From Homeless to Highness: A Reunion with Cocoa the Kitten in Ticino, Switzerland

 

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me Carl Sandburg

As I went to say goodbye to Cocoa, I found him basking in the afternoon sunlight and grooming his lustrous black fur. Occasionally, he would stop and gaze out the window at the Swiss paradise before him – a landscape sprinkled with palm, lemon, and olive trees framed by the brilliant blues of Lake Maggiore. When my eyes welled up with tiny tears, the pampered young feline reached for my hand, eager to play. I was pleased that he’d lightened the moment by wanting to get rough and tumble instead of sweet and cuddly. I chuckled as I wiped away the tears rolling down my cheek. “You lucky fellow,” I thought.

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Photo du Jour: The Santorini Donkey

 

A donkey, decked out in colorful beads and an evil-eye amulet, awaits the day’s passengers on the stairs leading up to the village of Fira, on the island of Santorini. When visitors arrive to Santorini’s Old Port via cruise ship or boat, they have three ways to make it up to the town of Fira: climb the almost 600 stairs, ride a donkey (5 €  one way), or ride the cable car  (4 € one way). Riding a donkey is controversial – animal rights organizations and some visitors say it is cruel, whereas the local government assures visitors, via signs posted at the port, that the animals are well-cared-for by veterinarians and offered regular periods of rest.

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Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car: Breathtaking Views and Pensive Moments

 

“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” – Amelia Earhart

Our first two days in Dubrovnik, the sun hid among a thick cloak of clouds. Dodging a deluge of raindrops that is unusual for the city, we longed for the vibrant ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ of postcards – those sapphire-blue skies meeting a sea dressed in the same hue, ripe-orange rooftops, and verdant palm and pine trees dotting the craggy landscape.

Diligently watching the weather reports, we made strategic plans for when to ride the city’s cable car up to Mount Srdj, 405 meters above sea level. As we walked to the cable car station, things started looking up as Dubrovnik gracefully began her transition from greyscale tones to Technicolor.

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