Goa Bicafe, Porto

On the day of my arrival in Porto (from Lisbon, by train) I was so tired, I struggled for two hours to fall asleep, then decided to go for a little walk, it was about 2am and I did not expect any bars to be open in the proximity to my hotel. But what do you know, I bumped into one of the most fun bars I had been to in years: “Goa Bicafe, cafe, snack, bilhares” in Rua de Fernandes Tomás (close to corner with Campo 24 de Agosto and 2 minutes walk from 24 de Agosto tube station). The owner, whose name I can’t seem to remember by the life of my mother, was serving behind the bar and a few regulars were finishing up their beers.    They were clearly set to close shop for the day, but the friendly owner started a lively conversation with me […]

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One Week in Pretty Porto

One week Porto sounds like a lot to some people, who think Paris can be done on a weekend, but if you have the time, one week Porto might be just what you were looking for. It was my first time in Portugal and I had a brilliant time. I was joined for most of the week by Nils, an old friend of mine, who was visiting from Munich – you can see two of his guest blog posts here (Kalmykia) and here (Grozny). Then my wife, Ellie or MsB, as she likes to call herself for blog purposes – she is writing this blog with me – joined for the second weekend. My name is Stefan, by the way, or Mr B, if you like. Things to Do We did most of the touristy stuff like all good travellers (can’t miss out on the top sights). The city is […]

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Lisbon – Mecca of Street Art

When researching my trip to Lisbon, I came across the local street art pretty early on. Other bloggers and travel sites were reporting an incredibly vital scene and it did not take me long to decide to book a tour. I followed the advice of various travel sites who all recommended Lisbon Street Art Tours (we do not receive any favours for recommending them here). Our guide, can’t remember her name (I’m pretty sure it started with a ‘V’), sorry, was a young lady from Belgium, who studies street art at the local uni and is currently working on her thesis on Lisbon street art. Not only was she pleasant to listen to, with her shy, enthusiastic, bubbly nature, but most of all she obviously had to hold herself back on a constant basis in order not to overwhelm us with the vast knowledge she has accrued about her area […]

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Lisbon in a Day

I flew into Lisbon last Friday night and had until the next evening, when my train for Porto (more about Porto here) left at 8pm. I was on my own, as I was only going to be joined in Porto by (first) an old friend of mine and (later) by my wife. Unlike me, my wife had already been to Lisbon, loved it, but preferred to stay in London that weekend and party with her girlfriends. I arrived at the hotel at around midnight and gobbled down a rather rare, but very tasty cheese burger at a nearby bar, before logging off. The next morning I got up at 6am, got myself a sandwich and a coffee to go, then explored the street art near Teatro Maria Vitória, which happened to be walking distance from my hotel. More about Lisbon street art here. Then I took a cab to the […]

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Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick

We visited the Magical Lantern Festival in Chiswick, West London, yesterday evening, and it was an incredible experience. Hundreds of lanterns, the biggest ones several storeys high and several dozen meters long! It took us more than two hours to walk to follow the path through the park and stop every other minute to take photos. This year’s show is themed “Explore the Silk Road”, so you’ve got plenty of camels and Aladdins, but also a gigantic Chinese palace, the center piece of the festival, that can be seen from nearly everywhere else in the park. Considering how cold it was it was a blessing that they serve hot chocolate (and mulled wine, hot whiskey, and spiced hot cider) on three or four locations. We also had a lovely pulled-pork sandwich for £5.50 right behind the 2nd entrance (the one where they check your tickets). The festival is taking place […]

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