Quick Take: Lisbon 2016

We visited Lisbon again on our (now annual) Eurotrip in 2016. Here is the quick take!

Visited: May, 2016
Days in Lisbon: 4.5
Travelled to Lisbon by: Plane from Barcelona
Stayed at:
 Airbnb

Favourite day:
Cascais!
Favourite restaurants: Bonjardim, Maria Catita and Cascas.
Favourite Squares: Praca do Comercio, Rossio Square.
Tours: None this time ’round, we just spent time at the beach.
Must Do: 
Visit each of the unique districts in Lisbon. Enjoy a Fado show. Stroll and enjoy the historic capital.

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Take a look at what we did during our trip to Lisbon in 2015!

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#TBT Gallipoli

We spent the morning walking around the fishing town of Gallipoli during our South Italy Road Trip in 2014. Such a charming and beautiful place. I wish we had more time there.

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Quick Take: Lecce

We visited Lecce on our South Italy Road Trip in 2014. Here is the quick take!

Visited: May, 2014
Days in Lecce: 3
Travelled to Lecce by: Car from Bari
Stayed at:
Palazzo Rollo

Favourite site:
Roman Ampitheatre.
Favourite restaurants: Trattoria Nonna Tetti where we first had fave e cicoria
Favourite Squares: Piazza del Duomo.
Must See:
Roman Ampitheatre, Triumphal Arch, Lecce Cathedral, the obelisk, Church of Santa Croce.
Day trips: Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Gallipoli, Porto Cesareo.

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Winter Holiday 2016 – Planning

Almost every year, my family takes a winter holiday. Usually somewhere warm. Usually somewhere in the Caribbean.

This year is going to be a little different. My brother is living in Australia (coming home sometime in the late spring) and my parent’s don’t really want to fly all the way there, so we’d like to meet him somewhere.

We’d love your suggestions and recommendations for a half way point between Toronto and Brisbane!

Quick Take: Barcelona

We visited Barcelona on our (now annual) Eurotrip in 2016. Here is the quick take!

Visited: May, 2016
Days in Barcelona: 4
Travelled to Barcelona by: Plane from Amsterdam
Stayed at:
NH Barcelona Centro

Favourite site:
La Boqueria Market and the Sagrada Familia
Favourite restaurants: La Rita and Sagardi
Favourite Squares: Placa de Catalunya
Tours: Hop on, hop off bus
Must Do:
Visit the Park Guell, Sagrada Familia and La Boqueria Market. We loved the hop on, hop off bus because we got to see so much of the city we wouldn’t have otherwise known about or made time for.
If you have time: Spend a day on the beach but beware of a ton of people selling things.
Day trips: None.

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Beach Life in Cascais

Oh, Cascais. I dream of these beautiful beaches and lovely town almost nightly. As I mentioned, part of this year’s Lisbon jaunt was spending time on the beach. Cascais was the perfect option! We had visited for a day in 2015 (while my mom was traveling Portugal with us) but we didn’t have a chance to explore the town, we had plopped our butts down on beach. This year, we visited Cascais two separate days.

Here are some photos of Cascais:

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Here are some photos of us enjoying Cascais:

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Tips for visiting Cascais:

  • If you’re traveling to Cascais from Lisbon, take the train. It’s a 40 minute, 6 Euro round trip from the Cais do Sodre train station (the one closest to the water). This train will also take you to Belem.
  • If you want to spend most of the day at the beach, try to get there around 10, walk around for a while and get to the beach by 11, if possible. The beach starts to fill up afterwards. Cascais offers a ton of things to see, though. Maybe consider one beach day and one exploring day.
  • We were at the Praia da Rainha, the Queen’s Beach (or at least it was). There are a ton of different beaches in the town. Choose one that’s best for you!
  • The Praia da Rainha has a private area run in conjunction with the restaurant, Cascas. We could be served lunch and beers throughout the day (and took full advantage). The chicken sandwich was to die for! It also allows you access to the restaurant’s bathrooms.
  • For us to rent two chairs and an umbrella was 20 Euro. Six each for the chairs, eight for the umbrella.

Italy’s Heel: Road Trip

Our third trip back to Italy (in three years, we are I am obsessed), we thought we’d see some of the south. My Italian cousin, Umberto, had shared his love of the south despite being Roman, and we had never been any further south than the Amalfi Coast so we thought why not? The original plan was to get to the south and take a boat across to Greece. Unfortunately, boats don’t run any earlier than mid June and since we bought our flights already we decided to make the best of it.

The idea was we would have a few home bases and do day trips to different towns. First things first, we planned where our home bases would be – Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and, finally, Matera. We basically wanted to try to cover all of Italy’s “heel”.

We took a train from Rome down to Bari and set ourselves up in our hotel. Our first day there we walked around the town and made our way to a car rental place. Now we had our wheels to get out and explore – and that’s just what we did! Each day we made it to a new place (or two) and at the end of our time we drove back to Bari and trained it back to Rome.

We did very little planning of our day-to-day, which made it one of my favourite trips. No pressure to see everything, just driving to a new place, walking around and enjoying the adventure.

Here are the places we visited in the 10 days:

Bari
Trani
Polignano A Mare
Brindisi
Osunti
Lecce
Otranto
Santa Maria di Leuca
Gallipoli
Porto Cesareo
Taranto
Matera

The people of the south were lovely, though it was a different feel to the rest of Italy. That’s part of what I love about Italy, though. Every province has it’s own food and personality. The south was stunning. More beautiful then I ever imagined. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back!

In the future, I’ll definitely be sharing a little more about my favourite towns on this trip.

Have you ever been to the south of Italy? What was your favourite town?

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Quick Take: Nice, France

We visited Nice on a family Eurotrip in 2014. Here is the quick take!

Visited: October, 2014
Days in Nice: 4
Travelled to Nice by: Plane from Rome
Stayed at:
Ajoupa Apart’hotel

Favourite site:
Old Nice.
Favourite restaurants: Boccaccio, Lou Pilha Leva
Favourite Area: Walking the old Nice, the promenade and pedestrian areas.
Tours: None.
Must Do:
Stroll or ride a bike. The city is beautiful and easy to see.
If you have time: Spend a day on the beach.
Day trips: Monaco and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

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