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.
Dubrovnik and its tourist attractions have been presented in Dubai! From the 25th to the 28th of April the Dubrovnik – Neretva County Tourist Board attended the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. This event is the leading tourism fair in the Middle East and was deemed important for Dubrovnik by the county tourist board.
Over 2,800 world destinations were showcased at the exhibition and approximately 26,000 travel professionals visited over the four days of the fair which was held in the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The County tourist board joined up with the Zagreb Tourist Board as co-exhibitors, and there were also travel agencies and hotels present at the fair.
On Sunday May 1st at 8.00pm in the exhibition space of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities on the Siroka Street in the heart of the Old City an exhibition by Maro Kriste will open. This will be the sixth solo exhibition by this renowned Dubrovnik artist and this exhibition will be “New Views of the City.”
“This is a different presentation which we call a new look on the life in the City,” commented Kriste before the grand opening. He added that “Perhaps at first glance the views look the same, the same viewpoint, but with the volume and the colours they are different.”
Sunday evening should open the month of May up with colour and art, entrance is free of charge and everyone is welcome.
“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director,” once said the great Alfred Hitchcock. I have gone documentary mad over the past few months; I have been watching an average of two documentaries a day for the past three months. I am eating up documentaries at an abnormal rate, my hunger is unreal. At first I thought it was just a phase I was going through, but I fear that I have become addicted. From World War II, the fall of the Roman Empire, the invention of the telephone to the history of Cuba, there is no rhyme or reason to my choices; I surf from A to Z.
Would you believe that out of the first twenty “most watched” documentary videos of Youtube that fifteen of them are about sex! The most watched documentary ever is “The Complete Sex Guide” with over 117 millions views!
Away from sex, I have learned so many things that I am running out of space in my brain, but the most important thing I have learned is that I still have plenty to learn. I also learnt that there is nothing you can’t learn from the millions of hours of informative programs available. I guess my curiosity was aroused by programs like the History Channel and Discovery, but these soon became too mainstream for me, I was after a more hardcore diet of knowledge. I couldn’t get enough.
The old adage of “the more you know the less you know,” is totally true. This was even proved in one documentary, giving the example of three different sized circles. Imagine thee circles, one small, one medium and one large. Everything inside the circles represents our knowledge and everything directly outside the circle represents our lack of knowledge.
So, for example, the smallest circle has the smallest amount of knowledge inside it, and at the same time the least amount of lack of knowledge. Which is often why a dumb person will say, “there is nothing I don’t know.” They, to a certain extent are correct, for their lack of knowledge, or the outside of their tiny circle is small, hence they believe they know everything. When the circles grow in size, or when a person learns more, so the outside of the circle grows and they feel like they know less and less. The real geniuses, with ultra large circles, drive themselves crazy because the more they learn, the cleverer they become, so they realise that they know nothing, the outside of their circles is huge.
The next time you meet someone who says, “I know everything about everything,” you can smile to yourselves and think, “small circle.” Away from physiology I must have watched every conspiracy theory on the planet. My advice, don’t start watching 9/11 conspiracy theory documentaries, there is no end, literally endless. From the CIA to the FBI, to Bin Laden and the Russians, everyone was blamed in some way. Then onto “green” documentaries, pollution, global warming and our general lack of respect for the earth that gives us life.
What we do to our planet is unbelievably disgusting, truly shameful. Give to the earth and she will give back to you, at least this is what we should do. I was reminded of our own lack of care for Mother Nature this week when I received a letter from a lady concerned about people dumping waste in Slano. Unfortunately her tale of woe isn’t the only one.
“The local authorities, probably for financial reasons, are not prompt in removing rubbish and it shocks me that when one lives in such a beautiful place one can neglect it,” was one line from her lengthy letter. The main culprit was building waste. Trucks carrying building materials drive into the nature where they think no one will see them and “unload” their rubbish in the green oasis. I have seen the exact same in Plat. One day I go for a walk with my dogs in pristine nature, the next day there are lorry loads of bricks, tiles and cement dumped into the bushes, choking the life out of nature. “I sense that building rubbish is not seen as offensive so is tipped off any nearby hillside. If it is so inoffensive why don't these people store it on their own land?” concluded the letter.
Education is the answer, a large percentage of these people simply don’t know any better. They probably all fall into the first and smallest circle of knowledge.
Stand up, stand up...mega-popular comedian Jimmy Carr is to perform in Croatia. One of the UK's most outspoken stand-up comedians is set to perform a one-off show in Zagreb on the 17th of September. The English comedian will play a show in the Vatroslav Lisinski hall in the centre of the Croatian capital as part of his “Funny Business” tour.
This isn’t the first time that Carr has played a stand-up comedy show in Croatia; he played in Zagreb last year. Carr is also the star of many TV shows in the UK, such as 8 out of 10 cats and The Big Fat Quiz of the Year.
Tickets for this event are already on sale and start from 120 Kuna.
The taxi drivers of Dubrovnik have once again covered themselves in “glory” with another scandal. According to reports in the Dubrovnik media a taxi driver in Dubrovnik defrauded a French tourist by charging him 300 Kunas for a 3 kilometre drive, and to make matters worse the tourist was blind! The 37-year-old blind tourist from France wanted to travel from the Old City of Dubrovnik to Lapad, the taxi driver explained that the price would be higher as it was “night rate.”
A short trip from the entrance of the Old City on the Pile Gate to the suburb of Lapad cost this French tourist 300 Kuna, or around 40 Euros, for a 3 kilometre journey, or 100 Kuna a kilometre. “He told us this was normal as it was the night-price,” explained the blind tourist to a local media outlet.
The summer season is on the doorstep and we will all be soon enjoying the crystal, clear Adriatic Sea. And to make sure that the sea is pristine around the island of Lokrum members of the Dubrovnik Diving Club have been busy.
Although heavy rain fell all day yesterday the divers were busy in the Porat bay on the island of Lokrum cleaning the sea bed of all rubbish that had collected over the winter months. The cleaning action was arranged on the Day of Planet Earth, celebrated yesterday the 23rd of April.
Check out our photo gallery of the action on Lokrum taken by members of the Dubrovnik Diving Club.
This year could well be one of the best ever for the Croatian tourism industry. The start to 2016, the off-season, has begun very well and according to statistics from the Croatian Statistics Bureau there was almost a twenty percent increase in the number of tourists arriving in Croatia in February.
With the height of the season, the summer period, on the doorstep tourism experts are predicting an excellent year for the tourism business, an industry that accounts for just over 18 percent of Croatia’s GDP.
In February the number of tourists arriving in Croatia increased by 18.4 percent compared to the same month from 2015. The number of overnight stays also increased in February, this time by 16.1 percent. In total there were 428,225 tourists in Croatia in February, of which almost 60 percent were foreign guests.
When broken down by nationality the figures show that “neighbouring” countries brought the largest number of tourists, 20 percent from Slovenia, 10 percent from Austria, 10 percent from Italy, 9 percent from Germany, 6 percent from Bosnia and Herzegovina and over 5 percent from South Korea.
The figures in Dubrovnik were also excellent with the massive training program from the German car giant Mercedes brining in over 15,000 guests.
The conceptual design system of introducing an e-moped was presented this week in the city council. The green project could mean that Dubrovnik will become the first city in Croatia that has electric scooters. Prof. Josko Deur from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture University of Zagreb presented the preliminary findings of the study whose completion is expected in mid-June. The project is in the phase of choosing the most appropriate choice of electric scooters on the market, the optimal solution for recharging stations as well as the design for “sharing” the scooters around the city.
The Dubrovnik Development Agency has secured funds for the study from the fund for environmental protection and energy efficiency. The idea is that the public transport company, Libertas, will control the operational organisation of the electric scooters. With the possible introduction of 100 “e-scooters” Dubrovnik will be the first city in Croatia to have these environmentally friendly transport systems. However this transport system isn’t unusual in other major European cities, whilst London has a share a bicycle system for a few years.
The full implementation of the project is expected after the market research has been carried out, and this is hoped to be completed by the late summer. A prototype model will be produced as well as the realisation of the system of sharing the scooters. So far three different models have been tested; all these models have zero emissions and use solar cells on canopies to recharge.
The future of Dubrovnik could well be green.