Cats in Turkey – it’s a thing.

I’m not even going to bother apologizing for being behind, from now on, because that’s just how it’s going to be.

So. For today – I bring you cats. Because when I went to Turkey earlier this year, there were lots and lots of cats.

I heard from someone that prophet Mohammed once cut off part of his robe so as not to disturb a feline that was sleeping on it. This demonstration of cat love seems to have propagated through the Muslim generations, the proof of which peers at you from dark alleys and cracked doorways all over Turkey. (Wikipedia says the Mohammed cat has a name.)

New Zealand – Franz Josef Glacier

Day 2 in New Zealand (April 16) saw us taking a scenic drive from Arthur’s Pass to Franz Josef Glacier, for our morning Ice Explorer helihike.

Some things I learned that day:

  1. The French Shuffle is a technique for sidling up icy step/walls with crampons on.
  2. The Franz Josef Glacier oozes along at 3-5m/day.
  3. Full of Beans cafe has delicious Butter Chicken Pie. (Fusion food is not just a California thing).
  4. If you are fat, it may make squeezing through glacial crevasses a bit more challenging. (A honeymooning husband demonstrated this, to much laughter).

New Zealand – Arthur’s Pass

This trip started with a long flight to Auckland, followed by a transfer to Christchurch, where we met Sarah (yay!) cruised by some lingering earthquake-crushed city blocks, had an inexplicably slow brunch, and finally made our way to Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s Pass sits conveniently between Christchurch and Franz Josef Glacier. Since we pulled in just at sunset, we had about half an hour to walk around and explore before dinner.

As we parked our car, we saw a weird green parrot on the ground. Someone’s escaped pet, clearly. Just as clearly, we were New Zealand newbies. As we’d discover in about five minutes due to ubiquitous signage, we had just met the nation’s second most famous bird, the wily Kea. Snapper of shoelaces, thief of anything shiny, and destroyer of anything left unattended. The folks at the hostel weren’t as friendly as the bird was, but I suppose you’re paying for a bed, not smiles.

Food time yet?

So, in the last gray bits of daylight, we wandered down to the train station. There was a train coming through! Exciting. The township is tiny, by the way: .6 square kilometers/ .2 square miles.