Today’s post is the perfect combination of travel and Christmas. We have a little tradition that whenever we travel somewhere and we manage to find a Christmas bauble we get it for our tree. It may be August and you will find us looking for baubles 🤣 Here are some of the baubles we have collected…unfortunately we don’t have for every city that we visited as it tends to be difficult to find them ‘out of season’ and they tend to be very expensive 😏
The bauble that started our collection we go it from Milanin 2016
One of my favourite baubles and surprisingly I got this from Primark!
M&M’s bauble, from the London store
Another favourite one from Harrods, London
Our latest edition from Disneyland, Paris. This was a difficult one to choose since we’ve been to Disneyland in late November and they had all kind of baubles for every character! 🤩
Looking forward to collecting more baubles from around the world. I am always gutted when I don’t manage to find any (e.g. like in Singapore) but for some other places like Edinburgh and Glasgow, we just never got round to buying any – I think we have some Christmas bauble shopping we need to do 😄 Do you collect any specific baubles/anything specific for Christmas? If so, show us part of your collection 🙂
One city that I wanted to visit for a long time was Lisbon. Having been there, I can say that I definitely want to go again! In all, we went to Portugal for a whole week but we divided the trip between Lisbon, Porto & Sao Miguel. We travelled in March and the weather was glorious – sunny and very warm. I have compiled a list of places that are well worth a visit if you are planning a trip to Lisbon.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
One definite stop has to be this one which provides panoramic views of Lisbon. Miradouro means viewpoint in Portuguese and there are varies ones around the city. So make sure to visit at least one 😉
Quiosque Ribeira das Naus
A stop at this kiosk was a bliss. It has amazing sea views and we spent a good hour relaxing with some sangria.
Pasteis de Belem
One traditional Portuguese pastry is the Pastel de nata. These can be found practically everywhere around Lisbon, however, Pasteis de Belem claims to have one of the best ones around. I can confirm that they were really delicious! We had some other food by the side too which was also very good. The cafe has a take-out service which was quite busy. The sit-down area is massive, so despite being busy, it is very possible that you would find a table. An interesting aspect is that they have an area where you can see them working on the pastel de nata.
A short walk from Pasteis de Belem is Jerónimos Monastery. The architecture alone is worth walking by this former monastery. The monastery faces a huge garden, where you can sit and just take in the views.
Hidden away in the streets of central Lisbon, is this quirky cafe. You practically can find any available cereal around in this cafe. You can either create your own bowl of cereal or select one from their menu. We picked our bowls from their menu and we went for the Heaven is made of Chocolate and the My friends call me Caramel.
Padrão dos Descobrimento
This monument is situated on the North bank of Tagus River. When visiting the monument you can also get really amazing views of the River itself.
Tower of Belem
A short walk from Padrão dos Descobrimentos, is Belem Tower. Dating back to the 16th century, this fortification was built to strengthen the defence system of Lisbon. It was listed as one of the seven wonders of Portugal in 2007.
If you plan on commuting by tram prepare to be squeezed in! Every time we saw a tram going by it was packed with tourists – we ended up not hopping on one and just walking instead. In any case, they provide some good photo opportunities.
Praça do Comércio
A big open square hosting a lot of restaurants where you can have lunch or dinner. On one side is also what is claimed to be The Sexist WC on Earth. I don’t know what can be sexy about a WC but this one was just a normal facility with different coloured toilet paper!
If you are a foodie, this one is for you. It is a big food market with mostly sea-food.
Day trip to Cascais
Cascais is a town west of Lisbon, it approximately 40mins away by car from the capital (or an hour by public transport). We went there with my good Portuguese friend for dinner, where we had some good pasta and pizza. The town itself looks very cute and summery. Since when we went here, it was late evening we walked around the coast and it was so peaceful and beautiful. I highly recommend going to Cascais for a dip and wander around.
We managed to fit the above in three days, but I can see myself going back to Lisbon to re-visit most of the above and explore some more!
Stayed: At 2 different Airbnbs. Our initial plan was to stay for one night but then decided to stay for 2 nights so due to unavailability we had to change our accommodation each night.
Arriving: We drove from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, which driving directly takes approximately 2hours and 30minutes. However, we made varies stops in between including some for short visit to some main attractions. Our first stop was Broughty Castle, in Dundee. Inside the castle is a museum detailing the times of the people and environment of Broughty Ferry. The admission is free.
Our next stop was a quick one at Arbroath Abbey. Entry to the abbey was a whopping £9 which for us personally was too much, so we skipped this one and continued on our way.
The final stop before arriving at our Airbnb in Aberdeen was Dunnottar Castle, in Stonehaven. We arrived late at the castle so it was closing time (17.30) and could not enter. But the views from the outside were worth the stop anyway. Parking is free and fairly easy, then the castle is a short walk down a little hill.
On day 2 we decided to have a chilled one and headed to the city to some shops. There are varies shopping malls within walking distance of each other including Bon Accord, Trinity Centre and Union Square. In between, there is also the main street for shops including Primark. Union Square is a very good place to get lunch or dinner, as there is a lot of different restaurants include big chains like Nandos, Zizzi, Pizza Hut etc.
On our last day before heading back to Edinburgh we did some sightseeing. First, we drove to King’s College and University, St. Machar Cathedral and Brig o’ Balgownie. After that, we parked our car at Union Square Parking and walked around the city. We just walked around at random. Amongst others, we saw Marischal College, The Tolbooth Museum and Provost Skene’s House.
We then got on our way back to Edinburgh but we made varies stops to visit different castles.
On our recent trip to Berlin we decided to embrace the nice weather and explore the city by bike. It was easier than we thought and it was quite convenient, too. It just all happens at your finger-tips (literally) because all you need to do is download an app on your phone, unlock the bike – and off you go. There’s a variety of apps (and pricing models) available. We decided to use ‘Donkey Republic‘ due to its conveniently located stations. With prices ranging from 1,50 € for half an hour to 12,00 € for a day, this is certainly a reasonably priced option to get around the city.
This being our second time in Berlin, we didn’t go to all the ‘main’ attractions, as we have already visited the likes of the Brandenburger Gate.
We started off our trip at the Ostbahnhof station, headed to the famous Berghain (a day and night nightclub; just to take a look) and took the main roads straight to Alexanderplatz.
Drei Mädchen und ein Knabe
We cycled down Alexanderplatz and continued to the Berlin Cathedral where there is also the statues of Drei Mädchen und ein Knabe (three girls and a boy). The area was quite busy giving it was a Sunday. It is perfect to sit down and eat or just have a drink. Next stop was Checkpoint Charlie and the Topography of Terror (both located about the same corner), which again was very busy with tourist trying to take a picture.
We finished our little bike trip having a sandwich and home-made apple strudel with vanilla sauce at Café Einstein Stammhaus.
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