Sunday, July 27, 2008

an account of July that passed (IV)...

Ljubljana (through two stories)
My account is dull: I loved it. It is where the Mediterranean meets the Alps, where the Aegean mood, food, and weather meets the European. It's the Balkans, I guess.

Why is Dragon the Symbol of Ljubljana

"A long time ago, the Greek hero Jason and his companions from the ship Argo, stole the Golden Fleece from the Colchian king. In an effort to escape its pursuers the ship took a wrong turn and, instead of sailing south on the Aegean Sea, it found its way to the mouth of the Danube river.
As there was no way back for them, they continued on up the Danube, the Sava and eventually the Ljubljanica. At the source of the Ljubljanica they stopped, took the ship apart, put the pieces on their shoulders and thus carried the ship to the Adriatic sea, where they put it back together and continued their way back home.
Between the present-day Vrhnika and Ljubljana the Argonauts found a big lake surrounded by a marsh.
It was here that Jason came across a terrible marsh monster, which he fought and eventually slew. This monster was the Ljubljana dragon, which today has its permanent abode on top of the castle tower in the Ljubljana coat of arms."

The other one is less famous, but its a more recent myth/rumour that one hears in the streets of Ljubljana...

"Once upon a time, there was a country called Y., that was about to fall into pieces. Several of the citizens living in it parts wanted to remain Y.-citizens, as they were afraid of the etnic identities that were being forced upon them, which they didn't identify with. They voted so. But when Y. fell apart, these people found themselves state-less, while they have been living in the same old place, now called the state of S., for years and years. So the new state asked its new citizens when these people who once didn't want to be citizens of S. but remain with Y. should be given immediate citizenship. The S.-citizens must be so angry with this lot that they could not allow this. They voted so. What could the government of S. do then? Were they to give these people another chance by allowing them to apply for citizenship? This would be a long and cumbersome procedure. So, the people of Y., who were now the people of S. but not its citizens,were declared dead. So they roam around the capital of S., as ghosts, and when they dance with the wind, all 18.000 of them, they look like a dragon, timeless and certainly not oblivious to what happened, talking only in ancient languages once every few centuries."

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