Thursday, 30 June 2022
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

In the last 24 hours, 70 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

These are 38 people from Dubrovnik, 11 from Župa Dubrovačko, six from Konavle and Metković, three from Ploče, two from Blato and Ston and one from Dubrovačko Primorje and Korčula.

34 people recovered in the past 24 hours - 23 from Dubrovnik, four from Metković and Župa dubrovačka, two from Konavle and one from Mljet.

In the last 24 hours, 147 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 248,173 samples have been analysed.

Eight people who are positive for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

 

One of the last two unknowns around the Peljesac Bridge has been resolved - its official name is known. In the last year, many names for the bridge have been proposed to the public - Oliver Dragojević, Libertas, Marco Polo, the Homeland Bridge, the Europe Bridge, the Croatian Integrity Bridge, to name just a few. But this monumental building that bridges the Bay of Mali Ston was given a very simple name - Peljesac!

That this is the official name is confirmed by the name plate placed at the beginning of the bridge that says "Peljesac" and below the name is its length - 2404 m. Giving the name "Peljesac" is a common practice and the names of infrastructure facilities are generally given due to the geographical position, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

 

The first day of summer might not be here just yet but the tourism season is certainly in full flow in Dubrovnik. According to the received official figures there were around 15,500 tourists in Dubrovnik at the weekend, which is more than a fourfold increase compared to this time last year, and 80 percent of their number from the same June 2019.

The most numerous guests are from Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Finland and the Netherlands.

Since the beginning of the year, close to 257,000 arrivals and 791,000 overnight stays have been recorded, which is six times more than in the same period last year, and 65 percent of tourist traffic realized by the first third of June 2019.

Every summer the water quality on the beaches of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is regularly checked, and this year’s second testing was carried out between the 31st of May and 10th of June.

Sea samples on all 121 beaches across the county met with the requirements of the Bathing Sea Quality Regulation. The sea on 118 beaches was rated as a sea of excellent quality, and on the beaches “Ispod Zidina” and “Hotel Port 9” in Korcula and the beach “Tehnička radiona Ploče” in Ploče was rated as satisfactory.

The current sea temperature in Dubrovnik is around 24 degrees.

 

Looking for that perfect outside spot in the historic city centre of Dubrovnik to enjoy a bite to eat whilst at the same time soaking up the views? Look no further. There can’t be many destinations in the world where you can sit inside a walled city, surrounded by stone façades and history in abundance, whilst tucking into some great food, and all al fresco!

You might think that the cobbled streets, plazas and steps of the pedestrian-only city core have plenty of stops to enjoy, you’d be right, but let’s give you our top three. Of course, firstly, you’re going to need some great food, here’s where the ever popular Tuttobene Pizzeria & Fast Food restaurant comes in. This urban and funky eatery has an outstanding offer of burgers, salads, tortillas, sandwiches, kebabs, and much more. And although the interior of the restaurant is attractive and indeed air-conditioned, you are in Dubrovnik so “carpe diem” and get outside in the Adriatic sunshine and not only have a tasty meal or snack but dive into those views and the vibrant city life.

Let’s check out the menus first

But before we give you our eating destination recommendations let’s look at the food on offer first. For our first location we plumped for the tortilla kebab, and that proved to be a great choice. Overloaded with chicken, salad and sauces this tortilla is more than enough to cure those hunger pangs. And at a reasonable 70 Kuna it is certainly value for money. Next we had a juicy burger which firstly made us hungry when we caught that meat aroma. And again at 70 Kuna it isn’t going to break the bank. And finally, some might say the healthy choice, a salad, it was absolutely huge. And here’s a good time to point out that the servings aren’t small.

One thing that absolutely struck us and we were handed the meals was the packaging. All the food we ordered came wrapped in handy to carry cardboard boxes. So not only can you enjoy a tasty meal but you can also recycle the packaging after you’ve finished. Thumbs up for that detail.

So here are our three top spots in Dubrovnik to enjoy your TuttoBene takeaway!

Many people know these iconic Dubrovnik steps as the Game of Thrones “Walk of Shame” steps, in fact some locals call them the Spanish steps. So, right in the heart of the Old City and literally a few hundred metres from Tuttobene Pizzeria & Fast Food restaurant (yes, your food will still be hot) are the Jesuit Steps, that’s their real name. Being steps there are plenty of spots to sit down, just don’t sit right in the middle and annoy the Game of Thrones fans. It’s a lively spot and great fun to people watch. And the views down to the Gundulić Square will be on your horizon whilst you tuck into a great meal.

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There is no "shame, shame, shame" to enjoy the views from the Jesuit steps - Photo - Mark Thomas 

Secondly, we plumped for the Old City harbour, again this is only a 5-minute stroll from the Tuttobene Pizzeria & Fast Food restaurant, so within easy reach. Now the bonuses here are that there are rows and rows of public benches and through most of the day they are in the shade. Basically, you’ll be sitting a few metres from the Adriatic, in the shade, whilst enjoying some of the best views of the city. To your left is the old fisherman’s market and the square encircled by the stone city walls, and to your right the impressive St. John Fortress, and right in front of you the lively harbour with its fishing boats and yachts.

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Within metres of the Adriatic - Photo - Mark Thomas 

And finally, although we would add that there’s spots aren’t in any order of merit, is one of the most picturesque squares in Dubrovnik. Again, well within walking distance of the restaurant, this Dubrovnik square has panoramic views over the Old City, the island of Lokrum and the turquoise blue Adriatic Sea. Again there are public benches, so you’ll have a pleasant and indeed shady spot to relax.

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Find your shady spot - Photo - Mark Thomas 

So enjoy your meal and Dubrovnik and most importantly bon appetite!

Tuttobene Pizzeria & Fast Food

Od puča 7, Old City Dubrovnik
(street that runs parallel to Stradun)
tuttobene-dubrovnik.com
T: +385 20 323 353

 

 

In the last 24 hours, 204 new cases of Covid-19 virus were recorded in Croatia, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 1,896, and unfortunately three people died, the National Civil Protection Headquarters reported on Sunday.

Among them, 153 patients are in hospital, of which five are on respirators.

There are currently 1,069 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 4,904,530 people have been tested, of which were tested 1,654 in the last 24 hours.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 1,139,816 people have been infected with Covid-19, of which 16,019 have died, a total of 1,121,901 have recovered, 294 recovered in the last 24 hours.

 

Zagreb Airport is experiencing a very busy 2022 and has already welcomes the millionth passenger of the year. In May Zagreb Airport welcomed the millionth passenger for 2022 and in the first five months of this year a total of 1.006.473 passengers.

When compared with the record breaking tourism year of 2019 these figures for May this year represent a decrease of only 16 percent.

 

“I only wish I had thought about it earlier. If I had opened a company seeing flags I’d have made a bomb,” joked a friend of mine in London.

Yes, my fellow compatriots will all have headaches and hangovers this week, but broad smiles, after a long weekend of celebrating the Queen’s 70th Platinum Anniversary. And what a celebration it was! With more flags than I have ever seen in my life.

The big concert, although there were several, was watched by around 13 million on the BBC, that was around 75 percent of the people watching TV that day, amazing figures. And what an incredible concert that brought the hairs up on the back of my neck.

And in the crowds live at the big concert were 5,000 front line, key workers, such as nurses, doctors, police men and women and firefighters, who were given free tickets to attend. That’s a nice touch.

Just to highlight how popular the Queen is in the UK a survey carried out a month before the celebrations showed a 92 percent approval rating for the Queen. Those are figures that can’t be matched by any world leader. The four-day event gave an immeasurable boost to the nation, which could probably only be beaten by England winning the World Cup, and there’s not much chance of that happening. Although she did present the World Cup to the winning England team in 1966, so just maybe she’ll give them some luck for this year’s championship.

From February 1952, at the tender age of 25, she has been on the throne. Just seven years after World War 2 ended. And yes, her first prime Minister was indeed Sir Winston Churchill. That makes her the longest serving British monarch.

In that time 14 Prime Ministers and 14 US Presidents have come and gone. She has been at the helm of a nation for almost as long as NATO and the UN have been around and much, much longer than the EU. And this longevity has bred stability.

From being the first female member of the royal family to join the army, and yes she both drove and maintained vehicles at the end of the war, to visiting over a 100 countries, including Croatia and Dubrovnik in 1972, and of course she walked down Stradun.

If you were wondering how much all these lavish celebrations cost the answer is £28 million, which is the grand scheme of things is really next to nothing. The Times reported that the figure of £28 million was enough to “run the National Health Service for about two hours.” And just to get some perspective the additional public holiday is estimated to have cost the county around £2.4 billion.

Street parties, sporting events, church services and parades were all held in honour of the Queen over the long weekend.

On a personal level I unfortunately have never met the Queen, although I have been fortunate enough to meet several members of the royal family. I do however, have something in my home that was touched by her. One of the proudest moments in my life was when I was made Honorary Consul for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Dubrovnik. And to actually officially take up this position I have a document (a very large parchment) actually signed by Her Majesty. And it is obviously one of my most prized possessions.

And it has been the human stories coming out of all the celebrations that have been so touching. The Queen has sent over 300,000 congratulatory cards to people celebrating their 100th birthdays, and over 900,000 messages to couples marking their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversaries. It has been a monumental weekend for the Brits. A weekend that made my mother cry on numerous occasions.

And I’ll leave the final words to Her Majesty, "I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm." God save the Queen!   

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to

 

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