Sunday, 9 August 2015

| | | bela lisboa | | |

A very special week was spent with my best gal pal Kate in the glorious Portuguese capital, and nearby seaside town of Cascais. Lisbon has a very chilled vibe, which we fully embraced. A great place for a weekend trip away, be sure to try a Nata - Portuguese custard tart- accompanied by a shockingly strong espresso: surely the perfect 11am indulgence, all for a couple of euros. It's also worth hopping on a train to the town of Sintra, which is not too far away, and is filled with stunning views and sites of historical interest. We visited Pena Palace, which is certainly an acquired taste in architectural terms (it looks like Disney Land with added narcotics) but the colours are fun to photograph and it's weird enough to justify the ticket cost. Be sure to check out the stag room.
Cascais (pronounced 'cash-caisch') is also a cute place. Great little beaches. And there's a nice lady who works on the main street called Angela that does beautiful hair braids - we embraced our inner 6 year olds! Sadly no dolphins were spotted along the coast, which we are still pretty gutted about but that's just life. Thanks to Speedy, our pals from Nice Way Cascais, Pete, CA and special thanks to The Gals. 


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

That Aperitivo Life

Last week I was lucky enough to hop on a plane and spend 5 days with one of my best pals in the glorious Tuscan city of Siena. Olivia has been living there since September as she is currently studying at the university. This meant that I was able to experience the historical, cultural and most importantly culinary highlights of the little city with the invaluable knowledge of a local! Learning about the medieval tradition of the Palio- a horse race run around the Piazza del Campo twice yearly- and the importance of the city's wards, known as 'contradas,' each represented by an animal or mascot, really helped to enrich my appreciation for this tiny Game of Thrones-esque city.

A day trip to nearby Florence was a highly enjoyable part of the trip, made even better by the fact that Olivia and I were picking up a lovely pair of poor bedraggled travellers from the train station, whom we went on to enjoy a very raucous night with, Siena style. We took in an amazing meal from a local Osteria with Olivia's boyfriend and other Italian friends, all of whom were great company, as well as a contrada party and a bit of shape throwing at 'Bella Vista'. Waking up in time to catch my plane home the next morning was a serious challenge, but thankfully it all worked out.
A really, really memorable holiday. Thanks to Olivia!
Viva l'Italia!