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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The Putty Tat Next Door Part 2.

My tail, continues…

In a wonderful about turn, the Putty Tat next door is no longer in favour with me Humans. The crafty Putty Tat has made a rather fatal mistake, he’s been weeing on Boss Humans favourite plant beds at the front of our house leaving an awful evil smell. To top this off the silly Putty Tat had got himself caught catching a few zees in our back yard too. Then leaving fur and other smelly evidence which caused Curly Humans allergies to flare up.

Boss Human has spoken to our neighbours about keeping the offending feline inside at night but the neighbours seem to think there is no evidence it’s even their Putty Tat that is responsible.

All this has fired up Grumpy Human’s rather overactive imagination. He’s been wandering around muttering “that blasted cat, if I wanted a cat I’d have traded the dog in for a proper cat…” – [hey wot?]. And “I’ll build a cat tracking and  repellent device, that will show those  annoying neighbours”

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Now Grumpy Human is a bit of a mad scientist so I worry about what he will come up with…

And just as I feared, a day later I find Grumpy has rigged up a special infrared night camera contraption for the front porch to capture said evidence but so far no Putty Tat has been seen…

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Wasn’t me honest, must have been a big possum

Although it has caught me sneaking out a couple of times, bugger. Perhaps I can call myself the Grey Ghost of the Forest, a name handed down from me great Uncle Dog… Seems appropriate on account of me long lost German forest days and all.

No Putty Tat yet? Hah ha, I told you so! Ya should have let me do me job Humans… Now I have a cunning plan of me own which involved letting me have access to the Secret Ball Stash (yes I know where it is), energizing me with a stack of left over Christmas mince pies, going for a quick swim in the ocean to get me stamina up, getting me the best butchers bone ever, letting me have 8 hours snoozing undisturbed, giving Princess Human full authority to scratch me behind the ears for as long as I want…,  I’m sure once all these conditions are met the Putty Tat won’t stand a chance eh? They don’t call this devilishly handsome and rather brave dog-descended-from-wolf the Grey Ghost for nothing ya know!

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See! Told you I knew where the Secret Ball Stash was. It’s in Grumpy Humans home office / workshop.  Good try hiding it in there as it’s near impossible to find anything in that muddle of high technology, old books and house renovation materials…

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It’s me white glow-in-the-dark ball. Haven’t seen  this one in a while.

 

A few days later…

I’ve been hearing this strange high pitched whine in me ears the last couple of days. Princess and Curly have been complaining about it too. Boss and Grumpy Human aren’t bothered or just don’t hear it. It’s driving me mad… The noise seems to be coming from Grumpy-Human’s home office / workshop, himm… The Grey Ghost investigates…

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Oh my giddy uncle! It seems Grumpy has not just rigged up a night vision camera, oh no, he has gone on the Putty Tat offensive. He has an ultrasonic sound maker thingy putting out an extremely loud screech whose pitch is so high that it annoys and scares off Putty Tats but most Humans can’t hear it. I like your thinking Grumpy Human but just a teeny tiny flaw… “YOU ARE ANNOYING ME AND MOST OF THE DOGS & CATS IN THE STREET AS WELL. NOT TO MENTION EVERY HUMAN UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY TWO IN RANGE!!” – Hang on a sec, maybe he is on to something here. Not for Putty Tats but those pesky Humans next door who party way into the night when I’m trying to sleep…

OK, so thankfully Grumpy Human has decided not to go ahead with his contraption other than to capture an image of the mystery moggie as evidence for the neighbours. This leaves me (and me ears) free to catch the Putty Tat myself, a new cunning plan is needed, off for a snooze then to dwell on said cunning plan…

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The story continues…

R

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