J. C. and Manoli Petty

Zpet

J. C. and Manoli Petty

Happily, and luckily, married to a cute, younger spanish-born lady, now an American citizen. Computer Programmer by day and carpenter wannabe by night.




Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 3rd 2014

My brother-in-law Raphael came to Antonio's house around 4:30am to take us to the airport in Jerez. I'd noticed from our Orbitz flight schedule that they still hadn't updated our homeward flights and that none of them actually matched in flight numbers or times, so we were a bit concerned. When we reached the airport, they had no problems issuing tickets for all but the final leg from Charlotte to Pensacola, so we started feeling a bit less worried. Jerez airport was no problem navigating since it was so small, and we caught our flight to Madrid on time with no problems. Unlike Jerez airport, Madrid turned out to be the biggest nightmare we've ever had in all the airports we've ever been through. Our plane arrived at Terminal 4, which from my previous experience was ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Chipiona June 3rd 2014

We spent the next 5 days mostly visiting relatives and strolling around town. It was getting close to the major influx of vacationers from Seville and other towns wanting to spend some time on Chipiona's beaches. Already, weekends doubled the size of the town with folks spending the weekend here. Besides the visits to my wife's aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins, we also spend one day in Las Cabezas visiting Consuelo's (my brother-in-law's wife) parents there. Over time, they have used funds from their farm to build a large, very beautiful house with a garage big enough for 4 full-sized buses. Another day was spent in Jerez de la Frontera visiting Consuelo's sister and spendiing a good bit of time sightseeing and then having a very decent lunch. Friday, the night before we left Chipiona, my ... read more
Consuelo's Sister, Consuelo, Antonio, and Manoli having some moscatel
Family farm with 3 names of owners, my wife and her brothers
Tito (Uncle) Raphael at his home

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Chipiona May 24th 2014

WE WOKE UP FAIRLY EARLY AT 7AM FOR OUR BUS TRIP TO CHIPIONA AT 10AM, AND WERE APPARENTLY THE ONLY ONES UP IN THE WHOLE PLACE. AFTER PACKING EVERYTHING UP, IN THE BATHROOM SO WE WOULDN'T DISTURB OUR FELLOW HOSTELERS, WE LEFT THE HOSTEL IN SEARCH OF THE BUS STOP FOR NUMBER 33 TO THE MAIN BUS STATION. I GOT US A LITTLE LOST, BUT WE FINALLY ARRIVED AT THE BUS STOP AND GRABBED THE NEXT BUS. THE BUS WAS FAIRLY EMPTY AND NEVER DID FILL UP MUCH. AT THE STATION, WE QUICKLY LOCATED THE CAFETERIA FOR OUR MORNING COFFEES, AND SAT THERE UNTIL AROUND 9:20 BEFORE WE MOVED TO THE WAITING ROOM. THE ALSA BUS BOARDED AND LEFT ON TIME FOR THE FIRST LEG OF OUR TRIP, FROM GRANADA TO SEVILLE'S ESTACION DEL PRADO. APPARENTLY ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada May 23rd 2014

AFTER A PRETTY GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP, CONSIDERING HOW TIRED WE WERE, WE DIDN'T WAKE UP UNTIL A LITTLE AFTER 8AM, BUT WE WERE STILL THE FIRST ONES UP IN OUR ROOM, OUT OF SIX TRAVELERS. SOME QUICK ABLUTIONS, AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO THE ALHAMBRA (THE H IS SILENT) TO GET OUR ACTUAL TICKETS AND MEET UP WITH THE GUIDE BY 10AM. ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE QUITE A WAYS ON THE MAP, IT REALLY WASN'T ALL THAT FAR, JUST A BIT STEEP NEAR THE END. WE WALKED ALONG THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE COMPLEX, PASS THE TICKET WINDOW/ENTRANCE, AND LOCATED THE SIGN BY THE PARKING LOT FOR GANAVISION, THE AGENCY THAT ISSUED OUR TICKETS. THE LADY THERE EXPLAINED THAT OUR GROUP WOULD LEAVE FROM PARKING AREA 1 AT 10:15, GIVE US TOUR STICKERS TO ... read more
NEAT HEDGE OPENING IN THE ALHAMBRA COMPLEX
FOUNTAIN AND SECTION OF GARDENS
CONCERT STAGE IN ALHAMBRA

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada May 22nd 2014

WE WOKE UP AROUND 6AM SO WE'D LEAVE BY 7AM, TO REACH LISBON BY 11AM TO RETURN OUR RENTAL CAR. THE ONLY PROBLEM WE HAD GETTING TO LISBON WAS THE MAJOR TRAFFIC JAM NEAR THE END. IT TOOK LIKE 30 MINUTES TO TRAVEL 3 MILES! WE LOCATED THE CORRECT EXIT FROM MY DIRECTIONS, BUT SINCE THEY WERE FOR THE AIRPORT AND WE WERE GOING TO THE BUS STATION, WE PROMPTLY GOT LOST... FOR OVER AN HOUR! WE FINALLY SORT OF GAVE UP AND STOPPED A TAXI. HE TOLD US HE'D LEAD US THERE FOR THE PRICE OF A FAIR, 7 EUROS. BY THAT POINT IT SOUNDED LIKE A STEAL. WE ALSO PROBABLY USED UP A BIT OF THE FULL TANK OF GAS WE'D ENSURED WHEN WE EXITED THE HIGHWAY, BUT THE AVIS AGENT DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING. ... read more
COD FOR SALE IN SUPERMARKET
OUR ROOM IN EL GRANADO HOSTEL
ONE LOUNGE AREA IN THE HOSTEL

Europe » Portugal » Central » Monsanto May 20th 2014

WE GOT UP THIS MORNING NOT SURE WHERE WE WERE GOING TO GO. MANOLI WANTED TO HANG AROUND TOWN MOSTLY, ESPECIALLY WITH THE HIGH CHANCE OF RAIN. WE DECIDED WE NEEDED GAS AND MONEY ANYWAYS, AND NEITHER WERE AVAILABLE IN MONSANTO OR ALL THAT CLOSE. WE ASKED THE TOURIST LADY AND SHE SAID THE NEAREST PLACE FOR BOTH WAS IN PENHA GARCIA, A LARGER TOWN DOWN THE 'HILL' FROM MONSANTO AND ABOUT ABOUT 20 KMs ON THE MAIN ROAD. ALTHOUGH I HADN'T MADE A WEB PAGE FOR IT, I DID REMEMBER THERE BEING SOME FOSSIL STUFF THERE, AND AFTER LOOKING ON THE INTERNET, REALIZED THAT ALSO HAD A SMALL CASTLE. THIS WILL MAKE OUR 10TH CASTLE SO FAR. WE WALKED DOWN TO OUR CAR AND HEADED DOWN THE HILL, PASSING THE LITTLE TOWN OF RELVA AT ... read more
THE WW2 TANK SITTING BELOW THE PARKING AREA IN PENHA GARCIA
THE COMMUNITY OVEN AND FOUNTAIN
STARTING OUR PR3 TRAIL AROUND PENHA GARCIA

Europe » Portugal » Central » Monsanto May 19th 2014

HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY TO US! TODAY WE PLAN ON HIKING DOWN TO AN INTERESTING TOWN CALLED IDANHA-A-VELHA. THE TRAIL IS SUPPOSEDLY ONLY 7 KILOMETERS. AROUND 8AM, WE WENT TO THE TAVERN FOR OUR INCLUDED BREAKFAST. WE WERE GIVEN COFFEE, JUICE, TOAST WITH AT LEAST 4 KINDS OF JAMS OR SPREADS, HAM, AND CHEESE. ALTOGETHER TASTY AND HARDY. AFTER BREAKFAST, WE STARTED OUR HIKE TO IDANHA-A-VELHA. I DIDN'T HAVE A MAP, BUT SUPPOSEDLY YOU CAN FOLLOW TRAIL MARKINGS AND SIGNS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM. WHERE I THOUGHT THE TRAIL STARTED, AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ROAD ENTERING MONSANTO, TURNED OUT TO BE THE START OF A TRAIL TO SORTELHA, 73.1 KMS AWAY! WE ASKED A NICE LADY AT THE BUILDING THERE AND SHE SAID SURE, JUST FOLLOW THE TRAIL TO THE RIGHT INSTEAD OF THE LEFT. AFTER A ... read more
NEAT PATH IN MONSANTO
THE HOLY GHOST ARCH IN MONSANTO
J.C. STARTING OUR LOONG HIKE TO IDANHA-A-VELHA

Europe » Portugal » Central » Monsanto May 18th 2014

WE LEFT VILA NOVA DA FOZ COA SOON AFTER BREAKFAST, AND JUST BEFORE A GROUP OF BIKERS, AND HEADED TOWARDS MONSANTO. EVEN THE MAIN HIGHWAYS IN THIS REGION GOES UP AND DOWN, A LOT! WE STOPPED AT BELMONTE, SINCE IT WAS ALONG THE WAY, AND ALSO HAD ITS OWN CASTLE, PLUS ONE OF THE LARGEST JEWISH COMMUNITIES FROM NEAR MEDIEVAL TIMES. WE CLIMBED A LITTLE UP INTO TOWN AND FOUND A PARKING SPOT PRETTY CLOSE TO THE CASTLE, ALTHOUGH STILL BELOW IT A BIT. WE WOUND OUR WAY UP TO IT AND ENTERED THE MAIN PORTAL TO DISCOVER TWO THINGS. FIRST OF ALL, THERE WAS NO ENTRY FEE, AND SECONDLY, APPARENTLY THEY WERE SETTING UP FOR A FESTIVAL, POSSIBLY ANOTHER MEDIEVAL ONE. UNFORTUNATELY, THEY WERE JUST STARTING TO SET UP, SO THE FESTIVAL WAS EITHER GOING ... read more
OVERALL VIEW OF BELMONTE CASTLE
MANUELINE WINDOW OF CASTLE
ENTRY WAY TO CASTLE WITH ARTIFACTS

Europe » Portugal » Guarda May 17th 2014

ANOTHER STANDARD BREAKFAST AND WE WERE OFF TO TRANCOSO, THE FIRST AND PROBABLY MAJOR VISIT FOR THE DAY. I'D HEARD TRANCOSO HAD THE MOST TO SEE, SO WE DECIDED TO HEAD THERE FIRST, THEN SEE HOW MUCH OF THE DAY WAS LEFT AFTERWARDS. TRANCOSO IS LESS THAN 30 MILES SOUTH OF VILA NOVA DO FOZ COA, MOST OF IT ON A MAJOR HIGHWAY, IP2. WE ARRIVED THERE AROUND 10AM AND WERE IMMEDIATELY IMPRESSED BY THE WALLED HISTORIC SECTION AND ITS CASTLE. OUTSIDE THE WALLS WAS A MUCH BIGGER AND MORE MODERN TOWN. ALMOST ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MEDIEVAL WALLS STILL STAND, WITH A NUMBER OF GUARD TOWERS AROUND THE PERIMETER. THE WALLS CONTAIN AT LEAST 4 OR 5 GATES AND ONE TINY WALK-THRU WE FOUND. IN THE BACK SECTION OF THE WALLED TOWN ARE THE REMNANTS ... read more
THE IGREJA MATRIZ AND THE TOWN PILLORY
VIEW ALONG THE EASTERN (?) WALLS OF THE TOWN
TYPICAL STREET WITH PLANTS AND LAZY DOG

Europe » Portugal » Northern May 16th 2014

WE ATE THE STANDARD BREAKFAST, THEN GRABBED OUR GEAR AND DROVE TO THE COA MUSEUM FOR OUR 4-WHEEL TOUR. THE BUILDING IS WELL OUT OF TOWN, LIKE 2 KILOMETERS AND VERY STRANGE IN DESIGN. THEY DID HAVE A CAFE/RESTAURANT, BUT IT WAS EMPTY IN THE MORNING AND WE'D JUST HAD COFFEE, SO WE CHECKED IN FOR OUR TOUR. WE ENDED UP GETTING A PRIVATE TOUR OF JUST MANOLI AND I, WITH AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING FEMALE GUIDE. SHE DROVE OUT OF TOWN IN OUR 4-WHEEL VEHICLE, THEN TURNED OFF ONTO THE ROAD FROM HELL. WE ARRIVED AT THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT AND PARKED THE JEEP. AFTER CHECKING IN, OUR GUIDE TOOK US TO THREE DIFFERENT ROCK PAINTING SITES. THE GUIDE EXPLAINED THERE WERE THREE WAYS THEY 'CARVED' IN THE ROCK, SOMETHING LIKE GOUGING, CHIPPING, AND SCRATCHING. ALL BUT THE ... read more
FOZ COA FROM THE MUSEUM PARKING LOT
ENTERING THE PATH TO THE ROCK DRAWINGS WITH OUR GUIDE
THE DRAWINGS ON THE FIRST ROCK WE SAW




Tot: 1.1s; Tpl: 0.023s; cc: 13; qc: 95; dbt: 0.1655s; 95; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 4; ; mem: 6.8mb