Home and away, I love to travel. Posts from trips in the UK and overseas including hotel and restaurant reviews and visits to specialist producers.

Travel Quote Tuesday | Shannon L Alder

Many travellers swear by solo travel and I appreciate their viewpoint – there is much to be said for the freedom of a solo traveller to choose their own path, set their own pace, to experience what they see without distraction, and to engage fully with locals and fellow travellers.

But for me, I am never happier than when travelling with my Pete. There’s something very special about creating magnificent memories and knowing that your closest friend is the one who shares them.

We are lucky to be enormously compatible travellers – not always a given in every relationship – and thus there are very few compromises to make. For the most part, our interests collide and our travel preferences too – having an itinerary and hotels booked in advance, taking with us a well-researched list of things we could do but not setting a fixed daily agenda, taking it easy with lots of pauses for coffee or ice cream, never feeling guilty if we’re not in the mood to visit a particular site that wisdom dictates is a “must-see”, enjoying the experience of public transport but diving into the occasional taxi when feet are tired, an appreciation for a wide range of accommodations from luxury to lower budget – as long as they are clean and with a bathroom attached, a love for self-driving in rural regions with glorious vistas and un-crowded roads…

Of course we are not identical twins – I may not like beer or whisky but love sharing Pete’s pleasure in visiting a local brewery or distillery, likewise he is happy for me to potter around local food or flea markets to my hearts content. I love to engage with those I meet, Pete is happier listening and observing.

Do you prefer to travel solo or with others? If you like to have company, what are the qualities of your ideal travel companion?

Aptenodytes patagonicus (King Penguin)

It impossible not to be joyous when watching penguins, though it can be a smelly experience, especially in the vicinity of a large colony! They’re funny and fascinating creatures, each species with its own behaviour traits and quirks.

These are king penguins, which we first encountered on our first visit to Antarctica – stepping ashore on Salisbury Plain in South Georgia, home to some half a million birds, is one of the single most incredible moments of our travelling lives (I know I can speak for Pete too on this).

This is a much smaller colony at volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands but the advantage here is that we stayed a couple of nights, allowing us to spend as many hours as we wished sitting and observing. The two stretching upwards, downwards, upwards, downwards, and clapping their beaks are courting, a rather vocal affair!

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

20 Things to See Do Eat & Drink in Porto, Northern Portugal

Portugal’s second largest city and one of Europe’s oldest, Porto sits astride the mouth of Douro River, where it spills out into the North Atlantic Sea.

Porto in Northern Portugal - (c) Kavita Favelle-112641

Like nearby Braga, which I wrote about recently, Porto and its surrounding area have a fascinating and diverse history that stretches back to 300 BC.

For fellow history geeks, click here for a few paragraphs on the history...

Since then, the region has been occupied by the Romans and the Moors, and much fought over by the rulers of the Iberian Peninsula. Vimara Peres took Galicia back from the Moors in 868, declaring the region of Porto as the County of Portugal, which was later merged with the Coimbra by Henry of Burgundy. It was Henry’s son Afonso Henriques who wrestled independence from the region’s overlord, the King of León (Spain). He proclaimed himself as the first king of Portugal, founding the new nation in 1139. ‘Portugal’ comes from Portus Cale, the ancient Celtic name for the original settlement of Porto.

The marriage of John 1 of Portugal and Phillipa of Lancaster, in 1387, formalised the long-standing friendship between Portugal and England, and is considered to be one of the world’s oldest recorded military alliances.

Porto’s shipyards built many of the ships that sailed out into the world during the Age of Discovery in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Douro area was already a well-established wine-producing region in the 13th century, and much of the wine made in the area was transported to Porto for trade. In the 18th century, trade relations between Portugal and England were finalised. Production of port wine gradually fell into the hands of a few English firms. Attempts by the Portuguese Prime Minister to rescind English dominance of the Porto wine trade did not succeed.

In 1809, Napoleon’s troops invaded Portugal, bringing war to the city and region. The Anglo-Portuguese Army of the 1st Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of the city, using wine barges to transport the troops that outflanked the French troops.

11 years later, a civil revolution established a liberal constitution for the country. When Miguel I took the throne in 1828, he declared an absolute monarchy, but was defeated by the Constitutionalists. He abdicated in 1834, allowing the liberal constitution to be re-established. The only other attempt to restore the monarchy occurred in Porto in 1919, but the briefly lived ‘Monarchy of the North’ lasted only weeks before being deposed.

Porto Collage - Views of Porto

A great place to start a visit to Porto is by the south side of the Ponte de Dom Luís I (bridge), for spectacular views of the city.

You could also take a ride on the Teleférico de Gaia cable car which runs from the Jardim do Morro upper station next to the bridge, down to Cais de Gaia along the river’s edge. The distance between the two stations is just 600 metres, so you can equally well enjoy the views by foot instead.

As you visit some of the other attractions of Porto, you will come across more beautiful views across the red tile rooftops of the city.

Porto Collage - General

Porto’s historical old town area was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. As you would expect, it’s full of beautiful buildings showcasing many different styles of architecture. The churches of the city are amongst the most beautiful of these, often decorated with beautiful blue and white azulejos (which I talked about here).

Featured in the collage above is the Igreja (Church) dos Carmelitas Descalços, in downtown Porto, near the university. One of the best views of it is from the nearby dos Leões fountain.

Look more closely and you’ll see that what looks like one enormous church is actually two churches side by side – Carmelitas Church on the left, built as a convent in the 17th century, has the more simple and classical facade – Carmo Church, built as a monastery in the 18th century, is more grandly baroque in style and features a panel illustration in azulejos down its side.

Between the two is what must surely be one of the world’s narrowest buildings, a house measuring just one metre in width – built to satisfy a law stating that no two churches could share a wall, it also served as a barrier against contact between the monks of Carmo and the nuns of Carmelitas.

Porto Collage - Book Shop

A few minutes walk from the Igreja (Church) dos Carmelitas Descalços is the recently restored Livraria Lello. Also known as Livraria Lello & Irmão or Livraria Chardron, the bookshop is one of the oldest in Portugal and often listed as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world and having been inside, I can well believe it.

These days its also widely celebrated as one of the inspirations for author J K Rowling who used to visit the shop when she lived in Porto during the 1990s. Elements of the bookshop are rumoured to have informed Rowling’s depiction of the Hogwarts staircase, the school library and the Flourish and Blotts bookstore in Diagon Alley.

Because of the influx of high numbers of Rowling / Potter fans, the bookshop has implemented a ticketing system to limit the number of people in the store at any one time. Tickets are sold at the red metal sales booth opposite, and cost €5.50 but if you make any purchases during your visit, that amount will be taken off your bill before payment. Be warned that you may need to queue before entering, and it’s still heaving with people; the shop sells up to 80 tickets for every 15 minute slot, with many visitors spending far longer than that inside.

The history of Livrario Lello starts some years before this glorious building was created.

In 1881, José Lello and his brother Antonio opened their first bookshop and publishing house, establishing themselves as active members of the town’s public affairs, commerce and society. In 1894, The Lello brothers purchased Livrario Chardron, a well-established and very influential publishing and bookshop business founded by Frenchman Ernesto Chardron. Keen to create a new, more fitting flagship for their greatly expanded business, the brothers commissioned engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves to design a suitably impressive property on Carmelitas Street.

The Livrario Lello bookshop opened in 1906 and wowed customers with its Neo-Gothic facade, spacious double-height ground floor and galleried upper floor. Outside, the figures of Art and Science adorn the facade, now restored to its original design.

The internal walls and floor are lined with polished wood, much of it ornately carved. As you’d expect, there are books everywhere, lining the wooden shelving and piled high on tables across the floor. With so many people allowed in at a time, it can be hard to move around but it’s worth persevering through the crowds. It’s the ‘crimson’ staircase that is the attention grabber. What appears to be a delicate wooden staircase splits into two twisting curves that unite half-way up before continuing to the upper floor. What makes it all the more impressive is that the design appears to be impossible – such a construction in wood would never bear its weight (or that of people climbing it) without far more extensive support. The secret is that it is constructed from reinforced concrete with plaster cladding on the underside painted to resemble wood. Of course, the stair treads and balustrades are made of real wood. Like the staircase, the ceilings – which also appear to be carved wood – are trompe-l’œil painted plaster. Upstairs, the space is dominated by a beautiful stained-glass skylight featuring the Latin insignia decus in labore (dignity in work) as well as the Lello brothers’ monogram. The windows look out over the street below, over the  Praca dos Clérigos and across to the Clérigos Tower.

For me, the detail that brought home the J K Rowling connection was a simple book cart that runs around the shop on metal rails embedded into the wooden floor.

Porto Collage - Town Centre

Another utterly beautiful Porto church is the Igreja de Santo Ildefonos in the heart of the old town. This proto-baroque church was built in 1739, and named for Visigoth Ildephonsus of Toledo, the bishop of Toledo from 657 to 667. Steps at the front lead down to a wide open triangle, the Praça da Batalha, allowing for an impressive view of the facade.

The Santo Ildefonos is just a few steps from the Rua de Passos Manuel, one of the main shopping streets of the old city. You may hop onto one of the little electric trams that run around the city, or just stroll along slowly, to better explore the shops. Many are international fashion chains, but there are still many local stores worth exploring, including a beautiful grocery store that we couldn’t resist (see below).

The Cafe Majestic (near the corner of Passos Manuel and Rua Santa Caterina) may be full of tourists, but its still well worth a visit to gawp at the Belle Epoque interior and enjoy a cream-topped coffee or rich hot chocolate.

Next time I visit Porto, I hope to stay at the Hotel NH Collection Porto Batalha – the first of the red-painted buildings above. We stopped in for gin and oysters in the bar before dinner one evening. Originally an 18th century palace, it also served as the city’s main Post Office before it’s recent conversion into a grand hotel; it’s now a luxurious and elegant space and the location couldn’t be better.

Porto Collage - Promenade

The River Douro is the lifeblood of Porto, and cemented the city’s role as a hub for the wine trade.

Walk along the quay-side from the North end of the Ponte de Dom Luís I, stopping for a drink or a delicious meal. Our lunch here was one of the highlights amongst many great meals in Porto and Braga (see below).

Take a right turn towards the tiny white Nossa Senhora do Ó chapel and continue up the Rua Alfândega and out into the Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique.

From here, visit the Palácio da Bolsa.

Porto Collage - Bolsa Palace

The Palácio da Bolsa was built as a stock exchange by Porto’s Commercial Association. Designed by local architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Júnior, the neoclassical building was completed by 1850 but it took another 60 years for the interiors to be finished by several different architects and artists.

The interior is stunning. To see it you’ll need to buy tickets for the half-hour long guided tour. It’s available in English and provides a great insight into the history, and many of the finer details of the decor.

The large central courtyard (known as the courtyard of the nations) features a colourful mosaic floor beneath a triple-height domed glass-panelled ceiling, and the walls are ornately painted in gold, pink and white. To one side is a grand granite staircase leading to the upper storeys. From the first upper storey, large internal windows offer beautiful views down into the courtyard, and allow the light from the glass ceiling to reach the corridors. These lead to the various rooms of business including the Tribunal room, the Assembly room and the Golden room. Each is sumptuously furnished and decorated in a different style.

The highlight of the palace – which draws admiring gasps from everyone – is the Arabian Hall, built by Gonçalves e Sousa. Decorated in a flamboyant Moorish Revival style, the space is used for receptions and special events.

Porto Collage - Sao Bento Station

Another inspiring interior can be found at Porto’s main railway train station, São Bento, but this one is free to visit. The station is busy with thousands of daily passengers arriving and departing, so take care not to get trampled as you gaze up at the ceiling and artwork inside!

The name of the station comes from the Benedictine monastery that existed on the site from the 16th century. Rebuilt after a fire in 1783, the monastery fell into a state of disrepair by the late 1800s. During a period of expansion for the Portuguese railway system, the site was chosen to house the Porto station. Designed in a Beaux-Arts style by local architect José Marques da Silva, King Carlos 1 laid the first stone in 1900 and the completed station was inaugurated in 1916.

The walls are decorated with extensive azulejo panels depicting scenes from the history of Portugal. They were painted over several years (during the building of the station) by Jorge Colaço, a very well known azulejo painter of the era, and there are 20,000 tiles in total.

Porto Collage - Aperola de Bolhao

Given my reputation for gluttony you might be surprised that I’ve written so much and still not mentioned food!

Porto, like the rest of Portugal, is a food lover’s delight. Fresh produce is fantastic, and being right by the sea means excellent seafood too. There are many local specialities including great cheese, cured meats and of course, wine and port.

While exploring the old town and shopping district around the Rua de Passos Manuel, we stumbled across the beautiful Art Nouveau frontage of A Pérola do Bolhão, a small grocery shop on Rua Formosa, near the corner with Santa Caterina. The painted tiles on the front represent the spice trade – spices and dried fruits being some of the specialist products the shop still sells.  Inside, the shop is full of tasty treats including a local cheese I wanted to purchase – handily vacuum-packed for better shelf-life. I also bought a bag of beijocas – sweet, crisp biscuit balls that melted away like meringue on the tongue. The shop was so full of treats, we looked longingly at beautiful tinned fish, dried fruits and nuts, local charcuterie and a wide selection of wine and port.

As you can see, we were looked after by a friendly and helpful shopkeeper with the most wonderful smile.

Porto Collage - Casa Arcozelo Shop

We also stopped in another lovely deli, Casa Arcozelo on Rua do Loureiro, just around the corner from São Bento station.

This one had a wider selection of cured meats and sausages, not to mention some beautiful custard tarts and a wide range of wine.

Porto Collage - Taylors

If we’re talking about food, it must also be time to talk about wine. In England, the most famous of the wines from the Douro Valley must surely be port, a sweet fortified wine usually made by adding grape spirit or brandy to wine. There are a number of different varieties, including white, tawny, ruby and late bottled vintage.

Taylor’s is one of the oldest and best known brands, and you can learn all about port by way of a visit to their port wine cellars in the Vila Nova de Gaia district of Porto. Taylor’s have redeveloped their tourist offering and now invite visitors to tour the extensive cellars accompanied by an electronic audio-guide which ties into screens that tell the history of the company, and explain the key processes in making port wine. Afterwards, visitors settle in to the tasting room to try a couple of the company’s products. For those who want to try a broader range, a bar menu offers tastings of more expensive and older vintages. Next door is the shop where you can buy bottles to take home.

There is a restaurant on site, and Taylor’s also runs the The Yeatman Hotel nearby.

Porto Collage - Grahams

The other big name in the port business is Graham’s. Their lodge is also located in Vila Nova de Gaia and offers commanding views across Porto.

Although it’s still a working lodge, it’s very geared up towards visitors and the large restaurant on site offers a beautifully presented modern menu with traditional influences, matched with wines produced by the estates. They also make their own olive oil, a delicious match to the fresh bread served before the meal.

Guided tours and tastings are available and there is a shop on site.

Porto Collage - Casa da Musica

Of course, visitors to Porto should find time to venture beyond the old town.

A 15 minute drive (or metro journey) north west from the historical town centre is the Casa da Música, a large modern concert hall space that was completed (a few years later than scheduled) in 2005.

Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, it has already become an icon of the city, and is celebrated for the many innovative, advanced acoustic design elements that have been incorporated. As well as the main auditorium, there is a smaller secondary hall – both can be used simultaneously without any sound disturbance from one to the other. There are also a number of additional rooms used for smaller events and for childcare activities – popular with parents attending an event here. A rooftop restaurant completes the facilities.

The outside space, with curved paving that sweeps sensuously above hidden retail units, has become a popular hang out for local skaters and stunt bicyclists.

Porto Collage - Serralves Foundation

Further out in the same direction is the Serralves Foundation, a cultural institution that houses a contemporary art museum, an extensive park, a villa and an educational farm.

The very modern museum building, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, was built on the site of the former vegetable gardens of the Serralves Estate. It is now the most popular museum in Portugal and a key destination for contemporary art fans.

The Casa de Serralves villa extends the museum’s display space, and is often used for temporary exhibitions. It’s a superb example of Streamline Moderne Art Deco architecture.

The extensive landscaped gardens are open to the public and contain a number of modern sculptures by various artists.

Lastly, the Quinta de Serralves is a small farm which now serves as a training centre for livestock breeding of indigenous species.

Porto Collage - Feel Douro Boat

If you  have a few days in Porto, I recommend taking a few hours to see the city from a different perspective.

Feel Douro offer yacht charters as well as guided itineraries and are based at Douro Marina.

They offer a range of boats that can host smaller or larger groups and can provide a skipper / crew if needed.

Porto Collage - São Pedro da Afurada Village

A stone’s throw from Douro Marina is the small traditional village of São Pedro da Afurada.

Still a traditional fishing village, the narrow streets have a wonderfully warm neighbourhood atmosphere with locals of all ages out and about during our visit.

Porto Collage - São Pedro da Afurada Tiling

Many of the houses are extensively decorated in tile – a mix of traditional designs plus many harking back to the sixties and seventies. I loved every design I found!

As we wandered the streets taking photographs, a house-proud elderly woman sat outside her home invited us to enjoy the tiles on her walls, before allowing us to take her portrait. Her husband popped outside to find out what was going on.

Porto Collage - São Pedro da Afurada Public Laundry

While the men of the village traditionally went out on the fishing boats, the women did laundry in a communal laundry on the sea front. Once open air, it is now housed in a modern building, but runs in the same way it always has. A key source of income for locals was to take on the laundry for more wealthy residents of Porto who appreciated the use of natural detergents. The laundry is hung outside to dry.

Porto Collage - Classico Porto

After our trip out onto the River Douro and our walk around São Pedro da Afurada we experienced another way to see the sights of Porto.

Classico Porto offer tours of the city in immaculately maintained chauffeured classic cars.

Porto Collage - Forte de Sao Francisco Xavier

We headed out to the coast and along the seafront, stopping at the Fort of São Francisco do Queijo for a short break. The name comes from the cheese-shaped rock on which it was built in 1661. The sturdy fortress features heavy stone ramparts, watchtowers and a drawbridge and houses a small weaponry museum inside.

Porto Collage - Fish Fixe

As I mentioned, the food in Porto is fabulous and we certainly ate well throughout our time in Braga and Porto.

My two favourite restaurants in Porto were both fish specialists, making great use of the bounty of the sea as well as the excellent produce of the region.

Fish Fixe is located on the quai side by the North end of the Ponte de Dom Luís I – see above for more photos of the promenade there.

Although the main course of arroz de marisco (seafood rice) was decent, it was the never-ending array of starters and then the desserts that stole the show. Starters included fresh bread with olives, cheese and a tuna dip, a platter of cheese and cured meat, smoked salmon , octopus salad with parsley and olive oil, fried codfish balls with mash potato as well as codfish pieces fried in a light batter, stewed mussels in garlic olive oil, and a dish of smoked mackerel.

Of the two desserts, my favourite was the smooth and rich pudim abade de priscos, a very traditional local pudding thought to have originated in Braga. Served in a jar, this was so rich that a spoon or two per person was the perfect end to the meal.

Porto Collage - Os Lusiadas

For our last dinner in Porto we visited Os Lusíadas, a seafood restaurant named for the epic poem by Luís Vaz de Camões. The restaurant is a half an hour drive or 45 minute metro trip out from the old town, but well worth the travelling time.

An ice box shows off a huge selection of fresh fish and seafood, so you can see what looks good on the day.

We enjoyed seafood platters to start featuring prawns, clams stewed in garlic olive oil, goosefoot barnacles and a delicious crab pate served in the shell. This was followed by sea bass cooked in a salt crust. Theatrically set alight at the serving trolley before the crust was broken open and succulent pieces of fish were portioned onto plates, it was served with simple new potatoes and salted greens. Dessert was a Portuguese classic, trouxa de ovos (blanketed eggs), another rich and sweet egg yolk concoction.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring Porto with me. It truly is a beautiful city – perfect for a relaxed city break holiday of three to four days. If you have a little longer, combine Porto with a self-drive exploration of the local area including nearby Braga and the Douro Valley.

Kavey Eats visited Northern Portugal as a guest of the Portuguese Tourist Office and TAP Portugal. With enormous thanks to all those who hosted and organised the trip.

Save

Travel Quote Tuesday | Joss Whedon

Ah Firefly. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the premature ending of that most wonderful of series! This line is from the theme song, called The Ballad of Serenity – a sad tale of a soldier who has seen lands burn and seas boil, seen far too many comrades and loved ones die and now roams the galaxy in his spaceship, Serenity.

But the message is surely much broader and more positive too… Wherever we travel, the sky belongs to all of us!

(c) Kavita Favelle - Joss Whedon - Namibia

Far enough back in time that this was taken on film and the negative scanned to digital, this is from our first trip to Namibia. We fell head over heels for the beauty of the Namib Desert; the deep red dunes covered in May by golden blonde grass that rippled as the wind raced through it, the enigmatic fairy circles – thousands and thousands of them, like freckles marking the landscape, as we flew overhead on our arrival; the fascinating flora and fauna that give this place its Living Desert nickname. And our gorgeous luxury safari camp, Wolwedans, in the NamibRand Nature Reserve; each of the chalets sits upon a raised platform and houses a huge canopied bed, ensuite bathroom and chairs on the deck; two of the walls are made of thick canvas that can be rolled up and left completely open throughout the night so that you go to sleep to the twinkling of stars and galaxies and wake to the cold air and warm light of sunrise, watching the sunlight race across the dunes, changing the colours through every shade of red, amber and gold.

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Save

Save

Snapshots of Japan | A Meander Around Yokohama’s China Town

Yokahama China Town is said to be Japan’s largest. There are others in Nagasaki and Kobe – all three were among the first Japanese ports to open to foreign trade and many Chinese traders settled there in the years to follow.

Nagasaki is the oldest of the three, established in the 17th century, and is said to retain more of an authentic Chinese character. I hope to visit next time we travel to Kyushu on a future trip.

Yokahama didn’t open to foreign traders until 1859 but grew to cover a larger area. Today there are around 250 shops and restaurants in the district, mostly catering to the tourist trade.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-170004 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-170123
Choyo-mon gate and the streets just beyond

There are four tall and attractive gates at the entrances to Yokahama China Town, and a few more within the area. We entered via the East Gate, Choyo-mon.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-171034 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-171040 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-173253
The main roads in Yokahama China Town

The main thoroughfares are reasonably wide, and thronged with visitors.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-171420 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-173431
Side streets in Yokahama China Town

These are crossed by much narrower streets that are far less busy.

Most of the buildings contain restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets, grocery and kitchen equipment stores, Chinese medicine specialists and souvenir shops.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-171934 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-172001
Panda-shaped steamed buns

Some of the street food snacks are very cute – panda-shaped steamed buns, anyone?

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-172201 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-181121

Pandas are also a popular theme for souvenir shops and even local murals.

My favourite snack was the jian dui (known in Japan as goma dango), served piping hot in a little paper cone. I love these chewy hollow balls coated in sesame seeds and with a pellet of sweet red bean paste inside and this was a really tasty one.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-204335 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-172703
Kanteibyo Temple

There are two main temples in China Town – Mazu Miao, a large and rather grand new temple that opened in 2006, and Kanteibyo, closer to the centre of the neighbourhood. The original Kanteibyo temple was built in the 1870s but has been rebuilt multiple times since then after being destroyed by the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 and by two fires in the 1980s.

These Chinese temples are very different in style and decoration to most of the Japanese Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines we have visited, much more ornate and colourful.

Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-164420 Yokohama China Town Japan on Kavey Eats-164633

Our hotel was in Bashamichi, just a couple of quick stops on the metro from Motomachi-Chukagai Station, at the eastern edge of China Town. We love taking public transport in Japan; it’s so wonderfully efficient and well run. We also enjoy the different designs of train carriages, local advertising posters, and even listening to the Japanese announcements that we can’t understand.

Of course, the port area of Yokahama is fairly small so you could easily walk to and from other tourist sites such as the Ramen Museum, Landmark Tower and Cosmoworld amusement park.

You may like to check out previous posts about my travels to Japan.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Travel Quote Tuesday | Doctor Who

I have no idea whether there’s a correlation between those who love science fiction and those who love to travel. It seems to me – as a lover of both – that there ought to be! For me, both are rooted in a curiosity about the unknown and a delight in exploring every corner of our world, and outwards into our universe. If I can’t yet do both in person, I can at least do so in my imagination!

I am not such an intrepid explorer as some. I have neither the stamina, the fortitude nor the mindset to map the unmapped, to accept the discomfort and uncertainty of that kind of endeavour. I am greatly impressed by those who do.

But I do take enormous joy in visiting the many corners of our world, in seeing the incredible diversity we have on our one tiny planet, in meeting those who are just the same as us and yet completely different.

If only I had a TARDIS at my disposal, oh can you only imagine?!

(c) Kavita Favelle - Doctor Who - Iceland

During our holiday to Iceland, we were astonished by the sheer changeability of the landscape. Every mile, we might round a corner and see yet another completely different, and often very alien, environment. I said at the time that it felt rather like being a location scout for Doctor Who because surely Iceland’s surreal scenery could represent a thousand and one alien worlds?!

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Travel Quote Tuesday | Alice Meynell

The best travel moments linger in the memory not only for hours and days but for years, sometimes for a lifetime!

I love this passage by Alice Christiana Gertrude Meynell, an English writer, poet and suffragist born in the 19th century.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Alice Meynell - Antarctica

The photo is another from our first trip to Antarctica in 2004. We spotted these beautiful icebergs floating off the shore of the peninsula, glinting in the light as they very slowly turned. It felt like they, and we, had all the time in the world.

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Travel Quote Tuesday | Alfred Tennyson

Travel is addictive!

If I’m not actually travelling, chances are good that I’m researching, planning and booking at least one future holiday if not two, not to mention processing images and writing up blog posts on the most recent trip.

Tennyson needs no introduction from me. I love this quote from his poem Ulysses, written in 1833 and published in 1842.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Alfred Tennyson - Arctic Sweden

Although we didn’t see the Northern Lights, we still enjoyed a wonderful family trip to northern Sweden a few years ago. This far north, the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon during the winter, so even the brightest hour of the day is a muted blue. And much of the day is as dark as night. This dog sled excursion lasted three to four hours and took us through some stunning scenery, though we were teeth-chatteringly cold, even with all our extreme-insulation clothing! A welcome lunch stop in the middle gave us some much needed warmth!

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Travel Quote Tuesday | Kazuo Ishiguro

How often have you been on a trip when you’ve found inspiration for some project or other to embark upon when you get home? Or even just a new way of handling something you’ve been doing for a long time already?

Partly it’s the inspiration of what we see and do while travelling (taking a pottery lesson in Shigaraki lead directly to my taking up pottery when I got home). But it’s also having the time away from our usual commitments and concerns, away from the places and routines that are familiar, which allows us to think differently.

That’s why this quote from Kazuo Ishiguro resonates. Born in Japan but having lived most of his life in the UK, Ishiguro is a successful novelist, best known for The Remains of the Day.

Have you found a new way of thinking about things, or launched a big new project (or even a small one) after your perspective has changed while away travelling?

(c) Kavita Favelle - Kazuo Ishiguro - Reykjavik Iceland

The Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik is a really stunning piece of architecture. Full of the most striking interplays of light and shadow, unusual angles and corners, beautiful textures and colours it’s a space that is endlessly stimulating and we whiled away several hours here on a rainy Reykjavik day. That’s Pete at the back, taking a photograph as I take one of him.

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Save

Save

Travel Quote Tuesday | Diane Arbus

‘Diane Arbus was an American photographer and writer noted for photographs of marginalized people—dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers —and others whose normality was perceived by the general populace as ugly or surreal.’ (Wiki)

What that says to me is that she excelled in finding beauty where others fail to see it, a quality that holds much currency in our home lives as well as when we travel.

Today’s quote, one of her most often cited, resonates strongly. When planning our travels, I like to mix up trips to places that are familiar to us, and that we know and love well, with holidays that take us to places we’ve never been before.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Diane Arbus - Antarctica

Pete and I have visited Antarctica twice – our ‘once in a lifetime trip’ in 2004 only whetting our appetite to return, which we did four years later. My hope is that we are able to visit this beautiful region of the world for a third time in the years to come.

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Travel Quote Tuesday | Confucius

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Applicable to so much more in life than travel. Simple advice from Confucius.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Confucius - Japan

Before our first visit to Kyoto, I had read about this idea of visiting too many temples, becoming ’templed out’, if you will. But for us, that never happened. In the city of a thousand temples (and shrines), we visited only a fraction and yet we enjoyed every one so much. Each is quite different to the other, and every one is beautiful and fascinating. So too is the observation of those who come to worship, or simply to admire, as we did.

This is Fushimi Inari-taisha, known for its senbon torii (thousands of gates) winding up the mountainside – and there really are thousands of them, painted bright red, as is the tradition!

More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.

You are welcome to save or share this via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram provided you do not alter the image or crop out the attribution text.

Save