Lisbon summer flings…

Hello there,

For those of you who have read my recent post on Lisbon already know what a fabulous city this is and how easy it is to get a great shot of Lisbon with all those hills. This one I kept for an extra post as I am in love with the location which is actually a fortress – Castelo de Sao Jorge – and used to be the royal residence until the 16th century when King Manuel I. decided to move out. Today it is one of the best platforms to discover Portuguese history and take photographs of the city. The panorama is absolutely breathtaking and tricks you into believing you’re at the ocean. It is also a great spot to take selfies, mother and daugther photos or to just accidentally have a photoshoot of your newly purchased dress that you’re absolutely in love with. Just beware of the wind up there!

Bisou, M

DSC_0308DSC_0300DSC_0314DSC_0348DSC_0315DSC_0320DSC_0324DSC_0329DSC_0341DSC_0350

Advertisements

A Postcard from Lisbon

Hello lovebirds,

I admit it’s been a while since our last post and it’s perhaps got to do with Lara first heading off to the U.S. and then starting her career as a teacher which means she won’t really be joining me on this project anytime soon. So I began to hesitate whether to keep writing, or to quit living in this abstract, superficial online world where you’re constantly under pressure to produce new interesting content but I finally decided it’s really up to me how I spend my days and I just won’t allow myself to get drawn into this mainstream kind of thing and decided to just continue doing what I love.

But this isn’t really what I wanted to tell you. About a month ago, I visited Lisbon and as I was going through my photos with my dad yesterday morning, I once again realized it would be a shame not to share them with you. Also because I’m head over heels in love with Lisbon and would go back at this very moment if I could. I even started learning Portuguese, so yes, it really hit me this time.

DSC_0188

My expectations of Lisbon were quite high as all my friends that had been there before told me I’d love it for sure so when mum and I left, I actually started having doubts cause I was worried my expectations would be too high. It quickly turned out though that despite all my friends’ comments I did fall in love with this place instantly. The locals were disturbingly friendly, they’d try to help you out even if you don’t speak a word of Portuguese (and obrigada doesn’t count). People were so surprisingly calm and relaxed, the world quickly slowed down and I felt very welcome in this city. It was my first time in Portugal, so I had absolutely no clue about their history, culture, language and I enjoyed my stay so much that I can’t wait to go back there to check out some more places. Porto is definitely on top of my travel list.

DSC_0370

Lisbon – or Lisboa as the Portuguese call their capital city – is built on supposedly 7 hills but apparently there are 8. Since it’s more prestigious to have 7 hills like the Roman capital why not make it 7, right? Anyways, it’s a hilly city with a lot of walking up and down, so if you ever do plan to go there you might want to leave your high heels at the hotel. The good news is that in a city with 7 hills you get a hell good of a view of the city. There is a great number of Miradouros – which means viewing platform in Portuguese -that will reward your sweaty climbing efforts.

DSC_0113

Esplanada das Portas do Sol

On our first night, mum and I went for an evening walk and as we strolled through the ancient streets of Lisbon, we came across a traditional festival with dancers wearing traditional clothing. A day earlier (12 June), the Santo Antonio Festival, patron saint of Portugal, started so we figured this must have still been part of the party that was going on all weekend. The further we went, the more the streets  filled up with people and the smell of freshly grilled Sardines and traditional music. Houses in Portugal are beautifully decorated with colourful tiles that make you want to take pictures of every single one. In the background you can see the Tejo river that very much resembles the ocean but really is a river delta. The architecture and monuments take you back to colonial times when Lisbon was still a rich,  international colonial power.

DSC_0279DSC_0493

Any blogger that has been to Lisbon or Portugal generally writes about how delicious the small little vanilla pastries – pastéis de nata – are, so I’ll spare you that one (but let’s be honest, they really are damn fabulous!). I’ll talk about ginjinha, a lovely cherry liquor, instead that you should give a go while there. I am usually not very fond of spirits but this liquor really is worth giving it a try. It tastes like a cherry popsicle to be honest and you can get it on the streets in Alfama or any local store if you want to take it home.

IMG_5576

Pastel de Nata

77260867e8289d9f173ba9378dea3cb8

Photo by Pinterest

Here is some advice that might be useful to you, or even to myself when I re-read this before my second trip to Lisbon/Portugal:

  • Transport: It’s best to get a ‘viva viagem’ card at the metro station. It’s a little green card that costs about 1€ and is refundable. Without this card you’ll have troubles getting around in Lisbon. You will need to put some money on the card so you can use public transport. They’ll charge you every time you get on the tram/bus/metro, unless you can get a day pass, meaning that you can get on and off as many times as you wish. ALSO: there is no metro till late in the morning. So if you plan on getting to the airport by metro, please make sure you check the timetable first. This might be helpful: http://www.metrolisboa.pt
  •  Be careful at restaurants. Keep in mind that the starters (usually cheese, bread, olives etc.) on the table are not free, they are usually included in the ‘couvert’ that will be charged anyways.
  • Beware of pickpockets, especially when riding the historical Eléctrico 28! If you’d like to take a ride on tram 28 make sure you get on at Martim Moniz (there’s usually a long queue but it’s worth waiting). End stop is usually Prazeres but you can easily get off at any other stop. Mum and I hopped off in Chiado near the famous Café A Brasileira where Fernando Pessoa, famous Portuguese poet, had a drink every now and then while doing some writing.

DSC_0116

  • My favourite Miradouros: Miradouro da Graça,  Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara, Largo das Portas do Sol.
  • I always love having a little tour guide on me when I travel. One of my favourites is the Marco Polo one as it gives a nice overview of the city’s history, culture, people, most important sights, usually includes a map. I was very satisfied with the different adventure tours they put together. Every tour is timed and even calculated if you want to visit all their museums they propose. They also planned coffee and lunch breaks where you can enjoy your time in Lisboa.

Hope this was somewhat useful. Have a happy stay in Lisbon!

Bisou, M

DSC_0477

Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcântara

DSC_0362DSC_0399DSC_0673DSC_0275DSC_0061

In love with…a Parisian restaurant guide

Hi lovebirds,

I’m sure you all agree on how easy it is to find touristy restaurants and cafés in cities like Paris. But the question is: where to real Parisians go to? Before heading to this city of love, I asked my Parisian friends for advice and they handed me over a list of addresses of cafés, bars, restaurants they love. Unfortunately, we couldn’t try them all but this gives us another excuse to return to Paris soon.

  1. holybelly – Café/ Brunch (13€ for a meal)

Monday morning was girls brunch time. 3 girls, 2 Australia lovers and 1 café = holybelly + foodgasm. Holybelly is a hidden place in 10e arrondissement but still has quite a high reputation, especially amongst internationals. It is a french owned place inspired by Australian food and culture and is very authentic. Continue reading

In love with…Paris, je t’aime!

Hi lovebirds,

I’m sure you’re all familiar with this feeling when life hits you and you just have the urge to go away and travel. Well that’s what happened to me the other day. Don’t get me wrong here, I do love my Strasbourg but sometimes I really love to get away. As making lists has kind of become a habit, my friend H and I started collecting ideas of places we’d like to visit in the near future. That’s when the brilliant idea came to us to just hop on the bus and head south to the capital city of love. Yes, you are right, Paris! Even though I’d been there a couple of times before, going to Paris never gets less exciting. On the contrary,
I was quite happy to have less pressure to see all the touristy places and couldn’t wait to finally try some nice cafés and restaurants and pretend to be a local Parisian girl. Continue reading

In love with…a Metz Travel Diary

Hey lovebirds,

a little while ago some friends and I went on a little road trip to Nancy and then continued to Metz. I do admit my expectations were quite high as friends had told me it was such a beautiful place but truth is, I was a little bit disappointed with the city. After all the positive comments, I had no choice but to be a bit upset. However, I discovered at least 4 things that I fell in love with. Continue reading

In love with…coming home to Strasbourg

Hey lovebirds,

first couple of days of 2016 are over and I’m back to reality, meaning back in Strasbourg, my second? third? –  I don’t even know anymore how many homes I’ve got – home. I started my new year with a journey, I wanted to do some more traveling after all. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to my friends in Austria but as soon as I got on the train I was excited to see mes amis en France. Traveling has so many advantages but hardly anyone ever speaks about the downsides of it and yes, I admit there are quite a few as well. Having friends and family all over the world seems like an amazing thing at first and I don’t wanna deny that, but if you have a closer look at it, having friends spread all around the world means that you constantly miss someone and something. Continue reading

In love with…my Diana

Hello lovebirds,

I just discovered an old entry that I was going to publish before I left Vienna. As I was obviously very busy, I’ve decided to post it anyways as it describes what I’ve been and still am going through and some people might ask themselves what it’s like to move away from home…this entry is dedicated to Diana, a true travel companion!

Diana has been a true friend, never has anyone been this loyal. She’s my lady in baby blue and black and is always full of surprises. As I’m slowly emptying my room, people start asking me questions: are you sad you have to leave the country? Continue reading

In love with…Nancy

Hey lovebirds,

I used my recent holidays to discover the area a little bit. Most friends asked me why I chose to go to Nancy or Metz instead of Paris or Lyon but the truth is, I just love exploring small cities. I love the charm and I guess the photos speak for themselves. Nancy reminded me of some kind of San Francisco (even though I’ve never been but it’s pretty hilly there at least compared to Strasbourg), Melbourne and a Roman city. Continue reading

In love with…5 must-sees in Strasbourg

Coucou lovebirds,

oh how have I missed the feeling of being on vacation! As per usual, right after my exams in June I started my internship in Vienna and then headed straight off to Strasbourg with a week of preparation which wasn’t really a holiday to me as you can imagine. So this is basically the first week I have off since, well, February and it feels pretty amazing. Mum and her boyfriend F came up for a long weekend which finally gave me the opportunity to discover the city I’ve lived in for two months now. So I spent a busy weekend as a tourist in my own city Continue reading

In love with…la petite Venise aka Colmar

Hey there lovebirds,

a couple of weeks ago I took a little trip to a wonderful city that carries the name ‘little Venice’. You might ask yourself why on earth there’s a city in France that is named after the perhaps most romantic Italian city, Venice? (not that I know anything about Italy’s romantic cities, I’m sure there’s heaps out there) Well, it’s because of the little creek that unfortunately has nothing in common with the lovely Italian sea – and the – surprise surprise – gondolas. We’ve had quite some good luck with the beautiful weather as it was one of the last summery days we’ve had. A gondola trip was definitely on our to-do list for Continue reading