Thursday, 13 June 2019

Dudhsagar Falls ~Goa




On a recent trip to Goa we wanted so include some day trips. Amongst the many that were on offer I particularly wanted to visit the Atreya spice plantation and Dudhsagar Falls and the Old Goa Churches. 

The best way to do the trip was to book it through an agent as all the transport, entrance tickets etc are all sorted out for you and you can have a stress free day to enjoy the trip.We booked our trip through Trip Raja directly from the UK. The communication from the company from start to finish was excellent, both via email whilst we were in the UK and by phone whilst we were in India.A couple of days before the trip Kedar from Trip Raja messaged us all the final pick up details. 

Our driver picked us up at 6.30 am on the day of the tour for 2 hour journey to Mollem National Park as it was advised to visit the Dudsagar Falls earlier in the day as it is less crowded. It was such an early start but believe me the day is long and this was the best time to get going.



The best time to visit Dudhsagar is just after the monsoon season ends in October when the waterfall is at its peak. We were lucky to have visited at this time. 

The waterfall originates in Karnataka and it is the highest waterfall found in Goa. It is located in the Bhagwan Mahaweer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, in Sanguem Taluka. The name Dudh means milk in Hindi and Sagar means lake, hence the name given Dudhsagar. The waterfall does look like a flow of creamy white milk as it cascades down.


Our driver dove us to the Mollem National Park, where we had a stop for breakfast, our advice to anyone going is to take your own food as we found that there were many street vendors etc but most of the food sold was fried and not to our taste. If you are a European tourist you may find the hygiene standards were also questionable at some of these vendors. I did manage to get a piping hot cup of masala tea though to kick start the day.

Make sure you purchase water and snacks at the kiosks here too, as once you enter the national park in your jeeps there is nowhere to purchase anything. Private cars are not allowed past the entrance of the National Park, all the travel from this point is via Jeeps.

Whilst we had a breakfast and toilet stop and stretched our legs from the long journey, our taxi driver went to organise our life jackets and tickets for the Jeep ride through the National Park to Dudhsagar Falls. All the visitors have to wear life jackets that are provided for safety reasons.




The Jeeps are shared with other tourists and each jeep can carry maximum of seven  passengers. The forest Jeep safari will begin at Mollem, where you will be driven through the forest areas with streams along the way.      


The ride is extremely picturesque and somewhat bumpy through forests and mud tracks but it really is worth the experience. 



It takes approximately forty-five minutes to an hour to reach the water falls.Once you reach the Dudsagar Falls you are able to swim, take photos and enjoy the beautiful views.  




The stopping time at the falls is restricted to one hour and your jeep and driver will wait for you, any lateness of return will incur a fine as there are strict guidelines that the jeeps have to follow as not to overstay that time limit to prevent overcrowding at the site.


There are lots of monkeys around, who are very accustomed to the visitors, however do take caution and don't pet them in case they bite.


The trek to the waterfalls is beautiful, although those persons with disability may find it difficult as in some places the climb is challenging. It is not suitable for people with very young children or people with severe disabilities. There is also no facility for wheelchairs and strollers.



Some of the walking route is through winding narrow paths following the river. It is fairly rocky and in places slippery so great caution needs to be taken. It took about 15 minutes walk to reach the waterfalls. The views at this point are absolutely breathtaking.



There are toilets and changing rooms provided on site but they are very basic. There is no where to store any bags so it is highly recommended that you travel light , carrying basic essentials only.

One hour is enough if you just want to walk and enjoy the views, however if you want to swim it is a little rushed as there is not adequate time to enjoy the swim at leisure, and have time to dry and change too.

It is safe to swim in the waters within the marked areas, however it's advisable to take caution and not venture under the water falls it self. Non swimmers should avoid swimming as the flow of water current can be strong from the cascading waterfalls.





The return journey is via the same jeep which will take you back to the Mollem National Park entrance for your taxi pickup.

Some advice that I would give to anyone doing this trip is:

  • Wear sensible shoes as the climb to the waterfalls is slippery and rocky.(definitely no flip flops)
  • Carry your belongings in a rucksack that you can lock as it leaves you both hands free to steady yourself and you can place your valuables in it too.
  • Wear loose quick drying clothing.
  • Hold onto sunglasses, hats and cameras as there are lots on monkeys who are very fast and you won’t get a chance to retrieve your belonging if they snatch them.(Do not feed the moneys, they will group around you and snatch your belonging)
  • Carry plenty of water and sun cream with you.
  • If you are planning to swim, wear your swim wear under your clothing for easy change as the changing rooms are not really nearby.
  • Whilst swimming secure your belongings and try not to carry too many valuables.
  • Carry towels and a change of clothing. 
  • Last but not the least do not throw your rubbish like water bottles and food wrappers in the national park. Take them home with you.

Once the jeep arrives back at the National park drop off, you return your lifejackets and meet your taxi driver who will be waiting to take you to your next destination; the Atreya Spice Plantation and the Goa Churches.  

The cost of the entire trip is £1799 rupees, this does not include breakfast or camera charges. You can book this trip through TripRaja.

The trip to Dudhsagar Falls is amazing and I would highly recommend it. In my next two posts I will feature the next part of the trip to Atreya Spice Plantation and Goa old churches.

Coming up soon
Atreya Spice Farms
Old Goa Churches


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Printable and Pinnable recipe cards with the Recipes Generator

When I first started this blog I shared a step by step post about adding a recipe card to a blogger blog using recipe wiz.Unfortunately that no longer works and I have now found an alternate option which not only is easy to use but very compatible with blogger and SEO friendly way to make great printable recipe cards. This recipe card is compatible for blogger blogs and is created using recipe generator. You can also use the recipe cards for wordpress, wix and squarespace and the cards also support pinterest rich pins too.

The recipe cards are visually great and make following a recipe easy. They are extremely useful as the cards can be printed to add to your own favorite recipe box. Furthermore the recipe cards are well received by google search engines making them a must use for anyone writing a recipe blog.

Over the last six months the recipe cards have improved tremendously and now there is also an option to add nutritional information to the cards too.

I am going to share step by step instructions on this post on how to create the recipe card and use it on a blogger blog.

How to add Printable recipe card with Recipe Generator.

1. Open browse with https://www.recipesgenerator.com/
2. Create an account and save the log in details.
3. To start making your card login and you will come to this screen:



4. Fill in the details such as recipe name, author name, yield, summary and image url in the boxes of   as prompted in the appropriate boxes. (To get the image url , upload your chosen photo on your blog, once uploaded choose the html option and copy the image url from there and paste it in the recipes generator.)

5.  Scroll down and fill in the Ingredients list and method.




6. Next fill in the prep details. Adding any notes, nutritional info, other options and video are optional extras. You can leave that category empty if you want.

7. Next Click on "preview & save" at the bottom of the page.
8. You will arrive at this screen where you can click on the tabs to make any edits/adjustments.



9.On the same screen you will option to choose your card design, Copy the card code to select or scroll right to choose other designs.







10. Once you are happy with the style selection click on "Copy card code" button and a code will be generated.


10. Log into your blog and create a new blog post. Choose the html option in the post and add the code you copied. Save the blog post.
11. Preview your post and you will see a beautifully created recipe card.
12. Your recipe box will look like this:


I have been using the recipe generator site for a few months now and I am really happy with it. I also like the fact that the site is well maintained with regular updates. Not to mention that the support they provide is one of the best I have ever experienced.  


Other posts you may like in my how to series 
are:

Enabling threading commenting
How to back up your blog


Thursday, 30 May 2019

Sudio Headphones



There are many benefits to listening to music. Research has found that the right side of the brain processes music while the left side processes language, so music therapy can help bridge the gap between the two. Music helps create new neurological pathways and affects the growth of the brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It boosts chemicals in the brain called Dopamine which are an important part of the feeling of pleasure.



I enjoy music whilst I am travelling, driving, cooking, relaxing or meditating. It is an important part of my daily life. Everybody has different tastes in music and it’s not always possible to play your music aloud that’s when these amazing sudio regent 11 wireless headphones come handy.



The headphones are lightweight and stylish with interchangeable caps. They are totally wireless with a 24 hour play time. The collapsible design makes them perfect for travelling. They can be used with an auxiliary cord and via Bluetooth connection and feature passive-noise isolation. The headphones come in white, white with print and also black to suit all tastes.



I travel a lot and these are my perfect companion to keep me relaxed and stress free. The headphones are fully adjustable, padded and so comfy that it makes listening to music a total pleasure.



The headphones retail at £79.00 and you can purchase them online at Sudio. I  also have a special 15%  OFF discount code for all citrusspice readers from Sudio. When placing your order use code  15%OFF CITRUSSPICEUK


** In collaboration with Sudio.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Dining out in Athens


On my recent trip to Athens I had the opportunity to eat at a variety of places. I enjoyed street food, visited many coffee shops and devoured amazing pastries. We also dined at three very different restaurants. I was really excited to try the different cuisines as I am a vegetarian and discovering new dishes to sample that were suitable for my dietary requirements is sometimes challenging when you are abroad but exciting too.




L'Audrion French Restaurant

On our first night in Athens we braved the metro and went to Plaka to sample the best French Cuisine in Athens at the award winning L’Audrion.  
Address: Plateia Filomousou 3 & Farmaki 1, Pláka Athens, Attiki, Greece Call +30 21 0324 1193

The restaurant is open Monday-Sunday from 5pm till 1am and they have live Jazz or French music on Wednesdays from 7:30-10pm. My first impression of the restaurant was the ambience, which was warm and very Mediterranean. On the menu there is large choice of French dishes that my friends voted as being super delicious. However, I did find the vegetarian options were limited but with a special request, the chef soon made me a couple of dishes to accommodate my dietary requirements. I had a salad followed by the risotto with truffle foam and eggs with asparagus. My friends also had a selection of wines that complimented the dishes to accompany each of the courses.

I think for me the best part of the meal was the wonderful array of desserts. They were simply delectable and mouth-watering. I had rice pudding with salted caramel sauce, whilst my friends enjoyed the Ile flottante (soft meringue on crème anglaise, caramel) and lemon fruit tart.





On request, L’Audrion, can organise a special event for you either in the main restaurant or in the cellar for your private event. For the party they will provide a dedicated menu prepared by their chef to pair with French/Greek wines.




 L’Audrion also offers special wine and cheese tasting events in their Cellar. We were given a tour of it and it certainly was impressive. Amongst the many wines from France and Greece there is a choice of Red, white, rose and sparkling wines. They have over 200 unique wines to choose from.





Kiouzin Greek Restaurant

During our stay we also visited Kiouzin, a Greek restaurant that serves Greek food with a twist! 
Address (Likavittou 16, Athens 106 73/Tel: +30 21 0364  7407)

The restaurant is open Monday – Saturday from 12:00 pm - 12.00 am and on Sunday from 13.00 pm - 19.00 pm when there is also live music, so it’s perfect for a family party. The restaurant is tastefully decorated in Greek style with some unusual artefacts such as hanging bicycles and wall hangings and pictures. The restaurant specialises in Greek cuisine with a twist.


I really enjoyed the palate refresher of warm vegetable soup that was served to us as we looked through the menu. There was  lots of dishes to choose from but finally we settled on Mediterranean spaghetti, zucchini balls with whipped yoghurt, triple fried Naxos potatoes with oregano and thyme, fava bean puree with warm Greek breads. My friends also tried the slow roasted lamb shank served on a bed of grains called Trachana a Greek Grain and voted it the best lamb dish they have eaten.


We finished the meal with Chocolate Ice cream, vanilla ice-cream with almonds, rice pudding mousse and an almond tart, all served with a dessert wine from the Island of Limnos.


Each and every dish was delicious and the flavours were all great. The service was excellent as was the ambience. This was a lovely dining experience.



Mironi Greek Restaurant

Another restaurant that we also visited was  Mironi- a traditional Greek restaurant offering local Greek food dining experience.

Address: Alexandrou 7, Athens 104 37/Tel: +30 21 0520 2339 






I absolutely loved the authentic look and décor of Mironi. It felt really Greek in atmosphere. Looking at the menu there was a good variety of Greek dishes to choose from. My friends and I decided to do a meze style dinner so that we could order a few different dishes and share. This way we were able to sample more dishes.


We enjoyed the Mironi salad with the house feta and fresh bread, fried zucchini, tzatziki, and tomatoes stuffed with rice. My friends also tried the goat dish. All the dishes were very authentic but my most favourite was the fried zucchini and I could have eaten the whole plate myself. We also had a house white wine from Alexandria to go with our meal.


We finished the gastronomical feast with a traditional little pastry drizzled with honey and sesame seeds called Galaktoboureko and a glass of Mastika, a pine flavoured liqueur very traditionally served in Greek Restaurants

My trip to Athens was amazing, the choice of vegetarian food was plentiful and I really enjoyed my dining experience at all the restaurants we visited.

You can follow my travels in Athens in a series of blog post that I am sharing. I have written a post about which hotels to stay at in Athens and things to do in Athens so do check them out if you are planning a trip to Athens. You can also read about my friend Heidi's post 48 hours in Athens.  


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Hotels to stay at in Athens.


Athens is the capital of Greece and an ancient city with lots of history and culture. In March I had the opportunity to visit Athens with my blogger friend Heidi Roberts who blogs at kitchentalksandtravels. We often travel together, last year we went to Create. You can read about my Create adventures here.

On this recent trip to Athens, we had the opportunity to stay at three different hotels in different locations. It allowed me to enjoy the central Athens and the Athenian Riviera.We spent three nights at the Kubic, two nights at the Athenian Riviera Hotel and 1 night at the Villa Orion


Kubic Athens Smart Hotel  (Agiou Konstantinou 26, Athens 104 37/Tel: +30 21 1402 1695) is the first smart hotel in Athens. The hotel is conveniently situated near the metro station Omonia making it easy to get into central Athens for sightseeing and dining out.


The Kubic is a very modern hotel, it’s bright and airy with a contemporary décor. The hotel has a reception area, lots of sitting and working area and a fully stocked bar too. Breakfast is served next door in the adjacent building and there is 24/7 room service available.

The bedrooms are standard sized and have a lovely open plan décor. They have ensuite shower only bathrooms, separate toilet and are modern in décor. All the rooms have a flat screen TV, free WI-FI and the smart-room technology. 


Each room has a tablet that controls the room ambience by adjusting the lightening, and you can turn on/off lights and change the colour to suit the mood, control the TV and close and open the blinds using the tablet. I loved this facility as everything was so easy to control at my fingertips. There is a safe in the room as well so that you can restassured all your valueables are safe.


In the room there is also an Alexa type control called “AskMike” which is super handy for finding out local information, weather, get tips and hints and also play music. Its something the hotel is trialing and I must say it was really fun playing with it.

In addition to these smart gadgets the Kubic also has in their bedrooms a smartphone that has WI FI and data. Guests are encouraged to take the phones out and use the free data and make both local and international calls. Having the smart phone was super handy especially when we were out and needed to call for taxis, use maps and navigation and get tourist information. This also meant that all my international calls home were absolutely free!! Now that is a great saving in its self.


The Kubic has lifts to all the floors and you can also reach the roof terrace via a staircase from the top floor. The views from the terrace are really gorgeous and there is a lovely open area to enjoy a drink or two.


Buffet style breakfast is plentiful with a large choice of continental and cooked foods as well as cold meats, fruits, cereals, breads and cakes. Our stay at the Kubic was really comfortable and I would highly recommend it as it’s the perfect location for visiting the sights in Central Athens

We also stayed at the Athenian Riviera Hotel (Danais 7, Vouliagmeni nr Athens 16672/Tel: +30 21 0890 0000) It is situated outside of central Athens near the town of Vouliagmeni and is closer to the beach. The hotel is set in a quiet residential area, only a short taxi ride from Eliniko station and in only a five minute walk away from the beach. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a mini outdoor swimming pool area with sun loungers.


The rooms are well furnished with traditional style decor. There is free WI FI, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar, en suite shower and toilet. Room service, laundry service and a safe is also available. All the room have a terrace/ balcony so that you can sit out on them.
Breakfast is also plentiful with a large choice of continental and cooked foods as well as cold meats, fruits, cereals, breads and cakes. The hotel restaurant also offers lunch and dinner. We did eat in the hotel restaurant on both nights of our stay and the meal was very enjoyable.


Staying at the Athenian Riviera was very relaxing and we enjoyed the serenity and the calmness of the hotel and its surroundings. I would highly recommend it if you want a quiet hotel to say at near to the beach. Getting into Central Athens will take a 20 minute taxi ride or a few stops on the Metro.

Our last night we stayed at the Villa Orion (4 Ioanni Metaxa, Voula 16673/Tel: +30 21 0895 8000). This is a clean and comfortable hotel in a residential area in Voula. The rooms are standard sized with an ensuite shower and toilet. The décor is of traditional style, the beds were comfortable too. The rooms have a TV and free Wi-Fi. There is a small a bar and an outside garden with seating.

There is a complimentary Continental breakfast and Room service is available 24/7.


The tram and bus stops are just 50 yards away from Villa Orion Hotel, allowing guests to reach the International Airport and the Piraeus port within 25 minutes.
The staff are very helpful and pleasant, this made our stay was very comfortable. The room rates are very a reasonable making it an affordable hotel to stay at.

We had a complimentary stay at the Kubic and The Athenian Riveria Hotel, all views and opinions are of my experience of the stay.

You can read more about my Athens travels in the posts below: