A year on the road in photos…

Live the life you've imagined

It’s 365 days since we stepped out of our empty London home onto the early morning streets of Peckham and made our way to Rio. Twelve months and twelve countries later, we’re in Mexico with no intention of stopping our travels. It’s been an epic year and, short of reading the blog in its entirety, I think the best way to tell it is in photos… Read more

Posted on February 28, 2013 by Victoria in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Photo stories, Portugal, Spain, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Yoga 48 Comments

Photo of the week: a plate of fruity delights

Food at Canastra Azul, Porto

This is the type of plate of food that makes my heart sing. Fruity, healthy tapas on a gorgeous plate in a charming restaurant where the sun shines. I found it in Canastra Azul, a delightful place in Porto that replicates eating at a friend’s house. You say what you don’t like, and they bring you what they see fit. At the end, you pay as much as you think it was worth. I wish I lived next door.

Posted on November 23, 2012 by Victoria in Destinations, Portugal 2 Comments

Photo of the week: chocolate delights in Besalu

Chocolate delights by Lee Pennington

When private chef Lee Pennington came to cook for us at the Blog House, I was a little disappointed to find there was no vegetarian option – but that was all but forgotten when I saw the dessert. The cute little chocolate and raspberry filled cups were out of this world delicious.

Posted on November 2, 2012 by Victoria in Destinations, Photo of the Week, Portugal 2 Comments

Photo of the week: the evolution of feet

Mechanical feet fro crushing grapes in Douro

In the past, and sometimes still today, grapes for wine were crushed under joyous stamping feet. I imagine it like a raucous, and somewhat messy, expressive dance party. For the most part, those stampers, as I’m choosing to call them, have been replaced by these mechanical alternatives, pictured above. I took this picture and heard the sad tale while exploring the Douro wine valley in Porto, Portugal.

Posted on October 20, 2012 by Victoria in Destinations, Photo of the Week, Portugal Leave a comment

Why stories taste better: a lesson for bingers from Douro valley

Port wine tasting, douro valley

My relationship with alcohol is complicated. I drink it but I couldn’t say I like it. Alcoholism runs in the family. There have been deaths, and it caused me terror in childhood. I once thought I’d steer clear of it for life, but it didn’t work out like that. I became a teenager in England; I joined the herds, I mixed horrendous concoctions, I binged and I was sick.

If you’re not English, perhaps this sounds outrageous Read more

Posted on October 8, 2012 by Victoria in Destinations, Portugal, Thoughts 12 Comments

A series of fortunate events: a weekend of festivals and markets in Porto

Market life in Porto

“She doesn’t know”, “I don’t know”, “She really doesn’t know?”. My friends were shocked, on arrival in Porto, to find that I, their reliably prepared friend, had no idea what to do that weekend. I am that person – the one who finds the flights, fusses over hotels, and researches what to do. I’m the organiser – but this time, in Porto, between preparing for TBU and being at TBU, I just hadn’t done it. I’d got as far as finding a hostel, but beyond that all I knew was that there was port to drink and the stunning Lello bookstore to be visited.

Most surprising of all, I didn’t care that I didn’t know. Read more

Posted on October 2, 2012 by Victoria in Destinations, Photo stories, Portugal 6 Comments

Living the life you want to, not the life you think you should: inspiration from Travel Bloggers Unite

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us -Travel Bloggers Unite conference

Coming to the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Porto was a tricky decision. I had to make the journey from Peru so it wasn’t a simple case of catching a budget flight from Europe. I agonised over it. Could I justify the cost? This was an obvious consideration – but more than that it was a question of confidence.

Six months ago I didn’t even know travel blogging conferences existed. I was struggling to know what I wanted to do with my life and started Bridges and Balloons as a hobby while I worked that out. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the answer. Read more

Posted on September 8, 2012 by Victoria in Portugal, Thoughts 21 Comments