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.
Croatia opened up the 2018 World Cup with a 2 – 0 win over Nigeria and social media was alive with supporters from all over the world. From photos direct from the stadium in Russia to fans celebrating on the beach in Australia.
Without doubt the female fans were the biggest hit on Instagram with red and white kits, flags and face painting.
Here are just a few of the thousands of ladies who got behind Croatia on Instagram
Petrol prices in Croatia are at their highest levels for year, with a litre costing up to 10.20 Kuna. A mass protest was held in Zagreb on Friday to raise awareness for the rising fuel prices. In fact, currently a litre of fuel in Croatia will cost you more than in Germany.
Compared to the rest of Europe Croatian fuel prices are ranked in the upper half. The most expensive litre is in Iceland, where at the beginning of June one litre would set you back 1.83 Euros. Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium come after Iceland. Whilst a litre in Croatia will cost you around 1.41 Euros.
Petrol in Austria, Hungary, Poland and even Germany is cheaper than in Croatia at the moment. And in Russia a litre will cost you only 0.61 Euros.
And the reason for these rising prices. The European Union sets a mandatory minimum excise duty on fuel. For Super 95 petrol it is 0.359 Euros per litre, or 2.66 Kuna, and for diesel 0.33 Euros. However instead of charging the EU minimum the Croatian government have raised the duty from 2.66 Kuna to 3.15 Kuna. The when you add the VAT, which at 25 percent is one of the highest in Europe, the result is petrol prices higher than Germany.
Dubrovnik was awash with red and white squares last night as Croatia opened their 2018 World Cup campaign against Nigeria. Cafes, restaurants and just about every square and corner of the city was alive to the sights and sounds of supporters cheering on the national team as they faced the Super Eagles.
From deafening silence to an eruption of joy as Croatia scored. In a group with Argentina and Iceland it was important that Croatia got off to a winning start and they didn’t disappoint although it was a somewhat subdued performance.
When the first goal went in, an own goal, on 32 minutes the city exploded with song and then the captain and Real Madrid midfield genera, Luka Modric, fired home the second from the penalty spot on 71 minutes and effectively sealed the win.
Next up for Croatia is a tie against Argentina on Thursday.
Check out the action last night by Niksa Duper
Dubrovnik’s most iconic beach, Banje Beach, played host to one of the largest television networks in the world this week. One of the most important media conferences in Croatia, the New Europe Market (NEM) media conference, was recently held in Dubrovnik for the sixth consecutive years. Expert panellists discussed, over the four days, trends and solutions for the future of media.
The FOX Network Group, which owns and runs such brand name channels as National Geographic, FOX Crime and 24 Kitchen, organised a gala event on the Banje Beach.
The spectacular evening event in the Banje Beach Restaurant Lounge & Club brought together some of the leading lights of media and directors of the FOX Network and was great publicity for Dubrovnik.
Croatia has received support for its plans to enter the open border Schengen agreement from the German Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. Meeting with the Croatian Interior Minister, Davor Boyinovic, in Berlin on Friday Seehofer expressed his support for Croatia in its goal to become a stronger member of the European Union.
“We must to everything in our power to effectively protect our outer borders, prevent illegal migrations and ensure more security in the EU. Combating illegal migration is at the centre of our cooperation,” commented the German Minister.
Add speaking to the Croatian news service, HINA, the Croatian Minister echoed his German counterpart, “We have fully agreed that improving security in Europe is the most concrete contribution to the EU project at this point in time.”
As Croatia has a long border with its neighbour, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the German ministry is adamant that it needs to be protected fully.
The week of unsettled weather in Dubrovnik continued today when a torrential downpour flooded the streets of the city. Although the forecast indicated an unstable day with overcast skies and even storms the beaches of the city were full with tourists enjoying the Adriatic.
And then the skies turned from blue to black and the heavens opened. The downpour only lasted for around 45 minutes but it was enough to flood many of the city’s streets and send the sunbathers running for cover.
Check out our video from the middle of the storm
According to a specialised website the carrier American Airlines is seriously considering opening direct flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik as a summer season link.
It is believed that a decision will be made as to whether this new American Airline flights will be introduced inside the next month. And presumably these new flights would start in the summer of 2019.
Dubrovnik has long been searching for an American airline to operate direct flights. In fact, last year tourists from the US were in the top five in the city and this is without any flights. Many American tourists currently use either London or Frankfurt as a hub before flying off to the States, however this also often involves another flight to Zagreb from Dubrovnik. Meaning a flight from Dubrovnik to the US can mean at least two stops.
American Airlines have been growing consistently out of Philadelphia, and have introduced new flights to many European destinations. It is rumoured that both Dubrovnik and Zagreb are on the radar for American Airlines, however the airline has still yet to make an official statement.
In spite of the changeable weather in Dubrovnik which saw blue skies one minute and rain the next the iconic Banje Beach, just a stone’s throw from the walls of the Old City, was busy today with swimmers and sunbathers.
The actual sea temperature in Dubrovnik is around 24 degrees, so jumping in the Adriatic is far from chilly. Many tourists rolled out their towels today, although the presumably had umbrellas handy just in case, and made the most of the weekend.
The unstable weather is predicted to last for most of next week, although temperatures will not drop below 25 degrees, there is a chance of a few spots of rain all week.