Pop Cereal Cafe – Heaven for Cereal lovers

Cereal has been my major comfort food since I was a kid! I love it in rainy days, on lazy weekends or when I don’t want to make dinner! Everybody knows that cereal are for children but if you love it and you ain’t ashamed – JOIN THE TEAM !

So, as a huge cereal lover,  as soon as I heard about Pop Cereal Cafe in Lisbon I immediately I had to go and try it out.

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The whole concept of this place basically appeals you to chill out with your friends while you eat cereal ! Not only it has  delicious combinations of cereal bowls, including some that no longer exist or that never came to my country, but also totally indulging  milkshakes. Sounds good, huh?

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Starting with the space, I found it super creative and well laid out. It suits perfectly with the concept of the business – it’s super colorful, with cereal boxes everywhere, old TV’s and pop theme decor, so it totally brought me back to the 90’s – insanely cool!

The staff was super nice and thoughtful, they always help you out and advise you on what to choose – which is pretty hard to do , believe me.

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They have a wide range of products – from super chocolaty bowls, mint and chocolate, fruity, with ice-cream… you name it! You can either choose from the menu or do your own There is a huge amount of cereal to choose from, different types of milk and even yogurt.  Just makes me want to try it all!

As huge fan of mint chocolate, I couldn’t resist choosing an after eight cereal bowl – with mint M&M’s and mint milk – which was absolutely delicious! An explosion of flavors, different than everything I’ve ever tried.

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This ended up being an unique and delicious experience that I look forward to repeat, because that is still so much left to try ! So if you’re visiting or living in Lisbon, you can’t miss it !

Adress: Rua do Norte No 64 – Bairro Alto, Lisbon

 

Have you tried a similar concept ? Which kind of bowl would you like to try?

Click here to follow me on instagram and see what I’m up to ! 

 

Lots of Love,

Catarina

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Clink78: The coolest hostel I’ve stayed in my life

Hey!

My purpose with this blog is to guide you when travelling to the places I’ve been to, so despite there are websites and apps to review hostels, I thought that it would be interesting to share my experience at Clink78 with you, because that hostel is something, trust me.

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As I told before, I went to London for a flash birthday trip with my boyfriend. As I was looking for accommodation, and I couldn’t find any cheap hotel deals (does that even exist in London?!),  I heard about Clink78 through a friend that had stayed there.

As soon as I started checking the reviews and Clink’s Instagram and Facebook, I immediately knew I had to stay there. They have such a nice engagement with costumers! They share recommendations and tips for travelling to the cities they’re in and they promote activities on their bar (yeah, they have a bar!) every night.

There are two Clinks in London and both of them are really well located – near King’s Cross Station. I stayed at Clink78, which has some nice markets and restaurants around, which might come in handy.

The hostel is located in an old courthouse – how awesome is that! – and it has some rooms that were adapted to keep the old decoration, so this makes it almost a magical spot. For example, there’s a room to hang out and watch tv or work, with the old tables and sits, which a found very cool and original ! Inside, it had some really cute details, full of lights and colors. Its target is obviously young travelers and that shows – all of us are there to have a good time! There’s a really chill environment all around, even everyone in the staff is super nice and outgoing.

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As I got to the hostel, I got a big welcome from the girl in the reception who was so nice, she even yelled “it’s your birthday!!”, and all the staff in general was very helpful and nice. They even offered coupons for free drinks at the bar (not sure if they still do) to everyone who checked in, and they upgraded mine for any drink I wanted because of my birthday. That is a nice way to win my friendship :p

About the room, they have some pretty cool mixed rooms with capsules and prison cells, but I stayed in a double private room with bathroom. Even though it is a little small, it was enough for the both of us and it was quite simple and functional. The bed was comfortable and there were some shelfs to put our stuff, but it was a shame that there was no “extra” space to put our coats and luggage, like a cabinet or hangers, as we were there only for two nights, it was not a big deal. The bathroom was small as well, but it was really peculiar, it was like a capsule.

Clink offers a regular continental breakfast with coffee, toast , milk, cereal etc, which was plenty for me. It is held in the same area where the bar works at night, but it was perfectly clean and there was a lot of space to sit and hang out.

It is a super cool hostel to stay for a few days, specially because all the staff is so kind and the hostel is really well located. Plus, the Wifi worked really well (which is a miracle in any hostel!)

Lots of Love,

Catarina

 

What the loss of my mother taught me

My mom died suddenly when I was four years old, so Mother’s Day always makes me think a bit about the meaning of life and what we are doing here. I’m sorry this is not travel related, but as I like to think that life is a journey and as I had this subject sitting on my head for days now, I just had to share this with you.

I don’t remember anything from that time, either because I was really small or because it was such a shock for me. People often tell me that we had a great connection, just like every mother and daughter have, but ours was really special. Despite I was just a small child, I remember some moments with her, I remember her voice and I know in my heart she was a wonderful woman and mother. Plus, everybody that knew her tells me that she was super smart, funny and kind.

Even though I truly miss her, this is not a “taboo subject” for me. For being so small, I got used to not having her in my life, but that doesn’t mean I forgot her, no, I think about her every single day. She is my idol, she is my inspiration, she is the woman I aim to become alike. I love when people tell me about her, because I feel I get to know her more, even without seeing her or talking to her.

Luckily my dad met this wonderful woman a few years later, that I consider my mother as well. She raised me with all her love and kindness and I can say, with a 100% sure, that I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. So I want to thank her.

I want to thank her for raising me and teaching me being a woman everyday. I want to thank her for being such a strong and kind woman. I want to thank her for giving me my baby brother, which is one of my favorite people in the world, as is she.

I want to thank to my grandmothers too, as they played a bit of the part of my mother as well. My father’s mom who was the most joyful and sweet woman I ever met and to my mother’s mom who is an amazing and smart woman.

To all four of these woman, I wish you a happy mother’s day and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of me, each one of you in different ways. Thank you for inspiring me everyday. I love you all and I’m the luckiest person to have you.

In the end, loosing my mom taught me to value people while they are around, value people who give you love and who are kind to you, because they can disappear at any moment. If you love them, tell them. Spend the most time possible with them.

Believe me, family and friends that love you are a true blessing, so don’t take them for granted.

 

My Erasmus experience and why everyone should go on exchange

Hello everyone!

As you know, I’m Portuguese and I’ve been living and studying in Lisbon for a few years now. When I was taking my Bachelor degree, I decided to go on an exchange program and it was definitely what got me so involved in travelling. Therefor, I couldn’t avoid writing about it. Not only because it was a very important part of my life but also because everybody needs to know how great it is!

I always wondered how it was  and I felt like it would be good for me to step away from my “real life” for a bit. So, one day (most precisely the last day it was possible to apply), I made the most spontaneous decision in my life so far, and I just applied ! Even though I was scared of being far from home and going to a completely unknown place where I didn’t know anything or anybody. I just decided to give it a chance and try doing something different for once. It that was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I did the Erasmus+ Program in Krems an der Donau, an adorable little village in the lower Austria, one hour train ride from Vienna.

Not everything went well at first, because Austrians are REALLY different from Portuguese people. So, there I went with all my heavy bags, I took 1 air plane and 3 trains to arrive to Krems and the first thing that felt weird was that nobody would help me carry my bags into the train. Second strange thing was, as I got to Krems and my landlady went to pick me up, I greeted her with two kisses on the cheek (Portuguese way) and she was a bit confused.(Actually that one is on me. I should have known, too much intimacy!!) .

Then I had some problems with my courses, which I had to change completely. Let’s just say that it didn’t start the best way.

I had a rough few first  days and I must admit 2017-03-14 15_22_44-Catarina Palma (@catarinaaspalma) • fotos e vídeos do Instagram.pngI though about quitting and coming back home but I didn’t give up, so I just randomly started talking to people and, as my birthday was coming up, I though it might be the perfect occasion for the first party and for everyone to connect. Today I am proud to say that that party I threw in my house was what got together my current Erasmus group of friends, or as we call ourselves “Krems family”.

My flatmates were also an important part of my experience, they are all amazing ! I loved living with them, since we were all from different cultures and got along so well – We had a blast!

The few months that followed were amazing and absolutely unforgettable: we partied  (a lot), we threw international dinners with food from all over the world, and specially we got to travel together to amazing places like Italy, Hungary and Ireland. (Of course you’ll hear about that on other posts).

About the actual studies (which yes, I had to work a little), I found it very exciting, as there is more freedom to choose courses that you are interested in but don’t exist in your college back home. For instants, I was studying human resources management but I was able to attend marketing and hospitality courses which were new for me and I really liked. It is also important to have contact and work along colleagues from other cultures, as it will raise your cultural awareness and set your mind for international jobs.

Another great thing about exchange: it allows you to do whatever you want and be whomever you want! You get to reinvent yourself!

Going on exchange is really challenging, because you will go alone, you will depend entirely of yourself to live and make friends, if you’re sick there’s no parents to hold you. There’s just you. I guess this is the scary part.

My advice? Put yourself out there, start conversations, make friends from all over the world, travel, party ! Enjoy every second you have, and you will see the world and life like you never did. At least that’s what happened to me. It was an amazing period of my life: it helped me to grow up and to shape who I am today and to make friends for life.

So if you’re thinking about it… JUST GO and enjoy every second, because time flies, believe me!

                                                                                                                                                        Lots of Love,

Catarina

I went to the Harry Potter Studios and it was the best day of my life!

17238992_10154636727268318_259507777_n.jpgHello my dear readers!

I have an announcement to make: I am a major Potterhead.

I read each book a billion times and I lost count of how many times I saw the movies… I love it, and Mrs.Rowling is super cool for writing such an amazing story with such lovable (and some despicable) characters always in great detail.

So, this year I decided to do something different for my birthday: I went to London and treated myself with an awesome afternoon at Warner Brothers Studio: The Making of Harry Potter. It was (literally) a magical place over there! Seriously, this exceeds all expectations. It was absolutely amazing and it was worth every penny I spent !

The tour starts with an exciting speech given by the staff (Who might like Harry Potter the same crazy way we do btw) and I have to admit: I teard up a bit  (yup, I am that ridiculous). Afterwords,  you can just wander around the studio at see everything at your own pace. And there is a lot to see!

The Making of Harry Potter includes only  things that were used for the movies ! You might recognize some of the sets: the Dinning Hall, Hagrid’s Shack, the Weasleys’ house, the Potions classroom, the Hogwarts Express (there’s a freaking train inside!) and my favourite part: the Diagon Alley! You get to walk in the street with all the different stores including Fred and George’s Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts, the Daily Prophet… Let’s just say you´ll feel a bit like Harry felt the day Hagrid told him  he was a wizard.

There is also a part of the studio with the outdoor sceneries, which includes the night bus, the house of Privet Drive and the Weasleys’ car.

Furthermore you will  find all kind of props like the characters’ clothes from several occasions, all the horcruxes, the Mirror of Erised and the door of the chamber secrets.  The tour also allows you to understand some of the special effects they used and how they were made. Fun fact: Dobby was added to the scenes after they shot it, so while they were filming and to make it easier for the cast, they looked at a tennis ball on a stick as they were directing to Dobby.  

Other thing that I  found really interesting as well was that they sell ALL the candies they ate in the movie, this includes Bertie Botts every flavor beans, chocolate frogs and obviously the famous butter bear, which is absolutely delicious

It was truly an unforgettable experience, so here are a few pictures for you to have an idea. But there’s nothing like going there and see for yourself, which I strongly recomend 🙂

 

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If you’re thinking to go there soon, here are some tips:

  • Buy your tickets online and as early as possible, because they will sell out for sure.
  • To go there get a train to Watford and they have shuttles from there, for 2.5 pounds both ways.
  • They will open a new attraction on March 31 – The Forbidden Forest, so I think it might be worth the wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Lots of Love,

Catarina