LISBON, PORTUGAL – Day 1

LISBON – Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. Rephrase: Portugal’s hilly Gorgeous and absolutely mesmerizing capital city!

Portugal was our last stop in our Europe tour last summer & I can easily say that Lisbon was my most favorite capital city. I am most certain that I would definitely go back to this beautiful city, In Sha Allah! So after Amsterdam, it was time for us to head toward Lisbon, Portugal. So we touched down in Lisbon. Supremely excited. Waited for our luggage. Made some friends while we waited for our luggage. Said our Hi’s and goodbye’s to our newly acquired friends. Hopped on to a bus which took us right outside our hotel in Saldanha.

We were staying at the Evolution Lisboa – a hotel with modern decor, Rooms with lights & curtains that could be controlled through the hotel’s own smartphone app, open-plan bathrooms, super friendly staff & Rated 9/10 by bookings.com.

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Pictures from Bookings.com

Fayu was really impressed by the friendly staff and the quirkiness of the hotel that he wanted to go back to Doha and write a review about the hotel – For those of you who dont know Fayu, he is my husband and he would never write a review about anything in this whole wide world. So for him to even think of writing a review is something I consider to be MAJOR.  Moving on, we were extremely hungry and could easy eat an elephant so after we dropped our bags we decided to take the metro & head towards Restauradores square.

My food
His food

Lisbon is hilly city as I mentioned earlier, we took a tram-like lift that carried us from the Restauradores square all the way up to São Pedro de Alcântara Belvedere. From there, you can go into the quirky and charming neighborhood –  Bairro Alto.

BAIRO ALTO – This neighborhood of Lisbon has character. You get to see a lot of diversity here, restaurants, Fado houses, bars, pubs and Cafés as well as stores to shop are all around the streets, lanes and alleys. The most interesting fact of this place is that during the day this place looks really busy with a lot of locals and few tourists. In the night, everything changes – Restaurants, Bars and shops, that stay open until late at night, are full of tourists and people of all ages. Bairro Alto promises an enjoyable night to its visitors. In Portugal streets are known as Rua, some of the main streets in Bairro Alto are Rua da Rosa & Rua do Norte.

Our next stop was Alfama – this neighborhood has a gorgeous view of the city also the St George castle is located here. The best way to discover this gorgeous part of the city is by foot but then, Alfama remains incomplete without a ride on Tram 28. The Alfama portion of the tram ride stops at important sites such as the Castle of St. George, The Cathedral, and Church of St. Antonio as well as viewpoints such as Miraduoro das Portas do Sol and Miraduoro de Santa

View from Alfama

 

Our next stop was Castelo de Sao Jorge, an ancient Moorish castle that stands above central Lisbon overlooking River Tagus and city of Lisbon. This castle dates over 400 years and is one of the major tourist spots.

View of Lisbon City

 

Kicking away all the bad vibes
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Poser!

 

Because Portugal won the Euro Cup that month :p

After lingering around in Alfama we then decided to head back to our hotel but, not before trying the famous ‘pastel de nata’ also known as Pastel de Belém or queijadas de nata (depends on where you’re buying the pastel from) – a Portuguese egg tart pastry dessert. These tarts are absolutely delicious thin and flaky on the outside and warm custard like on the inside.

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Drooooooooooooooooooooool 😀

So that’s it from me for today folks! Part 2 of this post will be up sooon!

Until next time!

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Amsterdam Part 2

Hi Guys!!!

So this is the continuation of my previous post on Amsterdam. If you haven’t read part 1 then the link is as follows:

https://girlfromkasargod.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/amsterdam-part-1/

Day 2 – The weather in Amsterdam was excellent, we biked our way through the beautiful streets of Amsterdam, enjoying the amazing weather. Point to mention – The locals here  were so damn good looking. Blue eyes blond hair and all that. Not only were they good looking but to my surprise they were extremely friendly and smiley!  No Wonder why Netherlands is considered to be one among the most ‘happiest’ countries in the world. Also they speak English fluently hence there was no communication problem. So Day 2 was like the best day for me in the entire trip but I’m afraid I cant say the same thing for Fayu. It was the best day for me because I SHOPPED till I DROPPED (ok not exactly dropped, but till Fayu dragged me out of the store). More on ‘shopping with me in Amsterdam’ in another post.

So what did we do on Day 2?

We went to The Centre – This is where you will find all the entertainment of Amsterdam, you’ll find nightclubs,  concert venues, casinos, some dodgy coffee shops with dodgy stuff, movie theaters, shops in this neighborhood.

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Posing at Dam Centre
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Posing at Dam Square
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One more picture, please?

The Nine Little Streets, as the name suggests this is a set of nine streets that run between the Prinsengracht and Singel canals and have a lot to offer in terms of shopping. Gazzillion H&M stores, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Kiko, Stradivarius etc

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And when you get tired of shopping you eat Crepe’s & Waffles 😀

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Sorry no patience to take a picture of the food!
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Yeaaahh! Happy Me

Next stop Vondelpark – This is a gorgeous English style park with ponds, lawns, footbridges and winding footpaths. You will see a lot of tourists, cyclists, fitness enthusiasts, lovers enjoying their time in park. Although the Vondelpark receives over 10 million visitors per year, it never feels too crowded to enjoy.

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After cycling for a long time we got hungry again got ourselves Stroopwafels from Lanskroon. Stroopwafels  is a popular dutch waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel filling in the middle. They are absolutely delicious and a must try when in Amsterdam!

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I wanna go back to Amsterdam for those Waffles

We went to Leidseplein –  a crowded area with many restaurants & cafes. If you do not like crowded ares then you should avoid this place altogether. We went there to have authentic Dutch Cuisine. We Chose to go to De Blauwe Hollander, a decent place to get some dinner.

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Other things to do in Amsterdam is visit some of its Museums. Amsterdam has great Museums but we dint go to Museums as we dint have the time, Hopefully we would do that the next time! A common misconception about this gorgeous city is that it only hasDrugs & Sex to offer, which is not true at all & there are many other things you could do here to enjoy this place. It has rich history and has many beautiful places to see.We were very impressed by the dutch hospitality and would say that it is an interesting city you will fall in love with..

Until Next Time Guys!

XOXO

Amsterdam! Part 1

Hello guys!

I know I was supposed to write this post a few days back but as the saying goes ‘better late than never’ , I’ve been procrastinating this post for the longest time now. If you have read my previous blog posts you would know that me & my husband enjoyed our stay in Paris & it was time for us to move on to our next destination – Amsterdam

We took a train from Paris to Amsterdam – almost a 3 and a half hour journey. Our journey was great as we booked our tickets with Thalys:

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Husband excited to go to Amsterdam
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Funny how things around me suddenly start to blur when I see FOOD

Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands, home to many canals and bridges. This place is also nicknamed as the ‘Venice of north’ (although I’ve never been to Venice so I’m not sure how true that is). The city has some great museums, parks and places to SHOP, yeah that had to be bold, underlined & in Italic form as that was the most important part of this trip, Right? Yes, shopping was important but then the city itself was so damn gorgeous that I could not help but fall in love – it was love at first sight for me, I don’t know if Amsterdam felt the same way towards me.

Important note: Anyone reading this blog from Amsterdam, if you are interested in adopting an adult female please contact me. I have some supreme talents that I don’t usually boast about, some of my talents include – doing laundry, cooking food which may or may not be inedible, I can sing to entertain you (my friends call it screeching). If you do not want to adopt me then all I can say to you is “Your loss, huh” & “adopt me please, pleaaaasssseeeeee”?

Ok, so as soon as we reached Amsterdam we took a cab and headed towards our very cool hostel – CityHub a hostel with a concept. Basically you book yourself a hub at this hostel, so hub is the name given by them for their capsule like rooms. Each hub has WiFi, air ventilation,air conditioning, a very comfortable bed and you can also change the lighting inside your hub into many colors. The bathrooms and shower  for men and women are seperate and pretty neat.

Now for the best part – Wait for it – They give you a freaking portable Wifi which you can take with you and use around the city. So damn considerate! Yep! But you obviously gotta return it when your stay is over.

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You can either book the upper hub or the lower hub
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Fayu deciding between Mocha and Americano. Decisions, Decisions!

Link to the hostel: https://cityhub.com/ (Check it out)

So after we dropped our bags it was time to explore the beautiful city. Biking is a way of life here. Its how the locals commute around the city – shop, go to work or meet a friend all you need to do is rent a bike.

We rented our bikes and headed towards Dam Square – a square that has food stalls, restaurants and branded stores. This place is very popular and crowded. Whatever the weather, there is always something going on here so expect lots of entertainment:

 

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After Entertainment, waiting for my fries at a stall in the square
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Mandatory Selfie with the Canal
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Another Mandatory Picture at the square

 

Things to do and see in Dam Square:

  1. Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is a gothic building that holds Royal coronations and weddings, as well as art exhibitions
  2. National Monument was erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II. Visitors often sit all around the monument.
  3. Madame Tussauds the famous wax museum
  4. Eat at the restaurants
  5. Go to the coffee shops (These are not just your regular coffee shops, they sell hashish, marijuana and related stuff I think)

 

We chilled near the Dam square till the night & the next thing we know is we somehow magically and for unknown reasons were in the middle of The Red Light area, we really dint know how that happened. Ok fine, we walked towards the Red light area willfully. So in the Red Light area there are these beautiful women and trans women (who look more woman than real women, if you know what I mean) skimpily dressed in their window parlors trying to lure men. Photographing these women is strictly banned, if caught taking pictures one would face consequences. So obviously I dint take pictures. Honestly the place looked quite dodgy and we got out from there quickly cos I was being a chicken.

We ended the night by grabbing a quick bite as we wanted to do a lot of things the next day, also I’m gonna end the post here for today & stop boring you as always. Part 2 will follow soon.

Until next time.

XOXO

 

Travel Essentials

Travel – Such an exciting word! Pumps up your mood instantly right?


Traveling can be a lot of fun unless you forget to pack those ‘comfortable shoes’ that saves your legs after a long day of exploring. The common mistake that a lot of us do is we plan extensively about the destination we chose, hotels we are going to stay in, places we will visit & cuisines we will eat but neglect a very important factor until the very last minute – what to carry & what not to carry?

Travelling will be fun if you pack smartly & NOT carry a 100 kilos of luggage with you, the lighter you pack the easier your life will be when you are on the go.

Here are a few of my Travel Essentials:

1. Documents – Passport, Visas (If required), Flight tickets, Travel & Medical Insurance.

2. Money – Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Prepaid Travel Cards or hard cash. I prefer keeping very little hard cash on me & Prepaid Travel cards with me so I know how much I should spend on my trip & not go overboard.

3. First-aid – Carry basic first aid like paracetamol & allergic pills. Oh yeah! Also antiseptic cream if you are as clumsy as me and tend to trip over the tiniest of pebble.

4. Clothes & Accessories –

a) Pack Wrinkle free clothes so that you don’t have to worry about ironing them.

b) Carry clothes & underwear that dry quickly.

c) Carry really comfortable shoes & NOT ‘pretty looking’ shoes, They are good for pictures but will KILL your legs.

d) Pack clothes which you can mix & match with some of your other clothes. This way you would not be required to carry a lot of clothes.

e) Sunglasses

5. Personal items

a) Buy small travel bottles to transfer your face wash, body wash or shampoos for your travels

b) Tooth paste & brush

c) Nail Clippers

d) Hair brush

e) Disposable Razors

f) Sanitary & hygiene products if you are a girl, obviously.

g) Moisturizers & Sunscreen lotions

h) Last but not the least – Your Phone, it serves for various purposes like Calls & Messages, Photographs, Flash light, GPRS, read books, Mirror, use your smartphones to monitor your heat rate, play games on your phone when you have to stand in a long que or post a lame joke on your social networking site – Just to torture your followers.

 

I hope this post helps & motivates you to pack that bag & also encourage you to explore the world – sooner than later because as the saying goes:

 

 The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page – Saint Augustine

  

Until next time.

What I love & not love about Paris 

Hello you guys!

So I decided to keep this post short & simple. Following my vacation in Paris here is a list of what I love & Not Love about Paris!!

What I loved about Paris ❤️

1.The Parisans we met on our trip were very friendly & helpful unlike the stories we had heard or read. Lesson? Do not believe everything you hear.

2.DONT MISS THE CROISSANTS & MACARONS. Tip:Have A croissant first things in the morning from a local bakery & A Macaron from LADURÉE.

3.The Eiffel Tower sparkling in the night – a gorgeous sight you will always remember. Don’t miss this sight for anything in the world!! Ok you can miss it for Game of Thrones.

4.Fashion. This city is a Freaking Fashion Runway. Don’t be surprised when you see women wear high heels, pretty dress & cherry red lipstick to buy some milk from the local grocery. Motto to follow here:

“People will stare. Make it worth their while” – Harry Winston

5.Street musicians and performers.

6.Moulin Rouge

7.You get to see gorgeous panoramic views of the city.

By ‘view’ I did not mean us, it’s the background. You can consider us as a view as well, we wouldn’t mind that.

9. Artists in Montmartre

10. Montmartre

11. Learning French pronunciations. How would you pronounce Champs Elysees? Answer: Shonz-lee-zay.

12. Window shopping in Champs Elysees.

13. Posing by the Seine River.

What I did not love about Paris 💔
1. A lot of People trying to Con you. You see beggars & homeless don’t be fooled – they probably have more money than you.

2. The Louvre. Mona Lisa, especially this painting is not worth the hype. Also I don’t like art, but if that’s what makes you happy then go ahead my friend.

3. Too darn touristy that it gets annoying.

4. It is an expensive city. (won’t stop me from going back)

Until next time folks!

PARIS.. Part 2

Hello there!!

So as Promised, its time for part 2 of my blog in Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 then click the link below:

https://girlfromkasargod.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/paris-blog-part-i/

So we were staying in this small yet cozy hotel in Montmartre – did I mention for the hundredth time about how much I loved Montmartre? I guess now its pretty clear. We had visited Paris is summer – “Summer in Paris? Haha how hot can it get there? we live in the middle east for gods sake” kept telling this to ourselves. But then, Paris was hot, really really hot. Im sure it was a 100 degrees that day. Could not sleep so I woke up early & decided to freshen up and explore Montmartre. Fayu decided to sleep in – such a Princess.

Montmartre is known for its vast history, popularly known as a village of Paris this place has character. I started walking through the cobbled streets of this alluring neighborhood which was home to a lot of famous artists like Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso & Amedeo Modigliani. Back then artists loved working in these narrow yet supremely charming streets & you see this culture alive even today. I headed towards  Place du Tertre – a beautiful square in Montmartre, with a lot of artists who go out into the street to showcase their work, you also have a lot of choices in terms of restaurants and cafes here.

I dint want to eat at this square as I had another cafe in my mind. As I kept walking I came across what I was looking for – Cafe Des 2 Moulins! Yep, the same cafe from the movie Amelie:

They have pictures of Amelie in the cafe!


The café looks the same from the outside but has changed on the inside. I decided to order Crème Brulee – did not taste great which is ok as I was very happy to see the café where Amelie worked. Sat there till my heart was content & began walking again.

My next stop was Coquelicot bakery. As expected it was packed but I still managed to grab croissants, eclairs, tarts & baguette sandwiches. You may ask ‘but dint you just eat from that café? Guys I dint buy this for me, this was for the Princess who was waiting for me at the hotel.. Ok I may have eaten a few mini tarts, eclairs and a cheese croissant while walking towards the hotel.

We had a long day ahead of us so we started our journey for the day. Headed towards – Notre Dam, a cathedral over 800 years old known for its Gothic architecture and is among most well-known church buildings in the world.

Please note: Following photographs come into existence when you have a wife who is least interested in capturing your ‘Shahrukh Khan’ moments but sadly has no other choice but to click, click & click:


Notre Dame is more popular than Eiffel Tower in terms of visitors, this monument has a whopping 13 million visitors each year. This monument is also an active church making it the most significant place to conduct important religious events of France.

Notre Dam is definitely gorgeous but for me ‘Seine river’ stole the show. This beautiful river flows through the middle of the city. It is because of this river that Paris grew vastly in trade & Commerce.

Me trying to look cool in the pictures below:

Tried to pose like Fayu. I failed. Miserably. (I’m literally frowning in that pik, such an idiot)

After posing for picture we walked through the banks of the Seine until we arrived the famous bridge  ‘Pont Des Arts’ – known as the love lock bridge until the French government decided to get rid of the padlocks as it was adding additional weight to the bridge which was dangerous. Heartbreak for all the lovers who had left their memento here.

Picture time – perks of having a wife who clicks your pictures 24/7 also don’t miss pont des arts in the background guys (and yes that is my shadow):


Unlike me Fayu enjoys art, culture and not just FOOD. So we had to go to the Louvre Museum – we knew we would never cover this massive museum even if we were to spend the entire day there, so we told each other that we would check out the famous Mona Lisa, a few other pieces and leave.

I had expected Mona Lisa to be a fairly big painting which it was NOT. You get to see this painting from far as it is surrounded by a large number of crowd. Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed by the painting – I mean why is everyone going gaga about this painting? It’s not that I have a problem with Mona but its just that  I don’t understand the hype.

Guys I had to force myself through the crowd & put my life at stake to click this picture hence it would be highly appreciated if you could observe a moment of silence for my Act of Bravery:


Fayu was engrossed in the art (as expected) & kept checking out the place but I had already started getting hungry. He gave up finally after 2 hours of being constantly pestered by me to leave the Louvre. He dint expect I would survive for more than 15 minutes – so obviously he was proud of me that I lasted for over 2 hours.

Perks of having a wife who will click your crazy pictures 24/7:

We had walked a lot on this day & had started to get really tired so we decided to head back to our room and freshen up before dinner.

We had dinner at a restaurant in Montmartre, our only condition was we wanted to eat a French delicacy, Escargot’s – Snails. This was the first time we were going to eat snails in our entire life as everyone was raving about it so we just had to try it. I even asked the waiter ‘how are the snails? Do they taste good?’ to which he said ‘Im French, and they are chewy and taste bad’. Ok great! Now what? I saw Fayu’s smug smile and thought to myself there’s no way we are going to back out now. Placed the order and it arrived:

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Thank god it came without shells! How did it taste? It was not as bad as the waiter had described, the snails were cooked in pesto  sauce so the only taste I got was of the pesto. So ‘mission eat snails’ – Accomplished! Yayyyyy! Fayu also ordered chicken salad and Risotto incase the snails sucked! After dinner we headed back to our room as we had to travel the next day. (Travel? Where next? Amsterdam. Will you blog about it & bore us to death again? Yes ofcourse!)

I know I was supposed to include what I love and not love about Paris in this blog, but assuming that I’ve tortured you enough for today I shall do it the next time.
Until then, Au Revoir lovelies!