Ralph’s Favourite Spots

Today I want to tell you about my favourite ball catching and swimming place. It’s the Point Walter dog beach and exercise area. The Point Walter area is on the south side of the Swan River which cuts through Perth City on its way to the ocean at Fremantle Port. It’s what makes Perth such a great city to live in, one of the most liveable cities in the world and I should know being the most travelled dog on the planet!

Point Walter itself is quite spectacular for swimming and picnicking and such but the Point Walter Dog Beach is even better coz us dogs are allowed to swim and muck about there.

A Dog on a Beach with a Ball, no change there then…

Now I am a bit artistic as some of you will know from my blog a while back “The Artistic Collie“! So the other cool thing about this area is the small park dedicated to us dogs. The park contains many dog sculptures from a brilliant new local Perth artist, April Pine. She calls this collection Spirit. Here are a few of me favourites:

Oops, that’s rather embarrassing…
Gee… the human sculptures even chuck balls for ya!

My worry is that these are not sculptures at all but some evil genius has turned a few of us dogs into these statues! Just my theory but it might be time for me to exit…

A dog exiting Stage Right… err… Left. Anyway the beach is just down here. Time for a swim Humans!

Bye until next time.

R

I Love Pies

One of me absolute favourite Human Food is a pie. Now for you Americans out there who think a pie is something sweet, like Apple pie: No way, these are MEAT pies people. Yep filled with yummy beef, lamb, pork, chicken, even seafood.

Having said that, there was the time back when we lived in Germany when Grumpy-Human decided due to a lack of locally available pies to make his own… Now this was always going to end in disaster of course coz he can’t cook. But even worse he can’t read German either and bought some pastry from the local Aldi supermarket but not understanding the label “Süßes Gebäck”. On the plus side I scored sweet meat pies for a week coz no one else would eat them!

The recipe for savoury pies is pretty simple really, a short crust pastry and a nice filling of meat and gravy sauce. Last month in Australia the annual great pie baking competition was held by the BAA (Baking Association of Australia) for the 2019 best pies, check out the link. Maybe next year they will let me be a judge eh.

Ok, I’m ready for some chicken pie! And I”ll tell ya about me Lion King obsession another time…

Now unfortunately for me Grumpy-Human being a big fan of pies, as evidenced by this T-Shirt, usually scoffs the lot leaving nothing for me. 

However today I was able to sample a chicken and a beef curry pie, I guess he was feeling generous…

Is that it! Oh come on guys…

Although not award winning pies they are from a local baker and are pretty delicious none the less.

Until next time

R

The Mystery of “What Really Happened to Curly-Human” Solved

Hey, Curly-Human left me this little present, a farewell drawing of me with love! Miss ya Curly-Human!

And… I have found Curly-Human! Well I saw her and heard her voice on a big screen today, in something the Humans call a Skype call. Now I’m not stupid ya know, I realised some time ago that when you see ya human or even a Puddy Tat on the TV Screen it’s not really them but just a picture! Ok… Ok… I did used to think a Puddy Tat on the screen was real. 

It was worth a peer behind for the said Puddy Tat but my Humans laughter put me right on that little joke.

So Curly’s OK peoples! Just a long way away. It turns out she is visiting friends in our old town of Haddenham in England. Kinda wish I was with her, I could see me old mates again…

… Nahhh on the other hand that would mean a trip in that flying contraption again, nope, nope, NO! Here are a few pickies from me days living in Haddenham. It’s a pretty little village in Buckinghamshire about 80 km north of London.

Old memories eh? And seeing the old village pond again reminds me of the time I “fell in” the duck pond and chased some ducks, upsetting the locals… better leave that story to another time…

Boy was I little and sooo cute back then! Still had to grow into me feet and ears.
Me, a little pup, flying through the Haddenham fields . that’s Curly in the background.

You may think some of these pictures look familiar, well it turns out our quaint little village is often used as a backdrop for filming the British Mystery TV series Midsomer Murders! Yep keep an eye out for older episodes ya might just see me in the background photobombing a shoot!!

R

P.S Still want me flock back together though, just sayin.

The Master Detective Steps Up

Hi Guys,

Something I need to get off my chest… You see my Humans have been quite careless and lost one of me flock. Yep, Curly-Human has gone missing. It’s been three weeks now and no sign of her.

I keep expressing my deep dissatisfaction with this turn of events but my stupid Humans seem quite oblivious to the crisis. I’ve tried the old technique of sidling up to a human, yip and look deep and meaningfully into their eyes, nothin… The response is usually some facetious remark like “What is it Lassie? Boy down a well?” Well yeah in a manner of speaking, WE ARE MISSING SOMEONE YA DOPEY HUMAN!!!

I guess it’s up to me then to sort this all out and come to the rescue. Don’t panic everybody, the Border Collie’s got this!

Observations of a master dog sleuth then:

  1. Last seen with my humans (all three of em) three weeks ago helping her out to the car with a lot of human junk stuff (but they always carry a lot of that stuff – I just call it crap…).
  2. Yes now that I think about it there was a lot more human stuff than usual that went with her.
  3. Her room in our house is just as she left it… and just as messy… which I love! So no change there then.

Curlybed

  1. Big warning note to me though… I keep an eye on our family calendar entries – I’m a Border Collie, I need to know these things… Nudder, nothing new on the calendar except one last entry which is a big sticker of an aeroplane… briiiiii I hate those contraptions, I once spend days travelling in one… never never again. If one of those infernal beasts has her then we are in BIG trouble everybody… Just sayin.ch15-14  See this is how ya travel in em. Not cool.
  2. More recently I have noticed Princess-Human sneaking into Curly’s room and removing items such as the odd piece of human clothing. Now I know from experience this would NEVER happen if Curly were around or even nearby. All hell would break loose if Curly or Princess stole each other’s stuff. Princess must know more than she is letting on. Himmm…
  3. One more thing, I did hear Curly’s voice the other day coming out of one of the Humans addiction devices they always have attached to their hands (don’t know why – another mystery of the Human universe I live in). Any way it was definitely her, and I tried to bark back but was shooed off into another room – mutter… mutter… But it proves she is still around somewhere.

My initial conclusions then are this:

Curly-Human is still with us but has been shrunk down to the size of an insect and is now living in one of those devices the Humans call a Smart Phone. Poor thing.

Don’t worry I will get to the bottom of this mystery, it’s not over yet.

R (aka The Canine Super Sleuth)

A Border Collies 14 Year Blog-A-Versary

Yep I’ve been blogging on WordPress since March 2015 that’s 14 dog-years mate! And besides that I will be 5 in human-years next month, that’s… er… 35 dog-years, just sayin. I’m feelin decidedly middle aged! Should I go out and get me Humans to purchase a flash ball?, I’m thinking something really big and flashy like …

waterball

 

I know… one those balls you can actually get inside and run on water! Yeah!

 

 

 

 

Is it true, this myth that 1 human year equals 7 dog years? This seems a little unfair to us dogs. Anyway various dog breeds have different average life spans. Me I plan to live forever anyway, I have a big world to see yet…

These are the 16 countries I’ve visited in me lifetime so far:  Germany, England, Wales, Ireland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Italy, UAE, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Australia. Yeah, I know, the UAE is pushin it a bit but I did overnight in Dubai on me way to Australia! Who knew eh? I’m a BC rescue and this is my life! To tell the truth though now that we have moved from Europe to me Humans home in Australia we haven’t travelled so much, it’s pretty isolated out here and I’m getting itchy feet…

Anyway back to my blog-a-versary, here are some of me fav blogs over the last 2 (Human) years and a special thank you to all of you who followed me adventures in those early days. Here are a few that were deemed popular or were me own personal favs. Enjoy!

My very first post in March 2015

The Car-0 

 

Why I have a problem with The Car, April 2015

 

 

Border Patrol

 

Border Patrol, Lorsbach, May 2015

 

 

 

A border Collie at Castle Eltz

 

 

Castles in a Heatwave, The Rhine Region, July 2015

 

 

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The Airport Dog, September 2015

 

 

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The Rugby Dog, September 2015

 

 

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How to get Human Food, October 2015

 

 

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Snow White, A Wolf and a Big Cat, November 2015

 

 

 

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Eccentric England, December 2015

 

 

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Last German Christmas Market, December 2015

 

 

 

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Leaving Germany Forever, January 2016

 

 

 

 

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First Month In Australia, February 2016

 

 

 

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My Birthday, April 2016

 

 

 

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Those Western Australian Sunsets, May 2016

 

 

 

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When I found out who I am! January 2017

 

 

 

See ya soon

R

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Last Days of an Aussie West Coast Summer

Last Sunday I could feel in me bones the ebbing of summer and the first signs of a cooler autumn hanging in the air.

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Have ball, will travel

My Humans were going for a walk down to the local yacht club where there was an open day to sign up new members. A link to the East Fremantle Yacht club and picture gallery here. Now I don’t know why me Humans seemed so keen to go along as we don’t even have a boat! I have heard the food is superb at the club restaurant and reasonably priced too although as per usual in Australia us dogs have to stay outside.

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This must be the Yacht Club but I’m more interested in the river…

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There are great views out over the Swan River and boat harbour so I guess that’s what me Humans were going for. Me I just knew there would be a pretty good chance for a last summer swim…

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Now I don’t want me socks to get dirty… Swimming is just past the boats.

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Forget ya boats this is where we need to go…

 

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This is more like it, this is wot I’m talking about.

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OK, the ball can now be thrown, just sayin…

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Heh Heh… Lunch!

Now this was fun! I pretended I was a shark heading for this bird! The Cormorant didn’t budge though, just sat there sunning his wings and glaring at me.

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Just jokin…

The Swan River has an abundance of bird life. These Great Cormorants have to sun themselves after a fishing session as their feathers aren’t waterproof – bet ya didn’t know that did ya?

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It’s a dog’s life here on the banks of the Swan River that’s for sure.

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I think that bloody Cormorant damaged me ball! 

Have a great week all!

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 7: Oysters and The Great Wall of Croatia

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And yes, these are Mali Ston oysters.

As many of you who have followed me blog for a while will know I am rather fond of our planets oceans and rivers, I love to swim! And… just sayin… I ‘m rather partial to the odd morsel of sea food too. My absolute fav is tuna but coming a close second would be salmon then ya shelf fishes such as oysters and mussels.

So it was with great enthusiasm that I hopped in the car for the short trip north of Dubrovnik to the Croatian coastal town of Mali Ston, home of the best oysters in the world (so the locals say). It means Little Ston in Croatian and sure enough it has a big brother town up the road just called Ston. You Humans are so creative in your naming heh heh.

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Now Mali Ston did to me seem to need a little tender loving care as you can see by this pile of rubble…

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Having said that, Mali Ston and afore mentioned Ston are connected by a magnificent wall running for many kilometres and known locally as Ta Da… “The Great Wall of Croatia”! Bet ya didn’t know Croatia had its very own Great Wall did ya? Pretty impressive eh? I’d really like to see the Chinese one mind you, I’ve only seen pictures from me Humans travels there before I was born.

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Built in the fourteenth century as a defensive wall for some old salt farms apparently, lot of effort for some salt, go figure… I guess the stuff was worth more back then. More info from good old Wikipedia here.

Now back to the main subject of Mali Ston, oysters. And I can see the oysters being farmed just out there. Definitely swimable.

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Come on ya wimpy Humans we can make it to the oyster beds, no worries!

 

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Hold on Princess-Human  we’ll be there in a jiffy, I promise…

 

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Well, we’re back on dry land after aborting the trip to the oyster beds. My Humans stopped me, something about a crazy lunatic Croat yelling at us about disturbing the oyster beds.

Ok so swimming for ya oysters wasn’t really a goa then so plan B, persuade me Humans to have lunch in that Taverna Restaurant we passed on the way here.

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Forget the poses and photo ops, its oysters we are after mate, beautiful as this Mali Ston harbour is!

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More action little less talk me Humans, oysters I say!

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Well at least they bought me two Oysters but you should have seen the ones me Humans scoffed! They were pretty bloody marvellous though I will say.

Now one last thing. Many people have said: are Mali Ston oysters really as good as they say? Some even say the best in the world. In my humble but well-travelled Border Collie opinion: You bet ya white BC socks they are! And if you don’t believe me read this BBC travel link on that very topic.

Now I think you have all heard enough of this European Summer holiday so I won’t go into the details of the long trip home to Frankfurt, Germany. I will say that we drove back through Italy! Finally I got to see a little of Italy. We even visited Venice. If there is enough interest I may blog about me trip on a Gondola in Venice one day…

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Hey Guys, this looks kinda dangerous…

For now this is Ralph signing off. Time for rounding up a few humans for some ball catching at the park me thinks.

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 6: Mostar Day Trip

The previous instalment on Dubrovnik’s Old Town is here.

Well, Mostar, what can I say… It’s beautiful, its vibrant, its where east meets west, where the European Union meets the old Ottoman Empire, where Christianity meets Islam, where a river divides and a bridge reunites.. Where one Border Collie met a mate… I could go on but the sense of deep history does pervade this place and even a dog can feel it.

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Me and me Humans set out for our days adventure from Dubrovnik quite early (for us) at around 9am thinking 2 or 3 hour trip to Mostar, no worries… Well the roads and Bosnian drivers (who are even worse than Croatian drivers and that’s saying something) conspired against us so what was supposed to be a lunch time arrival turned out to be an afternoon arrival. Oh well it was a fascinating trip through Bosnia-Herzegovina that’s for sure.

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Bosnia-Herzegovina is not a European Union member although it is a potential candidate within the next few years and EU investment here is huge.

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It needs it as the country is extremely poor by European standards.

Evidence of the Balkan wars and the breakup of Yugoslavia are everywhere.

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Ethnic divides show in defaced road signs where the Serbian Cyrillic writing system is crossed out in favour of the Latin script. The tensions with neighbouring Serbia are still very strong.

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Mostar Central Markets

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Mostar city centre is quite small and compact around the famous bridge with loads of really interesting markets and food stalls on both sides of the river, nothing tacky here.

 

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There were hardly any other dogs that I saw in Mostar but I did meet this guy and we became great mates for the day!

 

 

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OK, I’m on the Mostar Bridge, are we done?

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Get a move on, this thing looks like it will crumble any minute. It came down once before ya know…

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But is it safe?

Actually the bridge known as the Stari Most (meaning Old Bridge and origins of the cities name, Mostar) was rebuilt in 2004 based on the foundations of the original old bridge which was destroyed in 1993 by the Bosnian Croats during the Balkans conflict. There is a brief  YouTube video from the BBC of the bridge coming down here.

 

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Loads of tourists but where are the famous Bosnian boy divers diving into the river for money?

 

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“Don’t Forget”.

A poignant reminder of what happened here in 1993 and the continued conflicts in the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina that lead to ethnic cleansing and finally culminated in the Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 mainly Muslim Bosniak men and boys in July 1995…

 

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Its interesting to see which countries pitched in to pay for the rebuilding of the Mostar Bridge…

 

 

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As is usual for us late in the afternoon, we crave some sustenance and this brilliant little restaurant, Babilon, perched on the bank of the Neretva River fit the bill perfectly as it allowed dogs in too, well at least on the outdoor tables.

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Now I just need to order off that spare menu, hand it over…

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Ba! Once again I get the scraps under the table… Excellent view at least.

 

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And that’s it folks, I wont bore you with the long haul home to Dubrovnik in the dark suffice to say we made it in one piece!

In my next instalment I think it’s time to move on from politics and conflicts and on a more positive note focus on me BC belly! I try mussels and oysters and visit the Great Wall of Croatia!

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 5: Dubrovnik Old Town

The previous instalment with me in the water can be found here.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is fantastically beautiful, picture postcard stuff. I admit a tad full of tourists especially before 4:30 pm when the Cruise Ships disgorge so many Humans that I get a dog panic attack yearning for the farm and those calming sheep eh…

Now here I will share a few photos from me Humans collection but I have to warn you there is a sting in the tail of this paradise and it’s called 1991. More later.

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Dubrovnik is a walled fortress city founded in the 7th century AD which blows me little BC white socks off for age. It’s been around a while then and at one time a City-State competitor to Venice and the Venetian empire. The city wall is still pretty much intact and my Humans came back from a walking tour of it full of excitement and awe.

 

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Now the one thing I disliked about Dubrovnik was its Putty-Tat population. I mean there were thousands of these wild felines everywhere begging for food. And they weren’t afraid of me either, one Kitten nearly took me eye out rather than back down as I approached. The local restaurant waiters have water pistols to try and dissuade them from pestering their customers. I heard a local explaining to me Humans that sadly (yep even I thought this was sad) the population diminishes to only a few hundred in winter when food and tourists dry up. I’m guessing only the hardy survive.

 

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Main Drag

The main drag and no the pavement is not wet it’s just very very slippery as my skidding and loss of paw traction can attest.

 

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Small Boats Harbour

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A view from the city walls with Lokrum Island in the background. The island is a short boat trip away and well worth a day’s beaching and trail walking.

 

Now you just haven’t seen Dubrovnik unless you take the cable car up to the top of the hill overlooking the city to Fort Imperial. The views are very special indeed and it’s easy to see why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1979).

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Utterly breath taking eh? And I bet Italy is not far away out there somewhere, just sayin…

 

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Now this is a photo me Humans took from the top, what a jaw dropping view? But take a look at this next photo…

 

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This is the same view taken in 1991 after the fighting and siege of Dubrovnik during the Croatian war of independence from Yugoslavia. Even the cable car and its supports have been destroyed. You Humans are a violent bunch!

 

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I overheard me Humans talking to an older Croatian Human explaining to them what it was like being in Dubrovnik in 1991. He said the citizens of Dubrovnik just never believed that anyone would attack their city. They all thought as they lived in a UNESCO World heritage site that the international community would intervene, they were wrong. The Dubrovniks’ were unarmed and the Yugoslavian Army who were trying to keep Croatia from breaking away bombarded the city from the safety of their ships off shore. The Human said that at least the walls built to defend against cannon balls, bows and arrows still held and did their job… mostly. He said to this day the city feels a little bitter no one came to their aid. It was seven months of bombardment they had to endure before the Croatian Army finally broke the siege.  Years later the Yugoslavian General who led the attack was jailed for seven years by an international court on War Crimes.

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All the pictures of Dubrovnik that I have shown here from 1991 were from the Croatian Memorial Museum which is also housed in Fort Imperial on top of the hill. Well worth a visit if you are visiting Dubrovnik to get a Dubrovnik citizens perspective on what happened.

 

So let’s end on a more tranquil note shall we? A beautiful city deserving of its World Heritage status in this humble Border Collies (and me Humans too) opinion.

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An Adriatic Sunset

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A Peaceful Boat Harbour

 

In my next instalment we visit Bosnia and in particular Mostar, once again a little uncomfortable as the influence of the breakup of Yugoslavia rears its ugly head once again.

R

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