Photoblog: Colour and Culture of Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a city of vibrant colour and colour, heavily influenced by Art Nouveau style architecture. A perfect place to rest and explore after sailing down the Atlantic Coast.

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The Hill Tram Tour – used by locals and tourists alike

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At the end of the Hills Tram, this band was entertaining the passersby

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Art Nouveau style shop fronts are common and beautiful. This is a jewellery store founded in the late 1920’s whos facade features the Portuguese coat of arms

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We sat and watch this busker suspended in mid-air for ages

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Buildings full of colour

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In the Bairro Alto district, this Theatre was built in the mid 19th century

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If Portuguese tarts take your fancy, then Pasteis de Belem is the place to go but be prepared for the queue

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There’s a certain grittiness of the buildings in some areas that made this town intriguing

 

 


Wild Heart waiting: La Rochelle and all things yachts

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A small part of Port des Minimes, the largest marina in France for pleasure boats. It’s also where a number of brands launch their yachts not only Fountaine Pajot but Amel yachts and Nautitech catamarans

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Boats and masts as far as you can see

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The entrance to the old port, where boats constantly leave and enter

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The historic architecture and rich history of the town sits side by side with the pleasure craft yachting lifestyle

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There are regattas and sailing schools a plenty.

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Wild Heart in the evening shortly before we left the marina

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When we arrived in La Rochelle, a few short months ago, we had no idea what to expect from many things; the town, our new catamaran “Wild Heart” and sailing in France.

We quickly discovered that La Rochelle was a joy, rich in history and lifestyle; commisioning a new boat was an intense and exciting experience; sailing in a new country was an adventure. In fact, it continues to be an adventure of exploring, discovering and learning.

Photograph credit: Scott Johnston

Where we stayed: Hotel St Nicolas La Rochelle

Low key hotel, in a convenient location in the old town and about 30 minutes walk to Port des Minimes

Where we ate:

We enjoyed all the local boulangeries and pâtisseries around the hotel. And any gelato shop, of course

As restaurants go, Prao Restaurant was one of our favourites for the fresh food, atmosphere and wine selection.

Shopping for the boat: Get our download here of all the places we shopped to “outfit” the boat.


A new catamaran and a different life.

There are times you make decisions that you know will change the path of your life.

Our catamaran purchase is one of these big, scary decisions.

Why big and scary? We have made a big commitment to a particular way of life. A life of 6 months sailing and 6 months at home in Austrlia. I know it will have its challenges. We are taking a leap into the big unknown and having to let go of things in our life now to make it possible; the comfortable, safe familiar things.

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I explore: free diving

Have you ever tried free diving? In the middle of winter last year, I decided to learn. Why winter? Who knows, it seemed like as good a time as any. Don’t get me wrong, the Australian winter is not a European winter; it’s very mild by comparison but it’s still a crazy time to learn a new sport where you spend an extended time in the water.

The driver? An upcoming sailing trip to Tonga. I’m so excited about this trip and I really want to get more out of snorkelling and I figured free diving would help me dive deeper and longer.

While I was looking for  a wetsuit in Sydney, I met a free diving instructor and a week later signed up for the next beginner class (AIDA2). The inspiration for all this….

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5 Fabulous Online Art Teachers

I’ve discussed why I love online art classes here and how to select a class here but if you need more suggestions, here are some classes that I’ve personally taken you might like:

Jane Davenport   – Jane’s online and face to face workshops got me back to art and I’ll be forever grateful. Her fun, whimsical classes focusses on art journalling as a way of self expression and creativity.  She’s an experienced artist and teacher and her classes have great technique tips and exercises. Her style features faces, figures and lots of colour. If you love the cute and whimsical, you’ll love these classes. Read More