Travel│Sintra

Lifestyle, My travels

Our last stay was in Lisbon, which we visited two days. But first, I wanna tell you about Sintra. This city/town has a couple of castles which are really worth the visit and so beautiful. We visited three of them, I don’t really know how much there are, but we visited the most popular ones, which are Palacio Monserrate, Palacio Quinta Da Regaleira and Palacio Nacional da Pena.
If you want to visit these three, or some others, let me give you some advice. Make sure you know which castle you pass first. We went to Palacio Monserrate first and didn’t know whe passed Palacio Quinta Da Regaleira on our way up. After we visited the first castle, we found out the other one was way down, close tot he center of the city, but it was a one way road, so we had to make a huge detour. Not convient.
Also, try to find out when are the best times to visit the castles. There were so many people everywhere and if you’re like me and can’t stand people walking in front of your camera the whole time, you better be prepared.

Anway, I’m not gonna talk to much about the castles, they were all beautiful, one more than the other. Second one was Palacio Nacional Da Pena and lastly, we went to Palacio Quinta Da regaleira.
I thought Palacio Quinta Da Regaleira was the most beautiful. Not because the inside was so beautiful, it was really not that interessting, but the outside was amazing and you had this huge park around it with a secret well where you have a spiral staircase to the bottom of the well. You can walk  underground in the dark to find the other exit of the well. You end up in this beautiful underground cave with a waterfall and a path over the water. Other than that, you have many more little towers or secret passages, a chapel and the amazing garden itself.

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Next best one, I thought, was the Palacio Monserrate. This garden is also so huge and beautiful and has many different gardens like a mexican one, a rose garden and a Japanese one. The building is also beautiful on the outside and even a little on the inside. You have these beautiful corridors which make you think a bit of the Arabian nights.

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I think most people like Palacio Nacional da Pena the best, but I thought that only the outside was beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, the inside was oke, but it’s just rooms with old furniture. Because we went around noon, there were so many people. Really, go later in the day. We had to line up for a long time and even after entering the castle, we still had to walk in a line because of the big crowd. The outside is colorfull and really nice, but up close, it’s hard to get a good picture.

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Anway we payed € 41.80 for Palacio Monserrate and Palacio Quinta Da regaleiro together and € 12 for Palacio Nacional da Pena. This isn’t really much for all the beautiful things we saw.

Aurely ❥

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Travel│Aveiro, Tomar and Batalha

Lifestyle, My travels

The second hotel we booked, was in Aveiro. From here, we would visit Aveiro itself, Tomar and Batalha. We only stayed here one night. Aveiro is called the Venice of Portugal. This little town has a large channel, which you can make boattrips on, in boats that look a little like the boats in Venice. This town also isn’t really big, but it’s really nice to walk alongside the channel, where you also can spot beautiful houses. Everywhere you look, you can find houses and buildings covered with colorfull tiles. When you go tot he center of the town, you will find many cosy restaurants and cafes. Speciality of this town are Ovos Moles, which is a sweetness based on eggs and sugar. Many shops and also cafes sells these ovos moles, so when we went for a drink, we ordered a plate with typical cookies and ovos moles. You should definiately try it!

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Not far away from Aveiro, you can find Costa Nova. This town is know for it’s striped houses alongside the sea. We made a nice walk along the beach, which was very nice because there wern’t any people. After that, we did a little walk to find the striped houses. You can find some in the small streets, but most of them lay along the main street, where the restaurants and the shops are. Other than that, there isn’t much here, but it’s a nice beach and the houses look really cool.

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Tomar, again, isn’t really a big city, but those are the nicest ones. There also arn’t many (big) things to visit, but you have the castle of Tomar, Convento do Christo. This is really awesome if you love to visit old buildings/castles. The castlegrounds are already really huge with a big garden. The outside of the castle is nice to watch to.
Inside, you have a courtyard with trees and again, beautiful tiles. To visit the castle, you have to pay  € 6 (one person).

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Deeper inside the castle, you can find the round church with some kind of sculpture in the middle of it and everything is beautifuly decorated. When you walk further, again, there’s a beautiful courtyard with a nice view. There are many halls and chambers you can visit.

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After that, we drove to Baltalha, which is also very close. The most interesting thing you can find here is the Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria. This building is already so breathtaking on the outside and sooo huge. Inside, it looks like a normal church, expect for one part. Here, you can find the founders chapel, which you have to pay € 6 euros for (one person), but the rest of the mosteiro is included. It’s in this chapel that the grave of King Johan I of Portugal lies. The amazing stained-glass windows show their beautiful colors on the ground and walls.

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Afterwards, you can visit the mosteiro.  Here you also have a huge courtyard where you can see the amazing architecture of the building with its amazing columns and decorated walls. You should really, definitely, absolutely visit this!

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Lastly, you could visit the unfinished chapels, which you can find behind the church. This was built in an octagonal form, with the entranceway on an axis and seven radiating chapels separated by small triangular structures. There is no roof at all.

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So we payed € 24 for both the buildings, for two persons, which is actually not that much and they were absolutely worth the visit!

Aurely ❥

Travel│Braga and Guimarães

Lifestyle, My travels

The second day of our trip, we decided to visit Braga and Guimarães, which are two little towns/cities that lay close to each other and are a little one hour drive away from Porto. First, we went to Guimarães. Here, you can take a cable car to Monte da Penha, which they say has an amazing view and where you can visit a sanctuary. Unfortunately, that day, the cable car was out of service and the only way to visit the sanctuary and see the view, was by cable car or by car, but than we had to go back and forth so we decided to just go see the town. Still, if you can, take the cable car and go to the top. Anyway, once we went to the center of the town and entered ‘the village’, you had all this houses that looked like they came from the Middle Ages (I havn’t got really good pictures of it, because on every picture there was a stupid truck or tents and flags, probably for the World Cup match). This village/town isn’t really big, but if you walk further, there are many more elements/buildings (from the Middle Ages) that you can discover.

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If you walk deeper into the city, you find the Castelo de Guimarães, which only did costs us € 4, for us both. Inside, you can walk alongside the castle walls or on the walls and even go in the big tower, that’s in the middle of the square. Here you can find some more information about the history of the castle. The castle isn’t really big and it’s a short walk, so I thought it wasn’t really that special, but it was nice.
There were also a few other things to do or buildings to see, but we choose not to. So if you want to visit Guimarães, you can still look some things up.

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After that, before we went to Braga, we went to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro.
When we got there, we noticed we were the only ones there. I didn’t know if that was because Portugal had to play during the World Cup or that there wern’t many visitors at that hour (we went around noon). Anyway, the whole place was amazing and really big. You had a little garden with nice courners and benches and stuff and you had the building itself, which was located on a huge scare and it was so beautiful. In the distance, you had this view, which was also beautiful.  Inside, the Sanctuary was nice as well, but it didn’t had that ‘wow’ effect you got on the outside. I really, really liked this visit!

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Then we got back in the car and drove to the lowest point of the Bom de Jesus. To get to the church of Bom Jesus do Monte, you had to climb a baroque staircaise, made of granite. Again, this was so beautiful and amazing! If you don’t want to climb the stairs, there’s also a cable car to bring you to the top, but I have to say, you kinda miss the feeling and experience if you don’t climb the stairs and actually it wasn’t that hard. Every level is decorated with symbolic fountains, each with a different theme.

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Once you reach the top, you have a beautiful place with plants and trees. You have the church, which we didn’t visit, and some terraces where you could drink something and again, a nice view!

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The city of Braga isn’t really big either, but you can visit the sé. Inside you can find a magnificent organ, fully decorated in gold. This is mainly the old center, but you also can find some more modern streets and shops and again, some more nice buildings and churches.  By far, the sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro and the Bom Jesus with the stairs were one of my favorite places to visit, because they were so beautiful!

Aurely ❥

 

Travel│Porto

Lifestyle, My travels

Heii everyone, I’m finally back from my trip to Portugal! It was an amazing journey and I want to share it with you! I’m gonna talk about the things you must see/visit when you’re in portugal. I’m sorry it took so long before posting another blogpost!

Me and my boyfriend started in Porto and from there we did take a little ‘roadtrip’ untill we were in  lisbon. We visited Porto, Braga, guimarães, Aveiro, Tomar, Batalha, Obidos, Peniche, Sintra, Evora and Lisbon. I’m gonna do my best to only talk about the real interesting things and I will try to keep it short (but I don’t think I will).
Everyone says you have to visit lisbon, but I thought Porto was maybe even better.

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Porto is a city that lies alongside the Douro River and is not far away from the Douro valley, which is know for it’s amazing nature and where you can find the many fields where they grow the grapes they use for porto
Anyway, if your hotel isn’t in the center of the city or not near the center, you can always take a metro. We mostly did everything on foot, that’s when you really discover the city or see nice things.

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There are two things you should do when you’re in Porto, which is eating some of their specialties or go taste some porto. One of the specialties of porto is fish. You can walk down Cais Da Ribeira, where you can find many restaurants and cute little cafe’s. Also, the houses have different colors, but you can see this better from across the river, where you also have the many cellars of porto wine. It’s also nice to make a walk alongside the Douro and where you can enjoy the amazing view of the bridge the Ponte Louis I.DSC09005DSC09004.JPGDSC09635.JPG

To taste some Porto, you have to cross this bridge, which is an amazing construction. When you cross the bridge, you’re no longer in Porto, this side is called Vila Nova de Gaia. Here you can find many cellars for tastings like Kopke, Sandeman, Burmester, Graham’s, calem and many more. Since my boyfriend works at a winehouse in Belgium, he wanted to taste some porto and he choose Burmester, since that’s a porto they sell. I don’t really like the taste of porto, but I can tell you, the tour we got plus the information was so interesting! We had to pay € 20 for the two of us, which isn’t really that much. I learned a lot and we got to taste the red and white porto and luckily, I did like the white porto.

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If you are in the city, there are many amazing buildings to see. To start with, you have the Igreja da santo ildefonso, which is beautiful decorated from the outside with blue and white tiles. When you walk further down, you see the station São Bento which looks kinda normal on the outside, but the inside is also decorated with many blue and white tiles. Further down the road, you should visit egreja e torre dos Clérigos where you can go up in the tower to have a view upon the city. Many of you probably don’t like churches, but I do, and there were many of them so beautiful. Some only on the outside, some on the inside and some both.

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This church was nice on the inside, which you don’t have to pay for, but if you want to go higher up in the church to have a view from above and were you can visit some rooms inside the church, you have to pay € 10. Not that much, right? The tower is included in this.  The view was very nice to see.

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Close by, you have livraria Lello, which is a bookshop, but it isn’t just a bookshop. Here you can find the most beautiful staircase, which inspired  J.k. Rowling for the bookstair in the second movie, where Harry visits this bookshop to buy some schoolbooks and where he meets Gilderoy Lockheart (remember?). Of course, you have to pay to visit this bookshop. On the corner of the same street, you can buy a ticket for 5 euros. If you buy a book in livraria Lello, you get your 5 euro’s back. If I can give you a tip, buy your ticket in advance and come back between 17 and 18 p.m. Most people visit in the morning and the afternoon, so it should be less crowded. I had to have a lot of patience to get a good picture without all the people on it. It was kinda frustrating, but I managed to get on. The rest of the bookstore is pretty beautiful to, but it’s still a bookshop. I payed my € 5 to get a quick picture, to go up and look around. They were cleaver enough to make money out of this.  Still, I’m happy I saw it.DSC09720DSC09729

Ofcourse we visited the Sé Do Porto, which is the kathedral of the city. I thought it was kinda more beautiful on the outside than the inside, but that’s my opinion. Still worth a visit.

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A last thing I’m gonna tell you is, if you want a beautiful sunset, you have two options.

You could go to Jardins do Palácio de Cristal which is a beautiful and big park where there are also many beautiful peakcocks. If you wait long enough, you have a beautiful sunset and a view over a side of the city.

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We were a bit to early, but another day, we climbed tot he highest point of the point louis I bridge and still enjoyed the beautiful colors of the sun and the sky. Be sure to make a nightwalk alongside the Douro as well!

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These were the highlights of Porto, but don’t be fooled, their were many more! You have the many little streets and cute shops. Their are many parks and much more beautiful buildings. There is an awesome ‘barn’ where they sell lots of cool vintage stuff. I would say, Porto is worth the visit!

Aurely ❥

 

Outfit│ Stripes

Fashion

Finally,  there’s a bit more sun and it’s warmer. It’s still windy sometimes, but hey, it’s a start.  I really like taking long walks in the nature, but when it’s hot, it’s not really comfortable to do this with a pair of jeans. Also, I’m not really fond of shorts, because it just doesn’t fit me. It’s a curvy girl kinda problem. I just need loose clothes, because everything’s so thight. That’s when I found this striped pants. It has been weeks, maybe  months, that I’m searching for a striped pants, but it’s kinda hard. Many people are saying that girls who are curvy or a bit ‘bigger’, shouldn’t wear stripes.
That’s not my opinion. I think anyone can wear whatever the fuck they want. Still I think you just have to find the right size and model, because I do admit, I could still look a bit ugly or messy. That’s why I love this striped pants from New Look for € 29,99. It’s very loose and comfortable. I have big hips and my waist is smaller, so it’s ideal to wear the pans just above my hips. I paired this with my black tshirt from Pimkie for € 9,99, wich has roses on it. I don’t really have much tshirts in my closet, I usually wear more blouses or tops, but I just love this one and I think it kinda fits. With this, I’m wearing my black flats from the Primark for €10 and my new bag, also from Primark, which I don’t really remember but I think it was around €10 – €15, but it could be less.

I really love this outfit and I’m glad I finally found a striped pants that doesn’t make me look bigger. On the other hand, it doesn’t make me look smaller either, but I guess I have to embrace my female curves. The pants could be a bit longer, but I still like it. What do you think?

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Aurely ❥

Test │Scrubs

Beauty, skincare

Summer is coming, which means tops and shorts! Or skirts and dresses, whatever. Anyway, it means that it’s time to show our legs again, our in my case, my milk bottles. The easiest way to get a tan, is to use some tanning lotion or other tanning products. I mean, if you use it right, so you don’t look like an oompa loompa. Apparantly, there are also tanning pills now. You could go to a tanning center (is that how it’s called?), but it isn’t always cheap. Anyway, this post isn’t about tanning. To make sure that or legs will tan nicely, you have to make sure you scrub your legs first. When you remove dead skin cells, your legs will tan faster.

Scrubs enough in the world, but which are good en which make sure you don’t have a red or irritated skin? I’ve tested three different onces, a cheap one, one from a brand and one develloped or released by someone ‘known’.

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1. Almond body scrub – € 2,75 Hema

I use this one for years now, so I didn’t made an effort to buy any other. The scrub has an amazing smell and consists of almonds (which I’m fan of), but the scent isn’t overwhelming. This almond body scrub has tiny grains, causing the dead skins to be removed gently. It has a sand-like texture, which I guess most scrubs have. Although it are fine grains, I feel them really good on my skin, which means they do their job. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I never have problems with redness or irritated skin anyway. I think this scrub would be good for people who have sensitve skin to. My legs feels soft and shines a bit. The smell isn’t really noticeable anymore. A big plus is that it doesn’t cost much at all!

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 2. Sugar body scrub – € 6.99 Kruidvat

This is a bit more expensive (but not that much) because it’s a brand. As soon as I remove the lit, I get a really strong scent in my face. The smell is not unpleasent, but it’s definitely not my favorite and it’s kinda special. The scrub seems a bit runny because on top, there is liquid, so watch out when you open it. Unfortunatly, most of it is already on my desk and I tell you, it will make stains. After using the scrub a few times, the liquid dissapears. After that, the scrub is really hard and it’s difficult to get it out of the jar. Again, this scrub also has fine grains, but they are very hard so I would say, take it easy on the scrubbing. Certainly not a good scrub for people with sensitive skin, I think. After I washed the scrub of my legs, they rather feel greasy instead of smooth.  When I dried them of, they feel a bit more smooth, but less than the first scrub (almond body scrub).

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 3. Pretty polished sugar scrub Zoella – € 9.99 Di Beauty

For those who don’t know, Zoella is a well know vlogger in America, but she has a few followers here in Belgium, like myself. This scrub is from her first beauty line and in the mean time, she has a second beauty line out. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought a product of hers. It also cost a lot more, but that’s what you get when you buy things from ‘famous’ people. But what is very important, is that it’s not tested on animals! Good one, girl!
This scrub has an amazing smell, which I can’t describe. In the scrub, there are red dots, but I don’t know what they are. On the packaging you can find the ingredients, but I still don’t really know what’s in it. When I take a bit of the scrub in my hand, it feels very sticky and you don’t feel any grains. I kinda like this weird texture. It’s only when I started scrubbing, that I feel the grains. They scrub nicely, but not to hard, so again, good for people with sensitive skin, in my opinion. I don’t have an unpleasant feeling when I scrub and I don’t know wheter it’s the fact that this is a sugar scrub or because of the weird texture. After rinsing my legs, they don’t hurt or arn’t red at all. Besides that, I still can smell the scrub a bit, which is very nice.

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Opinion

I still like to use my old trusty scrub, the almond body scrub, because it just works for me. It smels nice and the price is amazing! Although, I really like the sugar scrub from Zoella as well! Everything is amazing about this product, it just cost a bit more, but I guess it’s kinda worth it.
I’m not to keen on the body scrub from Kneipp, because I just didn’t like the smell, but of course, this smells different for everyone. Also, the grains were very hard, which I don’t really mind, but I rather have a scrub with fine grains in it. This was the case with the other two scrubs and they still did their jobs. My legs did feel smoother than using the one from the brand Kneipp. I’m obviously not saying this scrub is bad, but it’s just I liked the other two better.
I would certainly recommend you to try the one from Zoella, but mabye one of the other two could be something for you. Start scrubbing, ladies!

 

Aurely ❥