• Europe,  Turkey

    48 Hours in Istanbul – Photo Gallery

    With 48 hours to explore such a big city, I opted to only focus on one side of Istanbul, the southwest of Bosphurus river. And this side was bustling with various things to indulge myself in. From the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia to the old Jewish colorful neighborhood of Balat, going by the subterraneous labyrinth of the Grand Bazaar, I walked everywhere. Turkish delights added a sweetness to my wanderlust, while roasted chestnuts and the typical chewy ice-cream, known as dondurma, kept me company while “people watching”. Istanbul was a delight to explore and photograph.   But if it’s a rooftop you are looking for in Istanbul, read this:…

  • Europe,  Turkey

    More than a Secret Rooftop in Istanbul

    Have you ever felt it?! When you find a place you didn’t know existed before, you hadn’t imagined it, you weren’t expecting it, you are the only one there and it wraps you up in the soul of a city like a blanket in the cold night… Every traveller craves this feeling. And I found that sort of place in Istanbul. In fact I found it several times. I found it in the colorful streets and coffee shops of Balat neighborhood. I found it in the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. I found it in the Turkish delights I thought I didn’t like and gave another chance. I found it in…

  • Europe,  Germany

    Neuschwanstein, a Fairytale Castle

    “Pinch me!! Am I dreaming?!” No, I wasn’t dreaming. Neither was I the sleeping beauty and (sadly) I definitely didn’t have a Prince standing outside my bedroom to wake me up with a kiss… But believe me, when the grandiose Neuschwanstein Castle appeared in the distance, the last thing I thought was the kiss of the Prince… An authentic fairytale Castle stood upon the hill,

  • Europe,  Greece

    SANTORINI: 4 THINGS TO DO OFF THE BEATEN (BLUE AND WHITE) PATH

    If you have read my previous post or even ever googled Santorini, you will have seen the famous dreamy cliff-towns painted in blue and white: Fira and Oia. But outside these towns, Santorini has other colours and much more to explore… So I have put together a little list of 4 things to do off the beaten path: 1 – VISIT THE RED BEACH OF AKROTIRI At the extreme opposite side of the island,there is a red South-West corner worth having a look at:

  • Europe,  Greece

    IF LOVE WAS AN ISLAND…

    My heart skipped a beat and my eyes travelled back and forth, looking to be an ultra-wide-angle lens in order to take it all in. It wasn’t until Michael let out a wow, that I realized I was also holding my breath. And just like that I knew I was falling in love with the island of SANTORINI!   I arrived in Santorini already excited to finally explore the island that had for years featured at the top of my bucket list (if you can call a bucket list a I-want-to-visit-every-place-in-the-world’s list). It was early May and we landed in a very windy island. At first this was quite disappointing,…

  • Europe,  Hungary

    Buda-Pest – one city, two personalities

    How could Buda exist without Pest?! Walking around the two sides of the Danube river it is like being in two different cities. Buda has as many hills as wealth, glamour and historical elegance. Pest is as flat as crowded, buzzing and modernly elegant. So different and yet, I feel that the two personalities complement each other in a subtle way that made me fall in love the moment I landed in Budapest. I visited Budapest back in the end of the summer’12. My friend Pedro was living there and so he shown me around. Sadly, the city still has deep marks from the second world war and from the…

  • Europe,  Glasgow,  Scotland

    A Portuguese living in GLASGOW and a list of lessons

    Hey hey! It has been ONE YEAR living in GLASGOW. Where does the time go?! Here is a list of what it has taught me: 1 – There is no such thing as “couple of drinks” 2 – And “I only had a few drinks”, means you had 8! 3 – My heart is terrified of a deep fried Mars bar. 4 – Everybody loves beer, but no one really likes Tennent’s lager. 5 – Blootered, hammered, steamin’, plastered and just plain pished… all these words mean “drunk”. 6 – The winter lasts 355 days of the year. 7 – Off those 355, 15 days you don’t drive: you slide…

  • Europe,  Italy

    Murano, Burano and Torcello

    We bought the excursion tickets from our reception hotel and later we found out we could have just taken a bus-boat, but well, here we go to the islands! The first island is Murano, the island of glass, well has a glass fabric. There is a little demonstration on how it is all done and then we are taken to a glass shop. I was disappointed because we didn’t get to walk around the island, so I don’t really know if there is much to see. As the boat approaches the second island, Burano, my eyes must have looked like a cartoon – wide open! The island is so colorful!…

  • Europe,  Italy

    Venice, a ride on the Gondola

    My parents don’t speak English… but when it comes to negotiate the prices my mum speaks the international language… the body language! And she just walks away… we look at each other, we know what that means – we follow her. 100 euros for a 20 minutes Gondola ride is a “let’s esturpate this tourists” bit too expensive. So my mum counts slowly 1…2…3! And we hear “Senhora!” The man nearly running after us… He says “Eighty?” I translate to my mum… “Oitenta.” My mum looks at him pretending to consider, pretends to hesitate and say “Okay”. – She is the best!!! That’s the price she wanted to pay from the beginning!…

  • Europe,  Italy

    Venice in a Postcard

    My father cleans the tears after hugging my mum once again, and he turns to me and my sister with a big smile. I haven’t seen him in over 6 months: he was with his work, the Navy, doing the NATO.   He opens an envelope with a collection of postcards from the places he has been: “…and this one was my favorite city: Venice, in Italy”.  A little boat is reflected in the water, a man stands at the rear end of the boat holding a pad, he wears a hat with a red ribbon and a stripped jumper, very elegant, I thought. “In this city, the roads are rivers…

  • Europe,  Iceland

    I am inside a Volcano!!!

    Ahh today I am very excited because we are going inside a volcano. Iceland has the only volcano on earth where this is possible – the Thrihnukagigur (which means “Three peaks volcano”) last erupted 4000 years ago, so it’s safe right? First we have to walk for 1 hour across a lava field until we reach the entrance of the volcano.  To get in the volcano we go in this lift…  The lift take us down 120 meters, the first bit is quite tight but then we reach the enormous and intimidating chamber! The magma chamber of this volcano could easily fit the New York City’s Statue of Liberty.  This place is amazing!…

  • Europe,  Iceland

    The Blue Lagoon

    Time to pack – bikini, towel, shampoo, another change of clothes…! Our last stop is a geothermal spa – the so famous Blue Lagoon! The water is rich in silica and sulphur and so warm! It has reputation for helping with some skin diseases and there are several packages available where you can get massages and other treatments. But we only wanted to get in the lagoon! Also, there are different saunas to experiment dry and wet saunas. Personally it was the first time I have been in a sauna and the wet one made me feel dizzy! But the nordic people seem to enjoy it and jump from one to another! We…

  • Europe,  Iceland

    Iceland – Snorkeling between Tectonic Plates

    Hello!!! Here we are at the Thingvellir National Park again! This time we came with the Scuba Iceland Dive Team to dive in the lake, more precisely at the Silfra crack, where the melted glacier water joins the lake, a 50km journey through lava fields that gives this water an all year around temperature of 2 to 3ºC, no matter the water or the season of the year!!