Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Kayak in the Laboreiro River

July 21, 2015

Just found this video on social media about a french team (PEK) that went to kayak in the Laboreiro River.

The Laboreiro River is born in Castro Laboreiro – Melgaço – Portugal and in its final kilometers acts as a natural border, separating Portugal from Spain.

I don’t know your kayak skills but the beauty of this relatively unexplored place is worth it.

By the amount of water flowing and the last part of the video you can tell they did this in winter.

Visiting Sydney – Australia

June 5, 2015

If you’re visiting Sydney this is the best advice someone can give you:

– Get the public ferry from Circular Quay to Manly!

Sit on the back of the ferry on the way to Manly and on the front on the way back (you can make the way back at night to get a different picture of the city).

For some strange reason this route isn’t usually considered a tourist atraction in Sydney and the typical tourist tours will instead take you to more expensive cruises to show the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. However if you like to keep to your exploration and pace, going to Manly is a superior experience for a completely affordable price. If you prefer you can even pay with the Opal Card the same way as you do in the city buses.

I’ve made a video of part of the trip but if I were you I would only see it after I’ve made the trip myself:

Also worth trying in Sydney: Take a tour in the Opera House ; Go to Koala Park ; Walk around the Opera House botanical gardens ; Cross the Harbour Bridge.

Song on the video: Blitzwood – Into my Dreams

Spotify

Visiting Kyoto – Japan

May 26, 2015

Visiting Japan was always an objective of mine and it was absolutely worth it, even if it was just for a short time. Check this youtube video to see why you must highlight Japan in your “to-visit list” (or maybe to-revisit). I wonder what other sites in Kyoto locals would had advised me to visit.

If you are landing in Osaka check the video’s description for some useful traveling tips on how to reach Kyoto.

If you are planning to travel by train in Japan, I highly recommend http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ to check your trip and to make it easier to buy the train tickets. You’ll find a lot of Japanese who can’t speak English very well (even if they always try to be helpful) and it is much easier to print you itinerary and just show it in the ticket office.

Song on the Video: Blitzwood – The First Nanban

Spotify

International Park “Gerês”-“Xurés”

July 31, 2014

Today I stumbled on this great video on Youtube about the Nature Conservation Park located in both Northern Portugal  and the Spanish region of Galicia.

On the Portuguese side one of the doors to the Park is actually in “Lamas de Mouro” – Melgaço if you drive around 20 minutes up mountain from the town.

As you can see it in the video it is a beatiful place with ancient ruins from “Stone Age”  dolmens to Roman bridges.

Check a list and GPS coordinates HERE (new tab).

The mountais are covered with giant round shaped rocks some of them famous for their curious shape. There is also a lot of small rivers, waterfals from many sizes and small lakes.

Wild animals include wild flurry horses (video 0:46) and deers. There are wolves too but don’t expect to see them as they are scarce nowadays and the ones that are left are intelligent enough to avoid humans.

Now that I moved to Hungary I’ve had the chance to explore quite a few European Conservation Parks and usual mountain/forest destinations in Austria, Hungary, Croacia and  Slovenia, so I can make you comparison with this places.

The first difference is that “Gerês” is not such a popular place. For some strange reason it seems that the European tourists usually don’t travel West by car. Last year I was in Slovenia and I had never seen so many German, French and Italian cars parked together. So if you want to explore on your own and prefer under-the-radar places this is a plus.

The second difference are Ticks. As crazy as it may sound, yes, ticks – those blood sucking parasites are a plague for forest-travelers in most of Central Europe. Everyone who lives here always packs a tick-removal tool for their travels, take B-vitamin or use some repelent spray. This was something completly new for someone used to hike in Portugal.

The third and last difference is in fact a disadvantage for the non-popularity of this place. While there are tourist oportunities for radical sports, hiking, rent-a-bike, rent-a-boat and others, you should search online and take notes of what you want to do and where before traveling.

Enjoy the video!

Blitzwood @Spotify

Porto: Foz – 6th Jan. 2014

January 7, 2014

Last year in January I went to the mouth of the Douro River (Foz) to check the agitated winter waves. I was quite happy with the photos and the walk:

Last year's waves

Last year’s waves

Last year's waves

Last year’s waves

Sunset at Foz - Porto

Sunset at Foz – Porto

This year I would had taken completely different pictures, I wasn’t there (unfortunatly I’m not even in Portugal) but check out the video someone posted in Youtube:

Curious if someone filmed from the top of that Tourist Bus you can see in the video.

 

“The Boston Global” article about Porto

November 12, 2013

The Boston Globe journalist Christopher Muther has published an article about his visit to Porto. He planned to stay just one day, he ended up staying 4 nights.

What I found … was a series of charming old stone buildings, church squares, and open-air markets. There’s a river that glistens as it snakes through a city that clings precariously to cliffs and a night-life scene that rivals any European hot spot on a summer night.”

“I’m not one to take pictures of my food at restaurants. I usually feel that food is meant to be digested and not shared on Facebook. But I took out my camera, the good one no less, and photographed my steak tartare and the beautiful presentation of the truffle-style alheira (a meat and flour-based sausage) on a bed of toasted bread, bacon, and almonds.

Porto’s “Ribeira”

Read the article at:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/11/09/porto-sophisticated-new-edge/Qo25mGhnY4HaRTUzdKGpJM/story.html

 

Dear readers…

September 28, 2012

 

University of Debrecen

I have moved to Debrecen in Hungary. I think there was still a lot to tell about the places I lived like Oporto and Melgaço and I think I still have material in my hard drive for some more posts. But I don’t intend to end the blog, maybe I’ll be adding Debrecen to my list of destinations instead.

 

Discover Portugal: In Facebook

June 25, 2012

If you want to see some really amazing photos from Portugal don’t miss the “Descobrir Portugal” (Discover Portugal) group in Facebook! There’s a bit of everything and a bit from everywhere in the photos shared by the community. Just go to http://www.facebook.com/absolutportugal . Here are some examples:

Matosinhos: “Piscinas das Marés”

June 21, 2012

Piscina das Marés

It seems the ocean-water-swimming pools in Matosinhos are re-opening for the Summer this day 23. Looks like a nice option for this next weekend. The swimming pool was designed by famous portuguese architect Siza Vieira (Wikipedia). More photos in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-piscinas-das-mares-leca-da-palmeira-20985

Spotify

Down to Lisbon: Lisbon!

June 17, 2012

Lisbon from Airplane window

After our one day trip we finally arrived to Lisbon. I think it has a different feel from any other capital in Europe. In one hand there’s of course the good Southern Europe weather and sunlight illuminating it on the other hand there’s historical reasons.

Recent history has been kind in the looks of the city. While other countries were deep into World War II, Portugal remained neutral in the conflict saving monuments from bullet marks, bombing, rebuilding and other tragedies. The last time Lisbon had to undergo a major reconstruction was in the 1755 earthquake. Then it got the shape of a modern city with straight, large parallel streets downtown facing the river.

History also gave the city a cosmopolitan feeling. Lisbon was the center of a maritime Empire with colonies in America, Africa and Asia and you can see influences from distant lands in many landmarks, museums and in trees that don’t seem to belong in Europe.

Due to our errands we didn’t have so much time for sightseeing so I included some photos I took another time I was here in October 2010.

There’s plenty of photos and information on Lisbon in the internet but feel free to check our photos. There’s a photo I took from an airplane window arriving to Lisbon Airport showing the “25th of April” Bridge and the Cristo Redentor (a similar statue to that existing in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil).


CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

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