It's with a heavy heart that I report that Portugal's first cat cafe, Aqui Há Gato, has closed its doors. This beautiful little cafe with a separate area for lounging with the cats was in Lisbon's Jardim da Estrela area. Their menu offered a wide variety of fresh food, drinks, and snacks along with branded merchandise to support the care of the cats. In the other half lived the cats, surrounded by sofas, chairs, and books (mostly about cats and in Portuguese). In this area were two access holes to another room where the cats could escape when they'd had enough.Read More
As you may already know, I love cats. When I was a child, my favorite book was filled with photos of different breeds and as an adult I am a rabid watcher of every internet video I come across. I take every opportunity to meet and feed the ferals around town and have two sweet furry squishballs living with me who we brought over from America. So when my friend Adolfo Usier, a fashion and lifestyle photographer here in Coimbra, asked if my husband and I would like to join him for a cat shoot, we were knocking on his door in a flash.Read More
Last October I visited Morocco with my husband and had an incredibly remarkable and beautiful journey. One of the things I rarely do while traveling is take a tour; I am a budget traveler and prefer exploring sites and places on my own without tripping over a big crowd of other photographers and tourists.Read More
I originally booked a trip to Morocco because I missed the desert. About once a year my husband and I would drive through the American southwest to hike and camp and live among nature for a week or two. I knew we couldn't afford to fly back home to make this happen, so I looked for a desert closer to Portugal that was reasonably priced and ended up choosing Morocco.
During my research for our trip, I kept seeing photos from Morocco of cats on the streets and throughout the souks. I read travel reviews that mentioned cats, mostly telling people to stay away from them because they might have rabies. I decided early on I wasn't going to stay away from them. I gathered up all the treats my cats refused to eat because they are spoiled American cats and packed them in my luggage.Read More
One of the things about the grocery stores in Portugal that seems to be vastly superior to most normal American supermarkets is the large selection of strange exotic fruits available. I have found fruit here in Continente and Jumbo that I had been dying to taste for years - like mangosteen and physalis - but it just wasn't sold anywhere I lived or traveled to. I've also found weird fruits, like the spiky melano (or kiwano or horned melon) below that looks more like a blowfish than a fruit, until it's cut open.Read More
You've decided to take that first step on the long, bumpy, and twisty road that is legally immigrating to another country. So you've contacted the consulate for your area and they've sent you the long, frustrating, and confusing list of requirements and you're wondering how the hell you're ever going to get through it. But wait! There's more - your pets also have their own separate list of chores that need to be checked off before they can immigrate along with you.Read More
Another year draws to a close and while I'd like to be out tonight celebrating with the rest of Coimbra, unfortunately I'm going to be stuck at home surrounded by piles of used tissues, throat lozenge wrappers, empty mugs of tea, and one very sympathetic cat. There really is no good time to get sick, but I wish I could have pushed it off another week or so.Read More