Basque Food

This little cat loves to eat! So when I went to Bakersfield to visit my older brother, we scurried down to have dinner at a Basque restaurant. Everyone sits together in long tables, and the food is served family style with big platters on the table and each person helping themselves. Since we are cats, we had our neighboring humans serve us. We had Soup, Salad, Beans, Bread, Salsa, Pickled Beef Tongue, Cottage Cheese, Pasta, French Fries, and Vegetables. And that was before the main course! At the end of the meal, we were served Blue Cheese and Ice Cream. Many of the Basque people who moved from their home in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain became sheepherders, so lamb is often on the menu at the restaurants. Purrs, Gulliver

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Paris with my sweetie

I met a sweet young kitten in Paris which is the City of Lights and Love. I took her around the famous sites including a romantic evening tour of the Eiffel Tower, one of the most recognizable monuments in the world.  Named after engineer Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Statue of Liberty, it was built to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution.  It took over 2 years to build which was actually really quickly for a structure that high. It went up so fast because it was all pre-cut girders, riveted together like a giant erector set. The Tower was introduced to the public during the 1889 World’s Fair. There are 3 levels open to the public with antennas for communication above the visitor’s platforms.

We climbed as high as we could to see the entire city of Paris! My sweet kitten meowed with pleasure and licked my whiskers. I am in love!    Purrs, Gulliver

 

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Cappadocia, Turkey

I am at a balloon festival in Turkey! Not all of Turkey looks like this landscape; I thought for a while that this must be what the moon looks like up close! The stone is from very old volcano ash and is called tuff, which is soft and easily carved.  What is really interesting is that there are whole cities underneath the ground that people built 2,400 years ago to escape wars and raids from outsiders.  Tunnels linked the cities just like a road would above ground, and there could be as many as eight stories of rooms going down into the earth. Now, some of those places are museums, some have been turned into hotels and some are still home to local people!  Above ground, the wind and water have carved the tuff into magical shapes like cones, needles and bowls.  We had fun imagining a fantasy world populated by aliens living among the rocks.  What would they look like, what would they wear, and how would they communicate with each other – talking, reading minds, hand gestures?  I hope they would be friendly to cats!  Purrs, Gulliver

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Ukraine

Last summer I attended a wedding in Ukraine.  Many old traditions were used.  To become engaged, the man must take his parents and friends to the girl’s family home and have his father ask for the girl’s hand for him. If the answer is no, the poor man is given a pumpkin!  In Ukraine, a wedding is a three day celebration.  There is a civil ceremony where the marriage is registered. Then the couple goes to a church to be crowned. This ceremony is sung rather than spoken as the maid of honor and best man hold crowns over the couple’s heads.  Instead of cake, Ukrainians serve a special bread called Korovai.  It is made by the married women from both families as a symbol of two families becoming one.  We all sang “Mnohaya Lita” which means “many happy years” to the newlyweds.  Purrs, Gulliver

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Rainy Week

It’s been a rainy week; here are some expressions for rain from around the world. In Danish, it rains “shoemaker boys”, In Wales, it rains old women and sticks, but across the border in England, it rains cats and dogs… or even stair-rods. In Poland it rains frogs. In Germany it rains twine (string). They also say “it’s raining puppies”. In Russia, the saying is it’s “raining from a bucket” while in Norway, it rains male cats, or just cats. In Mandarin Chinese, the expression is raining fur/hair. The Netherland rains are called pipestems. They also say “het is hondenweer” or “it’s dogsweather”! Purrs, Gulliver

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Italy

I love visiting Italy. Pasta, pizza, pianos and violins were all created by Italians, and the first operas (stories set to music) were written in Italy. The name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes.  Italy is slightly larger than Arizona. It is shaped like a high heel boot kicking a rock or piece of dirt. Nearly 80% of Italy is either mountainous or hilly.   There are many famous explores who were Italian, including Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci – his name was adapted to America.  Maybe someday I will discover a new land and have it named Gully!       Purrs, Gulliver

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Barcelona

Do you like to read? I do, so I plan to find a Spanish sweetheart in Barcelona next April and celebrate Saint Jordi’s day with her. Like Valentine’s Day it is a romantic holiday. On April 23rd the man gives a rose to a woman as sign of love and in return, the woman gives a book as a sign for eternal love. Thousands of stands of roses and bookstalls are set up for the celebration. Around 4 million roses and 800,000 books are purchased on this day for lovers to declare their love. An interesting fact: The City of Love (Paris, France) is home to the Eiffel Tower, but the original location was supposed to be Barcelona! Barcelona is over 2,000 years old and has a lot of history to explore. I also enjoyed sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast during my trip! Purrs, Gulliver

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Germany

Sprechen sie deutsche? Do you speak German? Germany has 16 states instead of 50; its capital and largest city is Berlin. It has borders with nine other countries: It also has coastline on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.  There are many castles there.  King Ludwig had three, including Neuschwanstein which was the inspiration of Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle.

I love to eat German food. Traditional foods include Wurst (sausage) Schnitzle (breaded pork or veal) Spaetzle (noodles or dumplings), Stollen (fruit cake) and Strudle (a layered pastry). I finish each meal with Marzipan, a sweet made with almonds and sugar.   Purrs, Gulliver

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Paris

Bon Jour, Parlez vous Francais? Good Day, do you speak French? Paris is the city of romance, and true to its reputation, last spring I met a sweet young kitten I adored. Sadly, the affair of the heart did not last, and I am single once again. In addition to romance, France is famous for its food, wines, and many kinds of cheese. The smellier the cheese, the better it tastes! Au revoir! Good bye! Purrs, Gulliver

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