Sintra & Cascais

Note: This post is from April 2015

We might not have waken up as early as we had planned, but there is only 30 minutes to Sintra with train, so there was no rush. We took the train to Sintra from Rossio station.

From the train station in Sintra we walked up a zigzag-road along the hill. It’s magically green, and there are artisans along all the way to the center. I bought some nice photographs of Lisbon from traveling Photographer, and Duilio bought some leather bracelets.

Sintra is high in the hills above Lisbon. It’s a small town that looks like a fairy tale, it has romantic parks and mysterious trails through the forest. Sintra is known for it’s 19th century aomantic architectural monuments, and it has castles, lot’s of nature, medieval buildings…  it’s just adoring.

It has been a tourist magnet for a while, it’s on UNESCO World Heritages Site since 1955. The ancient kings usually had their summer home here, since it’s not as hot as below and the coast. If you are in Lisbon this is a city you must visit.

Once we arrived the center of Sintra, we visited the tourist office to get a map. We already knew what we wanted to visit – Quinta da Regaleira.

View from Quinta de regaleira

View from Quinta de regaleira

The entrance fee to Quinta Da Regaleira is 6 euros and it was totally our favourite place to visit in Sintra.

The facade of the palace is characterized by Gothic pinnacles and an impressive octagonal towel. It was 5 floors and you can walk around inside it and see all the rooms (dressing room, office, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, billiards room etc) and furniture just as it was with the previous owner!

The land that is now Quinta da Regaleira has had many owners over the years. It’s from somewhere in the 18th century, and it was a private residence. It didn’t open up to public until 1997!

We love Quinta de Regaleira :)

We love Quinta de Regaleira :)

In the highest balcony in Quinta De Regaleria

In the highest balcony in Quinta De Regaleria

The property is romantic and has a palace, a chapel, and a luxurious park with lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and many exquisite constructions.

It’s really huge! It has four hectares of land in the surrounding and a treed park with myriad roads and footpaths. The coolest thing is the extensive system of tunnels, which have multiple entry points that include the grottoes, the chapel, Waterfall Lake, and ”Leda’s Cave,”. The ”Initiation Well”  connects to other tunnels via a series of underground walkways.

In the gardens

In the gardens

They have their own chapel in the gardens!

They have their own chapel in the gardens!

Crossing over a small river to get into a cave in Quinta de Regaleira

Crossing over a small river to get into a cave in Quinta de Regaleira

Discovering the caves in Quinta de Regaleira

Discovering the caves in Quinta de Regaleira

Well, hello there boyfriend!

Well, hello there boyfriend!

 

The Initiation Wells are two wells that are more like underground towers with stairs. They have never been water sources, they were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites. The tunnels connect to these wells, aswell as vaces and other monuments around the park. The length of the “inverted tower” and the number of steps in the stairs are somehow connected to tarot mysticism.

In one of the wells

In one of the wells

The initiation well

The initiation well

 

After spending a couple of hours around this mansion and tunnels we were starving. We found a little restaurant on our way from Quinta da Regaleira to Castelo da Pena, which had a nice view. The cheese here was great! We sat outside and yes, I burnt my shoulders, haha.

Eating lunch in the sun!

Eating lunch in the sun! Well, Duilio was in the shade…

Our plan was to walk up to the Castelo de Pena, the big colorful castle you see in the top, but we gave up that idea, it’s yet another zigzag road up about 45 minutes, and the sun was gazing so….. Instead we walked to the bus station to take a bus up, I think it was about 5 euros for a 2 way ticket, but we met a woman and her family there who had walked down, so they had one way still on their ticket, which they gave to us :) So we got up and down for free!

Castelo da Pena, colorful!

Castelo da Pena, colorful!

The entrance in Castelo de Pena

The entrance in Castelo de Pena

The entrance fee to Castelo De Pena was 14€, quite expensive, but since it’s sort of the landmark of Sintra we wanted to check it out. The palace stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra.

The castle itself is super cool from the outside, so colorful and majestic. And the view from the castle was fantastic – you could see everything! But the inside of the castle wasn’t that special, and neither the gardens which were nothing more than forest and a lake with a cute tower… so yes, I enjoyed Quinta da Regaleira more :)

In Castelo Da Pena!

In Castelo Da Pena!

Spectacular views!

Spectacular views!

Sitting in the archs watching the beautiful view

Sitting in the archs watching the beautiful view

Walking in the gardens of the National Palace Da Pena

Walking in the gardens of the National Palace Da Pena

In the gardens of Castelo da Pena

In the gardens of Castelo da Pena

Around 8 in the evening we took the train back, the time really flies in Portugal! We bought some wine, cheese and bread on the super market on our way home and sat in the hostel kitchen and relaxed.

On Sunday we got up early to take the train to Cascais, but when we got to the station there was a strike going on in the public transport! …So there were no buses or trains or trams.. We were supposed to meet up a couple of friends I made while I was in Brazil who lived in Cascais in the evening, and we really wanted to go there.

So we rented some bikes, it costed 25€ (there was quite a line there since everyone thought as us;) – and then we biked about 30km along the coast until we reached Cascais.

Selfie while biking! Haha

Selfie while biking! Haha

It was very windy, but the sun was burning, so we managed to get a really nice tan with nice marks of our clothes and watches, haha. We made a few stops along the way on some beaches. In Carvahelos beach we had some milkshakes and food and we also wanted to check out the water – so we put our feet in the water to see how it was – and it was COLD!!

Checking out the water.... conclusion: Not bath-season!

Checking out the water…. conclusion: Not bath-season!

Along the coast

Along the coast

Cascais is a lively summertime town where lot’s of local people go for the summer. Before it was mostly a fishing village.

There was still a few hours left until we were supposed to meet up with Miguel, so we found a place in leeward on the beach and ate our sandwiches we had brought with us.

Enjoying some beach in Cascais :)

Enjoying some beach in Cascais :)

The sun was shining at it last hour and we were a little bit worried about our way back, since we had a dinner-date with Miguel and Leonor, and then we would need to bike back 30 kms again… But fortunately Miguels car was a big combi, where our bikes (after some struggling) actually fitted, so he could drive us back. So sweet! :) And such a relief! Haha.

We visited Miguels home, he lives in the center in an old apartment with his family, I would say that’s a very typical Portuguese home, very cozy and filled with stuff and memories. They let us try som Pastel de Pascua (easter-cake) and we talked with his family who speaks Spanish, and they helped us in how to go to Porto.

Leonor came after a while and we went to eat dinner at a local restaurant with very good prices.  Duilio had his third kind of Bacalhau here, “Bacalhau de crema”. I had a vegetarian omelette made for me. I also ordered a first course “vegetable soup” – but it didn’t look to vegetarian, it had some meat in it. What I enjoyed most, beside the company of course, was the desert – I tried something called “Baba de camelho” and that was truly delicious, like a caramel mousse.. Yummi!

Having dinner with Miguel and Leonor :)

Having dinner with Miguel and Leonor :)

Then we had some drinks at another place and we tried some Moscatela – another good local wine/liquor. It was quite smoky inside haha.

We wandered around Cascais, it’s a very cozy and pittoresque small town with cobblestone streets and shops, I can see how lively it can be during summer. We passed by the enormous big Casino and then visited Eleonors house in the outsides of Estoril, completely different from Miguels typical city-apartment, her house was super big with a garden and the whole basement was just a saloon with billiards and everything just to have people over for parties or get together :)

Walking around empty Cascais at night

Walking around empty Cascais at night

We rounded up the night and Miguel drove us back all the way to Lisbon even though he had to get up early next morning for university, we are truly grateful for that!

Next morning, on Monday, we went down with our bikes to the place where we had rented them. Then we did the check-out at the hostel and took the subway to Oriente where the train to Porto left. On our way there it started raining – buh, we have had such a good luck the whole week with sunshine and between 20-30 degrees everyday! I think it was raining to make it easier to say good bye ;)

There was off course still strike and plenty of cancelled trains and busses – but we managed to jump on the first train that left – we bought our ticket 12.04 and the train left 12.09!! YES, we ran like crazy! Haha!

 

 

Annonser

Discovering historical Belém and Lisbons nightlife

Note: This post is from April 2015

After breakfast we walked down to the station Cais do Sodre. We bought a so called ”Zapping card” – 5 euros, and you can travel with every transport within Lisbon, even to Sintra and Cascais. Today we were going to Belem, so we took the Tram 15 to Belen. There were SO LONG cues and the tram was completely filled. Poor people that lives there and have do deal with all us tourists!

So Belém is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese explorers set off on their discovery voyages, like to India and Brazil. It is also a former royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace, now occupied by the President of Portugal.

In the gardens and fountains in front of the Jeronimo Monastery

In the gardens and fountains in front of the Jeronimo Monastery

The cues outside the Jeronimo Monastery

The cues outside the Jeronimo Monastery

Once there we saw some very long cues at Dos Jeronimos, were we wanted to enter. So we thought, maybe a little bit later. Instead we walked down to Torre de Belém.

On our way there we passed by some big monuments, like the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of discoveries).

The Belém tower was built as a fortified lighthouse from the 1500 and made to guard the entrance to the port. It’s been a military outpost built to protect from Pirates and enemy attacks.  It’s a beautiful little tower on a small island in the Tagus-river, attached to the mainland with a small bridge, but the cueues were also sooo long…. So we just watched it from outside and walked along the path and the port. More people tried to sell us weed and stuff again.

The Stone of the discoveries. Huge!

The Stone of the discoveries. Huge!

The Tower of Belém, from the 1500, a military outpost to protect from pirates and enemies

The Tower of Belém, from the 1500, a military outpost to protect from pirates and enemies

Cute turquoise house down the port

Cute turquoise house down the port

We walked back to Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos again, and there were not fully that long cues now, but enought. While Duilio was in the cue I went to buy us some really nice sandwiches, some beer and some pastel de nata. That’s the good thing about being 2 who travel.

Inside it was a quite fantastic place. The Tower of Belém was party built to defend this place. There are so many details, I loved the roof.
There are different saloons with history and it was a pleasant stay. All though I do not recommend to visit the Chapel, which you have to make yet another cue to go in there, and is definitively not worth it, just a dark room.
Both the Belém-Tower and the Monastery is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Inside the Monastery. Really cool!

Inside the Monastery. Really cool!

The roofs around the monastery are spectacular!

The roofs around the monastery are spectacular!

We enjoyed our first Pastel de Nata inside the Monastery :)

We enjoyed our first Pastel de Nata inside the Monastery :)

We walked around a bit and found a nice park where we watched people and then took a siesta. It was a nice park with a lot of people around, we were asked about 2 or 3 times from different kids sport teams if we wanted to buy some lottery or something. Cute :)
I made some macramé bracelets and Duilio got together with a bunch of guys playing fotball. :)

Duilio joined a team and played some fotball

Duilio joined a team and played some fotball

We took the tram back and walked up the hill to Bairro Alto. We went into a coffee shop just beside our hostel and hade some ”fika” – Pastel de coco, sandwich of mortadela and 2 coffees for 5,6 euro. Totally ok, in Sweden it would be around 17 euros :)

Went home and showered again after yet another sweaty day, and then we met up with my mothers friend Filippa who is now living in Lisboa with her Portuguese ”boyfriend”Jose or ”Ze” as they say to all the Joses here.

We walked to the Alafama area and ate at a restaurant, we sat outside which was a little bit chilly actually (and no seat cushions), but it was ok :) We had some Vino Verdhe for the first time, really good wine!

We all talked in ”Portuñol” – which is a mix between Spanish and Portuguese, since all of us didn’t speak the same language. We talked about the traffic, politics, the differences between Portugal, Spain and Sweden. It was a very interesting and pleasant evening. We also brought them a swedish ”Påskägg” – a big egg filled with Swedish candy, which was appreciated :)

Dinner in Alafama with Zé and Filippa

Dinner in Alafama with Zé and Filippa

My vegetarian dinner

My vegetarian dinner.. not o much to brag about, but no meat, thats good ;)

After we said our goodbyes me and Duilio walked back to our hostel, we made a stop at Cafe A Brasileria in Baixa/Chiado area , it’s one of the oldest and famous cafés in the old Lisbon. It opened 1905 :) We had some Vermut there.

Having some Vermut in Cafe A Brasileira

Having some Vermut in Cafe A Brasileira

Then we walked to Bairro Alto and went higher up to visit the lively night neighborhood. It has small streets, it’s full of people and it’s packed with a high variety of bars. On weeknights bars close at 2 am, weekends at 3 am. There was people literally eeeeeverywhere!

It’s like a big street party, you go in to a bar and order something, and then bring it out and drink it out on the streets. Haha. We first sat down in a place and tried some more local liquors like ”Licor de Beirao”, but then we just ordered from some bars and took it with us around the streets and some people-watching. One Moragnoska and one beer costed 8 euros. Totally ok once again :) (swedish price would be around 20 euros).

In the lively streets of Bairro Alto at night

In the lively streets of Bairro Alto at night

 

The city of the 7 hills – Lisbon, Portugal

Note: This post is from April, 2015

 

Leaving fairly cold Sweden for Portugal!

Leaving fairly cold Sweden for Portugal!

We were all excited about our trip Portugal, but the first day didn’t start so well. Yes, since I had written this down, I feel like I have to complain a bit. But if you’re interested in what Lisbon has to offer, just scroll down! :)

We arrived in Lisbon Wednesday evening. The flight went quickly even though we had a stopover in Vienna. But from Vienna to Lisbon we got our seats on different rows…  Well, doesn’t matter that much, it was a short flight. Also there was no vegetarian food for me, of couse… There’s never. So now I don’t like Lufthansa so much.

We arrived in Lisbon quite late around 21 and took a taxi to our hostel. The taxameter was on 11,50 euros, but then the driver wanted to charge us 19 euro because we had luggage with us! We got to see the chart were it says that yes, it costs like 4 euros for luggage, extra 3 euros for airport etc etc. So well. We paid that.

We stayed at Passport Lisbon Hostel, right in the famous Praça Luís de Camões. But we couldn’t find the entrance…. We were just outside the number 36, and it was a just a regular door to an apartment building, with a code, and we did not have any code… So we stood there for a while until some other girls were going in to the hostel, and followed in. The elevator was so small we couldn’t fit our two together and our packback… So we walked up to the reception, which was also super small. We checked in and bought a beer there to bring up to our rooms, hehe, well worth it after all the floors we had to walk up!

We got in to our room and it was…… not as expected. Sure we are not luxury-travelers or anything, but the hostel looked really cool when we looked it up on booking. We got a room just next to the kitchen, and we had a private toilet but it was outside our room, so we had to go out in the hallway to go to the toilet.. .Which means you have to get dressed if you want to pee in the night. Well well… Also not that big deal.

This is what our room looked like, but it was not as spacious as it looks, and nothing else there... Picture taken from their website

This is what our room looked like. Picture taken from their website

But then the room was very basic, everything I had seen online that made it look rustic and awesome on the pictures actually just looked rusty and dusty in reality. We did not have a working night lamp, our night stand was broken (it was a book screwed into the wall that has broken, so it was just a book on the floor now), there was NO furniture at all – basically just a bed and you had to put your backpack and your clothes on the floor… no balcony (most of the rooms have a french balcony), we only got 1 really thing pillow each… And on top of that  it was super hot this nigh (it was really unnecessary for us to bring so much long-sleeved). I didn’t manage to fall asleep until 6 in the morning. Buh :(

Next day we woke up when the hostel started serving breakfast, since we could hear everything in our room. Not that much of a breakfast, yoghurt, cereal and white bread with cheese. There’s some construction going out just outside so it was not so pleaseant sound at when we had the window opened. We started by asking the reception to fix the light in the room and to give us a few extra pillows, there was no problem with that at all. Then we took a couple of chairs from the kitchen ”borrowed it” to have as furniture in our room, haha.

THEN, FINALLT, the adventure began!

View over Elevador Santa Justa from the hilltop

View over Elevador Santa Justa from the hilltop

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, it has about 550000 habitants. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, actually older then London, Paris and Rome by centuries. It’s built on 7 hills, so you are almost always going either up or down :)

Our hostel was in the Bairro Alto (the upper town), in one of the hills in Lisbon.

We walked down towards the water and the neighbourhood Baixa (lower town). We could se the big Christ on the other side of the water, we had also seen him from the flight yesterday. The Monument is in Almada on the other side of the river Tagus, it resembles de Corcovado monument in Rio De Janeiro and was built after the second world war as a memorial of thanks that Portugal was spared of the destruction of the war.

It was beautiful down by the water, nice walking areas, boats, people walking everywhere… It reminds me of Spains coast.

Within 15-20 minutes three different guys asked us if we wanted to buy Marijuana/Hash/Cocaine. We were quite chocked first, but we got used to it. I don’t know if it’s because of my dreads or Duilios curly hair, if we are a young couple, or if they just ask everyone. Haha.

It was a sunny and super warm day, about 30 degrees. Not that very common for being april! Of course we found some Swedes in bikinis in the small beach by Praca do comercio, haha.

Quite odd plastic puffs to sit on next to the water

Quite odd plastic puffs to sit on next to the water

Tourists enjoying the small city beach :)

Tourists enjoying the small city beach :)

The gate of Praca do Comercio, and a guy trying to sell us drugs

The gate of Praca do Comercio, and a guy trying to sell us drugs

We visited a lot of small artisanian shops.The daughter of one of the managers in a small shop we visited painted a drawing and gave to Duilio. So sweet :) She spoke spanish because her father is Peruvian. We kept walking around for a few hours along the water, then we needed to cool down and eat something, so we walked all the way back and then sat down at Café Vitoria in one of the main streets the city center.

Lisbon is full of trams, cars, there are constructions everywhere, half torn down buildings, but it feels safe and very homely. But yes, the traffic is horrific, I would NEVER drive here! There are cars and trams coming from all the sides! Haha

In the center of Lisboa there are quite many downed buildings... some of them even abandoned

In the center of Lisboa there are quite many downed buildings… some of them even abandoned

The buildings around here have quite spectacular facades..

Some of the buildings around here have quite spectacular facades..

Along the beach walk - painted house

Along the beach walk – painted house

Visiting crafts shops close to Praca do comercio - please notice the white man in the back who is painting his face white in the reflection of the window :)

Visiting crafts shops close to Praca do comercio – please notice the white man in the back who is painting his face white in the reflection of the window :)

The famous trams

The famous trams


There’s a lot of traffic everywhere
, but there is a few main streets in the center that are closed and only to shops and restaurants so it was peaceful there. We ordered fried potatoes and vegetarian crepes and tried Pera de gallinha and some other portuguese thing, and I ordered a medium beer which was huge! We were enjoying our selves so much this first chill vacation days with hot weather, haha.

Gallinha de Pera and Crepe Vegetal

Gallinha de Pera and Crepe Vegetal

At café Vitoria, enjoying or "medium sized beer" :)

At café Vitoria, enjoying or ”medium sized beer” :)

We went to visit the famous Castelo de São Jorge, a hilltop fortification that you can see from wherever you are in Lisboa. On our way up there we passed some really cool streets with plenty of beautiful street art on the walls. Loved it!

Around alfama on our way up to Castelo Sao Jorge, beautiful grafitti!

Around alfama on our way up to Castelo Sao Jorge, beautiful grafitti!

The last bit we took the elevator up to the Colina. The entrance fee to Castelo had gone up to 8,5 euros per person. There was a lovely view from there, you could see the whole Lisboa in front of you. Apparently all the houses have orange ceiling! I couldn’t stop singing the intro song to the series Weeds ”Little houses on the hillside” when I was there, haha.

View over the orange roof tops in Lisboa

View over the orange roof tops in Lisboa

But anyhow, the proper Castelo de S. Jorge wasn’t that much of a big deal – I know it has been there for a long time and lived through Visigoths in the 5th century, Moors in the 9th century, Christians in the 12th century, royals from the 14th to 16th centuries, and convicts in every century.. But now it’s pretty much just stones. You could walk around there above the walls and inside, but it wasn’t that special inside.

Castelo Sao Jorge

Castelo Sao Jorge

Outside Castelo Sao Jorge, duilio is hiding from the sun.

Outside Castelo Sao Jorge, duilio is hiding from the sun.

We went home for a quick shower and then just walked outside our hostel  – just in the square ”Praça Luís de Camões” – to join the Free walking tour that had their meeting point there :)
It was quite a big group – and guess what – ONLY spanish people!! Duilio was the only one that wasn’t from Spain. Haha. Since it was easter – all the spanish had a few days of do travel in the areas around, and they all got here to Lisbon. We heard spanish eeeeverywhere.

Our guide was funny, he really loved his countrys’ food and music, but hated its politics. We discovered a lot of new places, around in Bairro Alto, Chiado and Alfama.

A street with a nose. (Apparently there are many restaurants around here so this is a good place to smell Lisboa)

A street with a nose. (Apparently there are many restaurants around here so this is a good place to smell Lisboa)

Street music around Bairro Alto

Street music around Bairro Alto

With our guide in the middle of the mainstreet Rua Augusta

With our guide in the middle of the mainstreet Rua Augusta

A wall in Bairro Alto where they have azulejo of all the typical and traditional portuguese things

A wall in Bairro Alto where they have azulejo of all the typical and traditional portuguese things

Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon, it was the largest part of the city during the Islamic Invasion of Ibera. Increasingly, the Alfama was inhabited by fishermen and the poor, and it continues so to this day. We got to hear about the Great Earthquake that destroyed almost everything in the year 1755 – except for Alfama, thanks to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets and probably because it’s built on firmer rock. Alfama is cozy and historical, old buildings mixed with Fado bars, restaurants, small shops and pracas. And yes, you can easily get lost there ;)

While there we tried Ginja de obidos, a liquor not to far from here – so good! We also listened to the traditional music Fado. After a few hours of walking around the tour ended and we watched the sunset from the roofs of Alafama. Then we were hungry!!

IMG_1371

Ginja D’Obidos – a liquor from Obidos, fruity and sweet!

Alfama, narrow streets and restaurants or bars in every corner

Alfama, narrow streets and restaurants or bars in every corner

In Alfama, the typical square where there are nice restaurants with fado.... And where they never even intended to invite us in..

In Alfama, the typical square where there are nice restaurants with fado…. And where they never even intended to invite us in..

We walked around in Alafama to find a good but cheap and not so touristic place to eat, that also had something vegetarian. Most of the waiters didn’t even bother to look at us or invite us in, or even show us the menu.. We probably looked to poor to them and they were out after more spending tourists. Well… F them – so we kept walking and walking until we found a cute little restaurant – called ”Almargem” very close to the Cathedral – and the waiter was lovely! He showed us the meny and in portuguese of course, told all about how it was made and what was in it. It was a great service!

Our waitor at Almargem :)

Our waitor at Almargem :)

Very happy with my vegetarian Caldereida :)

Very happy with my vegetarian Caldereida :)

The entrance of the restaurant

The entrance of the restaurant

They had the typical portuguese course ”Caldeleira” in a vegetarian option – and it was soooo good! Duilio had som Bacalao, a fish which they have everywhere here and can cook in about 4000 different ways, haha. We were surprised that you pay for entrances (different cheeses and bread) since we didn’t request them and they brought them just like that to the the table, so we thought it was free and was super happy about it and ate it all –  but that was not the case… Haha. It was around 8 euros. And since we had a very nice experience at that restaurant, we didn’t mind paying that either, it was good cheese and bread :)

Then we went home for some good sleep.

Next day; BELEM! I will tell you in another post, this is to long!

Isla del sol and Copacabana on the way from Bolivia to Peru

Note: This post is from my travel in June, 2013

Copacabana is the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It’s a quite a touristic town, very small but filled with restaurants, small shops and backpackers. Copacabana has a cool subtropical highland climate which I was very happy about, since I came from the cold mountains in Bolivia and had freezed my ass of for weeks. It was so sweet to feel the warming sun and sit without jacket there :)

I traveled during early morning and arrived in Copacabana by bus and a small ferry boat, took about 4-5 hours. I went down to the harbour to get the tickets for the first boat to cross over to Isla del Sol which leaves at 8. I costed 25 bolivianos. Then I hunted down a nice place to where to eat breakfast. :)

 

Where I enjoyed my first meal in Copacabana

Where I enjoyed my first meal in Copacabana

Easy to get boat tickets over to Isla del Sol

Easy to get boat tickets over to Isla del Sol for 25 bolivianos

 

Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) is the largest island in Lake Titicaca. It’s an ancient holy site of the Inca, mostly known because the Incas believed that the God of the Sun was born here. Inca legend says that Viracocha, the bearded God who created the universe, emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca and created the sun at this location.

On the boat over I started talking to a girl from Spain, Maider and a man from England, Anthony, and since we were all three traveling alone, we joined forces :) We decided to walk south to north, and take back the boat from the other side the next day.

The boat over to Copacabana was easy, it took about 1,5 hours, but when we arrived.. buff! Apparently all the houses and the society is on top of the island, there’s nothing by the lake except for the bridge. And there are quite stiff inca-steps to walk up with all your backpack at altitude! It’s recommended to leave your backpack in your hostel in Copacabana, but I just went straight from La Paz, so I thought… How hard can it be? Haha. Well… hard!

The place we stayed in Yumani during that night costed like 15 bolivians or something, and it was with breakfast included. But it was freezing inside and there was not a how shower (anywhere on the island, almost).

The house were we slept, with the familys kids playing in front

The house were we slept, with the familys kids playing in front (and my backpack!:)

View over some archeological sites from our house

View over some archeological sites from our house

We went out for a walk around to see some of the archeological sites in the area. There are over 80 ruins on the island. Most of these date to the Inca period circa the 15th century AD. We saw a few that were close by and then we climbed up to the highest top of the island to see the sunset. It was absolutely fantastic! All the people from around gathered there to watch it together.

Anthony enjoying the island and the sunset!

Anthony and Maider enjoying the island and the sunset from yet another ruin!

The beautiful sunset!!

The beautiful sunset!!

And me :)

And me :)

We also encountered two llamas having some fun and enjoying themselves, for a veery long time. I took plenty of photos, I just found the situation so funny, and they made this particularly funny sounds… Yes, I have it on video also… Haha. And it was a fantaastic location! :)

Beautiful scenery...

Beautiful scenery…

Beautiful llamas...

Beautiful llamas…

They are reaally enjoying themselves...

They are reaally enjoying themselves…

We then wen’t around ”in town” to find a place where we could eat dinner.The life in the island is tranquil, there is no noise, no motorized traffic and no rubbish on the streets, only animals and nature.

After the sunset it got really dark, and there were no lights on the streets! We survived not falling thanks to our head torches. We found a great little house who served dinner to us, we were the only guests, and I was so happy about having candle lights – its so cozy and totally missing from every other restaurant in south america, haha. The dinner was about 35 bolivianos and totally worth it. Then we went back to our cold beds to catch the sunrise early.

Our view while we ate breakfast :)

Our view while we ate breakfast :) (and the other swedish traveleres we met who were stupid)

We had breakfast outside our home to a view over the Lake Titicaca. Beautiful.
Geographically the terrain is harsh, it’s rocky and not so much growth, but it’s has beautiful views from wherever you are since you are above on a hill.

There are about 800 families on the whole island, and their main economic activity is farming, fishing and some tourism. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that people lived on the island as far back as the third millennium before christ!

Wherever you go on the island, you find a new archeological site. And there is no one else but you there. It’s free to walk and sit wherever you want. I walked around imagining how it was like over a thousands years ago.

So cute with all the colorful fabrics :)

So cute with all the colorful fabrics :)

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Enjoying ourselves in our ruin house ;)

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Me and Anthony :)

Actually, at the most famous place on the island, there were a couple of ”guides” there, one was about 6 years old and the other about 10. They explained the story about the mythology and the archeology and you can give them a small tip to show our appreciation. Actually, without them, we would not have seen what it was that was ”so famous” about that.. haha.

We watched the The Rock of the Puma, or Titi Kharka, after which the lake is named, which is a large formation of a rock that looks like a Puma (sort of… but the guide showed us ;)

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The Puma….. Its there somewhere, I swear!

Then there was a Inca table that was used for human sacrifices..

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And us chilling at the Inca table :) No sacrifices here!

And the most important, the Footsteps of the Sun – there are like some ”supernatural” marks in a rock, where it is said that it was there the God of the Sun took his first steps.

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The ”magical” footsteps of the sun…

Well. Maybe that wasn’t to much to brag about, the archeological sites and the scenery around is much nicer! :)

While getting closer to the north of the island, I noticed there’s like a special harmony there, you can feel it all over your body. I felt so good there, good vibrations, I don’t know what it was…. but it was something special about this place. I could have easily spent a week or so there just doing nothing, just feeling and breathing and being happy.

 

Panoramic over the walk

Panoramic over the walk

Beautiful lake!

Beautiful lake!

Terraces and blue sky

Terraces and blue sky

Walking around the island!

Walking around the island!

Some pigs and other animals by the beach :)

Some pigs and other animals by the beach :)

There are many agricultural terraces and llamas, donkeys, and then the island is surrounded with all this water, sometimes there are rocks, sometimes there’s beach, and on the other side of the water you can catch the glimps of the  big snowy mountain. There are so many contrasts! Then here in the north of the island, we also got on lower grounds and it was getting hotter, and there was a beach and some people from the villages around :)

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Farmers working

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Woman and her son by the beach

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Fantastic views!

When we arrived at Cha’llapampa, the town from where the boat leaves in the northern end of the island, we still had some time before the boat left back to Copacabana. We went to the Museo de Oro which shows different treasures that have been discovered underwater around the island. Then we bought some snacks and food.

During our walk around the island we had to pay some small fees because we were trespassing from the south to the norht of the island or something like that, also the museum was like 10 bs. But other than that, just beautiful silence and harmony.
We laughed at one guy who had got there with his big suitcase with wheels. Really not the best place where to bring that! Not at all in Bolivia I would say…. ;)

We took the boat back (and they let me steer a while:) and once back in Copacabana we enjoyed ourselves in the last hours of sun, just sitting outside a bar/restaurant, before splitting to different places.We all had buses leaving at 18,  I was on my way to Cusco in Peru again, Anthony to Arequipa in Peru and Maider to La Paz in Bolivia. I’m so glad I found these two, had such a nice time with them.

Stearing the boat back ;)

Stearing the boat back ;)

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Enjoying food and nice company in the sun!

I went with Huancayo tours from Copacabana to Cusco, a good company with nice buses and first class. :)

On the bus I met a guy named Sebastian who soon had been traveling for a year around the world and had visited like 55 countries!!…. And I will only visit like 6 countries in a year.. haha. He must have had a crazy schedule!

Well… That was that!

Don’t miss Isla del Sol if you are going between Bolivia and Peru!! :)

 

 

Time to go again….

Hi again!

A few days ago I checked the statistics of this blog, which I haven’t updated in a couple of years with more then a couple of posts.. and guess if I was surprised over to see that some travelers out there actually are still reading my blog :) I have about 20-30 visitors per day, that’s very very very fun to see, you are so welcome! :)

So… why have I been so quiet? Well… When I started blogging, it was mainly to have as a diary and to give updates to friends and family while I was traveling. I did this on my 1 year trip to South America during 2013. After that I came back to Sweden with an Argentinian boyfriend who I met during my trip in Mexico and we have started to settle down in our apartment here in Sweden now after 2 years living together and he has just received his permanent residence permit in Sweden :) We are super happy!

We have only been able to do a few short trips during these years due to our economy, so we visited Malta and Spain in 2014 and Portugal and Argentina in 2015. We have actually been in Spain plenty of times since it’s close and I have family there. So the first time was to visit my Spanish family and travel around by car in Spain, then to visit family again, then actually it was my Swedish family that went to Barcelona to celebrate my mother turning into 60 years, and then also this for Christmas to meet up with the whole Spanish family!

Anyhow. We have been planning for a little bit longer trip now soon outside Europe – and it’s not much time left until we leave!! Today we took up our old backpacks from the cellar and started to sew what was broken on them and checked our travel gear to see if we need to update anything (yes we do).

The past few weeks we have been taking vaccinations (going to a new continent = lots of new injections) and applied for visas.

So… I’m happy to inform you that… WE ARE GOING TO ASIA!! Yaaay!
I think nobody is happy about this except for ourselves, but anyways…  (Right mum?;)

I’m leaving for India the 1st of February and I’ll be there for 3 weeks visiting Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Goa. Then I’m flying over to the Philippines where I’m meeting up with Duilio who comes straight from Sweden, and we are spending 7 weeks on beautiful islands doing lots of diving and snorkeling! :)

Sooo… Now I’ve started to write a little bit again, let’s hope I can update something while I’m away, I’ve heard the internet connection is REAALLY bad in the Philippines.. so we’ll see if I manage :)

Byyee, take care!!

 

Doing snorkel in Tulum

Doing snorkel together in Tulum, Mexico, February 2013. Here we had only known each other for 3 weeks!!