A day in Portugal: hiking and cooking

A long but a lovely day behind us in Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros natural park. Hiking in thyme fields, a cave visit (with one tiny bat hanging on the wall!), relaxing in a pool and a cooking course at our hotel followed by a good dinner.

Serra d'Aire e Candeeiros natural park Portugal

Serra d'Aire e Candeeiros natural park Portugal Cooking course at Cooking hotel Portugal

Cheese, bread and olive oil

Cooking course at the Cooking and emotional hotel Portugal

The dinner menu included bread, olive oil and local cheese, a mushroom cappucino, home made pasta with vegetables and pesto and for the desert a chocolate lava cake with a passionfruit sorbet.

Boa noite – good night!


Heaven on Earth

Casa do Valle Sintra Portugal

This is where we woke up on our first morning in Portugal, in Sintra village near Lisbon, surrounded by fig trees, mountains and castles. The breakfast brought to our rooms in a picnic basket. I almost started crying when I realized in what kind of place I had landed in the previous evening… and how soon I would have to leave.

But at least I get one more destination to my “Must come back”-list. Here are some pictures of our lovely stay.

Sintra market

Flea market Sintra Portugal

In the morning we went to the local vegetable market and found also this little lovely flea market. Uzi was so excited to find four new wall phrames to his family picture collection.

Horse carriage ride Sintra Portugal

The best way to explore the tiny streets of Sintra is by foot or in a horse carriage like we did.

Sintra Portugal Casa do Valle Sintra PortugaliCasa do Valle Virpi ja Manuel Oliveira Sintra Portugali

Cooking with Virpi and Manuel Oliveira together with the Finnish au pair Sini and her friend Meri who came for a visit. Virpi and Manu run a B & B  in addition to their other jobs. An amazing place with a lush garden surrounding it.

Virpi Oliveira and Pandora

Virpi and the cute Danish dog Pandora.

Sintra beach PortugalSome jogging on the local beach with Manuel.
Ranta Sintra PortugaliSintra Portugal

In the evening we dined in the old city in a small Tulhas Ba restaurant. Good, homestyle food. Lovely cheese, rice with duck (and not vice versa) and nice wines. Vinho verde was my new personal affection, the green wine that is Portuguese speciality. I will miss this place!

Do you have a list of places you’d love to return? I would love to hear!




Monasteries on cliff edges

Meteora monasteries Greece

Don’t miss this beautiful place if you are in North-West Greece! Meteora with its monasteries hanging just on the cliff edges, a Unesco world heritage site is a place to spend at least one whole day.


Meteora Kreikka

Meteora Greece

The history of Meteora reaches at least the 15th century. Then and long after one could reach the monasteries only on ropes or ladders. Now you can drive there by car.

Meteora Kreikka

Monastery Meteora

Dog in Meteora Greece

A cat


Meteoran luostarit Kreikka

I wouldn’t trust this cable car connecting between the monastery and the next mountain. This elevator is only for the monastery’s internal use. The guest have steps.



Meteora Kreikka

The monasteries open their doors on different days and hours so check the opening hours in advance. You can explore the area for free but the monasteries charge an entrance ticket of a couple of euros each.

More information on  Meteora site.

Images: Ninarose Maoz and Jari Eiro