Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog is Six Months Old
Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog just turned 6 months old. We just wanted to thank everyone for all of your continued support!
This last week has seen our wee little website, Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog, turn a mighty six months old. It is amazing because some days it only feels like yesterday that we started it, while others days it feels like it has been going forever.
We try not to deviate too much away from our adventure travel lives and travel tips on this blog but we thought that now would be a good time to reflect back. And we promise not to do another one until it is our one year anniversary!
If you don’t know much about us already then it might be a good idea to head over to our “about us page” to learn a little bit more. For example, did you know that even though our blog is only six months old we have actually been travelling for over 2 and a half years?
So when did we decide to start this adventure travel blog?
As we finished working for 10 months in Jasper high in the Canadian Rockies we decided to hit the road. For 8 weeks we drove over 18,000 km across Canada and then back through USA. It was pure freedom and joy. Being able to wake up each morning and decide to do whatever we wanted or go wherever we wanted was a dream.
On that trip I wanted to keep a record of all of our adventures. To be honest I actually really wanted to be super nerdy and record how many km’s we drove each day and how much we spent. Our daily journal slowly evolved once we arrived in Edinburgh I decided it was time to write it all up online.
One thing led to another and all of a sudden Four Jandals as you know it now was born.
Over before it began?
Let me be the first to admit that this blogging business has not been an easy ride. After just two months of writing on the blog I wrote a post about my OBD or “Obsessive Bloggers Disorder”. I was struggling to find motivation to keep going. The number of readers to be brutally honest was terrible.
At the time, even though a handful of friends had told me that they loved reading about our adventure travels, we were not seeing any progress. I am pretty sure my Mum was my number one fan (which she still is and I am always stoked about anyway). We were working our butts off trying to make this in to some sort of enjoyable hobby. The only problem was we were destroying ourselves in the progress.
I was so close to throwing it all away. However, on that post a few other bloggers commented telling us to keep at it and offering words of wisdom. Those bloggers were Dave and Deb from The Planet D, Jerick from 25 Travels, Lucy from On the Luce, Neil from Backpacks and Bunkbeds and Duane and Kim from Wright 2 Travel. That made all the difference and has kept us going. So thank you so much to all of them!
From there our blog continued to grow with a great community of several thousand followers. And even though I still have OBD I am now a lot more comfortable with the direction our blog is headed.
What inspires us?
Adventures and travel of course! Travelling the world is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Meeting new people, experiencing cultures and tasting new foods and beers inspires us to continue travelling.
But did you know that most of the inspiration for this adventure travel blog comes from…
Every single person that reads one of our posts, clicks like on our Facebook page or retweets our messages on twitter inspires us to continue. In fact why don’t you click on the link for Facebook above and join us in the community. So many extra things going on there than on this blog 🙂
We love all the comments and messages of support. Not too mention all of the questions and emails we receive on a regular basis asking for advice or providing us with more inspiration to continue travelling.
So please keep them coming and keep sharing our stuff. We cannot thank you enough!
What does the future holds for Four Jandals?
Over the last 2 and a half years our travels have dramatically changed our lives. And the next six months is going to be just as life changing.
One of the ways that we have been able to travel for so long is because we work and slow travel at the same time. In Canada we worked as ski bums and then white water rafting guides.
And even though this adventure travel blog is a full-time job in itself, we both still work full-time in office cubicles here in Edinburgh! We are hoping that this is going to change over the next couple of months as we look into location independent work online.
We have so many adventure travel plans pencilled in over the next six months with Turkey in April, Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina in Spain and a journey through Hungary. Europe has so much to offer every traveller that we don’t want to leave.
Whatever we decide to do, you can be assured of one thing.
We will continue to bring you all of our stories and adventures right here!
What we want to ultimately achieve is to establish ourselves as one of the top adventure travel blogs in the world. A huge ask but as you can see we NEVER give up. We used to have this picture on our family home growing up and it has always stuck with me.
So you may see a shift in writing more about our adventure travels including mountain biking, surfing, climbing, diving, hiking and white water rafting to name a few.
Don’t worry, we will continue to bring you all of our current travels and travel tips while on the road. And we want to continue hearing from you.
Let us know now exactly what you want to see on this blog so then we can meet all your needs!
Thanks again for all your support and join us as we raise a glass to us this weekend.
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Portugal is a hive of culture, history, and architecture and is home to fifteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you plan a holiday to Portugal to discover some of its glorious histories, look through our top five Portuguese historical landmarks.
This beautiful monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça is a prime example of early Gothic architecture. The sanctuary is home to the ornate tombs of Ines de Castro and King Pedro I. There is a tragic love story associated with the burials. Ines de Castro was assassinated in 1355, and the king ordered his tomb to be placed next to hers so that he could face the woman he loved on the day of resurrection. They are considered to be the most beautiful medieval tombs in Portugal. There are also living quarters, including a refectory, dormitory, kitchen, and cloisters that have been inhabited by monks for 800 years.
Convent of Christ
The Convent of Christ is a beautiful roman catholic building located in Tomar. It was initially a stronghold for the Order of the Knights Templar. The building houses impressive art and examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance architecture. The walls inside are exquisitely decorated with paintings, carved stone sculptures, and a window depicting symbols and motifs. This site has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
Évora is a Portuguese city home to several historical sights, some over two thousand years old. The Cathedral of Évora is considered one of Portugal’s most important gothic monuments. Moorish palaces and courtyards, a renaissance fountain built-in 1559, and a one-of-a-kind Roman temple have become the city’s most famous landmarks. It is not surprising that Évorahas is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Belém Tower was built to be a fortress in 1515 to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. The tower is constructed from lioz limestone that is local to Lisbon. It is considered one of the prominent examples of the late gothic Manueline style. There is a drawbridge, spaces for cannons, turrets, and arches that have been decorated with images of animals, plants, and royal coats of arms. Inside there are statues, pillars, and gargoyle facets. UNESCO has listed the tower as a World Heritage monument.
Jerónimos Monastery is considered one of the most beautiful monasteries in Portugal and Europe. Located in Lisbon, the monastery has various entrances that have been decorated with carved figures, gables, and pinnacles. There is a 16th Century Portuguese sculpture of Our Lady of Belém in the central doorway, a figure of Prince Henry the Navigator in the center of the monastery, and a statue of King Manuel I. The monastery has been classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
We hope this has inspired you to start planning your trip to Portugal today.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
Find out why Sand boarding, Diving and Safaris through the desert are included in the Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar.
Qatar is a country of reinvention. Shimmering towerblocks rise against a desert horizon, and maze-like souks thrive next to 21st-century shopping palaces. It’s also one of the more accessible countries of the Arab Gulf, with a welcoming reputation towards visitors and plenty of attractions to keep them coming. Some of the best holiday activities you’ll find in Qatar are the adventurous kind. And these are the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
The Gulf Sea is famed for its crystal waters and the exuberant marine life which lurks just beneath the surface. Messaid is a good jumping-off point where you’ll find angelfish and barracuda, while those intrigued by underwater wrecks will love the Hall Island dive site at Al-Sharqi, where bright clownfish circle the abandoned boat.
Many of the sports here have been adapted from colder climates, so instead of skiing down a mountain piste, try Khor Al Adaid beach to glide down the impressive dunes on a sand-board. Alternatively, race your blo-kart along the sands of Al Wakrah, south of capital Doha, to experience the thrill of wind-sailing on dry land.
The ancient carvings of Al Jassasiya lie to the north near Al Shamal, amid a truly remote landscape of village ruins and limestone. Hire a 4×4 of your own and make the journey to see the 900 petroglyphs which riddle the rocks here. The carvings denote flowers, animals, fleets of shows, or traditional Arab boats, and to this day, their origins remain a mystery.
When the time comes for a more relaxed excursion, you can do no better than a sunset cruise onboard a wooden dhow as you drift past the super-modern Doha seafront of Al-Corniche and the old harbor at Al Khor. If you’re still hankering after some adventure, rent a smaller vessel and go for a fishing trip the following day.
Much of the inland desert in Qatar remains inaccessible on foot, but fortunately, that’s where a 4×4 comes in very handy for a safari trip you won’t easily forget. There are numerous options available from Doha, including day-long excursions, bumping, and rolling to the inland sea at Khor Al Adaid. Or make the trip at dusk for a spot of star-gazing before you settle in Bedouin-style tents for the night.
Most activities can be arranged via a tour company. Although cash has been the predominant payment method in Qatar, this is beginning to change, which is good news for tourists since HSBC offers protection against loss or theft. If you’re planning on taking part in several activities, it can be handy to have some plastic on you to avoid expensive traveler’s cheques, plus credit cards from HSBC and other familiar providers also enable easy access to money at the ATMs. However, it’s wise to exercise caution, using only official bank machines here and sticking with local currency at the market and in smaller shops.
There’s no doubt that Qatar offers some world-class cultural attractions beyond the more energetic highlights, and while you’re in the country, set aside some time for the historic Al Zubarah fort or browse the recreated 19th-century Souk-Waqif, in Doha.
This country has been undervalued in the past but is now coming to the world’s attention. With its desert adventures, ancient sites, and thriving culture, this attention is thoroughly deserved.
This is a travel feature by world traveler, Jose Capelo. He loves exploring the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar and has spent many trips exploring the wild deserts of Qatar.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
Bondi is well known for sun, surf, and fun, but what can you do if you find yourself there in the colder months from June to August? Here are a few suggestions for things to do in Sydney’s most popular suburb when the temperature drops.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
1. Go on an art tour
If the weather doesn’t allow for the typical outdoorsy activities Bondi is known for, a tour of some of its first-rate art galleries can be a great way to spend an afternoon. Don’t miss the Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, dedicated to promoting Indigenous art, and the Bondi Art Lounge, where you can view works from local artists or even take a beginner class and create a masterpiece of your own.
2. Take a hike
In crisp cool temperatures, a hike along the coastal cliffs with a view of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean below can’t be beaten. One of the most popular hikes is the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which is 6 km and takes you through Sydney’s eastern suburbs and past plenty of cafes, restaurants, and kiosks where you can stop to rest and take in the sights.
3. Head to Bondi Icebergs for some winter swimming
Even during winter, swimming is not entirely out of the question in Bondi. The Oceanside pool at Bondi Icebergs Club is open year-round, and the winter swims every Sunday from May to September have become a time-honored tradition. Although club members must complete at least three winter swims a year to retain their lofty membership title, non-members who are up for the challenge can pay a one-time fee to use the pool and sauna.
4. Strap on your skates and visit the only beachside skating rink in Australia
If winter swimming is a step too far for you, why not skate instead? Bondi has Australia’s only beachside ice rink, and the ocean view in the background makes for a striking contrast. The ice rink is open from June 27 to July 13, and aside from hosting skating sessions that are open to the public, it also features spectacular ice shows from Stars On Ice.
5. Settle in for brunch at one of Bondi’s decadent cafes
Winter wouldn’t be the same without a few indulgences, and after all your skating and hiking, you’ve probably earned a hearty brunch anyway. Fortunately, Bondi is full of great brunch options, from Trio Café with delicacies like poached eggs with truffle oil and char-grilled halloumi; to the rustic Brown Sugar, where you can indulge in classic comfort food like buttermilk pancakes and English muffins with bacon.
6. Join a cooking class, dodge ball game, or salsa lesson
During the winter, it may seem like most people have gone off to hibernate, but if you know where to look, you can still find plenty of social things to do. Start by checking out the Bondi community page on Gumtree. You can find like-minded individuals to explore the area with or even join a group for fun activities like hiking, biking, or cooking.
7. Score some vintage fashion at Bondi Markets
The Bondi Markets, held every Sunday on Bondi Beach, are known in Sydney for being the best place to shop for vintage clothing and accessories and hip new fashions from emerging designers. Aside from style, you can also shop for art, furniture, flowers, books, local produce, and delicious street eats. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great place to do some people-watching and see the Bondi locals in their element.
8. Stop by the Bondi Pavilion
The Bondi Pavilion is one of the suburb’s oldest landmarks dating back to 1928 when it first opened, featuring grand dining rooms, a lounge, a ballroom, and the Turkish and Hot Sea Water Baths. Today, it’s used as an art and cultural center and is home to a theatre group, recording studio, and art gallery. There’s always something going on here, from pottery classes to festivals to open-air cinemas, so check it out if you have a chance.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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