Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cascais & Sintra: Portugal

There are several day trips you can take from Lisbon but Cascais & Sintra is a perfect one. Cascais is about a 40min train ride along the coast from Cais Do Sodre train station & only a few euros, you literally can't beat that. In Ireland a bottle of water would cost you more. You arrive into this tiny beach town, which was a favourite of King Luis 1. So what does one do in this little town? Well you can wander in & out of the multitude of tiny shops, eat lunch overlooking the ocean, visit the Citadel, lay on the beach, sunbathe, drink some Portuguese coffee or porto in the tiny cobblestone streets.

After a beautiful morning in Cascais, we got on a bus & headed to Sintra for the afternoon. On arrival, there is so much to do that you could literally spend an entire day in Sintra. Take note that it is high in the mountains so it is a lot cooler than Lisbon or Cascais. We wore t-shirts in Cascais & bought hoodies that evening in Sintra. Sintra has a bus system that will take you to all the palaces, castles and museums for E5. They leave every 20min. Sintra town is gorgeous, filled with restaurants, shops and bars, here you have the first palace and a museum. We decided with time ticking to head to Pena Palace. En route we passed Moorish Castle, it looked amazing & had views of Sintra below. Ten minutes up the road was Pena Palace, E15 entry fee & you are free to walk through the entire palace. It is a UNESCO world heritage site & one of the wonders of Portugal with construction starting in the Middle Ages. You can see all the rooms and walk around the grounds. The views are amazing but the wind would cut through you like a knife. They saw on a clear day you can see it all the way from Lisbon. After head back into the town for some shopping & a bite to eat. The small narrow streets invite you to taste more porto & coffee. You can take another 40min train from Sintra back to Rossio station for pennies. The trains have no toilets, make sure you go before.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Daniel & Elaine: Ballyseede Castle Hotel Ireland

Daniel & Elaine got married on a beautiful day, which is a sight for sore eyes in Ireland. This was a big day for all as they have three beautiful children, Molly & Maya who were flower girls & baby Daniel who was also christened right after the wedding ceremony. The house was filled with family & friends as they got ready & neighbours cheered them off in the limo. Their dog Bo, a giant white Samoyed, was dying to make an appearance & luckily after the wedding ceremony, he arrived at the church in time for photos. Daniel looked so dapper in his tweed suit & Elaine was gorgeous in her dress with pink shoes. We stopped in Blennerville Windmill to take photos & take in the beautiful views of our surroundings. The reception took place in Ballyseede Castle Hotel, supposedly one of the most haunted hotels in Ireland but after being there twice, I have yet to see anything (thankfully). Heading to the bathroom downstairs on your own is enough the freak the daylights out of you. Ballyseede grounds are absolutely stunning, with a castle backdrop, you cannot help but to snap photos outside. Inside staircases & tearooms line the hallways. The staff are some of the friendliest & most helpful that I have come across as a wedding photographer. Daniel & Elaine rented some vintage bikes from Kilflynn just to add another element of surprise to their day. Combined with their outfits, I can safely say that it looked like the perfect vintage inspired wedding.

This was a very special wedding for me. I have known Daniel since we were early teens. My uncle who has sadly passed too early from this life is married to Daniel's sister Joan. Every Christmas, Easter, family outing, I would see Daniel & his brother Edward, I believe we even went to the bazaar together as kids with Tommy & Joan. I felt extremely honoured to be shooting their day knowing full well that Tommy was looking down on them & was most definitely part of the party.

Thank you Daniel & Elaine for choosing us to shoot your fabulous day.

Suit: Suit Select// Dress: Aibheil, Adare// Rings: Billy Nolan, Tralee// Flowers & Vintage Bikes: All Seasons, Kilflynn, Kerry// Hair: Caitriona Rohan, Tralee// Make-up: Aine McMahon, Tralee// Watch: Family Heirloom// Second Shooter//: Farah Khan