Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Spellbound. This is how I feel after a most beautiful three days in Brazil on this amazing #CreativElenaRTW round the world trip of mine. Dreams turn reality turn dreams. The view from my luxurious apartment on the 10th floor of the Majestic Palace Hotel in Florianópolis. The tender meat of the oysters that Florianópolis is so well-known for. The tears that I keep crying over the many hours spent with local ladies Roze, Sonia & Syomara – tears of joy & laughter, that is!! The sweet touch upon the soul, when everything else just starts making sense, when you find yourself surrounded by beautiful people, when you can simply be, relax & enjoy life. When everything just falls into place. Magnificent.
The true magic of Florianópolis is, however, once more made up and lived by its people. I still have to smile over my own words to the team of Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo prior to travelling here: “After all these intensive, creative travel days, I guess I shall just relax at the beach in Florianópolis for a while …” But CreativElena would not be CreativElena if it had not been for some creative connections once more – such as the one with my dear fellow blogger Rita Branco, of “O Porto Encanta“! Rita originally hails from Florianópolis and now lives in Porto, having been abducted & seduced by the charm of this very beautiful city in the north of Portugal. On the occasion of my visit to “her” city, she has put all her time & efforts into connecting me with dear local friends Roze, Sonia & Syomara prior to my visit here. Who, in turn, are very much connected to all things Florianópolis and happily take me under their (creative culinary) wings. After all, Florianópolis prides itself on being a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy! This international award is what we have come to enjoy in the form of several great restaurant tips and a wonderful foodie experience.
I have truly, madly, deeply gorged myself on Floripa food. Seriously. I am happy to admit it! Florianópolis is (and eats) just sooo good. I think I will continue dreaming about this fresh feast of oysters for much longer. I just love oysters, and prefer them being served “all natural”, with just a hint of lemon juice and spicy little peppers such as the ones served by the Restaurant Rancho Açoriano. Here, Roze and I have our meet & greet with local owner Adoril, who not only “rules” over the restaurant as well as the seaside lounge terrace (!), but also calls hundreds and hundreds of oysters his own – “fazendas” as the oyster farms are called here. A true paradise for all (sea) food lover fans!
Barracuda Grill restaurant, located right by the lagoon in the centre of the “Island of Enchantment” that is Florianópolis, also deserves your attention as one of the top places for excellent fish & seafood. Like at Rancho Açoriano, we are served oven-baked oysters bathed in a type of béchamel sauce and baked crispy with spicy cheese. Divine. Seriously, divine! Among the many main courses & fish specialities, we choose a typical Bacalhao pan meal whose generous serving of codfish, potatoes, onions & olives I am already familiar with thanks to my time in Porto. Dig this !!!
Whizzing around like a whirlwind in her brand new Nissan, Roze dashes all over the “Ilha da Magia” with me, the Island of Enchantment, “so that you get a really good idea of why and how much we love Floripa!”, she says. Quite literally, sparing no beautiful beach or cute little city district on the way: Jurerê, Mole, Pântano do Sul, you name it. Roze really is, a true force of nature, and her energy remains unparalleled. She has this naturally contagious laughter that just forces you to laugh all the time yourself – together, we end up cracking up all the time! Happily, she literally “takes me by the hand” and takes great delight (and care) in showing me “her Florianópolis”.
Angelo, the managing director of the luxurious Majestic Palace hotel, receives me with a bright grin and a happy “abraço”: “Bem-vinda Elena – seja sempre bem-vinda em Floripa!” Each and every one of the Brazilians I meet is like this. Just beautiful. “Então, como você gosta do Brasil? E lindo né?” – “Bem legal” – very cool, is my answer beaming back at Angelo while enjoying the fact that by now, I am able to maintain just about any conversation in fluent Portuguese. Angelo has been responsible for managing the Majestic Palace hotel for the past ten years now, offering over 200 rooms, several conference facilities, a rooftop bar & restaurant as well as an infinity pool for visitors of the city of Florianópolis. I truly enjoy my days and moments of luxury here!
Disclaimer: Thank you all partners & friends for inviting me on this stay in Florianópolis. All opinions are my own.