And again, the Algarve!
And again, the Algarve!28. Mai 2021We had a great time here. It was not our first time here, so we had no pressure to do and see as much as possible. For everyone, who wants more information, here are the links for our Algarve trips: (our old headlines amuse me a lot, by the way) Algarve Dreaming – Europe’s dreamy Sunshine State! Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina! What to see at the beautiful Algarve! Five reasons to spend your holidays with your friends at the Algarve! Our restaurant recommendations for the Algarve! Algarve – How to plan a wedding abroad! We stayed here for one week and did as much as we could with a seven-month-old, teething baby. For example, one day we wanted to head west but didn’t. It was just not possible (info for people with babies). And no, it was not too much for her. She loved all the new impressions. She screams at home, too. That’s what babies do. We had a relaxed time just the three of us and we want you to take part in it via pictures. Parents happy, Baby happy. We want to complete the Algarve restaurant post with the following: The Garden in Lagos. Delicious meals and a nice location. It’s a really nice garden in the middle of the city. About the weather at the Algarve in October: Not so great. The weather was mixed. We had a few sunny days, a few stormy, not so hygge days. Of course, it got warmer and better the day we left, and we were a little bit angry about it. But we’re also good at complaining and who cares now! [...]
Sesimbra, Setubal, Parque Natural de Arrabida!
Sesimbra, Setubal, Parque Natural de Arrabida!28. Mai 2021We had a plan. It was about having a relaxed time in Portugal and it worked. From Porto, we headed south to Sesimbra and the surrounding area, known as the favorite vacation spot of Lisbon people. We stayed here five nights. Sesimbra Sesimbra is located 30km south of Lisbon on a sheltered bay and a beautiful sand beach, which is called Praia da California. It’s a nice, unagitated place with some restaurants. As you will mostly find locals here, prices are therefore convenient, at least in the low season. (Example: a glass of wine in a café was just 1,30€.) The inner part of the village looks a bit out of time. A lot of houses are decorated with azulejos. But not the fake ones (even though they’re pretty too). I mean, the authentic ones. My aversion towards this very inflationary used word is gigantic and yet, it’s the only thing that comes to my mind. Original houses with original f..ed up charm. At least, partly. The city of Sesimbra assigned artists of the region to pretty up the streets and so they did. Walls, doors, and windows show the life of the village and its old fishermen tradition. In total contrast to our Airbnb which was an apartment in one of the concrete bunkers. On the one side, it was uh, on the other side, we had a really nice view over the beach. We don’t put a link here because our host was about to find a buyer for the apartment. We had mixed weather all the way. Sunny, cloudy, rainy, but none of it for a very long time. If you don’t have a lot of plans, that’s ok. But if you wanted to go up the Castelo de Sesimbra, it was a modest situation. Well then, maybe next time. Restaurant Tasca do Isaías We love authentic (throws up again- see further above), rustic Portuguese kitchen. Especially the fish dishes. The Tascas do Isaías came in handy. This place exists since 1966 and has a huge customer base. In the really low season (we think, it starts in November), the store is closed. Yep, we were lucky! We say all this because it was the only place where people were queuing. You must be there on time. You can’t book a table in advance and there’s no real menu. You choose a fish and they grill it for you outside. You will very likely share a table with strangers. At least, we had some really interesting conversations here. Tascas Santiago This is another recommendation. Just because of their seafood platter. Eating here was an act out of necessity. Monday is not the best time to go out for dinner in Sesimbra, most places are closed (October). But we found this place and we were lucky to be here. From outside, you hear metal music, which is not exactly our thing and surely no baby’s thing. But it wasn’t as bad or loud as it sounds. The people were really nice, and the seafood platter was delicious, might, and convenient (a platter for two for 30€). This place is a great surprise. Parque Natural da Arrábida From Sesimbra, we made a trip to Setúbal. On our way there, we made a short stop in the beautiful Parque Natural da Arrábida. It lies between the two cities and as the name says, it’s a protected area. It’s popular because of its beautiful beaches, which are protected from the wild Atlantic Ocean thanks to its geographic location. Accordingly, this place is really crowded during the summer months. You can find the Praia de Galapinhos here, a beautiful beach alongside a steep coast, surrounded by mountains. It was perfecting for looking at it. Maybe it’s also great for a walk or bathing. We couldn’t find out but using this spot for a break as it was milk time. Tilda enjoyed her milk with a view and thanked us by agreeing to a little photoshoot here. As you can imagine, a trip like this isn’t always working out as smoothly as you wish it would. Tilda put her veto in many times. Understandable, because the baby car seat prison is no baby’s delight and you really have to plan in more time than you used to. It’s only parents who think road trips are cool. Setúbal We came to Setúbal for the fortress Forte de São Filipe. The fortress was built in the 16th century. The view from the café’s terrace was great. As was the café inside the fortress which looked like a museum. It was beautifully set up and it’s just too nice for normal business. We found another beautiful photo location. There was a little church included in the fortress which was all tiled up with the famous blue azulejos. It was stunning and super elaborate. We didn’t expect this fortress to be this beautiful and you barely find information about it. At least with foreigners, it’s quite unknown. I think. We’ll see for how long. We assume you treat this information confidential. And you’re welcome! [...]
Porto and surroundings – the north of Portugal!
Porto and surroundings – the north of Portugal!28. Mai 2021As mentioned in part 1, our trip started in Porto. At our arrival, we immediately headed a bit further to the north. Also, we made a day trip from Porto to the Douro Valley. Our Airbnb Ginas’s Apartment in Porto What we can really recommend is Gina’s Apartment, which is located in Bomfin. From here, we had seen everything by walking. It was not in the centre, but also not too far to walk to the Old Town. There are a few parking lots in the inner courtyard, which is great because in general, it’s not easy to find one within the city. It’s clean, well equipped and the owner is super nice. We really loved this place and would definitely return here. Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga What you can easily find in Portugal – right, pompous churches. One of the is Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga, a place of pilgrimage. To be precise, it’s not only a church but a huge area with beautifully landscaped forest on the one hand and mighty stairs on the other hand. The view from the bottom is by far the best and photos become really instagrammable. It was definitely worth coming here even for a short period of time. Guimarães The Old Town of Guimarães is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen in Portugal. Beautiful squares with cafés and restaurants and at least in low-season it’s not overrun by people. There’s also a fortress you can visit. If you want to. A few photos here, an ice cream there and it was time to leave again. Meanwhile, Tilda caught up in sleep in the baby carrier. And we caught up on very much needed sleep at night. Which was thankfully a good one. Porto Such a beautiful city and such a beautiful view over the ocean of roofs. The best view over the Old Town is seen from Gaia and the bridge. If you want to leave the bridge and go to the waterside, choose walking. It doesn’t take long and won’t have to pay for an overcrowded Gondola (6€ each). Especially with the baby in the carrier walking is the better option. It’s also a very nice walk. The shore at the Gaia side is really crowded. Understandable on the other hand. But the number of people spit out of busses is a bit perverse. People were waiting for the jumpers on the bride. I think the main season might be awful here. For those who want, there are many possibilities for wine tasting. Instead of taking the Gondola back, we chose again to walk up the steep hill on the side of the Old Town. As we experienced first-hand, October in Portugal can be quite hot. If we had decided to squeeze ourselves in the gondola with the masses, Tilda would have given us hell. So we decided to hike up with her in the carrier and a full buggy. Let’s just say it was a little fitness unit. All of a sudden it was so calm when we arrived at the top. The view was totally worth it. On the way up, Tilda woke up and we could finally change her diapers in a calm place. (Yes, this is important for parents to know.) Grilled dishes at Francos Dear readers of this blog, this is a recommendation you should keep in mind when in Porto. With a rustic lack of interest, you’ll get served simple, delicious and convenient food without frills. Also, for take-away. It was so, so good and way too affordable. More of Porto We had another day in Porto and spontaneously ignored the Livraria Lello. It may be one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe. The queue on a Saturday afternoon is insane. I don’t’ want to imagine what it’s like inside. Probably just stress for us and a baby. If you want to get in, entry costs 6€. Which actually says everything. But google it. It’s a really nice bookstore. Maybe one time in the future. We found a nice café nearby and fed our little Tilda mouse. Afterwards, we were walking around Ribeira, seeing all the old churches (from outside) and the famous cable car, before we headed to Café Santiago. It’s one of those places where you can eat the famous Francesinha. One of the heartiest foods, we had ever eaten. It looks a bit disgusting, but it tastes really good. Nothing for sensitive stomachs. But actually, it’s a must-try. Douro Valley For a breastfeeding woman, the Douro Valley is a difficult place. This is a place that is bliss for wine lovers, but yes, this time it was not supposed to be. We had a rental car and made a day trip there nevertheless. It was worth being there without all the wine tasting. Seeing the vineyards in beautiful autumn colours and feeling the sticky heat at the same time felt crazy. It was definitely warmer than in Porto. We had lunch in the Veladouro restaurant. Rack of lamb and black Iberico pork fillet. Very delicious and convenient. The Douro Valley is really beautiful, but it’s a bit of an adventure getting there. As said before, we had a rental car and if you’re not used to narrowing serpentines, you can feel the cold sweat running down your face. You should definitely not underestimate it. If you don’t feel like doing this on your own, you can easily book a tour from Porto or negotiate with a taxi driver. Or maybe take the train. It takes 1:45h. What’s always worth mentioning is the beautiful Atlantic Ocean light following us on all days and will always attract us like moths. [...]
Our Baby was in Portugal- our itinerary!
Our Baby was in Portugal- our itinerary!28. Mai 2021It´s been a long time since an update on this blog. One reason is our daughter, who is by now two years old and quite demanding, and we prefer spending our time on playgrounds. The other reason is Covid and coming with it the associated restrictions which put us somehow off. I don’t have the impression of returning to normal any time soon. All this is of course no excuse for us to not post anything of our trips since the end of 2019. Maybe the good old travel times will return soon enough (at least one can dream about it) and maybe Portugal is a potential destination for you. In October 2019, we traveled to Portugal with Tilda and oh my, we had such a good time. People, who follow this blog more or less regularly, know we love Portugal. If you get married in Portugal, why not bring your baby here?! To start with: Traveling with a baby is different. And the way we traveled was totally right for us in that situation. Our travel pace was way slower than without a baby, which was actually nice. We did see a lot, nevertheless. Furthermore, because of breastfeeding, I couldn’t enjoy all those delicious Portuguese wines, which I will catch up on later. This is relevant because people traveling to Porto would love to do one of the many offered wine tastings (shout out to the beautiful Douro Valley) and will not make a find in this post. I will tell you a little bit about our trip with baby because this is still a topic for some people. If you’re not interested in this, just click on the links below this text to get to the different posts. We made a little trip from North to South. Starting with Porto (with detours to Guimarães, to Braga with its Bom Jesus do Monte church, and to the Douro Valley), continuing with Sesimbra and the Algarve. In the end, we drove back to Porto and made a break in Aveiro. For this, we rented a car. A larger one than we used to because of all the stuff we needed to bring for the baby. They need so much, and I am 100% sure I didn’t pack too much. Baby car seat and baby buggy and bottles and toys and clothes. Jesus Christ! Getting there with the Baby Again: If you’re not interested in this stuff, skip it. (People without kids are usually not into this stuff.) Our departure was at 7 a.m. This meant being at the airport at around 4 in the night. She was awake the whole time. We really wished she would sleep during the flight. But no. It was all too exciting. Bottom line: we were so naive. This stuff is not predictable. We arrived at 9.30 Portugal time, got out of the airport with way too much luggage, and picked up our rental. While she was busy delighting everyone at the airport as if she wasn’t tired, the crying started at 10.30 as we left the airport. Our little sweetheart decided to process the whole trip right now and we had to make our first stop very quickly. As we weren’t allowed to check in this early, we thought carpe diem and acted like we were not half in a coma. We decided to continue driving: Guimarães and other stops. Tilda caught up on sleep in the baby carrier. We slept early that day and the whole night was a good one. Thank God! What else? Otherwise, most of the time was relaxed. The time in the car wasn’t always easy, but we didn’t expect anything else. Tilda was around seven months old at that time and made a very good job enduring the several hours in the car in its Maxi-Cosi prison. She is just the best! During our time at the Algarve, she was teething very badly. This forced us to change our plans and we chose to do things a bit slower and skip some trips. We had a very good time doing so. It was a lesson for both of us. Before Tilda, we were convinced not to be able to do relaxed trips only. Now we like both. I really love the changes our little one brings to us and we’re not getting bored for one second. Travel route Portugal And here are the links and the travel route for our trip. Enjoy! Porto and surroundings – the north of Portugal! Sesimbra, Setubal, Parque Natural de Arrabida! And again, the Algarve! [...]