Azulejos / Blue-and-white murals

Azulejos are beautiful blue-and-white tiles adorning many a mural in Portugal. While traveling around Lisbon, Porto and Faro, we’ve come across several churches, restaurants, train stations and such, covered with gorgeous scenes in blue and white tones, each telling a different story, each unique in its details. You know how I love collecting pictures of street art over my travels. These murals were in a category of their own. I immediately fell in love with these works of art.

Have you been to Portugal? What did you think?

 

Travel checklist : 2015

The new year brings forth reflections & plans. Here is my travel checklist for last year & I’ll soon post about my plans for 2016 🙂

Öland, Sweden : Last spring, Mr.A & I went on a fantastic road trip with some friends to the island of Öland in the south-west of Sweden. Sometimes one enjoys the journey more than the destination. But in this case, we loved both equally. We rented a van so we could all be in the same vehicle. It made the trip more fun, we went along singing songs and playing games. The island itself, including our quaint little cottage was super cozy & cute. We drove around the sights most of the time but also rented bikes one afternoon. It was great timing too, since spring was just creeping up and everything felt bright & cheerful.

Faro, Portugal : We were simply ecstatic to be part of a beautiful destination wedding in Faro. A Lebanese friend got married to his lovely Jamaican bride. We had been to Lisbon & Porto in December the year before and we jumped at the opportunity to visit Portugal once more. I’ve posted pictures from Faro at least thrice on Sunny District! It was a fantastic event with dinner at a seaside restaurant, touching speeches, setting of sky lanterns to with the newly weds, and then a crazy night of partying hard & dancing harder! Mr.A and I hung out for a few more days and went around Portugal’s heavenly Algarve region which boasts of serene beaches spotted with marshlands and islands. We took a boat ride to see the famous desert island, Ilha Deserta, and walked around the perimeter. On another boat trip we visited the Benagil Sea Cave. This cave is often included in lists of natural wonders around the world. The sea flows right into the cave and the high ceiling even lets boats drive in during low tide. What a perfect way to end the ride!

Cinque Terrre, Lucca & Florence, Italy : In the summer my sister & her husband visited us from India, and being the history buffs that those two are, they had to visit the must-dos for all lovers of history, Rome and Florence. Mr.A and I had been to Rome before, but we joined them on the rest of the vacation travelling through Tuscany. We started with Lucca, a medieval town known to have retained its medieval city wall. We rented bikes over the wall and visited several old structures. We rented the prettiest apartment ever, it was so old and artistically done up, we fell so in love with it, we didn’t want to leave! Then we headed to Cinque Terre, that stunning cluster of towns along the Italian Riviera. Oh so beautiful! Sea, breeze, sun, food and wine, all of it was to die for. Next stop was Florence, which was another awesome place where we learnt an enormous amount about the Renaissance history, art & culture.

Gothenburg, Sweden : Sweden’s second biggest city after Stockholm is Gothenburg, or Göteborg in Swedish. This was a work trip but the office & hotel were quite centrally located and add to it the long summer days, I had enough time to check out the main sights. My colleague said  let’s do the Paddan, the quintessential guided tour of Gothenburg by boat. Best suggestion ever. The guide on board had a funny commentary about the history of the city & the monuments or buildings that we passed. The boat glides under many bridges along the tour, some of them so low during a high tide that we had to duck our heads by getting off our seats and crouching on the floor! Definitely a ride to remember 🙂

French Riviera, France : We took off on Mr.A’s birthday again. Seems to be becoming a tradition, this November getaway of ours, but I’m not one to complain! French Riviera. We hired a car and saw some lovely places along the way… Nice, Monaco, Cannes, Eze, Antibes, St. Paul de Vence, Grasse… all so charming… promenades along the sea, villages in the hills, artisans’ workshops, painters’ ateliers, racing circuits, perfumeries… we could have stayed on forever.

A wonderful year indeed! Do tell me how yours went.

Trio

Trios have shown up every now and then at Sunny District.

Like the time when I showed you my favorite photo of me and my sisters. Growing up as part of that trio was the best part of my childhood.

And last year I shared the story of how I managed to grow three herbs in my kitchen – basil, thyme and coriander. They lasted a while and made me so proud of my green thumb 😉

herbs

Then there were those three pretty bracelets I found at a trinket store. They had equally pretty names – Peace, Karma, Wisdom.

And more recently, I shared a one-line story of the three beer bottles I saw standing on a window sill in beautiful Faro: Two is company, three is a crowd.

IMG_7693

I broke the trio theme by sharing four stories instead of three, I know, but hey, there’s fun in unpredictability, right?! Find out what other bloggers thought about this week’s prompt : Trio. Do hang around to browse through my previous contributions. Have a happy week ahead!