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.
International Opera Arias Festival Tino Pattiera is coming to Dubrovnik again this year, from first to sixt of July. This is the 9th Festival, for the third time in a row organized by Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.
The Festival was presented at the press conference and the speakers were Damir Milat, the director of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Noam Zur, festival director and the conductor, deputy mayor Tatjana Simac Bonacic and head of Marketing and PR of Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Iva Svetac.
- I hope that this Festival will be successful as it was last couple of years – said Damir Milat. He added that Dubrovnik, as the town of elite tourism needs elite festivals, which is not so easy to organize.
- I'm very, very happy to be back! - said Noam Zur, adding that he's also 'very, very happy' about the solists this year. Which are Liana Aleksanyan, soprano from Armenia, mezzosoprano from Spain Marisa Martins, tenor Hugh Smith from the USA, baritone Ionut Pascu from Romania and pianist from Dubrovnik Stefani Grbic.
Zur said that there will be many surprises, but what is known is that this Festival will be inspired by William Shakespeare and will be the great opportunity to celebrate the artistic ties between literature and opera.
- I'm feeling joy because of the new festivals and new events – sad the deputy mayor Tatjana Simac Bonacic, emphasizing that the City of Dubrovnik is thankful to the people with ideas. She added that they see the value of this kind of festivals and hope that the others will to.
Iva Svetac said that Dubrovnik Sun Gardens are honoured to be the part of this Festival.
- As the sponsors of the final concert we will celebrate the 7th year of our resort – she added.
Just a reminder – International Opera Arias Festival Tino Pattiera is named after and organized in the memory of the world famous tenor Tino Pattiera, born on 27 June 1890 in Cavtat, a town situated about 20 kilometers away from Dubrovnik, where he died in 1966.
Another major international film production is now filming in Dubrovnik. The American historical series Knightfall has occupied the bay of Pile, right at the entrance to the Old Town. You can't miss the actors, roaming around in their costumes and attracting the attention of tourists and locals.
The series follows the fall, persecution and burnings at the stake of the members of the ancient order of the Templars. The History Channel is behind the latest film production in the city and the famous American actor Jeremy Renner will play one of the main roles and is also the producer.
After the success of the Game of Thrones and Star Wars, which were partly filmed on location in Dubrovnik, Knightfall will also bring international publicity and recognition to the city.
Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic
Project 'Active Croatia' came to Dubrovnik, more precisely on the Saint John's Fort. It's organized under sponsorship of Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and the goal is to make citizens more active, especially the young ones. It was quite cheerful and entertaining and we can't think of the better location to exercise.
With his arrogance on the field Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best football players in the world often provokes football fans. But every now and then he surprises the public and does something that shows he is a true sportsman at heart.
After the final whistle from the referee at the game between Portugal and Croatia on Saturday, 25th of June, even though Portugal won, Ronaldo didn't celebrate with the rest of his teammates. The Croatian national football team was completely broken down and when Ronaldo saw his teammate from Real Madrid Luka Modric crying he came to comfort him.
The Portuguese media wanted to find out why Ronaldo didn't celebrate the win of his national football team and entrance into the quarter-finals of the EURO 2016.
''Of course, I was very happy that we won but I couldn't celebrate while my brother was crying. My duty was to comfort my brother,'' said Ronaldo.
This move by one of the greatest football players in the world will certainly win over support among Croatian fans.
The construction at the Dubrovnik airport is still in progress and everything is going according to plan. The project of expanding the airport is the first in Croatia, and one of only five projects in the European Union, that have been partially financed from the so-called Juncker initiative.
The main goal of this 250 million Euros worth development project is to increase the airport passenger capacity and to reduce the traffic congestion on the current airport’s runway. A new passenger terminal, expanded runways and taxiways, access roads and car parking are currently being constructed at the airport.
The project also includes the construction of internal gas stations, a new aviation fuel tank and underground pit system for fuel filling as well as the installation of solar systems to improve energy efficiency.
With over 1.5 million passengers passing through Dubrovnik annually, the airport has been voted by the European Airport Council as the second best airport in Europe in the under 5 million passenger’s category. But according to the words of Roko Tolic, the general director of the Dubrovnik Airport, after the completion of the development project in March 2017 the airport will easily reach 2 million passengers a year and will be one of the most modern in the region.
New Coca-Cola is coming to town! Special edition of the Coca Cola bottles with Dubrovnik will soon be in the souvenir shops and restaurants.
Of course, that wouldn't be possible without the cooperation between the City of Dubrovnik and Coca Cola. At the presentation of this special Coca Cola bottle Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic said thanks to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, as well as to Croatian representatives.
He added that Dubrovnik is one of the three cities that got this amazing opportunity. The other two are London and Rome.
Jaksa Malagic, regional sales manager emphasized that this is not the first cooperation between Coca-Cola and Dubrovnik. First was around 15 years ago when the Dubrovnik sticker was at the glass bottle of Coca-Cola.
British week has officialy started in Dubrovnik today. There is no better way to start then with a traditional English brekfast and a cup of tea, with a few words from the organisers and guests.
Everybody, from Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic to Romana Vlasic, the director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board, accompanied by Peter Clements, deputy head of mission and Mark Thomas, honory consul have emphasized the connection between England and Dubrovnik, which is going strong for many years.
They welcomed this new project which will become, as a Mayor promised, the tradition that will from now on happen every year. Clements also said that no matter of what the situation with England is, implying on the recent leaving of the EU, Dubrovnik and England will always be friends.
After the traditional breakfast everybody went to Pile entrance of Dubrovnik, where the iconic red London double-decker bus is parked.
Read more about the program of the British week here and don't miss our photo gallery.
After the success of direct flights from Toronto to Zagreb the Croatian capital is optimistic of attracting direct flights from the US. According to a report on the specialised website ex-yu aviation the General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Jacques Feron, commented that “New York would be an excellent destination.” However he added a note of caution by saying that “although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports.”
The management of Zagreb Airport have been targeting flights to the US for some time; in fact they openly state that New York is the “most desired route” for the Croatian capital. And the fact that the recent introduction of flights from Canada to Zagreb operated by Air Transat are proving successful seems to have added fuel to the fire for flights to the US. There are even talks that the seasonal summer service that Air Transat had first negotiated will be extended into the winter period, thus extending the tourist season in Zagreb. "On the first flight there were 140 passengers flying from Toronto to Zagreb and 280 passengers back,” commented Feron.
And it isn’t only Zagreb Airport that are pushing for flights to the US, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States is also working hard to “explore the possibility” of direct flights to Croatia.