All posts tagged: Traveltomars

Two weeks in Mozambique with the SPAY SISTERS

I still find it hard to put into words how much I enjoyed my last trip to Mozambique. I will try my best. (8 min read) As some of you might know, besides being a travel blogger, I am a vet, so this trip was not the typical tourist escape… In the last two weeks, I joined the UK charity SPAY SISTERS, founded by three incredible vets including my dear friend Ella Stekly, who I met in Madeira 10 years ago. How do SPAY SISTERS work? Spay Sisters started in June 2006. The aim of this charity is to sterilise as many animals as possible throughout the world. They intend to save a few dog, and cat lives leading them to a healthier existence by the control of reproduction. Post operation the animals become calmer, fight less, get fewer diseases and naturally don’t produce vast quantities of kittens and puppies each year. A single cat or dog can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in five years – just a reminder. SPAY SISTERS original trustees are …

Paris for two, 40 tips

PARIS for Two , 40 tips “She liked to be in Paris, favourable city to lovers, where the taxi chauffeurs never interrupted a kiss …” Anais Nin Paris. Each reunion is like the first time; discovery and excitement. I never get tired of Paris; there is always a new neighbourhood to find, a new spot to relax, a new graffiti to admire … and then there is the Seine, this river of stories to tell, that transports us to another century. I unplug from reality. The sounds of Paris … the movement of Pigale and its mills, the clicks of cameras that shoot in front of the Moulin Rouge, the “bateaux” sailing down the river,  the subway musicians, the sights of tourists sitting on the steps of Montmartre and voices of vendors carrying miniature flashing Eiffel Towers. The colours of Paris, pink (like life there), the green lawns, the grey roofs, the lake in Tuileries Garden and the multi-coloured shops like Pylones. And of course, the smell of “Nutella Crepes”; that addiction. Here I give you 44 tips for Paris for two (Other than …

Kolkata, What does it mean to be from kolkata?

Someone once told me that he did not understand what kept India united as a nation. There was some lack of patriotic identity in a country this size with a multitude of dialects, religions and social classes. So what” glues” India together as a nation? I think that in order to answer this question would have to spend at least a few good months in India, traveling from the Himalayas to the Andaman Nicobar Islands – This country is huge. I talked to some friends who live here, or that are working in Europe and want to come back here – because home is where your family lives. I tried to understand the identity of Kolkatá: “- We love food. Not only to eat but to talk about food, thoroughly describing each flavour and texture.” – “We love to talk, “Adda” about worldly affairs, or on topics of current political, science, religion, food (it had been said, but I reinforce it).” – “We love to travel and to experience other cultures as well as to …

(Português) A viagem a Calcutá. Insónia.

  Hoje não consigo dormir. É uma daquelas noites em que o calor, a humidade, a roupa colada ao corpo e o barulho do ar condicionado se tornam intoleráveis. Depois há as imagens que me varrem os pensamentos… O olhar vazio daquela menina no orfanato, a criança descalça cujas pernas arqueadas gritavam subnutrição, o cão que me lambeu a mão e tinha um corte profundo na sobrancelha, a vaca que caminhava perdida por entre os carros, os macaquinho bébé agarrado à sua mãe acorrentada e o barulho que não quer sair dos meus ouvidos do trânsito nesta terra. Calcutá é para os fortes, os que perante o desespero não desistem, (hoje após 20 minutos a tentar apanhar um taxi, apeteceu-me desistir e voltar para casa) para os que batem o pé e regateiam, para os que empurram com mais força para entrar no metro, para os que mesmo suando em bica conseguem fazer o seu trabalho com um sorriso. São milhões, 35 milhões? Nem sei ao certo. São muitos, não há ruas vazias, nem espaços …

Kolkata, today.

Today, I will not paint a pretty picture of Calcutta. This is not a dream holiday nor a dream. I’ve never been so aware of the impact that the colour of our skin can have in society, as here. On the one hand, everyone here wants fair skin. We put self-tanning creams, they put creams to make the skin whiter. The darker the skin of a person the lesser the status. Even in ads that come in the newspaper on Sunday, it is notorious. “28 y old Woman, fair-skinned, Scorpion sign, Brahman, is looking for a, Dr. or Eng., sign sagitarius, brahman to get married”. There are pages of these ads, for him and her. A different version of dating.com. After the skin colour, the horoscope sign is the most important feature, followed by caste. Caste defines the origin and the destination. There are four castes, from the priests / teachers to the servants / attendants who must maintain family traditions marrying people from the same caste. I spoke to people who got married in …

Free Travel Guide To Rome

Free Travel Guide to Rome I visited Rome for the first time this week. I am writing to you from my hotel hall. It’s hot, but the buildings are old, thick walls, so fresh. The sun comes through the window, streets are an invitation to long walks. Rome, the eternal city? Cliché or truth? I came to Rome with many preconceived ideas, the comments of friends who said Rome was either beautiful, romantic, charming or sometimes tiring, a city of crowds and where there are endless queues to see the monuments. Then there were the movies, the humour of Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Dolce Vita, one city in black and white, so stylish… Monuments; Rome is a monument, a big one, every corner and alley, there is always a little story to live and to tell. Rome has about 2500 years of history and developed slowly. Rome is not to be seen in a day or in a week, because there is always something more to see. Maybe that’s why the legend arose in tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain; everyone wants to come back one day to Rome. …

The footsteps of Van Gogh

I’ve always loved his paintings. I remember that long before enjoying museums, I knew his painting of the sunflowers, from a calendar in my mom’s kitchen. Now, that  I set out to find out who is the man behind the painting, and I like it even more … Last March, the Dutch tourism in partnership with Expedia, launched a campaign entitled “Following the Van Gogh footprints” #Vangogh2015. Van Gogh died 125 years ago but his work remains as present and current. Museums, landscapes, paintings and thoughts that accompanied his journey through life, reveal him as an outstanding person . Vincent Van Gogh lived 37 years (my age), having been born in a family overshadowed by the death of the first child at birth, who had been assigned his name, Vincent. Later, his brother Theo was born.  He became  his best friend and life companion. Vicent began painting at  the age of 27. He committed suicide at 37. For 10 years he painted about 900 pictures and wrote more than 800 letters, leaving an estate of creativity and talent which was recognized …

A weekend in Madrid

When I was a teenager, every year, me and my girfriends used to spend a week’s holiday together. Then came college, a few marriages and one divorce, children, day to day concerns, work and  time ran … 15 years later, we thought it was time to find a solution to meet again in similar circumstances; book a week’s holiday with friends without children or husbands, or hours to arrive … To talk, laugh, walk, “sing and change clothes ” (this didn’t happened too much …) but especially to revive a friendship that unites us and which we treasure. There was also that curiosity inherent to the point; could we have fun as before? The choice was multiple: Prague, Lisbon, Barcelona, Porto and finally MADRID. It was a great choice, check out why: 1. Flights at affordable prices. We’ve booked it a year ago (almost) and got a great deal:. FX-Lx-Madrid, return flight  for about 200 euros. 2. Uhostel Our room had 3 bunk beds (we could be together in one room) private bathroom and was very well located, plus 5 minutes away from Metro. 3. San …

Family Holiday in MIAMI

I have a niece (also goddaughter) HELENA with H, teenager, who lives in Spain and loves to travel. From an early age she showed interested in photography and writing (must run in the family :)). I am very proud of her, more than talented, she’s a really sweet person. Last Christmas she made a trip with her family to Miami. Here I share, “in her voice,” tips and impressions of Miami. “Since it was little I always wanted to go to USA, and  this year I’ve finally made it. For my parents it was hard to choose the city to visit, but I am know sure we’ve picked the right one. What made us choose Miami was the climate, the time of the year (Xmas), advices from friends and family that live there. There, we spent five days that I can only describe as exciting and magical. What I liked most? I can not decide what I liked most about this amazing city; if the skyscrapers of Downtown, colorful Art Deco buildings in South Beach, or …