Thursday, 22 March 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.


If you are a lover of oysters then Ston is the destination to be this weekend. On Saturday the 19th of March this charming seaside town will once again be hosting their Festival of Oysters.

The bay of Mali Ston is famous all over the world for the quality of its oysters. Clean seas offer the bay of Ston the ideal conditions for growing high quality oysters. And this Saturday in Ston guests to the festival will have the opportunity to taste some of these fine oysters.

Starting from 11am on the 19th of March on the waterfront in Ston the festival will begin. And you will have the chance to try some fine wines from the Peljesac peninsular along with nature’s aphrodisiac. Mussels and other delicacies from the Adriatic Sea will also be on offer.

A new website has been launched that brings all of the national parks of Croatia under one click. All of the country’s eight national parks, as well as eleven nature parks, are featured on the new website and it is sure to be a useful resource for tourists.

With panoramic photos, information on tickets, virtual tours and fun facts the newly launched website is available in four languages, Croatian, English, German and Italian.

Two of Dubrovnik’s nature gems are featured on the site, the Mljet National Park and the Lastovo archipelago. There are also the national parks of Plitvice lakes, Kornati, Velebit and Krka.

Irina Zupan, the Deputy Minister of Nature Protection, commented that “Visitors will now for the first time have in one place all the information about the nature and national parks in Croatia.” She added that the main goal was to raise public awareness on the important of protecting these areas of natural beauty.

mljet web


The results of the first Great Easter competition with The Dubrovnik Times in cooperation with the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera are in! Using the hash tag #sheratondubrovniktimes photos of Dubrovnik and the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera were sent via the social media sites of The Dubrovnik Times and in a tough competition two photos were chosen as the winners.

The prize of a Sweet Afternoon at the Sheraton was originally planned to have only one winner but as a statement from HUP Zagreb, the group that owns the Sheraton Dubrovnik, said “Since all the photos were great and we simply couldn't decide for just one, we've picked two winners.”

Thanks for all your entries and keep following The Dubrovnik Times for the next Great Easter Competition.

The first winner is “kabrcic” with her aerial view of the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera.

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And the second winner was Selma Shah with her atmospheric view of Dubrovnik.

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Star Wars is saying goodbye to Dubrovnik. The filming of the eighth episode of Star Wars in Dubrovnik ended yesterday and slowly the sets around the city are being packed up to be shipped. The sets on the main street through the old city, the Stradun, which was the centre of the filming is being dismantled today. The street was the scene of spaceships crashes and explosions throughout the filming from the 9th to the 16th of March.


The futuristic scenes that have been installed onto the historic old facades are being boxed up and now we wait to see Dubrovnik star on the big screens when Star Wars VIII is released on the 15th of December 2017. It is speculated that around two minutes of actual film was recorded on each day of the Dubrovnik filming, which would mean that the city could have between ten and fifteen minutes in the final version.

In spite of the high levels of security surrounding the filming many photos and videos of the filming were leaked to the media. The UK press has been full of exclusive photos taken on the set, great publicity for Dubrovnik on an international level.



Apart from the Stradun the Star Wars crew also used five other locations around the Old City as well as filming on a ship in front of the city. The big names, such as Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, from the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, didn’t turn up in Dubrovnik. Instead their parts in the Star Wars VIII were acted out by body doubles, presumably due to the large number of stunts that were carried out in the Dubrovnik filming.

Check out our photo gallery by Niksa Duper 


Australian Rules Football came to Dubrovnik for the first time ever last weekend when two Croatian teams played an exhibition match in Kupari. This typically Australian sport brought interest as the two teams, the Ploce Eagles and the Barbarians from Zagreb ran out onto the field in Zupa on Saturday the 12th of March.

The match was organised as part of the “Trece Uho” festival. Every year the “Trece Uho” festival highlights the traditions, cultures, art and diversities of a different country, and this year is the time for Australia. “The history of this young, successful and multicultural country can bring us wisdom from which we want to learn,” commented the organisers of the festival. The main events in the Trece Uho festival will be held in November, however more events have been organised throughout the year.


Australian Rules Football in Dubrovnik


This uniquely Australian sport and has the highest spectator attendance of all sports in Australia. The roots of the game come from rugby and Gaelic football. And whilst the only professional league in the world is in Australia, the game is popular in many past of the world. In fact there are six clubs playing the sport in Croatia, many of these were originally set up by Croatian expats who brought the game to these shores. However after these early beginnings more and more Croatians took up the sport.

“We have a regular league in Croatia and six teams take part, with the first round starting at the beginning of April,” explained the captain of the Croatian National Australian Rules Football team, Tomislav Cvetko. “Ninety percent of the players are now Croatians, we did start with many expats, but that has changed over the years,” added Cvetko. And apart from the men’s national team, the Croatian Knights, there is also a women’s team, the Croatian Queens.

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The Dubrovnik Times talking to Tomislav Cvetko


This is not a sport for the faint-hearted, and the thrills and spills delighted the crowd in Kupari. “This is the first time I have seen it played, and I have to say that the players are very fit,” commented a member of the crowd. “The ball is a little weird and the rules are hard to understand but it is certainly dynamic,” she added.

The match in Dubrovnik was organised by Michelle Kojaković, an Australian who has been living in Dubrovnik for over 13 years, and Davor Deranja. “Following a contact from Mikki Kojaković the Association of Australian football of Croatia (AAFC) was contacted by an old friend, Davor Deranja, and we connected the two of them with the desire to start a new club in Dubrovnik. It will be a long process, but it is up and running now and we hope that Davor and Mikki will successfully animate kids to start playing the sport,” said the AAFC.


The Ploce Eagles and the Barbarians in Kupari 


The Ploce Eagles are the most southerly city in Croatia to play the sport, however there are plans to start a club in Dubrovnik. It was hoped by the organisers that with this exhibition match that more people will be interested in trying this Australian game. “At the moment we have four clubs in Zagreb, one in Ploce and one in Slavonski Brod. We would like to start up a club in Dubrovnik as well,” said the captain of the Croatian national team.

“I was introduced to the game by a couple of Croatian expats from Australia, I played basketball before so I have a good sports background, so it wasn’t too hard to start playing Australian Rules Football,” said Cvetko. Although it is a truly Australian sport more and more countries are also taking it up, in fact there is even a European Championship which is held every three years. There is even a Croatian born player who has just started playing in the Australian league.


An all action sport 

Photos by Adriatic Images 

The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera will take place in this year’s Earth Hour on Saturday the 19th of March. If you are a guest of a guest of this five-star Dubrovnik hotel on Saturday and are surprised that all the lights have gone off, don’t be. For an hour, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm all of the lights in public areas of the hotel will be turned off in the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera in a mark of Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. towards the end of March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera will also create special “Earth Hour” cocktails at discounted prices and serve candlelit evening meals. This will be the first time that the hotel has marker this event, as the hotel only opened last autumn, but all of the other properties in the HUP Zagreb group have been marking this special event for the past eight years. The Hotel Astarea in Mlini will also be in darkness for an hour on the 19th of March.

Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik will be forever linked, and a new video shows just how close that cooperation is. The popular website Insider Culture has put together a video of Dubrovnik’s role in the HBO serial.

“King’s Landing is the main city on Game of Thrones. But it’s not filmed on some crazy Hollywood set. It’s actually the Croatian city of Dubrovnik,” writes the Insider.

The sixth season of Game of Thrones is set to hit our screens on April 24th this year.

Check out this great new Game of Thrones video.

The filming of Star Wars VIII in Dubrovnik took to the seas yesterday as the cast and crew boarded a ship and shoot scenes in the Adriatic. With a “green screen” at one end of the deck and lights and cameras everywhere scenes for the latest episode of the Star Wars franchise were recorded on the ship Sea Star in the Adriatic Sea just off Dubrovnik.

Today, the 16th of March, is the final day of filming for Star Wars in Dubrovnik.

Check out our gallery of yesterday’s action.




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