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.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, and the President of the City Council, Marko Potrebica, are currently on an official visit to the United States.
On the first day of his official visit to the United States Mayor Franković met with the Mayor of Monterey, Clyde Roberson. This Californian city is a sister city of Dubrovnik and the two mayors talked about the continuation of ten years of friendship and future joint projects.
As an internationally recognized example of good co-operation, the Dubrovnik Half-Marathon was highlighted, as this event in Dubrovnik is greatly assisted by the City of Monterey.
During the meeting ideas for new cultural and sporting events were developed, institutional co-operation through the exchange of employees as well as a student exchange program between the two sister cities in cooperation with the Slavic American Cultural Organization (SACO) from nearby Watsonville.
Mayor Frankovic also addressed representatives of the Croatian community, with significant numbers coming from the area of Dubrovnik and its surroundings, at the annual charity dinner organized by the Slavic American Cultural Organization.
Economic reasons and not security concerns are the main obstacles for the lifting of visas for Croatian citizens wishing to travel to the United States. Croatian citizens who have their travel visa application rejected are finding that it has nothing to do with being a threat to security but rather because they don’t have enough financial support, a job or a housing solution, and there is risk that they could turn their vacation into illegal immigration, reports the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List.
Around 400 Croatian visa applications are refused every year, with a large proportion of these actually Croatians living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. This is around a 5 percent rejection rate, but one of the rules laid out by the US Government for visa free travel is that the country has an annual rejection rate of less than 3 percent.
Although the rejection rate has been slowly reduced over the past few years, in 2016 it was 6.78 percent, it is still too high for American standards.
The number of travel visas issues to Croatian citizens for the US has been stable for the past few years, between 16,000 and 17,000 a year, in 2017 16,440 such visas were issued. However, on the flip side, the number of immigration visas is relatively small. Last year only 104 Croatian citizens received a visa to live in the US and in 2016 there were 129 such visas. The vast majority of these visas were issued for the purpose of family reunification, the actual number of full working visas is extremely small. Last year only 8 Croatian citizens actually received a full working visa.
The whole of the Dubrovnik region was hit by a snow blizzard last night as temperatures dipped and a gale force north wind made driving conditions hazardous. Snow fell for most of the evening and in the higher grounds even laid on the roads.
The islands were of course not immune to the freezing weather and these photos of the “white out” on the island of Sipan were sent to us this morning by a reader and really catch the freezing feeling.
Check out the gallery from Sipan last night
Last week in the Dubrovnik region there were ten road traffic accidents, of which three had only material damage whilst the others had injured drivers and passengers.
In traffic control measures carried out by the Dubrovnik Police a total of 635 fines were issued to drivers last week. From this figure 212 were for not wearing seatbelts, 138 for speeding offences, 20 for drunk driving, 13 for incorrect overtaking and 42 for illegally parking vehicles.
It is compulsory in Croatia for the occupants of all vehicles to wear seatbelts them at all times, on front and rear seats. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is 500 Kuna.
Temperatures are predicted to drop below zero tonight as the cold front freezes the Dubrovnik region. Snow fell for most of the morning in the region and brought a white frosty covering to the higher altitudes of the Dubrovnik region.
The boroughs of Konavle and Zupa received the most snow and snow ploughs are active in Konavle clearing the roads of the northern hills. The forecast predicts that we are in for a bitterly cold night in Dubrovnik with more snow on the way tomorrow. The Croatian Meteorological Office is reporting the chance of gale force winds with maximum gust speeds of up to 100 km/h in Dubrovnik for tomorrow and have added that many ferries will not operate tomorrow due to the unstable weather conditions.
Highs tomorrow are expected to reach a chilly 5 degrees with lows below freezing at minus 4 degrees. The cold snap should continue to at least Wednesday, before a more stable and warmer period of weather is predicted.
Photos - Ivana Smilovic and Mark Thomas
Squid fishing in the Adriatic Sea is a normal pastime, but catching a 6.5 kilos squid is far from normal. But this week in Cavtat that is exactly what happened when Vedran Žanetić pulled out a massive 6.5 kilo squid from the Tiha Bay in Cavtat.
This “Todarodes sagittatus” or Oceanic Squid is certainly rare in the Adriatic. They can grow up to 1.5 metres in length and reach up to 15 kilos. This one caught by Žanetić is without doubt a massive squid and probably not what he had in mind when he decided to go squid fishing.
Ryanair is slowly but surely creating a mini-hub in the Croatian coastal city of Zadar with news that it will add yet another destination to the already busy schedule. Memmingen, a town in Bavaria, is the latest European city to join the list of destinations from Zadar. In total the Irish budget airline now Zadar with seventeen destinations.
Ryanair plans to fly three times a week between Memmingen and Zadar, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting on the 8th of May and according to the airline they will continue until the start of the 2018/2019 winter timetable. Single tickets start at around 50 Euros and are already available for sale on the Ryanair website.
Ryanair already operates flights from Zadar to Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Marseille, Berlin, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt Hahn, Frankfurt International, Karlsruhe, Dublin, Göteborg, Stockholm, Bristol, Glasgow, London Stansted and Manchester.
This driver didn’t have the greatest of starts to Sunday. It is still unclear how this car managed to be hanging on the brink of sinking into the river near Dubrovnik.
It seems to be stuck between the shore and a boat with its wheels wrapped up in ropes, but how this car actually got into this precarious position is still unknown. The car was spotted this morning by a popular Facebook site in Dubrovnik near the ACI Marina in Komolac.