One morning, after fuelling ourselves with a delicious buffet breakfast including fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and of course the infamous egg tarts, we made our way to Rossio Train Station in order to catch the train to Sintra.

Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just over half an hour by train from Lisbon centre. We arrived to a beautiful cloudy but sunny day, and armed with a coffee, set out to do some exploring.

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Nestled in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, the town is full of beautiful parks, castles and palaces.

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As I mentioned in my last roster post, I was lucky enough to get the 5 days off that I bid for, perfect for a little holiday with my man. We decided on Lisbon, as it was a place that neither of us had visited before and seemed like a great choice for a 5 day trip.

I sorted out the hotel, and after he arrived from a trip to Rome, we packed our bags and made our way to the airport. Neither of us had realised the flight was fairly long, just under 8 hours from Dubai. Luckily we managed to get some exit row seats with plenty of extra leg room!

Upon arrival we took the metro into the city, which was pretty easy and fairly quick. We arrived at our hotel, the Internacional Design Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel, which was located on Rossio Square right in the centre of downtown Lisbon.

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The view from our room, which had a small balcony, was perfect – right out onto the bustling street below.

After a complementary welcome drink at the hotel (a delicious glass of Portuguese wine) we made our way outside to do some exploring.

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A few days ago I popped over to the new area of City Walk in Dubai. It’s also called City Walk Phase II, as it’s an extension (that’s still undergoing some construction) of the original area full of shops, caf├ęs and restaurants.

My friend Sebastian picked me up and we drove over, parking the car in the huge parking area underground. Our mission was to find coffee, but first we had a long stroll around the area, which is built up with lots of pretty sculptures and interesting murals.

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My most recent trip took me to the city of Manila, in the Philippines. It was my second time visiting, however since I didn’t get up to much last time I wanted to go out and see a bit more of the country.

We arrived early evening and had been awake and flying overnight. It was all I could manage to order some room service (lechon kawali – the most delicious Filipino crispy pork!) and have an early night.

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The next morning I was awoken by the sound of alarm at 5am – I’m quite certain that that’s the first time I’ve voluntarily woken up before the sunrise on any layover!

A group of us had arranged a guide to take us to the Taal Volcano, in Batangas. We made our way to the hotel lobby and our guide was waiting for us, so we got in the car and started the drive.

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I’d like to try and feature a few more places in Dubai, as it’s becoming even more of a cultural hotspot, and new cafes and restaurants are opening every day. There are so many new places planned for this year alone, and I’m excited to see the city transform when the Dubai Canal is finally finished. It’s such a huge project but I’m hoping it will be well worth the traffic jams now when it’s finally unveiled!

As well as that there are plenty of up and coming new areas, such as the City Walk expansion and the Opera House, which will be showing theatre productions, concerts, exhibitions and opera of course.

One place that I’d been meaning to try out for quite a while is The Hamptons Cafe. It’s actually been open for almost 2 years, but I just haven’t got round to visiting.

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Located along Jumeirah Beach Road, it’s hard to miss when you pull up, as it’s covered in beautiful flowers and plants and has a gorgeous front terrace area, with beachy style sofas to relax in.

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