3 Different Ways to spend your Valentine’s day in London

Lacking out of ideas for Valentine’s day? Want to do something different? Cliché still needs to be present? 

Here are 3 different ways of spending tomorrow’s day with your Valentine.

1. Notting Hill and Portobello Market

I was just turning 10 years old when Notting Hill movie was released and I think I can say I’m not the only one thinking about romance when we talk about this place. Notting Hill will always remind us of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant love story, back in 1999. 

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Full of colorful buildings and eclectic stores, Notting Hill is just the right place to get lost with your half, especially on Portobello Road, the most famous street here. Portobello is known for its market, where you can find food from all over the world, street artists that I’m sure would sing something for your sweetheart, some delicious street creperies that would just add some extra sugar to your day or beautiful vintage shops with furniture, clothes, records and old cameras for the ones already taking the next step of living together.

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Last but not least, you can just walk around and take some cool pictures to add to your love album that you would be proud of showing to your grandchildren. Around these streets, there’s always a few walls with graffiti that will make the difference.

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More info:

Portobello Road
London
Greater London
W10 5TA

Tube station: Notting Hill Gate

Buses that stop near the market: 7,12, 23, 27, 28, 31, 52, 70, 94, 328 & 452

Friday and Saturday are the busiest days. The market disposition is Southern Portobello Road – antiques; Middle of the market – food, new fashion, accessories, household goods; Portobello Green and North Portobello – vintage clothing & accessories, collectibles, bric-a-brac; Golborne Road – bric-a-brac, furniture, food

Opening times: Monday to Wednesday from 9 am to 6 pm; Thursday 9 am to 1 pm; Friday to Saturday 9 am to 7 pm.

http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/travel-information/

2. V&A Museum

Are you an art and design lover? Do you have a strong alliance with your love? Do you want to get inspired by the love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert? Go to the V&A Museum. Take your muse and get lost. There’s plenty rooms in this museum and sometimes a full day visit doesn’t seem enough when a museum leaves you the taste that you need to come back for more.

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Photo from here

 

We usually say “save the best for last” but this museum will not give you that chance, as you are welcomed with the most beautiful and majestic chandelier from the American Glass Blower Artist Chihuly.

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Photo from here

 

If that’s not enough to take her/his breath away, continue exploring. The collection is over 4.5 million objects, covering ceramics, glass, jewelry, furniture, sculptures, drawings and photographs among others.

I have to be honest, my favorite part is the sculpture room, where you have a taste of the Italian Renaissance.

You can take photos everywhere or even loose an afternoon drawing your Goddess in that scene.

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Photo from here

 

If you want to spice things up a little bit, join the “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” Exhibition. Discover the evolution of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day and get some ideas for the dress code later on. Tickets are £12.

More info: 

The entrance is free and the museum is open every day from 10 am to 5.45 pm, except on Fridays, that closes at 10 pm.

https://www.vam.ac.uk/

3. Emirates Air Line Cable Car

What about a different perspective of the city with the person you love next to you? If you like clichés, this one may be a good option for you. Grab your bouquet of red roses, the chocolate box, the big teddy bear and take you cutie pie here.

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Travel from Royal Victoria to Emirates Greenwich Peninsula in a half an hour trip with the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. The tickets are £4,5 and you can use your Oyster Travel card. Yes, the journey is not very long, but the forecast for tomorrow seems nice and hey!, you have the O2 Arena as a destination, with plenty of plans for the rest of the day. A variety of Restaurants and Bars, Cinema, Bowling and Live concerts awaits, or for the geek ones like me, there’s even the Star Wars Identities Exhibition.

The choice is big, but you don’t have to do everything in a day just because you want to impress your half.

More info:

The cable car is open on weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm, on Saturdays from 8 am to 8 pm and on Sundays from 9 am to 8 pm during winter. During summer opens at the same time but it remains open for one more hour.

http://www.emiratesairline.co.uk/

Wherever is love, there are things to do.

Beatrice.

 

Renting a room in London

One of the most stressful things of moving to London is to find a house. I can tell you from my own experience that is easiest to find a job than to find a room to rent. The market is really competitive and agencies and landlords or even emigrants that arrived before you to the country, like to take advantage of the fact that you might not be well informed about how things work around here. 

Once again, you need to move. The stress here is not only to find a room but to find one at a reasonable price. London has become one of the most expensive cities in Europe for renting and obviously when you start, or you have a good budget and you can even afford to rent your own place, or you end up sharing a house, where most of the times, don’t even have a common area. Renting a room was my case. It took me more than a month to find a place to live (luckily I have friends with comfy couches) and it did not end up the best way. In 8 months I have changed house 3 times, where the first one I ended up losing my deposit and worse things could have happen, which fortunately didn’t, with the support of friends. But let’s not lose time with these details.

Here are some tips for renting a room/house, when you come to London:

  • Most of the places ask for a 6 weeks deposit, but you can still find places where is only one month rent in advance. So, even though the market is competitive, don’t jump to the first nice house you see, try to visit as much as you can and always try to negotiate the price. Landlords or agencies tend to ask more than what the house is worth off and you can always check if the water runs well, the cleanness of the house, etc.
  • Always ask for the contract before making any payment. Payment should always be by bank transfer, so you can have also another proof that you did the payment. Never make a payment in cash, in advance. When you do the bank transfer, write on the details, what is the transfer for (e.g. rent November + deposit);
  • Very often when you rent a room, the contract is under the name of another tenant that rents the whole flat and you end up only having a tenancy agreement. That’s okay, as long as you have a copy of the contract before, to make sure you know the details, in case something goes wrong. If this is the case, also check if the apartment is rented per room or the entire flat, so you don’t end up in need of searching for a new place to live, in case the main tenant decides to leave or paying for extra things like mattress covers, since when you get there, you were using a used one. I always have my own, just in case, but that doesn’t save me for paying in case I need to leave.
  • If you pay rent to another tenant, you still need to have access to the contract and landlords contact. It is forbidden to hide this information from you.
  • You can read much more information about this in the citizen bureau website. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/
I hope these tips were useful because not always you can find good information about how things work when you move to a new country and you might find yourself alone in these situations. Get information!
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New Chapter II

I had to find another solution…!

That leads me to “Where am I now”. It turned 8 months that I arrived in the UK and decided that London would be my next place to be. But do you want to know the ironic part of this? Two years ago I came to this city for the first time, on vacation, just before joining the ship life, and I don’t know if it was because I did not get much related to it, or if, at that time, it was too overwhelming for me, but the truth is that I said to myself “I will never live here!”, and here I am. The perfect example of “never say never”.

And why did I decided to come to the UK and especially London? Well, this city is known for a city full of opportunities, where people don’t look for genders, sexual orientations or even nationalities, but for what you’re good at. My other option would be Berlin, in Germany (my favorite European city), but I thought that my German was not good enough and the challenge of changing country (once again) was already big enough. I have to be honest, so far, I don’t regret at all.

When you change to new a country, you need to bear in mind that is like starting your life all over again, and for professional reasons is not different. Unfortunately, you might have loads of experience, but or you are so lucky to find someone who truly believes in you at first sight or yes, is like starting your career all over again, but already with some luggage behind you. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I found myself finding a job pretty fast, fortunately, but in the same position as I was before.

As I believe that everything happens for a reason, I also believe that I ended up where I am working now because I had to experience other things in my personal life, meanwhile, related to that.

If there’s something that I’m learning from all of this experience is that we need to take time for ourselves but that also includes, giving time for ourselves. By saying this, I mean, we need to interiorize that goals take a  certain time to reach, even if we are prepared for them right now and have everything that it takes to reach it. Things will happen at its own pace and when they have to. And believe me, this is something very hard for me to deal with, but it’s another learning process.

One thing that I’m sure now is that I have to take advantage of being in this beautiful city, with so many things to offer and I will dedicate myself to it. From now on, you will find here, much more content about what to do in London city, even though whenever I travel, tips and new destinations will be add on too. I’m already preparing my trips for 2017, so stay around. 

Meanwhile, London is the place to be.

xx

Beatrice.

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Eu tinha que encontrar outra solução…!

Disto isto, leva-me ao “Onde me encontro agora”. Faz 8 meses que cheguei ao Reino Unido e que decidi que Londres era o próximo sítio a ficar. Mas querem saber a parte mais irónica disto tudo? Há dois anos atrás, vim a esta cidade pela primeira vez, de férias, antes de começar a vida nos cruzeiros, e, não sei se foi porque não me identifiquei muito, ou se, naquela altura, foi demasiado avassalador para mim, mas a verdade é que disse a mim mesma: “Nunca vou viver ali!”, e aqui estou eu. O perfeito exemplo de “nunca digas nunca”.

E porque é que eu decidi vir para Inglaterra e especialmente para Londres? Bem, esta cidade é conhecida por ser uma cidade cheia de oportunidades, onde não se olha a géneros, orientação sexual ou até mesmo nacionalidades, mas para aquilo que vales. A minha outra opção seria Berlim, na Alemanha (a minha cidade Europeia favorita), mas pensei que o meu alemão ainda não era bom o suficiente e o desafio de me mudar para outro país sozinha (outra vez) já era grande o suficiente. Tenho que ser sincera, até agora, não me arrependo minimamente.

Quando te mudas para um país novo, tens que ter em mente que é como começar a tua vida toda outra vez, e que por razões profissionais, não será diferente. Infelizmente, podes ter muita experiência, mas, ou és sortudo e encontras alguém que realmente acredita em ti desde o início, ou sim, é como começar a tua carreira novamente, mas com alguma bagagem atrás. E isso foi exactamente o que me aconteceu. Encontrei-me a arranjar um trabalho rapidamente, mas exactamente na mesma posição onde estava antes.

Como acredito que tudo na vida acontece por uma razão, também acredito que acabei a trabalhar onde estou, porque entretanto, tinha que experienciar coisas na minha vida pessoal, relacionadas com a vida laboral.

Se há algo que tenho aprendido de toda esta experiência é que necessitamos dedicar tempo a nós mesmos, o que também inclui, dar tempo a nós mesmos. Com isto, quero dizer que, temos que interiorizar que os nossos objectivos levam um certo tempo a serem alcançados, mesmo que estejamos preparados para tal ou que temos tudo o que é necessário para chagar até eles. As coisas acontecem a seu tempo e quando têm que acontecer. E acreditem, isto algo muito difícil de lidar para mim, mas é um processo de aprendizagem.

Uma coisa de que estou certa agora é que tenho que tirar vantagem do facto de estar nesta linda cidade, com tanta coisa para oferecer e vou dedicar-me a ela. De agora em diante, irão encontrar aqui muito mais informação sobre o que fazer em Londres, ainda que, sempre que eu viajar, dicas e novos destinos irão ser aparecer também. Já estou a preparar as minhas viagens para 2017, por isso fiquem por perto.

Entretanto, Londres é o lugar a estar.

xx

Beatrice.

New chapter I

Hello new followers, old friends, hello everyone!

Most of you must be wondering where am I now, what happen to all those adventures I was living or even if I’m okay. Let me answer all those questions, but yes, I’m okay :)

So starting from: “what happen to all those adventures I was living?”, they are definitely not finished. Just changed the way I’m leaving them.

As you might know, I’m passionate about people, cultures, and places and for me traveling is about making connections, understand the roots, absorb what surround us and learn from it. Travel to Krakow and not going through the experience of Auschwitz, not drinking Zubrowka like a Polish or at least try Pierogi and the delicious Zurek soup, is like you haven’t been there. Those are the kind of experiences that will stay in your memory forever.

Last 2 years, cruises had brought me a lot of knowledge and experience. I learned a lot, traveled a lot and met so many people, keeping a connection with most of my colleagues and some really special guests who changed my trips, the same way I’m sure I changed them.

But working on cruises also got me wondering: what do I want to do in my career?; what are my aspirations in life?.

Working on ships has its pros and cons, and it’s definitely not for everybody. There are no days off, just hours, where you try your best to visit everything you can during that short period of time, where your clock is ticking. The good news is: you will be back there, especially on river cruises, where you stop in the same places every week.

Obviously, the first time you find yourself in a new place is a constant rush, where you feel like you want more and you haven’t seen enough, but after a while, you start treating the cities by you, like I found myself knowing Budapest so well as I know my hometown, Lisbon. We all have our favorite destinations.

But there is no much difference between personal time and working time. You work in the place you live and you party in the place you work. It might sound fun, but for how long can you do it? And how is that really taking care of yourself? You find yourself booking your vacation to go home and (finally, meet your family) take time for you, because you needed.

I didn’t want more of this to myself. My body had suffered enough with loadings, nights with just a few hours of sleep and long working hours, for something that was not giving me pleasure anymore, I was definitely not close from my professional goals and travel had become a second plan. It was not working the way I believe it should be.

Had to find another solution…

(To be continued)

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Olá novos seguidores, velhos amigos, olá a todos!

Muitos de vocês deverão estar a perguntar onde me encontro agora, o que aconteceu a todas aquelas aventuras que estava a viver e se estou bem. Deixem-me responder a todas essas perguntas, mas sim, estou bem :)

Começando por: “o que aconteceu a todas aquelas aventuras que estava a viver?”, definitivamente não acabaram. Só alterei a maneira como as quero continuar a viver.

Como devem saber, sou apaixonada por pessoas, culturas, lugares e viajar para mim é fazer contactos, perceber as raízes, absorver o que nos rodeia e aprender disso. Viajar a Cracóvia e não passar pela experiência  de ir a Auschwitz, não beber Zubrowka como um Polaco ou pelo menos experimentar Pierogis e a deliciosa sopa Zurek, é como se nunca estivessem estado lá. Estas são os tipos de experiências que ficarão nas nossas memórias para sempre.

Nos últimos dois anos, os cruzeiros trouxeram-me muito conhecimento e experiência. Aprendi muito, viajei imenso e conheci tanta gente, com a qual mantenho o contacto agora, colegas e hóspedes que mudaram as minhas viagens, da mesma maneira, estou certa, que eu mudei a deles.

Mas trabalhar em cruzeiros também me pôs a pensar: o que é que eu quero fazer da minha carreira?; quais são os meus objectivos de vida?.

Trabalhar em cruzeiros tem os seus prós e contras, e definitivamente não é para toda a gente. Não há dias de folga, só horas, onde tentamos o nosso melhor para visitar tudo o que pudermos durante aquele curto período de tempo, onde o relógio está sempre a tiquetar. As boas notícias são: voltaremos ali, principalmente nos cruzeiros de rio, onde paramos todas as semanas nos mesmos sítios.

Obviamente, a primeira vez que nos encontramos num sítio novo é uma constante correria, onde queremos sempre mais e parece que nunca vimos o suficiente, mas passado um tempo, começamos a tratar as cidades por tu, como eu me encontrei a conhecer Budapeste tão bem quanto conheço a minha cidade natal, Lisboa. Todos nós temos os nossos destinos preferidos.

Mas não há muita diferença entre tempo pessoal e tempo laboral. Trabalhamos no sítio onde vivemos e festejamos no sítio onde trabalhamos. Pode soar agradável, mas por quanto tempo serias capaz de o fazer? E como é isso tratares de ti? Encontras-te a marcar férias para regressar a casa e (finalmente rever a família) tirares tempo para ti, porque precisas relaxar.

Eu não queria mais disto para mim. O meu corpo sofreu o suficiente com carregamentos, noites com poucas horas de sono e longas horas de trabalho, para algo que já não me estava a dar prazer mais, onde não estava nem perto dos meus objectivos profissionais e onde viajar tinha passado para segundo plano. Não estava a resultar da maneira que deveria.

Tinha que encontrar outra solução.

(A continuar)

Organizing trips

I like to organize my trips and write everything down, to make sure I don’t forget anything. This Christmas my sister gave me this “Viajário” (traveller’s book) to organize my own adventures.

This book, by Tinta da China, is an organizer for small journeys, short stays and long stays, where you can save notes about your experience, make some “do not forget” lists or just keep the best photos you took.

What about you? How do you organize and prepare your trips?

 


 

 

Eu gosto de organizar as minhas viagens e escrever tudo pra ter a certeza que não me esqueço de nada. Este Natal, a minha irmã ofereceu-me este Viajário para que eu organizasse as minhas próprias aventuras.

Este livro, da Tinta da China, é perfeito para organizar pequenos passeios, estadias curtas ou estadias longas, onde podemos guardar algumas notas sobre a experiência, fazer algumas listas do que “não esquecer” ou guardar apenas as melhores fotos que tirámos.

E vocês? Como é que organizam e preparam as vossas viagens?

presenting B

I was born in Lisbon in the late 80’s and soon became interested in learning foreign languages, which led me the willing of discovering new countries and cultures.

Since I was a little girl, I remember to travel with my parents, and as soon as I was discovering the world, the more I was falling in love with. Quickly I realized that I would follow the Tourism area in my studies.

I have a degree in Hotel Management and although I love the “art of hospitality”, I believe that tourism is much more than just the accommodation itself.

I have always registered my trips and adventures through photography, another big passion of mine. Only later, after my Erasmus experience in Poland, I started writing about them.

Currently I’m working in a cruise line, covering Europe in its full length: from Netherlands to Romania.


Nasci em Lisboa, em finais da década de 80 e cedo interessei-me pela aprendizagem de línguas estrangeiras, que me levaram a querer descobrir novos países e culturas.

Desde nova que me lembro de viajar com os meus pais, e à medida que ia descobrindo o mundo, mais me ia apaixonando pelo mesmo. Mais depressa percebesse eu, que iria seguir a área do Turismo!

Sou formada em Gestão Hoteleira e embora adore a “arte de bem receber”, acredito que o Turismo é muito mais que o acolhimento em si.

Sempre registei as minhas viagens e aventuras através da fotografia, outra das minhas grandes paixões. Mas só mais tarde, após a experiência de Erasmus na Polónia, comecei a escrever sobre as mesmas.

Actualmente estou a trabalhar em cruzeiros de rio, cobrindo a Europa no seu total comprimento: da Holanda à Roménia.

(double exposure - Alfama, Lisboa)

(double exposure – Alfama, Lisboa)