Portugal – Lagos/Lisbon/Sintra

On Tuesday evening I returned from a fabulous trip to Portugal where my friend and I spent some time in Lagos, in southern Portugal, and a few days in Lisbon. The weather was magical, the food was delicious and the landscape was extremely picturesque everywhere we looked.

In Lagos we stayed in Chez Blue Rentals where our host José was extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the town. From the start we felt very welcomed and at ease in Lagos. This coastal city is a small one so everything was within walking distance: bars, restaurants, stunning beaches, museums and other notable landmarks, and the local fish and fruit market. As a whole, I felt extremely relaxed and completely free, and it was definitely the perfect escape after a rather hectic term at school.

Although Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, it was surprisingly very beautiful and captivating. It is a city located on the Mediterranean coast so naturally there are some fantastic beaches worth exploring. Due to insufficient time in the capital we were unable to explore many of these beaches, but the views onto the sea from the city centre were still breathtakingly beautiful, nonetheless. As we were staying with one of my good friends from school, she was able to give a private tour of the city. The tour included the town of Belém which is renown for its unique pastel de nata (Portuguese pastry) and the ornately-designed monastery – naturally we took a ton of photos.

Whilst in Lisbon we also went on a free walking tour of the Moorish neighbourhood which was especially interesting because our tour guide took us through a brief history of the Christian crusaders and the Arab occupation in Portugal, the wars fought in North Africa, Fado music and its origins, the architecture of the neighbourhood and the overall effect of the Moors on Portuguese culture. Given that this was mostly new information, I found the tour fascinating despite it lasting close to 3 hours. (Time flies when your having fun…)

We also went on a day trip to the little city of Sintra which is truly a magical place. There was a rather steep, uphill hike in a extremely large park that led us to the Castle of the Moors and fairytalesque Palace of Pena from where we could see the entire city.

I’m very happy that I had such an awesome experience in Portugal – I laughed a lot, meet some wonderful people along the way and finally spent some quality time with the sun (see glowing skin below :D). And, of coure, I’m looking forward to the next overseas adventure.

Voici some cool snaps from the trip. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Portugal, I’m Coming For Ya!

In just under 8 days I will be flying out to Portugal during the Easter break with a friend. I’m really looking forward to it as I know it is going to be warm out there -at the very minimum 21 degrees- which will be a nice change from freezing Glasgow, and I haven’t been abroad since September last year – very unlike me indeed – so I’m really itching to get out of the UK.

The plan is to head south to the coast and explore the history, culture and food, get some sun and perhaps partake in some water sports too. Next we’ll be heading over to the capital city Lisbon to experience the city life.

I am so elated and grateful and cannot wait to board that plane. Whatever happens I know it will be an amazing trip filled with unforgettable moments and fantastic experiences.

Hold tight for the juicy photos coming soon!

Marseille, j’arrive!

 

Great news! I’m going back to Marseille at the end of this month.

Last year I did a two-week tour of the south of France and one of the cities I visited was Marseille. I loved the diversity, the culture, the vibe and the weather so I’m very much looking forward to my trip, and it also would be a great opportunity to practice my french with some natives. I’ll probably couchsurf again so that will provide more of an immersive experience.

I’m not yet sure if I’m going to visit another city in the South, but I still have a few weeks before I go so I have enough time to decide.

Woohoo!

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen (Round 2)

Yesterday my friends and I returned from a city break to Copenhagen. This was our 2nd visit of the year to the city and we loved being there just as much as we did the first time. As we were already familiar with the city it was super easy to settle in and feel at ease. When we stepped off the plane it was very warm and humid, a sharp contrast to the sub-zero weather we had back in January.  Continue reading

Morocco

Earlier this month I returned from a great holiday in Morocco with a friend. We spent a few nights by the coast in the windy city of Essaouira, and then a few nights in lively Marrakesh.

Essaouira was very beautiful and a great first experience of Morocco and Moroccan culture. We stayed in a cute little riad (budget hotel) in the middle of the Medina which had a great terrace for us to lounge around in the blazing, hot sunshine (peaking at 30 degrees). Continue reading

March + February Abroad

Just a quick update about my travel plans for the next few weeks. My aim for 2016 is to go abroad at least once a month and, thankfully, I’m on track so far.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to Oslo, Norway for two nights. This is a work-related trip but I know it’s going to be amazing because I’ll be in a different country with its own language and culture while doing what I love: acting! I’ve visited family in Norway once before, but that was over 10 years ago so I can’t quite remember what it was like. Still, it will be nice to compare differences using old and new photos.

In March I’ll be going to Milan, Italy for about 4 nights. It’ll be my first time in Italy so I have lots of discovering and exploring to do. I’m especially excited because I’ll be couchsurfing which, in my opinion, is the best way to travel. As I did in France and Croatia last year, I’ll be staying with a native and experiencing their way of life and learning about them. I find that this sort of personal exchange really eye-opening because you do things you wouldn’t other wise do if you’d stayed in a hotel or hostel. Additionally, you are living with a total stranger/strangers so all you vital skills for communication are tested and developed. Without a doubt, couchsurfing is a great way to meet interesting, outgoing and adventurous people, adding lots of magic and great memories to any holiday.

Needless to say, I know the coming weeks will be absolutely amazing and unforgettable.

Hold tight for the epic photos!

 

 

What did I learn from going to France?

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View of Marseille.

What did I learn from going to France?

On Monday I came back from France after an amazing 2 week trip where I covered 5 cities and 2 small towns. As I couchsurfed the whole time – I slept in people’s spare rooms or on their sofa beds – I got to stay with French couples, families and individuals, speak to them in French every single day and learn so much about their way of life. After finishing my last acting job in early November, I knew I wanted to go to France because I felt that it would give me clarity and direction in terms of what I want to do in the next few months and how to start creating a change in my life. During my trip I realised that I want to become a stronger swimmer so in the New Year I’m going to start taking some lessons. I also intend to pick up piano lessons again. But, most importantly, I learned 4 key things that I know I won’t be forgetting any time soon!

Continue reading

Madrid/ Budapest/ Dubrovnik/ Trebinje/ Split/ Zagreb

This month I went to various cities in Europe and overall it was just epic. I had so much fun and met so many people, made new friends and now have a burning desire to travel some more. I travelled to Budapest (Hungary) and Zagreb (Croatia) on my own which I was a bit nervous about beforehand. However, the memories that I have from the trip shall stay with me for a long time. For anyone who’s considering solo traveling I definitely urge you to go for it!

Some of the highlights include going to Sziget festival in Budapest, having the best cocktails ever in Zagreb, eating amazing vegan food in Dubrovnik and chilling on the beach in Split. Here are some pictures from the trip.