Friday, 22 November 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 summer in Dubrovnik is a thing of the past but that doesn’t mean that the fun stops! With the Dubrovnik Winter Festival on the way, mild months of weather and the tranquil echo of footsteps in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik, now is the perfect time to visit.

Check out five reasons why the winter is the right time to visit Dubrovnik

The summer season in Dubrovnik may be over and the vast majority of tourists have already left but summers are like birthdays, they come around every year. So why not plan for your next break in the Dubrovnik region with some tips from one of the largest US news networks, USA Today.

The popular American news network has released a video entitled “Local tour guides reveal the best things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia | 10Best” and it contains some great travel tips. The get the local knowledge USA Today used two Dubrovnik tour guides “Local tour guides Daniel Slezak and Alexandra Cram offer insider tips on how to spend a day in the Old Town taking in a thousand years of history, or day-tripping along the scenic coastline.”

Whether its island-hopping, kayaking, hiking or sightseeing this video puts together a lot of the “must-do’s” whilst in the city. So before booking your airline tickets for next year check out the video first and grab some cool ideas.

 

Uber users in Zagreb will, as of today, have two new services to choose from. The online transport serviced announced today in the Croatian capital that two additional services are now on offer in Zagreb - Comfort and XL. These new services will allow customers to select higher class vehicles or vehicles with more space.

With the new Comfort option, Zagreb users will have a user preference option, the first of its kind in Europe. This means that within the app passengers will be able to advise the driver in advance whether they want to talk without talking and whether they prefer a higher or lower temperature inside the vehicle.

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Uber Comfort is designed for customers who require a high-class shuttle service with drivers who have a minimum of 250 rides and an average rating above 4.9. In addition, customers who opt for Uber Comfort will be offered the option of expressing preferences about talking to the driver or the temperature of the vehicle. The option will be available to them after they have selected the Comfort service and set a destination, before the final confirmation of the ride.

However, you will have to pay more for the comfort option, the minimum amount of rides with the Comfort service is 17 Kuna, the start fee is 8 Kuna, the price per minute is 0.80 Kuna and the fee per kilometre is 4.60 Kuna.

"We remain fully committed to doing business in Croatia. We take our customers' feedback seriously and provide them with new options to make their experience more quality, such as options related to the type of vehicle or whether to talk to the driver. By expanding our existing offering in Zagreb, we will meet the specific needs of airline customers who often have excess baggage, users who want higher class vehicles, but also those who want to drive without talking," commented Davor Tremac, Uber's General Manager for Southeast Europe.

The second Uber XL service is for users traveling in groups and needing up to 6 seats. This allows customers to simply choose an Uber XL instead of ordering two X services, which is ultimately more cost effective. For Uber XL, the minimum amount cost per journey is 20 Kuna, the starting fee is 10 Kuna, the price per minute is 1.10 Kuna and the price per kilometre is 6 Kuna.

 

In the afternoon of Thursday, October 10th, police officers at the Metković Border Police Station, in cooperation with customs officers, found a large quantity of cigarettes at Klek during the border inspection of a personal vehicle of Austrian national markings.

The vehicle was driven by a 60-year-old Austrian citizen, and the passenger in the vehicle was a 64-year-old Serbian citizen.

Specifically, during the border control, smuggling was suspected and a search warrant was sought. A thorough search found a total of 1,800 boxes of cigarettes in the re-modelled chassis, including 1,430 boxes of Ashima Luxuri Size cigarettes, 240 boxes of Marble King Size cigarettes and 130 boxes of Ashima Luxuri Super Slim cigarettes.

The driver and co-driver were arrested and a criminal investigation was conducted to establish that they had committed the offense of Avoiding Customs Control.

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The 2019 Good Food Festival Dubrovnik includes a total of 18 workshops. There will be 14 workshops at the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) on Pile, with the participation of renowned jury member of the Croatian MasterChef Mate Jankovic, Robert Hromalic, Antonia Medo, Marina Zibert Ercegovic, Jadranka Nicetic, Ana-Marija Bujic, Lucija Tomasic Saric, Damir Saric and Gourmet Experience Croatia. As every year, the program was enriched by the Association of Deša, who will prepare four workshops of traditional dishes and desserts. Admission to all workshops is free, with a mandatory reservation.

Renowned Croatian dessert chef Robert Hromalić, in cooperation with Kraš, Croatia's most famous chocolate and confectionery factory, has created and will make three cakes and also hold a workshop for preparing these top desserts for Dubrovnik audiences on Monday, the 14th of October at 10.30 am in the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

Talented Chef Mate Jankovic, one of the jury members of the popular culinary show MasterChef, will reveal all the secrets through his two workshops at this year's festival and show the preparation of top risotto and shrimp preparation at workshops on the 14th and 15th of October at 5 pm, while the young Dubrovnik pastry chef, Antonia Medo, will hold a workshop "Sweet, and healthy!" on Tuesday, the 15th of October at 10.30 am at TIC on Pile. Antonia, through her dessert-making skills, as the name implies, will show you how to make healthy desserts, gluten-free carob cake and vegan sponge squares without sugar, eggs, gluten and milk.

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This year's festival will again be enriched by the Gourmet Experience Croatia with a total of four diverse workshops. At an interesting workshop on Wednesday, the 16th of October at 10.30 he will show guests how to make traditional soups from Istria, Zagreb and Zagorje, on Thursday, the 17th of October at 10.30 he will hold a workshop for preparing traditional cakes in different versions, and at 5.00 pm he will prepare Istrian fuži (pasta) with prosciutto and truffle, Krćke šurlice and Istrian pasta. Respected workshop leaders have also prepared a workshop for the preparation of a traditional layered cake “Međimurska gibanica”, which will be held on Friday, the 18th of October at 5 pm.

"Aromas and Flavours of Dubrovnik Oranges" is another one of the "sweet" workshops where Jadranka Ničetić and Lucija Tomašić Šarić will teach us how to make a cake of rich and luxurious taste, made from the most delicious citrus fruits, oranges and almonds. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, the 17th of October at 5pm at TIC Pile.

Lucija Tomasic Saric, a Dubrovnik pastry chef and owner of the Mala Truba patisserie, together with her husband Chef Damir Saric, will hold a workshop for making natural yeast from which to make bread.

And leading Dubrovnik chef, Marina Žibert Ercegović, will give a lecture on how to turn a simple meal into a restaurant quality meal, and also advise guests on how to make a menu and a bill of costs, and Ana-Marija Bujić and Jadran Tutavac will explain and present how a restaurant cook book is created. Learn how to organize material and photos and sample some of the recipes from the cook book “Pantarul Doma”.

This year's festival will also feature a guest appearance by the renowned French pastry chef, Gilles Bajolle, from the Dubrovnik sister city of Rueil-Malmaison. During his two workshops, on Saturday at 10.30 and again on Sunday at 4.30, he will prepare chocolate soufflé and chocltae truffles. If you are a chocolate lover and want to learn how to make these simple and perfect cake, join one of these workshops!

The Humanitarian Association Deša has prepared a number of interesting, delicious and sweet workshops for the Good Food Festival this year. Members of this association will show you how to make traditional desserts, the traditional Dubrovnik Crème Torte made according to the original recipe, apple strudel with eclipses or quince, brittle crunch and homemade bread with rosemary, olives and dried tomatoes. Interesting, educational and delicious workshops of the Deša Association will bring us back to the original and traditional cuisine of Dubrovnik housewives. The four Deša workshops will be held Thursday through Sunday starting at 10:00 am.

For the purpose of presenting the rich Croatian gastronomy, traditional Blato desserts and lumblias will be presented at this year's festival. In addition to the presentation of the book "Blajska dining table" by Rada Kaštropil, the 8th “Days of Blato Lumbli” will be announced at this event in the Croatian Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, the 15th of October, along with traditional sweets from Blato, the island of Korcula.

 

Throughout the Good Food Festival, from the 14th to the 20th of October, the Restaurant Week will be held throughout the city, a sweet festival offering and a great offer of fine wines.

Respected chefs of about thirty Dubrovnik restaurants and patisseries have specially created three-course festival menus at special promotional prices, ranging from 100 to 150 Kuna, for the Good Food Festival, and guests will be able to try them through the week of the festival.

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Take this great opportunity and to visit restaurants you have never been to before, let Dubrovnik restaurateurs show you how delicious, creative and enticing the dishes on their offer are.

The participating restaurants are: Arsenal City Cafe, Banje Beach Restaurant, Bistro 49, La Capella Terrace & Restaurant, Cantina Mexicana Chihuahua, Dalmatino Restaurant, Steakhouse Domino Restaurant, Fat Cats Restaurant, Gusta Me Restaurant, Jesuit Tavern, Bistro Source, Klarisa Restaurant, LAJK Restaurant, Hotel Lero Piano Bar, Magellan Restaurant, Maskeron Restaurant, Mimoza Restaurant, Moskar Street Food, Miramare Restaurant - Hotel Valamar Collection Dubrovnik President, Orka Restaurant, Orsan Restaurant, Pantarul Restaurant, Porat Restaurant - Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, Rhea Silvia Wine & amp; Tapas Bar, Sesame Restaurant, Sunset Beach Trattoria, Stara Loza Restaurant, Taj Mahal Restaurant - Hotel Lero, Tavulin Bistro, Tramuntana Restaurant - Hotel More, Trinity Oriental Fusion Lounge, Urban & Veggie Restaurant, Veranda Tavern and Zuzori Restaurant.

Sweet festival offerings include Gianni Pastry Shop, Slatki Kutak, Sunset Beach Trattoria, Mala Truba, Hilton Imperial Hotel, Lapad Hotel Pool Bar and Pupica Pastry Shop, and Škar Winery and Razonoda Wine bar.

The rich offer of all the above restaurants, patisseries and wine bars can be found on the website of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board or in print at the Dubrovnik Tourist Board information offices.

 

 

Split will have a new flight connection for next summer season with the low cost carrier Volotea announcing a direct connection with Athens.

Split Airport has seen a very impressive 2019 with record numbers of passengers and new airlines. This new service will be operated twice a week starting on the 19th of April 2020.

The Spanish airline, which focuses on European connections, will have some competition on the route as both Croatia Airlines and Aegean Airlines currently maintain seasonal flights between Split and Athens. 

 

Is Roman Abramovich, or more precisely his mega yacht Eclipse, even going to leave Dubrovnik? It is no secret that the Russian billionaire is a fan of the Adriatic coastline of Croatia, especially the Dubrovnik region, but his yacht has never stayed in the region for this length of time before. The owner of Chelsea FC mega yacht first arrived in the Bay of Zupa, just south of Dubrovnik, back at the end of August, left for a week and then came back again at the beginning of September. And since then the $500 million Eclipse has been at anchor.

Although the ninth richest man in the UK hasn’t been spotted, either in Dubrovnik or Cavtat, a constant flow of small tender vessels arrive and depart at the yacht on a daily basis. The second longest private yacht in the world is certainly dominating the Bay of Zupa with other yachts and pleasure boats resembling toy boats, it is almost like Dubrovnik has a new floating tourist attraction.

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Eclipse at anchor - Photo Mark Thomas 

And although Roman Abramovich’s yacht has been enjoying the crystal, clear Adriatic and soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine it appears that the billionaire isn’t dipping into his $13 billion fortune to pay for his Croatian cruise. The cost of dropping anchor in the sheltered Dubrovnik bay is exactly zero Euros! And as it has been reported that the charter of Eclipse costs a massive $3 million a week there should be money left in the budget to pay for anchorage charges. But Abramovich isn’t to blame, he can’t pay fees even if he wanted to, the law doesn’t exist and so there is no way to charge him.

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The second longest private yacht in the world - Photo Mark Thomas 

According to Croatian law tourists can stay in the country for three months without needing a visa, so we can only presume that Eclipse and its crew, and quite possibly Abramovich himself, won’t be able to celebrate Christmas in Dubrovnik. That is unless the Russian oligarch is actually planning to take another European Union passport after failing to get a UK one.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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