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 people of Dubrovnik have had a close relationship with cats since the city's very beginning. Indeed, there were times during the dark ages when the very presence of cats and their ability to hunt disease spreading rats meant the difference between life and death. Lately though, these resilient little creatures are taken for granted and often neglected. Blanche ,a feisty and beautiful little five month old girl, is like many other kittens who face their own life and death battle in the city every day.
Blanche is different; she only has three legs but is however, as active and playful as any other kitten. She is a strong, beautiful and friendly little girl who desperately needs a loving home. She is named after the famous Parisian socialite, Blanche Dumas who managed to not only survive but prospered in the upper echelons of French society carrying a very unusual disability - she was born with three legs. The product of a French father and a black mother she had very humble beginnings on the island of Martinique but was none the less able to find a new live in Paris.
It is said that cats have nine lives and indeed this belief lay at the foundation of several ancient religious cults. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase a cat is said to have nine lives because it is "more tenacious of life than many animals". As far back as 1894 scientific experiments were held to try and work out why cats seem to be able to survive falls from nearly impossible situations. Photographic evidence showed that the key, it turned out, was their ability to always land on their four feet due to their innate acrobatic abilities. As the cat falls an automatic twisting reaction begins and the cat manoeuvres its head, back, legs and tail to ensure that it lands safely.
She has almost used up her nine lives
The first life Blanche had is unknown but will have been a privileged one having been born into a local family. But that life of privilege changed dramatically on Christmas Eve when she was dumped by her owner at Sveti Jacob. Abandoned and forced to fend for herself she should have died that cold winter night but instead her second life had begun. Helped by a few generous souls who drop food off to the many abandoned cats in the area she fought for her small share to help give her strength to face the cold northerly wind. Slowly she began to cope with her new environment and formed a bond with two other kittens who were also fighting to survive. But one day, this new life had another twist and she was critically injured. Sheltering out of the rain under a parked car she fell asleep and was run over when the car moved on and was badly injured.
The third life for Blanche had begun. After the accident Blanche dragged herself into one of the little cat boxes which have been built by kind people who understand that cats have needs as well as other animals. She lay there for a day until fate took a hand again and a kind samaritan noticed her little head and bright yellow eyes peering out of the darkness of the box. She could have died a long and lonely death but instead he took her to a veterinarian. She had lost a lot of blood and the prognosis was not good. Most importantly the nerve in her left front leg had been severed and she could never walk on it again. The leg had to be amputated and her next life had begun.
Typically she has fought back and made a full recovery as cats do after having this operation. Indeed they lead full and normal lives as they are able to adjust to their disability.
The kind people at the Dubrovnik Animal Shelter are caring for her after the operation.
Perhaps someone would like to share her next life and make her a member of their family. If that person is you, please contact Ljubica on +385 (0)95 9045623 and she will introduce you to the remarkable Blanche.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has released figures on the number of tourists in Dubrovnik for this Easter holiday period. There are currently 5,551 guests staying in the city, in hotels, private accommodation and other accommodation facilities, this figure is on a par with the results achieved in 2015.
The majority of tourists are from Spain, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, USA, Greece, Japan, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
The Easter Holidays are traditionally the beginning of the tourist season in Dubrovnik and the vast majority of the city’s hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc are now open. The first cruise ships arrived in Dubrovnik last weekend and the historic Old City is relatively busy.
The tourist season in Dubrovnik begun earlier and stronger than usual with the Mercedes Global Training Event which brought sales representative and managers of the famous German car brand to Dubrovnik from all over the world. So far the event, which ends on the 14th of April, has achieved an additional 55,222 tourist arrivals and 137,628 overnight stays.
Dancers, performances, Easter decorations, eggs and bags of warm sunshine – Easter Sunday in Dubrovnik was magical. After the Holy Mass that was held in the city’s cathedral the good weather brought many people out onto the streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik.
“It is such a terrific atmosphere, and the weather is unbelievable,” commented a tourist from the UK. According to data from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board around 6,000 tourists are currently staying in Dubrovnik and the sunshine and Easter atmosphere certainly impressed them.
A presentation of traditional Easter egg painting was held by members of the association “Dubrovnik Primorje Wedding,” and tourists were shown the details and work that go into making these mini masterpieces.
Palm weaving, another traditional Easter custom was also on show, and guests to the Easter celebrations were entertained by folk dancing and vocal choirs. There was also a flower sale with all proceeds going towards the Down syndrome society in Dubrovnik.
Easter, the beginning of the tourist season in Dubrovnik, in the city was one to remember, not least for the endless blue skies and glowing sunshine.
Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic
The former military resort of Kupari, south of Dubrovnik, has been a blot on the landscape since it was destroyed in the Homeland War in the early nineties, but now a street artist has given it a new funky feel, at least temporarily. Using the trash and waste materials in the bombed out shells of the hotels, plus a few hundred litres of paint and rolls of tape, the Kupari resort is now a living exhibition of street art, or trash art.
Francisco de Pajaro, aka Art is Trash, is a Spanish street artists based in Barcelona. He is a globetrotting artist who has created this special art form in many countries. “Art is Trash has astounded not only passersby in the streets of London, Berlin, Nantes, France, Dubai, Barcelona, New York, Chicago and Miami, but also gallery owners and art curators who are hungry for straightforward, instinctive and honest artists who love taking things that society considers ugly and making them beautiful or fun,” states the artists website.
The Spanish artist spent 25 hours in Kupari and painted over 6,000 square metres. He has created “new guests” in the hotel, a total of 133 new drawings or new guests. However this will definitely be a temporary exhibition as the whole resort has recently been sold to a hotel chain and the demolishers and bulldozers are expected to move in soon.
Check out this amazing video of Francisco de Pajaro at work in Kupari.
The only major supermarket that will be closed on Easter Monday throughout Croatia is the German chain Lidl.
The biggest Croatian supermarket chain Konzum will be closed on Easter Sunday but the vast majority will be open on Easter Monday.
Depending on the store Konzum stores will be open from 7am to 1pm on Monday, however The Dubrovnik Times has learned that the Konzum in the SUB City shopping centre in Zupa will be open all day on Monday from 8am to 9pm.
Spar has announced that their stores will all be closed on Sunday but will be open on Monday from 8am to 2pm.
Tommy supermarket will, as the rest, be closed on Sunday but is believed to be operating a normal working service on Monday.
The Easter Holidays are upon us and the Old City of Dubrovnik is shining with decorations. An Easter bunny, a basket of Easter eggs and of course chicks have been installed at the end of the main street, the Stradun, and are proving a magnet for children, young and old.
Easter is traditionally the beginning of the tourist season in Dubrovnik and many more airplanes have been seen in the skies today. The city expects around 6,000 tourists to arrive over the Easter holiday period and the number of tourists sightseeing today show that this number might even be more.
Check out our gallery of photos of Dubrovnik’s Easter decorations by Niksa Duper.
Fancy a cheap weekend break to a European destination, well according to the popular UK newspaper; The Independent the place to go is Dubrovnik! The UK Post Office “City Costs Barometer,” which measures the most affordable cities in Europe for a city break has been recently released and Dubrovnik is on the list.
For the eighth year in a row the UK Post Office has studied 35 European cities and ranked them, their value for money, by using twelve key factors. Accommodation, sightseeing, travel, meals and drinks were all included in the survey. According to the survey the most affordable European city for a break is Warsaw in Poland.
Dubrovnik was ranked as the seventh most affordable holiday break in Europe with a two-night stay coming in at £137.
The full cost index from the UK Post Office for Dubrovnik based on a two-night stay was as follows.
Two-night stay for two adults in a three-star hotel: £41
Return bus/train transfer (from airport to city centre): £7.61
48-hour travel card: £6.52
Top tourist heritage attraction: Dubrovnik City Walls — £10.87
Three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine: £35.01
Making a grand total of £137 for a two-night city break in Dubrovnik. Lisbon came in at sixth, Krakow in fifth, Riga in fourth, with the top three being Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw.
We will all have an hour less in bed as from this Sunday the 27th of March the clocks go forward an hour. Spring – Forward, Fall – Back...for all those who can’t remember which way the clocks go in the seasons.
On Sunday the 27th of March, Easter Sunday, the clocks move forward one hour from 2 o’clock in the morning, move them forward to 3 o’clock. Don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning and see your mobiles and smart phones showing an extra hour, you didn’t oversleep, they automatically updated their clocks.