Monday, September 1, 2014

Salzburg

Salzburg has always been in my destinations to visit list, and getting to actually experience this picturesque small town immersed in such a wonderful backdrop was a great experience. Sharing this with my husband made it even better.
 
We reached Salzburg by train from Vienna. We took a Westbahn train from Vienna Westbahnhof departing at 7.40 in the morning and came back with a Westbahn train departing from Salzburg hauptbahnhof at 6.50 in the evening. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes each way. The train, as you can see below is very comfortable and clean. There are many restrooms across the train and you get sections with a table, great if you want to have a snack or do some work. The train is pretty smooth but you get some ears popping when it goes under tunnels, usually during the first hour from Vienna to Salzburg and the last hour on the way back. I suggest you buy some gums to help with the ear pressure. The cost of a ticket per person for one way is around EUR24, so the cost for 2 people for both ways was just under EUR100.
 

As soon as we arrived in Salzburg we got a little bit confused about how to reach the centre. I suggest you go inside the buses information centre and ask for direction. Or else you can look at the map in the bus station in front of the hauptbahnhof and take any bus which goes to the centre. Buy a day ticket for each person at EUR3.40 and you will be able to go to the centre and come back later that day to catch your train back to Vienna or any other city you are coming from. We took bus 6, stopped close to the Mirabelle gardens and walked forward until we saw the Salzach river. I am sure you can agree the views are pretty amazing. So stopping for a few pictures is a must.



We walked across the bridge over the Salzach and reached the old town. I was really amazed at how you can reach different streets through small passages in between buildings. Most of these passages have local shops selling jewellery, sweets, souvenirs, fancy clothes and much more.



 
We were starving and needed to use the restroom so we went around the old town looking for a nice cafe. I didn't want to miss the Salzburg strudel and after going inside Cafe Tomaselli, which didn't look very appealing on the inside, we came across the beutiful Cafe Altstadt and that's where we had our cappuccinos, strudel and sacher torte. If you want to know where to have the best sacher torte in Vienna read this post. The strudel was divine and for being in Salzburg the price was very reasonable too.
 
 
After a small break we headed towards the Salzburg fortress through the funicular. You can buy your ticket for the fortress including a two way funicular ride for under EUR12. The fortress is definitely a must if you are in Salzburg. From its top you can admire the most amazing views and take great pictures. You can easily see the fortress in around 90 minutes. I would also suggest you stop for lunch in one of the restaurants/cafes surrounding the fortress since the views are so spectacular.
 


 
After getting off the funicular we just wondered across the town, looking for a nice spot to eat and also doing some window shopping. We walked by the Cathedral, the University, the open market, and Mozart house. We bought some chocolates from the Braun shop and also some Mozartkugeln from the train station.


 
 
 
 
But before leaving to catch the train we had a delicious early dinner at Gasthof Goldgasse. Both my husband and I ordered veal schnitzel which came with parsley potatoes, cranberries sauce and a cucumber salad. It wasn't cheap, but considering we had meat and we were in Salzburg it was definitely worth it.

 
And just before catching the train I did some last minute shopping inside H&M. We made it just in time to catch the train and we got in Vienna at around 9.20 pm. We spent a really nice day in Salzburg and I would definitely consider going for an entire weekend.
 
 
Have you been to Salzburg? If yes what did you like most about this picturesque town?
 
STAY FAB

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Best primer

After trying out 6 of the best high end primers out there, along with other 3 less well known face primers, I am now ready to share my opinions and my journey to finding the best makeup primer for combination to oily skin.

While I wouldn't say I have oily skin, my skin can look oily after applying certain lotions and creams, and my makeup starts melting after only few hours. Because I don't like blotting my face or re-applying powder during the day, both I cannot seem to find the time and because I don't like the powdery look I get when re applying my powder for the second time, I have been on the search for that primer which is able to lengthen the staying power of makeup on my face. While I haven't found one that makes my makeup last all day, I can definitely recommend two that can make your makeup last longer than what it would usually last.

But before let's start with a list of all the primers I have tried. The list includes the following:
1. Body shop, both the one for oily and dry skin
2. Stage primer
3. Sisley instant perfect
4. Smash box photo finish colour correcting primer
5. Smashbox photo finish oil free primer
6. Makeup Forever HD Green primer
7. Benefit the Porefessional
8. MAC Matte Primer

Primers 3 and 5 did not do an amazing job in covering my redness. And I am still on the lookout for a great anti redness primer to use during the Winter. The Smash box oil free primer was good but I feel I need to try it again before being able to compare it to the Benefit and Mac ones, which are my favourite ones for lasting properties. I have tried determining which is the best but I love them both equally. In terms of size they are practically the same, but while I bought the MAC one in Santorini while the Hondos shpping centre was having a 25% sale, the Benefit one was much more expensive. I would repurchase both, and I usually alternate them. In terms of pores coverage, I have not noticed a difference either.

If you know me a little, you also know I never stop looking for something better. In fact, I look forward to trying out the following primers:
 
the Nars skin smoothing face prep
the Nanoblur optical skin cream
the Hourglass veil mineral primer
the Bourjous Happy Light Matite'
the Dr. Brandt Pores no more
the Benefit Stay Flawless Primer
the Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing face primer
the Face Stockholm Primer for perfect skin

Have you tried any of the above primers? If yes, let me know which you suggest me to try first.
And also don't forget to share which is your favourite primer.

STAY FAB

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Santorini

Unbelievably beautiful views, romantic yet casual atmosphere, relaxed and friendly surroundings, great food, good shopping and the perfect place to unwind and make unique memories. This is how I would describe Santorini in just a sentence. And if the words were not enough I am sure the following images will remove any doubt.

 
 
Best time to go to Santorini is in my opinion May and June. Winds can be very strong so going in Spring and Autumn might not be the best option. Moreover, most hotels are closed during Winter. July and August. AJuly and August can on the other hand too busy, which means lower chances of finding a great restaurant and more crowded pool area and streets.
 
How to go: you can either go by plane; so you would have to take a flight to Athens and then a second one from Athens to Santorini. You might want to take a cruise which stops in Santorini and then take a plane on the way back home.
 
Where to stay: if you are not too fussy like I am, then you might want to check out Angels & Stars Suites and Spa.
 
Where to eat: without doubt at Argo, Archipelagos, Fanari, Yiaourtaki and il Gelato D'oro in Fira, Galini Cafe in Firostefani and Floga in Oia. From my research I would also recommend Penelope's Taverna in Pyrgos, Mousiko Kouti in Megalachori, Red Bycicle Cafe and Skala in Oia,
 
Where to shop: Hondos centre, Imerovigli pharmacy and Fira streets
 
What to do: relax in your hotel, take the time to read, write, draw or do any other hobby you might have; spend quality time with your significant other or with your friends; try local food and wine; browse the streets of Fira both in the morning and at night; walk from Fira to Imerovigli; visit Oia.
 
Have you been to Santorini? If yes, would you return? And if no, would you go?
 
STAY FAB