Prep for Lisboa

 

Hey there!

It´s Summer dear reader, and if you´re that type of person who likes to make a little investigation before packing the suitcase to the chosen destination AND if that destination is Lisbon – you should read the following lines.

 

  1. Don´t hesitate to use metro to get from the airport to your accommodation. It´s one of the cheapest ways. Second best way is UBER – great service, affordable and easy.

 

  1. If you want to rent a car to explore all the beaches around or just to drive on the Vasco da Gama Bridge – which I heartily recommend – then rent one right at the airport. They are definitely the cheapest ones.

 

  1. Portugal is famous for its wines but let yourself be surprised with the taste of a good Portuguese beer. Take a tour at Beer Museum, and since you´re there try some Codfish – it goes perfectly with beer.

 

  1. You know all those postcards and Instagram posts with yellow tram? Yeah, very cool BUT if you want to take some cool photos without having a group of tourists on them – do it in the morning, as soon as they start to work. Same goes if you want to take a ride on one of them and not being run over by a bunch of people.

 

  1. If you want to visit different parts of Lisbon and you just can´t reach all of them by walking around then I recommend to use the bus. Lines are pretty good, they´re not crowded with tourists and it´s not that expensive.

 

  1. It is also good to know that the shops in Lisbon mainly open at 9 or 10 am. There are many small street shops that also close around 1 pm. So, if you wake up early and want to go buy some things for breakfast – you can forget it. Come back again around 9 (been there – done that)!

 

  1. Visit Sintra! You just have to! Rent a car (but be aware of parking availability), take a train or a bus. Bring some light wind jacket and sneakers – you´ll be thankful for this advice when you get there. Visit Sintra twice! There´s just so much to see.

 

  1. Cabo da Roca! Go! It´s impossible to describe it!

 

For a couple of hours just forget about the phone and maps and Trip advisor. Get lost in those beautiful streets. Feel the culture, meet locals – they´re very friendly, eat a lot of fish, order that cheese with the wine, listen to Fado and bring some of those moments home with you.

 

Oh, and don´t forget to eat a lot of Pasteis de Belem! You´ll see why.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lisboa – PART 1

#Fish #Codfish #Alfama #BairoAlto #RuadaBica #ElevadordaBica #BeerMuseum #Ginja #Fado #metro

It has been more than a month since we came back from Lisbon and, honestly, I was not in a mood to write a new post about it until now. I think a part of my soul decided to stay there. It took me a while to adjust myself to „normality“, and now that I´ve done that, I can finally tell you what happened in Lisboa..

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Gosh.. I can still feel the smell of grilled fish on my fingers! It takes me back to that one scene when we were on a beach and we decided to have a lunch in the nearest beach restaurant. When we were going back to Lisbon, the whole time in a train we were smelling like fish – but it is was so freaking good that you don´t care about those kinds of things! So yes, mostly we ate fish. They have a special way of preparing it and its very salty and perfectly grilled. The prices are various, it depends in which part of Lisbon you decide to eat. But, mostly, grilled fish was somewhere between 9 and 15 Euros and the best one we had in Alfama.

When we landed in Lisbon, first we realized that the airport is really chaotic. Then, we decided to go to our appartement by using metro. Even though we´ve read that metro is not so good here. What we found out is this – metro is the best way to get from the airport to your accommodation. It´s easy and quite cheep. The ride from airport to our place took us about 40 minutes with only one change. But!!! Not all parts of Lisbon are covered with metro, for some places you have to take a train, or a bus – which is also a good solution because it´s not expensive at all.

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We booked appartement again on Airbnb, and we were situated in such a beautiful place of this amazing town. Our street is maybe one of the most popular in Lisbon – Rua da Bica de Durte Bello. This is a street full of small restaurants, Airbnb appartements and local people. This is the street that you can see on most of the postcards – the famous yellow Elevador da Bica is here. Somewhere around 8 or 9 in the morning the elevator starts to work, and during the day it takes dozens of rounds up and down. In the evening, around 8 p.m. it closes and rests for another groups of tourist. This ride is really short and it´s quite expensive, if you ask me.

Very close to this street is Bairo Alto – the famous part of Lisbon for nightlife. During the day this place is very quite, the streets are peaceful, you can see local people hanging their clothes through the windows – it is a very common thing here. In the evening and until the early morning hours you can see a lot of people here. The bars are open mostly until 2 a.m. but people are hanging out in the streets. Most of them are tourists and 20% of them are drug dealers. You can find them on every 10 meters and sometimes they can be very annoying. Even though it´s not legal here, you can get anything you want for a cheap price.

When you are at Bairo Alto you must try Ginja – it´s a sort of a cherry liquor, very sweet and easy to drink. Also try some Portuguese beers. We heartily recommend the beer museum – Museu da Cerveja. I was surprised how good beers they have! And how long history of beer production they have. The museum exhibition is very interesting and very cheap + you get a glass of beer while you are watching it. You can also eat there because the food here is to lick your fingers! (But not so cheap.) If you´re here, please try „Codfish“. You can try it anywhere in town – but here is the best! And it goes perfect with a big cold glass of beer!

At Bairo Alto, almost every night you can hear Fado – a special kind of singing followed by guitars. It just moves you in a special way – but try to find a place that is not so full with tourists because not all of them understand this and they will disturb your experience of Fado by laughing too loud while, mostly, they are too drunk or too high. It is better to listen to Fado in Alfama. There is also a Museum of Fado where you can hear the whole history of it. One funny old guy told us that Fado is always about love triangles and indecisiveness of the woman. There are several famous Fado singers and Fado is here very appreciated.

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I will stop here and ask you, dear readers, to stop by again when I write another post about this amazing town. It´s just impossible for me to fit those 10 days of Lisbon life in one post. So, stay tuned for more interesting but also useful infos!

 

 

 

The oldest town in Austria – PART 2

People often say „there´s no place like home“, but, when you move to another town in a different country you try your best to make a new home. But what does it actually mean? Home is not just place where you live. People who surround you, they take a big part in making that place your home. So, in this second post about Enns, we decided to talk to people who are true „Ennser“ or „Ennserinnen“ – as we would say it here..

We made a short interviews with two people who have been born in Enns and are still living here. I mean, who could better describe you what is Enns like and why is it a nice place to visit – than the people who have lived their whole life here.

First we talked to Martin (Martl) Hoeffle. He is, as he describes himself, a 36-year-old established merchant. In his free time Martl is a city-guide in Enns. He is happily engaged „with the love of his life“ – as he says, and he´s a cat owner! (He got our hearts there) Martl is one of the most pleasant people in Enns, he will always greet you with a big smile!

He moved from Enns only once and only for a year, but as we have said at the beginning, there´s no place like home! And Martl agrees with that, he says that Enns is „The place to be“. Why? Because it has a Roman and medieval heritage, and he is very found of that. We asked him what is life in Enns like and he told us that „it feels a little like in Italy – especially in Summer. There are many bars and comfortable restaurants at the main square. Enns is very hospitable.”

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We also had a chance to speak to a true Ennserin, a woman who has never changed her home address. We are talking about Ursula Gruber. She is a very successful woman – runs her own business company together with her husband and they own a small sport-fashion shop. She is also a mother of a 15-year-old boy. She used to be a professional horse rider and she´s a hunter and owner of a two gorgeous hunting dogs. Ursula is truly a proud Ennserin – since she has never moved from here. She says that Enns is like a small village but with a lot of inhabitants, we have a strong economy but the most special thing about this town is its heritage and its old parts, like Hauptplatz. She says that mostly everybody knows everyone here, and we are indeed living the life of a citta slow town. We agreed that Enns has a lot of potential, and has a lot of things to offer.

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Both of them, Ursula and Martl, agreed that to be a true Ennser/in – it means that you have to be proud! Proud of your heritage and history! Proud of your family background! Proud of our “Stadtturm”! But most of all – proud of our hospitality.

 

That Gmunden feeling

Greetings everyone!

The weather outside has become unbearable. The Sun is shining so strong, we are all feeling lazy and dreaming of vacation. If you don´t have enough money or time to go on some egzotic destination this summer, then we might have a solution for you!

This year we have planned our vacation in September. Right now, that seems to me so far away. And, Mire and me, we just can´t stay at one place for too long. Even though we are working hard right now to save money for vacation, we still manage to „hit the road“.  We ordered a free book named „16 kleine historische Städte in Österreich“ on www.khs.info and there we picked a few towns we would like to visit. First, we have visited Steyr, and now we went to Gmunden.

Gmunden is placed in Upper Austria, ca. 70km from Linz and I swear that it is the most stunning small town I have ever been to. When we parked the car and took a short walk to the lake i absolutely forgot that I´m in Austria. I felt like I was in some small town at the coast of Adriatic sea.  Gmunden is situated on the north coast of lake Traunsee – the deepest lake in Austria. The lake is surrounded by mountains and from Gmunden you can see the mountain Traunstein. These mountains are like mighty giants who just stand there in the lake and take your breath away. The horizon they create makes you feel so calm, and while the wind brings the fresh air to your face – you completely forget about reality and all you can feel is relaxation.

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As we speak of relaxation, Gmunden is very popular as health resort. They have variety of health baths. That is because Gmunden is one of the most important center of salt industry. But, the most important thing about Gmunden is that it is a city of ceramics. The ceramics from Gmunden are one of the most known in Europe. Here, they even have a very significant festival of ceramics that happens every year in August. If you´re in Gmunden and you´re walking on the main square, you should take a look at the bells on the Town Hall. They are completely ceramic. And extremely beautifull.

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From the main square you can also see Gisele chillin´on the lake. Gisele is an old steamboat. One of the few in the world that are completely originally saved. You can see her on the lake in summer time and you can also rent her for events. For example,
there´s an event „Jump of the day – Dirnd-Dress Flight Day“ which is happening on the Gisele. People are jumping in traditional Austrian folk clothes from Gisele in to the Traunsee. This definitely sounds very interesting and amuzing.

If you take the look away from the lake and Gisele, you will find a beautiful architecture. Tall houses placed near each other are proudly showing they beautiful facades painted in vivid colours. I would say that Gmunden cares about Art. You can find plenty of ateliers in those narrow streets and if you take a peek at someone´s balcony or window, you will see paintings and empty canvas ready for some fresh paint to be put on them.

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And by now, this walk will probably make you hungry. We suggest you to take a walk by the lake and there you will find a lot of restaurants and coffee shops. We found one small restaurant named Fishmaster. They have their space in the city but also here, by the lake. And here they serve a realy good grilled fish – we heartily recommend it!

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Now, there is one more place you have to see here in Gmunden. Take a walk to the Schloss Ort or take a tram – the smallest and oldest tramway in Austria, only 2,3 km long. Schloss Ort is a small island on the Traunsee that is actually a medieval castle. It is very beautiful and well preserved. There is also a restaurant that has one of the best views on the Traunsee horizon.

 

Gmunden is truly a magical town. We would´ve always gladly returned to it. The only thing I do mind about this town is that they have no free parking place – or at least we couldn´t find one. But if we sum up everything – every Euro spent for the parking we do not regret!

 

Dear Gmunden, see you again!

 

The oldest town in Austria – PART 1

The story of Enns involves the story of us two. Enns is a town where our little and charming flat takes its place. I remember when I first came here, only as a tourist. I remember how impressed I was with the architecture, with all those cute houses standing in those narrow streets, whispering the history of the town and the whole Austria, as well. Enns happens to be the oldest town in Austria. In the 9th century it was only a fortress but later it turned out into an important trade center and that was when it became a town.  You can still walk by the old great walls that were part of the fortress and those walks will bring you back to medieval times.

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Enns is a very popular destination for the cyclists because  it lies at the intersection of the great Upper Austrian cycling routes. When the Sun comes out and push away rainy days and clouds, you can see bikes on every corner of the Enns.

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People here are crazy about icecream! (Okay, who’s not!) Whenever there’s a ray of Sun outthere, people take their bikes and ride to the Hauptplatz for an icecream. At Hauptplatz (the old city center) you can find the best icecream but it is a big trouble to find a parking place. Here are also restaurants, pubs, museum Lauriacum, hotels and basically everything. Everything  that happens in Enns, happens at Hauptplatz.

At the bare hearth of Hauptplatz you can find the landmark of Enns – the Stadtturm. It is a clock tower that reaches around 60 meters in high and it rings on every half hour. You can walk up in the tower attic and there you can enjoy one of the best views in Enns and its surroundings. There you can see, among a lot of old buildings, the castle Ennsegg and the city hall.

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Enns is a little town but here you have everything a town needs. You have the urban city center, you have a lot of parks and nature, you have a river Enns where you can enjoy long walks. There are some pretty cool pubs like Hofcaffe, and there is a very romantic restaurant hidden in the walls of the castle Ennsegg.

People here are very friendly and communicative. Enns is a very multicultural town, it is a home for a lot of people from Balkan and also from Turkey. Life in Enns is very peaceful, very quite. Enns is a part of „Cita Slow“ movement, but I’ll write about it in the other Enns-post, where we’ll be interviewing a „true Ennser“.

That’s all for this post, in the next one we’ll give you some more informations about Enns and life here. Take a look at our galery in section „Pictures“ – all the cool photos are there 😊

A walk through Steyr

Dear readers, we’d like to start this post with an apology. We apologize for not posting for quite a long time. So many things has happened to us during this time, and we have a bit neglected our blog. So, we’re sorry about that and, from now on, we’ll try to do better 😊

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We haven’t really had any chances to go on some longer trips but we’ve managed to calm our restless travel spirit by going on a nearby short trips. For this post we’ve decided to write a few words about Steyr – a beautiful, old town in Upper Austria.

Steyr is located only 40 km away from the capital of Upper Austria – Linz. This is a town that has over one thousand years long history. Everything started with „Stirapurch“ – today Lamberg palace. It was built in the year 980 and now it is a beautiful castle where one of the biggest library in Austria is situated.

 

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The city center and its architecture is absolutely stunning. The center is surrounded with several houses originally built in Gothic period but afterwords some of them were rebuilt in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo periods. This mixure of styles makes this center really special. Most of these houses have their own stories, but there is one that is really special for Steyr. This house is called „Bummerlhaus“. In the 15th century it belonged to a rich family and there was an inn named „Zum goldenen Löwen“. On the entrance there was, of course, a statue of a lion but it looked like a dog, a basset dog. In the Austrian dialect this kind of dog is called Bummerl – so that is why this house is called Bummerlhause. Today there is a bank in this house also named Bummerl-Bank.

Steyr is placed at the confluence of two rivers – Enns and Steyr. There is a beautfull small square between the Enns and Steyr bridge where walks are almost magical. There’s a beautifull Baroque facades and a Gothic archway that leads you to the Lamberg castle. In this castle there’s a big trench and it is a home for mountain goats. There’s also a big park and a small wood with castle restaurant and art galery.

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The city of Steyr is known all over the Europe for its industry – metal, gun, maschines etc. The citizents of Steyr has Josef Werndl to thanks to for it. He started a gun industry that was very powerfull in the World War times.

Steyr has also a very distinguished cultural scene. They have open air music festivals, jazz festival, theater at the river etc. Only 30 minutes away from Steyr there is a nacional park „Kalkalpen“ – so Steyr has so many things to offer for nature and sport lovers.

This town has its magic, it has so many romantic, small and hidden places that can bring you back to some medieval gothic times.

Exploring the „Oberösterreich“

Hello, we meet again!

This is our second post since we started this blog and we’ve been more than satisfied with the support that we’ve gain. Thanks, a lot you guys!

Our new destination is Austria. The next few posts will be placed in this country but in different towns. This post is about Upper Austria and its capital city Linz. Continue reading “Exploring the „Oberösterreich“”