Saturday, 21 July 2018
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

Dubrovnik will not sleep tonight. The Old City was packed for the biggest match in the country’s history and the national team didn’t disappoint. What a night! A huge video wall was set up in the historic city and the broadcast was followed by thousands, they sat on the floor, on walls, in stands, hung from windows.

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And as Croatia dramatically won the game in extra time the city went mad. Fireworks, car horns, bangers, smoke bombs, cheers and tears all rolled into one. For a country with a population of only 4.2 million to reach the final of the 2018 World Cup is nothing short of remarkable. The traditional greats of the beautiful game, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Argentina have long since packed their bags and flown home but Croatia have lived to fight another day.

After going behind to England they dug deep and now the country celebrates. The smallest nation to reach a World Cup Final since 1950 when Uruguay beat Brazil. Tears of joy as Croatia joins together to back their heroes. What an incredible World Cup, full of twists and surprises, and what a night for Croatia.

Croatia is closed tomorrow!! Give us a day to recover….thank you.

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Unbelievable scenes all over the country as Croatia are in the finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia are defeating England 2 – 1. Croatia exploded as the final whistle blew and for the first time in history Croatia made it to the finals of the World Cup.

England took the lead early on through a free kick from Kieran Trippier however Croatia fought back and goals from Ivan Perisic in the 68th minute and Mario Mandukich in the 109th minute saw Croatia into the World Cup finals.

Fireworks, song, disbelief – Croatia will play France in the finals of Sunday.

 

The tension is building. Almost every car has a red and white detail, shops and houses are proudly flying the Croatian flag and cafes and bars are already playing supporters hymns. The biggest match in Croatian football history since the World Cup semi-finals in France in 1998 is on the doorstep. Croatia take on England tonight in Moscow for a place in the 2018 World Cup Final.

Every newspaper in the country is dominated by news from the Croatian camp, as well as pages and pages on Gareth Southgate’s players. Shops have almost run out of any kind of supporter’s kits, flags, hats, shirts, glasses…just about everything with red and white squares has been sold out.

And in preparation of the big game the vast majority of shops in the country will close their doors at 19.30 tonight so that their staff can all watch the match. “If they remained open they would probably be empty anyway,” commented a fan.

Beer and crisp sales have gone through the roof with many shops reporting a 70 percent increase in sales on snacks and beer. Many other products have followed the football euphoria; you can even buy washing powder in Croatian colours.

An eerie silence will fall over the country at 20.00, which will either be broken by cheers or tears.

Croatia prepares for the biggest night in their football history since 1998 and the team are being cheered on by their partners in Moscow.

Adriana Durdevic, the Dubrovnik born model and girlfriend of Croatian player, Duje Ćaleta-Car, has been turning heads in the Russian capital ahead of the clash with England in the semi-finals tonight. The red and white patriotic socks have been grabbing the headlines as well as the comments on social media.

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Camping in Croatia is experiencing a boom year with almost a million campers pitching up so far this year. According to official figures from the Camping Association of Croatia the number of tourists in campsites was up 7 percent in the first half of this year.

By the end of June this year almost a million campers had visited Croatia and achieved 5 million overnight stays, with the largest number coming from Germany followed by Slovenians and Austrians. And the indicators for the rest of the year are just as positive with the Association pointing out that use of mobile homes is one of the main reasons for the increase in popularity.

The largest increase in overnight stays has been seen in the south of the country, in the Split region and in Dubrovnik.

"Over the last ten years we have seen a lot of investments in camps, in expanding the range of services they offer, as well as their quality. In 2008 only 9 percent of all campsites in the country were rated four stars, and today we have 37 percent of four-star and five-star rated campsites," commented the head of the Croatian Camping Association.

Hotel prices in Dubrovnik a little too expensive, never been a fan of camping or Airbnb doesn’t have a spare room, there is a solution – sleep in a dingy.

This photo was sent to us by a reader early this morning and clearly demonstrates that high tides wash lots of unusual objects ashore.

This “floating” camper was spotted at the crack of dawn sound asleep in his rubber dingy. Maybe he is expecting heavy rain and wanted to be prepared for the eventual floods.

The Libertas Flag was raised in front of the St. Blaise Church for the 69th time last night as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival officially opened. From the 10th of July to the 25th of August Dubrovnik is in the hands of art and artists as the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival fills the squares, the streets and the stone facades with culture from all over the world.

The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, opened the festival, “The city must first be the place of life, work, gathering and development of its citizens. If the city is tailored to its inhabitants, it will be more appealing to our guests and visitors alike. As a mayor, I will therefore continue to restore Dubrovnik to its citizens, to restore our young people to the city, to create a frame for a pleasant and fulfilled life, accompanied by quality infrastructure. We in our city know best what we need, what our problems are and how we want them and we can solve them.”

And added “In this respect, art is an indispensable part of a society's development. Technology and art today, almost partners, share the same fateful space of man's civilization development. Therefore, let us open, change, adapt to the times, be courageous, moderate and wise.”

After the raising of the Libertas flag, up until 25 August, 20 site-specific locations of Dubrovnik become a place of encounter of approximately 2,000 artists from all over the world with domestic and international audience of around 60,000 visitors.

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The squares and public spaces will be packed tonight with the sights and sounds of the 2018 World Cup as Croatia take on England in the semi-finals.

And following the news that Dubrovnik will have a video wall in the centre of the Old City for the big game comes news that Cavtat will also organise a public broadcast. In the Dr. Frano Tuđman Square in the centre of Cavtat the game will be shown from 8.00pm.

And after the match a huge fireworks display will be held, presumably only if Croatia win.

Clear

22°C

Dubrovnik

Clear
Humidity: 61%
Wind: ENE at 11.27 km/h
Sunday
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Monday
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Tuesday
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Wednesday
Mostly sunny
24°C / 28°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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