First impressions of Porto

TRAVEL DIARY: PORTO 1 After a brisk journey aboard the Alfa Pendular, Portugal’s flagship Pendolinoa high-speed train, we arrived in Porto just past midday, so we were starving from the trip. Near our Airbnb, we stumbled upon a nearby restaurant where, unsure of what to choose, we trusted the owner’s recommendations for our meal. Francesinha…

Around town on our last day

TRAVEL DIARY: LISBON 4 Did you know that Uber fares are incredibly cheap in Portugal? We stumbled upon this discovery during our visit to Sintra when we opted for a taxi. Glad we found out because since then, Uber has become our go-to mode of transportation. So this was our last day in Lisbon and…

Discovering the charm of Obidos

TRAVEL DIARY: OBIDOS The next stop on our day trip is Obidos. This is one place not to be missed when in Lisbon … a gorgeous medieval town perched on top of a hill. As we entered the town through Porta da Vila, the main gate, we were greeted by a stunning balcony adorned with…

Exploring Portugal’s Coastal Gem

TRAVEL DIARY: NAZARE As we were leaving Fatima, the rain started again. We resumed our journey toward Nazare approximately an hour’s drive ahead. Glad to see the blue skies as we were approaching town. Nazare is one of the most picturesque seaside towns in Portugal Proceeded to the market stalls. Legend has it that nobleman…

Fatima then and now

TRAVEL DIARY: FATIMA The story begins in the village of Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917. On that fateful day near that tiny village, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, appeared to three young peasant children: Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia; ages 10, 9 and 7… As Catholics, hubby and I were interested to visit…

Exploring the Magic of Sintra’s Most Iconic Landmark

TRAVEL DIARY: SINTRA 2 Having marveled at the grandeur of the Quinta de Regaelera in the morning, we continue on our walk and immerse ourselves with the enchanting beauty of the Pena Palace in Sintra. My daughter Pat first introduced me to this palace in 2017 through a photo from her solo European trip, urging…

A morning at Quinta da Regaleira

TAVEL DIARY: SINTRA 1 The Quinta da Regaleira is located near the historic centre of Sintra, Portugal. It is protected within the UNESCO World Heritage site and is a mix of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance architecture. It is an enchanting estate about half an hour from Lisbon. It was built by an eccentric Free…

From Belém’s pastries to Fado’s melodies

(and everything in Between) TRAVEL DIARY: LISBON 2 We started early and walked to the train station. Some interesting things to see and smell along the way. Like the protruding car, some souvenirs and chestnuts roasting … yum my fave! From the train window I saw these murals. I see that cat in a lot…

Navigating Lisbon’s Stairways and Alleys

TRAVEL DIARY: LISBON 1 Jack and I reached Lisbon from Barcelona via Vuelling airlines in approximately 2 hours. Upon arrival, we met up with Tim and Leigh, who had traveled from London. We took an Uber to our Airbnb and true to the forecast it rained the whole day. After putting our luggage down and…

Embracing Barcelona’s Charm: on Our Last Day

TRAVEL DIARY BARCELONA 4: We had no precise plan for our last day in Barcelona except for the Banksy Museum. We headed off from our hotel and went on the direction of the Arc de Triomf which is a memorial arch in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was built by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas as…

A visit to Montsalvat – an artist colony

Montsalvat is an artists’ colony in Eltham, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Established by Justus Jorgensen, the colony is set among gardens on five hectares of land, and is home to dozens of buildings, including houses, halls, studios, galleries and stables.-Wikipedia I visited this place together with some of my friends, a few weekends…

A walk through Dali’s Mind in Figueres

TRAVEL DIARY: FIGUERES About a 40 minute bus ride from Girona took us to Figueres, the home town of Salvador Dali. “I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be [a] totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation…

Exploring the Wonders Within and Beyond Sagrada Familia

TRAVEL DIARY BARCELONA 2: It is not unusual to walk down the streets of Barcelona and not see art in whichever way or form. From Casa Batllo we walked about 10 minutes and we reached another of Gaudi’s masterpieces, Casa Mila, more popularly known as La Pedrera (meaning stone quarry in Catalan). We didn’t go…

A day in Montmartre

TRAVEL DIARY: MONTMARTRE 9th of October, our day started off early with breakfast at our hotel at 8 am. It wasn’t the usual buffet breakfast but wow was it so yum and healthy-ish. Great start of the day. Went on the metro just a 1 minute walk from our hotel. Emerged from this Metro station…

Lightscape in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens

It is that time of the year again… when the companies make a fortune promoting the chilly weather. They’re saying “C’mon lazy people get out and have fun”. So last Saturday that is what we did. Gave our precious $120 (for 3 people) of hard earned money to watch a winter light show at the…

A Moody Walk

When I first saw the theme of the challenge for this week, I was confused as to what direction I was going to take. There were so many different ways of tackling the subject. But it was a Sunday and my hubby and I decided to go for a weekend walk to relax. So there…

Over the Merri Creek Bridge

It was Christmas Day and as the little kids were all excited to play with their new toys and the young adults were happily exchanging gifts…. the adults with their tummies full decided to walk and burn a few calories down. Had a short walk around the Northcote area, an inner-city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria,…

Before the year ends…

I know I was supposed to have my last post last Thursday…but I can’t stop myself, especially when I visited all the Christmas decor in the city. Caught up with my daughter for late lunch last Monday and Jack and I walked the town til dark. I love taking the train…one because it is cheaper…

Australia Day Walk

It is Australia Day Public Holiday today and Forecast is… was gonna rain at 5 pm. So hubby and I decided to go for a walk in the local Lysterfield Lake early morning. Lysterfield Lake is very popular for canoeing, kayaking and sailing. People go for a swim as well as go for a walk…

Nothing wrong with doing simple things

“There’s nothing wrong with doing simple things.” – PCoelho Double dipping with challenges is not a new thing for me. In fact, I consider it as part of my personal challenges … combining as many challenges in one post. So, here I go with challenges dipped all together… Lens Artist Photo Challenge,, Photographing Public Art…

I Chose to Visit the City last Weekend…

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz I have always loved the Christmas season especially when the kids were small and we all decorated the Christmas tree together. But now that they have their own individual worlds, hubby and I still have fun making our own special memories. We…

Last Sunday

“Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.” – author unknown Melbourne opened up last Friday at 6pm, from the longest Lockdown in any country of the world (correct me if I’m wrong). Melbourne retail celebrated as if it was New Year… dining, drinking, hairdressing, and media called it a Freedom weekend. One blogger…

Going Around the City

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere.” – Jack Kerouac It is almost winter so Jack and I took this opportunity to go everywhere this weekend. We decided to take the train to the city just to be different. But wrong move… the trains were not running direct from our place so we had to…

An Afternoon Walk on Mother’s Day

”Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” – Unknown First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you great mothers out there. I am wishing you more blessing, more love and more happiness in your lives! It is Mother’s Day today, but I had an early celebration yesterday….