Monday, 23 June 2014

Bonaventure Island - home of the gannets in Québec

When we got there it was surrounded by the mist.
It was looking like a pirate ship coming from the fog, and the gannets coveys curled up in the rock's cracks looked like its crew.
Bonaventure Island belongs to the National Park that has its same name, associated to the Rocher Percé, the rocky spur that to someone reminds a graceful girl, but that for me is like a bison drinking, of which I've told you about here and that is just a few meters away from the coast of the Gaspesie, in Québec (Canada).
Island is uninhabited since 1971, the year when it's officially been transformed into a Park.
Just uninhabited by human beings, of course; but it seems to be the favourite place for almost 300.000 gannets.
Why these animals have chosen this place so avidly and eagerly, instead of just any other else, we will never get to know (I'm a cat, after all, so it's just difficult to get to feel empathy towards birds) - but one thing is for sure.
Gannets really have made a very good choice.

Turin's Cat Café - NOW we can meow about it!

Are you for second chances?
As for me, I always try not to deny them to anyone; but I must also confess that, in my personal experience, almost all the second chances I've decided to give have turned into a delusion. Not to mention third, fourth or ten-millionth ones - since I tend to be recidivous.
But each rule always has an exception, and, today, I've been really happy to have decided to give a second chance to Miagola, the first cat café set in Turin, opened 3 months ago in the pedestrian area of via Amendola.
If you've happened to read it, you will know that my very first review on this place hasn't been exactly positivee: I had written it in a very rainy April Saturday, when the Ginger Cat & me had been quite disappointed about our chaotic lunch had there, poisoned by a very strong disorganization and by noise and confusion that were drawing the cats away, making them stay hidden in their shelters and avoiding stepping outside among blatant adults and running kids.
I've been pondering for a while whether cancelling the forementioned article or not: I was sorry to leave some negative campaign for a place that, in the end, not only has been able to ransom itself, but that is also a very special spot, as we've found out today and as I'll tell you in a moment.
In the end I've decided to leave it, adding anyway a small disclaimer - in this way, if anybody might have had the same kind of not so positive experience with this place that we had (and, according to Tripadvisor, we have not been the only ones), can know that it's sometimes worth it giving a second chance.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Urquhart - because Scotland knows what ruins stand for!

I've always had a soft spot for ruins.
Well, actually it's more than a soft spot. They attract me like magnets, they bewitch me, they charme me.
I'm a black cat, after all, and I do have a gothic soul: decadence draws me away; it has the melancholic charme of what has been and no longer is, and that is therefore bared from all the mean things and the troubles of everyday, revealing its most intimate essence, that goes beyond any labels of good or evil, of positive or negative. Things' most intimate essence is their truth, and truth is not good nor bad, not pretty nor ugly: truth simply is true, is what we often don't want to see, but that, in the end, is what we are being left with.
And that's the way ruins are.
They've been rich and powerful, they have dominated the world of men or their spirituality - and now they are sitting in a corner, as lonesome as decayed nobleman, lost in contemplating with their misty sight what no longer belong to them.
But sadness of the decadence has also a sort of reflection in it, wounds that cripple their walls have an intense and rich history - and their essence gets being distilled in all of this: power's boasts no longer exist, they get milded by defeat, which makes them more noble, which gives back to us not a controversial symbol of domine anymore, but a trascendental story, made of both lights and shadows, of injustices and heroism, and that, because of this, it gets its own sort of beauty, it becomes worth of respect and it makes you willing to get to know it, and to write about it.

Monday, 9 June 2014

[My Top 10] Bergen: fjords, salmon and wooden houses

For as much as I might be into making Top 10 lists like the "High fidelity" protagonist, if somebody might ask me to do a Top 10 of my very favourite cities I would be in serious trouble.
Same thing would happen with an absolute Top 10 of my favourite books or movies.
It's just a too big and wide field, I prefer focusing on a niche.
But Bergen would surely enter quite many Top 10's.
It would feature in my Top 10 cities where I'd like to live. In my Top 10 places that can make you feel in another time. In the Top 10 cities which have positively surprised me the most.
And perhaps also in the absolute one, pretty much for sure.
I've been here in 2009, together with Ginger Cat, and we've spent 5 very pleasant days in this fjords capital, steep, wooden, silent but not gloomy, colorful but introvert, that smells of smoked salmon and that in just a couple of steps makes you dive into a wild and awesome nature.
So here is what I would recommend you to see, if you'd happen to pass from there...
But, actually, I'd say that the very first thing I'd recommend you would be not to "happen" to pass from there: plan & decide to go there, it's totally worth it!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Villaggio Leumann, a corner of Switzerland near Turin

If you happen to go along the infinite Corso Francia with its many streetlights, travelling from Rivoli towards Torino, you won't help but noticing it.
The small houses of the Villaggio Leumann village of Collegno are a mixture between a Swiss town and Art Nouveau, as if someone had shaken up and mixed elements from the two styles: if buildings could actually procreate and reproduce themselves, with a random chromosomical recombination, like it happens for living beings, the result would be like this.
There are some trellis houses, some flamboyant element, wooden fences that demilit small gardens in bloom and pedestrian cobbled alleys, which represent a remarkable contrast with the ten-floors buildings and the asphalt surrounding them.
It's a bit like seeing a cow in a cement jungle.