Nascida e criada em Portugal. Já morei na Polónia, no Brasil, na República Checa e agora é a Suécia que me acolhe.
O meu blogue, tal como o meu cérebro, é uma mistura de línguas. Bem vindos!

Born and raised Portuguese. I have lived in Poland, Brazil, Czech Republic and now I'm in the beautiful Sweden.
My blog, just like my brain, is a blend of languages. Welcome!

quarta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2018

Sara Jump - Douro SPA

A vineyard, the Douro and the sun. The perfect set for a Sara jump.



Douro, May 2018

terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2018

Escape in Douro

After a couple of very intensive days all we wanted was to rest and take it all in. We spent two nights in a spa lost in the middle of nowhere in the Douro region. The surroundings were beautiful, the food was great and locally produced and we had the best full body massage ever (although the spa itself was quite disappointing). 

Depois de alguns dias muito intensos, tudo o que queríamos era descansar e processar tudo. Passámos duas noites num spa perdido no meio do nada na região do Douro. Os arredores eram bonitos, a comida era óptima e os ingredientes produzidos localmente. Ainda tivemos a melhor massagem de corpo inteiro de sempre (embora o spa em si fosse uma desilusão).

The herb garden for the restaurant / O canteiro de ervas aromáticas do restaurante




Unfortunately, it was not warm enough to use the outdoor pools.
Infelizmente não estava calor suficiente para usar as piscinas de fora.

We were spoiled and enjoyed our balcony with a view.
Fomos bastante mimados e aproveitamos a vista da varanda.

View from the balcony (the second day was sunny!).
Vista da varanda (no segundo dia fez sol!)


Baby grapes / Uvas bebés

Walks in the garden and vineyard / Passeios pelo jardim e vinha







Starters, mains and desserts at the restaurant. The photos are not great but the food was delicious and we ate until we couldn't eat anymore. 
Entradas, pratos principais e sobremesas no restaurante. As fotos não estão grande coisa, mas a comida era deliciosa e comemos até que não poder mais.


We left the spa hotel and caught a train to Porto in this gorgeous train station, right by the river. A nice way to finish our lovely and quiet stay in the Douro. 

Saímos do hotel e apanhámos um comboio para o Porto nesta magnífica estação ferroviária, mesmo junto ao rio, o que foi uma boa maneira de terminar a nossa estadia tão boa e tranquila no Douro.

quinta-feira, 27 de setembro de 2018

Wedding party - Portugal

Ceremony

Our visit to the Douro Valley in May was quite special as we went there for our wedding party.
At first we were not sure we wanted a wedding party at all. At one point we even considered eloping but ended up having a simple wedding ceremony (the real one, post here). At the same time, we thought this would be the only oportunity in our life to gather all the friends we have been making all over the world together in one room. That was a very tempting idea and we decided to go for it. 

A nossa visita ao Douro em Maio foi especial, pois fomos lá para a nossa festa de casamento.
No início não tínhamos certeza se queríamos uma festa de casamento. A certa altura até consideramos fazer um eloping, mas acabamos por fazer uma cerimónia simples (a verdadeira, post aqui). Ao mesmo tempo, pensamos que esta seria talvez a única oportunidade que teríamos de reunir todos os amigos que fizemos pelo mundo todos juntos numa sala. A ideia era muito tentadora e decidimos ir em frente.

The entrance / A entrada
Doing it in Portugal was quite obvious, as it was a better option regarding the weather and the budget. Doing it in Douro was not a hard decision either, as it's our favourite part of Portugal and it was close enough to an international airport. After some searching we found this gorgeous vineyard that organises events - Quinta Vale de Locaia. We fell in love with its simplicity, its charming stony walls, its terraces overlooking the river and how much it felt like a vineyard and not like a party place. This ended up being the only place we visited personally. 

Fazer a festa em Portugal foi óbvio desde o início, pois era a melhor opção tendo em conta o clima e o orçamento. Fazer a festa no Douro também não foi uma decisão difícil, pois é a nossa região preferida em Portugal e era perto de um aeroporto internacional. Depois de alguma pesquisa na internet encontramos uma quinta vinícola linda que organiza eventos - Quinta Vale de Locaia. Apaixonamo-nos por sua simplicidade e charme, pelas paredes de pedra lindas, pelos terraços com vista para o rio e pelo facto de parecer muito mais uma quinta de vinhos do que salão de festas. Esta acabou por ser a única quinta que visitámos pessoalmente.

Photo from Efeito Espontaneo, our official photographers

The event manager had a lot of fun with us, who refused to have the ceremony under a white tent, didn't want any flowers, changed the fancy round tables by long friendly ones and added Swedish traditions to the program. A good example was when he asked us how many women and men would be present, so he could prepare small souvenirs for all - a mini bottle of Port wine for men and a mini jam jar for women. That's unfortunetaly still quite common in Portuguese weddings, but it just wouldn't work for our guests, so we decided to buy extra and give one of each to our guests. 

O gerente de eventos deve ter-se divertido bastante conosco, porque recusamos fazer a cerimónia numa tenda branca, não quisemos flores, trocamos as mesas redondas chiques por mesas corridas que facilitavam o convívio e acrescentamos algumas tradições suecas ao programa. Um bom exemplo foi quando nos perguntou quantas mulheres e homens estariam presentes, para que pudesse preparar as lembranças - uma mini garrafa de vinho do Porto para os homens e uma mini geléia para as mulheres. Isso infelizmente ainda é bastante comum nos casamentos portugueses, mas jamais funcionaria com os nossos convidados, e acabamos por comprar extra e oferecer um de cada a cada pessoa.

Special places - where we have lived, that we love and where we met
Lugares especiais - onde já moramos, que adoramos e onde nos conhecemos

We replicated the ceremony we had in Sweden, repeating it in English, Portuguese and Swedish. That was a lot of fun, as the officiator was a friend of ours and even though he doesn't speak Swedish at all he did very well. We had also planned several items to keep the guests entertained, such as a quiz about us, with the questions spread in the vineyard and pateo and prizes for the winners, a Sara jump corner (of course!), a set of bottles to be open 1, 5, 10 and 25 years later, where guests could leave small notes with marriage advice and a giant map that worked as a guest book. 

Replicamos a cerimónia que tivemos na Suécia, repetindo-a em inglês, português e sueco. Foi muito divertido já que o mestre de cerimonias era nosso amigo e não fala uma palavra de sueco. Ainda assim saiu-se muito bem. Também tínhamos planejado várias coisas para manter os convidados entretidos, como um quiz sobre nós, com as perguntas espalhadas pela vinha e pelo pateo e prémios para os vencedores, um canto de Sara jumps (claro!), um conjunto de garrafas para ser abertas 1, 5, 10 e 25 anos depois, onde os hóspedes podiam deixar papeis com conselhos de casamento e um mapa gigante que funcionava como um livro de visitas.

Sara jump corner (with printed photos of all my Sara jumps, a surprise from my sister) and the bottle set. The bottle to be open in 25 years was actually the champagne bottle we opened after the real wedding ceremony. Yes, we were crazy enough to take an empty bottle in our luggage all the way from Sweden. 
Cantinho Sara jump (com fotos impressas de todos os meus Sara jumps, uma surpresa da minha irmã) e o conjunto de garrafas. A garrafa a ser aberta daqui a 25 anos é na verdade a garrafa de champanhe que abrimos após a cerimónia de casamento real. Sim, fomos loucos o suficiente para levar uma garrafa vazia na bagagem.


The DJ was our friend Pedro and he took the whole party kit with lights, smoke machine and made everyone dance, which was great. 
O DJ era o nosso amigo Pedro, que levou todo o kit de festa com luzes, máquina de fumo e pôs toda a gente a dançar, o que foi óptimo.

Cake and Port wine

It was an amazing day, full of good moments and we only wish we could slow down time to enjoy everything even more. There was not enough time even though we were there until 6 am!! The best part was definitely to have all our family and friends there celebrating with us. A day to remember!

Foi um dia incrível, cheio de bons momentos e só desejamos que o tempo tivesse passado mais devagar para aproveitarmos tudo ainda melhor. O tempo não chegou, mesmo coma  festa a terminar às 6 da manhã!! A melhor parte foi definitivamente ter a nossa família e amigos todos lá a festejar connosco. Um dia para ser recordado!

terça-feira, 25 de setembro de 2018

Swedish summer berries - Newbie

Berries are abundant in Sweden, especially in the summer, and there's a berry for everyone's taste. Some are quite unique, others are more common and for me they are all delicious (if used correctly). My favourite are raspberries to eat with yoghurt and granola and red current crumble to eat with vanilla ice cream. Although, I never say no to a good berry-jam on toasted bread. Or pancakes. Or waffles. You get what I mean...

Some of the berries grow wildly in the forests and for a Newbie it can be confusing or difficult to identify them, so I wrote an article on The Newbie Guide to Sweden about it. It's kind of like a crash course in Swedish berries. 

You can read the full article here.

Red currant

sábado, 22 de setembro de 2018

Quinta do Vallado - Régua - Portugal

This is far from a restaurant or hotel review and even less an ad but I just can't hide from all of you my favourite place in the Douro Valley - Quinta do Vallado. 

Me and Johan found Quinta do Vallado in 2015, during our first visit ever to the Douro Valey and Peso da Régua. We had bought a cruise package that included a guided tour with wine tasting in a vineyard, which was by chance Quinta do Vallado. This vineyard is on a slop, not overlooking the river, but beautiful anyway. We tried a few of their wines and absolutely fell in love with their 10 years tawny Port wine. Port can be very sweet and overwhelming and usually a small glass is enough for me. Vallado's Port, however, is different and delicious, and it is the only until now that makes me want to go back for more and more. 

Our favourite Port wine (photo from the internet)
O nosso vinho do Porto preferido (foto da internet)
Quinta do Vallado is also a restaurant and a hotel. We have never stayed there yet and I was dying to try their restaurant. Their food is made with local produce, many of the ingredients come from the property itself and their wines are just great. Our wedding party would have been at Vallado if all our guests could fit there. Since we couldn't squeeze them all there, but really wanted to include this place in the program we decided to organise a dinner for guests coming from abroad the evening before the party. 44% of our guests travelled more than 1000 Km to be with us, so it was only fair to spend some extra time with them. 

We booked the dinner and chose the menu, going for portuguese dishes, but there was a lot more and it was very difficult to pick because everything sounded delicious! I confess that we had quite high expectations for the dinner, but it was all even better than expected. We got to taste a few of their wines again, their olive oil, bread, olives among others. 

Appetizers: alheira (bread/pork sausage), olives, roasted almonds, focaccia and broa (corn bread)
Aperitivos: alheira, azeitonas, amêndoas tostadas, focaccia e broa


Cold melon soup with smoked ham
Sopa de melão frio com fiambre fumado

Iberian Pork Tenderloin in Port Wine Sauce, potatoes, season vegetables
Lombo de porco ibérico em molho de vinho do Porto, batatas e legumes da estação

Chocolate fondant and ice cream
Fondant de chocolate e gelado

If before I was dying to try their restaurant, now I'm dying to go back and try other dishes. I wish we could go there more often, but it's probably good that Quinta do Vallado is far away. That way it will never stop being special.


quinta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2018

You got to love Sweden #15

There was an election in Sweden and I liked it. 
(I'm not talking about the results, but the election itself).

1. As a resident and EU member I could vote in the local and regional government (non-EU members can do it after 3 years of residence). Only Swedish citizens can vote for the Swedish government. 

2. Sweden has ONE election every 4 years. That's it. 

3. The campaign was extremely quiet and short if we compare it with, for instance, Portugal. There were no giant outdoors or posters everywhere, the candidates didn't hit every single street in the country to kiss and shake hands around and even the amount of related news on TV/radio was limited. There were of course some posters, some give aways by party members on big squares and debates on TV but nothing huge and it definitely didn't hit one constantly. 

4. People receive their voting cards at home, with information and the correct address to vote. No extra card or need to register. If one is entitled to vote one gets the card. That's how I found out I could vote.

5. People can easily vote beforehand - great if one has already plans to be away that Sunday. In my region, we could simply go to the library. 

6. People vote for a party, not directly for a candidate. Each political party has a paper and people vote by putting the chosen paper in an envelop. Each party also lists their party members on the paper, and voters can cross their favourite person within the chosen party. This is optional and helps ranking the party candidates.
The voting sheets are at the entrance and as most people don't want to reveal their choice of party, everyone ends up taking one of each paper, to then place the chosen one in the envelop secretely behind the curtain. I found the whole system a bit confusing and a waste of paper, but most people are used to it so it works. 

Voting sheets - blue for regional and white for local governments. Yellow sheets were for the Swedish government (not in the picture).
Folhas de eleição - azuis para o governo regional e branco para o local. As amarelas eram para o governo Sueco (não estão na foto).

terça-feira, 11 de setembro de 2018

Pinhão - Portugal


There's not much to say about Pinhão. It is a small and charming village (about 700 inhabitants) right in the heart of the Douro region. The Douro river and the hilly vineyards, which get steeper and steeper as the river gets narrower, compose the gorgeous landscape. We were there in a sunny warm day and the pictures speak for themselves. 

Não há muito a dizer sobre o Pinhão (que não se saiba já). É uma pequena aldeia charmosa (cerca de 700 habitantes) mesmo no coração do Douro. O rio Douro e os vinhedos montanhosos, que tornam-se mais e mais íngremes à medida que o rio se torna mais estreito, compõem a paisagem deslumbrante. Estivemos lá num dia quente e ensolarado e as imagens falam por si.

The Douro train line is well known as one of the most beautiful in the world. It starts in Porto and takes you inland, going by Pinhão. 
A linha de comboio do Douro é conhecida como sendo uma das mais belas do mundo. Começa no Porto e leva-nos ao interior, passando pelo Pinhão.





Orange tree - The Douro valley is quite warm, even in the winter, which is good for oranges and grapes, for instance. That's also why Douro wines are so good.

Laranjeira - O vale do Douro é bastante quente, mesmo no inverno, o que é bom para o cultivo the laranjas e uvas, por exemplo. Também é por isso que os vinhos do Douro são tão bons.







Isn't the Douro a charm? Maybe I have now convinced you to visit this beautiful region of Portugal. Add a few Port wine tastings and it's perfect!

O Douro não é mesmo um encanto? Talvez agora estejam todos convencidos a visitar esta bela região de Portugal. Acrescentem umas degustações de vinho do Porto e fica perfeito!

sábado, 8 de setembro de 2018

Sara Jump - Lamego

Going up 686 steps in the sactuary in Lamego didn't stop us from doing the usual Sara Jump.




Lamego, May 2018

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2018

Lamego - Portugal

Lamego sits in the northern part of Portugal, near the Douro valley, which definitely is one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal. Lamego is known for its historic city center and for having a long history from before the Roman invasion.

Lamego fica na parte norte de Portugal, perto do vale do Douro, que definitivamente é uma das regiões mais bonitas de Portugal. Lamego é conhecida pelo seu centro histórico e pela sua longa história desde antes da invasão romana.

Santuario Nossa Senhora dos Remedios

One of Lamego's main sights is the large sanctuary, Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, with a staircase of 686 steps starting on the main square. As one go up the stairs the view over the city becomes better and better. Along the way there also small statues and odd constructions made of stones.

Uma das principais atracções de Lamego é o Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, com uma escadaria de 686 degraus começando na praça principal. Quando subimos as escadas, a vista sobre a cidade torna-se cada vez melhor. Ao longo do caminho também há pequenas estátuas e construções estranhas feitas de pedras.



A small grout with fountain made of stones / Uma pequena gruta com uma fonte tudo feito de pedras

Nearly on the top! / Quase lá em cima!


There's not enough space to get a picture with the whole church, but I can garantee you that it's quite grand and beautiful. 
Não há espaço suficiente para tirar uma foto com a igreja inteira, mas posso garantir que é grandiosa e bonita.


Side view / Vista lateral


At the other end of the main square / Do outro lado da praça principal

Cathedral of Lamego / Catedral de Lamego



We also visited the castle, which sits on top of the hill. The streets that lead up to it are narrow and from the top we got a view over the city from a different angle. As the city is in the heart of the Douro Valley it is no surprise that it is surrounded by large vineyards. 

Também visitámos o castelo, que fica no topo da colina. As ruas que levam ao castelo são estreitas e do topo consegue-se uma vista sobre a cidade de um ângulo diferente. Além disso a cidade está no coração do Vale do Douro e por isso não é surpresa que esteja rodeada de grandes vinhas.

Castle


We were there in May, so the vines were still young and everything was green. May is for me the best month to visit the Douro Valley. September is also good, because it's when the grapes are harvested. 

Estivemos lá em maio. As videiras ainda estavam pequenas e tudo estava verde. Maio é para mim o melhor mês para visitar o Vale do Douro. Setembro também é bom, quando as uvas são colhidas.