Cats of Paphos

Since we canceled our trip to Morocco, we chose another destination – and the odds brought us to Cyprus. Are we glad we changed our mind? Hell, yes! I’m sure Morocco would have been fun, too, but our week in Paphos was just definitely another highlight to our year.

Why, you ask? Oh, it’s because of the cats.

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For this trip, as for every other trip, we left our two cats at home. Don’t worry, they’re being taken care of while we’re away, spoiled even, by my aunt who is also our next-door neighbor (I swear they always seem to have gained weight every time we come back from our trips and they seem annoyed by our presence).

So did we really fly all the way to Cyprus to take care of other kitties? Absolutely!

When we looked up our possible options after we canceled the trip to Morocco, Paphos came to mind right away. The airline I work for offers direct flights to Paphos even in winter so the discount on tickets didn’t hurt, not to mention the accommodation rates this time of the year are awfully cheap. What really sealed the deal, though, was the tips on several travel forums and blogs I stumbled upon that featured this one place – Tala Monastery Cat Sanctuary.

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This cat sanctuary accommodates about 450 cats where they are fed, cleaned, and cared for by volunteers. You can drop by anytime within their opening hours to play or just snuggle up with some furry friends, and you can also volunteer to help feed them and clean the place up. There is no entrance fee to the park but donations are well appreciated.

We even came prepared with treats we brought all the way from home which we ended up giving to the strays we met along the way (there are really so many of them) since we were also not allowed give it to the cats inside the sanctuary to avoid starting a riot among them, understandably. So we went inside and there where cats literally everywhere. We made one round to see the whole place then found a place to sit. Almost automatically, a cat comes around to cuddle. Then another one. Then another one. Repeat a couple of times and now you’re the crazy cat lady you’ve always dreamt of becoming. I seriously never felt more loved before that moment and I couldn’t help myself wishing I had more hands to pet them with.

If only my own cats knew just how lucky they are!

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But cats are just everywhere in this city and it’s a good thing we always had treats ready. Most of them aren’t even shy so they are probably used to being fed by the people that come around randomly (it’s always a good sign to see an empty can of cat food nearby).

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Even outside our apartment we found a little family – a mother and her four young kittens. We made sure mummy was well fed so she can nurse her little ones and they can grow up strong and healthy. We got her a feeding bowl to encourage other people to feed her as well.

But one evening they just weren’t sitting at their usual spot. Soon enough the mother showed up but without her kittens. We have no idea where they are or if they had been rescued, which raised the question, why only rescue the kittens and not take the mother? It just didn’t seem fair. I hope the mother just found another hiding place for them but I guess we’ll never know. We kept feeding her anyway until our very last day and hoped that other tourists will do the same.

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Here are some other photos of the cats we have met during our week in Paphos.

Spring Favourites

It’s official! My favourite season has come to an end but I did not waste any time this year and made it probably my best one yet! Here, let me give you a recap:

I spoke up about my PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and have received some good feedback from people who are going through the same. I’m also happy to have found a way to reduce the symptoms which is by going on a Ketogenic diet and it has been working wonders! I had been on the diet for three full months when we went on holiday to the north of Spain and had to break our Ketosis to fully experience the Basque culinary goodness but I decided to jump back on, turns out I’d rather live without bread and sugary food than feeling bloated the whole time. My menstrual cycles have become relatively stable since and I even lost up to 6kg in the process. Not bad, yeah?

At the beginning of spring, I received my first birthday present, way ahead of my birthday. I’ve always wanted a record player so the wife decided to get me one, just in time for the beginning of flea market season so I can start haggling for vinyls. As of now I have found a few from different sources to add to my growing collection.

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The reason why spring is my favourite season is because it’s the time of the year I celebrate my birthday. Sometimes it also seems to me like I celebrate it the whole season. This year, though, it was probably a whole season’s worth of events that we made happen in just one week.

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Winter had been hard. I remember some extremely cold nights so it was exciting to see some colour, flowers in full bloom. I even planted some lavenders on my balcony (something I have been trying to do since we moved here two summers ago) and they did not die on me! I also bought some lights and new furniture to complete the balcony make-over.

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As you can see, we also decided to put up our Pride flag.

Did anyone say strawberries?! Part of this season is the excitement for the freshest strawberries we have missed all winter. I have wondered my whole life why I always hated strawberry-flavoured candy or ice cream or anything, really. It’s because the only way I can enjoy them is if they’re fresh! And what better way to get them than to pick them yourself straight off the field? That’s right! Though we live in the big city, we are still close enough to the best strawberry farms that allow you to pick the fruit yourself and buying them by the kilo.

As I have mentioned earlier, we went on holiday to Santander and Basque Country and it was gorgeous! It was our first time going on a camping trip. Nature is just wonderful, isn’t it?

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So peaceful, so green.

But because that holiday was too short (the flight schedules are just really inconvenient), we were back in Berlin on a Friday and we still had all weekend to find something to do. My friend Jannah so happened to be traveling around eastern Europe at the time and was on her way to Kraków for the weekend. We thought, what the hell, let’s just get in the car and go meet her there. I haven’t seen her in seven years and it was a chance for Joan to meet her as well. So Jannah was supposed to go to Warsaw after her stop in Kraków and then take the bus to Berlin from there but, with little convincing, she realised it’s probably much too exhausting to pursue that trip to Warsaw and we were going to back to Berlin anyway so she decided to skip it and we took her across the border and to the best city in the world (but that’s my humble opinion).

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And here’s a photo of the three of us taking a picture of each other.

And a trip to Kraków is never complete without a day trip to the Auschwitz concentration camps. There are no words to describe the experience of being in such a place, some people even got very emotional just being there.

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But the best part about this weekend is that we were in good company. 🙂

Speaking of trips, the next one in store for us will be this month! My cousin, who is currently living in Malaysia, married an Englishman last April and she is coming to the UK with the whole family for a small gathering. Many of us living here in Germany were not able to come to their wedding so we are all coming to this event in the UK together. Even my mum’s coming with us because her visa just got approved! This is something I am absolutely grateful for because she is about to go back to Philippines to stay there for good and I would really love for her to see a bit more of this part of the world before she leaves. I also have a few other short trips planned for her so summer will definitely be just as exciting as spring. ❤

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Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

Kraków & Auschwitz

After our week in Spain, I still had the whole weekend off so Joan and I were thinking about going out of town. My friend, Jannah, was on her way to Kraków at the time to spend a few nights so we thought, why not go there? I really like Poland and we’ve been to a few major cities like Poznan, Wroclaw, and of course, Warsaw, so we were due to go to Kraków anyway. Also, we had been meaning to go to Auschwitz for quite a while but this never materialised until now.

Believe me when I say I absolutely loved the city of Kraków. It’s probably even my favourite among the polish cities we’d been to so far. But for whatever reason, I forgot to take photos of the place… But it’s definitely worth visiting! The city has been through a lot, historically, but there’s something about the place that just gives you hope and can make you believe that you can rise again. While you’re there, have dinner at one of the restaurants in the old town, walk around the Jewish quarter (you’ll also find great places there to dine at too), and visit the museum in Oskar Schindler’s Factory.

I did take a few photos when we were at the concentration camps in Auschwitz, though. They are about an hour outside of Kraków so we took a day tour. Entrance was free of charge but you may have to wait for a time slot if you hadn’t booked a ticket online.

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It was eerie to walk around the place that was the venue for such horror. Every now and again we’d found some people stopping to silently pray, some even getting emotional.

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