Saturday, December 20th, 2014

A World of Exploding Colors

Well, that amazing spring weather we were having came to an end yesterday, and it’s back to the stereotypical gray skies of England.  So this week’s #Frifotos theme couldn’t be better timed — it’s “colorful”! Going through my photos and picking out the most colorful ones is certainly lifting my spirits — and reminding me that [...]

When Your Credit Cards Are Stolen While Traveling

I’ve had my credit cards stolen while traveling in the past – I was pickpocketed in Buenos Aires in 2008 — and since then, I’ve guarded my belongings almost militantly.  I lock up most of my belongings in the hostel safe.  I use a purse that zips up and hangs across my body.  I take what [...]

Sevilla: The Most Beautiful City in Spain

Sevilla was my first stop in Spain, and I couldn’t think of a better introduction to this wonderful country.  The region of Andalusia is the romantic Spain of yore — Moorish architecture and bullfighting and flamenco — and Sevilla is its astoundingly beautiful capital. I’ve seen a lot of Spain in the past few weeks. [...]

Adventurous Kate Goes Birding in Portugal

After landing in Paradise in Portugal, I knew my time at this lovely, low-key resort would include far more than just relaxing — I would be making my first-ever attempt of bird-watching. Birdwatching — or birding — is the main attraction of the Quinta do Barranco da Estrada.  Frank, the owner, is a birdwatching expert, [...]

It’s Time To Welcome Spring

As the Vernal Equinox passes, it’s been anything but typical for me — I left the gray winter of Northern England to find perfect spring temperatures in Lisbon in mid-February, followed by positively summer-like temperatures in southern Portugal and Andalusia.  And now it’s genuinely feeling like spring in the UK, as opposed to the darkness [...]

Finding Paradise in Portugal — the Quinta do Barranco da Estrada

Having arrived at the Quinta do Barranco da Estrada — better known as “Paradise in Portugal” — I stood and gaped at the image in front of me. A perfect blue lake — actually a reservoir — surrounded by green-gold trees, a perfect blue sky filled with chubby clouds overhead.  The most amazingly fresh air. [...]

Green Around the World

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this week’s #FriFotos theme is GREEN.  Digging through years of travel photos looking for a certain color was a challenge, but I think I found some good ones! Here are my favorite green photos from around the world: It’s hard not to feel on edge with all the primates [...]

Paying it Forward in Portugal

I was at the train station in Santa Clara e Velha, Portugal, waiting for the thrice-daily train to take me to the city of Faro, where I would catch a bus to Spain.  I had just spent three glorious days at the Quinta do Barranco da Estrada – better known as “Paradise in Portugal.” How was [...]

Sometimes, I get scared.

It’s 4:00 AM in Évora and I haven’t slept a wink, despite the heaviness of my eyelids. I am too scared to fall asleep.  I’m not afraid of anything specific; I just feel a deep, looming sense of dread.  Something is not right, and I can’t allow myself to become defenseless. Is it irrational?  Some [...]

My Sweet Lisbon Apartment — Courtesy of Roomorama

If you’ve been following travel trends for the past few years, you’ve probably seen the explosion of vacation rental websites.  People can easily rent out their homes or rooms in their home to paying travelers.  And one of these sites is Roomorama. Roomorama approached me a few months ago and asked if I’d be interested in [...]