Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SUMMER 2016 - THE TRIPLET TOUR



The amazing-triple-tour begins with LOTS OF transportation: Super empty flight to Abu Dhabi> Super packed flight to London Heathrow Airport> After-three-hour bus to Stansted Airport> The favourite budget Ryanair to Barcelona.... AND HELLO BARCELONA I'm hereeee! 

The Triplet Tour begins! *yay*

28/6-1/7 BARCELONA
Day 1 (Night)

We had some problem to travel to the city area upon arriving at the airport because we don't have small changes and we can't understand the language! Luckily there is a friendly aunty there asking us to buy a €9.95 ticket for 10 trips (for both bus or metro) which is quite useful during our stay here:)
And this is our lovely accommodation for 4 nights! The Diagonal House is centrally located and is well equipped with great facilities! :) An awesome place for me to chill and rest after a more than 24 hours travel!

 Day 2




La Sagrada Familia! We walk all the way from our place to La Sagrada because... we are poor travelers haha! We lose our way for quite some time but still it's an enjoyable stroll because the weather is quite ok at that time! We were wondering why is this touristy city so quiet until we see the queue here, SUPER LONG= = Luckily we bought the tickets in advance so we get to skip the queue teeheeeee. 

Most of the exterior is built after Gaudi and the differences are quite obvious actually and I wonder if this church can be completely built in 2026. You have to follow a tour in order to understand the meaning of the sculptures out there (and so three of us shamelessly follow a tour to listen to the guide HAHAHA). What I love the most of this church is the interior! The nature-inspired interior and colorful lights make it looks like a theme park! It's an enjoyable visit(3+ hours) despite the crowd:)












Tree trunks in the church!



The walk continues and we explore some of the amazing architecture in the city!(I thought they would look even prettier at night so I proposed to walk to have a look at night but this idea is banned immediately TT)

Casa Mila

Casa Amatller

La Boqueria Market
This is the oldest and most popular market in Barcelona!  You can never say No to food here! It's flooded with tourists and locals but the food here still taste nice! It would be a tough challenge for hungry people to resist these photogenic and gastronomic food!

 Food 


 Food

Food (Fruit is True Love 1, Fig & Super cheap Cherries are New Love)

Food

 Food
Food


 Food (Chocolate is True Love 2)

and



more
 Food!! (Seafood is True Love 3)

And this is our lunch place!
 There is some queue here but the real pro of food aka Jia Jing said that this bar is good so we patiently wait until our turn! 

After 10+ mins we finally get a seat! The staffs here are funny and friendly but they don't speak English so do some research before you are here! Many customers order champagne/wine/beer but we don't because we are good kids (ok la they cost a bomb lol)

Food glorious food!:D








 After lunch we spend some time strolling at La Rambla, the shopping district, in Barcelona! Trying to act like a Taitai at the local brands Zara (kids department HAHAHA), Springfield, Mango

 Admiring the pretty scene admist the city crowd:)

Around 5 we decided to visit the Jewish Quarter in this hustle bustle city. The streets here are quite narrow but they are quite unique! It's good to spent some time here and get lost!:)





Cathedral of Barcelona
 And then we decided to visit this cathedral... because it's one of the most used church in Barcelona.... and it's free only at 545PM LOL. But there's dress code for people to entry this church and we are all wearing shorts LOL. The newly bought clothes are immediately useful for us cause we simply tie the clothes around our waist to make them look like an over knee skirt HAHAHA.(ps: we did this among the crowd) It's super super hilarious that we laugh at each other but it's quite a nice experience! And we managed to get into the church in the end:))

Again, being a poor traveler, we have to cook the dinner but we really enjoy this because we love doing groceries hehehe! Afterall we are quite good chefs! LOLOLOL



  Super love this flatlay that look like us having a picnic outdoor but it's actually on our bed HAHAHA! And we watch Sex and The City while having dinner because it's filmed in Barcelona!

 But.... but.... but I fell asleep before the movie ends LOLOLOL


Day 3
The next morning we make our way to Parc Guell,a beautiful park built by Gaudi. There's actually a balcony which is really pretty but we never enter because it's not included in the entrance ticket -_____- Well it's really pretty la but I personally think that it doesn't worth that price lo.= = I mean... why spend 10+ to see a balcony when you can see it from far LOLOLOL (just google la)

 The view of Barcelona at the top of Parc Guell















And then we buy lunch at grocery shop and head to Parc de la Ciutadella for a real picnic! Haha!

Meet Arc de Triomphe's brother in Barcelona HAHA

 On the way

 The really really really beautiful fountain in the middle of the parkkkkk

 The hot is real== It's so bright that none of us can open our eyes==



People say you must go to the beach during summer, so here we are: Platja de la Barceloneta(man made!) &  the nearby beaches! There are really many people along the beach but I am so surprised to see how clean the beaches are! The combination of the gradient of the blue of the sky and white beaches is just the perfect match :D (and the wows looking the nude bodies walking around lol)








And then the funniest story of this Barcelona trip happens here: The planner(which is me) brought them to a wrong place HAHAHAHA (oh well that's the only time I lost my way in Europe ahemmm)



A selfie with the beautiful sea before the tragedy begins lol

I wanted to bring them to Palau Nacional(I searched and it's quite nice) on a mountain but I directed them to a wrong mountain that we spend 1.5hours until the peak (the slope is NO JOKE) and this is what we see:


WAIT WHAT WHERE'S MY PALAU NACIONAL?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHA All of us burst into  laughters for a few minutes (of course I am blamed after that) and we begin walking down again after a 5 minutes rest AHAHA SORRY WORLD THE GPS IS JUST NOT WORKING ON ME TODAY-_______-

We decided to relax our soul and body lol and try out the very famous tapas in Barcelona once we are on the flat ground: Quimet & Quimet Tapas Bar! When we are there the door of this bar is shut and we are horrified lol HAHAHA but once the clock strikes at 7, the door is open = = 


 Look at the numbers of wine bottles here!



 They are super yummy!!!OMG I miss them! But they are just enough for appetizer lol


So....we simply crash into a restaurant and have a proper dinner here
Moritz
The first beer in my life(share with Xin Yi)


 The last stop of the day is the Montjuïc Mágica Fountain and this water & light show is quite a gem of this trip! I am so happy that we never miss this because unlike other fountain shows, it's paired with really nice music, really awesome lights and the water changes alot! LOLOLOL how to explain this hahahaa.








Day 4
Tarragona

After spending 3 days strolling around the Barcelona city area, we head to Tarragona for a day trip! We wake up late on this day and we nearly couldn't go to this UNESCO heritage site! Fortunately we are able to take the next train and so here we are!hehe Once we arrive Tarragona, we have a problem of finding a luggage storage to keep our luggage and suprisingly there isn't such service in the train station! We are told to go to the bus station in the centre but it's very far from the train station,which will be very inconvenient for us to go back to Barcelona later! We eventually find a bike store in Tarragona and it's the only shop that provide such service! PHEW. The owner of this shop came from Barcelona and he decided to live at Tarragona instead because he loves this place. I couldn't agree with him more. As much as I am not a fan of sea and beaches (because I hate the sun LOL), the view here is simply scenic with the quaint Old World ambience and the gradient of blues of the Mediterranean that I really appreciate them:)




The Roman Amphiteather


I really enjoy walking along the medieval alleyways and cobblestone streets here. 
Sooo cute! 

While chilling on the street, we discover a tiny gem shop that sells many traditional candies and chocolates in Spain! *yummy*


The Cathedral




Featuring the tiny Xinyi and Jiajing hahaha

So cheap!





Tarragona is very beautiful but the heatwave is slapping our faces and it becomes very unbearable to walk around the city at the afternoon. So, the Jiajing Food Pro navigation brings us to El Tiberi, a local restaurant offering Catalan Buffet (€11.95 working noon buffet, it's considered very reasonable in Europe!). The air-cond and the good food here are really our savior and true love (yes, our true love) at that moment! We spend more than 2 hours here (even play the Monopoly deal in the restaurant AHAHA until the weaher out there become slightly ok lol)

The Castell Monument(a monument of human tower built traditionally in festivals within Catalonia)





We spend the last 2 hours admiring the stunning Mediterranean view at the Mediterranean balcony and shopping at Springfield and Pull & Bear before going back to Barcelona! (yes, because we realize they are local brands after 3 days hahaha)


To be honest, except the sad case( The €500 is stolen, soooooooo sad), Barcelona is still my favourite city because the architecture and view offered here is super wonderful! :)

Goodbye Barcelona!:)

We arrive Porto airport at 11pm and spend one night there until the next day!

2/7-4/7 PORTO
 And yes we only realised the €500 lost at this platform :( But nevermind lah we should enjoy the upcoming Europe trip right? haha Somemore the tearing and angry Jiajing has been cursing the creepy pickpockets all the way. I guess they will be receiving their karma very soon lol 

Alighting at Bolhão Metro Station, we walk along the Rue de Santa Catarina, the famous shopping
street in Porto, along with our luggages.
 The famed Majestic Cafe where JK Rowling loves visiting!  It's the one of Europe’s most historic, beautiful cafes once frequented by historians and famous authors.


 But that Cafe is extremely expensive so we decided to have a tea at a cafe opposite the it!HAHAHA and YES the authentic PORTUGESE TART is very yummy that we have it almost everyday when we are in Portugal!!!

 Lots of traditional pastries being sold everywhere!

And yes, Porto is a city full of slopes LOLOLOL, you can't tell but this is one of the slopes we have been through to arrive our place = = Dragging the luggages up the slope under the scorching sun is a daunting task for all of us@@ Thanks to the friendly old uncle and young man who debated so much to help us figuring out the way to our place :) *there's kind soul spreading all around the world:)*








 After leaving our luggage at our place, we embark on the journey of exploring this blue-tile-city! The first stop is the Estação de São Bento(railway station)! I can't stop looking at the historical stories created with all the white and blue! It's apparently a must-come attraction for the tourist!
(featuring 3 of us that don't get to shower for more than 24 hours lolololol)

 Slopes everywhere





Torre de Clérigos (The Clérigos church and tower)

And then we climb up the slopes to explore the view across the Porto River at one of the Miradouro - Mirodouro da Vitória


Crossing the alleys (with shelthers hahaha) to the lunch place.


A Sandeira! The place that they said it offers the best sandwiches! It's a very small shops with 3/4 tables and a bar table but we see the crowds queuing behind us at lunch hour!


 The ambience is perfect too!




The sandwiches are HUGE(for a very reasonable price) and yummy! I think the statement above is right hahaha! They offer cheaper deals for weekdays set lunch as well!




 View with blue sky and red rooftops at another Miradouro.







The stunning Arab Room!



The Palácio da Bolsa! For €4.50 per person we get a guide for a tour here and I think it's really worth visiting! It used to be a place for businessmen to gather and have meeting but this place is really beautiful, especially the Arab Room!

Beautiful buildings everywhere *love*

And at this street we find very very very good male Porto singer with smoky voice and the very talented band! SO GOOD *love*

The Sé do Porto (Sé Cathedral) on a mountain!






The 12 short term is our place for the next 2 days! It's near to the touristy area yet quiet, and it's so spacious and cosy with 2 levels! I love it so much! Also, the owner is super friendly and informative that she suggests us to have dinner at a very local restaurant and Bom Costo (not the most famous one but it's the best Portugese tarts I have had!!!) We spend some time chilling here until the dinner time!

We have dinner at Maria Rita! We are the first guest here hehehehee
The empty restaurant hohoho





The Sangria that all of us love sooooo much! And I miss it right now TTTTTT


Sardines and Bacalhau Com Natas (Cod with Cream)
The portion is so big that we try so hard to finish all of them!

Bolinhos de Bacalhau, we love it!!! *love*


Before we left, the friendly owner of the restaurant offers each of us a small cup(slightly bigger than thumb) of alcoholic drink! It's very strong, even stronger than wasabi LOL


Look at my face after the Sangria and that cup of alcohol HAHAHA


And this is what I love the most in Porto!!! Awwww look at the view here! The Porto bridge behind and the river bank are simply magneficient!

The TRIPLET *love*

And it looks like this after 5 minutes! Hello SUNSET!:)


The TRIPLET 2!

Day 2
Morning River and the Riverbank! hahaha



We are taking a tram to the north of Porto! It's so cute (but very noisy when it moves)

We came here in the morning and we are lucky to bump into a morning arts and crafts market! There are many good food here too (with freebies HAHAHA)!

But..... we actually come here for
.
.
.
THE ATLANTIC OCEAN *loves*

A chillin stroll along the streets offers such beautiful view:
The perfect combination of the day: cloudless blue sky + crystal clear sea + mighty white sea wave! 


Praia dos Ingleses (Ingleses Beach)



The wave is actually beating the shore forcefully that the water splashes on the shore! So we are actually risking our life to take multiple photos here! (But it's worthy to risk HAHA)


I think we look very weird to people along the beach because we are the ones who wear the most AHAHAHA. We can't stop shouting Wow upon looking at the people sun-tanning under the hot HAHA

The beach is also beautiful, everything is beautiful!


So we decided to have a picnic(home-cooked food yayyy) beside this view! We find a clean shore (with shelter) and have a very atas lunch here! (despite the very strong wind LOL)


video

After spending the morning along the sea, we head to the old city again! Look at this Capela das almas (Church)! I really love the mixture of white and blue :)

Blue! *love*

Dinner time at Taberna dos Mercadores, a traditional but slightly atas restaurant hiding admist the narrow alleys! We share a cup of dessert wine which we love so much;D



Salada de Polvo (Octopus Salad)


Pork Stew


Bacalhau Com Natas (Cod with Cream) again!

After trying hard to act like classy Tai Tais, we walk along Cais da Ribeira and cross Ponte de D. Luís while eating cheap cherries! The night is well spent!




Tada!

SUNSET *loves*(well I wanted to see sunrise one but the sunrise here is at 4am-_____-)


Again, we climb onto a hill and we are stunned by these picturesque moments. :)




On the bridge!

Day 3

Morning Pastel de nata!


Breakfast at home before departing to the airport:) 
Pastel de Nata + Bread + Cherries(super cheap)

We are so lucky to be at Porto Airport at this moment because the departure area of this airport has a grand opening after renovation and all shops celebrate this with lotsa freebies and free food! hehe


Yayyyyy

LISBON (4/7-7/7)
Day 1


Stairs, stairs and more stairs! This is just 1/6 of the stairs to get to our AirBnB @@ Getting to every single new place is a mighty challenge huh! What can be worse when we have to lug our luggage and climb the stairs when it's raining?! hahahahaha
But we get a super spacious space after the sweaty climbs! It's located in Bairro Alto (yes a clubbing place) but it's quite comfortable to stay too:) 
From Barcelona to Porto to Lisbon, our place keep upgrading to a bigger one HAHA.







 The house has a big screen TV too! And this is where I start watching Doctors (ok this will be my first and last Korean drama I swear)!! Every night, regardless of how late it is when we are home, we still watch Doctors for a few hours and I cry so much as if someone betrayed me LOL that Xinyi and Jiajing laugh at me = = 


We have a good rest and then go to the supermarket(yes, it's under the hill LOL) to do some groceries! And then we climb up the stairs again to keep the groceries at home! And then we go downwards again to explore the city HAHAHA! The aching legs are really no joke LOLL

First stop is the São Roque Church & Musuem! You can't from the exterior of the church but it's the "world's most expensive chapel!

*loves*

Bumping into a random shop selling super expensive but beautiful chocolates.

Came here because Xinyi said it's one of the must try Portugese tart!

*Freshly baked*



The view from Elevator de Glória! We never take the elevator to the top but the view is still not bad!





When dinner time strikes, we go to Rosa da Rua (just behind our house) that we have booked earlier to have a scrumptious buffet dinner! #againwearethefirstguests The food is super yummy especially the Cod with Cream! *love*
 We walk to a Miradouro nearby after dinner. And we use the panaroma function to this photo HAHAHA not bad lah hor!

At night, we spend some time watching and crying with Doctors HAHA (ok la it's just me crying LOL)


Day 2

Day trip to Sintra (a fairy tale kind wonderland with Castles and huge gardens)

We leave the city by train and arrive this wonderland! The attractions we are interested at are all on top of the mountains. As a tourist in extreme poverty we make a conclusion of walking up (1 hour) instead of spending money on bus! However, the walk is actually not that tiring with the scenic view in front of us:) (Even though the sun is huge like a fireball lol)



The view of Palacio Nacional de Sintra from far.


Hello cute hydrangea:)


2000++ steps to the magical Palacio Nacional da Pena!!!



We try our best to take a proper shot admist the huge crowds beforing entering this colourful castle! For €15 we get to explore the entire castle and the garden which are huge! (you might lose your way in the garden!)


The Triplet!:)

This is where we walked from LOL

A serene little corner in the garden.


Tiles-inspired boxes


After the exploration on the mountain we take the same journey back to the city of Sintra. We taste the Ginja, a traditional Portugal alcoholic drink using a cup made of chocolate! The sweetness of chocolate balance out the bitterness of the wine!


And of course we try some pastry too!


Going back to city after spending 6++ hours in Sintra!


The famous Elevador Santa Justa


Tea break is the portugese tart!


This is what we have for dinner when everyone can cook! Cheap and yummy!

 Day 3
Breakie before leaving for Belem!


This is what they said: The best portugese tart in Lisbon!


Featuring all the blues and whites!


 Tada #butstillBomCostoisthebest

The Jerónimos Monastery! Another UNESCO Heritage Site along the Tagus RIver.


Panaroma mode again haha!


We don't manage to visit the Belem tower because it's under renovation! (but I think we won't pay for the entrance fee anyway ahaha)


We decide to burn our calories instead of burning our pockets and walk to the Timeout Market in Lisbon for 1 hour+!












But then we are soooo hungry that we order so many food!




We leave for another district - Alfama after lunch, which is very sloppy as well! The medieval alleys and outstanding views here would be perfect if the weather is chiller HAHA


Mint blue + White Tiles




 The outstanding view!

The medieval alleys

But sun why are you so hardworking?! AHAHA


We end our day with seafood with is EXTREMELY DISSAPOINTING. Seriously I feel cheated for spending €50+ for seafood that is even not fresh! Urgh so angry= = It's even better to spend RM250 in KL/Penang/anywhere in Malaysia (except Pahang? haha) and you can have the best seafood!


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SUMMARY (LOL)

1. The most beautiful view: Sunset & night view along Cais da Ribeira & Ponte de D. Luís/ View of Mediterranean Sea+The Atlantic Ocean
2. City that I love the most: Barcelona
3. Food that I miss the most: Portugese tarts and Cod & Cream at Rosa da Rua & Sangria *love*
4. Fruits that I love the most: Fig & Cherries *love*
5. The max. steps we have walked in a day:35627 steps (22.1km)
6. Enjoy freedom the most: The Triplet Tour
7. The saddest case: Goodbye Euro500
8. The city with the most slopes: Lisbon
9. The shopping paradise: Barcelona
10. The happiest moments: Every second
11. The town with best street singer (male): Lisbon *loves*
12. The BEST travel partners: Jiajing, the best food navigator + the queen of accommodation+the master of     posing
                                                 Xinyi, the most chill traveler+the doctors introducer+ the part time direction navitagor+ Planner of Lisbon
                                                 Me(HAHAHA), the best treasurer(HAHAHA)+the part time direction navigator+the photographer + Planner of Porto & Barcelona (so proud of myself HAHA, and it's probably why I love these 2 places so much!)

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THE END