Ettal Abbey, Germany

“I like this region!” – stepping onto a train at Munich’s Hauptbanhof, along with others carrying hiking poles and backpacks, I said to myself.

The train was headed to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a ski town near Zugspitze, the highest peak of Germany.

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Mountains, Lakes & Castles

I originally intended to write a post about Neuschwanstein. But, due to the pandemic, the number of visitors inside the castle was limited, by the time I looked up tickets for King Ludwig II’s fairytale castle, it’s already sold out. There were tickets available at the Hohenschwangau Castle, however, given that it was a beautiful autumn day after a streak of rainy days , I decided to stay en plain air and enjoy the natual settings – mountains & lakes – around the castles.

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Arrival in Munich

I just completed my first trip outside of Portugal since my move to Lisbon. It’s also my first “international” trip after the start of this pandemic. I was super excited, yet nervous about being in a crowded space – airports, airplanes, trains, restaurants & concert venues, you name it – In the end, my fear was overcome by the great yearning to travel, to be in some place else. So there I went.

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Algarve, Portugal

You know you are with the right travel companions when after a trip, no only you still talk to one another, your friendship strengthens.

To be honest our week-long trip to the Algarve and Alentejo wasn’t entirely incident free – First, on the day of the departure, our Airbnb host cancelled our accommondation; Then we smoked the clutch on our manual rental car at one of the longest bridges in Europe; Thirdly we encountered a wildfire outburst, as soon as we reached the Algarve, near Monchique, it burned all night long, even spread to Portimão; Finally, just as we thought it wouldn’t get any worse, we scratched the side of our car making a tight turn in the medieval street of Estremoz Castle – Thank you American Express Platnium card!

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Lisbon Legends

Last week we went for an “immersive experience” called Lisbon Legendsa 360º multimedia show that takes us through the legends and historical episodes of Lisbon’s 7 hills – inside the ruins of the Carmo Convent, a 14th century Gothic style convent destroyed by the 1755 earthquake.

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Gelatos in Lisbon

NIVÀ

Located in the heart of Principe Real, Nivà is the first Italian cremeria opened in Portugal. The Rivolta family, whose restaurant Bontan was granted a Michlin Star back in 1991, has three locations in Turin and one in Cannes, France.

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Vista Alegre Museum & Aveiro, Portugal

During the May holiday, we made a road trip to Aveiro – a city about two thirds on the way from Lisbon to Porto. One of the highlights of the trip is Museu Vista Alegre.

Vista Alegre is a high-end Portuguese porcelain manufacturer. If you’ve been to Lisbon, you are likely to come across its shop in the heart of the Chiado district.

The Vista Alegre Mussum is located in the city of Ílhavo, about 15 minutes by car from Aveiro.

The museum is in the old Vista Alegre factory building, alongside a small chapel

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A Taberna do Mar, Lisbon

A Taberna do Mar is not your typical Portuguese seafood restaurant.

Chef Filipe Rodrigues learned how to cook from his grandparents growing up in the Algarve region, he then went on to work for several Japanese restaurants in Lisbon (helped opening a few) and broadened his techniques along the way. While the ingredients are locally sourced from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, the cooking is a combination of Portuguese and Japanese.

The restaurant offers both an à la carte and a 25 Euro tasting menu.

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