Sunday, April 08, 2007

Grajski hrib z bližnjo okolico

Drizzly morning, and with most of the city shut between early Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, I wasn't anticipating doing much more than getting coffee in one of the cafes by the river Ljubljanica.

When I finally dragged myself out onto the street, I found a series of little bric-a-brac stalls, although nothing really caught my eye. There was just the usual not quite decorative/useful/operative items sprinkled with Yugoslavia-era items and Disneyana. Not even a pyramid lamp with antlers.

View from park behind castle, with malamute in corner

I've been seeing plenty of big dogs around. Yesterday I saw three Bernese Mountain Dogs (temperamentally similar to a malamute, but unfortunately with about half the lifespan), two of which had to be bigger than Bondi. Today there was a Ginormous Dane, and later I spied someone walking a largish malamute with markings similar to Bondi. I waved from a hillside, but couldn't catch up with the owner to say hi.

For many people, the prototypical big dog is a St Bernard, and assume that Bondi is one or the result of a husky-Bernard cross, even if they have no idea what a St Bernard looks like (which is not much like a malamute at all). Evenso, being wholly or partly a St Bernard would not explain a dog's size (you get into circular reasoning pretty quickly) and there are many dog breeds larger and/or taller and/or heavier than a malamute (the Great Dane being a case in point). The Alaskan Malamute (along with the similar-sized Akita) is probably the oldest of these large breeds, and is less altered by selective breeding than almost any other.

Around midday we finally got up to the castle that overlooks the city without actually dominating it. I was not expecting much (just Another Bloody Castle/Cathedral) but like the old town below, it has a gracious public space in the courtyard (free entry, dogs on leashes) and ample viewing areas. On a sunnier day we might have seen the snowy mountains to the north that I had spied briefly when we drove in.

Back down the hill, I watered Bondi at one of the many drinking fountains, and grabbed some lunch. There were tourists of many nationalities in town: earlier in the day I met 3 young girls from Sydney competing in rhythmic gymnastic events here and in Bucharest. I got the usual set of questions in Slovene, French, German, Italian, English and Spanish. I think almost everyone assumes complete polylingualism around here. I had one woman ask if she could sporkle Bondi. I didn't allow her to demonstrate what this might be, in case she was from what my city map calls with ominous brevity, The House of Experiments.

The last two days have been haunted with accordion music. I thought all the busking accordionists here only knew one piece, but it turns out that the same girl has been positioning herself within earshot of me all over town. And she only knows how to play The Anniversary Song (with minor pumping elaborations), which is undoubtedly being played in every corner of hell.

Near Three Bridges, looking up to castle.

The sun rejoined us mid-afternoon, and the streets gained a bit more life. We had an early dinner and coffee, not wanting to be caught by venues closing just as we set foot in them. After one last lap down to Stari Trg, Bondi repeated his Venice run with an exhilarating (but shorter) lope back to our hotel.

Spring on the Ljubljanica; Bondi spreads the love at Café Romeo.

1 comment:

  1. I just love looking at all your pictures of the beautiful places you have been. Can I please have more Bondi pictures??? He is such a handsome boy!!

    I was also wondering, how does your human pay for your travels? And what do you eat? Dog food or human food? What about your vaccinations? Do you get heartworm pills like I do? Or do they not have mosquitos in Europe? How long will you be traveling Europe before you go home?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm just a very curious Malagal! But, aren't all Malamutes curious? I think that's what gets us in trouble sometimes!

    I would love for you to stop by my blog and say Hi!