Touring Lisbon…

I had the fantastic opportunity to visit Portugal recently. After spending a few days with an old friend who was from the Sintra region, I headed into Lisbon to spend a few days with HouseTrip and a few other travel bloggers. There is not a doubt in my mind that HouseTrip went out of their way when they researched the fantastic tours they book us on and to mention our perfectly sized 7 bedroom apartment in a quieter part of downtown.

Lisbon

To start the fun, we had the opportunity to ride around town in a bit of style. The unusual site of motorcycles with side cars got more stares and cheers and smiles then I have seen in a long time! It was a great and fin way to tour the city without exhausting our feet. We set off while the sun was up, had the great opportunity to watch the sun set with an amazing view of the city and eat gelato by the river.

Lisbon

Lisbon

On our only full day as a group, we had what was suppose to be a 3-4 hour walking tour. Well, lets put it this way, you put a group of travel bloggers together, expect to go at their pace, not the tour guides! Our tour lasted 7 hours and ended with our tour guide dropping us off at one of the most popular chicken restaurants in the city. I give the most respect to our tour guide Paulo and would recommend him to anyone looking for an enjoyable wander around Lisbon. The evening ended with an enjoyable and delicious dinner and a famous Fado restaurant. The music was very moving and a great experience to have had.

Sintra

Our final day took us on a bus tour. This tour didn’t stop anywhere for long, but drove us past all the major sites that one wouldn’t want to miss with limited time to see everything. We journeyed from Lisbon to Sintra, End of the World, Cascia and back to Lisbon while eating and drinking local flavors along the way.

End of the world

What a fantastic way to spend a few days busing around a new city. Thanks HouseTrip for the invitation and all the planning put in. Along with the fantastic apartment that managed to hold us all very comfortably, thanks Sidecar Touring for such a fun way to see the city, thanks Intrepid Tours & Paulo for a great day out, and thanks We Hate Tourism Tours for a great past paced way to see a lot in a small time.

Trolley in Lisbon

Interesting Links

HouseTrip

Sidecar Touring

Lisbon Urban Adventure Tour with Intrepid Tours

We Hate Tourism Tours

Although I was a guest of HouseTrip all of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Photo of the day: Lisbon and Helmets

In Lisbon with HouseTrip.com and a group of fantastic travel bloggers. Picture of the day goes to Michal from Go See Write. Love the look on Michael’s face while taking a photo of himself in a helmet. Evidently this is a regular occurrence for him!

michael from go see write

View Michael’s site, Go See Write

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Travel Photo Roulette #45: ‘Surreal’ – My Entry for 7/25/2012

This round of Travel Roulette is being hosted by Skinny Backpacker and his theme is “Surreal”. I really wish I had something more creative and dream like, something with fun shadows and colors. But, atlas, I am going for something a bit more literal. I chose this picture, because I can’t believe that not only someone puts themselves in harm’s way, I paid to watch it. It’s one of those moments that you’re not quite sure whats just happened, if it wasn’t for my pictures, the whole sporting event would feel like a dream. For this man, I suppose its more of a bad dream.

bull fight, mijas, spain

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The oldest books I have ever seen…

Library, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy

I am not kidding, I visited an ancient manuscripts library in Montefalco recently on a blog trip. I was a guest of Umbria on the blog and the region of Umbria and we stopped in Montefalco for a few hours before heading to the Arnaldo-Caprai winner for lunch and wine tasting. These books are as old as writing from my understanding, date back a thousand years. And they let us touch them. There was no special glass, no special lights. They were just sitting on bookshelves for anyone to come along and take a look at them.

Library, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy

My question is, what does this mean about modern technology and what we consider not ancient, but old, manuscripts that universities and libraries in the states keep locked up and protected. Are they really as fragile as we think? Either way, I enjoyed taking some photos.

Library, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy Library, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy

DISCLAIMER: I did not touch any of these books, as I was afraid I might turn to dust by doing so!

Library, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy

Interesting Links

Umbria on the Blog, Umbria Italy

Although I was a guest of Umbria on the blog and the region of Umbria, all of the thoughts, opinions, and bad jokes are my own.

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A Talented Artist and his Inspiring Medieval Town

What better place to live as an artist then where the art is an everyday living breathing culture. Sure Paris and New York, anywhere that has big art museums and theatre in the park and fantastic art schools. That’s NOT what I am referring too. I am referring to the art of craft. The medieval town of Bevagna, tucked away in the beautiful region of Umbria is in itself a museum. The town offers the ancient arts & crafts that have long since been replaced by machines and new technologies. Arts & crafts that don’t mean felt and boogley eyes and puffy paint.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

This amazing town where people live and go about their daily business is in itself a museum. It offers an artist studio where colors are still hand-made, the paper shop where you can actually see the process of hand making paper, and the candle maker where you can even make your own candle. What better place to be and be inspired in, then to be surrounded by the love of what one does. The well-known artist, or little-known if you are not into art, Luigi Frappi lives in this amazing and beautiful town.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

Recently, while a guest of the region of Umbria and hosted by Umbria on the blog, I had the great opportunity to wander through this town, but the most magical moment was when Luigi caught up with us on the street and invite us back to his studio. Upon entering the building, we followed this huge staircase up to his door. The flat has these tall ceilings which makes fantastic space for all the artwork. From floor to ceiling of still life and landscapes. It was truly beautiful. However, with that said, not really my type of artwork. I casually was standing by the back door peering through the windows when Luigi must have caught my glance and immediately came over and opened the doors for me and invited me out onto his rooftop terrace. This was where I fell in love with Luigi’s art work. Outside wasn’t the painting of the watermelon slice in 20 sizes, it was full of 3D art and modern abstract pieces. One of my favorites was a wall hanging with three motherboards painted black. This piece had so many thoughts running through my head.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

It was so spectacular of Luigi to invite us into his studio. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend stopping by and catching his exhibit or seeing his art work.

Interesting Links

Luigi Frappi, Artist

Umbria on the Blog, Umbria Italy

Although I was a guest of Umbria on the blog and the region of Umbria and Luigi Frappi, all of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Rest and Relaxation in Florence

Florence, Italy

Everyone travel’s a bit differently. I like to be on the go, but I also like to have a bit of downtime in my travels. I recently attended a Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Umbria, Italy. Between 2 blog trips and a conference, I was exhausted! Nine days of full on go, go, go! It was a fantastic conference preceded by a great time in Rome and followed by being treated like royalty throughout Umbria. By the time I made it to Florence all I wanted was some down time. And down time is what I got! It never occurred to me how exhausted I would be by the time I got there. Fortunately Florence is a great city to relax in. Sure there is loads of stuff to see and do, and I did a fair bit of walking and seeing. But I didn’t visit any museums, no city tours, no wine tasting. Just me and my camera. I wandered the beautiful streets of Florence, hiked up to watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangiolo, and relaxed in my great apartment with the amazing view!

Florence, Italy

A big thanks to House Trip for helping to organize my stay while in Florence. I had a beautiful apartment, with an amazing roof top view of the city. A full one bedroom with a living room, kitchen and dining room. The bed was so comfy and I slept so well, that I ended up taking 2 naps! Of course I was only in Florence for a limited time, so I couldn’t waste away all my time sleeping and relaxing on my veranda overlooking the beautiful city, but I sure did spend a fair amount of time there. The owner of the apartment, Eleonora, couldn’t have been sweeter. She was so friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed her list of must see, do’s and eats while in her home city! I ate at a restaurant she recommended, I ate at her favorite gelato shop, and I even walked a few streets on both sides of the city that she had mapped out for me.

Florence, Italy

Although House Trip did sponsor my lodging, the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Interesting Links:

House Trip, Apartments in Florence and worldwide

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