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Traveling the world with your family infuses a whole new experience to the feeling of staying happy at all times. As the sun gets hotter, the urge to take the flight to a cooler place on the planet shoots up. The bookings increase exponentially when the winter is almost on the brink. Packing the duffle bags and heading to explore a new place all by yourself is surely a liberating experience, but it only gets better when you have your dear ones by your side. However, it is often a strenuous task to find the right destination to escape to for your familial adventures. Everyone in the family will have a different thing on mind, and to find a place that fulfills all these is quite often not a cinch. Here is a list of the best places to go with your kids.

1. Maribor, Slovenia

Slovenia

Not many people would have thought of Slovenia when making a list of places for their family trip. Although it is a small country, it houses some great features that every family must try out to create unforgettable memories. Drive to Maribor from the capital to delve deeper into the rich culture of the country. Entertainment hubs that pander to people of all ages are the most attractive spots in Maribor. Try the skiing sessions at the resort of Pohorje in winter and get a canoe to row through the waters of the river Drava. If you are at the destination during spring, the single-track toboggan is to be tried for your skiing adventures.

2. The West Midlands, England

Midlands, England

This might seem like a bizarre entry on this list to many people who don’t actually know about the wonders in England’s Midlands. The UK might boast many other places that appear more appealing, but the Midlands is best if you travel with your kids. West Midlands Safari Park has a big game, which is a treat to both kids and adults. Go for the game, and then visit the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley to tour through the country’s history.

3. Kerala, India

Kerala

Anyone who wants to have a great time with their family must try visiting Kerala, one of India’s most beautiful states. The culture of the state is worth beholding and etching onto your memory wall. Kerala is said to be one of the greenest places on the planet, and it gets justified with the exotic destinations it houses. Fort Cochin is one of the greatest places to start your adventures. Since Kochi has some of the best hotels and restaurants in the state, it is always best to start with this virtually highly developed district. If you want to enjoy an overnight float on the pristine waterways, head to Alapuzha for the houseboats made of palm leaves and wood. Food is another major attraction of the state; everything from spicy delicacies to crunchy sweets is best savored in the state’s calm climate.

Are you heading to Venice, Italy soon? Or do you only have one to two days in Venice and want to get the main sights in? Than a Venice walking tour might be right up your alley!

My husband and I have always had an interest in learning the history behind a city that we travel to, especially one like Venice. Venice has so much rich history and culture that sometimes it is impossible to see all of it on your own, especially with just a guide book. The Hidden Venice Express tour with The Roman Guy was definitely one of the highlights of our time in Venice. It allowed us to see some of the main sights of Venice all while learning so many neat historical facts about each spot we visited.

The tour started at 9:30 AM in St. Marks square facing the canal and ended with a gondola ride! It seriously was the best and most interesting way to end a tour, and not to mention a total bucket list moment. I really enjoyed an early start to the tour before the summer heat of Venice set in. The tour lasted about 2 hours in total, ending right before lunch. Claire, our tour guide, was also such a great help when giving recommendations for the best lunch spots near St. Marks square and the Rialto bridge.

Before I go over all of the stops and highlights of the tour, I wanted to mention how knowledgable and enthusiastic our guide Claire was. She provided us with a variety of interesting and important information on each monument that we visited. I feel like through Claire, I learned much more about Venice than I ever could have on my own. She did a very good job in keeping the tour interesting and providing humor along the way.

All of the Stops:

St. Marks Square and Cathedral

Our first stop started with the St. Marks Square and the St. Marks Cathedral. Did you know that the St. Marks Cathedral was built in the 10th century? Also did you know that St. Marks is one of the most unique Roman Catholic Cathedrals in the world? Unlike other Roman Catholic Cathedrals, St. Marks has a lot of Byzantine and Middle Eastern influences as far as architecture is concerned. The name St. Marks stems from the Apostle St. Mark, who is allegedly buried in the Cathedral. I say allegedly because there is a lot more to that story, but if you take a tour with the Roman Guy than you will learn the interesting history of this main Basilica in Venice. The tour also includes going inside of the Cathedral in which the guide explains the stunning architectural achievements.

Rialto Bridge and Surrounding Areas

Our second stop included the Rialto bridge and the Grand Canal. What I really loved about this Hidden Venice tour is how we casually walked through the hidden alleys and streets in Venice, all while learning interesting components of the street names and house numbers. We stopped through each main square along the way, discussing the significance of the statues in the center. We even stopped by a quaint store that sold the famous Venetian face masks and we learned the significance of certain masks. The owner of the store was actually in the process of making masks and painting them as we were standing outside.

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. It is also home to the fish market and where the original Venice was first settled. The view from the Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal is definitely my favorite, even if it is such a bustling area of Venice. Claire took us around the Rialto bridge and showed us the best spots to take a photo of the bridge, all while explaining the history of the area.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Our third stop took us to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo hidden near St. Marks square and the Rialto bridge. There are a lot of tourists who actually have never heard of this tower since it is hidden away through some narrow streets. It really is a hidden gem that I am so glad our guide took us to. The Scala Contarini del Bovolo was built by a noble family in the 15th century and is known for its “snail” like appearance. The view from the top of the tower is just beautiful of Venice, you can even see St. Marks Cathedral! The tour does not include going up to the top of the tower, but my husband and I came right back after the tour ended and made our way up!

Gondola Ride

After our walk to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo we made our way to our gondola ride. I have been dreaming of a gondola ride for as long as I can remember so I was literally jumping for joy when we made our way for our wonderful treat. The gondola ride lasted about 30 minutes and took us through several small canals and to the Grand Canal, which was my favorite portion of the ride.

Over all we had a wonderful time on the tour especially since it was a small group with just 7 other members. I felt that the small group experience was much more fulfilling as we were able to get the full attention of our guide. As mentioned before, our guide Claire shared very useful and interesting information with us each step of the way.

If you are in Venice and looking to learn a little more about this stunning Italian city, find some hidden treasures, check off a gondola ride from your bucket list, than this is the tour for you. Make sure and check out The Roman Guy for a wonderful tour experience.

What is the most colorful place that you have ever been to? For me, this is a no brainer! The Island of Burano in Italy of course! Now before Instagram, I will not even lie that I have never heard of Burano before. All of a sudden all of these colorful photos popping up from Burano were taking over my Instagram feed and I immediately fell in love. The moment that I booked our trip to Venice, I knew that a day trip from Venice to Burano was definitely in the plans. This is a guide about an easy day trip from Venice to Burano.

About the Island of Burano:

Burano is located about 45 minutes from Venice and is the most colorful island/town I have ever been to. Every single house there is painted with a vibrant color, and not just because it looks cute but also for a very important purpose. Originally these houses in Burano were painted like this so that fisherman could find their homes after a long day of fishing, and to help stand out through the fog. Today on the other hand, the colorful homes of Burano are a photographers dream! I am pretty sure I took a photo of almost every house there.

What to do in Burano:

Since Burano is a small fishing village there honestly is not that much to do. That does not mean that you still will not have a great time. There are a few things to do of course to keep you occupied while you are there.

Check out the Lace shops: Burano is famous for its beautiful lace. Lace has been a major produced product since the 16th century. There are many little shops and even a Lace museum on the island. This gives you the perfect reason to buy a lace napkin, tablet cloth, or even fan for the Italian heat.

Food: This is a no brainer for most since Italy has the best food ever. There are tons of little cafes all over the island and gelaterias. Be careful though, some restaurants are definitely a tourist trap. The cafes and restaurants in the main strip of the island, and you will know where that is based on the crowds of people, is usually the part you want to stay away from when it comes to food. There are also a lot of cafes situated along the canal that provide a nice view. The best restaurant on the island though is Gato Negro, per many reviews and its Michelin three star rating. Unfortunately we did not get to dine at this restaurant as often time, especially in high season, reservations are required.

Wander Around Without a Plan: The island of Burano is small, very easy to explore the entire island on foot in 2 hours. Give yourself time to wander through the many little streets and find hidden gems void of crowds of people. While wandering, make sure to have your camera out because each corner is a certified photo opportunity. Make sure to stay respectful to the locals and their homes while taking photos, believe it or not people actually do live here too.

Have I convinced you yet to do a day trip from Venice to Burano? This was such a nice way to take a break from the Venice crowds and enjoy the vibrant colors of Burano. My Biggest piece of advice for Burano, if you are traveling in high season, is get to Burano early before the afternoon crowds. Did you enjoy this post about Burano? Is it now on your bucket list? Tell me in comments below.

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By this point I am sure you have already heard about Tulum, Mexico and its perfect boho vibes, a hipsters/vegans paradise, and a handful of adorable cafes and restaurants. Tulum is literally all over social media, Instagram in particular, and is buzzing with people taking photos and selfies on every corner of the beach road. I must admit it is a super cute place and not to mention it is still pretty off the grid compared to more popular places such as Cancun. There are not very many all inclusive resorts (I think maybe one or two) in Tulum town center and on the beach road, making it feel a little more authentic. In this guide I will show you some must see cenotes in the area and the best photo spots in Tulum, Mexico.

I was in Tulum about 6-7 years ago on a tour to visit the ruins and even in a few short years that area has changed so much, partially due to the social media buzz. If you are planning on visiting Tulum at some point in your life, than I highly recommend going now because it is only becoming more crowded with tourists.

Before I begin with the must see photo spots in Tulum, I will explain how to get to this rustic/off the grid little town in the Yucatan.

How to Get to Tulum From Cancun Airport

So to get to Tulum, you have to pretty much fly into Cancun airport. Cancun is a short 1.5 hour drive from Tulum. Now I am sure you are thinking well how the heck do I get to Tulum from the airport. There are actually two really good options. The first option is to hire a reputable airport transfer either through your hotel or with a reputable transfer company. Do not be fooled as there are many transfer companies to choose from, so do your research wisely and read reviews. My husband and I used USA Transfers and could not be more pleased. We paid about $150 USD for two way transfer for the both of us. Booking a transfer allows you to have the ease of not worrying about getting lost or driving in a foreign country. Option two is to rent your own car at the airport and drive to Tulum yourself. This option is also a good alternative, as renting a car in Mexico is very cheap. You have your own vehicle to drive to any Cenote your heart may desire and you have the freedom to do whatever you please! I actually saw a lot of people renting cars and driving to Tulum from the airport. I spoke to a few that rented a car and they confirmed that it was very convenient and easy! Either option has its pros and cons, but they are both easy ways to get to this little jungle paradise.

Now that you know how to get to Tulum, your next order of business is to get settled in your hotel and start exploring! A small tid bit on the hotel situation in Tulum. If you want to stay directly on the beach, than the beach road is the place for you. The Beach road is where all of the cute cafes and restaurants are. It is also the more expensive part of Tulum, where you will be paying for food literally equivalent to USD prices in the USA. There are a ton of adorable boutique and eco friendly hotels to choose from on the Tulum beach road. If you do not care about staying directly on the beach and just plan on visiting the public beach, than staying in Tulum town center will probably be the cheaper option. Tulum town center is also much cheaper than the beach road and has more authentic food. We ate at a local taco joint in the town center for $5 USD (this included 8 tacos and two drinks, crazy right?!)

Now the moment you have been waiting for, the most Instagram worthy spots in Tulum that you must hit up including some Cenotes!

1. The Tulum Ruins

The Tulum Mayan Ruins are considered one of the most beautiful Mayan Ruins in all of Mexico, and even in the world. They are also the only Mayan Ruins that are built by the Sea. The ruins are situated on 15 meter cliffs overlooking that beautiful turquoise blue Caribbean sea. Getting to these ruins is super easy if you are staying on the Beach road. You can actually take a cab there for about $5 USD or bike to them. I suggest getting there at 8 AM when they open because it can get pretty crowded. There is a $5 USD entrance fee per person and than you are allowed to freely wander around the grounds. There are also guided tours available, but it is unnecessary honestly. Hint- the good spots are all at the top!

2. Coco Tulum Hotel Swings

Coco Tulum Hotel is located on the beach road before you get to the I Scream Bar and Raw Love (if you are coming from the side of the Ruins). We actually rode our bikes from our hotel to Coco Tulum (our hotel was also located on the beach road). To get to the swings you basically either need to buy a drink or meal from the beach bar/restaurant. When you enter the hotel, you tell the reception that you are there to eat or drink and they just let you go through. Once you walk through the little hotel room huts, you will see the all white swings and beach bar. Honestly this was my favorite spot to chill and enjoy a drink. The swings are parallel to the beach giving you the best view of that blue Caribbean sea. Most people will say that getting there early is a must because it does get crowded during the day. We actually did not get there early in the morning because we did the Ruins instead, but got there around 11 AM. There were other people there already but I was still able to wait patiently and get some good shots on the swings!

Added bonus: the adorable little shower on the beach by the swings has water coming out of a conch shell! Totally cute and Instagrammable!

3. Follow that Dream Street Sign

I am sure you have seen a photo with this sign all over Instagram! There are actually two of them on the Tulum Beach Road. The one that is shown in the photo is actually located right down from Raw Love. You will totally see it when you pass Raw Love and I Scream Bar heading toward Nomade and Casa Malca! I had to put the brakes on my bike and get a photo by this sign, only because it is so Instagrammable.

4. Raw Love

Raw Love is also located on the Tulum beach road and has all of the Boho vibes you could want! Lots of hammocks, cute little spots to sit, and a fun vibe make Raw Love a place you do not want to miss. If you are obsessed with anything smoothie like I am than you totally have to go! Raw Love has the best smoothie bowl I have ever had and It was so refreshing in the heat! I mean I am getting hungry for one just thinking about it! I tried to get some good photos of my smoothie bowl because yes it really was that pretty but it did not turn out exactly how I wanted it to and I was too hungry to keep trying!

5. Matcha Mama

Matcha Mama is definitely one of the cutest little cafes in Tulum! It is also located on the beach road a little farther down from Raw Love, toward Nomade and Casa Malca. Matcha Mama has everything from Matcha lattes, smoothie bowls, smoothies, acai, kombucha, etc. We actually passed by it a few times, but each time the swings were occupied! We finally got lucky when we were passing by one early afternoon and saw that the swings were empty. We decided to take our opportunity. I have heard from others that the smoothie bowls are delicious! I decided to try the matcha because I have never had it before, and boy do I wish I would have just gotten a smoothie or smoothie bowl. Totally not into matcha, it is just not my kinda drink.

6. Azulik Hotel

Azulik Hotel is the “tree house” like hotel you have seen all over Instagram. It has become increasingly popular among Instagram influencers and travel bloggers in the last year. Just like most of the hotels on the Tulum beach road, Azulik is also very eco friendly. By very eco friendly I mean if you stay there be prepared for no air conditioner, electricity in the rooms, or wifi. Also be prepared to spend a whopping $800 USD per night!

Needless to say the hotel truly is magical and so unique! I have never seen a place like it, yet! So here is the deal on how to see the Instagram famous nets, nests, and everything else in between at Azulik. If you are like me and will not pay $800 USD to stay there per night, there is a way for you to walk around this jungle tree house paradise without breaking the bank too much! When you enter the hotel, just tell the reception that you are there to either eat at the restaurant or grab a drink at the bar. Someone will walk you up to the bar and restaurant, which is also where the nets are located. Drinks start at around $20 USD per drink and the restaurant is also pretty pricey.

The nets are super interesting and over look the jungle and if you look hard enough you can see the Caribbean sea in the distance. Now they are not very easy to walk on, believe it or not. Especially not easy to walk on if you are wearing a dress in the unreal Mexican heat. If there are people sitting on the nets, be assured that its probably just for a photo and they will be out of your way in no time!

Now we talk about the nests at Azulik. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to take a photo in the nests. There was an unoccupied nest but the staff would not let us take a photo in it. If you want to reserve the nests for dinner, be prepared for a minimum tab of $1000 USD. Needless to say, we did not reserve a nest and were just hoping to quickly jump in one, grab a photo and exit! You might be more lucky than me when you go, I have talked to people who had no trouble just taking a photo and others who had a situation similar to mine.

There are only a few places that you can visit at Azulik and most of the really beautiful spots are roped off for guests of the hotel. Luckily for me I got to meet some really awesome Instagrammers earlier that day who let me crash their pad! I was able to get an inside scoop of their room and some cute areas around the rooms.

7. I Scream Bar– The Blue Tuk Tuk

The famous blue tuk tuk that has been moved several times! While I was in Tulum the blue tuk tuk is right in front of the bar. We actually stopped early afternoon before it became crowded, the only people I had in the background of my photos were the employees. The light probably was not the best due to the shadows from the palm trees, but either way I got my Instagrammable shot! I actually did not try the vegan ice cream, only because I am ice cream obsessed and I could not image not having that milky and creamy ice cream. What I did try though is the tacos at La Eufemia directly behind the bar! Let me tell you, those were some really delicious tacos! I recommend eating there for sure, either for lunch or dinner!

8. Nomade Hotel

The Nomade Hotel is a Boho lovers dream come true! I actually loved the decor of the entire hotel, it gives me a very Moroccan vibe with the colors and style of the restaurants.

Just like with Azulik, to walk around Nomade you must buy something. Just go up to the reception and tell them that you are there to grab lunch or dinner and they will just let you go in. We actually ate lunch at the Beach front restaurant, La Popular, and enjoyed the nice view of the Caribbean sea. We both ordered the seafood tacos and two coronas, also comes with chips and an assortment of salsa. The lunch was very good but pricey, especially for Mexican standards! After our lunch we walked around the hotel and got some super cute shots! We also got a shot on one of the beach front net teepees! Usually there are people in them all the time, but as soon as I saw someone get up and leave I took my opportunity.

9. Casa Malca

Casa Malca is Pablo Escobar’s old house and is located right past Nomade (so they say at least). Here is the deal with Casa Malca, I am sure you have seen it all over Instagram with the iconic shot of the couch in between the drapes of wedding dresses. Sound familiar now? Well it is not that easy to find Casa Malca at all. It is actually a hotel, but there are literally NO signs anywhere! We rode our bikes back and forth from Nomade and could not find it. We did not see the large potted plants and huge gate that everyone talks about. There was also a lot of construction going on a few doors down from Nomade at that time making it even harder to find.

The reason I added Casa Malca to the most Instagrammable list is because it truly does look stunning in all of the photos I have seen. My husband and I were already super tired and hot while looking for it, so after possibly passing it several times we were just over it. I hope that you have better luck finding it, and when you do let me know its exact location!

10. Tulum Beach Road

So as you have read so far, all of the super cute spots are located on the beach road. I recommended renting some bikes, there are literally bike rental shops everywhere, and just cruise down the beach road. You will be surprised at how many cute places and spots that you may find! This beach road is also lined with palm trees and the farther you go down the road, toward the Sian Khan Biosphere the more secluded you feel.

11. The Playa Paraiso Leaning Palm

Shout out to my girl Samantha’s Suitcase for blogging about this leaning palm in Tulum! Tulum has a ton of beautiful palm trees, but very few leaning palm trees! If you are like me and have always wanted to get that perfect leaning palm tree photo, than you are in luck in Tulum! Check out Samantha’s guide to Tulum on the other palm tree you can climb up aside from the one on the Playa Paraiso.

Playa Paraiso is the public beach on the Tulum beach road, it is actually on the side where the Ruins are. This leaning palm tree is pretty popular and when we arrived there in the dead of the afternoon (bad idea) there were already so many people trying to take a photo on it. After some patient waiting, I was finally able to get a photo! I would totally recommend getting to this one in the morning to avoid having to wait for a long time.

12. Grand Cenote

This is one of the more popular Cenotes in Tulum so getting there as soon as they open at 8 AM is important if you want to get some good shots!

There are actually two entrances to get down to the actual cenote itself. The first entrance is first staircase to the left, which is the one we went to first. At first I was confused because it did not look like any of the photos I had seen, but jumped in anyway and got some photos. Not until 20 minutes later did I realized that there is another part to it. There are two ways to get to the other part of the cenote (the spot that you see all of the Instagram photos from). The first method is to swim through the cave to the other side to reach that more “famous” part of the cenote. I did not go this route because it is dark and the top of the cave is pretty low. The second method is to walk to the second staircase past the first entrance to the right. We walked down the staircase and jumped in! The water in this part of the cenote is also a lot more shallow making it easy to walk around in the water and float. Either way both sides of the cenote are absolutely beautiful and surprisingly the water is not nearly as cold as I imagined it would be.

13. Cenotes Dos Ojos

Cenotes Dos Ojos is a little farther than Grand Cenote from Tulum beach road, but it is totally worth a drive over to it! There are actually several cenotes are Dos Ojos and you can buy tickets to just Dos Ojos or to all of them. We only bought tickets to the Dos Ojos cenotes because that is the one we were really interested in, and it was already 10 AM so the crowds were starting to show up. Dos Ojos is just as beautiful as the Grand Cenote, but it also has very deep parts. You can rent snorkel gear and snorkel around if you are into that. I do suggest getting to Dos Ojos as soon as they open around 9 AM because if you get there even an hour later, there are already dozens of people. We had to be really patient to get some good shots without others in the background.

So this sums up the 13 most Instagram worthy spots that you do not want to miss in Tulum! There are tons of adorable little spots in Tulum and on the beach road, but these are the ones you do not want to miss!

If you’re planning a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, here are a few tips. First, try to arrive at least a few hours before closing time. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to see everything in town. And if you want to avoid the crowds, get the first morning train to Sintra. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a packed city. Second, try to spend at least a night in Sintra.

Quinta da Regaleira

If you’re planning a day trip to Sintra, you’ll probably spend a majority of your time exploring the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace, but there are other attractions as well. If you’re only spending a day in Sintra, you should make your Sintra sightseeing the first stop on your itinerary. Then, you can move onto other places in the area as time permits.

The main attraction in Quinta da Regaleira is its initiation wells, which were once used for ritual rites. They are thought to have links to Templar and Tarot mythology. Visitors can climb the spiral staircases to the first well and follow a tunnel to a smaller one. The bigger one has mosaic floors and is accessible only by walking. Once you’re done exploring the initiation wells, you can head to the nearby castle for a delicious meal or an afternoon of shopping.

If you’re planning a day trip from Lisbon, you may also want to visit the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, which was built with a cornerstone donated by Pope John Paul II. While you’re in Lisbon, you’ll probably want to pair your visit to Fatima with another stop, so you can enjoy both the town and the city at the same time. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

Sintra’s Castle of the Moors

The first thing you need to do before heading to Sintra is plan your itinerary. There are a number of attractions in Sintra that will keep you busy for hours, and you might want to avoid the busses if you can. However, it is worth considering taking the bus to Sintra to see the Moorish Castle. The Moorish castle is a magnificent structure located on a steep hill, but it isn’t worth the long walk down.

When planning your visit, keep in mind that the train station in Sintra is quite far from the old town. If you have time, consider taking a bus or a tuk-tuk to the town center. These two methods will take you to Sintra’s Castle of the Moors and Pena Palace without the hassle of dealing with the tourist crowds.

If you want to see the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace, be sure to book a guided tour of the town center. You can also visit the Quinta da Regaleira, which is known for its lovely gardens. Keep in mind that the town is very hilly and difficult to walk around. You can use tuk-tuks, taxis, or local buses to get around. Parking in Sintra is not easy, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.

Lisbon to Sintra day trip

If you are planning a day trip to Lisbon, make sure to include a visit to Sintra. The town is full of fairy-tale palaces and mystical gardens, and more than 3 million visitors visit every year. Although it is impossible to see everything in a single day, your Lisbon to Sintra day trip guide will help you see the highlights. A little extra time in Sintra will give you the opportunity to visit additional palaces and gardens.

Depending on the time of year, you can make a Lisbon to Sintra day trip a car-free experience. Parking in Sintra is limited, so try to plan your trip around bus or car-free. If you are visiting on a busy day, be sure to leave your car at the train station or park in the street, as parking is not always easy to find. In fact, parking in Sintra can be miles away from most of the sights.

If you have time to spare, visit the historic district of Sintra, where you can walk through the town’s narrow streets and discover quaint houses that date back to the 10th century. Throughout the centuries, it has been the home of Portugal’s monarchy and many nobles. The castle was also the meeting place of foreign ambassadors, and several kings have passed through its decorated rooms. Your Lisbon to Sintra day trip should include a stop at this palace.

Avoiding crowds in Sintra

To avoid the crowds in Sintra the perfect day trip, make sure to go at early morning. The palace, as well as the parks, usually get crowded within an hour of opening. You can also visit the gardens near closing time. While this is not the best time to visit Sintra, it is still worth a visit if you have time to spare. It’s possible to experience many of the sights on a single day, but if you don’t have much time, make sure you start your trip early.

If you’re planning a day trip from Lisbon, you’ll want to go to Sintra as early as possible. Although it’s only 20 miles from Lisbon, the town still feels like a true retreat. Its UNESCO World Heritage site has many historical and artistic treasures and you can wander the cobblestone streets and take in the medieval architecture. In fact, you can even get a Lisbon Card and enjoy free train travel to Sintra!

To avoid crowds in Sintra, make sure to book tickets in advance and visit during the weekday. You can also avoid crowds by booking tickets online and avoiding the day of your trip. Remember that the place can get very crowded during the summer. So, it is best to go during weekdays or early in the morning. You’ll also avoid the long ticket lines and crowds that often plague this beautiful village.

Getting to Sintra by train

Getting to Sintra by train is a convenient way to travel to this city. Parking in Sintra can be a challenge, especially during the summer, but a train ride takes the hassle out of getting around town. In addition to convenient train service, many tours also include other attractions. Packaged tours can help take the hassle out of traveling to Sintra by offering ticket entry to major sites as well as expert guides.

The last stop of the journey is the station in Sintra, which is a short walk from the town center. The train station is also in close proximity to the airport. While not as central as the Rossio station, the Sintra station is still convenient. You can purchase tickets for both train trips online to save yourself time at the box office and get a 5% discount. To avoid any inconveniences, consider purchasing tickets for both train routes at once online, and remember to buy your ticket in advance to guarantee that you get the best price.

Getting to Sintra by train from Lisbon takes approximately 8 hours. The journey can accommodate a group of one to eight people, and there are tours available seven days a week. These drivers are well-trained and have all of the materials you need to enjoy your trip to Sintra. You can also use a private taxi in the town, but it’s important to know how to get to the train station in advance.

Getting to Sintra by car

If you’d like to visit Sintra on your own, there are several ways to get there. Taxis are usually readily available outside the Sintra train station and opposite the post office. Taxis in Sintra are usually metered and a one-way trip to the National Palace will cost at least EUR10; a little more in heavy traffic. A waiting time in a taxi can run as high as EUR15. For a more affordable ride, consider sharing the cost with one or more other tourists.

If you don’t have a car, you can take the train to Lisbon and catch the Sintra line. You can then follow signs to the palace and gardens. If you don’t have a car, you can also take the train to Cabo da Roca, which stops in Lisbon’s downtown area. Taxis are also available at both the railway station and the Sintra railway station. If you’re planning on arriving by train in Sintra, be sure to leave plenty of time to explore all the sights.

Getting to Sintra by car is possible but it’s not a good idea during rush hours. The town has limited parking, so it’s best to plan on arriving early in the week and parking in the modern town, which is about 1.5 km to the east. In addition to the train, you can also rent a car in Lisbon. The city’s numerous car rental agencies can help you with your trip.

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If you’re planning to spend your vacation in Rome, you’ll be glad you read this article. You can take beautiful pictures of St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Campidoglio, and Navona, as well as admire the many works of art on display at the Vatican Museums. And if you want to explore the city’s most historic locations, you should make time to see Piazza Navona.

Piazza Campidoglio

If you’re looking for some great Rome photo opportunities, Piazza Campidoglio, the mayor’s office, and the Forum Romanum are all great places to go. There are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the day. If you want to get a good view of the Colosseum and Forum, consider buying a priority ticket. For about 18 EUR (21.5 USD), you’ll get priority access for a full day of sightseeing.

The square itself is lined with statues and is accessible via a grand staircase. The Capitoline Museums are located on either side of the center building, and the city government is located in the center. The piazza has plenty of benches and beautiful statues dating back to the first century. There are also plenty of historic buildings and monuments nearby, such as the Pantheon.

Whether you want a scenic view of the city’s iconic landmarks, or an intimate portrait with your partner or family, Piazza Campidoglio can provide the perfect backdrop for your snap. It’s a popular place for social gatherings and nightlife, and it’s easy to find a great view of the monument from the square. Just make sure to go early in the morning or late in the evening, or you’ll be fighting the crowds.

The Altare della Patria is another great location for a photo. It forms a triangle with the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. This monument is located in Centro Storico and is easily accessible from the Spanish Steps and the Forum Romanum. The nearest metro station is Barberini, and the area surrounding it is lined with buses. The Altare della Patria is an excellent spot for sunrise and sunset photos. It is a great spot for sunrise and sunset snaps, and the Altare della Patria has observation decks that provide some of the best views of the city.

Piazza Navona

If you’re looking for a photo opportunity in Rome, you’ve come to the right place. The Piazza Navona is one of the most popular spots in the city. Located across the Tiber River, this plaza has a wide variety of photo opportunities, including a gorgeous statue of Michelangelo’s Moses. And although you’ll want to make sure you shoot this monument in the daytime, the light at nighttime is enchanting.

When you’re taking photos in the Piazza Navona, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind: the most common light is soft, and you don’t want to make your photos look over-exposed. You can also use puddles for reflections. And finally, remember that the streets are often crowded, so be sure to go early.

One of the most famous squares in the world, Piazza Navona was commissioned in 86 CE by emperor Domitian. It was originally a stadium for athletics competitions, with stands for up to 20,000 spectators. Later, Pope Innocent held ‘water games’ here during the summer. Then, after the fall of the Roman Empire, houses were built on the site, leaving the square bare.

Another great photo location in Rome is the Pantheon. This famous landmark is surrounded by typical Rome architecture. You can even take pictures from inside. To take good pictures in this popular spot, you’ll need a wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens will help you get the best views of the Pantheon. Also, make sure to shoot your pictures during sunset or at night, when the light is best.

Piazza dei Coronari

If you’re looking for a great photo location in Rome, look no further than the beautiful and picturesque Piazza dei Coronari. Located on the Capitoline Hill, this spot is filled with beautiful buildings and a great background for taking memorable pictures. It’s also one of the most popular photo spots in Rome, and you’ll have to fight the crowds to get a good shot!

While Piazza dei Coronari is free to enter, it can be quite crowded in the evening. Go early in the day or after sunset to avoid the crowds. This viewpoint is popular for Instagram photos, but take note of locals and tourists. Remember to respect their privacy and do not climb on buildings and monuments. Do not photograph people unless they want to be photographed!

You can’t miss the famous fountain in the center of the piazza. The monument was built in honor of King Victor Emanuele II, and is famous for its white marble towers. From here, you can see the historic center, including the Palazzo Vanezia, which was once Michelangelo’s home. From here, you can also admire Trajan’s Column, one of the city’s most impressive monuments.

In addition to the Piazza dei Coronari, you can also take photos in the Sala Lancisiana. This historic building is one of the best places to take pictures. You can also save pictures of the Sala Lancisiana on Pinterest. This is just one of the many photo locations in Rome, Italy that you shouldn’t miss. Make sure to save them on your Pinterest before you leave.

St Peter’s Basilica

The basilica and Piazza San Pietro are two of the most iconic photo spots in the city. The obelisk on the square is a giant votive offering, which was originally built in the centre of the Nero’s Circus. Standing 82 feet high and weighing 330 tons, it is the second tallest building in Rome. The writing on the obelisk is in Latin and was erected by Pharaoh Amenemhet II in 1612.

The Spanish Steps is another of the city’s most photogenic spots. The steps themselves are made of 135 wide steps, which make for some of the most memorable pictures. It’s easy to get a good photo of this famous landmark in any angle. However, don’t forget to take a photo from one of the nearby metro stations! The views are fantastic! And don’t forget to check out the Trevi Fountain. While crumbling and not in the best shape, it is still one of the most famous fountains in the city.

There are also numerous other photo opportunities in St Peter’s Basilica. You should photograph its dome, which is topped by a gold band. The letters on the dome are eight and 4.5 feet high, so they can be seen from below. While taking photos inside the Basilica, you should avoid the glare of light from the camera flash. In some places, the light reflected by the paintings may make them look like squares of glass or ceramic.

St Peter’s Dome

As one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome, St. Peter’s Dome is worth a visit. Its majesty is hard to miss, and you can’t help but feel awed by the beautiful structure that stands on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. As you ascend the winding stairs, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city and its many wonders.

The dome was originally modeled after the Pantheon, but later altered by the new head architect, Giacomo da Sangallo. Its final design is 120 meters high and takes 22 months to complete. Today, you can see the dome in person or take a photo from afar. Although you can’t go inside the dome, it is worth the visit if you have time to spare.

Another popular photo location in Rome is the Pantheon. Standing majestically above the Piazza della Rotonda, this ancient temple is an unforgettable backdrop. The iconic structure has a domed roof with overlapping arches and a huge circular hole. Daytime shots of this iconic structure are stunning, and the surrounding area is beautifully lit at night.

Despite its size, the St Peter’s Dome is also known for its gold band surrounding it. The gold band is a beautiful decoration, and it can be viewed from afar. From below, you can see cleaners in action cleaning the gold band and the statue of the apostle Peter. This magnificent structure is one of the top 13 photo spots in Rome, Italy

Trastevere

The neighborhood of Trastevere is home to some of the city’s prettiest streets. Trastevere is especially photogenic in the early morning hours, before tourists begin to fill the streets. If you want to capture the perfect Instagram photo, you should visit during the early morning hours or before lunchtime. Also, avoid going during the peak tourist season and avoid the area during lunchtime. This area is generally less crowded in the early afternoon.

If you are interested in taking a photograph of the famous Pantheon, you can do so from the outside of the main entrance. Or, you can try shooting from the Oculus. The Pantheon is located near the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain in the Centro Storico, and you can reach them via metro by taking the Barberini station or strolling the quieter streets of Trastevere.

For those who prefer a less crowded scene, you can opt to visit a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Orto Botanico. This hidden gem has a beautiful fountain in the center and is also one of the best photo spots in Rome. Visiting the area in the evening or early morning is not recommended, as crowds can saturate the photo.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia has become an increasingly popular place among tourists all over the world, and with good reason. Millions of people visit the this beautiful coastal town from the months of May to August, but not all venture outside of Dubrovnik. Montenegro, Croatia’s neighboring country, does not get nearly enough credit and popularity as Croatia does. If you are looking for an easy Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik than continue reading below.

Montenegro is easily accessed from Dubrovnik by car, bus, or tour. It also is a stunning change of scenery from Dubrovnik offering majestic mountains peaks and the second largest fjords (Norway has the largest) in Europe. Montenegro was also formally part of Yugoslavia in the 1990s so the language is the same as in Croatia (with a slightly different dialect). Since it was all one country roughly 25 years ago, the food and culture is also similar to its neighbor Croatia. The only thing that the two countries do not have in common is how underrated Montenegro is compared to popular tourists hubs like Dubrovnik and Split. Also if you want a break from the ridiculous prices in Dubrovnik old town, Kotor and Budva will be a nice break for you!

How to get to Montenegro from Dubrovnik:

Getting to Montenegro from Dubrovnik is pretty simple actually. There are three options for transportation as mentioned above. Personally, we rented a car and drove ourselves. Renting a car definitely gives you the greatest amount of freedom and an amplitude of time. If you are not comfortable driving yourself, there are buses that run almost daily from Dubrovnik to Kotor. I am not too sure about the prices, but I can imagine that it is not very expensive. The third option is to take a guided tour with a bus full of people. There are a ton of tour companies outside of the old town Dubrovnik that go to Kotor and Budva daily. I believe the tours are about $50 USD per person.

If you are looking to rent a car in Dubrovnik, the rental car companies are located at the airport. We usually rent from Enterprise or Alamo at the airport once we arrive. It is easy, not too pricey given the freedom that you have to explore. There is a green card that the rental car company will sell you for $50 euros so that you can cross the border, make sure and get this to avoid any issues.

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If you are driving, the border of Montenegro is about a 20-30 minute drive from Dubrovnik. I am sure you have heard horror stories of the long times at the border in peak season. We were in Dubrovnik at the end of July, peak season, and waited at the border to get into Montenegro for maybe 10-15 minutes. We did leave our apartment at 7:30 AM to avoid the long times and it was well worth it.

Getting to Kotor, Montenegro and Exploring:

The first town in Montenegro you will visit is Kotor. I am actually surprised how many people have not heard of Kotor, and it is a real shame. Kotor is most famous for the amazing Bay of Kotor and the Fjord. Kotor is about another hour of travel once you cross the border into Montenegro. There are two ways to get to Kotor by car. You can either drive all the way around to Kotor, or you can take the ferry that will shave off about 30-40 minutes of travel. The ferry ride is about 5 minutes long and will cost you $5 USD for you and your vehicle! We ended up taking the ferry on our way back to Dubrovnik and it was a nice scenic ride, a very memorable 5 minutes!

Once you make it to Kotor, you will want to find some good and reliable parking. There is actually a big parking lot right next to the walls of the old town of Kotor. It is paid parking (honestly cannot remember how much we paid, but it was not a lot) and can get full pretty quickly if you get there too late in the day. Once you park your car, make your way to the old town. If you park in the parking lot next to the walls it is an easy 5 minute walk to the old town. Kotor, just like Dubrovnik, can get very crowded during the day. Even more crowded when the cruise ships begin to dock. So I cannot stress enough how important it is to get there earlier in the day.

St. Johns Fortress (AKA Castle of San Giovanni):

Our first activity in Kotor was to find the bathrooms, ok not really an activity but a must before walking up to the St. John Fortress. There are public bathrooms in the old town, about one euro to use. After our bathroom break, we set out to find the entrance to the climb up to the fortress.The entrance was not that easy for us to find so we had to ask a local to direct us in the right direction. There is an $8 Euro fee per person to climb up to the fortress. Even though I totally think $8 Euros to climb in the heat is absolutely ridiculous, I just knew that the view would be worth it.

The two best times of day to climb to the top are morning or evening during sunset. The afternoon is very very hot in the summer and the climb up is not as easy as you may think. It takes about 1.5-2 hours round trip to climb to the top, or longer depending on stops on the way up. Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way up to the top because hunger set in. Food ultimately wins, especially when you have been climbing up tiny and old stairs in the heat. We did make it up a pretty far distance, and were just below the fortress.

Walking around Kotor Old Town:

Once we got back down from climbing to the Fortress, we decided it was time for some lunch and a cold drink. You could literally spend 2 hours or longer roaming the many alleys and streets of Kotor. It is such a cute little town with white washed buildings, fountains, and cobble stone streets. It actually reminds me a lot of Dubrovnik old town, except smaller. By the time we got down from our climb, it was already 12 pm so the old town was completely packed. Getting crowdless shots at that point was virtually impossible, unless you found a quite little

We got some lunch at one of the many little restaurants, and had of course the traditional cevapi. If you are ever anywhere in the Balkans, cevapi are an absolute must. I have actually been eating cevapi since I was a child, and it is a dish that I am always in the mood for when back home. Cevapi are minced meat sausages usually served with a pita bread and pepper sauce plus onions.

Now that you have explored Kotor, there is the option to see the Our Lady of the Rocks island by the small town of Perast. We actually did not get to go to this little man made island due to time constraints, but I have heard from so many that it is such a beautiful place with some amazing views of the Bay of Kotor.

Another great option before you leave Kotor is to go to Lovcen National Park. I cannot tell you how upset I am that we did not get to drive up to this national park. It is about a two hour drive from Kotor through winding roads on the side of the mountain, which actually sounds super fun. Unfortunately we had already made plans to head to Budva and Sveti Stefan so an extra two hour detour was not in the itinerary. I have seen photos from the Lovcen National Park and it is unreal! If you think that the view from the Kotor Fortress is amazing, than Lovcen will be ten times that.

Getting to Budva and Sveti Stefan from Kotor:

Budva is about a 30-45 minute drive from Kotor. It is literally a straight shot from Kotor and also such a scenic drive. Budva reminds me a lot of Dubrovnik, in that it is a fortified town. The walls and town is much smaller than Dubrovnik, but also just as charming.

Even though Budva is very beautiful, I do not recommend spending a lot of time there as it is pretty small. My main aim was to find a good view point of Sveti Stefan since non hotel guests are not allowed on the actual little island. Sveti Stefan island housed a monastery many many years ago. In the recent years, The Aman hotel chain bought out the entire island, monastery included, and built a five star resort. The Aman Sveti Stefan resort has housed celebrities including David Beckham and his family recently. The hotel is stunning, I immediately went to google to see what this prestigious hotel looked like and I will say that my jaw dropped. No wonder it is a whopping $800-1000 or more USD a night.

Sveti Stefan View Point:

There are two good view points of Sveti Stefan from above it. The first is actually a hotel/restaurant called Hotel Adrovic. We actually decided we were going to have a drink or coffee at their cafe and take in the beautiful view below.

While sitting on the balcony enjoying a cappuccino, a small church at the top of the mountain above us caught my eye. I immediately told my husband that we were going up there, the only issue was how do we get all the way up to the top! Thankfully for google and the help of a local, we found the name of the small church. It is called the Sveti Sava church. The local that we asked about it said that you are not able to drive all the way up to the top, but we decided to give it a try anyway. The good news is that you actually can drive all the way up to the top, yes the road is very narrow but a surprisingly easy drive. There are a lot of homes on the mountain so you are literally driving through a neighborhood.

The best way to get to the Sv. Sava church is from Hotel Adrovic. If you are facing the road from Hotel Adrovic, your back is to the hotel, you will see a road on the left side of the road going uphill. Take that road and literally go straight the entire way up. It will lead you up to the little church and the view point. We also did use google maps on our cell phone that helped guide us up to the top. It takes about 10 minutes or so to get all the way up to the top where the little church is located.

This was totally one of my all time favorite view points in Montenegro (aside from the Bay of Kotor View) that did not require climbing or an intense amount of sweating. It is totally worth it if you are in Budva or Sveti Stefan.

After soaking up all of the beautiful views, we made our way back down and were on our way back to Dubrovnik. On our way back we decided to take the ferry through the Bay of Kotor as I mentioned earlier. It was a nice way to shave off 30 minutes from our driving time and a great way to soak in the views.

I cannot stress enough how beautiful Montenegro is, and I am almost sad that we only had time for a day trip. If I could do that all over again, I would have planned for a two-three night stay in this beautiful little country. I feel like there really is so much to see and so many hidden gems that we just did not have the time for. I hope that when you make your way to the Balkans that you reserve some time for this very underrated country. If you are on a time constraint, like I was, than at least venture out of Croatia to Montenegro and experience the beauty that this little country has to offer.

So you have made it to Dubrovnik, honestly one of the most beautiful towns in the world (check out my guide HERE on what to see and do in Dubrovnik), and you have noticed that big green island directly across from the old town. It is hard to miss and naturally your curiosity starts to spark. I remember shortly after I arrived in Dubrovnik, how I could get to that big green island? Well good news is that it is super easy to take a day trip there! This lush green island is actually called the Island of Lokrum and is a beautiful natural paradise to explore. This is a guide on the ultimate dubrovnik to lokrum day trip.

If you have had enough of the tourist crowds swarming in Dubrovnik especially in the summer, than a quick trip to Lokrum will leave you super relaxed and give you a nice sense of peace. This island was actually once inhabited by Benedictine monks. Can you believe how lucky these monks were to call Lokrum home? Talk about living the life! Not only is Lokrum exceptionally beautiful because of its stunning nature and rugged coastline, it also holds a curse placed by these monks. I will get into the curse later on in the post, but for now let’s talk about how to get to Lokrum from Dubrovnik.

How to get to Lokrum Island:

Getting to Lokrum is fairly easy, so easy that I literally did not do any research on it before we went! There is a ferry right in the port of Dubrovnik (you literally cannot miss it) that departs about every 30 minutes. I believe the first ferry departs around 10 AM and you can actually buy tickets on the day of departure right in front of the boat. It is about a 15 minute ferry ride to Lokrum and it docks in the small bay of Portoc. Not only is it easy to get there but it is also very affordable. About 12 USD will get you a round trip ticket to Lokrum with ease of going and leaving whenever you please. In high season, the last ferry departs around 6 pm, so you have literally the whole day to spend there if you would like. Now be aware that once the last ferry leaves, there is no other way off of the island. You are not allowed to spend the night on the island so make sure you keep track of time.

Once you arrive to the little bay of Portoc on Lokrum, there is a map of the entire island. It is pretty easy to navigate if you are looking to go to a particular spot, but if you want to just wander around than the odds of getting lost are pretty slim! Before I start talking about what all to see on the island, let me give you a little history on the Island of Lokrum and its curse.

The Legend of the Island of Lokrum:

In the year 1023, a Benedictine Monastery was founded on the Island of Lokrum. The Monastery was built on the side of Lokrum that is facing Dubrovnik directly to warn the walled city from any threats that were heading their way. The Monks would signal the guards on the walls with smoke when they suspected an invader.

Lokrum has a beautiful botanical garden and also has rabbits and peacocks freely frolicking around on the island. This is because the Monks and Archduke Maximillian Ferdinand of Habsburg brought exotic plants and animals from all over the world to Lokrum, which is also how Lokrum got its name.

Now to the good part, the curse of Lokrum Island and why you are not allowed to stay overnight. In the late 1700s a French army general ordered the shut down of the monastery on Lokrum island including the evacuation of the monks. The monks attempted to do everything they could to stay on the island and keep the monastery open, without any success. On their final night on the island, they held one last religious gathering in which they walked around the island in their hooded robes leaving a trail of candle wax. As they walked around the island, they chanted that whoever claims Lokrum island for their own personal pleasure will be damned. The monks were ordered to leave the next morning and never returned again.

The curse is truly believed by some of the locals with many stories that are spread, some that you may even hear while on the island. There has been misfortune directly related to taking possession of Lokrum for pleasure. There were several aristocratic families that claimed Lokrum for their pleasure and were either assassinated, went bankrupt, or suffered an unfortunate death. And not only did the curse affect these families, but it is said that many fisherman and ships have gone missing that were docked on the coast of Lokrum overnight. Today, as mentioned before, no one lives on the Island of Lokrum and no one is allowed to stay overnight.

So who wants to stay overnight on Lokrum Island? Ok I am kidding, but pretty eerie right? It almost made me not want to use Lokrum for my pleasure while I was there! But that should not stop you, Lokrum is just a gem to explore and I can totally see why the monks did not want to leave. Ok so now let’s talk about what there is to see and do on this special island!

Float in the Dead Sea:

There is a small salt lake located almost in the center of the island. You totally cannot miss it as there is a sign pointing you to it. This salt lake has such refreshing and you guessed it, salty water! We enjoyed a cool off in this little lake after a full morning of walking around Lokrum and exploring hidden coves and beaches. You can float, swim, swing on the rope swing, or just lay out in the sun for a perfect and peaceful afternoon. The Dead Sea lake does get crowded in the afternoon especially in the summer and can sometimes result in a hard time finding a little spot to sit down.

Find the Hidden Natural Window on the Adriatic Sea:

Now we get to the not famous yet natural window on Lokrum Island that overlooks the Adriatic sea. I am actually shocked that more people do not know about this natural window. It is actually very easy to miss, so I can totally see why more people have not disclosed its exact location! I kind of like the fact that it is secret, it is not over run by Instagrammers and tourists. It is actually a very peaceful and we spent at least two hours there without being bothered by a single person.

How did I find out about this natural window you wonder? Well I actually saw a photo of it on none other than Instagram. As soon as I saw it and realized it was located on Lokrum Island, I knew that I just had to find it. I spent hours searching online for its exact location and came up with absolutely nothing. I became determined to find it myself (with the help of my husband of course, we all know I am terrible with directions) as soon as I got to Lokrum Island. To our luck, a couple on the ferry ride from Dubrovnik to Lokrum was actually on the island the day before and found the natural window. They gave us some direction of its location, which really was a huge help!

As soon as we stepped off the ferry, we began our mission to find this natural wonder. Honestly we missed it the first time, we literally walked right on top of it! The second time we re traced our steps and finally realized that we needed to climb down to get to it. It was absolutely worth finding because in my opinion this is the most beautiful spot on the island!

So to keep it secret and not over run by millions of other people I have decided to disclose its exact location with a map if you subscribe to my blog (screenshot of the subscription) and send me an email through my contact information! This way the location is kept hidden and still enjoyable to the few that find it.