As Steve and I explore the world, we keep our eyes open for things that tickle our fancy or confound us. Sometimes these are cute, confusing, or funny signs. Here are fifteen of our favorites.
Some signs are just too cute, like this “puppy parking” sign near a grocery store in Barcelona.
Or this one, also in Barcelona, that I think we can all relate to.
Or this sign on a candy store’s door in Aruba. Yes, Ryan, being able to buy candy whenever you want is certainly one of the perks of adulting.
Some signs have made us scratch our heads. This “no pets” sign is at the FirstMed medical offices in Budapest. I understand the cat and dog, but do people really try to bring their pet rabbits to the doctor’s office?
Most traffic signs are self-explanatory. However, neither Steve nor I could figure out what the lower sign is trying to communicate.
Another “no dogs” sign. This one was at the beach in Balatonfüred, Hungary. It is quite breed specific. Does this mean you can bring your Bichon Frise?
The following two signs show that the more things change, the more they stay the same. These were in Memento Park in Budapest. The park is dedicated to preserving the memory of the 45 years Hungary was under Soviet control. I find it interesting that both signs pertain to things that are happening today.
This sign referencing male genitals (date unknown) brings to mind the transgender issues we are grappling with today.
And I think we can all agree that the world seems to be upside down for quite a while now.
Bad translations always make Steve and I laugh. Don’t get me wrong; we are grateful whenever someone makes an effort to translate to English. Even so, we find the bad translations funny.
We were careful not to grass pass after seeing this sign in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A travel agency in the Galapagos Islands gets an A for effort, but a D for execution.
One of the biggest worldwide problems appears to be dealing with human waste. This sign in Tihany, Hungary, blew my mind.
Apparently, people in Prague also have to be told how to properly use the toilet
And it worries me that a sign below, in the Florida Panhandle, is even necessary.
Ditto for these two signs in Lillafüred, Hungary, telling people not to poop in the park. Really?
Lastly, I think we can all agree that this sign in a restaurant in Aveiro, Portugal, got it right.
I hope you have enjoyed these signs. Drop us a line in the comments section and let us know your favorite. Or, perhaps you can solve the mystery of the car on fire.
Steve and I also like to find and photograph street art. Check out some of the street art we have seen in Europe and Latin America.
I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts lately. It is so easy to blame it on the pandemic, especially since we have been on restrictions since November*. But going back over the photos of cats and dogs we enjoyed seeing in 2020 made me think that there might be more to it. I need a pet fix. Badly.
As you may know, Steve and I spent 2020 in only two cities, Bansko, Bulgaria, and Budapest, Hungary. Neither place is teeming with stray cats and dogs, and that is a good thing. It is also reflected in how few photos I took of random animals during the year.
Nonetheless, I want to share those photos I have with you. Hopefully, they will bring a smile to your face as they do to mine. Here are the cats and dogs that touched our lives in 2020. This dog steals the heart of everyone he meets at the Redenka Holiday Club in Razlog, Bulgaria. We stayed there for four weeks while Steve recovered from a broken pelvis. It was always a joy to see Bansko (named for the nearby town) whenever I left the main building.
This photo was taken one afternoon as Bansko and I played in the newly fallen snow. These two cats were hanging out in Bansko. I sat on the bench, and they jumped up to sit next to me. It still amazes me how friendly stray cats in Europe can be. We saw this cat and the next two at Cat Café Budapest. Our mistake was visiting mid-afternoon. As you can see, there wasn’t much kitty action. There is a Japanese garden at the north end of Margaret Island. It is lovely to visit any time of year, but it was even more special with this sweet cat. Here he is getting some treats from a woman. And here he is after he’s had his fill. Don’t you love the two pigeons in the background? I met this sweet dog on an early morning solo walk. She had come to work at a café with her owner. While the owner went inside to work, the dog and I played catch. After she got the ball, she would run past me. She didn’t want to give it back, but she did eventually. The manager of our first Budapest Airbnb had three affectionate Siamese cats. I was able to get a photo with one of them. He doesn’t look that affectionate in the photo, does he? As I’ve written before, Steve and I are amazed at how well-behaved dogs in Europe and Latin America are. It is not uncommon to see them walking with their owners without leashes. Most do an outstanding job of ignoring other animals and people. For this reason, I don’t have many dog pictures.
This cutie is a great example of how well trained they are. He laid outside a store while he waited for his owner. Cemeteries are a great place to see cats, although they do tend to shy away from people. We saw this one in the Farkasreti Cemetery in Budapest. I love how he looks like he’s grinning. Hungary gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1989. As you might imagine, the city was full of statues honoring Soviet leaders and promoting the Soviet agenda. Once Hungary became independent, the statues were moved to a park to serve as a reminder of the past without glorifying it. The park is called Momento Park. I highly recommend a visit if you are in Budapest.
While we were there, this white cat came up to me. She was so loveable. As always, when a cat chooses you, you feel special. She is obviously very comfortable living in Momento Park. In October, we spent several days in Balatonfured, a charming town on Lake Balaton. This cat started to follow us as we were walking through town. She finally sat behind this fence, and we continued on without her.
We ran into this handsome cat in Bansko. He just loved Steve and You can see in the video. Last but definitely not least is this cutie in Oberic, Croatia. I saw this on a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Adventurous Kate. She was gracious enough to let me share it with you.
Be sure to check out Kate’s website at adventurouskate.com. Her monthly recaps have become a must-read for me.
I hope you enjoyed meeting these endearing cats and dogs. If you would like to see more check out 20 Captivating Cats From Around the World and 24 Delightful Dog Photos From Around the World.
* Restrictions have been in place since Nov. 11, 2020. These include an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, masks required in public places, high school and university classes online, and take-out only in restaurants. On March 8, 2020, the restrictions were tightened due to drastically rising Covid cases and deaths. These restrictions added the closing of all non-essential businesses and primary schools for two weeks. That is what we are in the middle of as I write this.
Stay safe and healthy,
Hello, fellow street art lover! Here are some of my favorite examples of street art from the ten months Steve and I spent in Latin America in 2019. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Perhaps you have seen some of these and they will bring back happy memories.
We loved this city of eternal spring for many reasons including the street art. The best places to see a wide variety of great street art is District 13. This district has gone from the most dangerous area in the most dangerous city in the world to an area of hope and inspiration. The first five photos are from District 13.
The next two murals were found in other parts of the city.
The best place to see a lot of street art in Cartagena is in the Getsemani neighborhood (Barrio Getsemani). This once-gritty section of the city is now pulsing with artistic life.
As Steve and I were taking in the sights on a hot day we noticed that many people had their windows and front doors open. On one street we stopped to admire a cat and the next thing I knew Steve was in some man’s front room. He had invited Steve in to see his cat.
I love the sentiment on this one, don’t you?
Just a 15 or 20 minute walk from Getsemani is Old Town. You can see some cool art here too. These women hang around outside the Tabaco y Ron Cocktail Bar. Ron is Spanish for rum!
Also in Old Town, in a square in front of Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, you can see several whimsical metal sculptures that invoke simpler times.
Just like the two cities above, Lima has an area that is brimming with street art. Here it is the Barranco District. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in this area, even so, we found some outstanding specimens.
One of my favorites because I’m a sucker for vibrant colors:
Here are a few murals from other parts of the city:
Galapagos Island, Ecuador
Ok, no one goes to the Galapagos Islands to see street art. But we were happy to find these murals along with a few others in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island.
If you find yourself in Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island and you have some free time you can visit the unique Jardin Ceramica. A path from the road leads to a wall covered with colorful and whimsical mosaics. There are also several free-standing structures decorated with tile.
The garden runs along a tree-lined path. It was created by Cristina Nelson Gallardo. While we were enjoying it a man introduced himself to us. He said he was her brother and that she is now deceased. He told us of his efforts to keep the garden available for all who wish to enjoy it.
To enter the garden just walk under the huge ceramic dragon arch. There is no charge.
This thought-provoking mural was on a very busy street near the Museo Pumapungo and the Ruinas de Pumapungo. Interestingly this street was heavily traveled by buses that spewed out so much exhaust that Steve had to wear a mask to prevent throat irritation (this was pre-COVID-19).
Panama City, Panama
This fella was hanging around enjoying life near the edge of Casco Viejo.
San Jose, Costa Rica
This flower pot and many like it brightened a section of Calle 11 between Avenida 1 and Avenida 3 in downtown San Jose.
Several blocks away these three guys tried to make beautiful music. Unfortunately they were a little rusty.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
We saw this cute and colorful welcome pole in the gritty but yet charming beach town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (puerto viejo means old port) on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.
Jaco, Costa Rica
More bright colors. This time in the Pacific Coast beach town of Jaco.
The End of the Journey
I hope you enjoyed these street art specimens. Which one is your favorite?
Do you love to turn a corner and see something unexpected? I sure do. That is why I love street art. It may be beautiful, weird, thought-provoking, or whimsical, but it always feels like a gift.
These are 24 of my favorite examples of European street art from our first year of full-time travel listed by city. I have also put the location where possible and the date. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
We didn’t discover the next three murals until the last day of our Paris stay on a walk in the 19th arrondissement.
This big cat is one of my favorites:
Can’t help loving this one too:
I’m not sure what it is this lizard is trying to catch, but I hope he got it:
And this girl was just hanging out in the 10th arrondissement:
When deciding where to visit in Bulgaria we read that Plovdiv, the second largest city, was preferred over the capital of Sofia.
Plovdiv is the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe (8,000 years, can you imagine?) The city is full of ancient ruins including a Roman amphitheater that is still in use.
The first two murals were found in the Kapana district, a revitalized arts and crafts section of Plovdiv.
Talk about side-eye. What did the gramophone do to her?
This regal guy was in an underground passageway. The lion is the national animal of Bulgaria. The colors behind him represent the Bulgarian flag.
The next three murals were found in the Central District (Centyra).
Apparently, she was studying way too hard:
And she definitely wasn’t:
Sometimes you need a little creepiness in your life:
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. We hadn’t planned to visit here but had to go there to fly to Portugal. While we didn’t enjoy it as much as Plovdiv, it was definitely worth a visit.
This colorful fella is protecting the Oberishte district of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia.
I’m pretty sure he was helping the lion by keeping an eagle eye on the Oberishte district.
Wouldn’t you love to know the story behind this mural in the Sredets district of Sofia?
Another one of my favorites. It’s hard to believe this beautiful creature is made of trash. You can find him near the Belem Cultural Center.
Learn more about the artist, Bordalo II, and his Attero Exhibition here.
I love the bright colors of this mural in the Cais do Sodre district:
Another Cais do Sodre beauty:
We found the next mural at the LX Factory. This area was an industrial complex that has been repurposed as a trendy area full of restaurants, bars, and shops. If you head there be sure to visit the bookstore Ler Devagar.
This girl and her teddy bear hang out in the Alges Parish:
Barcelona was our first stop as newly-minted nomads. There was so much to take in and street art wasn’t high on the list. That just means we’ll have to go back.
Storefront shutters are often decorated. Here we see Betty Boop and her dog Bimbo.
While not officially street art, I couldn’t resist adding this sign we spotted strolling around the Gracia neighborhood.
As full-time travelers, my husband Steve and I can’t have any pets but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy meeting random cats and dogs during our travels.
Here are 24 delightful dog photos from around the world that showcase dogs we have enjoyed meeting over the last two years. I hope you enjoy meeting them too.
This fella lives in Zagreb, Croatia. He’s a little bit scruffy, a little bit dapper. I just hope that wasn’t his cigarette.
One of my favorite pictures. A man and his buddies in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica.
This happy fella was hanging around a restaurant in Bucharest, Romania. He decided that the spot right next to Steve’s chair was the best place to be.
I have no idea why this guy in Cuenca, Ecuador was holding an umbrella over the dog, but what a photo opportunity.
Don’t worry, he’s just sleeping. There were so many dogs on the streets in Paracas, Peru that you often had to walk around them. None of them were threatening and all seemed well cared for.
We met this scrappy little dog on a tour of District 13 in Medellin, Colombia. He was running into the street to chase every car and motorcycle that passed by. Then he would retreat to his doorway. His bark was definitely worse than his bite.
We saw many dogs in Peru that were wearing what looked like blankets turned into dog coats. Some were even wearing people clothes. This lucky one was labeled correctly.
I wasn’t joking about the people clothes. Apparently this guy from Cusco, Peru is quite the hoop star.
This is Bigote (Spanish for mustache). She, yes she, is an older dog we met at a restaurant in Huacachina, Peru.
This dog was hanging out at the train station in Cusco, Peru. He had it all figured out. He would approach a stranger with one front paw held up like he was hurt in hopes of getting some food and sympathy. What a little con man.
Just a man and his poodles in Buenos Aires.
Look at the happy face! He sat outside the gate to the Superpark amusement park in Cordoba, Argentina. I just know he wanted to ride the roller coaster.
Meet Negro, a celebrity in Cordoba, Argentina. Every afternoon he joins a tour group as it works its way through the city. His name means black in Spanish. Not very imaginative, but accurate.
After the tour he joined Steve and me for dinner before going home to his family for the night.
A common scene in Buenos Aires, especially in the Palermo neighborhood. The dog walkers have to tie the group to a fence or pole as they pick up and return their charges.
What a fantastic dog. He was walking down the sidewalk towards us. When he got to the street he sat down and waited for his master to catch up. And he was kind enough to pose for this photo.
We had so much fun playing fetch with this guy in La Cumbrecita, Argentina.
Another La Cumbrecita beauty.
A typical scene throughout Latin America. We were astonished by how well trained the dogs were.
Just chillin in Medellin, Colombia.
This is Betty. She was one of the resident dogs where we stayed in Bucharest. It was a gated property and when you approached from the road she and her cohort would bark warnings like crazy. But once you were inside, she was a sweetheart.
This photo doesn’t show how lively this dog was. He was visiting some ruins with his master and exploring everything and everyone.
I love the joy on this girl’s face as she runs with her dog and her dad on Taboga Island off Panama City, Panama.
These two really wanted to see what was going on in Huacachina, Peru.
This is Bansko, my playmate in Bansko, Bulgaria while Steve was recovering from his skiing injury. I thought Bansko was a girl, but a man came by and informed me that Bansko is a boy and he doesn’t understand English. I’m not sure how he determined that (the language part, not the boy part).
For those who don’t know us, my husband Steve and I are nomads. Since we don’t have a permanent home, we can’t have pets. Having a warm ball of fur nestled in my lap or curled against me as I sleep is one of the things I miss. Fortunately, we have met many cats and dogs during our travels and got in some welcome cuddle time.
Here are twenty cats from around the world that we were fortunate to meet during our first two years of travel:
This cutie was enjoying a neck scratching. I asked the lady if it was her cat, and she said it wasn’t. She was just another cat lover like me.
How cute and comfy is this kitten? She was one of the many feline residents at our hotel on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos.
We spotted this sweetie on our way to the grocery store in Lisbon, Portugal. Not to worry, the window behind her was open.
Don’t you wish you could be this chill? This was another resident at our hotel on San Cristobal Island.
One of the many sweet cats at the Cat Caffe in Zagreb, Croatia.
We were intrigued by the pigeons. Apparently, this cat was, too.
The unofficial welcome cat at Quinta da Regaleira, one of the coolest places to explore in Sintra, Portugal.
Curious (or hungry) cats in a small park in Lima, Peru.
Another resident of the Cat Caffe in Zagreb, Croatia.
One of my favorites. This cat lived in an apartment near ours in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She would hang out on the roof next to our kitchen window all day and go home at night. As you can see, she couldn’t get enough lovin’.
Phoebe was the resident cat at the Pastrami Bar Restaurant in Cordoba, Argentina. I don’t know which was the bigger reason we visited there several times, the food or Phoebe.
When I saw the sign for a cat show in Buenos Aires I knew I had to go and get some kitty cuddles.
What a life. This cat resides at a pet store in Quito, Ecuador. Here he is saying hello to our travel buddy Hedgie.
Cemeteries are a great place to spot cats. This one was very comfortable at Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.
The first time we saw this cat, she came trotting towards us from her yard. Since we had to pass her house quite often, we got to be good friends, although we never did learn her name.
This is a very well-loved cat. While Steve and I were strolling through the Getsemani neighborhood of Cartagena, Colombia, we stopped to admire some cats. A man in a nearby house heard us and invited us in to see his cat.
More cemetery cats, this time in Cemetery Prazeres in Lisbon, Portugal. It appears as if they aren’t speaking to each other.
An early morning stroll in Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos led me to this beautiful but not cuddly cat.
While exploring the Castelo dos Mouros in Sintra, Portugal, this cat came up to me and sat down by my feet. Talk about feeling special.
Last but definitely not least, this cat lived by our apartment building in Bucharest, Romania. We met her on our first day there and quickly became friends. Then she disappeared for a while. She reappeared right before we left to head to a new city. Apparently, she had been taken away to be spayed.
I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the cats that have brightened our travels over the last two years. You can read about how we quit the rat race to travel full-time in “How It All Began.”
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