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.
A small ceremony of awarding a certificate of thanks to the married couple Aneta Švanygova and Pavol Švanyga, long time guests of Trsteno, was held on Monday, July 25, in the family home of their hosts, the Bošković family, in Trsteno. Following the tradition of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board to symbolically gift long-time guests, who are also the best promoters of the tourist offer, a special thank you note and a souvenir gift, was handed over to the Slovakian couple from Bratislava as a sign of gratitude for their loyalty to Dubrovnik for 25 years.
The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Miro Drašković, presented a certificate of gratitude for their loyalty to Dubrovnik and special gifts to these long-term guests. Drašković spoke in Czech with the married couple from Bratislava and thanked them for their loyalty to the City and expressed the hope that they will visit Dubrovnik and Trsteno for many years to come. For the Švanyga couple, this small ceremony, organized as a surprise, caused an outpouring of emotions.
Aneta used to come to Trsteno for summer vacations with her parents even before the war, and later she told her husband Pavol about the beauties of Trsteno and managed to easily convince him that it should be their joint vacation spot.
From July 1997 until today, every summer they come to the Bošković family in Trsteno for two weeks. First they came alone, then with their children, and now with their grandchildren. All three generations spend their summers in Trsteno. Aneta and Pavol perceive the Bošković family as their second family, and their home as their own. After 25 years, they have many friends among the locals. When they go down to the waterfront in Trsteno, they always talk to someone in Croatian, which they have mastered well.
"An indescribable experience! A race like this is remembered forever. As soon as the news about it came out, we knew we had to be there, but this exceeded all expectations. The fact that we were among the first to cross the Pelješac Bridge simply seems unreal!" - are the first impressions of the runners of Du Motion's race across the bridge which, after 300 years, reconnects the far south of Croatia with the rest of the country.
250 runners took advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and ran a 5.5 km race that was also a prelude to the all-day spectacular opening ceremony of the largest infrastructure project in the history of Croatia and one of the largest bridges in Europe.
The best results were achieved by Leo Zlokić (20:07), Marko Matić (20:34) and Petar Dragojević (21:35) in the men's category, as well as Lukrecija Krstičević (22:38), Marina Juranić (22:43) and Karmen Fabris (25 :46) in the women's category.
"For us from Dubrovnik, today has a special emotional weight and words are not enough to describe all of this, least of all the pride that we had the opportunity to be a small part of today's opening spectacle. Thanks to our partners, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Croatian Roads, with whom we realized this unique race that will be talked about for a long time," said Du Motion director, Alen Bošković.
The encounters between runners and the Pelješac Bridge do not stop here, because it is the bridge that will make it much easier for runners to come to Du Motion's races in Dubrovnik in the future.
It is a long, long time since I last visited the Panorama Restaurant on top of the Srđ Mountain, too long. As I sat down at my table I found it hard to concentrate on the menu, the view in front of me was just awe-inspiring. A sea of blue, you couldn’t see where the sky ended and the sea began. The clue is in the name – Panorama. There is no doubt, none what so ever, this restaurant has the best view in the city, and probably beyond. However, I soon found out that it isn’t only the view that is amazing.
Food, glorious food
So once you’ve recovered from the 360 degree views and surveyed the menu you’ll again be impressed. To be honest this restaurant has such an amazing view that it could have quite easily forgotten about the food and still guests would have been happy. But they didn’t, far from it. The Chef has clearly been creative and pulled out all the stops to produce a menu that is a) imaginative and b) it uses many local dishes and recipes. I just love a restaurant in Dubrovnik that pays homage to the local cuisine. “An experienced and creative chef, a culinary master who finds his inspiration in the authentic recipes of the Dubrovnik region, makes sure to make the enjoyment complete. At that height, the seafood pours into plates of excited guests who in those moments experience Dubrovnik and its surroundings in a completely new dimension,” writes the restaurant’s website. Yes, I would agree.
Now that is a view!
“What would you recommend?” I asked the friendly waiter. He was clearly knowledgeable and ran through the highlights of the menu. After much deliberation I was plumped for the grilled beefsteak with carrot cream, potatoes au Gratin with truffles, mushrooms, onion chips and a Porto sauce. Wow! “And can I then recommend a starter’” asked the waiter. Beef tenderloin carpaccio with a truffle spread, parmesan chips, capers, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Now that sounded like a match made in heaven.
Huge thumbs up
The food was not only excellent, I mean really excellent, but with the mix of the local touch whilst looking down on the pearl of the Adriatic, I somehow made it extra special. Wine flowed, food disappeared and the cable car whizzed up and down in the background. Pricewise for the overall dining experience it is great value for money. The grilled beefsteak, which was like butter in my mouth, was around 260 Kuna. All in all, a really impressive restaurant and I really don’t know why I waited so long to visit, why had I been away for so many years. I soon changed that and after finishing my meal I immediately booked a table for the following week when family from England are coming to visit.
Upper cable car station, 20000 Dubrovnik
Phone - + 385 20 31 26 64
The Dubrovnik Card digitization project, which included a redesign of the visual identity and the adaptation of the name - Dubrovnik Pass, was presented this week in Lazareti. The new model enables simpler functioning and control of the use of included content, more economical management of funds and time, more effective marketing activities, as well as upgrading, networking and further development of the project, especially in terms of managing visitor flows.
The new Dubrovnik Pass is very much your one-stop-shop for visiting Dubrovnik, and you can purchase it online to leave you with more time to enjoy the pearl of the Adriatic. The pass can be used in all of the main attractions in the city as well as the public bus company Libertas. So not only can you visit all the sights with one card, and not queue for tickets, but you can also get to the city by bus and save time and money. The new Dubrovnik Pass is available in a one-day, three-day and seven-day version, you choose which best suits your needs.
"It is not only about digitization but about digital transformation, because in addition to being in digital form, Dubrovnik Pass provides a whole range of benefits and simpler solutions, and it is another one of the 'smart city' solutions of the City of Dubrovnik. Instead of an analogue system, we now have a digital system, which will enable easier buying, selling, and control, a system that saves money, time and human resources, and a system that will enable upgrading,'' said the head of the Administrative Department for Culture and Heritage on the occasion of the presentation of the Dubrovnik Pass, Julijana Antić Brautović.
For more info on the new Dubrovnik Pass visit the website - dubrovnikpass.com
The opening of the Pelješac Bridge has finally united the Croatian territory into one whole, and will further strengthen the economic potential of Croatia and increase the competitiveness of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County economy, Luka Burilović, president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), pointed out on Tuesday.
"The opening of the Pelješac Bridge finally unites the Croatian territories into one entity. Apart from the fact that this is our clear strategic goal, it is also the goal of the EU", said Burilović.
The importance of the bridge, as he pointed out, can also be seen in the fact that its construction was supported by the USA, dominantly financed by the EU, built by Chinese companies under the supervision of Croatian institutions and experts.
With the opening of the Pelješac Bridge Croatia is slowly rounding off the network of modern roads, said Burilović, stating that from a traffic-isolated country with less than 300 kilometres of highways thirty years ago, today with more than 1,300 kilometres of highways and expressways, Croatia is the fourth best EU country by number of kilometres per million inhabitants.
He stated that the Republic of Croatia was officially admitted to the euro area on July 12 and will adopt the euro as the official currency on January 1, 2023, and should enter the Schengen area on the same day. It is not without reason that all three key rating agencies have raised Croatia's credit rating to the highest level since gaining state independence, Burilović said, adding that as of January 1, 2023, Croatia will become part of the institutional core of the EU.
According to him, membership of the euro area and Schengen represent a permanent improvement of the institutional framework in Croatia - goods and people will move more easily, and the euro brings lower borrowing costs and the elimination of the vast majority of currency risks.
"The Euro and Schengen are therefore an incentive for investments by domestic and foreign companies, a strong wind in the sails of exporters, and not least, a clear sign that Croatia is a credible partner to NATO allies and a loyal member of the EU," Burilović pointed out.
He emphasizes that all this was achieved at a time when the foreign political and economic environment is probably the most complex since the Second World War.
Traffic on the Pelješac Bridge has been open in both directions since midnight last night and according to early reports around 1,500 vehicles passed over the new bridge since its opening.
The entire day yesterday was marked by the opening ceremony of this important bridge that connected the far south of Croatia with the rest of the country.
The bridge, whose entire steel-concrete structure below and above the water together weighs as much as 30 Eiffel Towers, was financed by EU funds with a grant of 357 million euros (85 percent of the total cost), and work started in 2018.
Economically, it is extremely important for the entire country, primarily the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and its opening ended the territorial discontinuity created more than 300 years ago when the then Republic of Dubrovnik ceded part of the coast to the Ottoman Empire.
Slaviša Babić, the head of the traffic department of HC, spoke to N1 and stated that “around 1,500 vehicles have already crossed the bridge.”
"I expect about 10,000 vehicles today, but the peak weekend is ahead of us, maybe 12 to 15,000 vehicles for the weekend," he added.
The Pelješac Bridge was opened yesterday in a gala ceremony that featured fireworks, acrobatic airplane displays and music and dance. The largest ever construction project in Croatian history is now open, a 2,404 metre bridge that was started back in the summer of 2018.
"Dear Croatians, guests, guests, friends, this is a historic day for Croatia. I am overcome by feelings of joy, pride and gratitude. This is a project of a generation and pride because we are part of the generation that accomplished such a great act of uniting the Croatian territory, uniting the southern part with the rest of the country," said Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković.
The far south of Croatia is now connected to the rest of the country for the first time in over 300 years.
According to the received registrations and registrations of tourists through the eVisitor system, there were 23,500 tourists in Dubrovnik last weekend, which is 37 percent more than at this time last year, and 89 percent of the number from the same period in the pre-pandemic 2019.
The most numerous guests are from Great Britain, France, the USA, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Croatia and Poland.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 491,000 tourist arrivals and 1,651,500 overnight stays have been recorded, which is more than a three-fold increase compared to the same period last year, and 75 percent of the tourist traffic in the same period in 2019.