cathedral

Beautiful Brescia

I’m quite lucky that I get to travel for work – and work is what brought me to Brescia. I was in town for a few days during the course of a conference that was held at the University which is spread out across the entire town! I immediately loved the city as soon as I arrived!

There are numerous piazza’s where one piazza joins onto another via a small laneway. The food was amazing, the restaurants spill-over onto the streets and create a nice atmosphere in the evenings. Some restaurants even had live music (so watch out when booking your accommodation!). I stayed at Albergo Orologio (Via Cesare Beccaria) which was not the greatest place but had a brilliant location. I definitely recommend having dinner at I Du Dela Contrada (Contrada del Carmine) which is run by a few young lads who were very friendly and down to earth. The food is only made with local ingredients resulting in an amazing dinner.

In terms of sights: enough to see in Brescia. Typical Duomo in the centre of town, Roman excavations, arches and arches all around the town… simply wander about aimlessly around the streets and this will give you a taste of Brescia.

Awesome place to visit for about 2 days or so….

 

IMG_8124 copy

IMG_8126 copy

IMG_8128 copy

IMG_8130 copy

IMG_8135 copy

IMG_8136 copy

IMG_8140 copy

IMG_8148 copy

IMG_8176 copy

IMG_8179 copy

IMG_8187 copy

IMG_8232 copy

IMG_8263 copy

IMG_8265 copy

IMG_8237 copy

IMG_8267 copy

IMG_8273 copy

IMG_8279 copy

IMG_8282 copy

IMG_8268 copy

IMG_8285 copy

IMG_8286 copy

IMG_8271 copy

IMG_8291 copy

Advertisements

Quaint Bergamo

Bergamo in September is beautiful – not insanely hot yet warm enough to walk around with sandals. Bergamo airport is conveniently located and only a short drive away (around 15mins). The town centre is quite small but charming. During my visit, there was some sort of a garden/landscape fair, so there were quite alot of exhibitions around the northern part of the town. The architecturally impressive cathedral and many churches are definitely a must see. The castle is one of the major highlights of Bergamo and you can reach it quite easily – I walked to the base of the hill and then got onto the funicular. The views from atop the hill are beautiful. There are a lot of shops and cafes in this area – the Pasticciera’s (bakery) were my favourite as they had sweets that I’d never seen before and tasted amazing! You can easily explore the city in a day or two… Good spot to break down journey time to and from Milano and Bologna.

 

IMG_7887 copy

IMG_7998 copy

IMG_7950 copy

IMG_7937 copy

IMG_7935 copy

IMG_7927 copy

IMG_7904 copy

IMG_7892 copy

IMG_7888 copy

IMG_8122 copy

IMG_8121 copy

IMG_8065 copy

IMG_8015 copy

IMG_8064 copy

IMG_8059 copy

IMG_8033 copy

IMG_8030 copy

IMG_8022 copy

Perfectly peaceful Porto…

I’ve been to Porto a few times before, so this trip I simply wanted to chill out and enjoy the various neighbourhoods of Porto. Nevertheless, there was one thing on my list that I simply had to see: The Lello & Irmão Bookstore! Seeing as though I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, I just had to see it. BOY WAS IT AWESOME! The only thing was that there were too many people in here, this was all the time… Our Airbnb was close by, so we’d always have to go past the book store when going into town, we’d peek inside to see if it was full, sometimes we wouldn’t even have to peek given the huge line out front… In any case, it was still awesome – you should definitely check it out!

We hung out along the river Douro quite alot, and the night shots are taken on the city side of the river. On one of the days that we were just walking around, we crossed the Ponte Luis I bridge and there was a young man preparing to jump off the bridge and into the water. He was gathering a crowd before doing so…. he was fine. We then crossed the bridge and saw a whole bunch of people jumping into the water (disclaimer it was boiling hot!!). There was even a group of men dressed up in weird outfits, continuously jumping into the water – it was actually quite funny!

We stayed in an Airbnb on Rua de Cedofeita, our hosts were really nice and the apartment itself was bright and spacious. Great location as it was where the locals mainly lived, so there was also local bakeries and grocery stores. The end of the street towards the city was pedestrianised and was a shopping street.

In terms of food, we found amazing restaurants on Rua das Taipas. The first one we discovered was called Tia Orlanda, which was food from Mozambique. The staff were amazing and the restaurant was VERY FULL! it seemed as though alot of people had booked prior to coming for dinner, we were lucky that there was one table for two. The food was simply amazing, plus it was cheap! The second place we discovered was at the bottom of the street (I can’t recall the name) but we had fish and rice – was amazing! We sat at the back, outside, where we had a view of Porto – truly amazing! I would definitely recommend exploring this street as the restaurants were cheap yet also really good!

Quaint Ely

Over the Easter long weekend, my friend Amelie came to visit me from Germany. She is completely obsessed with English afternoon tea, so I thought I’d take her to my recent discovery of Peacock’s Tearoom in Ely.

Ely is a 15min train ride from Cambridge – having said that, I’ve only been there once before and that was only 2wks prior to this visit (I’m actually embarrassed to admit this….).

We made our way to Peacock’s which was only a 10min walk from the train station. The walk is actually quite nice, as it is along the river…

After waiting in line on Easter Sunday (clearly popular) for about 15mins, we were seated in one of the 3 rooms. The decor is unique but tasteful and very Britishly cute with pretty little tea cups hanging on the walls. The menu cover is actually quite amusing – I would definitely read this as it’s a good laugh! Our tea arrived in a cute flowered tea pot, and shortly after our scones also arrived together with Cornish clotted cream and raspberry jam. YUM – it was truly amazing!

After an amazing afternoon tea (Amelie thankfully also agreed that it was AMAZING!), we walked over to Ely Cathedral and boy is it a mammoth of a building – it’s truly spectacular! What intrigued me most were these round large iron structures which were heaters! I’d never seen heaters in a cathedral before, I thought they were brilliant!

We then walked over to Oliver Cromwell’s house which had been turned into a museum. However, we had missed out on the last admission so we couldn’t explore his house.

Ely is a quaint little town which is worth a visit if you are in Cambridge for a while. Regardless, it’s definitely worth a visit even if it’s just for the scones at Peacock’s…

IMG_7039WMsmall

IMG_7044WMsmall

IMG_7045WMsmall

IMG_7048WMsmall

IMG_7049WMsmall

IMG_7054WMsmall

IMG_7057WMsmall

IMG_7059WMsmall

IMG_7066WMsmall

IMG_7072WMsmall

Crazy Cosmopolitan Cusco

NOTE: sorry I haven’t been able to publish these next few blogs – I’ve been in Australia constantly travelling… publishing timely blogs will resume =)

My first impressions of Cusco were WOW! I really didn’t think it was that big of a city – how wrong I was… As we were given an orientation walk of the city, I immediately realised that Lima was officially the capital, but Cusco was the Cosmopolitan Capital! Grecia, our guide took us to the main square, which was huge, and there was a large cathedral, the architecture was simply beautiful! We were quite hungry, so we made our way over to a café – Grecia ensured that this was a very good place. We ended up at Jack’s Café – I was extremely thrilled that there were pancakes on the menu!!! You see, every single breakfast that I had until now consisted of balls of butter and strawberry jam with hollow circular breads – not nice at all! And so pancakes it was! Oh my word – they were delicious!!! I also ordered a mango con leche, which is basically a mango smoothie and this was THE BEST mango con leche I had in Peru! Jack’s was definitely a winner! A group of us kept going back to Jack’s as it clearly was amazing!!!

We made our way to another square, where we joined a free walking tour (well tips were given at the end). There were a lot of people on the tour so it was slightly difficult to hear the tour guide. In any case, he took us to the local markets, showed us a few more “squares” of Cusco, we then ended up in a bar (mind you if was about midday, so naturally the bar was empty). The barmen then demonstrated how to make a pisco sour and when he was finished he invited everyone to take a free sample and showed how to salute (something along the lines of: to mother nature, to inca and so on…).

One of my most favourite things about Cusco was the Chocolate Museum – it was FREE and FANTASTIC! As you enter the museum, a guide tells you about the chocolate industry in Peru. You are then taken to the next room where you can watch the Chocolatier’s working. The chocolatier that we were watching was very friendly, she told us about the different flavours – even gave us free samples to try! One of the peculiar (well I found it strange) was the cocoa leaf flavour – it seems as though it’s everywhere… We were also given a small glass of chocolate tea to try – which was delicious. You then have the option to buy chocolate and related products OR you can even have a sit down treat at the cafe, which has a nice view out to the square.

On our last day in Cusco, we all went into town to buy some bits and bobs before we moved onto the next stage of the journey. Once we arrived at the main square, we were all gobsmacked – there were hundreds of people there, ALL in festive outfits. We didn’t really understand what was going on, but we gathered that it was some sort of school festivity as there were loads of school aged children. It was amazing site to see, all those bright colours were AMAZING!

Cusco is a definite must – ok there are loads of tourists here but all the same, it really was an amazing place!