Saturday, July 14, 2018

travelling in style - with hand luggage only

Summer breaks are here - and I'd like to inspire you travelling light - yet in style.

I just came back from a trip along Portugal's west coast. More than a week of visiting cities, hanging out on beaches, and travelling by train.

Does this picture look familiar to you?
Wearing my favorite travel dress at the Singapore Art Museum, becoming one with the art.
(Photo: Mimi Green)

Guess what - I did all this with only hand luggage! Not only because my cheapie-cheap flights did not include checking baggage. It seemed also more convenient travelling with a small, handy, and manageable carry on; after all, at some places, I spent only one night.

Friday, July 6, 2018

travelling all bye:myself - five PROs and CONs

(Last Update July 2018)

When I've started my blog a bit over a year ago, it was mainly because I got asked so often about my solo travelling that I decided to share my experience not only with my friends but with everyone who might get inspired, informed, and benefit from it.

Museu Oscar Niemeyer in Curitiba
This picture was just too congruent to illustrate solo travel - you do not always walk alone!

Since then, I've been reading so many posts on solo travel, on how to do it, on where to go, on what to consider.
Over the past decades travelling solo, I've never noticed that hitting the road solo is such a complicated process with so many aspects to consider.
I picked a destination, I packed my bag, and off I went.
What a daredevil I seemed to be.

The other day, someone even contacted me since they want to 'raise awareness' for solo travel.
Raising awareness for solo travel - wow.
Has it really come to that? Is solo travel a disease? Are there awareness walks (which would nicely match with the cause 'travelling')?
Are you given sea blue awareness ribbons to stick to the lapel of your explorer vest?
Or is it just a disability, so you better travel to countries accessible for the impaired?

To me, solo travel was nothing more than buying a ticket for one.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Büdelsdorf Revisited - bye:myself at the NordArt 2018

The NordArt is a very nice art event - of course, not to be compared to the documenta, let alone the Biennial in Venice. But yes, they show a great variety of international art and has been one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe. So I like it.

Apart from the annual changing exhibitions, some of the works - especially the sculptures in the gardens - stay for this NICHTS-sign - by the way, nichts means nothing and is therefore exactly the opposite of what you actually get to see at the Kunstwerk Carlshütte.

What I actually love about the NordArt is the location: Büdelsdorf! Even for German-speaking people, this name is quirky and fun and sounds like someplace for rednecks in gumboots clomping over the fields checking if the potatoes are good to harvest yet.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Rail Trip Portugal - 6th Whistle Stop: CASCAIS - ESTORIL - BELEM

It was my last day in Portugal. Others would have taken it easy, maybe do some final souvenir shopping, have a last croqueta de bacalao and a glass of vinho verde or port in Lisbon.

One of Belém's most iconic monuments is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, the Monument of the Discoveries on the bank of the Tagus river. 

Not me.
I was travelling with hand luggage - an according post shall follow soon - so shopping was basically off the table. I had far too much vinho verde and port over the past week, anyways, and I had to get up at 4.30 in the morning, so I did not want to jeopardize my cheap ticket for a private fare-well-party.

View from the Bairro Alto neighborhood on beautiful Lisbon.

And although I by far hadn't seen everything I wanted to see in Lisbon - and by very far not everything there is to be seen - I decided to treat myself to a final beach day. Fortunately, Cascais and Estoril are only a short 40 minutes from Lisbon's Cais do Sodré station - and the historic paradise Belém is on the way.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Rail Trip Portugal - 5th Whistle Stop: SINTRA

Although I had just arrived in Portugal's capital, I decided to go on a day trip to Sintra right away: It's one of the most popular tours from Lisbon, it's extremely touristy, and I was afraid that on the weekend, it would be even more packed since all the Portuguese daytrippers will join the foreign tourists.

They sure were not shy about painting the Palácio Nacional da Pena - built in the 19th century for King Fernando II.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Rail Trip Portugal - 4th Whistle Stop: LISBON

So I got back to Lisbon - meanwhile, I'm an expert on trains and train stations in Portugal, I definitely know the drill.

Iconic view of river Tejo.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Rail Trip Portugal - 3rd Whistle Stop: COIMBRA

Coming to Coimbra, climbing up the extremely steep, narrow alleys covered with - partly slippery.... - cobblestones, you'll feel like walking through some movie set for a dark, scary movie on some cleric or academic mystery. The ancient buildings and walls - massive, majestic, eternal - deem totally surreal; and are absolutely stunning.

Dom João III overlooking his empire of wisdom

But what's this? A rumble, the noise of a thousand hoves trampling, swirling up the fine white sand covering the university's court.