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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Last German Christmas Markets

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Well Christmas is almost here and so is our family leaving Germany. One of our favorite places at this time of year here in Germany is the Christmas markets. They spring up in most German towns a few weeks before Christmas selling all manner of trinkets, Christmas decorations and crafts. But what I love most is The Food! Actually I find the markets a bit overwhelming for us dogs because of the crowds of Humans. All that noise and confusion but oh man, the food is delicious if I can beg, borrow or steal it from my Humans that is.

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At the Rudesheim Christmas market they had a really nice display of Humans and sheep. I have no idea why but I thought it fun to try and round up the sheep. I tried but they were fake, go figure!

My Humans seem to enjoy the vast variety of hot drinks from hot chocolates to Glühwein (mulled wine). The mugs they came in are just as varied and often unique to a market or town. I know this because my Humans seemed to have amassed a vast collection of them at home!

And as mentioned already the food is varied and all great, if not a little worrying for the ole waistline (yep I take care of myself you know). Here are a few pictures of my favs from the markets…

 

Top left is the very yummy Karttoffel-Puffer, basically a hash brown but with a much more tasty batter and eaten mostly with apple sauce

Top right is the famous Flammkuchen. It’s like a German version of a pizza with potatoes, ham and a creamy sauce but there are many other topping to be had.

Bottom left is the very yummy (so I’m told as apparently it’s not good for me Human ruse) chocolate covered fruits.

Bottom right is my absolute favorite, a Flammlach. This is salmon lightly smoke cooked at the stall then served on fresh baked bread with lettuce and salad dressing.

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Me scoring a piece of Flammkuchen. See the look em in the eye trick and a deft paw works wonders eh?

 

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Things are getting a bit busy (its Christmas Eve as I write this) around here, it might be a while before I get another chance to put paw to keyboard. My Humans are wrapping me pressies, hoping for more balls of course, you can never have too many. Now to finish off this post here are a few general pictures of the markets to give you a feel for the atmosphere, enjoy.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

R

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How To Get Human Food

I was thinking about food as I often do, especially Human food. At lunch time today I had some yummy chicken leftovers from my Humans last night dinner. I also scored a few tasty Krabben Chips from Grumpy-Human’s snack bowl while he was distracted watching the Rugby! Love them, especially the spicy ones…

I really don’t understand why human food is so tasty and I rarely get to eat it, instead I get dog food.

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Happy Dog!!! Really!. You Humans should try it before making that statement.

food11   Now to be fair the local pet shop does have kangaroo which my Humans do buy as a treat for me and it’s not half bad. Not Human food however, at least not in Germany. Funny story: My Human’s once tried some imported Kangaroo on the BBQ and invited their German neighbours over. Long story but suffice to say they have not been back since…

Now I’m not even sure dog food is technically food, it tastes so bad compared to Human food and it looks bad too.

Every chance I get I go for the Human stuff but I have to be deviously cunning to get it. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting Human food.

food01  One of the first things you learn is the old hide under the table trick. Now it actually does not matter that your Humans know you are there. What I do is rest my head gently on the sucker err I mean Human’s knee and generally they can’t help but give you a wee morsel, secretly of course as they don’t want the other Humans at the table to know. It’s brilliant!

food02  And of course there is the classic lightning strike method while said tasty morsel is in transit from plate to mouth. But you really do have to quick on this one.

food03  Puruse the menu board just like a Human would  – make mine a cinnamon one thanks!

CZ-2015_151  These Trdelniks from our Prague adventure were extremely yummy I must say.

food05  The sneaky scoff the cake while the Human is distracted by her magic device trick. Sadly it didn’t work in this case with Black Forest cake in the Black Forest.

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I just tossed this one in because it was amusing to me and my Humans at the time and is food related. Metz, France, they have an Australian themed cafe, why?

food07  The old remove the oyster while the Human is distracted taking her fancy photos trick.

df-2015_081  Then there is the offer to be a guard dog protecting all the ummm… very  yummy meat while the BBQ-Human is away tip. So easy then to scoff a piece of steak, they never notice… One other tip though, be bloody careful, the steak can be hot!

food09    Now this isn’t a trick, but a great score if you can get it. It’s my birthday, my Humans are rather sentimental and are keen to lavish gifts on me. I’m quite keen to encourage this of course. Last birthday I got a hamburger meat stack topped off with corn. Colourful but I didn’t tell my Humans the corn was rather unnecessary, hey don’t want to rain on their parade eh?

Have fun guys…

R

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