Sunday, 18 June 2017

Postcards from Portugal

Before we even arrived in Lisbon, I was already planning some posts to write on our return. When I was jotting down ideas, I mentioned that I wanted to capture some more postcard photographs of famous places in Lisbon and then it suddenly occurred to me, why not create a 'Postcards from Portugal' post. This will be a photo diary of some of the postcard-worthy places we visited and hopefully it will give you a feel of what the city is like. Postcard pictures are my favourite type of travel photo to capture and I've gradually been building up a collection from around the world, which you can view here.

Lisbon Castle and the Portugal postcard

As soon as I saw the flag at Lisbon Castle, I knew that this was where I wanted to photograph my Portugal postcard. Now I'm home, I can't wait to include the postcard in the Lisbon section of my travel scrapbook!

Views of Lisbon from the Belèm Tower

At the top of the Belèm Tower, you can see views of the city and the orange roofs so I figured that this would be a good spot to take the photo.

Rua Augusta Arch

We waited about 15 minutes to get this photo, as it seems that when you want a tram to appear, they go past far less frequently. However, I think it was worth sticking around for this picture because it wouldn't be quite the same without the trams there!

Praça do Comércio

For the Praça do Comércio (Lisbon's main square) photo, I chose a panoramic-style postcard of the square, that showcases how wide it is in real life.

Colourful architecture in Lisbon

I bought this postcard because I loved the colours of the buildings. We found a pink building in the city centre that had a similar street light to the ones in the postcard, so I stopped outside and took a photo with the postcard in my hand.

Jerónimos Monastery

The Jerónimos Monastery was the first tourist sight that we visited in Lisbon. On our final day, we went back into central Belèm so that we could go up the Belèm Tower and I got my postcard shot of the monastery on the way to the tower.

What are your favourite types of travel photography?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

10 places to visit in Lisbon

Lisbon is nothing like any other city I’ve been to. It’s very old, hilly and it overlooks a vibrant and gorgeous river (The Tagus). Lisbon doesn’t have world-renowned sights like Paris or Rome, but it’s a relaxing, pretty city that has incredible architecture. The intimate side streets, the trams and the diverse range of restaurants all make Lisbon attractive to tourists, as well as the really warm climate and the fact that the city feels like a beach destination. During our trip last week, we visited lots of amazing places and tourist sights, so I thought I’d share a list of them today. Hopefully this will be helpful if you’re planning a trip to Lisbon soon.

1. Praça do Comércio.

The Praça do Comércio is the main square at the heart of Lisbon city centre. It features bright yellow architecture, a magnificent archway and it opens out onto the Tagus River. The square is a fundamental part of Lisbon’s heritage, as lots of important historical events have occurred there. Today a variety of restaurants, the Lisbon Story Centre and lots of tourists occupy the square.

2. Belém Tower.

The Belém Tower is one of Lisbon’s oldest tourist sights, dating back to the early 1500s. The tower is located on the waterfront at the edge of the Belém district and you can go inside it for a small fee. With student cards it was only €3, making it a very affordable tourist attraction.

3. Jerónimos Monastery.

The Jerónimos Monastery was opened in 1601 and it is also located in Belém. The monastery is an absolutely magnificent building and it sits at the centre of the Belém district, standing out from the restaurants and shops surrounding it. Surprisingly, the monastery is actually open to visitors quite late, so you can visit after having dinner in one of the restaurants in Belém.

4. Sao Jorge Castle  (Lisbon Castle).

The castle is where you need to visit for views of the city and the Tagus River from above. The grounds of the castle are relatively shaded, making it the perfect place to stop and take in Lisbon’s incredible architecture.

5. Time Out Market Lisbon.

Lisbon’s Time Out Market features food and souvenir stalls and it is just footsteps from the Cais du Sodre station. If you fancy trying the local food, this is where you should visit, as there are so many amazing delicacies to choose from!

6. Rua Augusta.

Rua Augusta is Lisbon’s answer to Oxford Street. It is full of shops and restaurants for all kinds of budgets. You can actually eat outside in the middle of the street. A meal for 2 at one of these outdoor restaurants was €35 (1 starter, 2 drinks, 2 mains) and we didn’t think this was badly priced, for the fact that it was right in the centre of Lisbon.

7. Lisbon Story Centre.

The Lisbon Story Centre is perfect for history buffs as you get to experience an interactive overview of the city's history. You learn all about the devastating earthquake that ruined the city in the 1700s, as well as more recent history such as the end of the Portuguese monarchy.

8. The riverside market next to Cais du Sodre station.

There’s a little market about 5 minutes walk along the river from Cais du Sodre station. Here you can purchase souvenirs or alternatively, you can purchase a cocktail from one of the drinks stalls and sit by the river.

9. Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo.

On our second day we were riding the trams from one end of Lisbon to the other. On our return route, Stuart spotted a pretty street that he thought I’d like and that street was Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, which features the famous vertical tram: the Elevador da Bica. The tram is very old and from the top of the street, you can watch it going up and down the hill. There is the option to walk down the road too and it’s well worth doing as there are so many gorgeous Portugese houses on this street!

10. 25 de Abril Bridge.

The 25 de Abril Bridge joins Lisbon to Almada on the other side of the river. The bridge is massive and can be seen from all over the city.

Lisbon is such a gorgeous city. Have you ever been?
What are your favourite places to visit in the city?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Lisbon souvenir haul

As I'm writing this post, I'm on the plane home from Portugal. Since Monday I've been in Lisbon, enjoying the sunshine, the sea and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of the Portuguese capital. Lisbon is such a beautiful city. There are colourful buildings everywhere and the intricate architecture is really impressive. Lisbon is somewhere that you should visit in the Summer months for a few nights, if you fancy a relaxing weekend away or a short break from work. Lisbon is totally geared up for tourists, despite not being as popular as London, Paris or Rome. There are gift shops throughout the city, selling postcards, shot glasses and gorgeous artwork. Naturally, I picked up a few postcards for my travel scrapbook, so I thought I'd show you them and a couple of other souvenirs in today's post.

A lot of the postcards feature the icon yellow trams, that the city is known for. The trams are very old, but they're part of the city's image, so it's great to see that they are still in operation. My favourite tram postcard (middle left) features the vertical tram that goes up and down the hill. This tram reminds me of the funicular in Budapest that takes you up to Fisherman's Bastion. The vertical tram is situated on a very colourful street and it's great fun to walk down. Maybe avoid walking up it though, as the hill is very steep!

I purchased some panoramic postcards that showcase a view of Lisbon, Portugal in letters and the main square at night. These postcards are bookmark sized and I thought they'd look great as part of a collage in my scrapbook.

In addition to postcards, I bought a pink Lisbon notebook and a wooden tile from photography company 'Lisbon Squared'. The notebook is a great size for my handbag, so I think I'll keep it as an ideas book that I can add to whenever I'm out and about. The tile is very Instagram-esque and I thought it'd be a lovely keepsake from our trip.

There were some fab souvenirs in Lisbon, at not too high a price. The city isn't as cheap as Central or Eastern Europe (Prague, Budapest and Warsaw), but for a few days, you don't need to have loads of money to have a good time, pick up some souvenirs and eat in nice restaurants in the city. I had such a lovely time and I'm thrilled with my little Lisbon haul.

Have you ever been to Lisbon?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Why you should visit Cambridge

If you take a train 60 miles north of London, you'll find the famous University city of Cambridge that is known for it's beautiful colleges, parks and the River Cam. I've visited Cambridge regularly ever since I was little as it's not far from my hometown. It's become second nature for me to get a train up there for the day and do a little shopping or exploring. Cambridge is a very popular and touristy city as the University attracts tourists from all over the world. If you fancy a staycation in the UK, Cambridge is a fab place to visit. In today's post I'm going to talk about why you should visit Cambridge.

The green spaces and parks

Cambridge is particularly green for a city, which makes it a really nice place to visit for a picnic and a day outdoors. In Summer, the parks are full of locals and tourists relaxing in the sunshine.

The old buildings

The streets of Cambridge city centre are full of old architecture. The city has so much character and history.

The shops and the market

Cambridge has 2 shopping centres and an outdoor shopping district, so there are plenty of shops to wander in and out of. There is also a market in the city centre every day of the week, that has a variety of stalls to browse. The home decor and flower stalls are my favourites!

The city is walkable.

Cambridge is not anywhere near as big as London, Birmingham or Manchester, so it's easy to explore the city on foot.

The University

The Cambridge University Colleges are absolutely spectacular! Some of the colleges are free to walk around and others charge an admission, but the colleges are an absolute must-see on any trip to Cambridge. If you go punting on the River Cam, you can actually see some of the colleges from your boat!

Have you ever visited Cambridge?

Thanks for reading my blog today.