TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE: Blog https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog en-us (C) Jennifer Mahon Photography - TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE 2020. All Rights Reserved. info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) Mon, 16 Aug 2021 16:21:00 GMT Mon, 16 Aug 2021 16:21:00 GMT WORK, TRAVEL & STUFF: 2019 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/12/2019-travels Pompeii, Italy - 2019Pompei - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePompeii, Italy - 2019


So yeah, I've been M.I.A. ....AGAIN this year. Honestly would love to keep y'all up to date with my travels but life always gets in the way.

Here's a quick look back at 2019 —  just so you know that I'm still alive and travelling as often as I can to keep sane. 

 


FEBRUARY: TANGIER - CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER INTERNATIONAL


So yeah, this happened in 2019. Condé Nast Traveler China contacted me to buy some photos from a previous trip to Tangier. They also ended up putting a small feature on me in the contributor section.

Pretty cool way that started out the year!

 

Conde Nast Traveler International February 2019CNT February 2019Conde Nast Traveler International February 2019

 


MARCH: NAPLES & CO.


What do you do with approximately 72 hours in Italy? If you're willing to go with the flow, there's a whole lot you can see in that time. 

On this particular trip, we flew into Rome on a Thursday night (arrived Friday morning), hopped immediately on a train to Naples where we snagged a great last-minute price on a hotel there via Hotwire for 2 nights. Now, for most, already taking the train from Rome to Naples is enough, but not for us.

I'll tell the whole story of how we ended up doing what we did in another post, but to summarize, we ended up going to Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri as well, and due to a flight delay on the Sunday return, we even managed to spend half a day in Rome

 

Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019 The view from our room  - Naples


Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019 Enjoying the sunset in front of Castel dell'Ovo - Bay of Naples


Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019 Exploring Pompeii


Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019 Enjoying a few hours in Sorrento


Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019 Just in time for the sunset in Capri


Naples 2019Naples 2019Naples 2019

Flight delay means more time in Roma

 


MAY: VENICE


Venice....again! Y'all know I had this habit of doing these yearly 24 hours in Venice trips. I missed it in 2018, but managed to hit up Venezia on Mother's Day weekend this year.

Saw all the same things, and did a few new things. Like heading to the top of the Campanile di San Marco to see all of Venice in its glory. Finding out that some nondescript alleyways lead right out onto the Grand Canal. And, probably the best part — discovering that a lots of places now have drinks-to-go — yes, y'all know I do love a good Pinot Grigio or Aperol Spritz. 

 

 

Venice 2019Venice 2019Venice 2019 When the Grand Canal can be viewed from your room


Venice 2019Venice 2019Venice 2019 Drinking an Aperol Spritz-to-go by the Grand Canal


Venice 2019Venice 2019Venice 2019 Piazza San Marco from the top Campanile di San Marco


Venice 2019Venice 2019Venice 2019 Roaming around Libreria Acqua Alta


Venice 2019Venice 2019Venice 2019 Even managed a couple hours in Burano

 


JULY: NEW ORLEANS


New Orleans is pretty awesome on a regular day. But to be in NOLA during the Essence Festival — that's a whole other level debauchery. 

Honestly never even heard of Essence before. But when a friend mentioned going, I'm like, "I'm in. I'm always down for New Orleans."

Then I watched the movie Girls Trip. Then I became slightly scared of what this trip might turn into. More on that in another post. 

 

New Orleans, LousianaTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Lafayette Square


New Orleans, LousianaTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Café du Monde


Essence Festival - 1st concert at the Superdome

 


SEPTEMBER: VICTORIA & VANCOUVER


Spent a weekend on the West Coast —really a day on Vancouver Island (Victoria and Langford area), and a half-day in Vancouver — so not at all long enough to truly explore, but enough to get a taste and know that I definitely want to come back. 

Vancouver Island is gorgeous. The scenery, the people, the completely chill vibe of the entire island is intoxicating. Vancouver was pretty cool to see, but I'm all down to spend some real time exploring everywhere on the island. 

 

Into more woods - 48°27'23.7"N 123°33'47.4"WInto more woods - 48°27'23.7"N 123°33'47.4"WInstameet - Langford BC - 2019.09.14 Hiking on the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail, part of The Great Trail of Canada


Goldstream River Suspension Bridge - 48°27'44.9"N 123°34'30.8"WGoldstream River Suspension Bridge - 48°27'44.9"N 123°34'30.8"WInstameet - Langford BC - 2019.09.14 Gold River Suspension Bridge


Fisherman's Wharf, Victoria - 48°25'20.9"N 123°22'58.9"WFisherman's Wharf, Victoria - 48°25'20.9"N 123°22'58.9"WVictoria BC - 2019.09.14, Fisherman's Wharf, Victoria - 48°25'20.9"N 123°22'58.9"W Cute houseboats in Victoria's marina


Ferry VI to Van - 2019.09.15Ferry VI to Van - 2019.09.15Ferry VI to Van - 2019.09.15 On the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver


City of Vancouver Trail - Seawall - 49°17'23.6"N 123°07'08.5"WCity of Vancouver Trail - Seawall - 49°17'23.6"N 123°07'08.5"WInstameet - Langford BC - 2019.09.14 Beautiful Vancouver

 


OCTOBER: FLORIDA


With Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opening at Walt Disney World Resort this year, October seemed like pretty perfect timing for a Florida vacay.

We spent the first week in Orlando hitting all the theme parks (Disney and Universal), then spent the second week unwinding on Anna Maria Island.

 

 

Galaxy's Edge (iPhone)Galaxy's Edge (iPhone)Florida 2019 Star Wars!


Galaxy's Edge - The MarketGalaxy's Edge - The MarketFlorida 2019 The Market in Galaxy's Edge


Galaxy's Edge - Oga's CantinaGalaxy's Edge - Oga's CantinaFlorida 2019 Drinks at Oga's Cantina - Galaxy's Edge


Florida 2019Florida 2019Florida 2019 Having a Duff Beer with Duff Man - Universal Studios


Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019 Beach time - Anna Maria Island


Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019Anna Maria Island - Florida 2019 The most beautiful sunsets


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) anna maria island canada capri conde nast traveler day trip florida italy langford naples new orleans orlando pompeii rome sorrento tangier the great trail of canada traveling with a teen vancouver island venice victoria west coast https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/12/2019-travels Tue, 31 Dec 2019 14:29:56 GMT
SPAIN ~ BENALMÁDENA: Puerto Marina & Castillo de Bil-Bil https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/5/spain-benalmadena Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain

Our stay on the Costa del Sol was technically in Torremolinos, but just a few minutes' walk along the Paseo Maritimo (Costa de la Carihuela) brought us to lively Puerto Marina. Though quite touristy, it's still fun to wander around and enjoy the views of the Andalusian coast and marina with millionaire's moored yachts. 

 


PUERTO MARINA


A gorgeous marina, with tons of shops, restaurants, bars and a few other touristy spots thrown in there, it's still the place to be any time of the day or night. The beaches around here vary from wide, sandy stretches to small rocky sections. Home to the Sea Life aquarium and excellent shopping (kind of pricey), it's also one of the coast's best party places when the sun goes down. 

 


CASTILLO DE BIL-BIL


Walking 30 more minutes along the coast brought us to Castillo de Bil-Bil, a beautiful Arab-style building with overlooking the beach. Though it's called a castle, this iconic landmark was really built as private residence in the early 20th century. Odd to see this Moorish building by the sea, and really not much to see inside it. But, I hear, if you pass by here on Saturday, you'll most likely catch a glimpse of a few weddings as this one of the most popular wedding venues in the area. 

 

Puerto Marina Benalmádena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferPuerto Marina Benalmádena

Puerto Marina Benalmádena


Sea Life Aquarium, Puerto Marina and the beach in Benalmádena


Beach vibes in Benalmádena


Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain Benalmádena


Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Bil-Bil Castle in Benalmádena   Castillo de Bil-Bil in Benalmádena


  Castillo de Bil-Bil in Benalmádena


Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain The beach in front of Castillo de Bil-Bil 


Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - JenniferBenalmadena, Andalucia, Spain

Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) benalmadena bil-bil castle castillo de bil-bil europe road trip paseo maritimo puerto marina road trip spain road trip traveling with a teen https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/5/spain-benalmadena Mon, 20 May 2019 16:10:53 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Vila Nova de Gaia https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/3/portugal-road-trip-vila-nova-de-gaia Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016


Forgive my laziness in writing lately, but life sort of gets in the way. Along with a few other trips that still have to make their way onto this blog. Here's to still finishing off the Portugal Road Trip in 2016.

In Porto... on the south side of the Douro river, there's a whole other world to discover. One with incredible views, tasty food and more wine cellars than you can count.

Which kind of greatly contributes to why I fell so in love with this area of Portugal. 

 


VILA NOVA DE GAIA


From this side of the river is where you'll get the best views of the Dom Luis I Bridge and the colourful, terraced houses of the Ribeira district. Along the riverfront, you'll see the typical rabelo boats – small traditional wooden boats – that were once used to transport barrels of port wine down the river from the quintas (wine producing vineyards) in the Douro Valley

The hardest part of visiting this side of the river, is figuring out which port house (port wine cellar) to visit. There's more than 60 here, and approximately 20 that are open for visits. Most cost around 7 euros, which will get you a tour of cellars and few tastings at the end. 

 

About to cross the Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de GaiaPorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAbout to cross the Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia About to cross the Dom Luís I Bridge to check out Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of the Douro river


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneCatching a glimpse of crazy divers Catching a glimpse of crazy divers


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTeleferico de Gaia Teleferico de Gaia and the Monastery Serra do Pilar at the top


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTerraces all along the river Terraces all along the river


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAll with the best views of Porto All with the best views of Porto


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThis is where all the port houses are This is where all the port houses are


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 Offley Port Wine Cellar


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRamos Pinto Port Wine Cellar Casa Ramos Pinto


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe House of Sandeman The House of Sandeman


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime to sip on some port Time to sip on some port


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMaybe we sipped a bit too much Maybe we sipped a bit too much


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneTime for a visit Time for a visit


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneSome more tasting Some more tasting


And even more tasting And even more tasting


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneFood with a view Food with a view


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) douro river europe road trip foodies oporto port wine cellars porto portugal road trip vila nova de gaia wine tasting https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/3/portugal-road-trip-vila-nova-de-gaia Sun, 24 Mar 2019 17:55:37 GMT
PHILIPPINES: A Taste of Filipino Food at Junior https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/2/filipino Junior Filipino


So I have to start by saying that I've been meaning to go to this restaurant for something like 6 years. I should also mention  that my mom's side of the family is Filipino. Which means I should have made my way to Junior  Filipino long before now. 

Even though we didn't eat that much Filipino food growing up (my parents raised us as good old-fashioned Canadians), I was surprised at how much of the food reminded of me of those rare times when my mom used to get a craving for her Filipino roots and make pancit and adobo. Oh and the lumpia – I don't think I ever enjoyed eating those that much because it was like punishment for me and sister to sit for what felt like hours wrap those little suckers. Now I've got my own kids to do that, so it's much more enjoyable!

 


JUNIOR FILIPINO


Located in Montreal's Griffintown, this authentic Filipino eatery has me hooked. Whether it's your first time to the resto, or not, the staff is super friendly – they treat you a bit like family there, or like a long-lost best friend. To newbies to Filipino food, they'll explain the flavours and the menu items with passion. 

There's not much else to write about, except that it's damn good. Especially the Lechon. OMG - The. Lechon. They apparently do a kick-ass brunch that they've cutely dubbed "Rice & Shine"  – which I still need to make my way there for.

Location: 1964 Notre-Dame St. West
Website: Junior Filipino
Price range: Apps $6-$11, mains $10-$14, desserts $7
Liquor license: yup

 

Menu at Junior Filipino explaining PulutanJunior's Pulutan Menu Junior's Pulutan Menu


LumpiaLumpia Lumpia: Fried pork and veggie rolls


Junior Filipino Sweet & Sour spareribsJunior Filipino Sweet & Sour spareribs Buto-Buto: Honey-garlic spare ribs


FishFish Filipino style steamed fish


PancitJunior Filipino pancit Pancit Bahon: Rice noodles, veggies, chicken & shrimp


Junior Filipino - Chicken AdoboJunior Filipino - Chicken Adobo Adobe Manok: Ginger, coconut & lemongrass chicken


Junior Filipino - LechonJunior Filipino - Lechon Lechon Kawali: Crispy pork belly


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) cuisine filipino food foodies junior filipino montreal montreal restos https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2019/2/filipino Sun, 10 Feb 2019 13:32:12 GMT
WORK, TRAVEL & STUFF: 2018 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/12/2018-travels Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Riviera Maya 2018 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRiviera Maya 2018 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRiviera Maya 2018


So yeah, I've been M.I.A. this year. I thought I would have had time to keep y'all updated with my travels, but between changing the daytime job and becoming a grandma, 2018 has been hectic.

One day, I'll update the site with more details on all of these travels, but here's a quick look back at 2018 – just so you know I'm alive and still travelling as often as I can to keep sane. 

 


JANUARY: XCARET


All inclusive. Those two words don’t usually appeal to me all that much, as it automatically brings images to mind of rather uncouth folks being herded into buffet restaurants and pushing past you at the bar to fill up their Bubba keg so they can return to spreading out on whatever lounger they got up at 5 am to put their stupid towel on to save their spot.

But, admittedly, when you travel as much as I do, the all-inclusives I usually end up at are at the three-star level. Every now and then, a splurge is in order. Enter...... the Hotel Xcaret Mexico!

A five-star resort, and the first to be opened by Experiencias Xcaret, not only does this hotel have all the luxuries of an upscale all-inclusive resort, but your stay also includes entry to all their parks and tours: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xichen, Xenotes, Xoximilco and Xenses.

 

Poolside room with hammock and lounge chairs in the waterHotel Xcaret MexicoHotel Xcaret Mexico, Riviera Maya All is good when every patio has a hammock


Kayaking in cenotesRiviera Maya 2018Riviera Maya 2018  I actually convinced the hubs to join me on this one


Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Riviera MayaRiviera Maya 2018 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneRiviera Maya 2018 Lots of hidden spots


Perfection in the inlet at Hotel Xcaret MexicoRiviera Maya 2018Riviera Maya 2018 Perfect view for total relaxation

 

 


FEBRUARY: SUTTON


With time off in February, I wanted to try glamping. Sort of camping, but not really.

It’s a nice compromise for those 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.

I stayed two nights in one these SHAKs in Sutton, and I could’ve stayed a hell of a lot longer!

Read more about my glamping experience here.

 

Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton These uber cute "SHAKs" in Sutton


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Surprisingly spacious inside


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton The best part - Jacuzzi on the terrace!


Domaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneDomaine KABIN Sutton Me, myself and I time

 

 


MAY: WEDDING R + P


Springtime brings weddings! R & P met ages ago and finally tied the knot on Victoria Day weekend.

Here’s a few shots from their big day. Love, love, love taking these kinds of shots!

 

Wedding-R&S

The devil is in the details


Wedding-R&S Close ups


Wedding-R&S Groomsmen flying high


Wedding-R&S The happy couple

 

 


JUNE: LISBON


So, the last time I went to Portugal – a two-week road trip around the entire country – Lisbon did not leave that much of an impression on me.

This time, however, I loved it! After getting out of the way all those typically touristy sites on the last visit two years ago, this time I thoroughly got to enjoy wandering around and eating and drinking my way throughout lovely Lisbon!

 

Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018 Pasteis de Belem


Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018 Wine with a view


Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018 Ginjinha


Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018Lisbon 2018 Eating our way through Time Out Market

 

 


JULY: BABY SELENA


Can you believe it? I’m a grandma. At first, that word sent me into a mini panic attack – I mean, grandmas are old. They have silver hair, saggy and wrinkly skin, no teeth – kind of like Granny from Tweety & Sylvester back in the day. Was I going to turn into her the minute my grand-baby was born?

But as of July 12, 1:10 pm this teeny-tiny bundle of joy came into this world. And I can safely report that I haven't turned into a silver-haired nana. 

 

My adorable grand baby!


Little Selena

 

 


AUGUST: SANTO DOMINGO


For someone that doesn’t like all-inclusive resorts, this is my second one this year. But, in my defense, when the whole family comes along, it’s definitely way more cost-effective to do one of these kinds of vacations.

We actually stayed in the beach area of Juan Dolio and did a day of exploring the first city of the Americas – Santo Domingo.

 

SDQ - Emotions - 2018SDQ - Emotions - 2018SDQ - Emotions - 2018 More beach time


With the family


SDQ - Emotions - 2018SDQ - Emotions - 2018SDQ - Emotions - 2018 Roaming the historic centre

 

 


OCTOBER: WEDDING J + P


Autumn, another popular time for weddings!

The day started at their new and perfectly decorated townhouse, followed by an uber cute ceremony and reception at Plaza Volare.

It was a full day of activities and food… lots and lots of food, as well as an open bar. The day flew by, as everyone was so happy and lovely to be with. I wish these two all the best in the adventure together.

 

Wedding J&PWedding J&PWedding J&P Rings and things


Wedding J&PWedding J&PWedding J&P The bride


Wedding J&PWedding J&PWedding J&P Groom and bride

 

 


NOVEMBER: MEXICO CITY


4 days in Mexico City? Why the hell not!

Crammed a lot into 4 days, but at the same time it was super chill. Our home was a 5th-floor walk up Airbnb that had the cutest rooftop terrace in the Roma Norte neighbourhood.

We managed to check out the Frida Kalho Museum in Coyoacán, the Teotihuacan pyramids, Chapultepec park, the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, and even took in a Lucha Libre wrestling match at the Arena Mexico!

Also managed to eat tacos, empanadas, tortas and tamales galore, as well as drink micheladas every chance we got – which, btw, we also learned that alcohol affects you super fast in this high altitude city.

 

Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018 Mexico City!


Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018 Tacos Al Pastor


Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018Mexico City - 2018 Chapultepec


Teotihuacan



Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) chapultepec coyoacan dominican republic family glamping hotel xcaret mexico lisbon mexico mexico city portugal santo domingo sutton teotihuacan travel wedding xochimilco https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/12/2018-travels Sat, 29 Dec 2018 18:24:56 GMT
VENICE: 5 Tips to Have a Fabulous Time & Not Break the Bank https://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 https://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 https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/3/southern-france-road-trip Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:24:21 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: The Douro Valley https://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 https://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! https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-porto Sat, 24 Feb 2018 14:01:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Obidos & Coimbra https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-obidos-coimbra Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:31:19 GMT
SUTTON, QUEBEC: Glamping It Up https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/sutton-glamping Sat, 17 Feb 2018 19:24:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: Evora & Sesimbra https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/portugal-road-trip-evora Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:15:17 GMT
SPAIN: MIJAS ~ Pueblo Blanco https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2018/2/spain-mijas Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:37:09 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Jerónimos, Belém, Boca & Cascais https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/12/portugal-lisbon2 Sat, 30 Dec 2017 20:15:43 GMT
WORK, TRAVEL & STUFF: 2017 https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/11/here-there Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:55:01 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Alcântara & Sintra https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/7/portugal-sintra Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:00:00 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: LISBON ~ Exploring the City https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/6/portugal-lisbon Fri, 30 Jun 2017 17:15:42 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: ALGARVE ~ Beach Hopping https://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.

For more great surf suggestions, check out this AllTheRooms post all about Surfing Portugal: The Best Wind, Waves and Water.

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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/5/algarve-beaches Sat, 27 May 2017 12:58:00 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: ALGARVE ~ Albufeira https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/portugal-algarve-albufeira Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:17:48 GMT
SPAIN: CORDOBA ~ Pretty In Pink https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-cordoba Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:16:55 GMT
SPAIN: FRIGLIANA ~ Pueblo Blanco https://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 https://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) https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/4/spain-sevilla-star-wars Fri, 14 Apr 2017 14:22:05 GMT
SPAIN: SEVILLA ~ Seeing the Sights https://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 https://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) https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/2/spain-osuna Sat, 11 Feb 2017 13:03:08 GMT
SPAIN ~ ANTEQUERA: The Heart of Andalucia https://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 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2017/1/spain-antequera Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:20:14 GMT
SPAIN: NERJA ~ Cueva de Nerja & Balcon de Europa https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/12/spain-nerja Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNerja, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyView from the Balcon de Europa, Nerja, Andalucia, Spain


After a morning walking around the Alhambra in Granada, we check out the time and figure we have just enough time to get to the Cueva de Nerja for the last entry (if I speed a little).  The caves close at 4 pm and we arrive just in time – we pay our €10 admission fee, are given audio guides, and sit through a 10-minute video that explains a bit about the caves before heading to the entrance escorted by a (not-too-happy) security guard.

 


CUEVA DE NERJA


Though it was kind of iffy getting there so late, I'm glad to have been able to visit when it wasn't jam-packed with other tourists. The caves are spectacular – the stalactites (hanging from the ceiling) and the stalagmites (rising from the floor) are jaw-droppingly impressive.  And if you're worried about feeling claustrophobic, no worries, as the halls of the cave are massive – large enough that they actually have room to seat about 100 folks in the Hall of the Waterfall for concerts in the summer! Well worth the visit, though beware of the steps... no one tells you that there's about 400 steps that you have to make your way up and down throughout the visit.

More info about the caves, opening hours and rates here

 

Entrance area to the Cueva de Nerja Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyEntrance area to the Cueva de Nerja Entrance area to the Cueva de Nerja


Descending to the caves - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyDescending to the caves Descending to the caves


Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de Vestibulo Sala de Vestibulo (Entrance Hall)


Sala de Belén Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de Belén (Nativity Hall) – filled with columns of calcite Sala de Belén (Nativity Hall) – filled with columns of calcite


Sala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk)  - Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk) Sala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk) 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de la Cascada o Ballet – It is here that concerts are actually held Sala de la Cascada o Ballet (Hall of the Waterful) – It is here that concerts are actually held


Sala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms)  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms) Sala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms) 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to head up the stairs in the Sala de los Fantasmas to the Sala del Cataclismo Time to head up the stairs in the Sala de los Fantasmas to the Sala del Cataclismo


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyUgh, more stairs...... Ugh, more stairs...... 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThis particular formation has been nicknamed the "curtains" since it sort of does look like hanging curtains This particular formation has been nicknamed the "curtains" since it sort of does look like hanging curtains


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala del Cataclismo – The photo doesn't do it justice, but thatn central column which, at 32 metres high, is the tallest in the world Sala del Cataclismo (Hall of the Cataclysm)  – The photo doesn't do it justice, but that central column (32 metres high) is the tallest in the world


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChecking out the massive central column from the other side Checking out the massive central column from the other side


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWho knows how many years of calcium deposits Who knows how many years of calcium deposits


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBack in the light of day – Plaza de los Descubridores Back in the light of day – Plaza de los Descubridores


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMonument to group of kids that accidentally discovered the caves in 1959 – Plaza de los Descubridores Monument to group of kids that accidentally discovered the caves in 1959 – Plaza de los Descubridores


BALCON DE EUROPA, NERJA


Leaving the caves, we head down the hill and find parking somewhere close to the city centre. Nerja itself is a tiny coastal town, but what sets it apart from all the other coastal towns along the Costa del Sol is the Balcon de Europa – a large round balcony on a towering cliff with incredible sweeping views of the Sierra Almijara and the Mediterranean Sea.

Lucky that we there during low season, it seemed like we had the entire promenade and balcony to ourselves. After rushing and driving from one city to another, we couldn't help but just sit and enjoy watching the views of the sea, sky, mountains, the little figures on the beach below and just enjoying the general "calmness" of this particular spot. 

 

Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to search for the Balcon de Europa Time to search for the Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLove the tile work under the balconies Love the tile work under the balconies


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA glimpse of the Mediterranean A glimpse of the Mediterranean


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFlower pots on walls Flower pots on walls


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyView of Calahonda beach and sierras from the promenade View of Calahonda beach and sierras from the promenade


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIt's freezing – like winter jacket and scarf freezing – and there's people on the beach It's freezing – like winter jacket and scarf freezing – and there's people on the beach


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIron railings of the Balcon de Europa Iron railings of the Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child, taking in the impressive views The child, taking in the impressive views


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySelfie crashing – Balcon de Europa Someone is crashing my selfie – Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRocks far below Rocks far below


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child, chillin' with King Alfonso XII The child, chillin' with King Alfonso XII 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAlone with the sea and sky Alone with the sea and sky


Paseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPaseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours Paseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLa Caletilla Beach, El Salon Beach and the rocky promontory at Torrecilla Beach La Caletilla Beach, El Salon Beach and the rocky promontory at Torrecilla Beach


Iglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana Iglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful flowered balconies Beautiful flowered balconies


ITALY IN SPAIN


It's dinner time and the child is begging for pizza. Pizza! You're on the southern coast of Spain with all kinds of yummy Spanish cuisine at your fingertips and you want pizza. Sometimes I wonder if she's really my child. Anyway, we find a cute Italian restaurant in Benalmadena and thank god that have my Pil Pil Shrimps (basically garlic shrimps), and the child gets her pizza – a taste of Italy in Spain.

 

Time for a fruity drink Time for a fruity drink


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPil Pil Shrimps – YUM! Pil Pil Shrimps – YUM!


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMore yumminess More yumminess


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNot quite the same as having pizza in Italy, but to the child, pizza is pizza Not quite the same as having pizza in Italy, but to the child, pizza is pizza


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRavioli for me! Ravioli for me!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) andalucia day trip foodies nerja road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/12/spain-nerja Mon, 26 Dec 2016 17:14:29 GMT
SPAIN ~ GRANADA: Alhambra & Churros con Chocolate https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/12/spain-granada Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGranada, Andalucia, Spain


"Impossible to go this week.  It's always full. You should've booked weeks ago." – says the rep in Torremolinos.

"Ok, f*cker - I DID book weeks ago, but you're arrogant a$$ forgot to do it" – is what immediately shot out of my mouth. 

I'm usually a lot nicer, and try to keep the potty-mouth reserved for those that know me (therefore know that it's really part of my everyday language), but I specifically contacted this dude to book tickets for the Alhambra (not a tour, just the entrance ticket) because there is a limit of how many people are allowed in the place everyday, and I was fully aware that it gets sold out quickly. 

So no tickets in hand, and not even knowing if we'd get into the Alhambra – which is my main reason for heading to Granada to begin with – we still get up early and drive the 1.5 hours from Torremolinos to Granada and cross our fingers that getting there right when it opens (8:30 am) is early enough to get into the place.

 


ALHAMBRA, GRANADA


We arrive where the GPS directed us to at 8:15 am, however the GPS decided to take us to some Alhambra Restaurant located 15 minutes outside of Granada – and which honestly looked eerily close to the Titty Twister in From Dusk Till Dawn! Anyway, back on the right track, we get to the proper Alhambra, find parking, and manage to be fifth in line (wish that rep who told us there was no way we'd get in was there so I could shove it in his face – mind you, it was low season in March, so that may be why we lucked out). Tickets cost around 16€ (or buy in advance online here), which includes entrance to the Alhambra complex, the Palacios Nazaríes, the Alcazaba and the Generalife.  You get specific times on your ticket for entrance to the palaces, but other than that, they give you a map and off you go. 

Won't get into any more specifics – I mean, it's the Alhambra – probably one of the most breathtaking places you'll ever visit, but be sure to have good walking shoes because it'll take a good 2 to 3 hours to see the whole thing. 

 

Views from the Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGranada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Views from the Alhambra Views from the Alhambra


Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGranada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking along the path to the entrance of the palace (a good 10-minute walk) Walking along the path to the entrance of the palace (a good 10-minute walk) – Alhambra


Parador de San Francisco - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyParador de San Francisco - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyParador de San Francisco Parador de San Francisco – Alhambra


Palacio de Carlos V de Granada - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Carlos V de Granada - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Carlos V de Granada Palacio de Carlos V de Granada – Alhambra


Palacio de Carlos V de Granada - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Carlos V de Granada - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Carlos V de Granada Palacio de Carlos V de Granada – Alhambra


Torre Quebrada (Broken Tower) and Torre del Homenaje (Keep) of the Alcazaba  (Old Citadel)  - Granada, Andalucia, Spain, Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTorre Quebrada (Broken Tower) and Torre del Homenaje (Keep) of the Alcazaba (Old Citadel) Torre Quebrada (Broken Tower) and Torre del Homenaje (Keep) of the Alcazaba  (Old Citadel) – Alhambra


The views from the Alcazaba - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe views from the Alcazaba - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe views from the Alcazaba The views from the Alcazaba....


Gorgeous views from up here - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGorgeous views from up here - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGorgeous views from up here ....of  Albayzín / countryside


Attention to detail at the Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain-Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAttention to detail at the Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAttention to detail - intricately moulded arches at the Palacios Nazaríes Attention to detail - intricately moulded arches at the Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Insane intricately carved wooden ceilings - Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyInsane intricately carved wooden ceilings - Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyInsane intricately carved wooden ceilings - Palacios Nazaríes Insane intricately carved wooden ceilings in the Sala de la Barca (Hall of the Blessing) – Palacio de Comares, Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Beautiful tiling everywhere too - Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful tiling everywhere too - Palacios Nazaríes - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful tiling everywhere too – Palacios Nazaríes Beautiful tiling everywhere too – Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Palacio de Comares and the Patio de los Arrayanes – Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Comares and the Patio de los Arrayanes – Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPalacio de Comares and the Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes Palacio de Comares and the Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Reflections – Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyReflections – Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyReflections – Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes Reflections – Patio de los Arrayanes – Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Patio de los Leones (Lion Courtyard) –Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de los Leones (Lion Courtyard) –Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de los Leones (Lion Courtyard) –Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra Patio de los Leones (Lion Courtyard) – Palacios Nazaríes, Alhambra


Patio de los Leones and 124 slender marble columns – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de los Leones and 124 slender marble columns – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de los Leones and 124 slender marble columns – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra Patio de los Leones and 124 marble columns – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMesmerizing patterns – Patio de los Leones, Alhambra Mesmerizing patterns – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra


Sala de Dos Hermanas (Hall of Two Sisters) – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra – Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de Dos Hermanas (Hall of Two Sisters) – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra – Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de los Abencerrajes, the legendary murder site of the Abencerraj family – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra Sala de los Abencerrajes, the legendary murder site of the Abencerraj family – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra


Last look at Patio de los Leones – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLast look at Patio de los Leones – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLast look at Patio de los Leones – Alhambra Last look at Patio de los Leones – Alhambra


A hallway, somewhere in the massive Alhambra complex - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA hallway, somewhere in the massive Alhambra complex - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA hallway, somewhere in the massive Alhambra complex A hallway, somewhere in the massive Alhambra complex 


Sala de los Ajimeces – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra, Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de los Ajimeces – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra, Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de los Ajimeces – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra Sala de los Ajimeces – Palacio de los Leones, Alhambra


Patio de la Reja – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de la Reja – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPatio de Lindaraj – Alhambra Patio de Lindaraj – Alhambra


That's where we have to make our way over to.... and it's cold... very very cold this morning Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThat's where we have to make our way over to.... and it's cold... very very cold this morning Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThat's where we have to make our way over to.... and it's cold... very very cold this morning That's where we have to make our way over to.... and it's cold... very very cold this morning 


Torre de las Damas –  Palacio del Partal​​​​​​​, Alhambra – Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTorre de las Damas – Palacio del Partal​​​​​​​, Alhambra– Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTorre de las Damas – Palacio del Partal​​​​​​​, Alhambra Torre de las Damas –  Palacio del Partal, Alhambra 


Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyJardines del Paraiso – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyJardines del Paraiso – Alhambra Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra


Too cool fo y'all @ Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyToo cool fo y'all @ Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyToo cool fo y'all @ Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra Too cool fo y'all @ Jardines del Paraiso – Alhambra


Walking along the neverending path –  Jardines del Paraiso, Alhambra Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking along the neverending path – Jardines del Paraiso, Alhambra - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking along the neverending path – Jardines del Paraiso, Alhambra Walking along the never ending path –  Jardines del Paraiso, Alhambra


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTeatro del Generalife Teatro del Generalife – Alhambra


Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra


Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGardens of the Generalife – Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra


Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyImagine this place in the spring! – Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra Imagine this place in the spring! – Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra


Too much of line to go in, so just settled for wandering around the gardens – Generalife Summer Palace Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyToo much of line to go in, so just settled for wandering around the gardens – Generalife Summer Palace Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyToo much of line to go in, so just settled for wandering around the gardens – Generalife Summer Palace, Alhambra Too much of line to go in, so just settled for wandering around the gardens – Generalife Summer Palace, Alhambra


Generalife Summer Palace, Alhambra Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGeneralife Summer Palace, Alhambra Generalife Summer Palace, Alhambra


It's so cold (winter still), yet oranges look ripe for picking – Gardens of the Generalife, Alhambra, Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIt's so cold (winter still), yet oranges look ripe for picking – Gardens of the Generalife, Alhambra, Granada, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIt's so cold (winter still), yet oranges look ripe for picking – Gardens of the Generalife, Alhambra It's so cold (winter still), yet oranges look ripe for picking – Gardens of the Generalife, Alhambra


View of the Alhambra palaces from the Gardens of the Generalife – AlhambraView of the Alhambra palaces from the Gardens of the Generalife – AlhambraView of the Alhambra palaces from the Gardens of the Generalife – Alhambra View of the Alhambra palaces from the Gardens of the Generalife


CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE


After walking the entire Alhambra complex, we head back down the hill and wander around the city a bit. We make our way to Churreria Alhambra (thanks Nicole for suggesting it!), and settle down for some coffee and these Churros con Chocolate that I keep hearing about. We were going to order two, but the waiter suggested maybe one would be enough... and sure enough it was more than enough –  a mountain of churros and a cup of the most exquisite dark chocolate to dip them in. 

 

Walking aroung Granada Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking aroung Granada Walking around Granada


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChecking out the gorgeous architecture Checking out the gorgeous architecture


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNarrow streets and bike parking.... doesn't leave that much more room for walking Narrow streets and bike parking.... doesn't leave that much more room for walking


Plaza de Bib-Rambla Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPlaza de Bib-Rambla Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPlaza de Bib-Rambla Plaza de Bib-Rambla


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChurreria Alhambra - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Churreria Alhambra 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChurros con Chocolate - Granada, Andalucia, Spain Churros con Chocolate – Churriera Alhambra


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChurros.... Churros....


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography... and a cup of chocolaty delicious to dip them in ... and a cup of chocolaty delicious to dip them in


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThat's it for Granada, time to back towards the coast to Nerja That's it for Granada, time to back towards the coast to Nerja


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) alhambra andalucia day trip foodies granada road trip spain spain road trip traveling with a teen https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/12/spain-granada Mon, 12 Dec 2016 02:08:01 GMT
MOROCCO: A Day In Tantalizing Tangier https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/11/spain-daytrip-to-tangier Tangier, Morocco - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco

 


So .... we've got a week to traipse around Spain's Costa del Sol and figure why not hop on the ferry to Tangier? Easily doable from our base in Torremolinos - we could've done it solo (drive to Tarifa, take the ferry from there and wander around Tangier), but previous visits to Morocco reminded me that it's probably not the best idea for to arrive there with no plan and wander aimlessly around. Don't get me wrong, it's not like it's dangerous or anything — but tourists are spotted and targeted immediately to to buy .... anything.

If you've been to Morocco, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, don't let it put you off, but be prepared to be harassed to buy, buy, buy every minute of your time here. Why go if I knew this already? I wanted the child to experience being in Morocco, so we were willing to accept the bad with the good. 

 


THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY


I broke one of my golden travel rules and booked a tour. Cost — maybe around 50€ and includes the bus to/from Tarifa, ferry to/from Tangier and guide/bus  waiting on the other side for you. The bus drives around the city with the guide doing his schpeel, you stop to ride a camel, then walk through the Medina, have lunch in a typical restaurant with live music and a belly-dancing show, see a carpet demo and visit a Berber pharmacy.

Sounds cute, right? Except the camel was really a dromedary.... in the middle of the city.... in a parking lot... a 2-min ride for 2€ (of course, the child just had to do this). The mandatory stops at the carpet place and the Berber pharmacy resulted in several very pushy salesmen who didn't seem to understand the word "no" in any language we tried. Plus the entire time walking through the Medina, we were followed... by what seems like the same group of extremely pushy sales peeps. It starts to feel quite claustrophobic.

I mean, I know these dudes are just trying to make a living and everything, but what they fail to realize is that if they gave people space to breathe — more peeps would most likely buy their stuff.  Instead of enjoying being in Tangier, the constant, aggressive harassment to buy stuff, just makes you want to run back to the ferry to leave and never come back. Aside from that, Tangier is a beautiful, tantalizing city — the narrow alleyways, cobblestone streets, the brightly colored woven fabrics everywhere, the smell of fresh bread and spices.... I just wish we could be left in peace to truly enjoy it. 

Still... glad I went,  glad the child got to tick off another country — hell, another continent — off her list, and of course, the photo ops are awesome (which is the main reason I wanted to go!). Enjoy!

The middle child, just waking up from her nap on the ferry to Tangier - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOn the ferry from Tarifa to TangierThe middle child, just waking up from her nap on the ferry to Tangier The middle child, just waking up from her nap on the ferry to Tangier


Oh look, maybe I can hitch a ride back to Spain on this - Tangier, Morocco - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyYacht in the Tangier port - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOh look, maybe I can hitch a ride back to Spain on this Oh look, maybe I can hitch a ride back to Spain on this 


Off the boat and making our way to wherever they're taking us - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOff the boat and making our way to wherever they're taking us - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOff the boat and making our way to wherever they're taking us Off the boat and making our way to wherever they're taking us


The middle child getting a lift from a Dromadery in Tangier, Morocco - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCamel ride in MoroccoThe middle child getting a lift from a Dromadery The middle child getting a lift from a Dromadery 


She doesn't look so sure about this anymore! Tangier, Morocco - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyShe doesn't look so sure about this anymore! She doesn't look so sure about this anymore!


Up close and personal with these dudes Tangier, Morocco Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyUp close and personal with these dudes Up close and personal with these dudes


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyView of the city from some hill...somewhere in Tangier View of the city from some hill...somewhere in Tangier


Traffic on the way to the market Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTraffic on the way to the market Traffic on the way to the Medina (Market)


Vegetable and fruits available all over the square as you approach the Medina - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyVegetable and fruits available all over the square as you approach the Medina Vegetable and fruits available all over the square as you approach the Medina


Prepping veggies in the market Tangier, Morocco Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPrepping veggies in the market Prepping veggies in the market


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFigs....I think! Figs....I think!


Fresh red peppers Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFresh red peppers Fresh red peppers


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLadies negotiating the cost of veggies Ladies negotiating the cost of veggies


Lots of price negotiations going on Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLots of price negotiations going on Lots of price negotiations going on


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to see what else they have in the Medina Time to see what else they have in the Medina


Lots of handmade pottery Tangier, Morocco Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLots of handmade pottery Lots of handmade pottery 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAnd candle holders And candle holders


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHandmade baskets Handmade baskets


Beautiful glass lamps - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful glass lamps Beautiful glass lamps


Tempted to take one home with me - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTempted to take one home with me Tempted to take one home with me


So much beautiful handmade stuff here - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySo much beautiful handmade stuff here So much beautiful handmade stuff here


Hand-painted plates and bawls - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHand-painted plates and bawls Hand-painted plates and bowls


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMaking our way through the maze of the Medina Making our way through the maze of the Medina


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyEven more handmade goodies Even more handmade goodies


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Tangier, MoroccoTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySteps at the market in Tangier, Morocco Steps at the market in Tangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA pink mosque tower in Tangier A  pink mosque tower in Tangier


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child, checking out the view The child, checking out the view


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier Morocco Mosque in the Grand Socco Market Square Tangier Morocco Mosque in the Grand Socco Market Square


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOur super helpful guide, Sa'id Our super helpful guide, Sa'id


Ancient Banyan tree in the court of justice - they say if you make a wish while touching it, it comes true Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAncient Banyan tree in the court of justice - they say if you make a wish while touching it, it comes true Ancient Banyan tree in the court of justice - they say if you make a wish while touching it, it comes true


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyShe's thinking about what to wish for... She's thinking about what to wish for...


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMedina - Tangier, Morocco Medina - Tangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBusy day in Tangier Busy day in Tangier


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe smell of something yummy grilling The smell of something yummy grilling


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPeppers anyone? Peppers anyone?


How about a slab of beef?- Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHow about a slab of beef? How about a slab of beef?


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLove walking through markets, only wish I could buy some stuff to bring home Love walking through markets, only wish I could buy some stuff to bring home


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyI guess these will have to do - a snack for the ferry ride back to Spain I guess these will have to do - a snack for the ferry ride back to Spain


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMmmmmmnnnnnn....olives! Mmmmmmnnnnnn....olives!


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNaked birds..... I guess we've made it to the butcher section Naked birds..... I guess we've made it to the butcher section


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyYup - definitely the butcher section of the market Yup - definitely the butcher section of the market


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyI don't know what these are, but I want... like, 2 stacks of these suckers I don't know what these are, but I want... like, 2 stacks of these suckers


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to break for lunch at Restaurant Mamounia Palace Time to break for lunch at Restaurant Mamounia Palace


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOur welcoming committee Our welcoming committee


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGorgeous dining area just waiting for us Gorgeous dining area just waiting for us


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to get comfy Time to get comfy


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWaiting patiently for food Waiting patiently for food


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyStarting off with tomato and chick pea soup with fresh bread Starting off with tomato and chick pea soup with fresh bread


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChicken skewers Chicken skewers


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCouscous and veggies Couscous and veggies


Belly dancing show  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBelly dancing show Belly dancing show 


Dessert cookie with mint tea - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyDessert cookie with mint tea Dessert - cookie with mint tea


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to head back out to wander around for a bit Time to head back out to wander around for a bit


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPlace Aissawa Place Aissawa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGorgeous doors everywhere Gorgeous doors everywhere


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWe're getting roped in to sitting through a carpet sales pitch.... at least the entrance looks promising! We're getting roped in to sitting through a carpet sales pitch.... at least the entrance looks promising!


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThey're rolling out the carpet for us.... They're rolling out the carpet for us....


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to check out some carpets.....and some other interesting stuff Time to check out some carpets.....and some other interesting stuff


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful lamps hanging everywhere


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyQuite the collection


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTangier, Morocco Handbag anyone?


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to make our way through alleys to get back to the port Time to make our way through alleys to get back to the port


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCan't walk anywhere without being harassed to buy something Can't walk anywhere without being harassed to buy something


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySo that's where carpets are hung out to dry in the city So that's where carpets are hung out to dry in the city


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCiao Tangiers! Ciao Tangier!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) africa day trip excursion morocco spain road trip tangier traveling with a teen https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/11/spain-daytrip-to-tangier Sat, 26 Nov 2016 13:48:34 GMT
VENICE: "Oh...There's Water Everywhere!" (Murano & Burano) https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/11/venice-murano-burano Venice, Italy


WAKING UP IN VENICE


Part 3 of our 24 hours in Venice starts at 6:55 AM (not quite as early as last year's 3:30 AM start to the day!).  I kind of wanted to get up at 4 am but with a 13-year-old in tow, don't think that would have made for a pleasant morning. We're out the door at 7 am and walk to the nearest vaporetto stop to grab the 4.1 to Murano.

 

6:55 AM –  View from our room-Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:55 AM – View from our room 6:55 AM –  View from our room​


7:00 AM – Outside of our hotel, on Salizada San Pantalon - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:00 AM – Outside of our hotel, on Salizada San Pantalon 7:00 AM – Outside of our hotel, on Salizada San Pantalon


7:00 AM – Rio del Malaonton - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:00 AM – Rio del Malcanton 7:00 AM – Rio del Malcanton


7:01 AM – Rio del Malconton - it was here that there was an awesome 'boat-in' concert last night - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:01 AM – Rio del Malconton - it was here that there was an awesome 'boat-in' concert last night 7:01 AM – Rio del Malcanton - it was here that there was an awesome 'boat-in' concert last night


7:04 AM – Rio del Magazen Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:04 AM – Rio del Magazen 7:04 AM – Rio del Magazen


7:05 pm – Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:05 pm – Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino 7:05 AM– Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino


7:08 PM – Making our way to the Grand Canal  Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:08 PM – Making our way to the Grand Canal 7:08 AM – Making our way to the Grand Canal 


7:13 AM – Beautiful morning view from Ponte delgi Scalzi Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:13 AM – Beautiful morning view from Ponte delgi Scalzi 7:13 AM – Beautiful morning view from Ponte delgi Scalzi


7:27 AM – Morning sun shining on Chiesa di San Geremia (viewed from a vaporetto on our way to Murano) - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy7:27 AM – Morning sun shining on Chiesa di San Geremia (viewed from a vaporetto on our way to Murano) 7:27 AM – Morning sun shining on Chiesa di San Geremia (viewed from a vaporetto on our way to Murano)


MURANO


A 20-minute ride on a vaporetto brings us to Murano (Colonna vaporetto stop). It's early. There's no one up and about. Which is perfect. We're not in Murano for long, just enough to stroll along the Rio dei Vetrai via the canals two streets - Fondamenta dei Vetrai and Fondamenta Manin. Murano's claim to fame is its famous Murano glass-making artisans and factory, which is why you'll find every single store selling the stuff, plus Murano glass displays everywhere you look. Our quick walk down the canal and across the island to Murano Faro (lighthouse) takes about 20 minutes and we're just in time for the next vaporetto to take us to Burano

 

 

8:01 AM – 20 minutes later, we're walking along Fondamenta dei Vetrai in Murano Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:01 AM – 20 minutes later, we're walking along Fondamenta dei Vetrai in Murano 8:01 AM – 20 minutes later, we're walking along Fondamenta dei Vetrai in Murano


8:02 AM – Fondamenta dei Vetrai Murano, ItalyVenice, Italy8:02 AM – Fondamenta dei Vetrai 8:02 AM – Fondamenta dei Vetrai


8:05 AM – Murano Campanile (Clock Tower) Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:05 AM – Murano Campanile (Clock Tower) 8:05 AM – Murano Campanile (Clock Tower)


8:05 AM – Of course there'd be Murano glass flowers all over the place in Murano Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:05 AM – Of course there'd be Murano glass flowers all over the place in Murano 8:05 AM – Of course there'd be Murano glass flowers all over the place in Murano


8:05 AM – Beautiful Murano before more tourists make the vaporetto ride over Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:05 AM – Beautiful Murano before more tourists make the vaporetto ride over 8:05 AM – Beautiful Murano before more tourists make the vaporetto ride over


8:05 AM – The Cometa di Vetro (glass comet) in Campo Santo StefanoVenice, Italy8:05 AM – The Cometa di Vetro (glass comet) in Campo Santo Stefano 8:05 AM – The Cometa di Vetro (glass comet) in Campo Santo Stefano


8:08 AM – The child in front of the Cometa di Vetro Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:08 AM – The child in front of the Cometa di Vetro 8:08 AM – The child in front of the Cometa di Vetro


8:11 AM – Campiello P. Bigaglia, Murano - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:11 AM – Campiello P. Bigaglia, Murano 8:11 AM – Campiello P. Bigaglia, Murano


8:16 AM – Faro di Murano (lighthouse) Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:16 AM – Faro di Murano (lighthouse) 8:16 AM – Faro di Murano (lighthouse)


BURANO


From Murano to Burano, the vaporetto ride takes about 30 minutes. I'm telling the child if she thought Venice was "so tumblr", just wait til you set eyes on colourful Burano. Sure enough, it was her selfie heaven. We're not in Burano all that long either (about half an hour in total), but as you can see, it's enough time to walk and get lost on this tiny island. A true feast for the eyes, I can't get over how perfectly pretty everything is here. (See last year's Burano post here for a bit more info).

 

8:50 AM – The child, all alone on Calle dei Saladi Burano, ItalyVenice, Italy8:50 AM – The child, all alone on Calle dei Saladi 8:50 AM – The child, all alone on Calle dei Saladi


8:51 AM – Window and shutters on Calle dei Saladi - Burano, Veneto, ItalyVenice, Italy8:51 AM – Calle dei Saladi 8:51 AM – Calle dei Saladi


8:52 AM – Fondamenta San Mauro, BURANO, Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:52 AM – Fondamenta San Mauro 8:52 AM – Fondamenta San Mauro


8:55 AM – Calle Capece - Burano ItalyVenice, Italy8:55 AM – Calle Capece 8:55 AM – Calle Capece


8:56 AM – Colourful houses on Fondamenta di Cao Moleca, Burano, Venezia ItalyVenice, Italy8:56 AM – Colourful houses on Fondamenta di Cao Moleca 8:56 AM – Colourful houses on Fondamenta di Cao Moleca


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:56 AM – More....colourful houses on Fondamenta di Cao Moleca 8:56 AM – More....colourful houses on Fondamenta di Cao Moleca


8:57 AM – Kitty cat, checking out the boatsVenice, Italy8:57 AM – Kitty cat, checking out the boats 8:57 AM – Kitty cat, checking out the boats


8:58 AM – Strada di Corte Comare - Burano, Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:58 AM – Strada di Corte Comare 8:58 AM – Strada di Corte Comare


8:58 AM – Shades of pink on Strada di Corte Comare - Burano, Venezia, ItalyVenice, Italy8:58 AM – Shades of pink on Strada di Corte Comare 8:58 AM – Shades of pink on Strada di Corte Comare 


9:00 AM – Looking down Fondamenta di Cavanella - Burano, Venezia, ItalyVenice, Italy9:00 AM – Looking down Fondamenta di Cavanella 9:00 AM – Looking down Fondamenta di Cavanella


9:01 AM – The child, taking her own pics of beautiful Burano - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:01 AM – The child, taking her own pics of beautiful Burano 9:01 AM – The child, taking her own pics of beautiful Burano


9:02 AM – Moi, on the "Love Viewing Bridge" in Burano Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:02 AM – Moi, on the "Love Viewing Bridge" in Burano 9:02 AM – Moi, on the "Love Viewing Bridge" in Burano


9:03 AM – The colours on this island....wow! - Burano, Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:03 AM – The colours on this island....wow! 9:03 AM – The colours on this island....wow!


9:04 AM – Can't get enough of this place, Burano, Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:04 AM – Can't get enough of this place 9:04 AM – Can't get enough of this place


9:06 AM – We're drawn to all the pink houses for some reason - Burano, Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:06 AM – We're drawn to all the pink houses for some reason 9:06 AM – We're drawn to all the pink houses for some reason


9:08 AM – Fondamenta di Cao MolecaVenice, Italy9:08 AM – Fondamenta di Cao Moleca 9:08 AM – Fondamenta di Cao Moleca


9:08 AM – Fondamenta della GuideccaVenice, Italy9:08 AM – Fondamenta della Guidecca 9:10 AM – Fondamenta della Guidecca


9:10 AM – Fondamenta della Pescheria Burano - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:10 AM – Fondamenta della Pescheria 9:10 AM – Fondamenta della Pescheria


9:10 AM – Calle PistoriaVenice, Italy9:10 AM – Calle Pistoria 9:10 AM – Just us and one, lone pigeon on Calle Pistoria


9:10 AM – Laundry day, Calle Pistoria Venice, Italy9:10 AM – Laundry day, Calle Pistoria 9:10 AM – Laundry day, Calle Pistoria


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:12 AM – The child matches the house perfectly... though whoever lives in this pink house seems to have something to prove with the camo clothes 9:12 AM – The child matches the house perfectly... though whoever lives in this pink house seems to have something to prove with the camo clothes


9:18 AM – The child and a dog, Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi, BuranoVenice, Italy9:18 AM – The child and a dog, Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi, Burano 9:18 AM – The child and a dog, Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi, Burano


9:19 AM - Chiesa di San Martino with it's leaning bell towerVenice, Italy9:19 AM - Chiesa di San Martino with it's leaning bell tower 9:19 AM – Chiesa di San Martino with it's leaning bell tower


10:23 AM - Back in VeneziaVenice, Italy10:23 AM - Back in Venezia 10:23 AM – Back in Venezia


10:23 AM - What happens when the water rises?Venice, Italy10:23 AM - What happens when the water rises? 10:23 AM – What happens when the water rises?


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy10:25 AM – Getting hot in the city now 10:25 AM – Getting hot in the city now


10:27 AM – Time for more Venice selfiesVenice, Italy10:27 AM – Time for more Venice selfies 10:27 AM – Time for more Venice selfies


10:28 AM – Using the child to take my pics10:28 AM – Using the child to take my pics 10:28 AM – Using the child to take my pics


10:30 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area)Venice, Italy10:30 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area) 10:30 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area)


10:32 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area)Venice, Italy10:32 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area) 10:32 AM – Somewhere in Venice (Cannareggio area)


10:30 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy10:30 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro 10:37 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro


10:38 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro - wish I had time for a glass of vino Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy10:38 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro - wish I had time for a glass of vino 10:38 AM – Waiting for a vaporetto at Ca' D'Oro - wish I had time for a glass of vino


11:11 AM – Last glimpse of the Grand Canal before heading back to the airport - see you next year Venezia!Venice, Italy11:11 AM – Last glimpse of the Grand Canal before heading back to the airport - see you next year Venezia! 11:11 AM – Last glimpse of the Grand Canal before heading back to the airport - see you next year Venezia!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) 24 hours in venice burano canals italy murano sunrise travel photography traveling with a teen venezia venice https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/11/venice-murano-burano Sat, 05 Nov 2016 12:49:38 GMT
VENICE: Oh...There's Water Everywhere! (Part 2) https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/10/venice2 View from Ponte dell'Accademia - Venice, ItalyView from Ponte dell'Accademia - Venice, ItalyView from Ponte dell'Accademia - Venice, Italy


WANDERING AROUND VENICE


Part 2 of our 24 hours in Venice continues with leaving the Libreria Acqua Alta and making our way to Piazza San Marco.

It's mid-afternoon and the area is at it's peak – with tourists filling up every single inch of the square. We fight our way through the crowds so I can show the child the famous piazza, the campanile (bell tower), Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs (like, seriously had to fight to get the child a spot to view the bridge). 

Then it's off to see the famous wooden bridge that spans the width of the Grand Canal, Ponte dell'Accademia....fighting through more crowds, but stopping for a gelato or two along the way to make dealing with the crowds easier.

Hunger strikes, so we eat our dinner at "old people" time (4:30 PM), while enjoying the view of the Venetian Lagoon with all the boats zipping by and cruise ships leaving port (no wonder the city was jam-packed, there was like 4 huge cruise ships there that day). We wander through streets until we end up at Ponte dell'Accademia to try to wait for sunset, but tired-ness is starting to set in, so we hop on vaporetto and head back to the hotel for a quick nap.

Night time sets in, and me and the child venture out to see a bit of this magical city at night before finally hitting the sack.

 

3:30 PM – Basilica San Marco - Venice, Italy Basilica San Marco - Venice, Italy3:30 PM – Basilica San Marco 3:30 PM – Basilica San Marco​


3:31 PM – Absolutely stunning Basilica San Marco - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:31 PM – Absolutely stunning Basilica San Marco 3:31 PM – Absolutely stunning Basilica San Marco


3:31 PM – Campanile di San Marco  - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:31 PM – Campanile di San Marco 3:31 PM – Campanile di San Marco 


3:36 PM – Bridge of Sighs - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:36 PM – Bridge of Sighs 3:36 PM – Bridge of Sighs


3:45 PM - The Bridge of Sighs from the other side - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:45 PM - The Bridge of Sighs from the other side 3:45 PM – The Bridge of Sighs from the other side


3:49 PM - Getting some shade and checking out the shops at Piazza San Marco - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:49 PM - Getting some shade and checking out the shops at Piazza San Marco 3:49 PM – Getting some shade and checking out the shops at Piazza San Marco


3:52 PM - Love the entrance for this hotel - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:52 PM - Love the entrance for this hotel 3:52 PM – Love the entrance for this hotel


3:52 PM - Always packed Piazza San Marco - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:52 PM - Always packed Piazza San Marco 3:52 PM – Always packed Piazza San Marco


3:52 PM - Walking over little bridges and getting views like this - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:52 PM - Walking over little bridges and getting views like this 3:52 PM – Walking over little bridges and getting views like this


4:14 PM - View from Ponte dell'Accademia Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:14 PM - View from Ponte dell'Accademia 4:14 PM – View from Ponte dell'Accademia


4:16 PM - Still on Ponte dell'Accademia, looking the other way Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:16 PM - Still on Ponte dell'Accademia, looking the other way 4:16 PM – Still on Ponte dell'Accademia, looking the other way


4:22 PM – Hard to tear ourselves from this view.... - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:22 PM – Hard to tear ourselves from this view.... 4:22 PM – Hard to tear ourselves from this view....


4:24 PM - Walking down Campo Della Carità Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:24 PM - Walking down Campo Della Carità 4:24 PM – Walking down Campo Della Carità


4:25 PM – Old building on Campo Della Carità - Venice, ItalyCampo Della Carità - Venice, Italy4:25 PM – Old building on Campo Della Carità 4:25 PM – Old building on Campo Della Carità


4:26 PM – The child, taking her selfies everywhere - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:26 PM – The child, taking her selfies everywhere 4:26 PM – The child, taking her selfies everywhere


4:27 PM – Chiesa di San Trovaso along Rio San Trovaso - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:27 PM – Chiesa di San Trovaso along Rio San Trovaso 4:27 PM – Chiesa di San Trovaso along Rio San Trovaso


4:28 PM - Squero di San Trovaso - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:28 PM - Squero di San Trovaso 4:28 PM – Squero di San Trovaso


4:33 PM – Time for a quick bite to eat with a view the Venetian Lagoon and Guidecca - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:33 PM – Time for a quick bite to eat with a view the Venetian Lagoon and Guidecca 4:33 PM – Time for a quick bite to eat with a view the Venetian Lagoon and Guidecca


4:47 PM – And a glass of wine....two...for me - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:47 PM – And a glass of wine....two...for me 4:47 PM – And a glass of wine....two...for me


4:51 PM – From here, we also get a nice view of all the cruise ships leaving the port - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy4:51 PM – From here, we also get a nice view of all the cruise ships leaving the port 4:51 PM – From here, we also get a nice view of all the cruise ships leaving the port


5:02 PM - Pizza and calzone, perfect! - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy5:02 PM – Pizza and calzone, perfect! 5:02 PM – Pizza and calzone, perfect!


5:56 PM - Golden hour starting to set inVenice, Italy5:56 PM – Golden hour starting to set in 5:56 PM – Golden hour starting to set in


5: 58 PM – Walkng along Fondamenta Nani and spotting another cruise ship leaving the port - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy5: 58 PM – Walkng along Fondamenta Nani and spotting another cruise ship leaving the port 5:58 PM – Walkng along Fondamenta Nani and spotting another cruise ship leaving the port


6:00 PM – Peeps on Fondamenta Nani having a wine and cicchetti
 - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:00 PM – Peeps on Fondamenta Nani having a wine and cicchetti 6:00 PM – Peeps on Fondamenta Nani having a wine and cicchetti


6:01 PM – Mini soccer players  - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:01 PM – Mini soccer players 6:01 PM – Mini soccer players 


6:05 PM – Back at the Grand Canal to see everything bathed in golden light - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:05 PM – Back at the Grand Canal to see everything bathed in golden light 6:05 PM – Back at the Grand Canal to see everything bathed in golden light


6:06 PM – View of the Ponte dell'Accademia from the Dorsoduro side of the Grand Canal- Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:06 PM – View of the Ponte dell'Accademia from the Dorsoduro side of the Grand Canal 6:06 PM – View of the Ponte dell'Accademia from the Dorsoduro side of the Grand Canal


6:06 PM – The view from Ponte dell'Accademia - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:06 PM – The view from Ponte dell'Accademia 6:07 PM – The view from Ponte dell'Accademia


6:13 PM – Still admiring the view, and trying to stick it out until sunset at 7:00 PM - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:13 PM – Still admiring the view, and trying to stick it out until sunset at 7:00 PM 6:13 PM – Still admiring the view, and trying to stick it out until sunset at 7:00 PM​


6:14 PM – Last shot of the Grand Canal, time for the child to go on a vaporetto ride - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:14 PM – Last shot of the Grand Canal, time for the child to go on a vaporetto ride 6:14 PM – Last shot of the Grand Canal, time for the child to go on a vaporetto ride


6:29 PM – Checking out the sites along the Grand Canal on our way back to the hotel Venice, Italy6:29 PM – Checking out the sites along the Grand Canal on our way back to the hotel 6:29 PM – Checking out the sites along the Grand Canal on our way back to the hotel 


6:29 PM – Beautiful scenery along the way - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:29 PM – Beautiful scenery along the way 6:29 PM – Beautiful scenery along the way


6:29 PM – Old buildings and stuff - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:29 PM – Old buildings and stuff 6:29 PM – Old buildings and stuff


6:33 PM – Gondola sighting - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:33 PM – Gondola sighting 6:33 PM – Gondola sighting


6:37 PM – On a packed vaporetto going towards the Rialto Bridge - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy6:37 PM – On a packed vaporetto going towards the Rialto Bridge 6:37 PM – On a packed vaporetto going towards the Rialto Bridge


6:39 PM – Love this gondolier on his phone while 'driving'Venice, Italy6:39 PM – Love this gondolier on his phone while 'driving' 6:39 PM – This gondolier.... on his phone while 'driving'


6:39 PM – Gondola parkingVenice, Italy6:39 PM – Gondola parking 6:39 PM – Gondola parking


6:45 PM – Beautiful everywhereVenice, Italy6:45 PM – Beautiful everywhere 6:45 PM – Beautiful everywhere


8:27 PM – Rio del Magazen by our hotel - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:27 PM – Rio del Magazen by our hotel 8:27 PM – Rio del Magazen by our hotel


8:30 PM – Fondamenta Gaffaro - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:30 PM – Fondamenta Gaffaro 8:30 PM – Fondamenta Gaffaro


8:32 PM – Fondamenta Minotto - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:32 PM – Fondamenta Minotto 8:32 PM – Fondamenta Minotto


8:32 PM – Rio dei TolentiniVenice, Italy8:32 PM – Rio dei Tolentini 8:32 PM – Rio dei Tolentini


8:35 PM – Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:35 PM – Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino 8:35 PM – Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino


8:36 PM – Rio de la Cazziola e de Ca' Rizzi - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:36 PM – Rio de la Cazziola e de Ca' Rizzi 8:36 PM – Rio de la Cazziola e de Ca' Rizzi


8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Fondamenta de la Croce - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Fondamenta de la Croce 8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Fondamenta de la Croce


8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi 8:40 PM – Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi


8:47 PM – Looking the other way on the Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:47 PM – Looking the other way on the Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi 8:47 PM – Looking the other way on the Grand Canal from Ponte degli Scalzi


8:48 PM – Rio Terà Lista di Spagna - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:48 PM – Rio Terà Lista di Spagna 8:48 PM – Rio Terà Lista di Spagna


8:48 PM – Enjoying the view - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy8:48 PM – Enjoying the view 8:48 PM – Enjoying the view


9:23 PM – Walking back to the hotel along Fondamenta S. Simeone Piccolo - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:23 PM – Walking back to the hotel along Fondamenta S. Simeone Piccolo 9:23 PM – Walking back to the hotel along Fondamenta S. Simeone Piccolo


9:34 PM – The child has named this the "lip" bridge because with the reflection it looks like lips (its real name is Fondamenta Malcanton) - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:34 PM – The child has named this the "lip" bridge because with the reflection it looks like lips (its real name is Fondamenta Malcanton) 9:34 PM – The child has named this the "lip" bridge because with the reflection it looks like lips (its real name is Fondamenta Malcanton)


9:38 PM – We hear singing coming from around the bend of this canal (Rio de Malcanton) - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy9:38 PM – We hear singing coming from around the bend of this canal (Rio de Malcanton) 9:38 PM – Around the bend of this canal (Rio de Malcanton), there was like a "boat-in" concert


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) 24 hours in venice canals foodies italy piazza san marco sunset travel photography traveling with a teen venezia venice venice at night venice grand canal https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/10/venice2 Sat, 15 Oct 2016 13:01:27 GMT
VENICE: Oh...There's Water Everywhere! (Part 1) https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/10/venice Venice, ItalyVenice, ItalyVenice, Italy


24-HOURS IN VENICE


So again, thanks to the perks of being an employee in the travel industry, I decided last Thursday to hop on flight the next evening from Montreal to Venice....this time taking the youngest child (13 years old now....so I guess not that young anymore!) with me. Same as last year (see here and here for last year's 24-hour Venice getaway), we arrived at noon on Saturday and had to be back at the airport at noon on Sunday. 

As with all the other times I take one of the children on these trips....what they say while we're there is what inspires the blog post title. As we start walking from Piazzale Roma (the last point where vehicles are allowed), the child says, "Oh....there's water everywhere! This is gonna make my feed sooooo tumblr." 

I won't get into everything again on logistics, just a three-part series with time stamps and captions so you can see that it is very possible to do Venice in just 24 hours! So here's the first in the series, that features photos from our walk through Venice's labyrinth of calles and canals to the Rialto Bridge and the Libreria Acqua Alta – enjoy!

 

2:11 PM - "Oh....so there's water...like...everywhere.." - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:11 PM - "Oh....so there's water...like...everywhere.." 2:11 PM – "Oh....so there's water...like...everywhere..."


2:11 PM — Admiring a canal right behind our hotelVenice, Italy2:11 PM — Admiring a canal right behind our hotel 2:11 PM – Admiring a canal right behind our hotel


2:11 PM – "My feed is gonna be sooo tumblr!"Venice, Italy2:11 PM – "My feed is gonna be sooo tumblr!" 2:11 PM – "My feed is gonna be sooo tumblr!"


2:14 PM – The child is right....I mean look at this!Venice, Italy2:14 PM – The child is right....I mean look at this! 2:14 PM – The child is right....I mean look at this!


2:15 PM – Walking around Venice, you can't help but stop and snap every time you cross a bridge - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:15 PM – Walking around Venice, you can't help but stop and snap every time you cross a bridge 2:15 PM – Walking around Venice, you can't help but stop and snap every time you cross a bridge


2:17 PM – Can't get enough of all these little waterways - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:17 PM – Can't get enough of all these little waterways 2:17 PM – Can't get enough of all these little waterways


2:17 PM – It's all the same....but different at the same time - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:17 PM – It's all the same....but different at the same time 2:17 PM – It's all the same....but different at the same time


2:18 PM – Tearing ourselves away from the canals to see beautiful buildings like these - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:18 PM – Tearing ourselves away from the canals to see beautiful buildings like these - Scuola Grande di San Rocco Art Museum 2:18 PM – Tearing ourselves away from the canals to see beautiful buildings like these - Scuola Grande di San Rocco Art Museum​


2:18 PM – And this...Basilica dei Frari - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:18 PM – And this...Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari 2:18 PM – And this...Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari


2:20 PM – Campo dei Frari - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:20 PM – Campo dei Frari 2:20 PM – Campo dei Frari


2:21 PM – The Basiclica's campanile, the second tallest in the city after San Marco, was completed in 1396 - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:21 PM – The Basiclica's campanile, the second tallest in the city after San Marco, was completed in 1396 2:21 PM – The Basiclica's campanile, the 2nd tallest in the city after San Marco, was completed in 1396


2:24 PM – Weaving our way through Venice's Calle's Venice, Italy2:24 PM – Weaving our way through Venice's Calle's 2:24 PM – Weaving our way through Venice's ancient calles


2:27 PM – It's taking twice as long to get to where we wanna go because I can't stop snapping away - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:27 PM – It's taking twice as long to get to where we wanna go because I can't stop snapping away 2:27 PM – It's taking twice as long to get to where we wanna go because I can't stop snapping away


2:40 PM – The child's first glimpse of the Grand Canal -Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:40 PM – The child's first glimpse of the Grand Canal 2:40 PM – The child's first glimpse of the Grand Canal 


2:40 PM – Plenty of traffic on the Grand Canal - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:40 PM – Plenty of traffic on the Grand Canal 2:40 PM – Plenty of traffic on the Grand Canal


2:40 PM – Fought our way to the middle of the Rialto Bridge to check out the view - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:40 PM – Fought our way to the middle of the Rialto Bridge to check out the view 2:40 PM – Fought our way to the middle of the Rialto Bridge to check out the view


2:40 PM – Someone is happy to be in Venice!Venice, Italy2:40 PM – Someone is happy to be in Venice! 2:40 PM – Someone is happy to be in Venice!


2:40 PM – Selfie time at the Rialto Bridge (you can get a glimpse of all people here in the reflection of my glasses!) - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:40 PM – Selfie time at the Rialto Bridge (you can get a glimpse of all people here in the reflection of my glasses!) 2:40 PM – Selfie time at the Rialto Bridge (you can get a glimpse of all people here in the reflection of my glasses!)


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:44 PM – Made our way to the other side of the Rialto Bridge 2:44 PM – Made our way to the other side of the Rialto Bridge


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:48 PM – Some canal....somewhere in Venice 2:48 PM – Some canal....somewhere in Venice


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:52 PM – A wedding in Venice 2:52 PM – A wedding in Venice


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy2:52 PM – Gondola traffic 2:52 PM – Gondola traffic


LIBRERIA ACQUA ALTA


The one place I didn't get to see on last year's trip to Venice, I made sure that this was one of the first on our list. Surprisingly, it was the hubs who saw this book store on a documentary last year and told me I should go check it out — you know, since he doesn't seem to wanna get on a plane lately. 

I mean, it's not what you come to Venice to see, but it is such a kooky place – books spill out of everywhere, including from the massive gondola and old row boats inside the store, as well as from old bathtubs. Why store books in boats and bathtubs? Because every year (usually in October, I believe), Venice experiences acqua alta, literally meaning high water, so it only makes sense to store the books in boats cuz they'll just float, right?

At first glance – ok even at a closer glance – this book shop looks chaotic, but there is a method to the madness. Crime novels can be found stacked up in the gondola, travel guides can be found on the shelf next to it. And if you don't know where to look, just ask the eccentric owner who can usually be found chain-smoking somewhere in the store. Don't forget to check out the book staircase at the back, and the fire exit that leads straight out into a canal. For me, it's a must in Venice!

 

3:09 PM –Out Libreria Acqua AltaVenice, Italy3:09 PM –Out Libreria Acqua Alta 3:09 PM – Outside Libreria Acqua Alta


3:10 PM – Italy and Venice travel guides in so many different languagesVenice, Italy3:10 PM – Italy and Venice travel guides in so many different languages 3:10 PM – Italy and Venice travel guides in so many different languages


3:10 PM – Gondolas don't look that big gliding down canals until you see them on land.... and full of books! - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:10 PM – Gondolas don't look that big gliding down canals until you see them on land.... and full of books! 3:10 PM – Gondolas don't look that big gliding down canals until you see them on land.... and full of books!


3:11 PM – The child, trying to make her way through the store - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:11 PM – The child, trying to make her way through the store 3:11 PM – The child, trying to make her way through the store


3:12 PM – The "book stair case" at the back - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:12 PM – The "book stair case" at the back 3:12 PM – The book staircase at the back


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:12 PM – Better look at the book steps 3:12 PM – Better look at the book "steps"


3:13 PM – Books in bathtubs....I love it! - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:13 PM – Books in bathtubs....I love it! 3:13 PM – Books in bathtubs....I love it!


3:14 PM – Chaotic looking, but believe it or not, the owner knows where everything is! - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:14 PM – Chaotic looking, but believe it or not, the owner knows where everything is! 3:14 PM – Chaotic looking, but believe it or not, the owner knows where everything is!


3:18 PM – Chillin' by the fire exit - Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:18 PM – Chillin' by the fire exit 3:18 PM – Chillin' by the fire exit


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:18 PM – More books.... 3:18 PM – More books....


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:19 PM – And more..... 3:19 PM – And more.....


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:19 PM – And even more.....in more bathtubs 3:19 PM – And more.....in more bathtubs


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:19 PM – And even more.....spilling out of a row boat 3:19 PM – And even more.....spilling out of a row boat


Venice, ItalyVenice, Italy3:19 PM – Messy, but beautiful! 3:19 PM – Messy, but beautiful!


That's it for today - seems I took more photos than I thought, so stay tuned for more on this last-minute 24-hour trip to Venezia.....


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) 24 hours in venice canals italy libreria acqu alta travel photography traveling with a teen venezia venice https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/10/venice Mon, 03 Oct 2016 02:33:23 GMT
ANTWERP: Central Station & Café au Lait https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/9/antwerp Antwerp - Central Train Station - Jennifer Mahon, Travel Keeps Me SaneAntwerp - Central Train Station - Jennifer Mahon, Travel Keeps Me Sane


AN AFTERNOON IN ANTWERP


Another city that really wasn't anywhere near the top of my wish list, but hey, I found myself in Belgium for the weekend with a Belgian Rail Pass (10 single journey trips within Belgium for 77 EUR!) and figured, why not?! I expected nothing of this city, but Antwerp somehow managed to snag me in the moment I set foot off the train. 


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE....


ANTWERPEN-CENTRAAL
Most will arrive here via the Central Station (from Brussels, it takes about 35 minutes) - and I have to say, I've never seen a train station as impressive as this one. Even if you're not travelling by train, it's worth it to seek it out and admire from the inside out. The original building was built between 1895 and 1905, and it's no wonder that it also goes by the name Spoorwegkathedraal (Railroad Cathedral) and on Fodor's World's 20 Most Beautiful Train Stations

 

Arriving at Antwerpen-Centraal - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyArriving at Antwerpen-Centraal - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Arriving at Antwerpen-Centraal ​


Stepping off the train, and greeted with this - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyStepping off the train, and greeted with this - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Stepping off the train, and greeted with this


Trying to find the exit, but amazed at this 'cathedral' look - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTrying to find the exit, but amazed at this 'cathedral' look - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Trying to find the exit, but amazed at this 'cathedral' look


Central Station's domed ceiling - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCentral Station's domed ceiling - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Central Station's domed ceiling


Outside of Antwerpen-Centraal - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOutside of Antwerpen-Centraal Outside of Antwerpen-Centraal​ 


Beautiful stone facade of the train station - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful stone facade of the train station - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Beautiful stone facade of the train station


Walking away but I can't take my eyes of this building - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking away but I can't take my eyes of this building - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Walking away but I can't take my eyes of this building 



YOU'VE GOTTA SEE....


DE MIER
I had no idea that Antwerp was not only the Diamond mecca of Europe, but quite the shopping area too. De Meir is Antwerp's shopping zone, the place where you can find pretty much anything. Though most stores are big chain shops, they're all situated in beautiful old buildings and you'll find a few monuments here as well like the Royal Palace, the Osterrieth House and the De Kleine Koning building.

 

GROENPLAATS 
One of the largest squares in Old Town Antwerp is the "Green Place" (it used to be a cemetery, hence the name), then a parking lot (what a shame!) but now is a cute square with wonderful views of the Cathedral of Our Lady and surrounded with restaurants and cafés. A great spot for people watching!

 

GROTE MARKT & STADHUIS
The eye-catcher of the Grote Markt (town square) is the Stadhuis (town hall). It's comprised of several majestic buildings and the main one is usually covered with colourful flags - a beautiful sight! In front of the building is the Brabo Fountain - legend has it that this Roman soldier cut off the hand of a giant and threw it away.....and where it landed, Antwerp was built. Any truth to this legend? I think not, but it makes for a good story!

 

HET STEEN
On the banks of the Scheldt River is the Het Steen (literally meaning "The Stone"), a former waterfront castle now converted to be Antwerp's Maritime Museum. Impressive looking from the outside, probably worth a look on the inside (others say so), but we didn't go in - remember we were only in Antwerp for a few hours!

 

Crossing the street to head over to Meir, Belgium's largest shopping avenueCrossing the street to head over to Meir, Belgium's largest shopping avenue Crossing the street to head over to De Meir, Belgium's largest shopping avenue


Impressive buildings everywhere you look - Antwerp, Belgium, Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyImpressive buildings everywhere you look - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Impressive buildings everywhere you look


One of the entrances to Shopping Stadsfeestzaal - Antwerp, Belgium - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOne of the entrances to Shopping Stadsfeestzaal - Antwerp, Belgium - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography

One of the entrances to Shopping Stadsfeestzaal 


My travel buds are shopping for shoes, and I'm taking pics of lights....! Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMy travel buds are shopping for shoes, and I'm taking pics of lights....! Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography My travel buds are shopping for shoes, and I'm taking pics of lights....! 


The facade is so detailed on every single store on this street - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe facade is so detailed on every single store on this street - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography The facade is so detailed on every single store on this street


Handelsbeurs, an old stock market now closed and the city is wondering what to do with it - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHandelsbeurs, an old stock market now closed and the city is wondering what to do with it - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Handelsbeurs, an old stock market now closed and the city is wondering what to do with it


On Schoenmarkt, making our way to the cathedral -  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyOn Schoenmarkt, making our way to the cathedral - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography On Schoenmarkt, making our way to the cathedral


Groenplaats, a cute square that gives you your first glimpse of the cathedral - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyGroenplaats, a cute square that gives you your first glimpse of the cathedral - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Groenplaats, a cute square that gives you your first glimpse of the cathedral


Checking out things at Groenplaats - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChecking out things at Groenplaats Checking out things at Groenplaats​


Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) - Antwerp, Belgium - Jennifer Mahon Photography, Travel Keeps Me SaneOnze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) viewed from Antwerp's Grote Markt (Great Market Square)


Antwerp Stadhuis (City Hall) - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAntwerp Stadhuis (City Hall) Antwerp Stadhuis (Town Hall)


Fountain in front of the Stadhuis - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFountain in front of the Stadhuis Fountain in front of the Stadhuis


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Another view of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) 


Het Steen (Steen Castle) - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHet Steen (Steen Castle) Het Steen (Steen Castle)


Statue of Lange Wapper - a Flemish folkloric giant - Jennifer Mahon Photography, Travel Keeps Me SaneStatue of Lange Wapper - a Flemish folkloric giant Statue of Lange Wapper - a Flemish folkloric giant - in front of the Steen Castle


Walking along the Scheldt River on Jordaenskaai by the fish marketWalking along the Scheldt River on Jordaenskaai by the fish market Walking along the Scheldt River on Jordaenskaai by the fish market


Another cute square - Sint-PaulusplaatsAnother cute square - Sint-Paulusplaats Another cute square - Sint-Paulusplaats


Doors at Sint-PaulusparochieDoors at Sint-Paulusparochie Doors at Sint-Paulusparochie


Walking down Lange Doornikstraat because we hear musicWalking down Lange Doornikstraat because we hear music Walking down Lange Doornikstraat because we hear music


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE....


CAFÉ AU LAIT STREETPARTY
We kind of stumbled upon this, and so glad that we did. Café au Lait holds this streetparty once a year (every July) and we just happened to be there that day. At first it was mostly house music, so we thought "oh cool" and continued to make our way through the drinking and dancing crowd. But then, the DJ starts playing reggae - like dancehall shit that you only hear in Jamaica and for some reason it's blasting through speakers in this little alley in Antwerp. How could we not stop and join in the party?

 

And we come across thisAnd we come across this And we come across this


Still not quite sure what kind of event we've stumbled upon Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyStill not quite sure what kind of event we've stumbled upon Still not quite sure what kind of event we've stumbled upon


But there's quite a few people gathered in the streetBut there's quite a few people gathered in the street But there's quite a few people gathered in the street


Everyone is drinking, eating or dancingEveryone is drinking, eating or dancing Everyone is drinking, eating or dancing


Guess I'll join in!Guess I'll join in! Guess I'll join in!


Drinking and dancing in the street at 2 o'clock in the afternoonDrinking and dancing in the street at 2 o'clock in the afternoon Drinking and dancing in the street at 2 o'clock in the afternoon


Time to try some local streetfood Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to try some local streetfood Time to try some local streetfood


Cheers-ing with strangersCheers-ing with strangers Cheers-ing with strangers


Love the vibe here!  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLove the vibe here! Love the vibe here!


Time to head back to the train stationTime to head back to the train station Time to start heading back to the train station


But maybe we need to grab something sweet first Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBut maybe we need to grab something sweet first But maybe we need to grab something sweet first


Like a freshly made Belgian waffle Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLike a freshly made Belgian waffle Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography Like a freshly made Belgian waffle


A waffle 'sandwich' Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA waffle 'sandwich' ..... A waffle 'sandwich' .....


Filled with Nutella!Filled with Nutella! Filled with Nutella!


And another, topped with goodnessAnd another, topped with goodness And another, topped with goodness


Back on the train to Brussels.... Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBack on the train to Brussels....Glad to have put the Belgian Rail Pass to good use! Back on the train to Brussels....Glad to have put the Belgian Rail Pass to good use!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) antwerp anvers belgian waffles belgique belgium belgium by train day trip train station https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/9/antwerp Sun, 18 Sep 2016 02:26:06 GMT
#DEBMTL: Diner en Blanc 2016 https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/9/-debmtl-2016


DÎNER EN BLANC MONTREAL 2016


"Come to Dîner en blanc this year," they said. 

"It will be fun," they said.

Don't get me wrong it was fun, just getting there and leaving there was not so much fun. For those that don't know what it is (like I didn't when I signed up for it) it's an all-white (clothing, accessories) chic invite-only outdoor picnic...with like 4000+ other people. It's always in a public place, which no one knows where until your group leader leads you there.


THE INVITE
You can't just buy a ticket for this exclusive event. You can register to be on the waiting list and cross your fingers that you get your invite code. Or if you have friends that are already on the list, they can sponsor you, and you get moved to the top of the list. Lucky, I know people. Each person registered is able to bring a guest.


THE PLANNING
Registration done, tables grouped together, it's time for planning. Naive that I was, I thought you pay your fee and just show up bedazzled in white. Not so. Seems you bring everything you need for you and your guest, which turns out to be a pretty extensive list:

  • 1 square table (30x30) + white tablecloth
  • 2 white chairs + white chair covers if your chairs aren't white
  • 2 white large plates
  • 2 white small plates
  • 2 white bowls (if soup is on your menu)
  • White serving plates
  • Utensils
  • 2 white cloth napkins
  • 2 wine glasses
  • 2 drinking glasses
  • Alcohol (wine and champagne allowed only)
  • Rolling cart/trolley to bring all this shit in
  • Table decor
  • White tote bags or picnic basket
  • Oh yeah and all your food!


No paper napkins, plastic plates and utensils or fried chicken for this event. It's stressed throughout the process that it's elegant and chic. Bring a Dollarama plate and your ass will be permanently blacklisted from this event.

It doesn't seem too bad when you break it down into 2s, but planning for 6 people brought on a whole other set of headaches. Thankfully the ladies in our group our quite the organizers and I'm quite proud of my colour coded chart showing who brings what.


THE MEET UP
You're given a meeting point (metro station for "pedestrian/public transport" folks and another location for bus options) and a time with your group and table leaders name. There are many, many meeting points throughout the city and all converge to one public location. 

Before that though, there's a whole heap of stuff happening that day to prep. Wine and champagne needs to be chilled. Food needs to be cooked. Tables and chairs need to be picked up from the rental place. Clothes need to be cleaned and steamed. Collectively our group of 6 spent something like 8 hours prepping all this.

We drive to the meeting point, unload the vehicle, pack up everything on the trolleys, secure it with those bungee cords, register with our group leader, take a shot of bourbon to get the happiness started and off we go. Now....it seems there's no escalator at this particular metro station so it's stairs for all. Everybody's trolleys are not secured all that great, plus we're all trying to look super chic and cute and trying not get our whites dirty, so everything is falling. At this point, Jayjay couldn't help but point out, "Jenn, all of this part was not on your list!!"

No it wasn't. Something that everyone in our pedestrian group didn't account for. BUT everyone helped each other and we all managed to get on and off the train and walk our asses the 3 blocks to the event - which turned out to be smack dab in the middle of downtown Montreal on McGill College Avenue.

 

Selfie time at the meet up locationSelfie time at the meet up location Selfie time at the meet up location​


Date pairing #1 for #DEBMTLDate pairing #1 for #DEBMTL Date pairing #1 for #DEBMTL​


Date pairing #2 for #DEBMTLDate pairing #2 for #DEBMTL Date pairing #2 for #DEBMTL​


Date pairing #3 for #DEBMTLDate pairing #3 for #DEBMTL Date pairing #3 for #DEBMTL​


Some silliness as we wait for the more instructions on where to goSome silliness as we wait for the more instructions on where to go Some silliness as we wait for the more instructions on where to go


Group pics.....can never happen with this bunch!Group pics.....can never happen with this bunch! Group pics.....can never happen with this bunch!​


Everyone meeting up and ready goEveryone meeting up and ready go Everyone meeting up and ready go​


But first, another selfieBut first, another selfie But first, another selfie​


And a shot of happiness, you know, one for the roadAnd a shot of happiness, you know, one for the road And a shot of happiness for some (some didn't it find any happiness as you can see!), you know, one for the road​


Atwater metro station, filled to the gills with Dîner en blanc peepsAtwater metro station, filled to the gills with Dîner en blanc peeps Atwater metro station, filled to the gills with Dîner en blanc peeps​


Waiting, not so patiently for our turn to set upWaiting, not so patiently for our turn to set up Waiting, not so patiently for our turn to set up​


THE SET UP
You wait for your table number to be called (emailed to you a few days prior to the event), and set up where you're told to. In a frenzy along with 4000+ other people, we unload everything, set up our tables, and amazingly all of this manages to get done in less than 20 min. Time to look around and check it all out. And I have to say it is pretty damn cool.

All of McGill College Avenue and a bit onto President Kennedy Avenue is full of people dressed in white, dinner tables set up row after of row decked out in creative elegant white décor. What a sight to see!


THE DINNER
The traditional "waving  of white napkins" signals the official start of the event and you can now begin your meal. On the menu for our crew is

  • Bread, cheese and grapes
  • Prosciutto wrapped bocconcini
  • Tartinade de thon
  • Baked salmon smothered in a tangy Bourbon BBQ sauce
  • Potato salad (mayo-less)
  • 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio, 2 bottles of Gewurztraminer and 1 bottle Moët et Chandon Ice Imperiale
  • Strawberry cheesecake for dessert/birthday cake for Jayjay (that took a tumble or two in its box during transport, but still tasted heavenly!)

THE DANCING
The designated dance floor is the intersection of McGill and President Kennedy (we're lucky enough to be right at the intersection). Kicking off the dancing is a samba crew strutting there stuff and, get this - Star Wars Stormtroopers with "#DEBMTL" stamped on their armour.

 

Our food stuffs...Our food stuffs... Our food stuffs...​


Hmmm....cranberry goat cheeseHmmm....cranberry goat cheese Hmmm....cranberry goat cheese​
 


Tartinade de thonTartinade de thon Tartinade de thon​


Grapes and stuffGrapes and stuff Grapes and stuff​


Prosciutto wrapped bocconciniProsciutto wrapped bocconcini Prosciutto wrapped bocconcini​


Boutique en Blanc display - they've got everything white you could possible need for this annual eventBoutique en Blanc display - they've got everything white you could possible need for this annual event Boutique en Blanc display - they've got everything white you could possible need for this annual event​


McGill College Avenue.....tables filling the street as far as the eye can see!McGill College Avenue.....tables filling the street as far as the eye can see! McGill College Avenue.....tables filling the street as far as the eye can see!​


The ladies....The ladies.... The ladies....​


The boys....The boys.... The boys....​


Waving of white napkins....means we can finally eatWaving of white napkins....means we can finally eat Waving of white napkins....means we can finally eat​


Baked salmon....smothered in Bourbon BBQ sauceBaked salmon....smothered in Bourbon BBQ sauce Baked salmon....smothered in Bourbon BBQ sauce​


Let the dancing begin!Let the dancing begin! Let the dancing begin!​ Even Stormtroopers are out for #DEBMTL!


Dance floor is packed!Dance floor is packed! Dance floor is packed!​


Our smashed cheesecakeOur smashed cheesecake Our smashed cheesecake​


It's 10 pm, on a Thursday night, and downtown Montreal is jammin'It's 10 pm, on a Thursday night, and downtown Montreal is jammin' It's 10 pm, on a Thursday night, and downtown Montreal is jammin'​


THE CLEAN UP
The minutes are creeping closer to 11 pm when DEB must come to an end. Tables must be cleared, garbage and recycling sorted (you bring your own bags and don't leave anything at the location). You leave with what you came with. Everything strapped onto the trolleys and off we go for another interesting metro transport with everything falling....again. 


THE NEXT ONE!
Being a DEB virgin made it slightly challenging this year, but now I know what to expect. It will all be better organized next year, I won't stress as much about logistics, and I will make sure to put it in my chart to bring extra bungee cords. Even though it seems like a pain leading up to it, once you're there - you can't really compare it to anything else. So bring it on, I am ready for you #DEBMTL2017!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON

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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) debmtl2016 diner en blanc 2016 event photography food photography montreal montreal tourism summer in montreal https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/9/-debmtl-2016 Wed, 07 Sep 2016 02:51:12 GMT
MONTREAL: Jerk Chicken « en cachette » https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/8/montreal-jerk-chicken-en-cachette


THE REAL JERK


Sitting around the pool at my brothers, discussing Mr. Bond's absolutely divine homemade hamburger concoction - which was a mix of 2/3 bacon (yes, bacon!), 1/3 ground veal and beef, and a super generous dose of jerk seasoning - this question comes up:

"Where do you find good jerk chicken in Montreal? I mean, REAL jerk chicken. Like the kind where they grill it in an old oil drum outside, and the smell alone is enough to make your mouth (and eyes) water".

Someone answers:
"Have you ever heard of B--- --? They do random days of jerk chicken in the alley".

No. I've never heard of B--- --. But I'm intrigued by this "in the alley" thing. It's not advertised - it's really "en cachette" - so I gave up and totally forgot about it.

Fast forward 6 weeks > I end up walking by B--- --. I go in and ask when they do the "jerk inna di alley" (say it with a Jamaican accent and it makes sense!). Fast forward again to the day of the week that I grab the middle child and a couple of friends and head over to B--- --. I'm not about to let this gem get overrun with hipsters, so I'm keeping the name under wraps.

Was told to bring my own beer and it starts at 5pm and goes on until "di chicken run out". We show up around 5:30 and we're a bit confused, because there was definitely nothing going on "inna di alley". Going around the front, we see someone inside and ask what's up, and he's like, "We settin' up now. Ya know mon, Caribbean time".

Ah yes. I should have known better, being half-Grenadian myself.

Soon a table and benches are set up in the narrow alley, reggae music starts pumping out of speakers that have appeared out of nowhere, and then there it is - that big-ass oil drum, with smoke wafting out and that distinct mouthwatering "jerk" smell - I can hardly contain myself. This is how jerk chicken should be done.

At $15 a pop - for about 1/4 jerk chicken, coleslaw, and "hardo" bread - it's a bit steep of a price but for the authenticity, the yummy-ness, the atmosphere and all, I'm sold.

I'll definitely be back for more, and if you ask nicely... in a Jamaican accent.... maybe I'll let you in on where "jerk inna di alley" is!

 

Jerk chicken en cachette in MontrealJerk chicken en cachette in Montreal Remeniscent of roadside stands in Jamaica, where these enormous old oil-drums are retrofitted into smokers


Hard at workHard at work Hard at work


All that jerk smoky-ness!All that jerk smoky-ness! All that jerk smoky-ness!


Hmmmm. Jerk. Heaven.Hmmmm. Jerk. Heaven. Hmmmm. Jerk. Heaven.


Oh my god. Come to mama!Oh my god. Come to mama! Oh my god. Come to mama!


Jerk chicken, coleslaw and hard-dough breadJerk chicken, coleslaw and hard-dough bread Jerk chicken, coleslaw and hard-dough bread


Ready to dig in!Ready to dig in! Ready to dig in!


It's a bit spicy for the middle childIt's a bit spicy for the middle child It's a bit spicy for the middle child


Spiciness is just right for me!Spiciness is just right for me! Spiciness is just right for me!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) food photography foodies jerk chicken montreal montreal restos https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/8/montreal-jerk-chicken-en-cachette Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:36:35 GMT
PORTUGAL Road Trip: From the Algarve to Porto...and a few stops in between https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/7/portugal-road-trip Albufeira, Algarve, PortgualAlbufeira, Algarve, Portgual


PORTUGAL, I LOVE YOU!


Things always happen for a reason. Fate, if you will - a chain of events that inevitably lead you to where you're supposed to be - and it seems my travel fate brought me to Portugal - which is exactly where I was supposed to be this summer.

Very rarely I've come across a country that I could see myself living in. Sure, no one ever wants to come home from vacation, but Portugal has got it all - historic cities, incredible beaches, seafood galore, friendly people, fabulous (and cheap) wine - why would I need to live anywhere else?

Y'all know it'll take me forever to go through all the photos from this trip (I still haven't gone through all the ones from Spain in March!). So here's a quick peek of the 11-day itinerary > 4 days in the Algarve, 4 days in Lisbon, 2 days in Porto and 1 day in the Douro Valley (with plenty of exploring along the way), and a few photos to appease some peeps.

 

Perfect for road tripping through Portugal! Algarve, #travelkeepsmesanePerfect for road tripping through Portugal! Perfect for road tripping through Portugal!


View from our apartment in Albufeira | #travelkeepsmesaneView from our apartment in Albufeira DAY 1: Enjoying the view from our apartment in Albufeira


Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 1: Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira DAY 1: Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira


DAY 1: Yes folks, that is an escalator that takes your lazy-ass down to beach level #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 1: Yes folks, that is an escalator that takes your lazy-ass down to beach level

DAY 1: Yes folks, that is an escalator that takes your lazy-ass down to beach level


DAY 1: What's the first thing we do? Drink wine. 6 for 4 euros. Pretty good start to this vacation! #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 1: What's the first thing we do? Drink wine. 6 for 4 euros. Pretty good start to this vacation! DAY 1: What's the first thing we do? Drink wine. 6 for 4 euros. Pretty good start to this vacation!


DAY 2: Praia do Beliche, Sagres  #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 2: Praia do Beliche, Sagres DAY 2: Praia do Beliche, Sagres (I won't show all the beaches in this post..... but stay tuned....!)


DAY 2: Cabo de São Vicente (Cape of Saint Vincent) - the southern tip of Europe #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 2: Cabo de São Vicente (Cape of Saint Vincent) - the southern tip of Europe DAY 2: Cabo de São Vicente (Cape of Saint Vincent) - the southern tip of Europe


DAY 2: View from Fortaleza de Sagres #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 2: View from Fortaleza de Sagres DAY 2: View from Fortaleza de Sagres


DAY 2: Celebrations in Old Town Albufeira the night Portugal won the Euro Cup #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 2: Celebrations in Old Town Albufeira the night Portugal won the Euro Cup DAY 2: Celebrations in Old Town Albufeira the night Portugal won the Euro Cup


DAY 3 & 4: These days were spent vegging out on Praia do Inatel #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 3 & 4: These days were spent vegging out on Praia do Inatel DAYS 3 & 4: These days were spent vegging out on Praia do Inatel


DAY 5: Lovely Lisbon! #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 5: Lovely Lisbon! DAY 5: Lovely Lisbon!


DAY 6: Checking out Sintra Palace #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 6: Checking out Sintra Palace DAY 6: Checking out Sintra Palace


DAY 6: A Tapas kind of lunch in Sintra #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 6: A Tapas kind of lunch in Sintra DAY 6: A tapas kind of lunch in Sintra


DAY 6: Hanging laundry out to dry - see, it's like I live there already! #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 6: Hanging laundry out to dry - see, it's like I live there already! DAY 6: Hanging laundry out to dry - see, it's like I live there already!


DAY 7: Visiting the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in Évora #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 7: Visiting the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in Évora DAY 7: Visiting the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in Évora


DAY 8: In GINJA heaven - Óbidos #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 8: In GINJA heaven - Óbidos DAY 8: In GINJA heaven - Óbidos


DAY 8: A quick stop in Coimbra on the way to Porto #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 8: A quick stop in Coimbra on the way to Porto DAY 8: A quick stop in Coimbra on the way to Porto


DAY 8: Porto! My fave city #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 8: Porto! My fave city

DAY 9: Porto! My fave city


DAY 9: Port wine tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto) #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 9: Port wine tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto) DAY 10: Port wine tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto)


DAY 9: A quick lunch (and more Port wine) before heading to the Douro Valley #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 9: A quick lunch (and more Port wine) before heading to the Douro Valley DAY 10: A quick lunch (and more Port wine) before heading to the Douro Valley


DAY 9: The Douro Valley #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 9: The Douro Valley DAY 10: The Douro Valley


DAY 9: View from the Quinta we stayed atDAY 9: View from the Quinta we stayed at DAY 10: View from the Quinta we stayed at


DAY 9: Owner, Caesar of Quinta de Marrocos, letting us sample many...many... different kinds of Port wine #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 9: Owner, Caesar of Quinta de Marrocos, letting us sample many...many... different kinds of Port wine DAY 10: Owner, Caesar of Quinta de Marrocos, letting us sample many...many... different kinds of Port wine


DAY 10: Back for one more night in Porto, but first a stop in Matasinhos for the freshest and tastiest grilled seafood #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 10: Back for one more night in Porto, but first a stop in Matasinhos for the freshest and tastiest grilled seafood DAY 11: Back for one more night in Porto, but first a stop in Matosinhos for the freshest and tastiest grilled seafood


DAY 10: What a view of Porto (from Vila Nova de Gaia, above all the Port wine cellars) #travelkeepsmesaneDAY 10: What a view of Porto (from Vila Nova de Gaia, above all the Port wine cellars) DAY 11: What a view of Porto (from Vila Nova de Gaia, above all the Port wine cellars)


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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info@travelkeepsmesane.com (TRAVEL KEEPS ME SANE) albufeira algarve coimbra douro valley evora lisbon matasinhos obidos porto portugal portugal road trip road trip seafood sintra travel photogaphy vila nova de gaia https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/7/portugal-road-trip Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:35:48 GMT
GHENT: A Few Hours Wandering Around https://www.travelkeepsmesane.com/blog/2016/7/ghent Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography


GHENT - GIVE IT A CHANCE


It's an overcast day with on and off rain, but we're only in Belgium for the weekend, so from Brussels to Bruges (for a couple of hours),  it's back on the train for about 20 minutes to Ghent. Another city that we kind of race through (still have to make it to Antwerp today!), but it's one I would definitely come back to and give Ghent the proper time it deserves.There was no plan for Ghent. just wandered around and happily came across beautiful medieval buildings and a ton of gorgeous old churches. 

 

Ok.... I don't think I've ever seen so many bikes parked in one spot (Ghent train station)Ok.... I don't think I've ever seen so many bikes parked in one spot (Ghent train station) Ok.... I don't think I've ever seen so many bikes parked in one spot (Ghent train station)


Seems everyone in Ghent bikes to the train station and off they go to wherever else in Belgium they need to get toSeems everyone in Ghent bikes to the train station and off they go to wherever else in Belgium they need to get to Seems everyone in Ghent bikes to the train station and off they go to wherever else in Belgium they need to get to​


Sint-Macharius kerk Sint-Macharius kerk Sint-Macharius kerk ​


Flowers and stufFlowers and stuf Flowers and stuf​f


A little shabby looking... but I love it!A little shabby looking... but I love it! A little shabby looking... but I love it!


Colourful row of houses on Sint-Joriskaai, right by the Leie (or Lys) RiverColourful row of houses on Sint-Joriskaai, right by the Leie (or Lys) River Colourful row of houses on Sint-Joriskaai, right by the Leie (or Lys) River​


Old school mail slotOld school mail slot Old school mail slot​


Sint-JacobskerkSint-Jacobskerk Sint-Jacobskerk


Time for a quick coffee at Huize ColletteTime for a quick coffee at Huize Collette Time for a quick coffee at Huize Collette​


Super cute café with cool displaysSuper cute café with cool displays Super cute café with cool displays​


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

BELFORT VAN GHENT
One of the three medieval towers that dominate Ghent's city centre, the 91-metre tall Belfry sits on the west side of Sint-Baaskathedraal (St. Bavo's Cathedral). Together with the buildings (cathedrals) attached to it, the Belfry belongs to the set of belfries of Belgium inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. For a few 's you climb up a whole load of steps to the top and have amazing views. Or if you're lazy, there's also an elevator that will hall you're lazy but up there.   
 

CITY PAVILION
Old meets modern at one of Ghent's newest buildings made from wood, glass and concrete - this sucker stands out like a sore thumb in the middle of all this medievalness. It's a cool design on its own, but standing in the middle of the old Poeljemarkt - not so good.  
 

SINT-NIKLAASKERK
This 13th-century Scheldt Gothic-style is probably one the most beautiful historic buildings in the city. Didn't go in - though I hear it's quite impressive - but admiring it from the outside was enough for me.

POSTGEBOUW
Another incredibly impressive building, you'd figure it's go to have some sort of impressive title. Turns out it's the Old Post Office, now a shopping mall. 

SINT-MICHIELSKERK
Yet another impressive church in Ghent, this 14th-century one stands at the far end of its namesake bridge (St.Michael's Bridge) right by the Leie River.  

GROOT VLEESHUIS 
Known in English as the Meat House or the Butchers' Hall, from medieval times to the end of the 19th century, this was the main spot for meat (one of the only places to regulate the trade to ensure quality of products back in the day). Today, it's a market for local specialties, flower shops and cafés. 

 

Het Belfort van GentHet Belfort van Gent Belfort van Gent​


Underneath Ghent's City PavilionUnderneath Ghent's City Pavilion Underneath Ghent's City Pavilion​


Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicolas' Church)Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicolas' Church) Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicolas' Church)​


Postgebouw - Old post office built in 1903Postgebouw - Old post office built in 1903 Postgebouw - Old post office built in 1903


Medieval cutenessMedieval cuteness Medieval cuteness​


Korenmarkt GentKorenmarkt Gent Korenmarkt Gent​


Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicholas' Church)Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicholas' Church) Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicholas' Church)


Sint-Michielskerk (Saint Michael's Church)Sint-Michielskerk (Saint Michael's Church) Sint-Michielskerk (Saint Michael's Church)


Somewhere along the Leie River (or Lys in French)Somewhere along the Leie River (or Lys in French) Graslei - along the Leie River (or Lys in French)​


Groot Vleeshuis (Old Meat Market)Groot Vleeshuis (Old Meat Market) Groot Vleeshuis (The Meat House)


Sint-Veerleplein - the oldest square in GhentSint-Veerleplein - the oldest square in Ghent Sint-Veerleplein - the oldest square in Ghent​


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...


GRAVENSTEEN
An imposing landmark in the city centre, the "Castle of the Counts" is a beautiful stone castle, complete with a moat and everything. Didn't have time for a visit this time around, but it's on the list for next time. 

VRIJDAGMARKT
The Friday Market was the former life of the city - markets, celebrations, festivals well as fights all took place here. In the middle there's a statue of Jacob van Artevelde, and it's a cute people watching spot. 

GHENT JAZZ FESTIVAL
Honestly had no clue we were there right in the midst of the Ghent Jazz Festival. This annual festival is held is July for two weeks with a ton renowned artists from Belgium and abroad performing around the city. 

 

Gravensteen Castle - Ghent's 12th-century stone castleGravensteen Castle - Ghent's 12th-century stone castle Gravensteen Castle - Ghent's 12th-century stone castle​