The number one best thing about traveling is meeting new people. My new friend Danielle had heard about this little town called Aveiro from someone working at the hostel. This just happens to be on the way to Porto and so I left Lisbon a day early and planned to arrive in Porto a day late to visit this place.
No train ride is complete without some entertainment and refreshments. We had a book and an adult coloring book for the 3 hour train ride from Lisbon to Aveiro. What else does one need?
Aveiro is a very small place and the main area is walkable within about 15 minutes so there actually isn’t that much to do. The view from the hostel was these adorable little houses full of tiled detail. Basically, when I think of Portugal this is what I think of.
Aveiro is said to be the Venice of Portugal so naturally we had to go on a boat tour and see what the city was all about. We specifically asked for a tour in English and somehow ended up on a tour in Spanish. I learned that this quaint little town is known for fishing and salt and is actually a huge port town.
I always find it interesting to learn about a place that is so important to a a certain part of the world that I had no idea about.
The tiles on the houses all have different details. The blue tile is a very common theme throughout all of Portugal and it just so happened that my headband matched the pattern. I have to have a little fun while I’m traveling right?
Since the town is quite small, we took a day trip to a beach town about 20 minutes outside of town call Costa Nova. The houses are all painted with individual stripes because it was said that the supply of paint was so limited that each plank was painted a different color just in case.
The beach was incredibly windy but we found a little cove to relax in and enjoy the sounds of the ocean. This entire little place can be done as a day trip from Porto but I was very happy to spend the night and enjoy this area and I think it is a must see!
It seems that my last trip through Europe was repeating places I have already been to meet up with people or visit friends. This time is not too much different except I finally made it to a new country…PORTUGAL!
I did not do much research about where I was heading and was pleasantly surprised when I arrived in Lisbon. I walked through the city late at night to my hostel and immediately felt like I was in a great city and going to have a great time.
One of the best things about traveling is meeting new people and just wandering around discovering things. I met a girl at the hostel and she planned an outing for us to go to a rooftop bar for sunset. Before I knew it, there was a group of us from around the world enjoying drinks and getting to know each other with a beautiful view of Lisbon!
Part of learning about a culture is eating the local food. I went to a market that was full of multiple booths of tons of seafood and other cuisines. I started my evening off with some oysters and then moved on to some chicken curry with a glass of rosé. A few hours were spent enjoying a good meal and relaxing in this great environment.
The last day in Lisbon I took a ferry across the way and went to another little city called Costa de Caparica to hang at the beach and relax. As we were heading back we stopped at a local seafood place for some delicious mussels, crab and shrimp. The food was incredibly fresh and absolutely delicious!
Lisbon did not let me know and I am looking forward to exploring some more of the country in the next few days.
There are amazing beaches all along the coast of Brazil. Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world so you can imagine that spending a month in the country is not nearly enough to cover it. However, I went to two different beaches in two different states and enjoyed them both.
First I went to Maresias in the state of São Paulo. The beach is about 4 hours from the city of São Paulo and a destination for a lot of Brazilians. Almost no one spoke English and there was not another backpacker at my hostel. I loved every second of it!
Next up was Florianopolis. This beach is in the state of Santa Catarina and very touristy. The town is much larger and great for night life and very different from Maresias. I personally enjoyed Maresias much more!
My hostel in Floripa had flags from around the world and in that was a flag from California! I thought it was funny that the USA was being represented by just Cali. 🙂
My hostel in Maresias had a bit of a sense of humor.
Needless to say, I spent more than a few days in the sun.
One of the best parts about Rome, is that you can walk around the city and find good food almost anywhere. We went for a little stroll and stumbled upon Taverna Barberini. Any time I see a Trip Advisor symbol on a door, I can usually assume the food will be pretty decent. We ordered the Antipasto which was enough to feed a small army, and then I had a pasta that was similar to carbonara but with some peas and other additions. I was in absolute food heaven!
On the way back, I came across some random fountains that absolutely amazed me. I have no idea what they are or what they represent, but I thought they were great.
The next day, I took myself on an adventure to the closest beach in Rome called Ostia Lido. It was nice to get out of the city and just relax. It was about a 40 minute ride by metro and then train and absolutely worth it!
I have been missing home cooked food but luckily, I met someone at the hostel that got an apartment. We also happened to meet a chef who was traveling and willing to cook for us. We had a cheese plate and three different prosciuttos and then the best bruschetta I have ever had in my life, followed by a delicious pasta. Four cheeses, 4 bottles of wine and 3 different prosciuttos was only $51.00! That would cost me about $150.oo in the states. I love this country.