Tag Archives: Travel

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Sintra, my paradise

I know I posted about Sintra already (click here to see) but many of you didn’t know my blog yet. You can’t imagine how I love this little fantasy corner near Lisbon. It’s magic, it gives me inspiration, it makes me feel peace.
Lord Byron wrote once: “I must just observe that the village of Sintra in Estremadura is the most beautiful in the world”. I don’t know if it’s the most beautiful one, but it’s definitely on the top 5 list.
Hans Christian Andersen said that Sintra is a true vignette of the Thousand and One Nights, a fairy-tale vision”. That was so long ago but many people still agree with him.
Many things happen in Sintra. It’s almost like “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” but different. I’m not going to tell you about that 😉 But you can read. Believe me when I say that many of the things you read about Sintra (depending where you read it from) may seem weird or unbelievable but many of it are true.
Sintra as the power of making people happy. Also, people feel they want to explore. The  sense of adventure grows inside each one of us. We go inside the green forest, in the middle of the trees, climbing rocks.
Apart of that, you can see beautiful houses, visit amazing monuments, eat tasty food.
Lisbon is an amazing city but Sintra is special.
Here are some photos taken by me the last time I went there. I hope you enjoy it.
 
 

The “problem” about travelling

Before I go I feel excited like a little kid on Christmas day. I want to go and see everything I can, while, at the same time, I try to unveil the surprises that new place will have for me.
 
When I first go to a different city I want to discover that unknown place. I feel powerful and full of energy to find every treasure it contains, and I feel powerless because my hometown is a different one and sometimes I don’t even know anyone in there. I get excited when you see little things that in my hometown wouldn’t feel that special. I feel like I’m absorbing everything about that place but at the same time that there’s still so much to know and to visit.
 
After a while, specially in longer stays, I know the people, the streets, the places that are special. I can also have a feeling of belonging. What felt good but confusing (because everything is so new) in the beginning has now a different meaning. That city is now part of me.
 
When I visit the same city a couple of times it’s so easy to walk on those streets that I’ve walked 10, 20, 100 times before, but at the same time remain new to me in a way. I know where I what to go and the spots I need to visit, the places I’ve been before, the places I haven’t seen yet. In a way, the streets are already mine.
 
However, when I come back home these confusing feelings don’t stop. 
I have the weird feeling of knowing everything that’s around me and at the same time that everything is new, different. 
I have the felling that I belong there but at the same time that I belong somewhere else. 
Above everything, I always want to stay in my hometown (now a little bit unknown) but also I want to go back to the previous place (the place I recognize inside myself) I visited and live it again.
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paper airplane, by Kersten L. Kelly – my opinion

Note: I received from the author a free e-book copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.


Overview (via Goodreads):
In this tumultuous, distinctive memoir, Kersten L. Kelly looks back on the most influential individuals that she encountered while flying through the clouds. Confined in a small vestibule for hours, Kelly identified an opportunity for learning and growth by chatting with the fellow passengers around her. After a few life changing conversations and unforgettable emergencies, she put the in-flight magazines to rest and never looked back. She recalls life lessons from perfect strangers about love, family, perseverance of dreams, and humility through a series of brief anecdotes all taking place on airplanes. Selfless philanthropy was discovered, long-term friendships bonded, and talents unveiled. The book proves the phrase “you never know what you will learn on an airplane” over and over again. Every chapter will capture the mind and sometimes the heart of anyone who jumps into this collection of humanity at its best. The personalities present in this book assimilate with the intrinsic characteristics all readers can relate to. With a raw authenticity stemming from old notes in a ragged journal, Kelly delivers a personal reflection of unique tales from a mile high.
 
Product details (via Goodreads):

paper airplane by Kersten L. Kelly
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 2013 by Talisman Book Publishing LLC
ISBN 0985348720 (ISBN13: 9780985348724)
Edition language: English


My opinion:
I think it was a really interesting book. I love to travel. I prefer traveling by train, but because it’s faster usually I travel by airplane. With this book, the author can change the way you see airplane trips (the trip itself but also those moments while you wait to get into the plane), and I found myself thinking about the times I traveled to see if I could remember something similar of some things that she tells us.

The author tells us stories of her trips and also different stages of her life. The way she describes the places she has been made me want to go there and visit, to see with my own eyes what she says.

In the beginning of the book, Kersten L. Kelly described her childhood in a funny way with which some of us can identify. The event with the bully really made me laugh. I imagined the scene on my mind: simply funny, but yet she could give it a really special meaning.
I had to smile or even laugh with some of the paragraphs.(By the way, the thing about eh middle seat in the beginning of the book: I agree on that… I’ve been there!).

She meets different people, some of them really intriguing individuals. She gets to know and to tell us different stories resulting in different experiences for the author on her various trips around the world. It includes stories of herself and her family. And also the way she describes some places she has visited made me want to go there and see it with my own eyes.
A reflection about different subjects according to each passenger she meets and his/hers story of living or the thoughts that came to Kesrten’s mind when looking and/or talking to them. Some of these people have really important things to say, important messages that we should know.

One of the chapters that touched me the most was “Jonah, the Philanthropic Sailor” because of the whole story around it, not only because of the man the author meets on the airplane, but also because of the reflection she made after meeting him, including her own experiences.

And the chapter “Ira, the Hungry Watchdog” made me laugh because I have an experience more or less like this one (except he didn’t eat my food…).

A must read!


My rating:
 

 

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The life in the center of Lisbon, Portugal

Very close to each other (same metro station and everything), you can find two of the most beautiful and magical places right in the center of Lisbon.
Baixa and Chiado are my two favorite places where I can easily go anytime I want, because the transports are really good and being in the center of Lisbon I get there quite fast.
There you can see all types of people, from suited men in the middle of a day of work, to goths and hippies, and families of tourists on a daily walk. It makes me feel good to see all these different people, the diversity of human race.
In Baixa there are a lot street artists along the many streets: statue man/woman, musicians, dancers, and all kinds of performers. In Chiado you can find it too, specially around the metro station where lots of people stop to watch and listen… It doesn’t matter if they are shopping, if they went there for a drink, or if they just finished work and are on your way to go home: most people stop and join the crowd.
One day I went there with my boyfriend on one of his first days in Lisbon and I wanted to show him the magic of the place. It was amazing when we were going up on a big street in Chiado and we see lots of people just standing there listening to a couple who was playing violins and singing opera, in the middle of the street. Simply magical!
In Baixa the streets show you the old Lisbon. The buildings, the statues, the pavement. You go down until you arrive Terreiro do Paço and you can sit down and watch the river.

One of the many streets on Baixa

 

 

When you arrive to Terreiro do Paço

 

Inside the square of Terreiro do Paço

 

In Terreiro do Paço, the statue of D. José I, king of Portugal (someone told me it’s São Jorge…I’m just telling what people told me)
And if you are hungry, you can go up again on the opposite direction of the square to the tower (Torre do Relógio). You can find lots of restaurants, some with fast food, some with big and nice cooked meals. Some of them are quite cheap, by the way, you just need to look for it instead of going in the first restaurant you see.
Torre do Relógio

When I was there with my boyfriend the first time, I took him to a nice restaurant right in front of the tower where they serve, among other very tasty things, Francesinha, a typical Portuguese dish from Porto (in the North of Portugal). I know I should have told him to eat something typical from Lisbon, but I love francesinha, and it’s hard to find a place where they make it well. When it’s well made, it’s divine!
It’s a mixture of meats, including beef and sausage, chips, fried egg, bread, ham, cheese and an amazing sauce with lots of things I can’t quite remember them all. Sometimes it’s a little to spicy for me, but I always eat it all, because I really, really love it!

 

Francesinha

If you go up a little further you arrive to another square: Rossio. The train station also stops there.

Rossio

 

In the square of Rossio

Again in Baixa, you can try to find the way to the castle, Castelo de São Jorge. On your way up you see lots of churches and  beautiful places where you can have an amazing view of Lisbon.

Really cool tree on the way to the castle

 

One of the churches you see
And this is part of Lisbon; you can see it on your way to the castle

 

 

I’m sorry, I don’t have any photos from the Castelo de São Jorge… My fault!

And if you are in Chiado you can go up a little bit and you find yourself in Adamastor, a place to chill while having a drink with your friends. It’s really romantic too for couples, specially because of the sunset.
The place is always crowded. You can either sit on the little coffee shop, in the stones on the ground where you can stay near the river, or in the grass.

 

 

 

 

But if you are there at night, you might want to go back to Chiado, at Praça de Camões, maybe drink a ginjinha there (really good drink!), and then go up to Bairro Alto. There are lots of types of bars, with different music, ambiance, people. You just need to choose.  It’s my favorite place to go out at night.
And it’s still the old part of Lisbon, so you can enjoy the architectural beauty anytime.
I’m sorry if this was a long post and it gets a little confusing… I want to show you this part of Lisbon the best I can. Feel free to explore these places on the Internet. I don’t have anymore pictures to show you. Hope you liked it.
— Ladybug