Day Trip to Sagunto

I thought the scenic photos were beautiful but when I got to the food porn it was like the heavens opened and the angels sang! 😜 You outdid yourself once again, Jill!

Julia Eats

The Castle of Sagunto—It draws our eyes up the hillside above the small city of Sagunto every time we take the train between Valencia and Barcelona. We go by in a few seconds, but that’s long enough to inspire wonder in us passengers.

Castle overlooking Sagunto Spain Valencia Sagunto Castle

Sagunto is an easy day trip from Valencia. It is only about 35 minutes by train and local trains leave from the Estació del Nord train station every half hour or so (Renfe Cercanías Valencia C5, C6 lines). With American friends by our side, we headed to the station, bought tickets at one of the ticket machines, and caught an early morning train to Sagunto.

Sagunto was an important city in ancient history. The Iberians settled the area in 6th century BC. Hannibal’s siege of the city in 219 BC started the Second Punic War, a battle between Carthage and Rome for control…

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Ephesus, Turkey

An amazing place for its history alone, but Turkey has so much more to offer! Did you know that Turkey is arguably the location of the oldest temple in the world? It has been dated to the dawn of human settlements 7,000 BEFORE Stonehenge! I want to get back and continue exploring sooner rather than later!

The Yetimarslan’s

The Ancient Greek city of Ephesus was established In 10 BC. Androclos, the son of the Athens-Kodros king, was searching for a location to establish a site. Whom at the time was running from the Dor invasion in Greece. It was predicted by an Apollon oracle that a fish and a boar would show the location of the new settlement. Days later while frying, a fish fell down from the pan, irritating a hiding boar behind the bushes. The feared boar escaped immediately. Androclos followed the boar and established the city of Ephesus.

In 190 BC, the Romans gained control of Ephesus, where the city flourished. In 1-4 AD Ephesus reached its golden years and was know for its wealth and luxury. The population increased to 225,000. The Cayester river became a great trade port, linking Ephesus to the rest of the world.

The prestige of Ephesus grew with the…

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Yum! That couscous recipe looks similar to one of my favs…with roasted potatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms over quinoa.



For those traveling on a budget, or even those who aren’t but are longing for a hearty homemade meal, these six recipes are inexpensive, easy to make and a reward for your taste buds!

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#89: Imagine You Only Have 10 Years to Live … — Afford Anything Podcast

One of my favorite podcast series of all-time! Paula's big-picture/lifestyle approach and positive energy is truly inspiring. Check out all her awesome resources at Afford Anything. Imagine you’re financially secure. You have enough money to support your family and pursue your dreams. You enjoy fulfilling work with a reasonable schedule. What would you do with both …

Or…what I wish I brought to Spain the first time

Stocking up on feminine supplies and dual-converter flat irons because Emily said so!

This is the milk

The first time I was moving to Spain as a language assistant, my mom oversaw most of my packing. The second and third time are none of your business. JKJK, obvi she was there to put her two cents in as well, mostly to ask if I had enough of all the things I didn’t know I needed the first time I left, or maybe to look for my passport. That’s a story for another day.

In any case, although I really though I was packing pretty much my entire life up with me when I left, there were quite a few things I could have really used more, or any of, when I went abroad.

Note: this post includes affiliate links, but if you use them, you’ll be a happy camper in Spain or wherever else abroad, and I’ll make like 3 cents off your purchase. Win-win.

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I spent…

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Bioparc Valencia: A little piece of Africa in Spain

Sounds wonderful, Jill. It really is a very different experience than what you get in most zoos. I don’t want to brag, but it sounds a lot like our world famous San Diego Zoo and ZoofariPark which we used to enjoy more frequently when the kids were little. In the later years, when the food offerings at the in-park cafes finally expanded to include real, chemical-free food (what a concept, right?)… we would even enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace amongst the elephant herd.

Julia Eats

The city of Valencia holds some unexpected surprises. We recently discovered the Bioparc Valencia, a unique 25-acre zoo located at the western end of the Turia Garden in the Parque de Cabecera. With friends visiting from the U.S., we thought the zoo would be a nice way to spend the morning. To our delight, this was not like any zoo that we had ever visited before.

Giraffe Bioparc Valencia Zoo Immersion Welcome to Zoo Immersion at the Bioparc!

The Bioparc concept of zoo-immersion puts us humans right in with the animals. Visitors are separated from the animals by natural barricades of stone, water features, and some nearly invisible wires and plexiglass.

Flamingos Bioparc Valencia Zoo Spain Flock of Flamingos in Madagascar Habitat

You feel as if you are walking amongst the animals in their natural environment. In some cases, you really are. Lemurs lounge in the trees above you, so lets hope they are as docile as they seem!

Lemurs in Madagascar trees Bioparc Valencia Lemurs…

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Cambodian orphanages….

A warning against supporting Cambodian orphanages…


Over the past few weeks it seems like the subject of Cambodian orphanages has blown up…well it has if you follow certain organisations on Facebook or watched 60 Minutes. So I’ve been having lots of great conversations about this, which I think is awesome because there are some horrific truths about Cambodian organisations. A lot of people have asked my opinion, especially seeing as I lived and worked in a residential care centre last year and will continue to supporting the kids there.

Tar Winkler, who you may have seen on 60 minutes has done so many amazing things in the Cambodian province of Battambang (I just love saying that name!!) and I have followed her work for a long time now. Last year my parents and I visited her training restaurant, mum and I went to listen to her talk a couple of weeks ago and I have her…

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Thun and Bern: Beautiful Old Swiss Cities

An amazingly beautiful country. It is clear that the Swiss take great pride in their country, their cities, their villages, their culture. Great memories of mountain vistas, cool, crisp air, village dairy cows and awaking to the distant sound of cowbells! Bliss.

Amanda Afield

The second day in Grindelwald was forecast to be wet, so it wasn’t worth spending 60 Swiss Franks (about 60 USD) to take us up to the top of the Grindelwald First lift, which had been our original plan.  Instead, we decided to slow down our trip to Zurich with a few scenic stops in towns and cities.  Thun was our first stop, a beautiful old city on a river. We watched surfers on the river, and took plenty of photos of the covered bridges and pretty buildings. It was Sunday, so most shops were closed, but they looked worth a wander if they’d been open. Lunch was enjoyed in an Italian restaurant along the river…which only served tap water if you also got wine and didn’t allow for the sharing of pizza.  Sort of annoying, but the food was tasty.

Then it was on to Bern. Bern is a…

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Looks like an awesome spot for a get-away!

This is the milk

During your time in Galicia, if you are lucky enough to get nice weather, going to the Islas Cies is an essential stop. These islands are a protected marine-terrestrial park, and the definition of unspoiled paradise. (Hey, there’s a reason why the Romans called it the islands of the gods.) As you may have heard, The Guardian even named it the best beach in the world a few years back. So, here is everything you need to know as you set off for a day in paradiso!


Yeah, my elbows are double jointed.

1. Book ahead

These islands are part of a protected wildlife park and there are only so many ferry tickets sold each day. We went with the company Mar de Ons, who also has ferries traveling to other nearby islands that you could perhaps venture to later in the day. They recommend booking at…

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