Tuesday, 22 May 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

On Thursday the mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, received an official visit from the Governor of the South Korean province of Gyeonggi, Kyung Pil. The governor and his delegation also met with the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic. Kyung Pil travelled to Dubrovnik on the recommendation of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Chung Ui-hwa, with whom the mayor of Dubrovnik met in mid-April in Seoul. Gyeonggi Province is the most populous province in South Korea.

The interest in Dubrovnik as a holiday destination for tourists from South Korea can be traced back to a hit television show that presented the attractions of the region. The South Korea TV show was broadcast a few years ago and even since then Dubrovnik has been well and truly on the map for South Korean guests. Last year an amazing 46,000 South Koreans visited Dubrovnik, without a doubt one of the largest growth markets for the city. And many of these tourists come outside of the main tourist season, through the summer months, helping to extend the season.

The mayor explained that with the introduction of year-round direct flights by Turkish Airlines to Istanbul tourists from the Far East will have an easier route to European and Mediterranean destinations.

The respected travel publication, Conde Nast Traveler, has placed Dubrovnik on their list of the fifty most beautiful cities in the world. Dubrovnik was placed in fortieth position on the travel list, with Venice voted as the most beautiful.

“There are few places that better capture the grand soul of maritime Old Europe,” wrote the Conde Nast Traveler in a short article on Dubrovnik. Adding that “The city currently plays King's Landing in Game of Thrones, and was formerly the capital of the Maritime Republic of Ragusa, rival to Italy's Venice and Amalfi. Dubrovnik's crown jewel is the sternly lovely old town of Stari Grad, whose convents, palaces, and fountains were cut from the same lightly coloured stone.”

The top three in the most beautiful cities in the world list were - Venice, Hong Kong and Istanbul.

See the full list here

After the recent cold and wet weather the sun broke through today in Dubrovnik and, well, everything seems better when the sun is shining.

Check out our gallery by Tonci Plazibat

busz daz 3

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The new resort of Kupari is slowly but surely edging forward. On Wednesday representatives of the majority owners of the former military complex, Avenue Group, of Kupari met with the local government in the municipality of Zupa to discuss the future developments.

Avenue Group attained the 90 year lease on the Kupari resort at the end of March this year and has talked about their plans to bring Marriot on board as a partner. At the meetings on Wednesday the investors presented their plans for further steps regarding the implementation of the Kupari project.

The former military resort has remained destroyed since in the Homeland War in the early nineties. The site contains five hotels, including a hotel which was constructed in the early 1900s, the new plans are that all these hotels will be destroyed to make way for a five-star resort with a Marriott as the centerpiece.

kupari avenue

Meetings between Avenue Group and the local government 

One of the cartoon characters popular in this part of the world when I was a child was Asterix the Gaul. This French made comic strip, cartoon, and finally - movie hero was cunning and courageous, and had access to a magic potion which gave him superhuman strength.

In one of the animated Asterix movies from the year 1976, Twelve Tasks of Asterix, our hero and his big friend Obelix had to complete 12 gruelling tasks put before them by the Caesar in order for the Romans to leave their village alone. This cartoon was one of my favourites, but there was one part of it I never understood as a child. Towards the middle of the film, Asterix and Obelix find themselves in a lovely Roman town talking to a tiny character with a droopy face and monotone voice who is there to explain the next task. As soon as they meet him they realise the entire town is full of crazy people, acting in all sorts of disturbing ways. Upon inquiring why all the residents are so strange, little guy tells them they have all been to the “place that sends you mad”, and that's exactly where they need to go to complete the task. When asked what they need to do there, the character says:

“Oh, nothing much. You just have to obtain a certain permit that will then allow you to the next task.”

“I see“, says Asterix, “nothing but a simple administrative formality.“

“That's right, a formality…“ – says the Roman ominously.

This leads into one of the toughest tasks in the entire film, as our heroes navigate the endless corridors and offices of the Roman administrative building “that sends you mad“, acquiring form after form and battling ever conflicting information fed to them.

Eventually, tired and half crazy, Obelix goes into a rampage, punching through walls of the building and screaming…
…and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what running a business in Croatia is like.

Croatian bureaucratic machinery is fierce and can make a grown man weep if taken on ill prepared. Here, you need a signed and stamped paper for everything. Maybe it’s in our blood. After all, the history of Dubrovnik is so well documented because of the efficient archives of the Dubrovnik Republic. I wonder if this means that one day, in the distant future, there will be a historian giving a lecture on the ancient Dubrovnik, holding a framed faded copy of my request for a building permit or change of address.
He might carefully take the document around the auditorium giving everyone a chance to examine my hastily filled out form.
“For lack of more information about 21st century Dubrovnik, we are left to deduce poor penmanship is indicative of insufficient formal education in the area.” – Lecturer would reveal pompously, completely missing the point.

Oh well, who can blame him? How is he to know the real reason behind my scribbled handwriting are five cups of coffee I had to go through on the morning in question, to prevent myself from going mad and punching through the walls.


Bozidar Jukic is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

Tickets for almost twenty music, drama and folklore events as part of the 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which this year will take place from 10 July to 25 August, have gone on sale on the website of the festival - www.dubrovnik-festival.hr

In addition to tickets for two guest performances in this year’s festival there are also tickets for the big anniversary concert of the Dubrovnik folklore ensemble Lindo. The renowned ensemble will celebrate 50 years of Lindo at the Festival with a performance in front of the St. Vlaho Church as well as four performances on the Revelin Fortress as part of the 67th festival.

According to a statement from the Dubrovnik Summer Festival tickets for the remaining events in this year’s festival will be on sale by the end of May.

Jet2 airlines will open up a new market for Dubrovnik with the introduction of new flights from Glasgow Airport. The first flights will arrive in Dubrovnik on the 30th April 2017 and will operate on a weekly basis every Sunday throughout the summer season.
This new route, from Scotland’s biggest city, will be in direct competition with Thomson Airways and is sure to bring more interest in Dubrovnik as a destination.

The flights are already on sale and start at around £50 for an adult single ticket.

Steve Heapy, Chief Executive, Jet2 said: “It has certainly been five years of development at Glasgow Airport and we are thrilled to launch further growth. Since our first flight took off we are not only increasing capacity year on year but we have also more than trebled our range of destinations from seven to 30.”

The Godfather, Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond are all the repertoire of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra for tomorrow the 3rd of May. It what should be a spectacular evening of music the orchestra plans a concert of Baroque music combined with music from the world of films. Famous movie soundtracks and well-known classics all under the careful eye of conductor Tomislav Facini, a memorable evening.

The concert, which will be held in the Revelin Fortress at 9.00pm, will feature soundtracks from Hollywood blockbusters such as Titanic, The Godfather, James Bond and the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Tickets are on sale on the website of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra – www.dso.hr and can be purchased on the door one hour before the concert begins.

Tickets start at only 20 Kunas although due to a high demand it is advisable to purchase the tickets in advance.

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