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│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 ❥