Sunday, February 08, 2015

♥ casa das penhas douradas ♥

These last weeks it's been all about snow. Three weeks ago we spent the weekend at one of our favourite hotels in Portugal - Casa das Penhas Douradas - and last week we went on our annual ski trip to the Alps, where we enjoyed the biggest snowfall in recent years.

But more about this lovely hotel which is located near the top of our highest Portuguese mountain, Serra da Estrela. We'd been here for the first time a couple of years ago, and came back not only for the scenery, the very comfortable facilities, but also for the delicious food (which was not as spectacularly amazing as two years ago, but still very good, especially the desserts). We were also very lucky because it snowed. Quite a lot, in fact, which is not so common in Portugal, but made for a great weekend (I think the photos probably speak for themselves :-)

I still didn't manage to visit the Burel Factory this time, so I guess I'll just have to come back for a third visit next year ...

Monday, January 12, 2015

a weekend in hamburg :: um fim de semana em hamburgo

Ryanair started flying out of Lisbon last year, and I was very excited to see they had flights to Hamburg. So when looking for places to spend a long weekend in the beginning of December this German city was my first choice (I hadn't flown with Ryanair in years though, so it was not the best of experiences but for the price it cost I can't really complain. This post at TravelHack seems to cover a few useful tips)

Hamburg surprised me in a positive way. It's a fantastic city, both old and modern, and seems to combine these two facets seamlessly well. We went for the Christmas markets, of course, but really enjoyed the modern harbour district and the beautiful parks and gardens. Because we went during the weekend the markets were jammed full of people, so we left our shopping till Monday, our last day, when everything was quieter. 

A few random notes:
- We stayed at the Adina apartments, and I really recommend them. We had previously stayed at Adina in Frankfurt and the facilities are very good.
- It was extremely difficult to find a nice place to have lunch on Sunday, so we eventually went back to the Rathaus area and had some delicious flammekueche at the Parlament restaurant.
- I didn't have time to visit a yarn or fabric shop this time, but did pop into the Alsterhaus to get some much needed Mariage Fréres tea (last floor, next to the restaurant).
:: a really weird combination, a sort of potato hash brown with applesauce. Not to my taste but A. loved it
:: at the Planten und Blomen park
:: one of my favorite streets, the Colonnaden
:: the harbour district
:: at the Rathaus market