Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Balesin: Your Private Island


"What are you doing Friday--do you want to go to Balesin? There's one more seat on the plane," my friend Joanna texted me. Are you kidding? Of course I want to go to Balesin. The first and last time I was there was as a kid, ten thousand years ago, when it was still owned by the Tordesillas family and only a few people knew about the island.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hotel Britania, Lisbon


I'd never been to Lisbon before this trip, but it seems I was lucky with my choice of hotel. The Britania is just the right type of boutique hotel I appreciate-- small and intimate, uniquely designed, has a a historic background,  and is perfectly located. As I said, I was lucky--I didn't see this review until after our stay.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lisbon's Flea Market


We were able to catch the Feira da Ladra, or Thieves' Market, on our last day in Lisbon. Just like in any other flea market, there's lots of junk, cheap souvenirs and clothes. But there are also wonderful antiques, old books, prints and ceramics. In Lisbon's flea market, the most exciting thing for me are the azulejos (pronounced azoo-leh-zhos)-- the handpainted tiles that are used extensively in Portuguese buildings and interiors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Timely Reminder


Nothing better than a strong visual to remind us that time is precious. Once it passes, it's gone, shredded forever.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Albufeira Oceanview


The view of the Atlantic ocean from the cliffs of the Albufeira is impressive. These are the grounds of the Sheraton Algarve Hotel, which is part of the Pine Cliff Resort--a hotel and timeshare property in the Albufeira, south of Portugal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cataplana in the Algarve


Cataplana  is a word that can can refer to a recipe, or to the copper pot in which this recipe is cooked. It's famous and typical in the Algarve or the southernmost region of Portugal. I thought it was similar to a zarzuela de mariscos, but then chef Fernando Fonseca, of the Restaurante Santa Eulalia, immediately said "noooooo, definitely not!"

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