TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE: Blog http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog en-us (C) Jennifer Mahon Photography - TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE 2018. All Rights Reserved. info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) Thu, 10 May 2018 02:06:00 GMT Thu, 10 May 2018 02:06:00 GMT VENICE: 5 Tips to Have a Fabulous Time & Not Break the Bank http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/venice Venice, ItalyVenice, ItalyVenice, Italy


Every year since 2015 I've been heading to Venice. Mind you, when I go, it's only for 24 hours, but after three of these 24-hour visits I've gotten to know the City of Bridges pretty darn well. 

I'd have to say it's one of my favourite getaways. Getting around is super easy. I love walking the labyrinth of calli (streets) and hopping on a vaperotto and discovering something new each time I go. The best part—you don't even need to enter a single building to enjoy the art around you. The history, architecture, it's like the entire city a piece of art. 

So here's my round-up of useful tips to maximize your own Venice getaway - whether it's for 24 hours or more!

 


View from Ponte dell'Accademia | Venice, ItalyView from Ponte dell'Accademia | Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy


1. WHEN TO GO 


Damp and rainy, cold and foggy or hot and smelly? Before I went to Venice, every single person I know that's been there told me to prepare for the smelliness. These people obviously did not know the right time to visit Venezia.
 

  • June, July and August: Yes it's summer and everyone is on summer vacationlike everyoneso not only is Venice unbearably hot and humid, but that's when masses of people (something like 60,000 per day) invade the city. Understandably, this is where the hot and smelly comments come into play.
     
  • September and October: Temperatures get much cooler at night and creep up during the day, and by far, this is my fave time period to visit Venice. You'll get a good amount of sunshine (though, it's a good idea to dress in layers), and clear blue skies without the hordes of tourists cramping your style. 
     
  • November, December and January: It's winter time in Venice too. It gets cold, like the kind of damp cold that settles into your bones. But nothing that dressing up warmly and a hot cup of hot chocolate won't fix. Note that if you want to experience acqua alta (high tide), it's usually at its peak in November and December. 
     
  • February: Carnival time. The city gets festive and colourful (though still remains cold), and it's also probably one of the busiest and priciest times to go.  
     
  • March, April and May: While March can still feel a tad wintry, spring definitely makes its arrival in April and May. Another great time to go if you want to avoid the interesting smells along the canals that the summer brings. 

 


Venice, ItalyVenice, ItalyVenice, Italy


2. WHERE TO STAY


To save on costs, most will opt to stay in Mestre, or Lido di Venezia. Hell, I even came this close to camping in the Marghera area just to save on the cost of a hotel on the island of Venice.

But, if you're only going to be in Venice for 24 hours (even 48 or 72 hours), trust me, you want to be in on the island. So now the question becomes: hotel, B&B or apartment? Again, trust me when I tell you: apartment. Why?

 

  • First, it's just kind of cool to stay in your very own apartment in Venice.
     
  • Second, you can find one that fits a solo traveller, a couple, a family or even a group of friends (good luck finding a hotel that'll hold more than 2 people!).
     
  • Third, they all have a kitchen, so you can grab food at the market and cook for yourself or simply be grateful for a fridge to keep that pinot grigio nice and chilled. 


My go-to for spacious apartments is Dolce Vita Apartments. Forget Airbnb, and head to Dolce Vita Apartments site instead. These guys handle over 350 apartments in Venice - all located in the historical centre of the city, all are reasonably priced and... to help your wallet even more, they even give you a gondola tour (conditions apply). Check out a few of my top picks:
 

  • Apartment N. 127: it can sleep up to 5 people, it's a 5-minute walk to the Rialto Bridge, and you can get it for as low as 75 € per night.
     
  • Apartment N. 152: it's in the Castello area, on the 1st floor (no walking up flights of stairs!) and the best part - a gorgeous terrace.
     
  • Apartment N. 164: the cutest apartment, perfect for 2 people. 

 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography


3. HOW TO GET AROUND


  • From the airport, your best bet is the ATVO express bus. For 15 roundtrip, it's the quickest option that will get you to Piazzale Roma (the last point where you'll see land transportation on the island). 
     
  • Walking is best to get around the cityand probably the most fun. Prepared to get lost. A lot. Even being fairly good with directions and armed with a GPS, it's a given that you're going to get lost. Frequently. Just accept it.
     
  • Vaporettos: Or, there's public transport. Which in Venice, public transport is in the form of a vaporetto (water bus). I've always opted to get the Venezia Unica Pass (1-day is 20, 2-day is 30 and 3-day is 40). While walking is quite doable, my main reason for the pass it to visit Guidecca, Murano and Burano.  
     

24 hours in Venice - 201724 hours in Venice - 201724 hours in Venice - 2017


4. WHAT TO SEE


Everything! Even with no destination in mind, just wandering around and getting lost in the maze that is Venice streets is a feast for the eyes. The city does have recommended routes with little yellow-ish signs that help keep tourists moving in the right direction to the main attractions. Here's a list of some of the obvious and not-so-obvious things to see in Venice:
 

  • Piazza San Marco area: The busiest and most tourist-crammed spot in Venice, but it is a must. Around here you'll see the basilica, the clock tower, Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Tip: To get a bit of break from the crowds, just behind the square, there's almost like a secret garden of sorts, Giardini Reali. Everyone is so busy seeing the square, that no one goes to this cute garden where you can sit and chill in peace and quiet. 
     
  • Bridges: There's tons of bridges in Venice, but the ones that span the Grand Canal are worth seeking outand they also have the best photo ops. Rialto Bridge is probably the top one that folks come to see, but don't forget to check out Ponte dell'Accademia (great for sunset photos), Ponte degli Scalzi (great for sunrise photos), and Ponte della Costituzione.
     
  • Libreria Acqua Alta: I try to make it here on every trip, just because it's so cute and quirky and you never know what kind of book you'll find.
     
  • Murano & Burano: Even though I only spend a day in Venice when I go, I still manage to hit both Murano and Burano each time. Murano (about a 20-minute vaporetto ride from Fondamente Nove) kind of looks exactly like Venice but with Murano glass stores everywhere, but Burano (50-minute vaporetto ride from Murano-Faro)oh my, it's so incredibly colourful and pretty that it looks almost like a movie set.

 


24 hours in Venice - 201724 hours in Venice - 201724 hours in Venice - 2017


5. WHERE TO EAT


So many options in Venice, as well as so many tourist traps. You can find a great restaurant pretty much anywhere in Venice, and great bars too. I really wish I could give you the locations of the spots I found but...I honestly have no idea where they are. I've always just happened upon restaurants or streets whenever I got lostwhich was like all the timeand say "Oh, that looks good, I think I'll eat here". So here's just a general guide on approximately where and what you should look for.
 

  • Bàcari: These are tiny neighbourhood bars—sometimes little hole-in-the-wall type places and sometimes super cute and trendy spots—are the places you want to hit for an authentic taste of Venice as well as the best bang for your buck (prices vary from €1.50 to €3).
     
  • Cicchetti: Technically these are small tapas like dishes served up in bàcari or cicchetti bars (which I guess is really the same thing). These places usually have a few tables inside or outside, and if there's no table available, no problem—locals happily spill out onto the street and grab any available spot on the edge of whatever canal the place is in front of. 
     

Remember, these places are sprinkled throughout the city, usually off the main tourist routes. So keep your eyes open for local people ducking into a back alley and semi-stalk them—you're bound to follow them to a great spot.

 


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) 24 hours in venice day trip europe foodies italy venice http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/venice Fri, 30 Mar 2018 03:15:00 GMT
SOUTHERN FRANCE: A Last-Minute Road Trip With The Girls http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/southern-france-road-trip Toulouse - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneToulouse - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneToulouse - Southern France Roadtrip


"Mom, where are we going?" is what the two daughters keep asking for two weeks straight.

We're leaving in a couple of days to somewhere in Europe, but at this particular point in time, I still don't know where. 

This seemed to completely stress out the 16 and 14 year old a heck of lot more than me. "How can you not know where we're going? How can we pack if we don't know where?"

"It could be somewhere in Italy, Spain, Portugal or France.  I have no idea. Just pack enough clothes for 5 days and make sure it fits in your back pack."

 


"IS MOM CRAZY?"


Yes, the children definitely thought I was crazy. How can you go off on a Europe trip and not plan for it? Though teenagers do crazy things all the time, I guess it's not something a Mom should do. Moms should always have a plan. And I did. Sort of. 

The actual plan was to meet up with my cousins in Rome for a few days. But when travelling standby, you gotta keep your options open. Which means kind of planning for a trip to at least four different countries—and going to wherever has the most seats the day you're leaving.

We ended up flying into Toulouse, renting a car and making our way across Southern France to fly out of Nice five days later. I'd never been, had no clue really what to see (except for a few recommendations I got the day before leaving) but it turned out to be a pretty awesome road trip.

 



19 CITIES IN 5 DAYS


Just typing that seems crazy. It seems like it would be a tight schedule, but it wasn't. Stopping at a few places en route to our homes for the night (our first 2 nights we stayed in Le Grau-du-Roi, then 2 nights in Marseille, then the last night in Nice), as well as day trips to surrounding areas was not as hectic as it looks on that map up there.

Since I'm the only driver, I basically stopped whenever and wherever I felt like and we ended up discovering some pretty cool places. 


Here's a quick look at all the stops we made—more detailed posts on each city will follow!

 


Toulouse - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneToulouse - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneToulouse - Southern France Roadtrip Toulouse — a quick coffee and walk around when we arrived


Carcassone - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCarcassone - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCarcassone - Southern France Roadtrip Carcassonne — checking out the castle and views 


Narbonne - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNarbonne - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNarbonne - Southern France Roadtrip Narbonne — a quick stop to walk along the Quai de Lorraine


Sète - Southern France Roadtrip -  JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSète - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSète - Southern France Roadtrip Sète — lunch time and a walk around this seaside town


Le Grau-du-Roi - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SLe Grau-du-Roi - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SLe Grau-du-Roi - Southern France Roadtrip Le Grau-du-Roi — beach time 


Montpellier - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMontpellier - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMontpellier - Southern France Roadtrip Montpellier — I've let the girls sleep in to go for a drive and check out Place de la Comédie


Palavas-les-Flots - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps MPalavas-les-Flots - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps MPalavas-les-Flots - Southern France Roadtrip Palavas-les-Flots — morning walk on the beach


Aigues-Mortes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaAigues-Mortes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaAigues-Mortes - Southern France Roadtrip Aigues-Mortes — stumbling on this walled medieval city on the flat marshes of the Camargue


Nîmes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNîmes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNîmes - Southern France Roadtrip Nîmes — checking out the Roman arena


Pont du Gard - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanPont du Gard - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanPont du Gard - Southern France Roadtrip Pont du Gard — educating the girls on this UNESCO World Heritage Site


Marseille - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMarseille - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMarseille - Southern France Roadtrip Marseille — a boat ride to the Château d'If


Aix-en-Provence - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps MeAix-en-Provence - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps MeAix-en-Provence - Southern France Roadtrip Aix-en-Provence — Fontaine de la Rotonde 


Valensole - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneValensole - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneValensole - Southern France Roadtrip Valensole — hoping to see lavender fields in bloom, but was too early 


Les Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaLes Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaLes Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip Les Calanques — a pebble beach in Parc National des Calanques


Les Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaLes Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaLes Calanques - Southern France Roadtrip Cassis — walking around the Port de Cassis


Saint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanSaint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanSaint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip Saint-Tropez — visiting the Chanel pop-up store that takes over the private mansion of La Mistralée every year from April to October


Saint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanSaint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SanSaint-Tropez - Southern France Roadtrip Saint-Tropez — enjoying the view of the bay


Cannes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCannes - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCannes - Southern France Roadtrip Cannes — on the hunt for celebs during the Cannes Film Festival


Nice - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNice - Southern France Roadtrip - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNice - Southern France Roadtrip Nice — smelling soaps at Cours Saleya Market


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) day trip europe road trip france road trip southern france traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/southern-france-road-trip Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:24:21 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: The Douro Valley http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/portugal-road-trip-douro-valley Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016


After one night in Porto, we're heading out to the Douro Valley for a one-night stay in a beautiful quinta — a rustic farmhouse in the hills of the Douro Valley.

About a 1.5-hour drive from Porto — half on a proper highway, half through narrow, steep and winding mountainous roads — we've opted to stay at a quinta in Lamego, close to Peso da Regua.

After a slight mishap with the GPS (where it guided us onto a tiny stone road that dead-ended on to what seemed like a cliff, where Manon had to get out of the car and guide me as I attempted many, many times to reverse back up without going over the edge), we made it to our home for the night, Quinta da Marrocos.

 


QUINTA DA MARROCOS


There's many quintas that you can find in the area, and most folks just make it a day trip and visit a few in a few hours, but this one caught my eye. This 17th-century house is one of the oldest in valley and has maintained its own production of local fruits, olive oil, and port wines for over four generations. Decorated in a quaint country style with family antiques, the owner and his daughters welcomed us into their beautiful home and showed us the grounds, the vineyards, taught us all about wine production and daily life in the Douro Valley. 

We stayed in the main house, in a charming room (shared bathroom though at the end of the hall), had a tour of the place, got served a delicious dinner in a dining room with stunning views of the valley, sampled at least 10 different port wines, stayed up till 3 am drinking and talking on the terrace, then had a copious breakfast the next
morning in the old family kitchen with at least 8 different homemade jams and fresh baked bread. 

In short, we had a terrific time and definitely one of the best memories of Portugal!

 

Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneOn our way to our Quinta for the night, couldn't help pulling over to take in these views On our way to our Quinta for the night, couldn't help pulling over to take in these views


Snaps of the Douro ValleySnaps of the Douro Valley Snaps of the Douro Valley


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAfter a slight misdirection from the GPS, finally arrived at Quinta de Marrocos (view from the terrace) After a slight misdirection from the GPS, finally arrived at Quinta de Marrocos (view from the terrace)


Snaps of this beautiful little Quinta in Lamego Snaps of this beautiful little Quinta in Lamego 


Views from the terrace looking towards Peso da Régua Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneViews from the terrace looking towards Peso da Régua Views from the terrace looking towards Peso da Régua


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWatching boats go by on the Douro River Watching boats go by on the Douro River


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView directly across from our terrace View directly across from our terrace


Time to walk around the grounds of Quinta de Marrocos Time to walk around the grounds of Quinta de Marrocos


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThere's the terrace that will soon be our drinking spot for the night There's the terrace that will soon be our drinking spot for the night


Our host, Caesar (and his dog), showing us aroundOur host, Caesar (and his dog), showing us around Our host, Caesar (and his dog), showing us around


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePlenty of beautiful paths to explore Plenty of beautiful paths to explore


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime for a nice homemade dinner Time for a nice homemade dinner


So incredibly good! So incredibly good!


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThey also make their own olive oil here, which we slathered on everything They also make their own olive oil here, which we slathered on everything


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWalking around the cellar Walking around the cellar


Getting a tour of the port wine making process Getting a tour of the port wine making process


Cool wax tops Cool wax tops


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIt's tasting time — my favourite time! It's tasting time — my favourite time!


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI've discovered that I kind of like white port I've discovered that I kind of like white port


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBut now I'm ready for that 20 year old tawny please But now I'm ready for that 20 year old tawny please


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI think we were only supposed to taste kinds, but by the time we were done, it was more like 10 different kinds I think we were only supposed to taste kinds, but by the time we were done, it was more like 10 different kinds


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMorning view of the Douro Valley Morning view of the Douro Valley


A few of the decorative details in this charming Quinta A few of the decorative details in this charming Quinta


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLoving this drink cart Loving this drink cart


More details — love this place! More details — love this place!


Time for breakfast in this farmhouse style kitchen Time for breakfast in this farmhouse style kitchen


Feels so homey Feels so homey 


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to leave and head back to Porto Time to leave and head back to Porto


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBut not before stopping in Peso da Régua to snap a few pics But not before stopping in Peso da Régua to snap a few pics


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePeso da Régua Peso da Régua


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLast views of the valley Last views of the valley


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSo incredibly beautiful So incredibly beautiful


Douro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDouro Valley, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGoodbye Douro Valley Goodbye Douro Valley


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) douro river douro valley oporto porto portugal portugal road trip quinta road trip unesco http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/portugal-road-trip-douro-valley Sat, 03 Mar 2018 17:34:43 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Porto, I Think I Love You! http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-porto Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016


When folks ask me, "So, what was your fave city in Portugal? Porto or Lisbon?", the answer is easy. Porto wins, hands down. I lost track of the amount of times we said, "OMG, I LOVE this place!"

Stunning monuments, amazing restaurants and bars, incredible views, delicious port wine... how could you not fall in love with this city?

 


PORTO


With Porto, it was love at first sight. The further we got as we made our way through the steep and narrow maze of streets in a deliberately random fashion down to the waterfront, the more I fell in love. Every corner is a feast for the eyes — like beautiful historic buildings with colourful facades covered in azulejos tiles

There's plenty to take in wandering the hilly streets and without even knowing it, we end up seeing quite a few of Porto's must sees, like:

  • Majestic Café
  • São Bento Station
  • Mercado Ferreira Borges
  • Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique
  • Palacio de Bolsa

As well as a ton of churches:

  • Clérigos Church
  • Igreja do Carmo
  • Church of São Francisco de Assis
  • ...and on and on (it's like there's church on every block!)

     

Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIgreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso right across from our hotel


The famous (tourist-trap) Majestic CaféPorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe famous (tourist-trap) Majestic Café The famous (tourist-trap) Majestic Café


Shots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro RiverShots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro River Shots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro River — Mercado Ferreira Borges (middle right)


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMonument to Henry the Navigator in Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique Monument to Henry the Navigator in Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique


Paper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePaper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto Paper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto


Beautiful architecture everywhereBeautiful architecture everywhere Beautiful architecture and churches everywhere — Torre dos Clerigos (upper right)


The typical narrow houses of Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe typical narrow houses of Porto The typical narrow houses of Porto


There are so many churches! Here's a few: Clérigos Church, Igreja do Carmo, Church of São Francisco de Assis There are so many churches!  Here's a few: Clérigos Church, Igreja do Carmo, Church of São Francisco de Assis


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIgreja Monumento de São Francisco Igreja Monumento de São Francisco


THE RIBEIRA


We've meandered our way down to Ribeira (literally riverside in Portuguese), and I think I'm falling even more for Porto. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Porto, it's the historic centre as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and if you ask me, this is where you'll find Porto's soul. 

Along Cais da Ribeira is strip of cafés, restaurants and shops overlooking the water and the Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia (more on that in a separate post!) on the other side of the Douro river. The cais is the ideal place for a leisurely riverside walk and to check out the spectacular arched ironwork of the Ponte Luís I that dominates the waterfront. And since Porto is known as the 'City of Bridges', it's also the best place to hop on a river cruise that will take you cruising by the six bridges of the Douro river.

There's more to come on the other side of the river (probably my fave part), the Douro Valley, and a couple of secret spots, so stay tuned!

 

Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneFinally made it down to the Douro Finally made it down to the Douro


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneColourful houses along Cais da Estiva Colourful houses along Cais da Estiva


Coming up to Praça da Ribeira Coming up to Praça da Ribeira


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça da Ribeira Praça da Ribeira


Since one is leaving, we hop on a river cruise Since one is leaving, we hop on a river cruise


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of the Ribeira area from the river View of the Ribeira area from the river


Checking out all the bridges in Porto on this one-hour river cruise Checking out all the bridges in Porto on this one-hour river cruise


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of Vila Nova de Gaia from the Douro River View of Vila Nova de Gaia from the Douro River


Some great views during the cruise, some unexpected 😂 Some great views during the cruise, some unexpected 😂


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneOff the cruise, just in time for golden hour over Porto Off the cruise, just in time for golden hour over Porto


Also in time, to catch some dudes diving into the river beside the bridge Also in time, to catch some dudes diving into the river beside the bridge


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGood night Porto Good night Porto


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) douro river oporto porto portugal portugal road trip road trip unesco http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-porto Sat, 24 Feb 2018 14:01:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Obidos & Coimbra http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-obidos-coimbra Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016


It's time to leave lovely Lisbon and head to Porto (where we'll be flying out of). It's about a 3-hour drive, but since my eyes start closing after 1 hour of driving and since I'm the only driver, we break up the trip and take mini-breaks in a couple of cities. This area is filled with picturesque towns, more stunning beaches and probably more magnificent palaces, but we've opted to stop in Obidos and Coimbra

 


OBIDOS


Leaving Lisbon and about an hour's drive later, we arrive in Obidos. Not really a city on my bucket list, but when heard that they've got great ginjinha, I had to make a stop. Thank goodness I listened to my semi-alcoholic self, otherwise I would have missed out on this cute medieval town.

Walk the city walls and be rewarded with spectacular views of vineyards and terracotta-roofed houses. Then wind your way through this enchanting walled city's narrow cobblestone streets, lined with whitewashed bougainvillea-draped houses. Book lovers will be heaven as the town boasts many bookstores in the unconventional settings — like the one in an organic market, the one in a wine cellar, and even one in a church. Of course make sure to taste the specialty of the area (and my main reason for coming here) — Ginja de Óbidos — sour cherry liquor.

 

Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneArriving in Obidos Arriving in Obidos


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneOne of the many ancient fountains in Obidos One of the many ancient fountains in Obidos


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe Porta da Vila (City Gate) in the old village The Porta da Vila (City Gate) in the old village


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe town walls of Obidos completely encircle the town The town walls of Obidos completely encircle the town


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBeautiful everywhere you look Beautiful everywhere you look


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMercado Biológico De Óbidos also has many (many) books Mercado Biológico De Óbidos also has many (many) books


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGorgeous views from the city walls Gorgeous views from the city walls


The town is decked out in flowers The town is decked out in flowers


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAnd Ginjinha stands everywhere And Ginjinha stands everywhere


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneYou can grab a shot of Ginjinha (or Gina) in these chocolate cups pretty much anywhere for 1€ You can grab a shot of Ginjinha (or Ginja) in these chocolate cups pretty much anywhere for 1€


Making our way down the main street to Igreja de Santa Maria Making our way down the main street to Igreja de Santa Maria


Obidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneObidos, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLivraria de Santiago, located...inside of a church Livraria de Santiago, located...inside of a church


Last few snaps of Obidos, then time to continue on the road Last few snaps of Obidos, then time to continue on the road


COIMBRA


An hour's drive from Obidos, we make a pit-stop in Coimbra. Maybe I should have looked up more on the city instead of picking it as a stop because it was along the way. There really wasn't much to see or do, which there really should have been more life there since it toots itself as being a university city with a vibrant atmosphere due to its large student population.

Meh. It served its purpose as a place to stretch my legs, as well as a few cute photos, but that's about it!

 

The city of Coimbra and old Santa Clara Bridge over the Mondego RiverCoimbra, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe city of Coimbra and old Santa Clara Bridge over the Mondego River The city of Coimbra and old Santa Clara Bridge over the Mondego River


Joaquim Antonio de Aguiar monument at Largo da Portagem in Coimbra, PortugalCoimbra, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneJoaquim Antonio de Aguiar monument at Largo da Portagem in Coimbra Joaquim Antonio de Aguiar monument at Largo da Portagem in Coimbra


Snaps of the city and the main pedestrian street in Coimbra, Rua Visconde da LuzSnaps of the city and the main pedestrian street in Coimbra, Rua Visconde da Luz Snaps of the city and the main pedestrian street in Coimbra, Rua Visconde da Luz


Banco de PortugalCoimbra, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBanco de Portugal Banco de Portugal


Snaps of the city and the fountain in the Mondego RiverSnaps of the city and the fountain in the Mondego River Snaps of the city and the fountain in the Mondego River


Old buildings around the cityOld buildings around the city Old buildings around the city


Coimbra, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCoimbra, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBye for now Coimbra! Bye Coimbra


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) coimbra day trip ginja de obidos ginjinha lisbon obidos portugal portugal road trip road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-obidos-coimbra Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:31:19 GMT
SUTTON, QUEBEC: Glamping It Up http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/sutton-glamping Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton


A few friends keep asking me to go camping. In the winter. In Quebec. Where winter temperatures have been dropping to -39 celsius at times. Um, thanks, but no thanks. 

Just the thought of sleeping in a tent with God only knows what little critters scurrying about, bitter cold, no toilet, and even worse — no access to a hair dryer — is my idea of a nightmare. 

Enter glamorous camping.

Yes. A nice compromise for those like me that still want to be outdoors, want to say that they've been camping, but want a real bed, a real bathroom with plumbing, and electricity.

A quick Google search for "glamping Montreal", brings me to this MtlBlog's post and it's not long before I find the perfect spot. It ain't cheap. But I guess it's the price to pay for modern comfort and a little swankiness.
 

 


DOMAINE KABIN SUTTON


This place in Sutton (about 1.5-hour drive from Montreal) is my new happy place. For three days and two nights, I stayed in one of their SHAKs and I'm telling you, I could've stayed a hell of lot longer. Only 550 square feet, but so well-designed inside that it feels almost palatial. The decor is so very simple, but feels luxurious at the same time. 

Armed with the essential groceries - bread, cheese, deli meats and wine — my routine at the Kabin was simple: eat, drink, work a bit, watch Netflix a bit, dip in the hot tub and repeat. Sure there's plenty of cute shops, micro-breweries and hiking trails to try in the area, but I was perfectly content to hole up in this SHAK and do...basically nothing. 

So enjoy the photos and here's the info for the place, and I'm definitely going to make this a yearly thing. Or maybe monthly thing. 

 

Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton

Domaine KABIN Sutton Resort


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Domaine KABIN Sutton — the SHAKs


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAt the base of Mont Sutton, Domaine KABIN has 7 of these cute SHAKs (chalets) At the base of Mont Sutton, Domaine KABIN has 7 of these cute SHAKs (chalets) 


Domaine KABIN Sutton - the SHAKsMy home for a few days My SHAK for a few days


Walkway to the door and terrace at the back Walkway to the door and terrace at the back


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe terrace The terrace...with a sunken hot tub


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Living room with fireplace, table and chairs, and a couple of futons (if needed)


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Beautiful view out the floor to ceiling windows


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton The SHAKs hava a full kitchen


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneKeurig coffee-maker and the cupboards are loaded with dishes, pots and pans, and utensils Keurig coffee-maker and the cupboards are loaded with dishes, pots and pans, and utensils


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLoving this tree trunk table Loving this tree trunk table


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA little bit of the detail A little bit of the details


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe bedroom of the SHAK The bedroom of the SHAK


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSurprisingly, enough room in here for a king-size bed Surprisingly, enough room in here for a king-size bed


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTV, only in the bedroom, comes with Apple TV TV, only in the bedroom, comes with Apple TV


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of the shower from the bedroom, so lets hope you're there with someone you wanna see naked View of the shower from the bedroom, so lets hope you're there with someone you wanna see naked


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton The SHAKs even have a washer and dryer


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Cute but spacious bathroom


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA few more details A few more details


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneProbably the best part of these SHAKs, the outdoor hot tub Probably the best part of these SHAKs, the outdoor hot tub


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Morning vibes


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Total happiness!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) 48 hours canada chalet glamping micro-cottage montreal quebec road trip solo travel sutton http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/sutton-glamping Sat, 17 Feb 2018 19:24:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Evora & Sesimbra http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-evora Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016


It's our fourth day in Lisbon and I think we've had our fill of seeing Portugal's capital city's monuments. We've done all the typically touristy things in the city, including the Jerónimos Monastery and Belem Tower, so today it's time for a quick road trip to the Alentejo region. I'm also pretty set on checking out the bone church in Evora to see how it measures up to the one in Kutna Hora (Prague)

 


EVORA


About an hour and half drive from Lisbon, in the heart of the Alentejo region is the well-preserved medieval town of Evora. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is filled with medieval architecture and roots dating back to Roman times. Wander off down side streets and alleys (it's ok to get lost here—we definitely did) to admire the white houses, the tiles and the balconies.

Check out the impressive artistry and craftsmanship of the Roman Temple of Diana,with its fourteen of the eighteen Corinthian columns still intact. Although it's a touch creepy, you can't miss the Capelo dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) 
 more on that below.

 

A quick stop somewhere along the Alentejo Wine RouteLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA quick stop somewhere along the Alentejo Wine Route A quick stop somewhere along the Alentejo Wine Route


So pretty – Alentejo Wine RouteLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSo pretty – Alentejo Wine Route So pretty – Alentejo Wine Route


Medieval ramparts of EvoraLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMedieval ramparts of Evora Medieval ramparts of Evora


Cobblestone streets of Evora
Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCobblestone streets of Evora Cobblestone streets of Evora


Roman Temple in Evora Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRoman Temple in Evora Roman Temple in Evora


Snapshots of Evora Snapshots of Evora


Beautiful alleyways and buildings Beautiful alleyways and buildings


Rooftops of Evora Rooftops of Evora


CAPELA DOS OSSOS


Part of the Royal Church of St. Francis, the Capela dos Ossos was built by Franciscan monks in the 16th centurywith the exhumed skeletons of an estimated 5,000 people. Not as big or impressive as Kutna Hora's Sedluc Ossuary, but just as creepy. Skulls and femur bones are the design elements of choice, which have been painstakingly arranged in patterns that cover the walls and columns of the chapel. Some folks were quite visibly disturbed by the chapel and some were noticeably loud and making jokesbut ossuaries exist all over the world so if you go, be respectful.

 

Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to check out Evora's Capela dos Ossos Time to check out Evora's Capela dos Ossos


Entrance to bone chapel with famous inscription 'We bones that here are, for your await).Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos (We bones that here are, for yours await) Creepy inscription as you enter the Capela dos Ossos (We, the bones that here are, for yours await)


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCapela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones)


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe final resting place of hundreds of bodies The final resting place of thousands of bodies


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWalls of human bones and skulls Walls of human bones and skulls


Decorated by monks in the early 16th century


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIntricately detailed Intricately detailed 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBeautiful tile work Beautiful tile work


SESIMBRA


Located at the foot of the Parque Natural da Arrábida and inside a gorgeous bay, this picturesque fishing village is only about a 40-minute drive south of Lisbon, which makes it the go-to spot for weekenders from Lisbon (or day-trippers from Lisbon) looking for a quick escape from the city and cute place to relax on the beach, stroll the seaside promenade or eat fantastic fresh fish—which is exactly what we did!

 

Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneStreets of Sesimbra Streets of Sesimbra 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneStreets of Sesimbra Laundry day in Sesimbra 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLove old facades like this Love old facades like this


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWhich way next? Which way next?


Colourful pieces of art everywhere you lookColourful pieces of art everywhere you look Colourful pieces of art everywhere you look


Kind of have a thing for old doors and knobs Kind of have a thing for old doors and knobs


As with pretty much any coastal town in Portugal, there's a decent beach to chill on (if you can find a spot) As with pretty much any coastal town in Portugal, there's a decent beach to chill on (if you can find a spot)


Again, the joys of a coastal town....fresh fish, all the timeAgain, the joys of a coastal town....fresh fish, all the time Again, the joys of a coastal town....fresh fish, all the time


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) alentejo alentejo wine route chapel of bones day trip evora lisbon portugal portugal road trip road trip sesimbra http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-evora Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:15:17 GMT
SPAIN: MIJAS ~ Pueblo Blanco http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/spain-mijas Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain

About a 20-minute drive from Torremolinos is beautiful Mijas. You've got Mijas Costa which on the coast, and Mijas Pueblo, which is where we're heading this morning. 

 


MIJAS PUEBLO


A few hundred metres above sea level, this old Moorish town is the very definition of a pueblo blanco. The white-washed houses stand out in stark contrast against the trees covering the mountainside, and the views from up here...wow!

Didn't really visit anything here. The child and I just found a spot to take in the views for a bit. So, here they are... enjoy!

 

Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain Mijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMijas, Andalucia, Spain

Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip mijas pueblo blanco road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/spain-mijas Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:37:09 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Jerónimos, Belém, Boca & Cascais http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/12/portugal-lisbon2 Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016


Our 3rd day in Lisbon, and today it's about seeing a few more sites then hitting up a beach somewhere to enjoy the sun. 


JERÓNIMOS MONASTERY


With limited time in Lisbon, the Belém area is a must even if only for the Pasteis de Belém but the monastery is a must see if you have any interest in architecture, art or history. Probably the number one tourist spot in Lisbon, therefore expect the lines to be long all day, every day.

The design and detailed craftsmanship is world class, and is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I have ever seen. The monastery is also the home to the tombs of several notable Portuguese figures such as Vasco da Gama, Alexandre Herculano, Luis de Camoes and some of the kings of Portugal. Free to enter and wander around, tours are also available at a small cost. 

 

Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneFIrst stop of the day First stop of the day — Pastéis de Belém


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAlways busy, even first thing in the morning — Pastéis de Belém Always busy, even first thing in the morning — Pastéis de Belém


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to check out Jerónimos Monastery Time to check out Jerónimos Monastery


Jerónimos MonasteryLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAmazing from the outside Amazing from the outside


Jerónimos MonasteryLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAnd from the inside And from the inside


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAmazing architecture, and the Tomb of Vasco da Gama was quite impressive Amazing architecture, and the Tomb of Vasco da Gama was quite impressive


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneJerónimos Monastery viewed from Jardim da Praça do Império Jerónimos Monastery viewed from Jardim da Praça do Império


TAGUS RIVERWALK


This 7 km promenade that stretches from Praça do Comércio to the Belém district can easily take a full day. We've opted to do the small stretch between the monastery and the tower, and even along this small stretch the riverwalk is dotted with all kinds of places offering fun, food and a little bit of culture.

The Love Monument
a freestanding grid installation provides a safe (as opposed to bridges, which are so not safe) place for peeps to hang their locks while looking out over the Tagus River. It's located at the base of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), a site designed to commemorate Portuguese explorers. Free to look at, but there's a € 4 entrance fee if you want to check out inside. 

 

Walking long the Tagus RiverLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWalking long the Tagus River Love Monument on the Tagus Riverwalk


Thousands of Love Locks attached to the Love Sculpture at Tagus RiverwalkLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThousands of Love Locks attached to the Love Sculpture at Tagus Riverwalk Thousands of Love Locks attached to the Love Monument on the Tagus Riverwalk


Marina de Belém Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMarina de Belém Marina de Belém


The wind rose design in front of the Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)
Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe wind rose design in front of the Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) The wind rose design in front of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)


Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Ponte 25 de Abril
Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePadrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Ponte 25 de Abril Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Ponte 25 de Abril


I guess it's  thing to go fishing in the Tagus RiverLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI guess it's thing to go fishing in the Tagus River I guess it's  thing to go fishing in the Tagus River


The Belem LighthouseLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe Belem Lighthouse The Belem Lighthouse


Enjoying the sites along the Tagus, on our way to the Belem TowerEnjoying the sites along the Tagus, on our way to the Belem Tower Enjoying the sites along the Tagus, on our way to the Torre de Belém


TORRE DE BELÉM


We finally reached the Torre de Belém, which seems to be on every tourist's hit list, and rightfully so. Built between 1514 and 1520 to protect from attacks from the sea, this ancient tower (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has such an elaborate design and of course has fantastic photo ops.

Line up to go in was a bit long, so we decided to sit outside, enjoy the view and treat ourselves to drinks via the many drink stands beside the tower.

Interesting tidbit: the tower was actually built in the middle of the river until an earthquake shifted the river's route.  

 

Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTorre de Belém Torre de Belém


I think that long walk deserves a cocktail or twoLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI think that long walk deserves a cocktail or two I think that long walk in the heat deserves a cocktail or two


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMaybe this is better option to hydrate Maybe this is better option to hydrate


Torre de BelémLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTorre de Belém Torre de Belém


Enjoying the views beside the Torre de BelémLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneEnjoying the views beside the Torre de Belém Enjoying the views beside the Torre de Belém


Gago Coutinho Seaplane — Monument to first Portuguese Atlantic flightLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGago Coutinho Seaplane — Monument to first Portuguese Atlantic flight Gago Coutinho Seaplane — Monument to first Portuguese Atlantic flight


No way we're walking back, it's Tuk-Tuk timeLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneNo way we're walking back, it's Tuk-Tuk time No way we're walking back to Alcantara, it's Tuk-Tuk time


BOCA DO INFERNO


So, it's time to find a beach to spend a few hours doing...nothing. Along the way, we stop at Boca do Inferno, or "Mouth of Hell". Don't let the name freak you out. It's an unbelievably gorgeous spot where you feel mother nature's beauty... and power.

The cliffs, the rock formations and the strength of the ocean when the waves crash through the "mouth" (basically a big-ass rock with whole in the middle leading into a circular cave-like area) makes it worthy of its name. 

 

A quick stop at Boca do Inferno (cliff formation close to Cascais)Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA quick stop at Boca do Inferno (cliff formation close to Cascais) A quick stop at Boca do Inferno (cliff formation close to Cascais)


Boca do Inferno Boca do Inferno


Enjoying watching the waves hit the rock formationsLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneEnjoying watching the waves hit the rock formations Enjoying watching the waves hit the rock formations t Boca do Inferno


CASCAIS


Since we'd already spent 4 days lazing on Algarve beaches, we're going through a bit of withdrawal. We're told to head to Cascais or Estoril, both are popular coastal towns just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Lisbon.

We check out the 
Cidadela de Cascais, then look for a spot along the coast. There's beaches everywhere, but trying to find a spot is another story.

It's 5pm and it seems instead of going out for a happy hour drink after work like us Montrealers, these folks, spend their happy hour at the beach. Tons of peeps dressed in business suits, strip down to their skivvies, pull a beach towel out of their briefcase and find a little slice of sand. How I wish this was an option for an after work happy hour at home!   

 

Another quick stop at the Cidadela de CascaisLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAnother quick stop at the Cidadela de Cascais Another quick stop at the Cidadela de Cascais


Dom Carlos I MonumentLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDom Carlos I Monument Dom Carlos I Monument


Peninsular War statue in front of the fortressLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePeninsular War statue in front of the fortress Peninsular War statue in front of the fortress


Time to find a beach to park our asses on for the rest of the day — CascaisLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to find a beach to park our asses on for the rest of the day — Cascais Time to find a beach to park our asses on for the rest of the day — Cascais


Maybe this beach?Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMaybe this beach? Maybe this beach?


Found a beach — not like it was that hard to find — beaches are everywhereLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneFound a beach — not like it was that hard to find — beaches are everywhere Found a beach — not like it was that hard to find — beaches are everywhere


Snagged a perfect spotLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSnagged a perfect spot Snagged a perfect spot


I could get used to thisLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI could get used to this I could get used to this


Well that's that for day 3 in Lisbon, more.... coming soon!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) belem tower boca do inferno cascais day trip lisbon portugal portugal road trip road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/12/portugal-lisbon2 Sat, 30 Dec 2017 20:15:43 GMT
WORK, TRAVEL & STUFF http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/11/here-there Standing at the top of the Acropolis overlooking AthensAthens Oct 2017, GreeceAthens Oct 2017


I'M ALIVE!


So, I know I haven't been around here on the blog for a while. Since July 3 to be exact. But, you know, "life" sort of gets in the way. The day job has been demanding. Summer photo gigs have been demanding. And, yep, I've been travelling too. Like every other week since September.....which the hubs is not that pleased about.

I'll be back in full force soon, but thought I'd at least share a preview of what's been keeping me busy these past four and half months.

Ciao for now!

 

The last two Atmosphere magazines, Air Transat's inflight magazine, where I (Jennifer Mahon) am the Editor-in-ChiefAtmosphere Covers June-September, 2017: The day job consists of working on brochures and inflight mags for Transat - which kind of monopolized my summer


Walking around Old Montreal for wedding photos of the happy newlywedsWedding - Brian + EdgarWedding - Brian + Edgar August 5, 2017: These guys tied the knot and I had the honour of taking photos for the day


The Cyclone roller coaster at Luna Park, Coney Island, New YorkConey Island August 14-17, 2017: A few days doing typically touristy things in New York


Gondola on one of the canals in Venice, Italy24 hours in Venice - 201724 hours in Venice - 2017 September 16-17, 2017: Venice for my annual 24-hour trip (every September since 2015!)


Vintage car on the malecon at night in Havana CubaHavana - 2017Havana, CUBA - 2017 September 29 - October 1, 2017: A weekend exploring Havana


Wedding bouquet and pumpkins on stone steps in Mont Saint-HilaireWedding stuff October 14, 2017: A sort of secret wedding in the most beautiful outdoor setting


Taking in the view of Hydra Island in Greece on a one day cruiseHydra Oct 2017Hydra island, Greece October 20-23, 2017: Four days in Athens and few surrounding islands (above photo taken on Hydra island)


Swimming in one of the Cenotes (Choo-Ha) close to the Coba Ruins in MexicoCenote Choo-Ha November 4-9, 2017: 5 days in Mexico swimming in cenotes...


Checking out the Coba, on of the Maya Ruins that you still climb to the top of the grand pyramidCoba - Maya RuinsCoba - Maya Ruins, Quintana Roo, Mexico ....climbing Mayan ruins


Sarah & Julian, Destination Wedding in Riviera Maya Mexico at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal #stellinisonthebeachSarah & JulianSarah & Julian - Destination Wedding November 7, 2017: .... for my brother's wedding!


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) greece havana mexico travel venice wedding http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/11/here-there Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:55:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Alcântara & Sintra http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/7/portugal-sintra Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016


It's our second day in Lisbon, and after a quick walk around the Alcântara neighbourhood (where our wonderful apartment is located), we have breakfast and drop off my cousin at the Lisbon airport for her flight back to Toronto. Did I forget to mention that she's another crazy travel addict that joined us in Lisbon for a mere 24 hours? The joys of working for a major airline!


ALCÂNTARA


Just outside of the downtown area, Alcântara is a fairly large district split out into two areas  Alcântara-Terra and Alcântara-Mar. Not one of the best places to be in back in the day, but I'm told the area has changed for the better over the years. The Terra area is an amalgam of residential buildings with a few shops, cafés and restaurants scattered about. The Mar area is a riverside zone on the Tagus River, and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. All of the old warehouses have been converted to trendy restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and all have an outdoor terrace with a view of the marina and the 25 de Abril Bridge

 

Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLooking out the window of the apartment on R. Costa — I know the street doesn't look like much, but.... Looking out the window of the apartment on R. Costa — I know the street doesn't look like much, but....


...check this out — it's a restored artist's apartment which can be found here ...check this out — it's a restored artist's apartment which can be found here


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWalking around the neighbourhood Walking around the neighbourhood


I know this area doesn't look like much (this is a small square called Praça da Armada), but we were extremely surprised when we came back here later for dinner Looks kinda run down (this is a small square called Praça da Armada), but we were extremely surprised when we came back here later for dinner


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe crazy cousin representing Toronto with her Blue Jays tank The travel addict cousin representing Toronto with her Blue Jays tank


Now...time for breakfast Now...time for breakfast before heading to Sintra


SINTRA


An easy day trip from Lisbon, Sintra is a charming town that lies 25 km west of Lisbon. Easy to get to by train, but since we have a car, we drive the 20-minute route, then spend another 20 minutes trying to find a spot to park. We've opted to park close to the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, which is often confused with the Palácio da Pena, but are two completely different beasts. 


PALÁCIO NATIONAL DE SINTRA


It's around Palácio Nacional de Sintra that you'll find a ton of restaurants and shops (and Ginjinha stands), along with a ton of tourists roaming about. It's also from here that it's easiest to take the shuttle that'll bring you up to Palácio da Pena (trust me, after seeing the shuttle drive up there, I am uber happy that I didn't do the drive). This palace is not much to look at from the outside, but I hear the interior is something. We didn't go in but there's ticket machines outside that offer a tour of the palace and grounds for 14 EUR. If you just want entrance to the grounds (which are beautiful), it'll cost you about 7.50 EUR.   


PALÁCIO DA PENA 


It's Palácio da Pena that pops up in every single photo or ad promoting Lisbon, though it's not in Lisbon at all. A mish-mash of architecture and colours, this palace seems like it popped out of a Disney movie. The shuttle (about 3 EUR) runs every 15-20 minutes, and I know a few who have done the walk up to the palace, but at 40 degrees celsius that ain't happening. It was already insufferable enough lining up for tickets in the unrelenting sun for 40 minutes (note to self buy tickets online to avoid this shit). Wandering through the rooms is fascinating though, and the views from here are amazing. 

 

Walking around Sintra Walking around Sintra


Checking out the local stuff for sale Checking out the local stuff for sale


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSintra National Palace Palácio National de Sintra


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWaiting for the shuttle to Pena Palace Waiting for the shuttle to Palácio da Pena 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneColourful Pena Palace Colourful Palácio da Pena 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRomanticism at its best Romanticism at its best


Quite a quirky palace Quite a quirky palace


It really looks like something out of Disney's Magic Kingdom It really looks like something out of Disney's Magic Kingdom


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe views from here are amazing The views from here are amazing


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCastelo dos Mouros Castelo dos Mouros


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA very yellow courtyard at Pena Palace A very yellow courtyard at Palácio da Pena 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWe've headed back down to town via the shuttle, but somehow missed the stop We've headed back down to town via the shuttle, but somehow missed the stop


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI guess we'll explore Sintra a little more as we walk back to the national palace I guess we'll explore Sintra a little more as we walk back to the national palace


Sintra is a beautiful not-so-little town Sintra is a beautiful not-so-little-as-it-turns-out town


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWe're almost back at the Sintra National Palace We're almost back at the Palácio National de Sintra


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneI do believe we've earned a drink I do believe we've earned a drink


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAnd these - Bacalhau (cod fish fritters) And these - Bacalhau (cod fish fritters)


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneChorizo — yum! Chorizo — yum!


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneShrimp, swimming in garlic butter Shrimp, swimming in garlic butter


Well that's that for day 2 in Lisbon, more.... coming soon!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) day trip foodies lisbon portugal portugal road trip road trip sintra http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/7/portugal-sintra Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:00:00 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Exploring the City http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/6/portugal-lisbon Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016


After 4 days of relaxing in the Algarve, it's on to lovely Lisbon to explore the city, sample Ginjinha and eat even more delicious Portuguese food.

 


LISBON


Known for it's cable cars, tiled buildings and cobblestone streets, the pocket-sized capital of Portugal has a ton to see - Lord knows I did my obligatory guidebook research so my list was long. But my list started to feel less and less important as we roamed the city's neighbourhoods and settled into the casual vibe of everyday life in Lisbon. 

Today is all about exploring the city, and you'll have to excuse my laziness - not in the mood to write, but the photos and captions do a pretty good job of showing what we checked out on our first day in Lisboa!

 

The street our apartment is on  Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe street our apartment is on The street our apartment is on thanks to Airbnb we're living like locals


View of the 25 de Abril Bridge from in front of Palácio das NecessidadesLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of the 25 de Abril Bridge from in front of Palácio das Necessidades We're also a 5-minute walk to the Palácio das Necessidades that has this awesome view of the 25 de Abril Bridge 


Hot AF outside, but watching some Portuguese show being filmed - Lisbon, Necessidades PalaceLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneHot AF outside, but watching some Portuguese show being filmed Hot AF outside, but watching some Portuguese show being filmed


Palácio das Necessidades Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePalácio das Necessidades — historic building that serves as headquarters of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry Palácio das Necessidades — historic building that serves as headquarters of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry


Praça do Marques de Pombal, Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça do Marques de Pombal — with it's very detailed and imposing statue on the roundabout at the end of Avenida da Liberdade Praça do Marques de Pombal — with it's very detailed and imposing statue on the roundabout at the end of Avenida da Liberdade


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMonument with a statue of the marquis Monument with a statue of the marquis


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneBeautiful buildings on Av. da Liberdade Beautiful buildings on Avenida da Liberdade 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça dos Restauradores — a public square, close to Rossia Square and a less expensive spot to find a terrace to drink or eat at Praça dos Restauradores — a public square, close to Rossio Square and a less expensive spot to find a terrace to drink or eat at


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneA painted tram A painted tram 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime for a Ginjinha Time for a Ginjinha


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça do Rossio — the main, central square of Lisbon Praça do Rossio — the main, central square of Lisbon 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneOn R. de Santa Justa heading to the Elevador de Santa Justa On R. de Santa Justa heading to the Elevador de Santa Justa


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneElevador de Santa Justa — opened in 1902 to take residents up and down (a much better option than walking up at ton of stairs in the beating sun) Elevador de Santa Justa — opened in 1902 to take residents up and down (a much better option than walking up at ton of stairs in the beating sun) 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneChafariz do Carmo on Largo do Carmo — a picturesque square with plenty of terraces and plenty of trees for shade Chafariz do Carmo on Largo do Carmo — a picturesque square with plenty of terraces and plenty of trees for shade


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneConvento do Carmo (Carmo Convent) — ruins of a convent damaged by an earthquake Convento do Carmo (Carmo Convent) — ruins of a convent damaged by an earthquake


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe view from Bellalisa Elevador The view from Bellalisa Elevador restaurant 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView from the top entrance of the Santa Justa Elevator View from the top entrance of the Elevador de Santa Justa


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRooftops of LIsbon Rooftops of Lisbon


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça do Rossio from the Elevador de Santa Justa Praça do Rossio from the Elevador de Santa Justa


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGorgeous wrought-iron staircase going up for an even better view Gorgeous wrought-iron staircase going up for an even better view


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of R. de Santa Justa and Castelo de São Jorge on the hill View of R. de Santa Justa and Castelo de São Jorge on the hill 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMaking our way to Praça do Comércio Making our way to Praça do Comércio


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneArco da Rua Augusta Arco da Rua Augusta 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneArco da Rua Augusta at Praça do Comércio Arco da Rua Augusta at Praça do Comércio


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneStatue of King José I – Praça do Comércio Statue of King José I – Praça do Comércio


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePeople chillin' by the Tagus River People chillin' by the Tagus River – Praça do Comércio


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLots of live musicians here too – Praça do Comércio Lots of live musicians here too – Praça do Comércio


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAdmiring the beautiful buildings Admiring the beautiful buildings 


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneEven the not-so-beautiful buildings have a certain charm to them Even the not-so-beautiful buildings have a certain charm to them


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThink it's time for another Ginjinha Think it's time for another Ginjinha


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon's famous trams Lisbon's famous trams


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to wine and dine Time to wine and dine


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWonderful spot on Largo da Anunciada – Champanheria Do Largo Wonderful spot on Largo da Anunciada – Champanheria Do Largo


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAbsoluely divine Patty Shrimp – Champanheria Do Largo Absolutely divine Patty Shrimp – Champanheria Do Largo


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMy fave app – fried Bacalhau (cod fish) – Champanheria Do Largo My fave app – fried Bacalhau (cod fish) – Champanheria Do Largo


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneWild rice and shrimp – Champanheria Do Largo Wild rice and shrimp – Champanheria Do Largo


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSome sort of fish with an amazing sauce Some sort of fish with an amazing sauce – Champanheria Do Largo


Lisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneLisbon, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePork, zucchini and eggplant – Champanheria Do Largo Pork, zucchini and eggplant – Champanheria Do Largo


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) foodies lisbon portugal portugal road trip road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/6/portugal-lisbon Fri, 30 Jun 2017 17:15:42 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: ALGARVE ~ Beach Hopping http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/5/algarve-beaches Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, Portugal


Blessed with a beautiful 200-kilometre coastline, Portugal's Algarve has probably the most stunning beaches I've ever seen. These praias vary from broad endless stretches to small sheltered coves and every single one of them is gorgeous.

Well, that's what I hear anyway. With over 150 named beaches, obviously didn't hit all of them.... we hit about 7 .... and each one of those.... WOW.

 


PRAIA DO BELICHE


We were actually driving to Cabo de São Vicente (southwesternmost tip of Europe), and we saw quite a few cars parked here, so we stopped. Blew our little minds. Beautiful beach and cliffs, insanely beautiful views from the top. Getting down to the beach is another story – definitely not for the faint of heart as you'll have to make your way down a 140-step very steep and uneven staircase... then of course, make your way back up said stairs. Combine that with the mass of surfers carrying their boards up and down the stairs (the beach is popular with surfers) and the descent and ascent can be a bit challenging. That being said, this beach is the stuff that postcards are made of.

 

Map showing where Praia do Beliche is – about an hour's drive from AlbufeiraPraia do BelichePraia do Beliche – about an hour's drive from Albufeira Praia do Beliche – about an hour's drive from Albufeira


Cliffs....water....stunning views! at Praia do Beliche, Algarve, PortugalPraia do BelicheCliffs....water....stunning views! Cliffs....water....stunning views!


Renting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps - Praia do BelicheRenting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps Renting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps


Bet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down  Praia do BelicheBet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down Bet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down 


Incredible views.... Praia do BelicheIncredible views.... Incredible views....


Only made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie Praia do BelicheOnly made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie Only made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie


Taking in the view before heading back up those damn stepsTaking in the view before heading back up those damn steps Taking in the view before heading back up those damn steps

 


CABO DE SÃO VICENTE


Known to some as the "end of the world", and you can definitely see why it's called that once there, Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent) is a must. The views of the surrounding coastline are stunning, and I think best visited when it's windy to see the sea crashing against the rocks. A great place for amazing views of the ocean and cliffs, and watching dudes fishing off the rock face is quite unbelievable. 

 

From Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute driveFrom Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute drive From Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute drive


People standing on Portugal's southern tipPeople standing on Portugal's southern tip People standing on Portugal's southern tip


Lighthouse at Cabo de São VicenteLighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente


This view.....!This view.....! This view.....!


How in the world is this guy fishing.......How in the world is this guy fishing....... How in the world is this guy fishing....


... from here! (look closely!)... from here! (look closely!) ... from here! (look closely!)


I could definitely stay here a whileI could definitely stay here a while I could definitely stay here a while

 


FORTALEZA DO BELICHE


A fort built way back when (original construction dates are unknown, and range from 1587 to 1632), the Beliche Fort was reconstructed in 1960 and I hear was actually a hotel for a while. Now, you can't go inside, but you can go through the walkways to the other side of the walls to get pretty amazing views of the sea.

 

2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza de Belixe2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza de Belixe 2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza do Beliche


More amazing views from Fortaleza de BelixeMore amazing views from Fortaleza de Belixe Views from Fortaleza do Beliche


More amazing views from Fortaleza de BelixeMore amazing views from Fortaleza de Belixe More amazing views from Fortaleza do Beliche


Looking downLooking down Looking down


Making my way around the fortressMaking my way around the fortress Making my way around the fortress


Nice view of the Cabo lighthouse from hereNice view of the Cabo lighthouse from here Nice view of the Cabo lighthouse from here

 


PRAIA DA MARETA


The largest beach area close to Sagres, Praia da Mareta is fairly remote and quiet, offering a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. Never overly crowded, this 750-metre long beach has quaint shops and restos that where you can sit and view the beach while sampling the Algarve's famous local bread Pasteis de Nata.

 

From Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da MaretaFrom Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da Mareta From Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da Mareta


Views at Praia da MaretaViews at Praia da Mareta Views at Praia da Mareta


Much less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de SagresMuch less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de Sagres Much less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de Sagres

 


PRAIA DO CAMILO


During high season, this place is waaaaay overcrowded, but you can see why... a stunning beach in a sheltered cove with clear waters and surrounded by gorgeous limestone cliffs and caves.... just beautiful! The views from the top are stunning, and long wooden stairs will take you down to this cozy beach that has all the characteristics of the perfect Algarve beach. 

 

From Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do CamiloFrom Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do Camilo From Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do Camilo


Ok....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalOk....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from Ok....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from


Look to your right, and you get this picture-perfect viewLook to your right, and you get this picture-perfect view Look to your right, and you get this picture-perfect view


Boat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations hereAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBoat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations here Boat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations here


Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalLook to the left, and you get this view Look to the left, and you get this view


Look straight down for this viewAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalLook straight down for this view Look straight down for this view

 


PRAIA DA ROCHA


One of the Algarve's popular tourist spots, Praia da Rocha is located just 2 kilometres south of Portimão and is probably one of those spots that you'll see in every postcard from the Algarve. I personally prefer the hidden cove beaches, but this is the spot for plenty of entertainment, restaurants, bars, shopping.... you name it. 

 

35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha 35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha


Beautiful Praia da RochaAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBeautiful Praia da Rocha Beautiful Praia da Rocha


Not so hidden, and packed with peopleAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalNot so hidden, and packed with people Not so hidden, and packed with people


But beautiful all the sameAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBut beautiful all the same But beautiful all the same

 


PRAIA DE CARVOEIRO


I know I keep saying that each of these praias is the perfect picture postcard spot, but every time I think I've seen the most amazing view, there's always one more.... and Praia de Carvoeiro has the most amazing cliffs and views. The actual town of Carvoeiro is about 10-minute walk from this gorgeous beach that is lined with lost of shops, bars and restaurants. But what you really want to do is walk the paths about 200-feet above the beach and take in the fantastic views

 

25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro 25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro


Another of those picture-postcard spotsAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAnother of those picture-postcard spots Another of those picture-postcard spots


Gorgeous Praia de CarvoeiroAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalGorgeous Praia de Carvoeiro Gorgeous Praia de Carvoeiro


Absolutely stunningAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAbsolutely stunning Absolutely stunning


That water looks divine!Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalThat water looks divine! That water looks divine!

 


PRAIA DOS PESCADORES & PRAIA DO INATEL


These two beaches are right by Old Town Albufeira, and while they don't have the most spectacular scenery, they were super convenient for us as we were staying about a 10-minute walk from here. I know I've barely scratched the surface of all the beaches that the Algarve has.....maybe another road trip is due soon!

 

RIght by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh togetherRIght by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh together Right by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh together


Praia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town AlbufeiraPraia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town Albufeira Praia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town Albufeira


Plenty of palapas for shadePlenty of palapas for shade Plenty of palapas for shade - Praia dos Pescadores


Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraia do Inatel Praia do Inatel


This turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartmentPortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThis turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartment This turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartment


Always with a pitcher of sangria close byPortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAlways with a pitcher of sangria close by Always with a pitcher of sangria close by


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) albufeira algarve beach portugal portugal road trip praias road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/5/algarve-beaches Sat, 27 May 2017 12:58:00 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: ALGARVE ~ Albufeira http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/portugal-algarve-albufeira


Finally getting around to sorting out my Portugal pics – my poor travel buddy Manon has probably lost all hope in ever seeing these pics from our 11-day Portugal road trip.... but I'm finally on it. Maybe it has something to do with the bottle of porto branco that I've just cracked open, but whatever it is, has me in the mood for re-living this vacay!

 


ALBUFEIRA ~ ALGARVE, PORTUGAL


Day 1 - After a 6-hour flight from Montreal to Lisbon, then a 3.5-hour drive from Lisbon to Albufeira, we are beat. First thing's first, chill for a bit on the balcony of the apartment we've rented that has great views of Old Town Albufeira, Praia do Inatel and Praia dos Pescadores. I can literally see the stress leaving my body as I'm sitting there, enjoying the view and basically doing absolute nothing at all.

Then it's off for the 5-minute walk to Old Town Albufeira (though in this heat, the walk feels like an hour) to check out the area, buy some stuff to stock the fridge, and of course find a terrace to sip on some well-deserved wine.

 

Our view from our apartment in Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalOur view from our apartment in Albufeira Our view from our apartment in Albufeira


The view from our balcony looking the other towards old town  Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalThe view from our balcony looking the other towards old town Albufeira The view from our balcony looking the other towards Old Town  Albufeira


Looking out at the view of old town Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeiraI could get used to this view! I could get used to this view!


Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalPraia dos Pescadores, Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalWe're a 5-minute walk from beautiful Praia dos Pescadores We're a 5-minute walk from beautiful Praia dos Pescadores


Escalator that'll take you down (and back up) to old town Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalEscalator that'll take you down (and back up) to old town Albufeira Escalator that'll take you down (and back up) to Old Town Albufeira


Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalThough I'm down for the variety of restos here, it's pretty darn hard to find a place serving local food Though I'm down for the variety of restos here, it's pretty darn hard to find a place serving local food


Jardim Square in Old Town AlbufeiraJardim Square in Old Town AlbufeiraJardim Square in Old Town Albufeira Jardim Square in Old Town Albufeira


Hmmm, this place is within dangerously close walking distance to where we are stayingHmmm, this place is within dangerously close walking distance to where we are stayingHmmm, this place is within dangerously close (Jardm Square) walking distance to where we are staying Hmmm, this place is within dangerously close (Jardm Square) walking distance to where we are staying


Peeps taking a break from the beach to do some shopping,Old Town Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalOld Town Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalPeeps taking a break from the beach to do some shopping Peeps taking a break from the beach to do some shopping


The tunnel to the beach, that gave a blessedly cool escape from the insane heat, Albufeira Old Town, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira Old Town, Algarve, PortugalThe tunnel to the beach, that gave a blessedly cool escape from the insane heat The tunnel to the beach, that gave a blessedly cool escape from the insane heat


Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalPraia dos Pescadores, Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalPraia dos Pescadores Praia dos Pescadores


Sound advice as you head back through the tunnel to the Centro Historico, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal Centro Historico, Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalSound advice as you head back through the tunnel to the Centro Historico Sound advice as you head back through the tunnel to the Centro Historico


Time to find a spot for a drink Time to find a spot for a drink


A bit too healthy of a drink.... need to keep searching for some alcoholA bit too healthy of a drink.... need to keep searching for some alcohol A bit too healthy of a drink.... need to keep searching for some alcohol


That's what I'm talking about, wine tasting, PortugalThat's what I'm talking about That's what I'm talking about


Well, "ALLO" to you tooWell, "ALLO" to you too Well, "ALLO" to you too


Our adorable dude, explaining about all of Portugal wine regions Our adorable dude, explaining about all of Portugal wine regions


So many wines... So many wines...


....just keep handing them over please ....just keep handing them over please


....and hand over more ....and hand over more


I guess a little food would be a good idea right now I guess a little food would be a good idea right now


Ok hun, ready for some more! Ok hun, ready for some more!


Time to head back for a snooze - it's been a long day of flying (from Montreal to Lisbon), driving (3.5 hours from Lisbon to Albufeira) and drinking and eating in 40 degree celsius (even more thankful for that escalator right now!) Time to head back for a snooze - it's been a long day of flying (from Montreal to Lisbon), driving (3.5 hours from Lisbon to Albufeira) and drinking and eating in 40 degree celsius (even more thankful for that escalator right now!)


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) albufeira algarve portugal portugal road trip road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/portugal-algarve-albufeira Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:17:48 GMT
SPAIN: CORDOBA ~ Pretty In Pink http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-cordoba Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain


It wasn't the plan to head to Cordoba today, but the child is getting tired of me waking her at 6 am every morning to drive to these cities.

"Can we just go to that other city you want to see now (from Sevilla) so we can relax the rest of the time here?"

It's already 4 pm, and wanted to be back in Torremolinos before dark - something about driving through the mountains of Spain at night in pitch black darkness....didn't really want to do that. But the child has a point, if we do Cordoba today, we don't have to hit the road early tomorrow, so off we go....approx. 141 km (1.5-hour drive) from Sevilla to Cordoba.

 


CORDOBA ~ SPAIN


It's about 5:45 pm when we reach Cordoba and everything is closing – so much for going inside the Mezquita – so all we did was stroll around and check out the Puente Romano, the Mezquita (from the outside), and the Calleja de las Flores.

Cordoba is much smaller and a lot less touristy than it's Andalusian "neighbours", Sevilla and Granada. You can walk everywhere within a couple of hours, which is the best way to see the city – just wander down the narrow streets of the Juderia (the old Jewish quarter), stroll through charming squares, admire the Patios de Cordoba, and of course, check out the gardens of the Alcazar.

If you're wondering about the Pretty in Pink title, scroll down through the photos and you'll see - though I bitched about not wanting to be here when the sun was going down, I'm glad we were.

 

Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoLa Mezquita, viewed from across the Puente Romano La Mezquita, viewed from across the Puente Romano


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoTorre de la Calahorra (Calahorra Tower) Torre de la Calahorra (Calahorra Tower)


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoFlowers on the Puente Romano Flowers on the Puente Romano


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoThe Guadalquivir River The Guadalquivir River


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoPuerta del Puente (Gate of the Bridge) on the other side of the bridge Puerta del Puente (Gate of the Bridge) on the other side of the bridge


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoWalking along Calle Torrijos Walking along Calle Torrijos


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoImpressive doors of the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba Impressive doors of the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoAnother impressive door at the Mezquita Another impressive door at the Mezquita


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoThe Bell Tower The Bell Tower at the Mezquita


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoTrying to sneak in to someone's courtyard Trying to sneak in to someone's courtyard


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoSomewhere in Cordoba Somewhere in Cordoba 


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoWalls of the Mezquita Walls of the Mezquita


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoLost in Cordoba, trying to find Calleja de Flores Lost in Cordoba, trying to find Calleja de Flores


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoMust be getting close Must be getting close


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoAt least we know we're heading in the right direction At least we know we're heading in the right direction


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoFollowing signs, but it doesn't look all that flowery Following signs, but it doesn't look all that flowery


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoFinally found Calleja de las Flores Finally found Calleja de las Flores


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoDidn't quite expect it to be this tiny-ass alleyway Didn't quite expect it to be this tiny-ass alleyway


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoIt's not all that flowery either It's not all that flowery either


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoI guess it's kind of cute, but kind of expected more I guess it's kind of cute, but kind of expected more


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoMaking our way back through the maze of streets to the Mezquita Making our way back through the maze of streets to the Mezquita


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoSneaking a peak at another courtyard Sneaking a peak at another courtyard


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoNever heard of Casa Santos, but there's a ton of people buying food from here, so.... Never heard of Casa Santos, but there's a ton of people buying food from here, so....


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoTurns out everyone is going crazy for these – tortilla de patatas Turns out everyone is going crazy for these – tortilla de patatas 


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoPuente Romano and the Torre de la Calahorra Puente Romano and the Torre de la Calahorra


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoWas hoping to be back in Torremolinos before dark, but looks like we're here for an amazing sunset Was hoping to be back in Torremolinos before dark, but looks like we're here for what looks like it's going to be an amazing sunset


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoThe light...the sky....wow The light...the sky....wow


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoBeautiful colours Beautiful colours


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoStatue depicting St. Raphael in the middle of the Puente Romano Statue depicting St. Raphael in the middle of the Puente Romano


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoLove how a pink-ish light is on everything Love how a pink-ish light is on everything


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoPink and purple everywhere Pink and purple everywhere


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoBeautiful! Beautiful!


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoPretty in pink Pretty in pink


Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonCordoba, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahoBye-bye Cordoba, until next time! Bye-bye Cordoba, until next time!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia cordoba day trip road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-cordoba Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:16:55 GMT
SPAIN: FRIGLIANA ~ Pueblo Blanco http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-frigliana Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain

The child is tired of me waking her at 6 am to drive and do day trips to other cities along the Costa del Sol, so today I let the poor thing sleep in. I've already done the drive to the cities that were an absolute must for me, and I probably should relax and do nothing – it's vacation after all – but how can anyone possibly stay put when you've got a car at your disposal and so many pretty pueblos within less than a hour's drive dotted along the Costa del Sol?

 


FRIGLIANA ~ SPAIN


The village of Frigiliana is about 75 km (50-min drive) northeast of Torremolinos, and Costa del Sol's pueblo blancos don't come much more picturesque than this. Still fairly off the beaten path, it has yet to succumb to mass tourism. Which is a good thing, since there's no way it would survive crowds of people roaming around its tangle of narrow cobblestone streets.

Walking is the best way to see this village, where you can admire the pristine white-washed houses and their wrought-iron balconies with brightly-coloured planters filled with even more brightly-coloured flowers. It's no wonder Frigliana has been voted the 'prettiest village in Andalucia' by the Spanish Tourism Authority.

 

Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain



Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Frigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MaFrigliana, Andalucia, Spain


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip frigliana pueblo blanco road trip spain spain road trip http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-frigliana Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:07:03 GMT
SPAIN: SEVILLA ~ Plaza de España (Star Wars Film Location) http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-sevilla-star-wars Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain


"I need to find out where this place is!" is the only thing I kept thinking after watching Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in 2002. The movie itself, so-so, but the short 48-second scene with Padmé and young Anakin (and a digitized R2-D2 following them) walking through this beautiful 'city' completely mesmerized me. 

The location: Plaza de España in Sevilla that served as the city of Theed on the planet Naboo in the movie. 14 years after (holy shit, I feel old!) obsessing about it in the movie, I finally got to see the place for myself.

 


PLAZA DE ESPAÑA ~ SEVILLA


So the Plaza is not a very popular tourist spot – it's basically government buildings, so you can't really go inside, but just walk around the grounds. Which is fine with me. The Plaza is just southeast of the Universidad de Sevilla and right in between the Maria Luisa Park and the Guadalquivir River. I knew the place looked gorgeous in the movie, but seeing it in person, I was shocked to find how stunningly beautiful it actually is.

I won't write much more about it, enjoy the photos, or even better, try to get to Sevilla yourself – it's bloody beautiful, and worth the visit, especially for Star Wars fans

 

Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTorre Sur Plaza de España Torre Sur Plaza de España


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTorre Sur Plaza de España Torre Sur Plaza de España


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonA massive semicircular structure in the middle of Sevilla A massive semicircular structure in the middle of Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThe grandness of this place...! The grandness of this place...!


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonBeautifully painted railings Beautifully painted railings


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThe middle child, chillin' in front of Plaza de España The middle child, chillin' in front of Plaza de España 


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonCentral building and fountain at → Plaza de España Central building and fountain at → Plaza de España 


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonDetailed stone work all over the ground Detailed stone work all over the ground


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Thousands of azulejos - painted ceramic tiles  Thousands of azulejos - painted ceramic tiles


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonStanding on one of the four bridges crossing over the canal Standing on one of the four bridges crossing over the canal


Torre Norte → Plaza de España Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTorre Norte → Plaza de España Torre Norte → Plaza de España


A few of the 48 tiled alcoves/benches at the Plaza de Espana in Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonA few of the 48 tiled alcoves/benches – each representing a region of Spain and telling its history A few of the 48 tiled alcoves/benches – each representing a region of Spain and telling its history


Sun shining on the ground-floor verandah at the Plaza de Espana in Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSun shining on the ground-floor verandah Sun shining on the ground-floor verandah (you'll probably also recognize this spot from Star Wars)


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTime to check out the second floor Time to check out the second floor


Decorative, detailed tiling everywhere at the Plaza de Espana in Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonDecorative, detailed tiling everywhere Decorative, detailed tiling everywhere


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonEven more gorgeous from up here Even more gorgeous from up here


Love how the bricks seem like they're glowing when the sun hits them  at Plaza de Espana in Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSevilla, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonLove how the bricks seem like they're glowing when the sun hits them Love how the bricks seem like they're glowing when the sun hits them


This place! I can't get enough of it! Seville, Andalucia, Spain  -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThis place! I can't get enough of it! Seville, Andalucia, Spain This place! I can't get enough of it!


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonI mean, look how much work has gone into these railings I mean, look how much work has gone into these railings


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSomeone is photo-bombing me Someone is photo-bombing me


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonBeautiful Beautiful


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonI'm completely mesmerized by this place I'm completely mesmerized by this place


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonAmazed at all the details on all the columns and railings Amazed at all the details on all the columns and railings


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonWalking through Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa) Walking through Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa)


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonAnd making friends along the way And making friends along the way


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonBeautiful gardens - though it's winter here, so I'm sure even prettier in the spring and summer Beautiful gardens - though it's winter here, so I'm sure even prettier in the spring and summer


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThat's it for Seville, time to hop in the car and head to Cordoba That's it for Seville, time to hop in the car and head to Cordoba


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip game of thrones filming location road trip sevilla spain spain road trip star wars filming location traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-sevilla-star-wars Fri, 14 Apr 2017 14:22:05 GMT
SPAIN: SEVILLA ~ Seeing the Sights http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/2/spain-sevilla Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain


We've already been to Antequera and Osuna, Spain today, and now we've finally made it to Sevilla. My main reason for coming here is to see the Plaza de España, but that deserves a separate post entirely to itself...coming soon!

We've actually parked the car right by the Plaza de España, but I wanted to save the best for last, so off we go to wander a bit.


SEVILLA ~ SPAIN


If there ever was a city to get lost in, this is the one. Sevilla's mix of mazes of streets opening up onto expansive parks and charming plazas makes meandering about easy. While the city is walkable, and you may be good with map - embrace the fact that you'll lose your way at some point... like we did.

Our wanderings take us through Parque del Prado de San Sebastián, across Jardines de Murillo, through many cute plazas to the Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda.

 

Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonParque Prado de San Sebastián Strolling through an empty Parque Prado de San Sebastián


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonParque Prado de San Sebastián - not so empty once we turn a corner Parque Prado de San Sebastián - not so empty once we turn a corner


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonNot sure what the occasion is today, but there's tons of stalls selling all kinds of goodness Not sure what the occasion is today, but there's tons of stalls selling all kinds of goodness


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonAll this.....smells divine! All this.....smells divine!


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonDon't know what this is, but I want some Don't know what this is, but I want some


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonToo good to pass up - seems I'll be walking around Sevilla with all kinds of meat in my purse Too good to pass up - seems I'll be walking around Sevilla with all kinds of meat in my purse


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTrying to figure out how to cross the street at Plaza Don Juan de Austria Trying to figure out how to cross the street at Plaza Don Juan de Austria


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonWalking through Jardines de Murillo to see the Monumento a Cristóbal Colón Walking down Paseo de Catalina de Ribera to see the Monumento a Cristóbal Colón


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMonumento a Cristóbal Colón Monumento a Cristóbal Colón


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonStill on Paseo de Catalina de Ribera, taking in all the details On Paseo de Catalina de Ribera, taking in all the details


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSomewhere in Sevilla Somewhere in Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonChecking out some art stuffs Checking out some art stuffs


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTourist trap souvenirs, but still pretty to look at Tourist trap souvenirs, but still pretty to look at


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonKind of lost track of where we are, but this looks like a good bench to take a break on Kind of lost track of where we are, but this looks like a good bench to take a break on


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThe child keeps begging to do these Segway things, but I don't want to be the a**hole that blocks all these narrow streets with them The child keeps begging to do these Segway things, but I don't want to be the a**hole that blocks all these narrow streets with them


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonA pretty plaza somewhere in Sevilla A pretty plaza somewhere in Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThe wall of the Real Alcázar de Sevilla The wall of the Real Alcázar de Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonFirst glimpse of the Catedral de Sevilla First glimpse of the Catedral de Sevilla, the third-largest church in the world


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSelfie time in Sevilla Selfie time in Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonChecking out Plaza Virgen de los Reyes Checking out Plaza Virgen de los Reyes


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonAlong with all the other people there Along with all the other people there


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonJust outside the Catedral de Sevilla Just outside the Catedral de Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonCatedral de Sevilla Catedral de Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonTrying to walk through this archway to check out Patio de Banderas, and we have to wait for this guy to squeeze this car through first Trying to walk through this archway to check out Patio de Banderas, and we have to wait for this guy to squeeze this car through first


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonLa Giralda from Patio de Banderas La Giralda from Patio de Banderas


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonThe Plaza Patio de Banderas, technically part of the Alcazar The Plaza Patio de Banderas, technically part of the Alcazar 


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonMassive Banyan trees in Jardines de Murillo Massive Banyan trees in Jardines de Murillo


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonCalle San Fernando Calle San Fernando


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonUniversidad de Sevilla Universidad de Sevilla


Seville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonSeville, Andalucia, Spain -Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonWalking back through Parque del Prado de San Sebastián to Plaza de España (next post!) Walking back through Parque del Prado de San Sebastián to Plaza de España (next post!)


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip road trip sevilla spain spain road trip traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/2/spain-sevilla Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:58:48 GMT
SPAIN: OSUNA ~ Plaza de Toros (Game of Thrones Film Location) http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/2/spain-osuna


On the drive to Sevilla, I've already made a pit-stop in Antequera, and now I'm at my second pit-stop, Osuna. Another place in Spain that quite honestly, I'd never heard of before. 

Googling the city for what to see here, I'm pleasantly surprised that Osuna's Plaza de Toros is a Game of Thrones filming location.

 


PLAZA DE TOROS ~ OSUNA


Game of Thrones fans know the place well. In season 5, episodes 9 and 10, an epic battle is fought here and Daenerys Targaryen is rescued by her fire-breathing dragons from the Great Pit of Daznak... which is actually the Plaza de Toros in Osuna. Not a fan of bull-fighting, but I wanted to see the place where such a legendary battle took place.

Yes, I'm aware that Game of Thrones is completely fictional.

Only a 2 EUR entrance fee, I had the entire "pit" to myself (the child stayed in the car to sleep since we've been on the road since 6 am) where I was free to roam around and pretend I was in Meereen.

 

Freeze frame from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 5


Walking around the exterior, trying to find the entrance  Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhWalking around the exterior, trying to find the entrance Walking around the exterior, trying to find the entrance 


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhIntricate iron work Intricate iron work


Roaming around the halls at the Plaza de Toros in Osuna, Andalucia, SpainOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhRoaming around the halls at the Plaza de Toros, Osuna Roaming around the halls at the Plaza de Toros, Osuna


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhPatio de Caballos (stables) Patio de Caballos (stables)


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhSpots for bull shoes Spots for bull shoes


Water troughs in the stables at the Plaza de Toros in Osuna, Andalucia, SpainOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhWater troughs in the stables Long empty water troughs....


Time to check out the fighting pit (bullring) Osuna, Andalucia, SpainOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhTime to check out the fighting pit (bullring) Osuna, Andalucia, Spain Time to check out the fighting pit (bullring) 


Half expected to see these peeps waiting for my grand entranceHalf expected to see these peeps waiting for my grand entrance Half expected to see these peeps waiting for my grand entrance (Freeze frame from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 5)


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhPlaza de Toros, Osuna Plaza de Toros, Osuna


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhStanding in the centre, the stands all full of people Standing in the centre, imagining the stands all full of people


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhFunny to see numbered seating on these old stone seats Funny to see numbered seating on these old stone seats


Admiring it all from the VIP section - Plaza de Toros in Osuna SpainOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhAdmiring it all from the VIP section Admiring it all from the VIP section


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOld ads for the Plaza de Toros Old ads for the Plaza de Toros


Osuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhOsuna, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhAnother oldie Another oldie, I wonder how much admission was then? At 2 euros today, and completely empty - it was totally worth it


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip game of thrones filming location osuna plaza de toros road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/2/spain-osuna Sat, 11 Feb 2017 13:03:08 GMT
SPAIN ~ ANTEQUERA: The Heart of Andalucia http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/1/spain-antequera Alcazaba of AntequeraAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAlcazaba of Antequera


The ultimate destination for today is Sevilla.... but the drive from Torremolinos is approximately 3 hours, and my attention span for driving lasts about 1 hour before my eyes start closing all on their own. So... to break up the drive, a quick look at the map and I've decided to stop in Antequera (about 1 hour from Torremolinos), then on to Osuna (another hour drive from Antequera), to finally make it to Seville (yet another hour drive from Osuna). 

 


ANTEQUERA


I've never heard of this place, and I don't think a lot of other people have either, which only adds to its charm. With zero research done on this pueblo blanco in the heart of Andalucia, I just sort of picked a spot to park and wandered around - and was pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful place this is. 

Was only here for about an hour,  to rest my eyes from driving, but still had an eyeful of dramatic scenery and beautiful architecture.  

 

Perfectly picturesque streets of AntequerraAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MahonPerfectly picturesque streets of Antequerra Perfectly picturesque streets of Antequerra


The Alcazaba of Antequera dominates the villageAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MThe Alcazaba of Antequera dominates the village The Alcazaba of Antequera dominates the village


Alcazaba of Antequera – seen from pretty much anywhere Antequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAlcazaba of Antequera – seen from pretty much anywhere Alcazaba of Antequera – seen from pretty much anywhere 


Iglesia de la TrinidadAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MIglesia de la Trinidad Iglesia de la Trinidad


Plaza del Portichuelo, Church of Santa Maria de JesusAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MPlaza del Portichuelo, Church of Santa Maria de Jesus Plaza del Portichuelo, Church of Santa Maria de Jesus


Ugh, stairs... if I go down there, I gotta come back up...Antequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MUgh, stairs... if I go down there, I gotta come back up... Ugh, stairs... if I go down there, I gotta come back up...


Rooftops of AntequeraAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MRooftops of Antequera Rooftops of Antequera


Antequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MStairs... again.... Stairs... again....


... but look where it leads to – the views!Antequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer M... but look where it leads to – the views! ... but look where it leads to – the views!


This place has got the cutest streetsAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MThis place has got the cutest streets This place has got the cutest streets


Love the detailsAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MLove the details Love the details


All the same, but differentAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAll the same, but different All the same, but different


Each doorway entrance is decorated with unique tilesAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MEach doorway entrance is decorated with unique tiles Each doorway entrance is decorated with unique tiles


Another entrance, another beautiful tile designAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAnother entrance, another beautiful tile design Another entrance, another beautiful tile design


And another... which I'll stop now, before someone thinks I'm trying to break inAntequerra, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer MAnd another... which I'll stop now, before someone thinks I'm trying to break in And another... which I'll stop now, before someone thinks I'm trying to break in


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia antequera day trip road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen http://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/1/spain-antequera Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:20:14 GMT