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.
Despite announcements that the HBO series Game of Thrones was not planning to film in Dubrovnik this season it seems that the mega popular series can’t do without Dubrovnik. HBO have been filming in Dubrovnik, which plays the part of Kings Landing in the serial, since season two.
Early Thursday morning, a camera crew under heavy security, gathered at the Pile entrance into the historic Old City of Dubrovnik. Whereas is previous seasons, when the crews spent upwards of three weeks in the city, Dubrovnik was being used as a daytrip destination for HBO this sixth season. Our cameras were on the scene as one of the leading ladies of the Game of Thrones, the British actress Lena Headey, arrived in the early morning. Queen Cersei Lannister almost had a problem reaching the set as she raced in front of a coach full of surprised cruise ship passengers.
The beach underneath the ancient Dubrovnik City Walls on Pile was the backdrop for the express filming as Lena Headey gazed out towards the St. Lawrence Fortress and the Adriatic Sea. And Lena’s hairstyle has changed since the last episode of season five when Queen Cersei Lannister walked the “Walk of Shame” with a shaved head. Along with Headey on the set was the Icelandic giant Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson who plays Gregor Clegane in the serial. Dubrovnik has been the location for King's Landing, the centre of the seven Kingdoms, since the second season of Game of Thrones. However this year HBO officially stated that they would not be filming in Dubrovnik, but rather the whole production team had moved to the Catalan city of Girona.
The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra opened up 2016 with a spectacular concert in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik. After last night’s wild party on the Stradun the music continued this morning with a more classical note.
Guests to the city and locals gathered in the square in front of the St. Blaise Church and enjoyed a concert on the first day of 2016. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra were joined on stage by the soloist soprano Marijana Prohaska from Rijeka.
The director of the orchestra, Damir Milat, wished the audience a happy new year.
2016 was brought in with style in Dubrovnik with an impressive fireworks display.
As the main bell tower in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik struck midnight fireworks lit up the night sky...2016 is here!
After emerging from the recession in 2015, Croatia's economy is likely to continue rising in 2016, with analysts projecting growth rates between 0.5% and 1.8% as well as a rise in the country's public debt.
In 2016 Croatia's economic growth will pick up to 1.8% on the back of rising exports of goods and services as well as on the back of a continued rise in personal consumption and investments, according to a recent statement issued by the Croatian National Bank (HNB).
Apart from the central bank, other institutions project growth in Croatia's GDP as well.
The European Commission forecasts a rise of 1.4%, while the International Monetary Fund is less optimistic, putting the forecast at 1%. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) projects Croatia's growth at the rate of 0.5%, and the Institute of Economics in Zagreb believes the rise will be around 1%.
Similar projections have been given by analysts in major banks operating in Croatia. For instance, Alen Kovac of Erste Bank believes that the growth rate in 2016 would be similar to 2015, namely between 1% and 1.2%.
The HNB, however, has been warning against a snowball effect on public finances, namely a situation when GDP growth rates are lower than the average interest rate on the country's public debt, thus causing an increase in the public debt.
"In order to halt this effect, it is crucial to ensure a stronger fiscal adjustment," HNB Governor Boris Vujcic said recently. He said that this adjustment should not be dramatic compared to what some EU countries had had to do in that regard during the crisis.
Croatian Employers Association Director-General Davor Majetic expects a feeble growth due to the non-performance of structural reforms and weakening external positive effects.
Analysts of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce say that developments in 2016 will depend on the expertise in pursuing the country's economic and development policies and on regional and global trends.
We are in the middle of the festive season in Dubrovnik and there is no end to the glorious sunshine. Yesterday in Dubrovnik temperatures reached 20 degrees and sunshine bathed down over the historic Old City. Locals and tourists took the opportunity to walk and explore the city and to have a meal and a coffee al fresco.
The weather forecast in Dubrovnik until the New Year is for more mild temperatures and blue skies. It is expected that Dubrovnik will start 2016 in relatively settled weather with the long-term forecast showing a colder chill coming in the middle of January.
Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat
The renowned British newspaper, The Telegraph, has included Dubrovnik on a list of the top ten European city breaks for 2016. Great Britain is the most important market for the Dubrovnik travel industry, so this article released at a time of the year when the Brits think about booking their summer holidays will help make 2016 another bumper tourism year.
There are some very popular and familiar city break destinations in the top ten: Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul and London. The inclusion of Dubrovnik on such a prestigious directory will boost the number of British tourists travelling to the city.
“Dubrovnik is one of the world’s most magnificent walled cities,” opens the article. Adding that “now a UNESCO world heritage site and Croatia’s most up-market destination, it was once the capital of the wealthy sea-faring Republic of Ragusa.”
Read the full article here
The Polish airline LOT will reintroduce direct flights from Warsaw to Zagreb on January 2, the company’s representatives said in Zagreb on Friday.
LOT suspended its Warsaw-Zagreb flight service in early June this year due to so-called compensation measures applied by the Polish airline during the process of its restructuring. Now that the restructuring process has been finished, the company can again re-introduce flight services. As of the beginning of next year, LOT will also reintroduce flights to Belgrade. As of March, its planes will fly to Ljubljana as well, LOT regional manager Jolanta Grala-Bednarcik said at a news conference at the Polish Embassy in Zagreb.
The price of a return ticket from Zagreb to Warsaw will range from EUR 79 to 139, depending on the baggage. By the end of next March, LOT planes will fly to Zagreb four times a week, after which daily flights are planned, notably during the summer season.
LOT is an entirely state-owned company and its privatisation is not planned for now, it was said at the news conference.
Looking for a spot in the sun to retire to why not try Croatia, according to the renowned publication Forbes magazine the Adriatic country should be high on your list.
In an article entitled “20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens For 2015,” the American magazine has included Croatia, as well as France, Australia, Spain and Thailand. The article, which is aimed at Americans, takes several factors into account when judging which the best countries to spend your retirement are.
Cost of living, taxes, climate, security and crime, cultural attractions and hospitality are some of the guidelines which Forbes used to compile the top twenty list. The top of the list is Australia, followed by Belize and Canada in third position. Croatia is placed in eighth position on the list, with the article starting “on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia contains beautiful scenery, a good climate, ancient cultures, a low cost of living and tax breaks for retirees. The country clearly has put behind itself a 1990s civil war.” It goes on to add that Dubrovnik is one of the highlights of the country. This year the number of American tourists in Dubrovnik increased drastically on recent years.
In fact American tourists were the second most numerous, in terms of nationality, in the city in 2015. One of the reasons for this increase is undoubtedly the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, which uses Dubrovnik as a location. Forbes mentions that the lack of direct flights from the US to Croatia was the only negative point.