EXPLORED_ quinta da regaleira

EXPLORED_ Quinta da regaleira - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog

In a few months I’m (hopefully) off to Portugal again for the christmas holidays, so it’s about time I shared the remaining photos of last year’s trip to my favorite country.  Despite living in Lisbon for 5 months and visiting the city countless times since, a visit to its neighboring town Sintra, known for its numerous royal palaces and castles, was somehow long overdue.  Last winter I finally made it and visited Sintra’s Quinta da Regaleira, a clear favorite among my Portuguese friends.  This romantic palace dates back to the early 1900s and is surrounded by a garden that was designed to mimic the idea of “heaven and hell”.   Any luscious garden is a must-visit in my book, but with its multiple lakes, grottoes, wells and fountains, this garden is something else.   Only a train ride away from the city of Lisbon, Quinta da Regaleira is a mysterious fairy tale that’s waiting for you to be explored.

Quinta da Regaleira, R. Barbosa do Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal

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FRAGMENTS_ pink hues of Sintra

Fragments_ pink hues of Sintra - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog.beIt took me a couple of years, but during my last visit to Lisbon, I finally made it to the neighboring city of Sintra.  This infamous town is mostly known for its numerous royal palaces and castles (more about that later), but today I’d like to put its countless shades of pink in the spotlight.  While Las Palmas already surprised me with its infinite supply of pastel facades and Lisbon’s amount of soft colored houses is pretty impressive as well, Sintra turned out to be devoted to one pastel hue in particular.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but can you spot the lurking grandmother behind the window?

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FRAGMENTS_ Lisbon in pastel

Fragments_lisbon in pastel - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog.be

A few weeks ago, I showed you some of Lisbon’s brutalist architecture, but today I want to share a few snaps that capture why I fell in love with the Portugese capital all over again during my last visit. Light blue, soft yellow, blush pink and that wonderful, wonderful light… my favorite city has it all.  If this wonderful weather that we’ve been having lately hasn’t catapulted you into a holiday state of mind, this pastel colored glimpse of Lisbon might just do the trick.  Oh, don’t forget: if you’re planning a trip to Lisbon – I’ve collected all the good stuff here.  In the meantime I’m off enjoying the sun again in our little Belgium. Até já!

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EXPLORED_ Santa Clara 1728 in Lisbon

Explored_ Santa Clara 1728 in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

It’s early in the afternoon when I cross Campo Clara, a square which is home to the famous flee market Feira da Ladra twice a week.  When I lived in Lisbon a few years ago, I spent many hours wandering this market, looking for second hand treasures, but today I have a different goal.  I’m heading to Santa Clara 1728, a hotel hidden in an old convent on the often busy plaza.  Once I step foot inside the majestic entrance hall, the lively city couldn’t seem further away though.  

Santa Clara 1728 - Campo de Santa Clara 128, 1100-473 Lisbon - website - facebook - instagram 

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FRAGMENTS_ brutalism in Lisbon

FRAGMENTS_ brutalism in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

The city of Lisbon might be known for its colorful facades and picturesque street views, that’s not all it has to offer when it comes to architecture.  Because I can never resist brutalist architecture with its geometric shapes and intriguing use of materials, I did a little research on brutalism in Lisbon before my last trip to my favorite city.  A google search led me to the Palácio da Justiça, the courthouse of Lisbon which was designed by Januário Godinho & João Andresen in the sixties.  This mastodont of a building ticks all the brutalist boxes, so if you’re a lover of all things architectural, it is definitely worth a detour from your average tour of the Portugese capital. In that case, don’t forget to checkout my Lisbon city guide for more must visits!

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FRAGMENTS_ Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Fragments_ Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

The combination of plants and rough concrete is one that is always a win in my book and Lisbon‘s Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian proves my point with conviction.  This brutalist museum houses the art collection of the foundation named after businessman and philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian.  While the ancient and modern art collection is supposed to be impressive (I have to admit I only ever visited the library), it’s the surrounding gardens that truly make my heart beat faster.  The fragments I’m sharing in this blogpost should give you an impression, but why not plan a trip to Lisbon and visit the Gulbenkian yourself?  In case you do: boredom won’t be an option because I’ve updated my Lisbon city guide

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EXPLORED_ Casa C’Alma in Lisbon

It doesn’t take much for me to feel at home in the city of Lisbon (I studied in the Portugese capital for five months and have visited countless times since), but Casa C’Alma feels exactly as the calm home that this guest house‘s name suggests.  Scandinavia meets Portugal in the mix of hardwood floors, white walls, an occasional dash of color, carefully chosen furniture, luscious plants, excellent selection of reading material and delicious Portuguese breakfast.  The cherry on the cake in this spacious apartment is a dreamy light blue kitchen, making it hard not to fall in love with this boutique bed and breakfast that feels like a breath of fresh air.  Yes, whether you want to retreat into the privacy of one of their serene bedrooms or enjoy the spacious common living room while chatting with your fellow guests, stepping into Casa C’Alma will always feel like a breath of fresh air.   Its location couldn’t be better either, with Copenhagen Coffee Lab (perfect if you’d like to stick with the Nordic atmosphere), bakery Tease and the shops of Principe Real only a few minutes away, making it an excellent starting point to explore the city.   For a good night’s sleep in the city center of Lisbon and a dose of Scandinavian interior inspiration, this is exactly where you want to be.

Casa C'Alma - Praça das Flores, 48 1° Floor,  1200-192 Lisbon - website - facebook - instagram - booking

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FRAGMENTS_ MAAT

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you have without a doubt noticed I spent the end of the year in my beloved Portugal.  Before meeting up with my family for the holidays, I spent 5 days on my own in Lisbon, doing what I love to do most.  I revisited my favorite places from when I used to live here, discovered new places and wandered the streets of my favorite city with my camera in hand.  I’ll soon blog about my favorite discoveries, but first I wanted to share a few images of the MAAT, Lisbon’s museum for Architecture, Art and Technology.  Last year, the majority of the museum was closed to the public, but this year I had better luck.  While the expositions I visited were interesting, the museum building itself that was the true highlight of my visit.  I couldn’t resist snapping a few new pictures of all the different textures on the billowing facade and the extraordinary view over the Tejo.

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FRAGMENTS_ CCB in Lisbon

During my last visit to Lisbon, I made a quick stop at the CCB in Lisbon’s parish Belém.  I visited this cultural center once before, during my Erasmus in 2012, and absolutely loved it, so I couldn’t resist paying it a second visit after I discovered the MAAT.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go inside and check out the current exhibition (I had a plain to catch), but I did take a closer look at the architecture and was pleasantly surprised.  Due to the winter light, the building seemed to be dressed in soft pink tones, which worked beautifully with the CCB’s surrounding greenery and the building’s composition.  Just in case you have plans to visit Portugal’s capital, don’t forget to check out my city guide for more tips on what to do in (and around) Lisbon.

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FRAGMENTS_ MAAT

FRAGMENTS-maat lisboa-hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles-0012

Ever since I read about the new museum for architecture, art and technology in Lisbon, or the MAAT, I couldn’t wait to visit this impressive piece of architecture on the bank of the river Tagus in Lisbon’s district of Belém.  Unfortunately, I was only able to visit the foyer of the museum, as the new exhibitions were still a work in progress.  However, the architecture itself did not disappoint.  The tiled facade, curving towards the river, beautifully reflected both the sound of the waves and the play of light on the water surface.  On the undulating rooftop, the balustrades and stairs collided into a playful composition of lines.  I hope these images give you an impression of Amanda Levete’s design and encourage you to leave Lisbon’s city center for its Belém district.  For more must-visits in the wonderful city of Lisbon, have a look at my city guide here.

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FRAGMENTS_ Portugal

FRAGMENTS_ Portugal - by Hannelore Veelaert via au pays des merveilles-22While I’m writing this from my new home (more on that later!), my latest trip to already seems so far away even though it’s been only three weeks.  As you might have seen on instagram, I traveled to Portugal to spend Christmas with my family in my parents’ holiday home and to reconnect with old friends in Lisbon, where I studied one semester.  Together with my parents and sister, we enjoyed the view from their home (see the first photo, taken from my bedroom), explored medieval town Obidos and treated our dog and ourselves to a refreshing walk on the beach of Foz do Arelho.

In Lisbon I met up with Jaka to catch up on everything that happened since our last encounter, stroll through the beautiful streets of the city that I love so much, drink coffee, do some reading in my lovely room for the weekend, relax and discover new places such as Café Da Garagem, with its stunning windows that offer a breathtaking view over the city.  (Speaking of discovering new places: I’ve update my city guide for Lisbon with my latest discoveries!)

After handling deadlines at work and struggling a little bit with my health, I decided to bring my film camera instead of a digital one, to give myself a true break from daily life and enjoy this beautiful country that feels like my second home to the fullest.   Lisbon always manages to ease my mind, but being able to leave everything behind for a short week gave me the necessary energy right before  moving into a new place.

While I’m slowly getting settled into my new home, I’m looking forward to get back to regular blogging again, especially since I still have a ton of photos and an interesting interview to share… Soon!

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FRAGMENTS_ Nazaré

FRAGMENTS_ Nazaré - by hannelore veelaert au pays des merveillesThese photos were taken during the time I spent with my family in Portugal, on the same day that we made the beach walk at Praia da Polvoeira in Pataias.  On our way home, we stopped in Nazaré, a town that is mostly known for its impressive waves and equally impressive surfers.  It’s a lot more touristic than Praia da Polvoeira (as the last picture shows), but we only watched the crowds from up high.  Instead of joining the sun lovers and the surfers, we took a short walk to Forte de São Miguel.  You’ll only see it from a far in these photos, as I mainly enjoyed the nature and the view from above.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as well, because these are the last photos I have to share from my stay in Portugal.  Luckily I’m not done yet with reminiscing about my summer holidays, I still have a lot to share from my stay in Leipzig and Berlin.  Check back soon!

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FRAGMENTS_ Praia da Polvoeira

fragments_ pataias - au pays des merveillesYou’ll surely remember I spent some time in Lisbon this summer (thanks to my many blogposts about this amazing city), but this wasn’t the only part of Portugal I visited.  Before I went to Lisbon, I stayed a couple of days with my parents, sister and our dog at our holiday home near Alcobaça.  Those days were mostly spent reading by to the poolside but also exploring the  beaches in the area.  One of those beaches was Praia da Polvoeira and its beauty totally blew me away!  This beach is located in Pataias, a freguesia of Alcobaça, and not that far away from the crowded beach of Nazaré, but Praia da Polvoeira seemed rather undiscovered by tourists.  If you’re used to Belgian beaches, it’s quite an experience to feel like the beach belongs to only you!  However, that’s far from the only reason I loved walking here.  I’ll just let the pictures do the talking!

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EXPLORED_ Jardim Botânico in Lisbon

jardim botanico lisboa - hannelore veelaert - au pays des merveilles-6

The Jardim Botânico in Lisbon is one of those place that doesn’t need a lot of explanation.  After our brunch at Tease, Miguel, Lisa and I enjoyed a peaceful walk in the city’s botanical garden, where the gigantic trees offered us some refreshing shade.  With an entrance fee of only 2 euro’s, it’s a must visit if you feel the need to escape the heat in the city!

Jardim Botânico, Rua da Escola Politécnica 54, 1250-102 Lisboa - website

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EXPLORED_ Tease in Lisbon

tease lisboa - hannelore veelaert - au pays des merveilles-6

On my last day in Lisbon, I met up with my friends Miguel & Lisa (who were coincidentally visiting Lisbon at the same time) for a late brunch at Tease.  I’d heard good things about this place and it turned out to be the perfect cure for our hangovers from NOS alive festival (them) and a Rabbit Hole party (me).  The tasty sandwich accompanied by chips (an odd side dish – at least for us – that often replaces regular potatoes in Portugal) and salad, combined with a detox juice made us feel like new in no time.  We only tried the sandwiches and detox juices, but Tease also offers breakfast, lots of cupcakes and other sweets, dinner and even cocktails!  And all that without any severe damage to our wallet: for less than 10 euro’s per person, you’re all set for a delicious meal.

But enough about the food, because as you can tell from the photos, the interior is pretty impressive too.  The pretty tiles, the colorful plates on the wall, the marquee letters and the cute pillows make Tease a lovely place to enjoy a meal and take a break from exploring Lisbon.

(Oh, and if the place is full, you can just move to the other side of the street, where Copenhagen Coffee Lab is located!)

Tease, Rua Nova da Piedade 15, 1200-296 Lisbon - website - facebook

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EXPLORED_ Copenhagen Coffee Lab in Lisbon

copenhagen coffee lab lisboa - hannelore veelaert - au pays des merveilles-3

Copenhagen Coffee Lab was one of my favorite discoveries during my most recent stay in Lisbon.  How I wish this little coffee place already existed when I was still living there!  It’s a 10 minute walk from my old apartment (and thus from the hostel I was staying at) and serves coffee just the way I like it.  As the name already gives away, this place’s roots can be found in Copenhagen, where their micro-roastery is located, and you can see it in the typical Scandinavian interior, with a clean aesthetic, lots of whites and natural materials.  On top of that, they have free wifi and their breakfast is extremely cheap (only 6,5 euros for all that plus a flat white!) and pretty tasty.  A new favorite in the city!

Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Rua Nova da Piedade 10, 1200-405 Lisbon - website - facebook - instagram

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EXPLORED_ Oasis Backpackers Mansion in Lisbon

oasis backpackers hostel lisbon - via au pays des merveilles-1

It’s been almost a week since I’ve returned from my summer holidays (in a nutshell: 4 days in beautiful Portugal with the family, 2 days in wonderful Lisbon visiting old friends, 1 day in surprising Leipzig with the girls, 3 days on the amazing Melt Festival with my friends and 4 days chilling out in Berlin with one friend) and I’m still adjusting to normal life.  So many bags to unpack, so much laundry to do, so many photos to edit, so many impressions to process and so many blog posts to write!  On top of that, I’m starting my new job at a young architecture firm next Monday (yay!), so I might need some time to adjust to that too.

Anyway, when I was in Lisbon I stayed at the amazing Oasis Backpackers Mansion, for old time’s sake.  This is where I stayed for a week and a half during my apartment search in 2012 and the place that immediately made me feel at home in this new city.  It’s where I made my first friends (both hostel staff and guests, who were also moving to Lisbon or just visiting and decided to stay because they loved the city so much) when I moved here and where I still keep coming back.   I’ve already mentioned this hostel in my Lisbon city guide, but I felt that it still needed a proper introduction, so take a look after the break for more photos and information!

Oasis Backpackers Mansion, Rua Santa Catarina 24, 1200-402 Lisbon - website - bookings - facebook - instagram - twitter

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WHERE TO GO IN LISBON

where to go in lisbon After living in this city for five months and countless city trips to Portugal’s capital ever since, I had to compile all my favorite hangouts in one handy city guide.  So, if you’re wondering how a semi-local twenty-something spends her time in Lisbon, this is it!

At the end of this post you can find a google map with all my tips, that you can open on your smart phone while you’re traveling.  On that map, you’ll find even more tips that I’ve collected from my most trustworthy sources, and intend to try out myself in the future.    Have fun!

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EXPLORED_ cinema lá em baixo in Lisbon

cinema la em baixo, lisbon, via au pays des merveilles

One thing I was really looking forward to during my trip to Lisbon, was visiting the cinema on the rooftop again.  After I discovered this wonderful place, I made a habit of going every week to have a cheap vegetarian diner with a great view over the city, watch a free movie, catch up with my friends and meet new people.  Unfortunately school (and the cold weather) got in the way and by the end of my 5 months in Lisbon, it had been weeks, if not months, since the last time I was there, so this was definitely on my list when I came back to Lisbon for a week.  Unfortunately, the weekly event changed from cinema la em cima, on the rooftop of an apartment building, to cinema la em baixo, in RDA69.  (Here you can also get your bike repaired and on Sunday they serve delicious pizzas for only 2 euros.) Since it was way too hot to sit inside, we had our delicious meal on the streets.   Despite the change of location the atmosphere and the people are still amazing, and as usual I ran into some familiar faces.  Definitely a must-go if you’re ever in the city!  You can find more info about the cinema here.

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EXPLORED_ jardim da Estrela in Lisbon

jardim da estrela via au pays des merveilles

Because it was so hot while I was in Lisbon, I spent most of my days in the park or on the beach, reading, taking a nap or having a picnic with some friends.  These are some photos of an afternoon with my friend Lisa and her friends from faculty at Jardim da Estrela.   We brought the slack line and a guitar and enjoyed the beautiful park. (Including the crazy guy riding around on his bike with his stereo blasting…)  Going through these photos while I’m studying makes me miss these carefree days even more…

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BACK IN LISBON

lisboa via au pays des merveilles

all photos taken with a diana f+ by me

My week in Lisbon was spent catching up with old friends while having lunch at a roof terrace, eating ice cream in the park and chilling and dancing at out jazz.  I enjoyed well known places that I missed and discovered new ones that popped up or even just by looking at the city with new eyes and paying more attention while wandering around.  I made a trip to the beautiful beach of Palmela to get some rest from the tourist flooded city and complained about the heat (40 degrees, yes) a lot.  As you can imagine, it was great to be back in the city that feels like my second home.  This wasn’t my last return for sure! (For those of you who are new to the blog, I lived in Lisbon for 5 months thanks to the erasmus program.  You can find my blogposts on my amazing time in Portugal here.)

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WATERSCAPES

au pays des merveilles

Most of these photos, you have already seen in different blogposts, but I wanted to gather all of them together and share them in one post.  While in Portugal, I became fascinated with the river and the ocean and how the water always looks so different in every photo, how much strength the waves could have, beating down on you while you are trying to keep standing up in the  breakers, the water pulling on pushing on your legs and the sand swallowing your feet a little bit more with every passing wave.  Living so close to the ocean and always having a view at the river Tejo around the corner, really changed how the city felt.  I miss having such openness and immensity so close.

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au pays des merveilles

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all photos by me

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SAUDADE

igreja do carmo, lisbon via au pays des merveillesSadly, these are the last photos of Lisbon I have left to share with you… The only post, reminding of my 5 month Erasmus in this wonderful city, that I have yet to prepare for you, is an overview of all the amazing places I have discovered there.  The emails I’ve been getting from you, tell me that this would be very helpful!  (Although I’m still happy to share my thoughts and tips via email with you, so don’t be shy.)  Anyway, these photos are from the time the lovely people from Existenz (I used to be one of them, 2 years ago) spent in Lisbon, while travelling through Portugal.  I sacrificed one precious day of my last 2 weeks in this city to show them around (with the help of a friend who has some tour guide experience) and take them to my favorite places in the city.  Here you see glimpses of Igreja do Carmo (or at least it’s floor), Alfama and the breathtaking view from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.

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FRAGMENTS_ costa da caparica

costa da caparica via au pays des merveilles

My friend’s last day in Portugal (sadly he had to go back to Belgium too, but I was smart enough to book my flight one week later) was spent doing what he loved the most: surfing at costa da caparica.  It was the first time I went to this surfer’s beach (quite the trip as well with all the public transport problems we had) and it was really calm that day.  Not the best day for surfing (which I can’t, unless you give me a board with a sail and some wind), but the view was beau-ti-ful.  I still can’t get over how beautiful and fascinating the ocean is, and I wish I’d live closer to the sea here in Belgium.  (Although it probably takes as long to get from Lisbon to the ocean as from my side of Belgium to the coast due to the slow trains in Lisbon, but it felt different, it felt like you were constantly aware of how close it was.)

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THE OTHER SIDE

the other side of the rio Tejo via au pays des merveilles

Twice I ventured to the other side of the rio Tejo, this time for a friends’ goodbye party.  Naturally this went together with a picnic in one of the old ruins, accompanied by lots of live music (both on real and improvised instruments found along the road), cheap wine, a gorgeous view on Lisbon and a breathtaking sunset over the Tejo.  How I miss my beautiful city and my beautiful friends.

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PORTO

porto via au pays des merveilles

Our road trip ended in Porto.  I visited this city before, but this time the weather was a bit of a letdown, despite having had the most amazing weather during the rest of the trip.  But no harm done, we managed to get inside casa da musica (which wasn’t possible the first time I was there) and visited the museum and park of Serralves.  And of course the next morning, when we had to go home to return the car, the weather was wonderful again!

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

roadtrip via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveillesall photos by me

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COIMBRA

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

After visiting Peniche and Fatima, our road trip took us to the beautiful city of Coimbra, where we were joined by another friend, completing our travel company.  We were offered a place to stay and a tour around the city by a friend who I knew from his erasmus in Belgium.  He showed us their stunning faculty of architecture (located in an old hospital), casa da escrita (a writer’s retreat where I wouldn’t mind spending my days studying, the design by Joao Mendes Ribeiro is definitely worth checking out) and the beautiful little streets and views that Coimbra has to offer.  It wasn’t my first visit (the first time I went to Porto, I also made a stop here to meet up with my friends) and I don’t think it will be my last!  This town holds one of the oldest universities in Europe and with all the students wearing their typical black capes, it easily feels like you are on the set of a Harry Potter movie.  If that is not a reason to visit, I don’t know what is!

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles
all photos by me

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FATIMA

au pays des merveilles

After having a picnic on the beach in Peniche, our road trip contined to Fátima, a pilgrimage town where people come to ask for health.  Next to burning the traditional candles, you can buy all kinds of body parts in wax (hands, hearts, breasts, lungs, you name it) and let them melt in the bonfire next to the candles.  We only stopped here for a short time, to take a look at the church and the shops with religious souvenirs, and then we continued our trip.  Next up: Coimbra!

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au pays des merveilles

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all photos by me

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PENICHE

au pays des merveilles

As I’ve told you before, during my last weeks in Portugal, I made a short road trip to Porto with a few friends.  The first stop we made was Peniche, a small town known for its beaches and surfers.  No surfing for us though, we were just here to have lunch, which was more complicated than expected thanks to me being a vegetarian. (Not so common in Portugal, unfortunately.) Despite the helpful portuguese lady, we didn’t find a place to eat, but it all turned out for the best!  we ended up having a picnic on the beach, accompanied by a smart dog who waited patiently for us to finish our lunch and toss him our leftovers.  A little bit later, we were back on the road and off to Fatima.  Stay tuned for the rest of the trip!

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au pays des merveilles

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au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

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EXPLORED_ flower power in Lisbon

flower power, lisbon, via au pays des merveilles

At Flower Power in Lisbon (calçada do combro 2), you can eat and drink between the most gorgeous flower arrangements – not so suprising since this café / restaurant is part of a flower shop.  Both the beautiful decorations and the artwork changes regularly, so you’ll never be bored if you come to this place regularly.  Oh and the food is pretty good too, so you don’t have to come here only for the wonderful interior and the view at the famous elevador da bica right across the street.

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EXPLORED_ café Tati in Lisbon

café tati, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

Since this little café in Lisbon was close to my home and on the way between my apartment and the metro to the university, this was my go to place to work on my thesis (or the blog, because yes, this place has free wifi) while enjoying a cup of (cheap!) coffee and the company of likeminded friends.  But Café Tati has more to offer than free wifi and a cosy interior, they also have an extensive book collection and if you keep an eye on their facebook page, you’ll notice they regularly organize jazz concerts, which are tested and approved by yours truly.  The food is very tasty and affordable as well, so if you’re in Lisbon, I recommend you to enjoy at least one drink here.  (Rua da Ribeira nova 36)

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EXPLORED_ Primeiro Andar in Lisbon

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When you take the small candle lit corridor that leads you to this hidden gem, you will find an indoor basket court and next to it, the entrance to Primeiro Andar (Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, nº110 in Lisbon).  With it’s cosy sofa’s and occasional concerts, you’ll find yourself right at home here.  For more Lisbon tips, take a look here.

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EXPLORED_ Fabrica Features in Lisbon

fabrica, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

The Fabrica Features shop is located above the united colors of benetton shop at rua garret 83.  This place that caught my attention before, but I never really understood how to get to that fourth floor.  That is, until someone told me you actually had to go into the benetton shop and take the elevator up.  So, in my last week, I finally managed to visit this more or less hidden gem. Here you find beautiful pieces of art and all kinds of items that would make wonderful gifts for dear friends.  (Seriously, how amazing are those sea shell headphones at photo four?)  Fabrica Features Lisboa blogs here about their new products and exhibitions.

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ZAZOU

zazou, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

Zazou is the place to go if you are looking for authentic portuguese products.  Wether it’s sardines, soap, wine, ceramics or paper ware, this place will have something you like!  And if you’re tired from walking Lisbon’s hills, you can always take a seat in their café.  I haven’t actually tried this myself, but seeing all the products the shop carries, it should be good!  You can find this lovely bazar slash café at calçada do correio velho 7, Lisbon.

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POIS, CAFE

pois café, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

Pois, café is a well known destination in Lisbon for people who are looking to have a coffee or a meal in a cosy environment.  This place is filled with books and magazines, which you can read while seated in comfy couches or you can bring your laptop and use the free wifi.  It’s a little bit more expensive than the common portuguese prices (which are very cheap in comparison to what I’m used to in Belgium), but it’s definitely worth it to spend time here on a cloudy afternoon.

pois café, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

pois café, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles

pois café, lisboa, via au pays des merveilles
all photos by me

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SAUDADE

lisboa via au pays des merveilles

It’s been almost a week since I’ve left my beloved Lisbon and moved back to Leuven, but I’m still missing my home away from home.  This beautiful city and the wonderful people I’ve met there have found a place in my heart and will never be forgotten.  I’m trying to get used to my daily life in Belgium again, but I’m not letting go of Lisbon just yet.  During my last weeks in Lisbon, I have made sure to photograph all my favorite places so I can put together a real ‘au pays des merveilles’ Lisbon guide for you.  So in the next few weeks you can expect a lot of posts about charming cafés and cool bars, which will be concluded with a little overview so you can easily find what you are looking for if you would make a trip to this amazing city.  However, I didn’t spent all my time in Lisbon these last weeks, I also made a short roadtrip with some friends to Peniche, Fatima, Coimbra and Porto.  The photos from this trip are being developed as we speak, so you can expect those too once I’ve gotten around scanning them.

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STREET ART IN LISBON

au pays des merveilles

I have already dedicated two posts (here and here) to street art in Lisbon, and here is yet another one.  Lisbon is just filled with it!  In the next photos you see the famous graffiti on avenida almirante reis, by  Lucy MclauchlanSAM3, and BLU,  work by  Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) (also featured in this post), urban knitting and one of the many noses (take a good look at the photo!) that were at one moment everywhere in Lisbon.

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ALMADA

au pays des merveilles

A while ago, I showed you pictures from a trip I made to the christo rei statue that’s facing Lisbon from the other side of the river. You already saw some (digital) photos, but I hadn’t showed these analog ones yet that I took on the way over there, while it was still light enough to experiment a little bit with my new (old) camera.

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CARCAVELOS

au pays des merveilles
all photos by me

After one week of absence from the blog, I’m back from my roadtrip to the north of Portugal and showing architects from Leuven around in Lisbon.  I have one more week left in this wonderful, wonderful city, and I’m planning to enjoy it to the fullest.  In the mean time, I have some posts planned for you with analog photos from my 5 month stay here, starting with these from back in october, when my best friend visited me and we spent an afternoon at the beach.  Good times.

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EXPLORED_ La Bohème in Porto

la bohème in porto, via au pays des merveillesall photos by me

One last Porto tip today: this lovely coffee shop slash cocktail bar in rua das galerias de paris, where you can also find this wonderful shop.  In La Bohème, we found tasty cocktails on the well designed menu card for a very fair price and we enjoyed them in a beautiful interior, of which you can see more photos here. (Unfortunately it was a bit too dark to take decent photos myself, but luckily there’s the internet to solve that!)

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CASA DA MUSICA

casa da musica via au pays des merveillesDuring our trip to Porto (of which I told your more last week here and here), one of the things we couldn’t miss, was visiting Casa da Musica, the famous concert hall by OMA.   Unfortunately we could only see the entrance hall and the café from inside, since the rest of the building was closed, but nevertheless we enjoyed it and of course I took loads of photos!

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A VIDA PORTUGUESA

au pays des merveilles

You already know I have a slight obsession with beautiful packaging (see my branding pinterest board and thisthis and  this post), so when I entered  ‘A Vida Portuguesa‘, I thought I was in heaven.  This store sells all kinds of authentic portuguese products, from sea salt to soap and from notebooks to sardines and all are wrapped in the most beautiful packaging.  Unfortunately it’s a little bit expensive, and some of these items you can find cheaper in local drug stores, but the shop is beau-ti-ful and it’s fascinating to roam around and check out everything they sell.  The photos from this post are taken when I went  to Porto (it’s one of the shops in Rua da galeria de paris, which I talked about yesterday), but they also have a shop in Lisbon, located in a really cool old building but a lot smaller.  Anyway, if you’re in Lisbon or Porto and looking for souvenirs, this is where you should go.

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PORTO

au pays des merveilles
When one of my friends wanted to come and visit me, it turned out it was much easier to meet in Porto than for her to come to Lisbon.  Since I hadn’t been in Porto yet, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to discover another portuguese city.  We started our 2 day trip with a free walking tour, offered to us by the hostel where we were staying.  (The hostel was lovely so if you’re looking for one in Porto, this one is approved by au pays des merveilles!) and later on discovered the city a little bit more on our own.  Especially rua da galeria de paris caught or attention, with it’s interesting shops and bars (I’ll show you some later!) and the hand made market that was going on.

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

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LX FACTORY

au pays des merveilles

I’ve already posted about LX factory before and recommended it to a lot of people and everyone seemed to love it.  And so did I, obviously!  After the first time, I went there three weeks in a row to check out the market.  The market changes every time, so this time I found an artist creating wooden boxes as wall decoration (he has more interesting one’s than the one in the photo, but unfortunately I don’t have good photos of those and I don’t know his name… bad blogger!), decorative roosters and birds (so portuguese) and tasty looking soap.  Me and my friends enoyed some portuguese pasteis and coffee at café na fabrica, of which you already saw the terrace (last photo in this post), but this time I also photographed the lovely interior for you. (Good blogger!)   However, these times I also wandered around the site a little bit more and discovered that the more quiet part is pretty interesting too, with lots of graffiti and interesting spaces.  I really wouldn’t mind having my office here someday!

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OLA LISBOA

au pays des merveilles

Here’s a little collection of random photos I’ve taken during my stay in Lisbon: in here you see some photos I took in Alfama and Mouraria, when I joined a friend who is a tour guide on one of his walking tours, there’s also some photos of the view from the miradouro da santa catarina, one of my favorite places in the city, and from when I was on my way to LX factory with some friends and we stopped at the miradouro next to the national museum of ancient art, where you often find old people playing cards and from where you have a view at the port.  You’ll see photos of my own discoveries in Lisbon, when I was wandering the streets while looking for an apartment.  On one photo you see my friend taking a rest from feira da ladra, and on another my friends buying ginginja from a lady who makes it herself and sells it from her living room window.   There’s also a photo of my friends getting pastries at the illegal bakery (that’s right! If you know where to go, you can find delicious pastries at 4 in the morning!) and a photo of the nightly view you have from the roof (a perfect spot to chill out at night) of the oasis backpacker’s hostel, my second home here in Lisbon.  (I feel like I need to dedicate a post to that place, if anyone is looking for a hostel in Lisbon, that’s definitely where you should go.)

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of photos after the break, but if you’re interested, here you can find all my posts about Lisbon.

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STREET ART IN LISBON

au pays des merveilles

When I visited Lisbon last year, I dedicated a post to all the wonderful street art I came across, and this year I’m doing the same.  I’ve gathered quite a lot of photos over the past few months, so take a look after the break!

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