Unless you were born quite recently or have been living under a rock all these years, you probably recognize the above picture.
The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a novel by British Author Dodie Smith and the Disney movies based on it were popular sensations among millennial kids just a decade or two back (hell, even now).
Although, initially it turned out to be a great PR exercise for the breed with thousands of families adopting Dalmatians in large numbers to please their kids, subtly ignoring the fact that the Dalmatian is a hyperactive breed of dogs which didn’t make them the greatest family dog on the planet. Without getting into the specifics of how eventually the Dalmatian went on to become one of the most abandoned breeds of dogs ever, lets instead talk about the origin of the name itself.
A while ago, I landed up in a coastal town known as Zadar which is located on the western coast of Croatia, in a region known as … well, Dalmatia. It is the region of Dalmatia from where the name ‘Dalmatian’ is believed to have originated from, although some critics do point out to another possible origin. This, however, as I found out, didn’t really mean that the region is full of these agile dogs as I didn’t see any on my trip.
So, although not great for Dalmatian spotting, there are other solid reasons to visit this region such as pristine beaches, parties, and Karlovacko (a popular local beer) of course.
Game of Thrones fans would probably best remember the region for Dubrovnik, prominently featured as King’s Landing in the series. Popularly known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ Dubrovnik today is indeed one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the Mediterranean.
The main commercial (and touristic) city in the region is Split, but I did end up spending most of my time in the quaint town of Zadar. If you do visit Zadar, do check out the famous Sea Organ or just take a walk along the promenade during sunset hours as this surely is one of the most beautiful sunsets you can witness in all of Europe.