Over the past few years, I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel around Western Europe, particularly France, Spain and Portugal. Every time I’d come back from these trips, I would always feel rejuvenated, as if I’m ready to take on the world again. As you know, I would always write about these trips because I really want to share the experience with you. But I know that reading about other people’s travels is so much different from experiencing them yourselves.
A few months ago, I was toying with the idea of creating my own itinerary for a European tour, inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray and Love”. I based the itinerary mainly on my own travels. And then, I met M who runs a wonderful travel business. One thing led to another and before I knew it, the Eat, Pray and Love in Europe Tour was born!
In 2013, you will have the opportunity to experience the best of Europe for yourself!
I have designed the itinerary for hardworking ladies (such as myself), but of course, everybody can join!
Eat in Lisbon – Discover the gastronomy of Portugal where the finest delicacies of the sea and the land are combined with typical produce such as potatoes and tomatoes in tasty culinary creations that delight the palate. Be tempted by the aromas of cooking on the streets of Lisbon, enjoy a coffee under the arches of the famous Praça do Comercio or try the best egg tart in the world, the Pasteis de Belem in Belem, where you can also visit Igreja Dos Jeronimos whose monks invented the recipe for the famous pastry. When you’re done, go to the legendary Café a Brasileira and have a cup of coffee with the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa or at least with his famous statue.
Pray in Alfama and Fatima – Visit Igreja de Santo António de Lisboa or St. Anthony de Padua Church in Alfama, Lisbon. Santo Antonio (better known as Saint Anthony of Padua)– revered as a matchmaker, protector of young brides, and patron of the lost and found– was actually born in Lisbon, on the site of this church. Afterwards, go on a pilgrimage to Fatima where the Our Lady of Fatima appeared before three shepherd children and where the Miracle of the Dancing Sun was witnessed by thousands of people.
Love in Lisbon– Learn about the Portuguese’s love for voyage. Visit the Monument to the Discoveries and see the Belem Tower up close. Visit the National Palace in Sintra and in the evening, have a chance to listen to soulful Fado in a traditional Fado tavern.
Eat in Bilbao – Bilbao is home to the best Basque restaurants and chefs. Its restaurants range between the Michelin star awarded restaurants and the less sophisticated steakhouses, cider houses, taverns, outdoor bars or “txakolis”.
Pray in Santiago de Campostela – Visit one of the 3 major pilgrimage sites in the world, Santiago de Campostela (Jerusalem and Rome being the other two) where St. James the Greater, one of Christ’s apostles, is buried. It is also the destination of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, an ancient pilgrimage route visited each year by millions of pilgrims from all over the world.
Love in Oviedo - The city where the artist Juan Antonio took the girls Vicky and Cristina for a weekend in the romantic Woody Allen film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, Oviedo is one of the most attractive cities in the north of Spain. Its old quarter is pedestrianized making its exploration a real pleasure.
Eat in Lyon – Lyons has long held the title of “capital of gastronomy.” Everywhere you turn, there is something wonderful to eat. A smoky pork sausage, shot with pistachios and served with a mound of mashed potatoes in a pool of cream sauce. A skewered brochette of foie gras or a pretty macaron in Les Halles Paul Bocuse. A simple plate of lentils with a fat fish quenelle, served with a pot (the local term for a flask) of local Rhône wine in a rustic bouchon… Lyons is all about rich, rustic, French food.
Pray in Lourdes - Kiss the stone of the Grotto and leave your intentions. Dip in its miraculous waters at the Baths. Attend the Blessing of the Sick and Candlelight Procession. Visit the home of St. Bernadette and get inspired by the courage and devotion of this young saint.
Love in Paris - The city of lovers…the most romantic place on earth, and French is the language of love. Stroll along its breezy boulevards, gaze upon impressive monuments, ogle at great works of art, and savor its gourmet selection of cheese, chocolate, wine and seafood.
Interested? I’m sure you are! Leave your e-mail address at the comments form below so I can e-mail you more details. Or you can also go to MBM Classic Travel to inquire. Don’t forget to mention Pinay Traveller when you talk to them, okay?
By the way, since there are limited slots, you need to reserve soon! So hurry!
Watch out for more details in the next few days.
For now, I’ll leave you with these words from Elizabeth Gilbert.
“Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless, newborn baby–I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to–I just don’t care.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love