Park Bar - Lisbon, Portugal

Our final night in Lisbon, we watched the sunset from Park Bar! I actually discovered Park Bar on Instagram (searching hashtags and geotags for a city before your next big trip can really pay off!) and fell in love with the gorgeous views over the city and the 25th of April bridge. Despite the fact that I knew going into it that this place was literally located on the rooftop of a parking garage, when we arrived at our location (according to our directions), there were no signs and as we wandered into the parking garage, I began questioning "Are we in the right place?" Here's the key - find the elevator & take it to the top floor & then walk one more floor up. When we exited the elevator, we heard a DJ rocking out & sounds of locals and tourists alike having a great time! I will say that I were to visit again, I'd think about either going earlier in the day or on a night not quite as popular as Friday night! We had a hard time finding any place to sit, but the view was absolutely worth it! And, the sunset was fantastic!

Our 5 Wedding Anniversary Session with Love is My Favorite Color - Cascais, Portugal

One of the best decision's I made when planning our Anniversary trip to Portugal was booking a session with Rui and Cristiana, the photography duo that makes up Love is My Favorite Color. I'd been toying with the idea of surprising Tanner with a session while on our trip & I loved the idea of documenting not only this time in our lives but also our first trip to Europe together!

What drew me to Rui and Cristiana's work was not only the quality of the photographs (I was really looking for a photographer who shot film since I love the look so much), but also their fun personalities! I knew if we were taking time from our vacation to have photos taken that I wanted it to be fun (and that Tanner would appreciate that as well)! Since I love the beach, we decided to meet Rui and Cristiana in their hometown of Cascais, a coastal town which was only about a 30 minute train ride from where we were staying in Lisbon. Though as I mentioned originally I was planning on surprising Tanner, when the session got closer I realized I needed to share my idea with him so that we could appropriately plan! Once on location with Rui and Cristiana, we had so much fun! They took us around and showed us spots that we never would have discovered on our own! We also took a little break for gelato and sorbetto in the middle of the session which just helped make the day feel more like hanging out with friends, and at the end of the night, we even enjoyed a seafood feast together! I love the end result and am sharing my favorite images below! Rui & Cristiana - we love you guys! :-)

5 Steps to an Enjoyable Morning in Lisbon

Step 1 - Find a local cafe, avoid the fish pastry (yep, it's a thing & Tanner unfortunately "ordered" it on accident one morning) and enjoy a local European breakfast of pastry and espresso!

Step 2 - Watch the hustle and bustle of people going to work and school while surrounded by picturesque tiles (Ambiance is key, people). I chose Leitaria Anunciada this particular morning based on the cute tiled mosaics, and it's proximity to our Airbnb just off the Avenida da Liberdade!

Step 3 - Watch the sunrise. This is something I try to do on every trip/vacation! Sunrise is also a wonderful time to capture the city and/or popular attractions without having to fight the crowds!

Step 4 - Grab a second breakfast. Let's go "Hobbit-style" for a second here - you'll need more fuel for adventures ahead! Especially if the first breakfast was pre-sunrise.

Step 5 - Ride the Tram #28 to the end of the line (ends just outside the Estrela Basilica) and spend the morning in the Estrela Gardens (a neighborhood park & a favorite among families).

Isn't my breakfast pretty? The pastry had apricot jam inside - Mmmm...

My favorite thing about our breakfast at Leitaria Anunciada was definitely the ambiance. The blue and white mosaics of pastoral scenes seemed such an appropriate way to start the day!

After sunrise, golden rays filled the street with light! I simply love the light this time of day!

We rode Tram #28 to where it ended at the Basilica da Estrela (below) and discovered (on accident, quite honestly) the lovely Estrela Park - the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and some fun people-watching!

Bom Dia, friends! I hope today's full of adventure!

Pena Palace - Sintra, Portugal

After our exploration of the Moorish Castle, we visited the gorgeous & colorful Pena Palace in Sintra. The Pena Palace is one of the seven wonders of Portugal & also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We walked through some of the lovely gardens leading up to the Palace (would have loved more time to really explore the amazing grounds though) and walked with the throng into primary colored castle. I love the exotic architecture and brilliant colors! The Pena Palace was absolutely bustling with tourists (which made getting many of these photos a game of patience), but it is absolutely worth the visit! Tanner & I both wish we had allotted more than simply one day to exploring Sintra and when we return, we'd love to spend more time exploring all that Sintra has to offer!

Bom Dia, friends!!

Moorish Castle - Sintra, Portugal

Only about a 30 minute train ride from Lisbon, visiting Sintra felt like stepping into another world! Located in the Sintra mountain range, the temperatures were cooler, and the clouds & mist gave the area a feeling of mystery! Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and both Tanner & I named our day in Sintra a favorite of the entire trip! I highly recommend it! Our first stop was at the Moorish Castle (featured today) before we visited the colorful Pena Palace (the outline of which you can see behind Tanner in the right-hand side of the photograph below). I'll share my favorites from the Pena Palace next week! Constructed around the 8th century, the Moorish Castle walls are steep & beautiful and provide amazing views! Tanner & I loved hiking along the walls - though climbing all those stairs was definitely a work out! When we started our exploration of the castle, a thick, misty fog covered the fortress, and I felt like we'd been transported back in time. We got the best of both worlds when the sun came out, the fog rolled away and we were able to see amazing views from the highest point! Enjoy my favorite film shots from our visit to the Moorish Castle! For my film-loving friends, these images were shot using Kodak Portra 800 & Kodak Ektar 100.

This guy was a fellow film shooter from Vancouver & I just loved his analogue Nikon camera!

Happy Travel Tuesday! Come back next week for more from Sintra as I share my favorites from the Pena Palace! :-)

Downtown Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is gorgeous - positioned on the Tagus River, it spawls across seven hills (yes, like Rome).  It has some of the mildest (and nicest, if you ask me) weather of all of Europe & an incredible amount of sunny days per year! The weather was seriously fantastic for the duration of our trip! And, the gorgeous light made it a photographer's playground! Eeeeek! So many fun streets, buildings, trolleys and tiles to explore! When we travel, Tanner & I love to walk the streets, explore and eat!! Here's a few of my favorite photos from our exploration of Lisbon!

Loved this cute tram that transported passengers up and down the steep streets of the Bairro Alto!

I love the winding, sloping city streets!

Now, this next treat Tanner says is worth a return trip to Lisbon alone - lol. Ginjinia, is a cherry liquor that was said to have originated at this particular spot (Ginjinha Espinheira) in Lisbon by a friar in the 1800s. After seeing a hilarious bit by Anthony Bourdain at this particular establishment, I was down try it. And, if we're going to try a local specialty, let's go for the best, most authentic spot! I have to say, I was not really a fan of the very sweet, strong cherry liquor, but I'm always down to try new things!

This gorgeously ornate building is the Rossio Railway Station. Isn't it stunning? It's the place to catch trains heading to Sintra, which is where I'll pick up next week!

Bom dia! Have a wonderful Tuesday, friends!

Belém, Portugal

After a lovely Sunday morning spent exploring the halls of the Gulbenkian Museum (Sundays until 2 p.m. the museum has free admission!), we headed over to explore Belém - site to some of Portugal's most famous attractions including the Jerónimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belém. No visit to Belém would be complete without a stop by Pastéis de Belém for Pastel de Nata! Mmmmm... Pastel de Nata is a deliciously sweet egg custard inside a little pastry tart that was originally created in the 1800s! The secret recipe has been under lock & key (literally) and passed down from generation to generation. No other pastais de nata comes close to the original! After taking the trolley to Belém and enjoying our pastais de nata, we walked along the River from the Monument to the Discoveries all the way down to the Tower of Belém. We strolled in the sunshine and enjoyed some Italian sorbetto that we found in a little stand along the way! It was a perfect Sunday! Enjoy some of my favorite shots from Belém!

This sailboat photo is one of my favorites! It just sings with adventure & celebrates summer - don't you think?

Happy Travel Tuesday, friends! :-)