to get sexy on the beach than Dubrovnik, more precisely the Zupa region. “Croatia's main tourist attraction is, and always has been, its beaches. With miles of pristine continental Adriatic seaside and dozens of islands to visit, the sun and fun are endless,“ opens the article on the Travel Channel's website.

And the top sexy beach in Croatia is the Plat beach in Zupa. Although Plat beach will be more than willing to take all the accolades the reason given is a little confusing, “Number 1 on the countdown is one of Croatia's best-hidden beaches with kicking nightlife. This tiny beach is a balmy oasis of beautiful landscapes,” states the Travel Channel. Whilst the beach is undoubtedly beautiful and hidden you will struggle to find any “kicking nightlife” unless of course your description of a wild night out is watching the stars!

The islands of Hvar, Brac and Rab also featured on the list, see the full sexy Croatian beaches list here

 

Construction work on a new animal shelter has begun this week in Dubrovnik. The new shelter, relatively close to the existing shelter on Zarkovica, will be completed within approximately 120 days.

The first phase of the construction works are underway, such as site preparation, and heavy building equipment is already on site. According to the city administration the contract to carry out the construction of a new animal shelter in Dubrovnik was signed on the 4th of December 2015 and the company Titan Construction Ltd won the contract.

The City of Dubrovnik has financed this project with 1.8 million Kuna and it is expected that the new shelter will be in function by this summer. After its construction the City of Dubrovnik will become one of the few local governments in Croatia that owns a shelter for abandoned animals. The shelter will comply with all the regulations on conditions for animal shelters, announced the City of Dubrovnik in a statement.

animal dubrovnik shelter new

The filming dates of the eighth episode of Star Wars are coming closer and already sets are being constructed in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik. On the Stradun, the main street that runs through the centre of Dubrovnik is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Europe, but how identifiable will it be in the new Star Wars movie. This souvenir shop of the Stradun is in the process of being transformed into a distant world.

From the look of this photo sent to us by a reader of The Dubrovnik Times it looks like Star Wars have kept the form of the facades. What far away planet will Dubrovnik be? As the sets get completed the rumours of Dubrovnik's role will become clearer.

star wars

Set design of Star Wars in Dubrovnik 

star wars dubrovnik

The force is with Dubrovnik / Readers Photo

Croatia Airlines is set to introduce new flights from Dubrovnik to Beirut for this summer season. According to information from Croatia Airlines the flights will begin on the 1st of July and operate until the 26th of August.

These new flights from the Lebanese capital will be run on a charter basis. Croatia’s national airline has also announced that they will continue with their charter flights from Mostar to Beirut for the third year in a row.

The Hotel Bellevue in Dubrovnik has been named by The Times as one of the top thirty beach hotels in the Mediterranean; in fact it was number one!

“A short walk from Dubrovnik’s Old Town on a quiet cliff, the Bellevue lives up to its name with excellent views across the sea,” opens the short piece on this Dubrovnik hotel.

With a daily circulation of just over half a million copies this article in The Times will certainly help to raise interest for Dubrovnik in one of the most important markets for the tourism business. Over the past few years the number of Brits visiting Dubrovnik has steadily grown making UK tourists the most numerous in the city.

Hotel Bellevue, which is part of the Adriatic Hotel Group chain, is a five-star hotel within walking distance of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik.

“And this was when you first started playing cricket…and this was when you and your sister went to Stonehenge for the first time,” the list went on and on as we moved from one wall to the next.

In stark contrast to my wife and me my parents just adore filling the walls of their house with family photos. In fact not just the walls, almost every surface, every table, bedside cabinet, well pretty much every vertical and horizontal space. I don’t really know why they even bother to paint the walls in the house; they have “family wallpaper” covering almost everything. This is the exact opposite of our house. We use the excuse of, “well we have just moved in,” which worked for the first few years but we have been in our “new” house for almost seven years. The excuse is wearing a little thin.

Quite often we get frames as presents, mainly from my mother and probably as a motivation for us to start actually putting photos up, however these frames remain empty. Well not all of them are empty; some of them still have those photos that you get when you buy the frame already in them. You know the ones I am talking about, the black and white photos of a loving couple looking romantically off into the distance as if they are characters from a William Wordsworth poem. We even had one of these “Wordsworth” photos on the wall for some time until we finally got around to putting our own, slightly less romantic, photo inside.
When the excuse about the new house had died I moved to the excuse of, “nobody prints photos anymore,” and brought up the fact that we live in a digital world and that our family prints are all on display on Facebook. Not a very convincing argument I know.
“And this was the photo when you did the advert for that German shop in Dubrovnik,” continued my mother. I half heard her as I gaped at myself in full Technicolor on the Stradun. Believe it or not, and most of you will find this hard to believe, but I actually once posed for an advertising campaign for DM! I know…I can’t really believe it either. But here on my mother’s living room wall was the proof. And it brought memories flooding back. “How the hell did they choose you,” I can hear you all yelling. The answer is by default. DM wanted to advertise their products to an international audience and in order to do so they had decided to shoot foreigners in recognizable locations around Croatia.

From my memory they used the amphitheatre in Pula, the main square in Zagreb, the Riva in Split and the Stradun in Dubrovnik. I was chosen to walk down the Stradun swinging a DM carrier bag. It was the highlight, and lowlight, of my modelling career. And it was quite probably the end as well. In the end the photos, my photos, weren’t chosen by DM as I didn’t look foreign enough. Maybe if I were wearing a bowler hat, drinking a cup of tea, driving a Mini Morris, holding a copy of The Times and swinging a cricket bat I would have passed the, “you don’t look English enough” test.

Then I spotted a photo of the young me, aged around six, chewing on a Black Jack. Drumsticks, Fruit Salads, Banana Skids, Fizzers and my favourite Black Jacks, were the sweets of my youth. We would save up our pennies and treat ourselves to these brightly coloured sticky sweets. Give us the chance and we would eat them from sunrise to sunset, or at least until out teeth fell out. “Oh how I would love to taste one of those Black Jacks again,” I sighed. To my surprise and horror I could. These sweets had long since disappeared from the shelves; however one company had re-launched them and branded them as Retro Sweets. I was now officially retro!

As soon I discovered this I sped down to the shops and sought them out. I was imagining the sticky sweet flavour, drooling over the candy of my dreams. I bought the biggest bag I could find, it felt like half my body weight in retro sweets. Scrabbling like a madman through all the rainbow coloured sweets I found it, the Gold Medal of all sweets. Massacring the wrapper like Freddy Krueger I throw the Black jack into my mouth. “Argh, this is bloody awful, what idiot would eat this,” I leaned over a rubbish bin and spat out the disgusting sweet. I guess some things are best left in our memories, or on the walls of our mother’s houses, and not relived.

Property prices in Croatia are continuing their downward spiral; however the fall is slowly stopping. Recent house prices in Croatia show that prices across the country have dropped by an average of 1 percent in January 2016 compared to December 2015. However when these latest property prices are compared to January 2011 show a 9 percent drop.

Zagreb, the capital, saw property prices stabilise with the average price per metre squared remain the same at 1,546 Euros.
By far the most expensive real estate in Croatia is in Dubrovnik. The average price per of a metre squared in Dubrovnik is 3,033 Euros, followed by Split with 2,227 Euros, Zadar with 1,643 and Zagreb with 1,546.

Property prices are on the slide in Dubrovnik, in December 2015 the average price per metre squared was 3,195 Euros and in January 2016 3,033 Euros, a drop in price of 5 percent.

Croatia population is continuing to shrink with recent figures showing that there were around 27,000 less citizens in the country in 2015 compared with 2014. This a trend that has been continuing for a few years, Croatia has one of the oldest populations of all European Union countries and this can be seen in the birth to death ratio from last year.

According to data from the national statistical office there were 38,142 births in Croatia in 2015 and 55,651 deaths. The figures show that Croatia had a population 4.210,770 last year which is around 27,000 less than in 2014.

A proportion of this drop in population numbers comes from Croatians leaving the country to find work in other EU member states. However the biggest problem is the overall age of the population. The demographic picture has been changing for some years. The average age, which was 30.7 sixty years ago, has risen to 41.7. Almost one quarter of the population of Croatia today is over 60 years old, while fifty years ago, it was only 12 percent.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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