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 popular travel guide “Rough Guide” has published an article entitled “7 stunning European islands you’ve probably never heard of,” and the Dubrovnik island of Lastovo is featured.
If you are looking for a secret escape then the picturesque island of Lastovo is the place for you. “The emphasis here is on the ‘Last’ in Lastovo: from here there’s only open Adriatic all the way across to Italy. Most travellers these days know the Croatian tourist hotspots of Hvar and Brač, but this relaxed charmer remains relatively untrammelled by tourism, at least in part due to the vagaries of the ferry timetable,” writes Rough Guide.
Rough Guide states that we have all heard of the major islands in Europe, such as Ibiza, Corsica and Sicily, but what about the lesser known gems. Along with Lastovo the islands of Foula in Scotland, Porto Santo in Portugal, Saaremaa in Estonia, Graciosa in Spain, Viðoy, The Faroe Islands and Gozo in Malta were also mentioned.
“This outlying island boasts a rich sweep of Venetian-era architecture, with its natural attractions recognised by the Croatian government who have declared it a protected nature park. The local waters also dish up a rich bounty of seafood, the best of which is the plump local lobster, or jastog, which is best enjoyed simply grilled,” concludes the article in Rough Guide.
Whilst the filming of Star Wars VIII finished a few weeks ago info, videos and photos are continuing the leak out.
The latest video show a speeding car down the main street, the Stradun, the acceleration of this car is, to say the least, impressive. The car, which apparently was specially constructed to reach high speeds within a few metres, was used as to film.
Take your time with the video, it begins slowly, but then blasts to life, and don’t forget to turn the volume up...it goes with a boom. The main street, the Stradun, and all of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is normally a car-free zone so seeing a souped-up black car almost flying down the stone street is even more unusual.
The UK press was full of photos from the filming with The Daily Mail and The Sun dedicating a full-page article in a few copies.
The young pianist virtuoso, Aljosa Jurinić, will perform a concert with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra tomorrow night in the Revelin Fortress.
The concert will be conducted by the Austrian conductor Christoph Campestrini, who is musical director of the Dubrovnik International Music Festival in late summer.
Aljosa Jurinić, from Zagreb, was the first Croatian pianist to reach the finals of the prestigious Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, where he finished in the top ten. This competition is one of the most important events in the musical world; the competition is held every five years and brings together hundreds of the most talented pianists from around the world in the age of 17-30 years.
In addition to reaching the finals in this prestigious competition, Aljosa Jurinić has received several awards at national and international competitions, including the success achieved in 2012 at the renowned Robert Schumann Piano Competition in the composer's home town of Zwickau.
At the Dubrovnik concert on the 1st of April in the Revelin the audience will have the opportunity to hear Mozart's Piano Concerto No.26 in D Major 'Coronation' and in the second part Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 5 in D minor 'Reformation'. The concert will begin at 8.30pm.
For lovers of oysters Dubrovnik will host an unmissable festival this weekend. At 11am, this Saturday the 2nd of April, in front of the St. Blaise Church in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik the Oyster Festival will be held.
The Oyster Festival, which is always popular with tourists and locals, is organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. And it won’t only be oysters on offer on Saturday; vineyards from the Pelješac Peninsular will present their fine wines.
An oyster will be on offer at the promotional price of 5 Kuna and a glass of fine wine from Pelješac for 10 Kuna.
A collection of ceramics from the great Pablo Picasso will be on display in Dubrovnik from the 1st of April in the St. Clare monastery in the heart of the Old City. Tomorrow at 7pm the exhibition will open and over a hundred original works by the master will be presented.
“The Lake Collection of Picasso Ceramics,” which is managed by a collector and the owner of the Slovenian gallery “Deva Puri,” Mr. David Razjanjcev, consists of over a hundred original ceramic works by Picasso.
In addition to the ceramics there will also be thirty original graphic works and posters by the artist.
The famous Croatian graffiti artists “Lunar and Lonac” have brought a touch of Star Wars to Dubrovnik with their latest creation. Inspired by the recent filming of Star Wars VIII in the city the graffiti artists have decorated the wall of the Mokošica Primary School with characters from the movie franchise.
The staff, and certainly the children, were delighted that the artists had chosen their walls on their school to be the centrepiece for this new Star Wars graffiti. The bright colours, motifs from the film and images used in Dubrovnik are the theme for this Star Wars in Dubrovnik graffiti and they will act as a lasting memory of the city’s role in the movie.
The shadow of corruption is still hanging over Croatia. According to the survey carried out by the organisation RAND for the European Parliament shows that the three most corrupt countries in the EU are Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.
The survey showed that in Croatia it is still important who you know and not what you know, the highest risk of corruption in Croatia was among public procurement contacts. In fact Croatia loses around 15 percent of its GDP due to corruption, as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia. On an annual basis corruption costs the European Union up to 990 billion Euros.
"What is more, the findings suggest that corruption has significant social costs (more unequal societies, higher levels of organised crime and weaker rule of law) and political costs (lower voter turnout in national parliamentary elections) and lower trust in EU institutions," stated the report.
The tourism fair “World Travel Market Latin America” was opened yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Tourist Board of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Zagreb Tourist Board are both present at this fair on a joint stand.
Over the three days of the exhibition 1,300 exhibitors from 60 countries will present their tourist attractions to over 8,000 participants. This fair in Brazil is exclusively a professional trade fair and all of the participants are employed in the travel industry. The fair opened yesterday, the 29th of March, and will remain open until the 31st of March.
In 2015 there were around 15,000 guests from Brazil in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which was around 12 percent more than in 2014.