there is something i've always wanted to do here. at between kitchens.
that thing is... to have a travel & lifestyle side of it. because travelling is another passion of mine, and because i often feel like i could use some inside tips on what to do, where to go and what's in vogue when i find myself in a different city.
i've been postponing this small dream of mine until i get a decent camera... still no camera. i'm guessing i'll be getting one of my dream cameras soon, so i'm on the tips of my toes, ready to start wandering around and bringing you juicy news and trendy places to look for.
meanwhile... i have a suggestion for your SUNDAY, THE 11th JANUARY!
i'm back in München again, but i've spent three wonderful weeks in Portugal, mostly in my hometown, Aveiro. in case you've never heard of it, i suggest you google it, along with 'costa nova' (a beach) and 'moliceiro' (a boat) or 'ovos moles'. and if you are close enough to make a day trip, do it this weekend - and plan to come back late at night!
and why this weekend?
because it's sunny, colourful and... we have 'São Gonçalinho' celebrations going on!
(this picture was stolen from Gonçalo Pacheco)
São Gonçalinho is our city's patron saint, and it is celebrated on the 10th of January. celebrations usually last almost one week. despite this being the coldest time of the year in Aveiro, the whole city gathers at night around the chapel and by the 'river' (we have a half-delta - so it's salty water!) to watch the concerts and the traditional throwing of the 'cavacas'.
'cavacas' are really big and hard cakes, mostly hollow on the inside, which are covered in a thick layer of sugar glaze. during the year, people make prayers to São Gonçalinho, promising to throw these cakes from the top of the chapel. during these celebration days, every hour during the afternoon and evening, there is people climbing the steps up to the top, carring 20 kg bags of 'cavacas' to throw. the crowd gathers in the churchyard with 'camaroeiros' (a special net for shrimp fishing) and upside-down umbrellas to try to catch these cakes falling from above. they are so hard that there has been quite a few cases of people going straight to the hospital right after being hit by one! don't worry - if you're looking up at them you can easily escape or even catch one!
at the end of the night there is always fireworks - usually the best firework of the year in the city, even better than new year's - and after that one can enjoy a drink or two or eat some traditional snacks around! the area where it happens is quite old and beautiful :)
so this is the plan for the evening!
during the day, i suggest you walk around the water channels, take the car to the beaches or walk around the university - it is quite a big deal when it comes to architecture! the city is quite small so if you stay there you can easily get around by foot. you can take a boat trip in the moliceiros, which is usually quite nice to go around the channels (even though it is really sad they cut off the tips of the boats so they can fit under the bridges...). you can also see the 'salinas' (where the salt is made), or visit museums like 'Museu da Arte Nova' (of Art Nouveau) or 'Museu de Santa Joana' (religious museum). if you like the theme of the ocean and sea, i strongly recommend you drive to Ílhavo (which is actually sort of my hometown too) to visit the Museu Marítimo (sea museum) and the codfish aquarium. right in the centre of Aveiro we have an open shopping mall - so you can also do some sale shopping while not being completely inside of a mall.
(pictures taken by my on the beach just yesterday)
for eating... most places in the city offer you good quality fresh fish and seafood for affordable prices. during the week, i quite like Maré Cheia, because it offers a grilled (fresh) fish menu with different sides for around 7 euro. Sal Poente is known for its codfish dishes. But around Rossio and Praça do Peixe you'll find many others with good suggestions.
as for an afternoon coffee and/or snack i can suggest Disha, or that you take a Tripa (for instance at Tê Zero, although my favourites are from Zé da Tripa, near the beach), or, particularly tomorrow, for the last day, that you go to QM Christmas Market.
this small temporary market is located between Fórum (our shopping mall) and the Manuel Firmino Market. you'll notice it rightaway, for its bright red colour. there you'll find that christmas is not quite over yet, after a hot chocolate or a mulled wine (how i love it, and the german christmas markets are long gone by now!) and cakes, pastries or the trendy 'bolo do caco' from Madeira's island - if you're really into bolo do caco, then you should rather eat it at Cais Madeirense (a restaurant with typical food from Madeira).
i thought the (really small) market was quite nicely set so i decided to show you how it looks like. these pictures were taken in my last vacation days during an afternoon with two of my besties - Margarida (first pic) and Teresa (second pic). this cute place closes tomorrow and i only found it too late!
all these nice pictures were taken by my friend Teresa @prettylittlestories and edited by me. tomorrow she'll have her own version of this afternoon on her blog and i'm sooo curious to see it! it's gonna be a surprise, and i guess you should stay tuned! i'm not telling you any more details!
the decoration of the space is so nice and it has this christmassy atmosphere... there's pine trees with snow, christmas lights and old-fashioned candle holders. they light a fire by the sunset and you can also take a blanket from a rack to warm you up when you're cold. Margarida had hot chocolate and i had mulled wine, and we both also decided to try the bolo do caco with garlic-herb butter