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.
Summertime is in full swing in Dubrovnik. You can see it in the streets and in all the corners of the city. People are enjoying their holidays, laughing, taking photographs, crowding around all the famous sights. Personally, I'm not too fond of crowds. I prefer a bit of peace and quiet most of the time. Some people like going out to crowded places, but nobody, and I mean nobody, likes crowded roads and traffic jams.
Oh yeah, Dubrovnik traffic during the summer season...books could be written about it. Not a lot of positive ones though. Dubrovnik's infrastructure is barely enough for people living here, but when combined with all the tourists that travel to Dubrovnik by car, it can end up being quite insufficient. Roads are too narrow for everyone, parking is too scarce, and the less said about the main traffic hubs, the better. On the other hand, there are also bad drivers out there, and those deserve a special section in the library, let alone a book or two. Every place on earth has bad drivers, but when you get bad drivers visiting a foreign country for the first time, you are in for a treat. I've witnessed all sorts of traffic escapades on the streets of Dubrovnik and it sometimes makes me wonder how laid back, one could say lackadaisical, are driving tests in some countries in Europe.
My first job in tourism was working for a hire car company and I saw all sorts of drivers during that summer. Most of them good ones, of course, but some were nothing short of scary. We've had crashed cars, stolen cars, loads of punctures, and even more parking tickets never paid by the guests. One time a gentleman called me saying the car he rented from us that day wouldn’t start. When I asked him where he was, he said: "Somewhere between Dubrovnik and Split." He narrowed it down to around 220km of road. It turned out he simply locked his steering wheel and didn't know cars can do that.
One of the funnier moments of that summer happened in late August. My colleague and I needed to deliver a car to one client. It was a young lady who ordered one of the fastest cars we had - VW Golf V5. This 150BHP compact with a wonderful "kick" to it and lowered suspension was a real racer, and one of our bosses' favourite cars. It was a bit expensive to hire as well, so it was usually requested specifically only by petrol-heads. My colleague delivered it and took care of the contract while I was waiting to drive him back to the office. After doing all the paperwork, he spent some time talking with the girl who ordered the car and even took a short ride around the block with her. The whole thing took much longer than usual. When he finally came back and sat in the car with me, he was pale as a ghost. I asked him what was wrong and he said:
"Do you know what she asked me?"
"She asked me to show her how to drive. She only got her license and she can barely operate a vehicle. She ordered this car only because it was the only automatic transmission car we have. What will I tell the boss?!"
I didn't know what to tell him. We simply sat there and looked at the car driving away from us, going, then stopping, then twitching, then going, then braking...until it turned a corner.
Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, 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.
Apparently, Ibiza is changing. Because of that website Billboard has published a list of the top 5 places that could be the next party heaven and Croatia has found its place on that list.
-This front-runner has a rather laissez-faire regulatory system with plenty of 24-hour licenses and low costs of operation. That makes it an easy choice for festivals looking for a home base – writes the author, adding that Croatia calls itself the proud location of Ultra Europe, Hideout Festival, Outlook Festival, Dimensions Festival, Barrakud Festival, Lighthouse Festival, Love System, Echo Festival, For, The Garden, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Suncebeat, Stop Making Sense, Sonus, and Unknown.
Four of those festivals made it to the Billboard 's list of Top 25 European Dance Festivals.
- Also, it's unbelievably gorgeous – concludes the author of the article about Croatia as the next Ibiza. Other possible locations are Mykonos, Brazil, Tulum and Budapest.
As part of the rich music program of this year's Dubrovnik Summer Festival, violinist Davide Alogna and pianist Alexander Frey will perform works of the great masters: Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Manuel de Falla, on Friday, 29 July starting at 9.30 pm in the Rector's Palace Atrium.
Davide Alogna is considered to be one of the greatest talents of the Italian music scene. The respected Amadeus magazine had his name on the cover twice in the same year, presenting his two recordings. With the highest grades he graduated violin and piano at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Como, and mastered violin and chamber music at the Paris Conservatory Premier Prix a l' Unanimité. Multiple times he was a winner of national and international competitions, he has performed with the most prestigious orchestras in the world and at the most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
Alexander Frey was one of the top ten on the Billboard’s list of classical music artists in 2005. Leonard Bernstein called him a “beautiful spirit” on one occasion. Alexander Frey performs regularly as a soloist and with symphony orchestras around the world as well as at numerous international festivals. In addition to his organ and piano performances, Frey enjoys the reputation of one of the most versatile conductors with numerous successful performances in concert halls and opera houses, as well as those in Hollywood and on Broadway. As a pianist and organist, Frey performed with many world-renowned symphony orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mexico State Symphony Orchestra and others.
The artists will perform sonatas for violin and piano by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johannes Brahms, as well as a three-movement composition Souvenir d'un lieu cher by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Spanish dance from the opera La vida breve by Manuel de Falla in the arrangement for violin and piano by Franz Kreisler.
The company Pointers from Osijek has recently presented an application for virtual walking tours of the famous beaches in Croatia. The application is free of charge and it is an addition to the already existing one that offers 8,500 photos of 3,500 locations all over Croatia.
Krunoslav Weinpert, the CEO of Pointers, said that almost 40 professionals and enthusiasts worked on this application.
''Pointers is a free application available on the web and on mobile phones with iOS and Android operating systems. The app can also be found on social networks'', said Weinpert at the app presentation in Split.
In terms of culture, there is also an interesting application in the Croatian world of apps coming from Machinery, the software development agency from Zagreb.
The “Cro Museums” application provides information about more than 200 museums and galleries in Croatia in one place such as a location of the closest museum, opening hours, ticket prices, photos and many other interesting details. This application is free of charge and helps everyone who would like to find out more about Croatia's rich cultural heritage.
Cro Museums application is aimed at locals and tourists, it is available in Croatian, English and German, and also lets people rate museums after their visit.
Jeremy Carne was in Australia when he received a message from his girlfriend, Michelle, who was on holiday in Croatia, near Dubrovnik. The message simply read “I wish I could see you this second instead of in three weeks. But truly have never looked more forward to seeing someone as I do you. This is so hard...”
That message lit the fuse of a romantic bomb. Carne immediately jumped on a plane in Melbourne, Australia and started the 30-hour journey to be with his Michelle. And the catch was, he never told her me was coming. Using a selfie-stick and GoPro camera he filmed the whole journey, from Melbourne to Doha, onto Zagreb before finally landing at Dubrovnik Airport, he then had an hour’s drive to surprise his girlfriend.
He filmed the whole journey and Michelle’s reaction when he turns up unannounced on her doorstep; the results are the romantic story of the year. Almost nine million people have already seen the video that Carne posted on Youtube in just a few days.
Check out the video.
Once again Croatia has found its place on a TOP 10 world list. This time it is a list about the tallest men in the world. Croatia is well known as a nation with a lot of tall men and a study carried out by a public research university from London confirmed that fact.
The results of a recent study made by researchers from London's Imperial College published in the journal eLife, shows that Croatian men are the 7th tallest men on the planet.
The top of this list is reserved for Dutch men with an average height of 183 centimeters, followed by men from Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Bosnia and Hezegovina. Croatians are in the 7th place followed by Serbia, Iceland and the Czech Republic. This study also shows the position all these nations had when the last study was carried out in 1914. At the beginning of the 20th century men from Sweden had the heighest ranking on the TOP 10 of world's tallest men whilst Croatians placed as the 22nd on the survey list more than a century ago.
On the other hand, the shortest men in the world are from East Timor or Timor-Leste with an average height of 157,5 centimeters.
When it comes to women, the list is topped by Latvians with an average height of 170 centimeters, followed by women from Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Denmark, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
Croatian women do not feature in this TOP 10 list, they are the 18th tallest women on the planet.
The world smallest women are from Guatemala with an average height barely close to 150 centimeters.
The CMA 2016 Corona Sunsets Festival is just a day away! The centre of the Festival is the Banje Beach, a world-famous beach and tourist pearl of the city of Dubrovnik. If you want a party with a view, well this is a perfect location – listening to music, dancing the night away with a perfect look to the Old City and the island of Lokrum.
Until just a few weeks ago this festival was named Croatia Music Adventures but global brand Corona fell in love with the festival and ranked it alongside their festivals in Mexico, Japan, Uruguay, Monte Carlo ... The relationship has developed and now the festival has been re-named to include the Corona Sunsets brand.
In two days dozen of DJ's will perform on five different stages but the headliners of this exclusive festival will be SIGMA and CLEAN BANDIT DJ SET.
Reserve next two nights for the CMA 2016 Corona Sunsets Festival!
Luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller has recently published an article about selfie-taking tourists that are causing damage to the sixteen waterfalls and extensive forests while straying from the wooden walkways in Plitvice Lakes National Park.
-We have four words if you're headed to any national park around the world: stay on the path – writes the author and adds the details about the oldest and the most visited national park in Croatia, one of the being the possibility to lose the UNESCO status because of the damage caused by overcrowding and consruction of vacation homes nearby.
They also have a statement by Katarina Poljak, guardian of nature at the park, saying that visitors are no longer satisfied with sticking the trails but are roaming beyond them to get away from the crowds and get nice photos.
Earlier this month a Canadian man almost fell down a 75-metre cliff top in the Plitvice Lakes national park as he edged further back he fell and was only saved as tree branches broke his fall. The 20 year-old Canadian was lucky, although he did suffer serious injuries according to a police report. This is not the first time that a photo in the Plitvice Lakes has been dangerous, just last year a Slovak tourist fell from the same spot as died whilst taking a photo.
Condé Nast Traveller writes that the other parks around the world have been facing similar problems: in June, one man died after venturing 225 yards off a path in Yellowstone National Park and falling into a hot spring.