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.
Last week the Croatian Railways Infrastructure company announced that the European Commission had granted 241 million Euros for the reconstruction of the existing track and construction of a second one on the railway line from Krizevci via Koprivnica to the state border with Hungary.
Earlier this summer after the European Commission had made a preliminary decision about co-financing the project; the Croatian Railways Infrastructure signed an agreement with the EU Commission’s agency INEA that secured co-funding of this megaproject from the Connecting Europe Facility with 85 percent or a little more than 241 million Euros.
This way the Croatian Railways Infrastructure will continue with the modernization of the so-called Mediterranean Corridor at the section between Zagreb and the Hungarian border. In July this year the company started with works worth almost 200 million Euros on the reconstruction of the existing track and on the construction of the second one of the railway line between Dugo Selo near Zagreb and Krizevci.
According to a statement by the Croatian Railways Infrastructure this project will increase the line capacity, enable speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, shorten travel times, allow usage of interoperable trains and increase the level of safety.
“We hope for a happy end, the Small Onofrio fountain will be working again on Thursday as if nothing had happened,” promised Niko Kapetanic, the president of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities.
The historic fountain from the 15th century was damaged over the weekend when a tourist leant on the edge and one of the heavy stones crashed to the ground. And today the society has announced that they will finance the repairs to the fountain.
“We have had long discussions with conservationists today and have agreed the guidelines for the reconstruction of the fountain. Tomorrow the fountain will be covered up and the water supply will be turned off so that works can be carried out,” explained Kapetanic.
He added that in two days time the fountain will be back to its original state. “The broken pieces of stone were immediately picked up and stored at our premises so that they can be returned to the fountain,” concluded Kapetanic.
The Dubrovnik Times reported a few days ago that Dietmar Gamerith from Graz in Austria had tattooed his arm with symbols of Dubrovnik, including Radio Dubrovnik. And now we have found that the Dietmar has gone one step further by getting a tattoo dedicated to The Dubrovnik Times on his left arm.
“Dubrovnik is my second home and I have always been a huge fan of The Dubrovnik Times over the past ten years,” commented Dietmar. There is no doubt that he is a huge fan of the city, he has visited over seventy times and has made many friends over the years.
He had the tattoos done in Graz by the artist Christoph Fischerauer. “I had my first tattoo when I was 24 and now twenty-eight years later at the age of 52 I have decided to cover up this original tattoo with these new ones of Dubrovnik,” concluded Gamerith. For sure this is a unique tattoo in the world.
The number one tourist attraction in Dubrovnik, the City Walls, could soon offer night time tours, according to a statement from the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic.
At a press conference held today in the city council offices Vlahusic brought up the subject of evening tours of the walls. “I don’t mean opening the walls in a way of just selling tickets but rather that organised tours of some parts of the walls could be arranged,” commented the mayor.
The idea of opening the possibilities of the iconic city walls at night isn’t a new one, however it has yet to be realised mainly due to safety concerns. The 1.9 kilometre long walls include hundred of steps and the safety of visitors when walking at night has to be a concern, especially as the walls aren’t lit.
“In agreement with the Ministry of the Interior we would propose installing security and thermal cameras on sections of the walls to ensure maximum safety,” said Vlahusic. He added that Red Cross would also be willing to provide two members of their staff to be present on the walls, and empathised that these walks would be organised tours and not just open to all of the public. One thing is for certain experiencing the views from the city walls at night would be magical.
The 2016 Good Food Festival ended tonight in spectacular fashion with a gala evening at the Hotel Rixos Libertas. An evening of colour, dance and glamour was a fitting end to this year’s festival. Guests to the evening, Gala Dinner of the Land of Legends Theme Park, were treated to a five course meal which included a fusion of the best of Turkish cuisine and Mediterranean specialities.
In a menu dominated with fish and seafood delights, including marinated fillet of sea bream served with chili and garlic and warm cabbage sarma with taggiasca olives, and finished off with a baklava with pistachio, all prepared by the executive chef of the Rixos Libertas Ozgur Donertas.
And most importantly the evening had a humanitarian character as a prize draw was organized, with three and five-day breaks at the newly opened Land of Legends theme park in Antalya, from which all the funds were donated to the Dubrovnik General Hospital. In total 62,150 Kuna was collected, 13,200 from the evening’s lottery, from the Good Food Festival events and the money will go towards purchasing a FibroScan for the Dubrovnik hospital.
The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, took the opportunity to thank all the organizations involved in this year’s festival, a festival that will be remembered for its rich and varied program.
The Dubrovnik diving club, in co-operation with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, held a special action to clean the sea bed on the island of Kolocep.
This cleanup operation is part of a series of environmental actions to clean the sea bed after the tourist season. The divers commented after the cleanup that the bay of Gornjeg čela on the island of Kolocep one of the cleanest in the region.
“Beautiful town, nice weather, good food, what else?” commented a tourist from Budapest at the opening of the Dubrovnik Table.
The final day of the Good Food Festival 2016 began impressively with a 115 metre long table along the Stradun in the historic core of Dubrovnik. Numerous Dubrovnik restaurants, hotels, cafes, winemakers and bakeries took part in this traditional event, the Stradun was transformed into a giant dining room as tourists and locals enjoyed high quality food al fresco.
At 11.00am the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, pronounced the Dubrovnik Table 2016 open. Delicious desserts, mouth-watering pastries, traditional dishes, smoked ham and cheese, meat and fish specialities, all of these and much more were on show.
“It all looks so delicious and such a great idea,” commented Anna an English tourist from Manchester. For a symbolic price of 35 Kunas guests could try exquisite dishes made by some of the leading chefs from eateries in Dubrovnik. Whilst 15 Kuna bought you a ticket for the wine tasting, and all of the proceeds from the Dubrovnik Table will be donated to the Dubrovnik Hospital to help purchase a mammography machine.
A great start to the final day of the 2016 Good Food Festival.
One of the most famous Croatian TV chefs, well known to the wide public after being a judge in TV show Masterchef and also very respected by the culinary world – Andrej Barbieri had prepared a dinner for the third day of the Good Food Festival in the beautiful ambient of Hotel Hilton Imperial.
In the warm atmosphere visitors got a chance to meet so-called 'evil judge' of the Masterchef with the help of host Darija Mikulandra Zanetic and learnt that he's really down to earth and friendly. He started loving food and cooking when he was a little kid and was very fascinated with restaurants and hotels. He started professional cooking relatively late – at the age of 30.
When it comes to Masterchef, he said that it's always important to know who you are.
- I judge about food, taste, the things I know about, I don't imagine that I'm some kind of TV celebrity – said Barbieri.
He also commented the never ending question – what is more important: talent or effort?
- Talent is the start, it's like the seed that you've just planted. Without an effort, talent is nothing – explained the famous chef.
Barbieri said that his kitchen is partly based on the sea and partly on the coast and the visitors had a chance to try a rather interesting menu, accompanied with great wines and beautiful performance of the musician Nevio Koncic.
The menu was: Raw Adriatic calamari salad, Monkfish and fresh cheese capellaccio, Swordfish fillet, Duck leg confit and Chocolate cake and flower of salt.
At the end of the night Andrej congratulated the Hilton team, saying that he was just a guest in their kitchen and that they were a big part of this beautiful dinner.
Don't miss our photo gallery that brings the atmosphere of the night and of course – the food.