Custard Tarts and Tiles too…

November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

You haven’t been to Lisbon if you haven’t been to Belém… and more specifically… to the bakery and café, Antiga Confeiteira de Belém. The most sacred of pastries (invented before the 18th century by the Catholic Monks of the Jéronimos Monastery) and let’s face it… the best pastry you’ll every eat, the Portuguese Custard Tart (Pastel de Nata) is known to draw three long line-ups: one for sit-in, one for take-away and the third, a much more frenzied and disorganized variety, where patrons nudge their way to the coffee bar and down an espresso and in two or three bites, a warm, just-out-of-the oven tart, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Trust me… there is nothing more delectable.

And while you’re there, look around you… the interior is covered in 18th century, hand painted wall tiles. Inside and out, the tile art is seen all over Portugal. So another ‘must-visit’ if you’re interested in this beautiful art form is the D’orey & Cardoso antique tile store. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of history and art – and proprietors that are more than happy to share it with you. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite patterns from their website. But the best part…they ship to anywhere in the world!

Instagram: Eastern Europe

October 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

A few Instagram shots from my recent trip to Europe. 5 countries in 9 days! What a whirlwind of airports, trains, architecture, music, language and food! Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Munich.

Not bad for a last minute trip, don’t you think?

Snapshots: Choo (X2)

October 24, 2012 § 13 Comments

Praha Hlavní Nadrazní

It’s Prague‘s main train station and one of my favourite shots from my most recent trip. Lots more to come though… so stay tuned.

In the meantime, which do you prefer? Black & White? Colour?

:)

Snapshots: Greyed

September 7, 2012 § 6 Comments

From ornate elevators, classically detailed archways, Roman memorials, gothic cathedrals and an elaborate fountain… these shots looked best in black and white. Lisbon and Évora, Portugal.

Wanting: Travel Bags

September 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

I don’t know about you but I don’t normally ‘work out’ when I’m on vacation. It’s pretty much the last thing I would want to do.

But… if I did, I’d definitely travel with these handy (some would even say ‘nifty’) garment bags so that in a mad rush to the airport, after having run a cool 5km on the treadmill, I could throw all my sweaty work out gear into this bag and keep it from co-mingling with my other not-so-sweaty clothes! Hooray for keeping stinky away from not so stinky! Because everyone knows… stinky spreads! ;)

For more of these ‘nifty’ Flight 001 bags… I especially like the Wet Suit bag… click here.

Roaming: Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

September 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’m reminiscing about my trip earlier this year to Madrid, Spain. There’s something so imperial about this place, Plaza Mayor. Maybe it’s the statue of King Phillip III, imposing and majestic, planted firmly in the centre of the square. Or maybe it’s the red stuccoed walls, embracing and containing historical events for centuries past. I remember walking into the square and being in awe of the symmetry and the colour and the architecture. Filled with street performers, shops and restaurants, it’s a surprisingly quiet repository in a busy, bustling city.

Truly, one of my favourite moments in Madrid.

Snapshots: Peaks and Valleys

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

I don’t remember ever really appreciating the landscape of Portugal as much as I did this summer. Or at least never realizing how diverse it is. Here, some amazing views near Barragem de Santa Luzia, full of valleys and peaks and beaming rays of sunshine!  The silence up here was deafening. The light was both clear and fuzzy at the same time. The visible distance only a fraction of what was truly out beyond us. And the realization that we are just a mere speck in the world… each one of us! Sigh… truly a spiritual moment for me.

Oh…and let’s not forget the abundance of pure, fresh air… :)

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