Friday, July 09, 2021

Checking out Playa de Los Cancajos in La Palma

Destination: La Palma Island, The Canary Islands, 
Spain Travel Period: August 2020  

On our fifth day on La Palma Island, Dutchman and I headed down to the capital, but before reaching Santa Cruz de la Palma, we did a little detour and visited Playa de Los Cancajos.


Santa Cruz de la Palma behind the rocks in the distance. 

Sunday, July 04, 2021

La Palma: The Izcagua Viewing Point in Puntagorda and Dinner at Muralla

Destination: La Palma Island, The Canary Islands, 
Spain Travel Period: August 2020

In the beginning of the holiday, Dutchman and I were a bit disappointed in ourselves. We were used to the more intimate Greek Islands with organized pocket-size beach bays with parasols and beach beds and beach bars and a spruced up restaurant and shopping scene. La Palma's version of this is not as how we were used to. 

For the first few days we were missing the Greek Islands, but I was resolved to make this summer holiday a success, so I went to work searching for places to explore and enjoy. I read about a restaurant with a lovely view, so we decided to check it out first before reserving a table, as well as drive further up north where we came across this amazing viewing platform, Izcagua.


There were two viewing decks located in the recreation area of El Fayal. Both decks look to the valleys of Izcagua and the North Atlantic Ocean. The design of the viewing decks is modern with glass railings camouflaging itself into its surroundings.

It is so beautiful here!

Friday, July 02, 2021

3rd Day La Palma: Visiting La Bombilla, Puerto Naos, El Remo

Destination: La Palma Island, The Canary Islands, 
Spain Travel Period: August 2020   

We found ourselves exploring the coastal villages on the western side of the island. We have visited two small villages, La Bombilla and El Remo, and a big resort town, Puerto Naos.

This is Puerto Naos:


View of Puerto Naos from the coastal road viewing point.

Monday, May 24, 2021

La Palma First Impressions of Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte

Destination: La Palma Island, The Canary Islands, 
Spain Travel Period: August 2020   

Our summer holiday last year was without a doubt a far cry from the summer holidays we've had in the past years. Like every one of us, we have fallen into the Covid-19 predicament. We've wanted to go to the Greek Islands but Dutchman and I were not keen on taking the Covid test so we chose to go to Spain instead. 


Los Llanos de Aridane in La Palma, is the second largest city La Palma.

We picked La Palma in the Canary Islands because we haven't been to this island yet. We have been to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote many years back, and Dutchman has also been to Tenerife and Gran Canaria. All these islands we have been to are known for mass tourism. We prefer the more laid-back destination and La Palma just sounds quite right. 

We did some reading and La Palma is known in Spain as Las Isla Bonita, which I cannot help but play the La Isla Bonita tune of Madonna in my head. It is a lush island with the Caldera Tabburiente National Park dominating the northern and central parts of the island.


In Spain, one must wear the mask outdoors at all times. 


El Puerto de Tazacorte.

We were curious! We didn't really know what to expect. Spain is not a strange summer holiday destination for us, so we saw this as an opportunity to experience something different. If not for Covid-19, we would not have booked the 12-day holiday to La Palma. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

A Slower Pace of Busy Life

 Hi blog, it's nice to see you again :)


A sub-zero February 2021.

Covid-19 has made life much slower for many of us but with the new reality of working from home and a new house that is a work in progress, my life has never been so much busy before. It's paradoxical but that is how I feel right now and where I am right now. At a slower pace of a quite busy life.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Malta Road Trip: Experiencing Mdina

Destination: Mdina, Northern Region, Malts
Travel Period: November 2018

This is Delphi and moi in Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta. We spent an afternoon checking out this place. We had lunch with a view and during our discovery walk, we came upon a church where we witnessed a local wedding. 


We got rained down but we managed to enjoy our time here in this ancient stronghold. I have lots of pictures and a few bit of stories to share about our nice time in Mdina. 

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Malta Road Trip: Dingli Cliffs, Rabat

Destination: Dingli | Rabat, Northern Region, Malta
Travel Period: November 2018

We had a 5-day holiday in Malta and during our stay, we rented a car as it was easier for us to travel from the airport to the center in our own private vehicle. We also planned a 2-day road trip around the country. Given that Malta is small, we managed to see many places in just one day which is really good. 


The Dingli Cliffs.


Beautiful traditional rowhouses with colourful balconies.

Our first-day road trip was a visit to the Dingli Cliffs, Rabat, Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, and St. Julians. 

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Valletta, Malta: Breakfast at Caffe Cordina and Visit to the Grandmaster's Palace

Travel Period: November 2018
Destination:Valletta, Malta

On our third day in Malta, we had breakfast at the famous Caffe Cordina, an old institution in Malta going back to 1837. After breakfast, we visited the beautiful Grandmaster's Palace.


The Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta.


Caffe Cordina established in 1837 and still going strong.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Malta: Discovering "The Three Cities"

Travel Period: November 2018
Destination: The Three Cities, Valletta, Malta

The Three Cities of Malta gave me a melancholic short trip back to the Phoenician times. Apart from the impressive architecture, it was a gloomy and wet day, something better spent indoors actually but when you are travelling for pleasure, you have no time to be cooped up inside your hotel. 

We have no choice but to take it as it is and make the most of it. That also explains the somewhat downcast feel of the pictures here.


In the Three Cities, my friend Delphi and I had a delightful lunch and we spent the afternoon wandering the ancient streets of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua. It was a pleasant day even with the drizzle every now and then. It is an enchanting place that has managed to preserve the old world glory of Malta and gave us a glimpse of how life was back then.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Mini Break in Hilly Zuid Limburg, Netherlands

 I am not sure what to make out of this extended Covid-19 status quo. There are times when I am feeling very serene and thankful. Other times, totally stressed out. It is mostly about work stuff really, and all this uncertainty eating up the business and economy.

A mini-break was all that we needed to refresh our spirits but with the Covid-19 backlash, we didn't have choices of holiday destinations to pick on. We initially wanted to go to the Eifel (National Park) or the Ahr Valley (Red Wine Trail) in Germany, but unfortunately, Germany is requiring a negative Covid-19 test valid for 48 hours upon entry, that is if checked. Too much hassle, we can't be bothered.

I looked into the northern Wadden Islands but most of the accommodations were already booked for the fall holidays. I mean seriously, people are holidaying during Covid-times but within their own countries. It has resonated that we can't continue the hibernation or else we go cranky and kooky. So I looked further looked inland, and even farther down south of the country, and voila! This was when I discovered Zuid Limburg.

What took me so long to discover this piece of paradise? 

I have been living in the Netherlands for 18+ years now and it's my first time to be here. Well, it is the first time for the Dutchman, too! What could have been worse? Haha. Wow, this beautiful place was just right under our noses the whole time... 

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Back from La Palma (Canary Islands), Spain

 Hola! Taken a few days ago in Puntagorda on La Palma Island.


We've just been back from our summer holiday on the Canary Island of La Palma in Spain. I guess the picture shows how well we have adapted into the new normal of holidaying. A bit surreal. Mask, 1.5-meter distance, always disinfecting and all. A bit strange, huh.

More soon about this holiday.

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Jo Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

At Home with Covid-19: Breakfast - Lunch - Snack - Dinner

Covid-19 aka Coronavirus has surely changed our life, our working habits, and our lifestyles at home!

I haven't been on holiday this year. I mean seriously, this is taking a big impact on my sanity. We were supposed to go skiing in the Alps last January but since I started with a new job, we let the holiday slip for the time being. Instead, we were planning of going somewhere far around March timeframe, like to another continent, but then the merciless Covid-19 struck, and we got helplessly stuck at home.

That's right, we have been longing to go on holiday now for months, and this Friday (tomorrow!) we will be flying down to the south of Europe! Yes, with disinfectants and masks and all, ready in our luggage.

Lunchbreak at home.

So during this working from home, the new normal of Covid-19 life, Dutchman and I, apart from the dinners we normally have together in the evenings, are cooking more during the day and are sharing plentiful of breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and snacks.

Some people say that being together 24x7 can drive each other nuts and perhaps may result in the relationship going south. Hmm, so far we are surviving. For 18 years already.

I have to say that I am getting used to staying and working from home. I also love fixing and cooking meals throughout the day. It relaxes me to get away from the computer and use my hands for something else, such as making a meal. It is a challenge though not to overeat, and this is something we are trying to work on.

Before I go on holiday, I would like to leave you with some of the dishes we've had in the last months and weeks. I am loving the home life and would like to better my food preparation, cooking, and baking skills. I am also busy with the house and would actually like to talk more about it. It's just that I have been so buried with work that it's draining my energy. You'd think that working from home will offer flexibility and nice lifestyle trade-offs. It does, but I realised that there is a thin line between work and private life. It can be very easy to work late in the evenings and even during weekends. Discipline is critical.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Monday, August 03, 2020

Valletta: A Maltese Breakfast, Visit to the Palace Armoury, Stunning Saint John's Co-Cathedral and Upper Barrakka Gardens

Travel Period: November 2018
Destination: Valletta, Malta

I thought I have seen the most lavish and ostentatious interiors of churches in Vatican City and Bella Italia, but Malta proved me wrong in this holiday. Saint John's Co-Cathedral is the most flamboyant of them all churches. See the evidence in this post.


Our Maltese (fast food style) breakfast!


The Saluting Battery below the Upper Barrakka Gardens looking over to the Three Cities:


So we are now on our second day in Valletta, Malta.

We will be visiting a couple of touristy places in the old fortifies city of Valletta before heading over to the Three Cities with the public ferry. We will be spending the rest of the day at the Three Cities. Come join me!

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Our First Day and Evening in Valletta, Malta

Travel Period: November 2018
Destination: Malta

Malta is one of the small countries in the world, I believe it ranks the 10th! 


I have been wanting to visit Malta for some time and finally took the flight to Valletta and met with a very good friend there from Las Vegas, who I would like to call in the blog, Delphi. Delphi is an old friend from school. We have managed to be in touch after all these years and I have even visited her in Nevada many years ago. We now have become travel buddies and are eyeing some countries to visit together, hopefully after this Covid-19 crisis.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Oud Zuilen, Netherlands: Slot Zuylen (Zuylen Castle) + Dinner at Bistro Belle

Visit Period: March 2019
Location: Oud Zuilen, Utrecht, Netherlands

There were a few international colleagues in town and being the assigned entertainer, sometimes self-appointed because no one else will do the honours anyway, I took them out for dinner.


I have been here at Bistro Belle a while back with the Dutchman, however, it was on an afternoon. We had some tea and delicious apple pie. So I thought that it's not a bad idea at all to come back for dinner.


The restaurant is named after Belle van Zuylen, a famous writer in the 18th century who lives with her family in the castle just behind the restaurant, Slot Zuylen. 

What I love about restaurants in villages and small towns, or anything outside the city, is that parking is always easy to find. In most cases, there will be designated parking spaces and they are usually free. I parked the car right across the castle so my colleagues can enjoy the lovely architecture and the green scenery before we wander around a bit in the tiny village and have our dinner at the restaurant.

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