Hanging Out in Figuiera da Foz – October 11

We’re having our day in nature — very welcome after over three weeks of mostly being in the cities. After hanging out in the hotel all morning, we drove up to an amazing lookout that gave us a 360 degree view of the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline and the surrounding forests. Looking over the Atlantic Ocean A picnic lunch near the viewpoint reminded us of our trips around France. We drove back to Figuiera through a forest of towering eucalyptus trees that []

Figuiera da Foz – October 10

We really needed a break from the big city this morning and so with light hearts, we packed up, left our Bairro Alto apartment, and took a taxi to the car rental place. Our plan was to drive north to Figuiera da Foz (near Coimbra) for a two-day R & R at a hotel on the beach and a visit with some of Gregg’s artist friends. I had carefully chosen a car rental outlet that was as close as possible to a []

Lisbon – Show Opens October 9

We spent the day having a good wander around the three main downtown neighborhoods – the Bairro Alto (where we are staying), the Baixo (lower town), and the Alfama (where the gallery is located and where we will stay for nine days starting next week). The weather started out glorious and ended up alternating between rain and sun. We bought umbrellas and just got used to putting them up and taking them down every few minutes! Lisbon sparkling in the sunshine is []

Libson – October 8

Today is the day we will visit the Colorida Gallery where hopefully the work has arrived and all is ready for the opening on October 9. Since the gallery didn’t open until 1 pm, we spend the morning getting to know our neighborhood and looking for an Internet place. We found a nice big one on Rossio Square, which is the main hub of downtown Lisbon. The large oval square is lined with lots of cafes and has two large fountains in []

Libson – October 7

The train trip from Tavira to Lisbon was not one I’d like to repeat! It was long, rattlely, a trifle on the smelly side, and just really rather uncomfortable! One does not like to complain about travel conditions, but I think the next time we come to Portugal, we’ll drive! Finally, we shook and shivered our way into Lisbon, found a taxi and after an eternity of narrow cobbled streets twisting up and down over Lisbon’s hills, we found ourselves in front []

Tavira – October 6

Today was our vacation from our vacation! We had a full day to do absolutely nothing and so that’s pretty much what we did! After a brisk walk down the hill to the main building, we ate a wonderful breakfast and then asked the owner to call us a taxi to take us into Tavira. The driver who came gave us his card so we could call him when we wanted to return. The drive down to Tavira took much less time []

Seville – October 5

After an amazing dinner of Argentinian beef (vegetarians don’t look!), I am relaxing in a huge terracotta tiled, wood beam ceilinged cottage up in the wilds of the Algarve in Portugal! Gregg is about to step into a lovely hot bath in the biggest bathtub we’ve seen in Europe. Mind you that’s not saying a whole lot, but at least it’s almost as big as home. We’ve had quite a day! This morning we had our breakfast on the rooftop of the []

Granada to Seville: October 4

We left Granada on the 11:15 train for a three-hour journey to Seville. My cold had advanced to the major stuffed up stage so I wasn’t paying much attention to the miles and miles more of olive trees we passed while listening to assorted Aussie conversations in the seats around us. We’ve run into lots of Aussies on this trip—as always, they are intrepid travelers! We’ve met only a very few Americans and almost no Canadians. The vast majority of travelers are []

Granada and the Alhambra – October 3

We took a taxi up to the Alhambra in the afternoon and retrieved our tickets that I’d booked online many weeks ago. Good system! We had about an hour to kill before our entrance into the main palace and so we wandered around the beautiful gardens. Lots of cypresses shaped like battlements Exquisite gardens Gregg cracks his back at the Alhambra The whole complex is fantastic, but unfortunately very crowded. Lots of walking and cobbled footpaths! But the weather was perfect and []

Granada: October 1 and 2

We spent most of the three-hour train journey from Cordoba to Granada congratulating ourselves for not renting a car! The distances are vast here in Spain and, frankly, the countryside is not terribly interesting unless you really have a thing for olive trees. There are millions of them stretching in neat rows over undulating hills. Beautiful — yes. But variety? Not so much. We stepped off the train refreshed from our complimentary lunch, hopped into a cab and six euros later were []