Sunshine and Smiles in Lisbon: Weekly Wrap Up #3

Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog Tea and Paperbacks! Sorry for sporadically posting these past few weeks and missing two weeks of Weekly Wrap Ups, but here I am, back again with a new post!

On a long weekend last week I went to Lisbon, Portugal for the first time. And I had an amazing time! Coming from Holland’s 10-ish centigrade, rainy and gloomy weather, Lisbon was bright and full of sunshine, clear blue skies, and lovely breeze.

Jeronimos Monastery

Lovely building, old and very beautiful inside. I wished there were more guide and information about the history, maybe an audio guide would be even better, but merely looking around the monastery was wonderful.

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Castelo De Sao Jorge

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This was a castle made during the war above a hill, not made for the place to live of royals as castles usually are, but for a tower and a sort of fortress to defend the country from enemies as it is possible for them to see ships coming through the Tagus river from afar. It’s again, an old and wonderful cluster of buildings, and the weather was so sunny to look around. There was also an archeological site and the results of those findings were showcased in a small but nice museum in that area as well.

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Amalfa District

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Located near the castle, this district is probably my favourite part of the city. You can have a wonderful view of the river with the classical photogenic rooftops and houses of Portugal, as well as a glimpse of the Sao Jorge castle. Not to mention the cafes nearby let you enjoy some cakes while watching the view, and also watching the famous old trams of Lisbon pass by.

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Sightseeing in General!

So many other historical places and buildings are scattered around the city. The main city center is filled with churches, statues, arcs and squares. As per usual, my mom and I went on Rick Steve’s walking tour audio guide, which walks us through a lot of historical places, including funiculars, a lovely pastry shop, and loads of history.

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Museums: Azulejo Museum and Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

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We only went to two museums in this trip. The first one is a tile museum, because Lisbon is known to produce various colored tiles and place them on their walls, which is gorgeous to look at. The Azulejo Museum showcased that beautifully, with even a small chapel that’s so grand and amazing to look at. The other museum we visited is an art and painting museum filled with beautiful artwork, and located in a lovely garden with lots of ducks and turtles! We also followed a guided tour there, with a very informative guide that made the visit even better.

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National Monument of Discovery

We only took pictures from this large piece of monument from afar, but we also had frozen yogurt and enjoyed the sunshine near the Tagus river!

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The Foooooood!

Pastel de Nata is sweet, crunchy, and heavenly, and I ate them for four days in a row and I’m still hungry for more. The coffee there was also really nice, and so are the wine. Of course we tried the sausage, the sardines, the fish pate for our light lunch together with a baguette, the codfish (as a soup), the veal (steak, with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts, delicious!), and of course, the port! Such awesome food.

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Those were the things I did and explored and visited and ate in Lisbon! I looove traveling and it really opens up my eyes with the culture and history of the world. I can’t wait to go to other cities in Europe while I still can.

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Bye from me!

Check out my other traveling fun on my previous posts too! Let me know your favourite cities in Europe, and if you’ve ever been to Lisbon as well. Till next time everyone!

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Five Things Series: Hannah Kent

Hello peeps, and welcome back to my blog, Tea and Paperbacks! This post is a special dedication to one of my new favourite authors, Hannah Kent. Ever since I picked up Burial Rites and loved it, I have been meaning to read her other works and review them for you.

I read her two books quite a long time ago. I finished the second book I read by her, The Good People, on June, while I read her first novel, Burial Rites on October last year. Here are five things I loved about Hannah Kent’s books.

My review of Burial Rites, and The Good People.

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#1 The atmosphere and setting of her books

Both Kent’s books are set in Ireland in 1820s, but revolves around different events. In both novels, she has a similar theme running through the atmosphere and vibe of the books. They were all set in a cold country, and you can really feel the climate taking a huge role on the stories and the characters. The cold was what really struck to me as very Hannah Kent, echoing across both the books similarly.

On another note, the location of these stories are also very important. I can still clearly imagine the hills and small houses in Burial Rites, while the edge of the forest in The Good People, as well as the creeks and houses scattered in the village where the main character lives is still fresh on my mind.

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#2 Her few yet very well carved out characters

In her first book I wrote a review and stated that I didn’t really remember or had a strong impression of her side characters, but her main characters were so strong and well written that those who weren’t in the spotlight became just a blur. Overall though, her books do not have a huge cast of characters. Only a bunch of main characters, each of them unique in their own ways and so fleshed out you can feel how human they are.

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#3 Those book covers!

Just look at them.

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#4 That beautiful and quotable writing

This is almost the main reason why I picked up The Good People after reading Burial Rites. Hannah Kent has a way with writing her stories, weaving in the atmosphere and weather (like I mentioned), the characters, their dialogues, while also paying attention to the flow of the story. I agree, it is quite slow at lots of times, but I realized that those are the types of books that I love, the books that have a slow paced story with amazing writing that makes you want to underline a lot of the passages.

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#5 How the themes she discusses makes you contemplate about life

In Burial Rites, Hannah Kent tells a story about the last days of a woman who was persecuted to die because of a crime she claimed she didn’t commit. That’s a very heavy topic and reading the story from partly the woman’s point of view is very eye-opening. Additionally, in The Good People we find the main character, a grandmother who thinks her grandson is a changeling and tries to save him but in the end kills him instead. There are so many layers into the main characters, and the events that happened in the books, and it really makes you think about them a lot.

The sky comes closer and for a moment I am going to collide with the clouds, but then I see, they have put me on a horse, and like a corpse they are going to take me to the grave, like a dead woman they will bury me in the earth, pocket me like a stone. There are ravens in the sky, but what bird flies underwater? What bird can sing without stones beneath him to listen?
Natan would know. I must remember to ask him.

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So, have I convinced you all enough to pick up a book by Hannah Kent? I hope so! To find out my full thoughts on these two books, check out my review of them in Goodreads. Until next time!

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Movies, Glasses, and Chillin’: Weekly Wrap Up #2

Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog, Tea and Paperbacks! I’m Ayunda, and in this post I’d like to say, happy weekend, and how has your week been? Today I’d like to post my weekly wrap up earlier because I’ll be away from my house all day tomorrow. It’ll be a quite eventful day tomorrow, but I’ll include that in my next weekly wrap up instead. Anyway, let’s get on with it!

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On the bookish side of life, this week I have been reading tons. I finished Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, which was my plan from last week. I really really enjoyed this murder mystery novel. I’ve heard so many good things about it and it truly explains why so many people admire and love Agatha Christie so much. She really does make amazing mystery stories that are totally unsolvable. Now I cannot wait to watch the movie!!!

I haven’t written my full-length review of this book yet. But be sure to add me as a friend on Goodreads so that when I do write it, you’ll know and be able to read it right away on my Goodreads.

Another book I’ve been burying my nose in is Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch, which I’ve already started since last week. It’s also a sort of mystery novel revolving around a writer, Mr. M, and a mysterious person writing this book to him, and this writer seems very creepy and scary, and I have been super into the story so far. The writing style is a little different than what I’m used to. I’m not sure if it’s because it was translated from Dutch, or if it’s just the author, but the narration is quite long, sometimes winding, with a lot of details explained. I read Herman Koch’s previous book The Dinner as well and really liked it, but this feels much longer and more intricate than the previous book. SO far I’m only a third through the story, and not really much have happened. Even so, I spent a huge chunk of my chill Saturday reading this novel. We’ll see if I like it when I finish it!

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On other entertainment, this Monday I went out with my girlfriends to the cinema to watch It, the movie adapted from the novel by Stephen King. I myself haven’t read the book yet, even though I’ve read a lot of Stephen King before, I was intimidated by the length of this novel. I was quite excited to watch the movie, though. I’m not a huge fan of horror movies but based on the trailer I felt like it was going to be super scary.

Indeed, it was a frightening movie, even from the first minute of the movie I was cowering in the dark and covering my ears (the way I deal with horror movies is not by closing my eyes but closing my ears). It was definitely a well-made movie, I really like the characters and the plot but I thought the movie was a little too long, and some parts weren’t as scary as I expected it would be. However, a solidly exciting and good movie overall.

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I also watched two other movies this week, yay me! My friends and I watched The Hours as we found it randomly on Netflix and quite enjoyed it, though it’s a little too deep and sad and depressing at times. I also watched Jurassic Park by myself on Wednesday because I read the book by Michael Crichton a few weeks ago and loved it, and I wanted to compare the book to the movie. Of course I’ve watched it before, years ago, but I realized that I forgot most of it anyway. I loved how true to the book the movie is, but I found myself feeling a little bored on some scenes around the middle. I feel like the effects and songs were a little outdated at times, which was part of the reason why I didn’t love it as much as I loved the book. It wasn’t as scary or thrilling as I thought it would be. Once again, another case of the book is better than the movie!

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I also watched some cartoon this week! I caught up with the latest Rick and Morty episodes, and I really really liked them. As for the other series I am still following, House of Cards and Assassination Classroom, I didn’t make the time to watch them this week.

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On other life updates, I had a horrible accident one Thursday morning in which I broke my glasses! I was devastated and hated myself for doing it, and I searched for a new one immediately, because I disliked having to wear my spare ones. I finally got a new prescription and a new frame of glasses that I really liked in Own Days, a store near my place. It’s so light and suited to an Asian nose/face like mine, which is just perfect for me.

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I also said last week that I was planning to be more active and do more sports this week, and I did! I didn’t do any yoga this week, but I’ve been really good and went swimming on a day off where I didn’t have any classes. I adore swimming, because a) I’m an introvert and hate sports where I need to interact with others or on a team, b) you get to move and sweat but not feel the sweat at all, c) you get to play around with water or float around when you’re tired of actually swimming. I hope I can make this a weekly habit, but we’ll see!

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So, that was my week! Quite busy, but I get to spend a whole day by myself and chilling on my bed today (Saturday). I woke up late and spent the day reading, watching Youtube videos, snack, and lie around and be lazy. It’s wonderful!

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Plans for next week:

  • Study, study, study!
  • Maybe go swimming again on Tuesday
  • Have a lovely vacation, because I’ll be going to Lisbon, Portugal from Wednesday to Sunday
  • Read and finish Monsoon Tiger and Other Stories before I leave for vacation
  • Bring my Kindle on my vacation and finish a book there

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So how has your week been? Tell me about the books you read, what you think about swimming, and what type of glasses you wear in the comments! Talk to you in my next post, bye!

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