Beautiful villages in Andalusia

Talk about neglect! It has been over 5 months and i have not posted on my blog site. My apologies to my readers ( if there are any!). Not to say that I have not been busy, on the contrary, the new years resolution was to travel every month and that has been achieved so far. It is hard not to achieve that one when you work in the travel industry.

Every year I take a trip with my creator. We went back and forth deciding where to go. Pacific coastal drive was on our agenda till Trump messed up our plans by simply “being”. Right now I am sitting in my favourite place in the world, my living room, looking out at the pouring rain, drinking a cup of original and pure Kangra tea and gearing up to put my thoughts in words.

This trip was simply AMAZING and wouldn’t have been as easy as it ended up being if it were not for my loving in-laws. They were kind enough to set us up and lend us their lovely home in Nerja. Now, nothing was planned… I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, the rest depended on how well my mum would take to cities. Turns out, I realized very soon, that tourists infested towns/cities and clicking pic of the same old touristic joints wasn’t something that mum was interested in. It made it way simpler for me to hence plan out our itinerary and see the beautiful villages of Andalusia and share them with someone I dearly love.

First stop : Nerja and Frigliana

Nerja, pronounced – Ner-kha NOT Ner-ha but ‘kha’ ( k and h are pronounced together, if that makes sense.) 68 kms east of Malaga lies this amazing little  resort town of Nerja. This was our starting point for all the subsequent trips we took. There are plenty of places and areas of interest in Nerja itself, that I’ll leave for you to explore. The Balcon De Europa is a must if you are visiting Nerja. The views are incredible and it gives you a great sense of where you are and what King Franco experienced. We decided to go pay the – cueva de nerja ( caves of Nerja) a quick visit. Cueva de Nerja, a nearby cavern with unusual stalactites and stalagmites, hosts popular summertime concerts. It’s also known for its paleolithic paintings, viewable by guided tour. The entry fee was €10 per head. Since the tourist season is yet to start, there was no problem as far as gaining access to the caves was concerned. No flocking of eager tourists, no rush in any way.
The afternoon was spent exploring the beautiful little village of Frigliana or ” the white village” which is at a distance of less than 20 km from Nerja. The quarter is made up of steep cobbled alleyways winding past white houses resplendent with flowers.

Capileira


Capileira is the  highest of the 3 villages in the Poqueira Valley with the back drop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Only at a distance of 80 km from Nerja, a must visit for those who are in love with nature and hiking. Known as the Santorini of Spain, this place is the perfect spot to visit if you wish to be taken aback by the dramatic setting and fascinated by the beautiful labyrinth of narrow whitewashed streets, splashed with colour by geraniums, and wide open to spectacular views down the gorge and up to the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada.

Alora and Ronda

111 km west of Nerja lies the quaint little hilly town of Alora. Easily accessible by hourly train service from the city center in  Malaga ( only 40 kms west of it), this makes for a good day trip for all my Flight Attendant friends who wish to explore a new place, and get their dose of daily exercise in. The climb into the village is pretty steep and the walk up to the Alora castle is beautiful. From the castle you’ll be able to admire the beauty of village with the mountains in the back drop.


The cliff hanging footpath Camino de Rey  is located at El Chorro in the municipal district of Alora.  Continue another 75 km and you will reach the birthplace of modern bullfighting and the oldest town in Spain- Ronda. The most conspicuous feature of Ronda is its location on a big sandstone hill that is cut in two by the El Tajo gorge, in which the  Guadalevin rivers runs some 120 m below. The views of the gorge and the surrounding countryside are breathtaking, and worth the visit in itself. Hiking down into the gorge is very much possible, make sure to have the right gear and right camera equipment.

Iznajar and Almodovar del Rio

140 km North of Nerja likes the lakeside gem of Iznajar. Meandering streets of this flowery village will lead you to its 8th century castle next to its 16th century church. On your walk up to the castle you can stop by the Patio de las Comedias and enjoy a cup of cafe frappe while over looking the picturesque landscapes below. What was really enthralling was the orange trees lining the streets in all these little villages that we visited. Not only did they add colour and character to the beauty of these villages, but also provided a weary traveler some much-needed Vit C along the way.

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Further north of Iznajar, some 125 km away, past the historic and the touristy town of Cordoba lies this round castle of Muslim origin in the town of Almodovar del Rio. Built by the Arabs in the 8th century, this castle underwent a lot of wear and tear and finally was restored to its current condition ( while maintaining its original integrity and look) under the architectural direction of Adolfo Fernandes Casanova. The only reason I remember his name is due to the mention of Adolf(o) and Casanova together, bridged by good ol’ Fernandes. The entry fee to the Castillo is €8, giving you access to the priceless view of the town below.

Baeza and Udeba ( 10 km distance between the two towns)

227 km to the north of Nerja, in the Jaen province of Spain lies the “Olive oil capital” town of Baeza (UNESCO). We happened to be there on the day of the celebration of Semana Santa. The Holy Week of Baeza was declared Fiesta of Tourist Interest in 1980 and of National Tourist Interest of Andalusia in 1997. We were lucky to arrive right on time to witness this first hand, and to capture the inspiration behind the garb made popular by the KKK ( for all the wrong reasons!). The Cathedral of Baeza is also an essential attraction as is the Town Hall, which was declared a national monument. Both these towns reflect Renaissance style that visitors could believe they are somewhere in Italy.

Out of the 8 provinces of Andalusia, we were able to explore and drive around 4, covering the provinces of Malaga, Granada, Cordoba and Jaen and I have to attest that not only were we smitten by the varied landscapes of these regions we drove through, but the most that stood out was the hospitality of its people and their friendly approach and openness, making it one of my favourite places to visit over and over again. This love affair isn’t over, it just started 🙂
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Peter Piper of Edinburgh

Lets start this post on a fantastic few notes. Click on the link below and get blown away, this man is pure talent.

Now ask yourself this —-:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?


When I think about Edinburgh, the first thing that comes to my mind is – Camera Obscura and the world of Illusions! The mad fun I had in this tower of attractions, I can flood this page with pictures galore. The camera obscura gives a full view of the city from the roof top. The lower floors hold the world of illusions, highlighting different aspects of optical illusion. You could easily end up spending a whole day lost in this world of holograms, light, colours, vortex tunnel and more. A definite visit.
Standard Adult admission charges : £14.50 and you walk out with way more than you spend 🙂

For the book lovers, who would like to pay their own special little tribute to Sir Walter Scott, this place is just for you. By the Waverley train station is the Sir Walter Scott monument, with 68 figurative statues on the monument  (excluding Scott and his dog). Climb up the 287 steps and you will get a breathtaking view of the beautiful city.Make sure you drop that last piece of cake before attempting to climb up the narrow staircase as those love handles will have a hard time hugging you over to the top-level! Those who succeed between 8 October and 8 December 2016 will be entered into a prize draw to win a package of exclusive experiences, including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party tickets with private access to the Scott Monument for the best fireworks views in the city. Hurry and get moving!!
Admission is £5, for both adults and children. Payment is by cash only.


Standing atop a massive extinct volcano is the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. Rumor has it that during the late Bronze age people lived on top of Castle rock. No one knows this for certain, but what is documented is that this castle was used as an arsenal during the 15th century and then as a prison in the 18th and 19th century and during the first World War. Pretty interesting site to explore, again well worth keeping a good 4-5 hours just to get into the history of this place and to admire its different historical facets.
Adult entry fee : £16.50

Trip around the city would not be complete without visiting the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle,where The Goodman rests—> the guy in red is the good man for the day, so a short stop over to St Giles Cathedral was a  must!
Free entry


Another interesting place to visit is the Museum on the Mound
which is open all year around
there is no entry fee
and you can take a fresh look at mo—ney.
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There is so much more to explore around Edinburgh but these are my top picks. The capital is small enough to get lost in and emerge out with amazing stories and fantastic pictures to remember your experience with.

 

 

Glasgow explored

One of my favourite destinations is Glasgow, not only because of the friendly crowd but more so because of the flight time from Toronto. A short and sweet hop over and you will find yourself in the lap of nature ( of course, that is in case you decide to venture out of the city!).
The city itself has a lot to offer, almost free entry to points of interest, something that is so rare nowadays. Here is a compilation of places you can visit on a short trip over, this itself can be stretched over a period of 3 days which is what I did, explored the heck out of it.
Before you hit the road walking in your comfy gear and a back-pack, it is imperative you fill your tummy with some food and grab a bottle of water and don’t forget your umbrella, even if it sunny outside, it WILL rain at some point during the day. Here is all that I covered in a day.

Time spent walking ——–> 9 am to 11 pm
$ spent on visiting places of interest—> 0
Experience gained——-> priceless

Buchanan Street : One of the main shopping street, lined with shops/cafes/ tea houses. Glasgow queen street station is east of Buchanan street, it’s good to know for when you decide to venture out and visit Fort William ;). The famous Willow Tea Rooms is on Buchanan street, well worth a visit. Afternoon tea is only for £12.50, quite affordable for a place that has been open since 1903 and has a fantastic reputation, designed by renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Lighthouse:Contrary to what the name suggests, this building designed by Charles Mackintosh is a centre for design and architecture and hosts his works. Make sure to visit the Mackintosh tower, to gain uninterrupted view of Glasgow city. If you are feeling brave and have not squeezed in your morning run then head to the 3rd floor of the building to climb the 130+ steps to the tower but if you are lazy and short on time then feel free to take the lift from the 6th floor to the tower to be greeted by a very nice man playing you some very nice tunes on the piano upstairs.

GOMA: or the Gallery of Modern art. You cannot miss this building, it is obviously located in the center of Glasgow, a little north-east to the lighthouse but it’s distinct feature is a Statue of Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone. The traffic cone is the city’s addition to the structure, it has been removed several times by the authorities only to re-appear again. I doubt they even try to remove it anymore, what’s the point? The duke looks more respectable with a cone on his head if you ask me! GOMA hosts exhibitions and I was lucky to catch John Samsung’s work ( Scottish film-maker, didn’t know of him before that day) Dressing for Pleasure (1977) which explores the subject of fetishism in clothing. The film, which, despite its subject matter, remains playful and light, features cameos from Malcolm McLaren and punk icon Jordan, as well as a host of other curious characters.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum: It is one of the most visited art museums in the world – ranks at 60 globally, and the entry is FREE. Amazing. It is situated close to the main campus of the University of Glasgow. I am not really an art enthusiast, in the sense that I have not studied art but definitely do admire it in every form. I know a few people who will be thrilled to visit this rare gem. It has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and a vast natural history collection. The art collection includes many outstanding European artworks, including works by the Old Masters – Rembrandt, Jozef Israel,Renoir,Monet, Van Gogh and more. The walk over to Kelvingrove gallery through the Kelvinegrove park is beautiful. It’s not more than 30 minutes walk from the city centre.


The Necropolis : My area of interest, the graveyards! On any tour, anywhere in the world, if there is a graveyard, I am sure to visit it. It is amazing to see the respect shown towards our dead and the disrespect and hate towards those who are living.  The Necropolis, however is one of the most beautiful graveyards with an equally impressive ornate entrance gate. A perfect place to enjoy the setting sun as the cemetery’s paths meander uphill towards the summit, where many of the larger monuments stand, clustered around the John Knox ( the founder of the Presbyterian church of Scotland)  Monument . The cemetery, as most early Victorian cemeteries, is laid out as an informal park, lacking the formal grid layouts of later cemeteries. This layout is further enhanced by the complex topography.

The Glasgow Cathedral: located north of High Street and east of Cathedral Street, The building itself is in the ownership of the Crown ( :-O), is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is a popular destination for tourists. Technically, the building is no longer a cathedral, since it has not been the seat of a bishop since 1690. However, like many other pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland, it is still a place of active Christian worship, hosting a Church of Scotland congregation.

Scotland, remains one of my favourite destinations to visit. In my next post I will discuss its capital – Edinburgh and how to get the most of it in a single day. In 2015 we camped around Scotland, for those of you interested in exploring more of this wonderful country, here is the link

https://mirthspot.wordpress.com/2015/06/

Clean up your act!

Been a very hectic summer with loads of transatlantic hops, all in all it has been good. With non stop flying and little to no time spared, it’s hard to keep up with healthy eating/sleeping/ and clean skin. Currently on a liver detox and no I am not a drinker but with all the Farts (A typical fart is composed of about 59% nitrogen, 21 % hydrogen, 9% carbon dioxide, 7 %methane and 4 %oxygen. Only about 1% of a fart contains hydrogen sulfide gas and mercaptans, which contain sulfur, and the sulfur is what makes farts stink.) that one has to inhale working in a metal tube it is hard for the liver not to get a solid hit! So i am cleaning it out. Our PH level is so imbalanced due to inhalation of stale air and then ending up in hotel rooms with no air circulation , even if you venture out all you smell is cigarette smoke!

SKIN PAMPERING

Moisturizing:
The skin, our largest organ needs loads of pampering as well. A good way to moisturize it is by using Aloe vera leaf. Hammer the leaf so as to soften the pulp inside and then with a sharp knife cut off the sides and peel open the leaf. With the help of a kitchen knife scrape off the inside of the leaf and this is the sticky gooey stuff that you will rub all over your face/arms/legs and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and your skin will be thankful to you.

Once a week, I also like to use lemon and honey scrub on my face to give it the boost that it needs in between flights. Cut a lemon into half and put 4 drops of honey on it. The citrus and the protein from the honey is fantastic for the skin. Now go nuts rubbing it all over your face avoiding eye area and let it sit there for 20 minutes. Don’t lick it, your face needs it more than your taste buds!

Black head removal:

For removing grim and black heads from your face, the recipe is very simple, painful and cheap. Buy plain gelatin from the shops. Take 2 tablespoons of gelatin and mix it with 1 tablespoon of milk in a little glass. Do not put more milk than what is mentioned. Make sure it is a little glass container… put this little glass in the microwave for 10 seconds. This should melt your mixture well and will be of the right temperature to spread on your face. Avoid the eye area unless you wish to tear up on ripping the dried gelatin off your face. Let it sit for over 40 minutes or until fully dry. Then peel it off. It will be painful but very rewarding!

Closing the pores:

After removing the black heads make sure to wash your face with cold water to help close up the pores. Then put 2 heaped tablespoons of baking power and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl and mix it well. This will end up in a paste, which you will put on your face and let it rest for 3 minutes. Feel free to gently scrub it on your face. Rinse it off with warm water and pat dry your face.

These little life tricks work for me, using expensive creams and lotions are things of the passe, it’s back to the basics- suits my pocket and my lifestyle. You are very welcome 🙂

Dublin explored

Since I have been doing Dublin layovers this whole summer, and for a very good reason, I have decided to maybe outline a few things that could be of interest to those visiting the city. I won’t spend much time elucidating on each point of interest, just a little outline so one can get an idea of what it is all about.

1- Book of Kells Exhibition. 
Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed and which displays the Book of Kells. Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.
Online price per Adults : €14
Entry price at the door : €11

2- Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery and Temple Bar.
For those who love to drink and can admire Alcohol for what it is, this one is for you! Half-day tour in and around the historic city center, and walk down streets that date back to the days of the Vikings and the Middle Ages.
Meet your guide at Trinity College and stroll over to the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s number one visitor attraction. Skip the long lines to enjoy a private tasting in the exclusive Guinness Bar. Get a tutorial about the famous beer from an official Guinness Connoisseur. See the world’s largest pint glass as it rises up the 7-storey atrium, and learn how Guinness is made and transported around the world.
Go to the Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery in Smithfield for a tasting experience in an exclusive setting. Sample Jameson Whiskey variants for a whiskey comparison that few get to enjoy. Learn what 3 ingredients go into making the world’s most famous Irish whiskey, and get a coveted Whiskey Taster Certificate.
Price per adult : $78.00 CAD

3- Croke park stadium tours
This is for all your sports enthusiasts. Croke Park is an iconic stadium, steeped in history, and has been at the heart of Irish sporting and cultural life for over 100 years. Ranked as one of the best things to do in Dublin, the Croke Park Stadium tour offers a truly unique and unforgettable day out! Enjoy an  interactive visitor experience and find out more about Ireland’s unique national games Gaelic football and hurling – the fastest field game in the world
Stadium tour price per adult : €13

4- Kildare village shopping day trip from Dublin.
This one is for you ladies who dress to impress. Read this one carefully! Look great and save money! Take a day trip to Ireland’s Kildare Village, a luxury shopping destination less than an hour’s drive from Dublin. Once here you can peruse over 60 internationally renowned retailers such as Diesel and Gucci, each offering up to 60 percent savings on last year’s best clothing, skin care products and accessories from shoes to handbags. Choose the express option, with round-trip transport from Dublin and an afternoon of shopping, or the experience option, offering additional benefits like a 50 euro gift card (equal to about 68 US dollars) lunch and a VIP card for even more savings.
Adult price : $ 11.48 USD

5- Dublin Castle.
Originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings it functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years. Rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin Castle is now used for important State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations. The State Apartments, Undercroft, Chapel Royal, Craft Shop, Heritage Centre and Restaurant are open to visitors. (On occasions Dublin Castle can be closed at very short notice for Government business).
Adult entry fee:  €6.50

6-  Dun Laoghaire.
For those of you feeling a little adventurous and have a knack of photography, take the dart to the beautiful elegant port town just 13 kms away from Dublin’s city centre. Popular with the holiday makers since Victorian times, its appeal is timeless. Lots to do here, try your hand at sailing, take a dip in the sea, visit a museum and top it all with a 99 ice-cream cone on the pier. Another recommended spot is the Peoples park. Created as a formal Victorian garden, this scenic space is enclosed by wrought iron railings, inside of which you’ll find beautifully landscaped lawns and bright flowers. Visit on a Sunday to sample the delights of Dún Laoghaire’s food and craft market.
Price : €8 one way

7- Cake Cafe.
.This one is for those with a sweet tooth.  In a concealed courtyard, the Cake cafe is an adorable venture that has already won itself a loyal following. The air inside is warm with the smell of heavenly own-made cakes, biscuits, pies and cupcakes, sandwiches, great salads (caramelised pear, blue cheese and walnut) and some more ambitious hot dishes. Everything is served on artfully mismatched crockery and the staff are delightfully welcoming. A hidden treasure.

8- Peploe’s
Fridays are fun times at Peploe’s. Lunches are popular with local heroes, business gurus and the cultured set of the city. The location is fabulous, and the rooms are decked out with wood, murals and crisp table linen. The established venue serves classic dishes like French onion soup, Caesar salad and smoked salmon with dill sauce, and the wine list is good and long.

Voila, these are my recommendations, of course there is tons more to see and explore around the city so walk it and take it all in. Enjoy Dublin 🙂 and its hospitality!

An update on Einstein

A few days ago I had a dream of a beautiful bird with colorful feathers, in my dream I knew it was Einstein even though it didn’t look  anything like my little ugly bird. His story is over a month old, everything is back to normal this end with an addition of a bird feeder right in the middle of the front garden. The perfect view from my couch where I plant myself every morning with my cup of ginger tea and dark chocolate. There is something relaxing about watching a handful of birds picking at bird seeds with squirrels scavenging from the ground sharing their loot with the doves that are far too fat to place themselves on the bird feeder that is meant for the little birds.

The whole neighborhood is quite and then there is our place buzzing with the sound of content little hearts, singing and making a mess that is then being cleaned up by other hungry critters. I had sent out an email to Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary inquiring about the fate of my little pet and here is the response I received that just made my day!

Here is our email exchange -:

Good day Monika,
Hope this message finds you in good health and great spirit. It’s been just over a month and I was meaning to send out an email earlier. Was wondering how Einstein’s transition went from being a little feedling to a happy bird in his new environment. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Was he successfully released into the wild? I know you are very busy so please respond when you have the time.  
Again, thank you for all that you do for the most pure and vulnerable. 
Kind regards,
Jasmin 🙂

 

Hi Jasmin

Little Einstein is wild and free now.  He grew up to be quite handsome and strong, and was released with the other starlings about 3 weeks ago.  For several days I was able to keep track of him, he would come and “buzz” over our heads!
But we have a large wild flock that frequents our sanctuary and I’m pretty sure he joined up with them, and it’s no longer possible to see who is who.
Thanks for caring!
Monika

If you are feeling generous and want to help out then please support this privately run Animal Rescue Service. I have seen it first hand and experienced what they do and how dedicated they are to saving the wildlife. Where other animal services refused and even wanted to put down a perfectly healthy bird and threatened me with the law and its consequences, this place was the only place willing to help out a ” common” bird and give it a chance at life. Any amount is helpful. This place depends on public donations and is not supported by any government organization. Its is a registered charity and they will provide you with a receipt for donations over $20.00.

I will forever be thankful to Monika and her crew for taking in Einstein and giving it a change at life !

The real story of Einstein -Life is all about chances.

Doing the last minute grocery shopping Tom and I came across this lady in a wheelchair who was cheering on this other lady who seemed half inebriated, fussing over her lunch box. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to peek over. She was petting this nestling and trying to make it drink water. A big NO NO. The bird had obviously fallen out of its nest and had no business to be in a drunk lady’s lunch box… this called for immediate action on behalf of an “Ex- nestling stealer” AKA Moi. I am not proud of my ” bird-kidnapping” past but I learnt very valuable skills taking care of birds through trial and error…

I asked the ladies if I could care for the bird, take him home and contact the Brampton Animal rescue services. They were all too  glad to let me have that half scared to death nestling. I ran back into the grocery store and got a cardboard box from one of the employees and took my little scared friend home. Soon after my call to the Brampton animal Services.. an agent showed up to remove the bird from my possession. On further questioning the fate of my friend , turns out that the Animal Rescue Society gives little to no priority to abandoned birds and their way of helping a scared nestling is to put it to sleep.

By this time my parents were over at home for dinner and saw all this drama unfold. Rescue services wanted to take the bird from me and I refused to hand it over knowing that he would be put to sleep. The conversation ended with me asking them to fine me for breaking the law that states that I can’t have a wild bird in my possession and that it would be a pleasure for me to contest it in the court of law. The agent left, and now starts the story of Einstein.

This amazing little fighter who had fluff over his head couldn’t be called by a better name.He was smart, very bold, very hungry, very noisy and very much determined to survive. I finger fed him some cooked chicken to sustain him till I could go to the shops and buy him some cat food. Birds in the wild eat a lot of insects and berries depending on the kind they are. This one was either a Robin or a songbird. High protein diet mixed with nuts and carbs is a good feed to keep them growing.  The diet needs to be soft so the best thing to do is chew it in your mouth and make a paste of it and then if you have tiny fingers like mine, push it down its gullet or use the back of a plastic spoon/fork/knife and feed the bird when it voluntarily opens its mouth. Birds at the nestling stage are often hungry and will eat every 15-30 minutes… so it is a very important job you are undertaking and without full commitment on your part, they stand no chance of survival. Never give birdlings water. At that stage it is the worse thing you can be doing and never dilute food you are feeding them in milk as it just doesn’t suit their bodies. From nursing sick crows to common sparrow, baby robins, nightingales and plenty other species, names of which are not known to me- I felt quite qualified to undertake this task, however I needed help. My work schedule demanded me to leave for 4 days and I needed someone who could step up to the challenge. The only other person, the right person in this situation to depend on was my dad. I not only share his DNA but also his expertise on nurturing sick birds to health. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and turns out we had more in common than I knew… he was a bird- savior, a bit different than bird- kidnapper but we had the ” bird” in common.

Day 1 was spent in getting Einstein comfortable and warm with plenty of feed in his little belly. His make shift nest was the warm cut out leg of  Tom’s track pants, a deep cozy depression in which Einstein felt safe and secure.

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Einstein, 24 hrs after I found him, cozy in his nest.

The cat feed was a hit with Einstein and he was on the road to gaining his strength and showing his true colours, literally speaking. Dad took over caring for him, he did a fantastic job keeping track of the time schedule I had so meticulously put together… the earliest feed started at 5:30 am and the last feed of the night was around 9:00 pm. Einstein ate every 45 mintues to an hour and gutted down 1/2 tea spoon of cat feed every-time. 4 days later when Einstein was returned back in my care, he was a little fledgling, standing up in the nest and curiously looking around and figuring out the humans around him. Dad made a fantastic little nest for him out of thermocol, in which he could stand up and shoot his business outside onto the laid out bounty sheets. We had a fine rhythm going. He would poop, then shout out to be fed… after feeding he would poop again and scuttle back into his nest. His fluff was growing and the wax was falling off and feathers were being exposed.

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Einsteins nest, in which he could stand and pop out of whenever he was hungry.. this was placed in a cardboard box

 

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Einstein on day 4

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Einstein on the day of our long journey to his new abode. 

Einstein was turning into a fine little Starling. Noisy as ever, curious and bold. While I watered the plants outside he would hop around following me. I had to find him a home as with the flight schedule it was impossible that we carried on this shared custody of this feathered creature. He needed a place where he could interact with other birds and learn behavior true to his specie. I had tons of phone calls to make, so i got on the Ontario Wildlife Rescue Society and started calling all charities who took care of abandoned/ sick/injured birds. I got through to a lot but since these charities are run by volunteers, it is often not feasible for them to take on new responsibilities as they are lacking on resources. I was told unless it was an endangered or protected specie, I couldn’t be helped.

It was disappointing to know that after making it so far, and having that fighting spirit to make it though, that I wouldn’t be able to give Einstein the skills to fend for himself, which he would only be able to pick up and learn by watching other birds and by being in that environment. I needed to keep looking and finally found a place willing to take him in. Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary.

I spoke to a kind lady called Monika on the phone who informed me that they were located at a distance from where I was but, if I wasn’t able to find Einstein another home, that without discrimination they would take him in. This Wildlife Sanctuary was his new home, it was clear in my mind. Now all I had to do was get my little friend ready for his journey… we had a long way to go and that meant stopping on the side of the highway every 45 mins to give him food and making sure the car was adjusted at a comfortable temperature… not too hot/ cold. We were ready.

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It took us around 3 hrs and 15 minutes to get to Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary. Here is the link to their website


http://www.woodlandswildlifesanctuary.ca/

This is the place to call. Rescue Societies don’t have the means of saving every animal/bird and their simple solution to a common animals is lethal injection. This is an unfair practice, a complete opposite of what they are put in place for. Every animal/ bird has the right to live, I say this in spite of being a meat eater but, when you as an individual get a chance in life to make a change, step up to it and accept the challenge. Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary is run by a kind lady who has made it her life mission to rehabilitate and reintroduce wild animals in their natural habitat. Charities as selfless as these need our help and they only work on donations and rely on volunteers. This place is the home to a selfless soul and her wild fowl. 

Leaving Einstein in her care felt good, he felt safe and was put in with other baby birds, just where he belonged. I took a last picture of my little friend before I said good-bye, with this hope in my heart that soon within 3 weeks time he will be on his way to living his life in the wild.

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Saying goodbye to Einstein.

I drove back home with a heavy heart, it wasn’t easy to give him up but it was the right thing to do. I could hear his loud chirping in my ears for a good part of the day. He had left an imprint on my heart. The following day I get an email from Monika which made me smile and gave me the reassurance that life is all about chances. Einstein has obviously fallen out of his nest- ended up in a woman’s lunch box- then in my home – finally making it over to woodlands wildlife sanctuary, a home fit for him. His mum and dad and other birdlings would never be able to guess what became of him, that he lives almost 260 kms away in the care of a kind woman along with other Starlings, soon enough getting ready to enjoy his life in the wild.

Email from Monika :

Hi Jasmin,

Thank you so very much for your kind donation and helping little Einstein.  He is quite the character!  We gave him a little nest to sleep in last night (which he snuggled into, but this morning he is up and hopping about.  Never one to miss a meal, we are feeding him a yummy diet and will introduce meal worms and other bugs soon…a delicacy for baby starlings.
Once he is a bit stronger on his feet, he will go out into the gazebo where we have other starlings and song birds so he can socialize and fly about.
Thanks for rescuing him and bring him all that way to us…you are truly an angel for wildlife 🙂
Cheers,
Monika


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