Travel #4: Punta Cana, Domincan Republic

Hello there ūüôā

Today I bring you one my favourite trips so far. Although I like to travel to discover the world and to learn more about it, I believe that everyone should enjoy some lazy holidays from time to time.

After spending some holidays traveling within Europe on the previous years, we thought it was finally time to get some rest and where is better to rest than in the Caribbeans? I did lose some time searching exactly where to go, but after some talk with a cousin I was told that Punta Cana was perfect to go for laziness.

  • How did we got there?

Upon deciding Punta Cana was a go-go, we started looking at some flight prices and we tried to get a direct flight to Punta Cana. Well, but when you decide to plan a trip one month before going, it is not easy to get cheap and direct flights, so we went with AirEuropa.

Be prepared, if you go from Europe you can expect an 8 or 9 hour-long flight, which can be pretty boring/annoying so just pack books with you and feel your Smartphone/Tablet/Laptop with movies to see while flying. AirEuropa served us some meals, dinner included, and although it was not the best meal ever, it did suit our needs until we landed. Obviously, depending on where you are traveling from you have many more different airlines to travel with.

Punta Cana airport is amazingly simple. The airport is built in a traditional Dominican style with open-air terminals with their roofs covered in palm fronds, which means that when you are departing you can just stay seated watching the planes arrive and leave.

To get to the resort we opted to take a private shuttle from the resort, which was the fastest and most secure way to arrive to our destination. Usually all resorts give you the option of a shuttle to get there either a private or a shared one, just asked them and they won’t mind helping you with that.

About where I stayed, I’ll share it with you tomorrow, but meanwhile I’ll leave you a list here of which companies travel to Punta Cana Airport and from where the planes depart.

XOXO,

S.

A traveller’s dream #1: Greek Islands

Hello everyone ūüôā

Let’s talk about something I guess all of us do at least once in our lives or maybe once/twice a year if you are like me: dreaming awake about the trip you would like to do next.

For those who really are into getting a great tan and also explore amazing views, I believe this is a destination that already went through your mind. The Greek Islands have everything: good vibes, sun, beach and beautiful views.

So Greece has more than 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, which makes almost impossible to visit them all. At least, you should try to visit some of them and why not the most famous ones like Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Crete or Skyros?

I have been dreaming about spending a few days on one of these islands just facing the sun and relaxing, but also to explore a little. Did you know that some of the oldest civilizations like Cycladic have developed on these islands? This makes this destination also very rich in culture, archaeology and architecture.

So, on my search I found that the easiest way to get to any of the islands would be by taking a plane to Athenas and from there they have ferries everyday to the most important islands. I searched here¬†what ferry I could take to Santorini, Mykonos or Naxos and the price range is from 90‚ā¨ per person (with return included) to 150‚ā¨ more or less, that is influenced by the duration of the trip and the type of seat you choose.

About where to stay there I only searched on¬†Booking¬†for 4 and 5 stars hotels or resorts and with pool included because I am crazy about swimming pools. Apart from that, I went to look on Airbnb where I found some good offers for a reasonable price. I really trust in Airbnb housing and usually I choose it when I want to have a whole house for me to be able to cook and save some money, but when I’m on a lazy mood I just go for a hotel where I don’t have to care about anything unless enjoying my vacations.

Now, the most important is coming… Photos! Enjoy some images I gathered to make you dream about your next vacations..

 

XOXO,

S.

 

One night “stand” #1: Hotel Inglaterra Estoril

Hello everyone,

As me and B. still leave at our parent’s house privacy is not something that we have a lot, so sometimes we like to go on a one night getaway to a near hotel or guesthouse. It helps a lot breaking our daily routines and just be by ourselves sometimes.

Yesterday, while at work I got a text from B. saying that we shouldn’t sleep at home and we should head somewhere to be together. What could I say besides let’s go? After some indecision we decided to book a night at Hotel Inglaterra in Estoril.

For those that do not know, Estoril is a town on the well known Portuguese Riviera in the municipality of Cascais, where you can find Casino Estoril and Tamariz Beach.

First we head out to dinner and then we rushed home so we could get what we needed to spend the night away from home.

When we arrived, we were amazed on how well decorated the hotel is and with the hospitality at the reception. We got a room on the 3rd floor of the hotel and we quickly went upstairs to check the room and to leave our stuff.

Regarding the room, it was not a big room but it was enough for us. Everything was very cleaned and the room had a large bed and a window through which we could see the ocean. Again, the room was very well decorated with neutral colors and had a big Samsung TV, a safe and a full mini bar. You can see some photos of the hotel at the end.

We woke up this morning to a beautiful sunshine (Lisbon in May, what else?), after a well rested night, to take breakfast at the Bar/Restaurant of the hotel. Regarding it, there was not much variety but truly everything we needed was there from butter croissants, bread, homemade cake, jam, butter, scrambled and boiled eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurts, cereals and obviously coffee, and some more things.

After breakfast, we went to see the pool but unfortunately I forgot our bathing suits so yes we only did manage to see it but not enjoy it. Despite a small lounge space, the pool area is really good and we look forward to spend there an afternoon taking some sunbaths.

I really enjoyed spending the night at Hotel Inglaterra and despite it was a short stay we really enjoyed almost everything and I would definitely recommend other couples to visit it. Thank you for a great getaway ūüôā

 

XOXO,

S.

Travel #2: Porto (Part 2)

Hi guys!

I know it has been some time since I published Part 1, but I never thought it could be so hard to write about food and wine.

If you are like me you really value food and most of all, you value and appreciate the typical food of the places you go. If you go Porto, a city in the north of Portugal, don’t expect less than a full plate and great food (obviously, the full plate doesn’t happen in those gourmet restaurants that make me sad with the small amount of food geometrically centered in my plate). So, what are the dishes that you shouldn’t skip? Here is my list:

  • Francesinha¬†

Francesinha_especialAlthough I do not appreciate this specific dish, almost everyone I know is just crazy about it. It’s a sandwich mix of several types of meat like¬†sausage, fresh sausage, ham, cold meats and beef steak. All of this is¬†fully covered with cheese and then it’s guarnished with beer, tomato sauce and chili. It’s always served with fried chips and in some places with a fried egg.

  • Tripas √† moda do Porto

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So this one a very tradicional portuguese recipe which some say that goes back to the Age of Discovery when Portugal started sailing the sea and discovering the world. Basically, the inhabitants of Porto were left only with the tripe of the animals to eat, so they invented this dish. It is a mix of meat, tripe, white beans, some vegetables and ‘enchidos’, like chorizo and morcela. For me everything that comes with enchidos aside is just awesome and if you never ever tried one portuguese morcela or chorizo you don’t know what you’re missing in life! Just by curiosity, due to this dish Porto people are usually called ‘Tripeiros’.

  • Bacalhau √† Gomes de S√°

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Oh my oh my.. Codfish is the portuguese wonder! We have more than 100 different dishes made out of codfish and they are all so amaziing. In Portugal we usually use salted and dried codfish to our recipes and this one is no exception. The ingredients are, besides cod, onions, garlic, eggs, olives, olive oil and boiled potatoes. This goes to the oven and just comes out like one of the greatest dishes I ever tasted. Get a recipe here and try it by yourself.

  • Caldo Verde

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Caldo Verde is soup, but not any soup because… it has chorizo! Just kidding, it’s a really good soup with lots of tradition. The soup base is just composed by potatoes, onions, water and some seasonings. To this we add curly kale cuted in really lean stripes (caldo verde shape) and chorizo. A simple soup but obviously delicious.

Next post will be obviously about the Porto wine and Douro wine and what type of drinks you should try. Stay tuned!

XOXO,

S.

Travel #2: Porto (Part 1)

Hello there!

I usually go on a travel at least 2 times a year and usually it happens in September and in February. Last year, I decided to travel with my best friend to Porto for a 5 days getaway without boyfriend (for those who are pitting him, he went to Amsterdam with his friends, so his fine!).

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Porto in a cloudy day seen from D. Luís Bridge

Why Porto? It’s a beautiful city with so much nice people! It’s the kind of city where you can enjoy some historical monuments and buildings, but also where you can eat well and drink even better! Anyway, I’m going to give you five reasons that made me visit the city and you may like and agree with at least 3 of them:

  1. I live in Portugal so it just takes 40 minutes by plane and 2 hours by train to get there;
  2. Amazing food;
  3. Original and the greatest Port Wine (everywhere);
  4. City’s history;
  5. Cheap, like everything is cheap.

Here, you can also enjoy Douro River margins and visit some Port Wine Cellars or even the vineyards. You are just a leap away from some historical and beautiful places.

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Vineyards in the Douro Valley Рclassified as a World Heritage by UNESCO

With that said, now let’s start planning your trip to Porto? Awesome!

How do you get there?

  • Plane
    • Porto has an airport which is Francisco S√° Carneiro Airport. The airport is located near the city and you can get there to the city center and the other way around using public transportation. (check more info here);
  • Train
    • Porto is one of the biggest cities in the north of the country so it has Campanh√£ Train Station¬†where you can get¬†trains that establish international railway connections;
  • Bus
  • Car
    • If you enjoy road trips, you can get to the city by car. If so just enjoy all the motorways that were built around Porto and the excellent road connections.

Where to stay?

Where to stay in Porto it’s easy to answer. Nowadays you have so many options that you just have to choose based on your budget. I will just share with you some¬†options:

  • Hotel
    • In Porto you have great hotels, some cheaper and some expensive but you can always count with a very professional service. You can either choose for a Bed & Breakfast, a Hostel or even a 5-stars hotel. On this matter I advise to search on TripAdvisor and this Telegraph article what are the best options for your pocket
  • House rental
    • Usually when I go on vacations I just go for a house rental. I always do some math and I find it cheaper to prepare home meals and have a full house to myself than just rent a hotel room and to pay for meals everyday on restaurants. I always use AirBnb¬†website to search for the house that suits me best and the one I believe to have a fair price.

After this, I promise to return briefly to let you know where to go, where to eat and what¬†to drink! Don’t miss the second part…

XOXO,

S.

Travel #1: Introduction

Hello there everyone,

One of my passions is to travel. I was never able to travel much through out my life and the first time I stepped a foot into an airplane was only 3/4 years ago. I believe that traveling is an addiction and once you start it is really hard to stop.

For me it’s not only the vacation part that counts, it’s the knowledge I get and all the experiences that enrich my life and change me as a person. From now on I will do some regular posts on traveling places and also some traveling tips to help you on getting the perfect holidays.

Hope you enjoy all the recent changes on the blog (even the name, omg!) and I hope I can count on you in this new journey.

XOXO,

S.