Page 8 of Mediterranean Dreams Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto October 20th 2010

The next day we flew to Porto. Now, I have flown within the Schengen zone before (Amsterdam to the Canary Islands) but the no passport check back then that didn’t make sense to me now does. Flying within the Schengen zone is like taking a domestic flight which we found out when we went to the immigration window and need not have had our passports checked, nor should we enter the ‘international zone’. Our flight was a small 57 seater - 1.5 hours to the lovely Porto. After a long walk to our hotel, we rested for a while and ventured out to the river whilst stopping many times along the way for photos of the beautiful old buildings. After along long time walking we reached to beautiful Douro river and had dinner there with my ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia October 20th 2010

We are now well and truly into our Portugal adventure and we are now currently on an intercity train en route to Sintra via Lisbon. However, I again have been very slack and haven’t updated since Madrid. So this is what has happened over the last week. We arrived in Barcelona last Wednesday and stayed in a lovely apartment in the heart of Barcelona just near the most famous street in Spain ‘Las Ramblas’. That evening we took a long walk this famous strip, which consists of shops and eateries, until we reached the sea. Took some video and photos and we went off to have dinner at our usual Spanish late hour. Now, I have picked up bad habits mainly after the Intrepid trip and have been sleeping in which of course puts back our ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 13th 2010

We are now en route to Barcelona. Sitting here on the fast AVE train, smiling from my Spanish wine. Madrid was great, the city itself isn’t that impressive as European cities go, but the city as well as the hostel we stayed at (Flat 5 Madrid) was excellent. That is I have to say the best hostel we have stayed at (coming close behind the hostel we stayed at in Selcuk, Turkey last year). Clean and friendly, the staff spoke great English and we spoke very little Spanish! Ok so back to Madrid. The city itself wasn’t architecturally brilliant nonetheless we had a fabulous time exploring the city Centre. On Monday we went to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) to find it closed. And it was to be closed the nest day so we went to ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 10th 2010

We are now on the fast train to Madrid! We spent 2 wonderful days in Sevilla, I really loved it. Sevilla is a much bigger town than Granada, and we stayed in the heart of the old town. We arrived to our hotel at 9.30pm after a long journey and was greeted with a locked door. Pushed the buzzer and we were buzzed in and greeted to a locked iron gate. So nowhere to go, apparently no one there, finally Bill kept pressing the intercom of the main door and we were advised the reception was in a nearby hotel) We knew from then on that I may be difficult to get in and out of our hostel (our hostel only had reception it seemed during the day and only and weekdays). Interesting start and the ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada October 7th 2010

continued.... The next morning we started early (5.30 am) to catch the 7pm ferry to España. We got there really really early as we didn’t expect the passport formalities to be that quick and simple. I had been quite sick the night before (still am some sort of virus I am hoping) so a long journey was proving to be a challenge. We crossed the strait of Gibraltar in 35mins (according the FRS I estimate 45!) and swifted through the Spanish passport control and boarded a bus to Algeciras then caught a 4.5hr train to Granada. So Granada. The girls on the intrepid trip told us we need to book in advance to see the Alhambra’s it sells out quickly. Went online and all the tickets were sold out for October! According to Lonely Planet 6000 ... read more

Africa » Morocco October 7th 2010

I haven’t written anything for a while, due to the fact I've been a bit sick and a lot of lazy! Time to catch up. I last left this blog last Friday when we were en route to Marrakech. We arrived to a really nice hotel which was a nice respite after our travels around Morocco. For dinner, included with Intrepid was a dinner at the UNESCO world heritage listed Djemma el-Fna (excuse the spelling if wrong). If anyone has seen images or footage of this infamous market square dubbed ‘La Place’ by local Marrakechies, it is everything plus more. Throngs of food stalls, fresh juice sellers, performers, acrobats etc. Dinner was a lovely banquet of Moroccan style ‘tapas’. Probably the best meal I’ve had in Morocco. After dinner we took a short stroll through ... read more

Africa » Morocco October 1st 2010

We are now on our way to Marrakech, probably the most famous of Moroccan cities and home to the famous Djmena el-Fna market square. We had spent 2 lovely days in Essaouira. Our accommodation was a lovely Riad - a traditional old Moroccan style home but very noisy due to the fact there is no ceiling in the centre of the hotel to separate the different levels so noise travels especially in the morning when one is trying to get some sleep! We went to a lovely seafood restaurant. With Essaouira being right on the coast, fresh seafood is plentiful. The restaurant was expensive but it was one of the girl’s birthday so it was worth it plus the entertainment live Gnoua music. Gnoua music originated some middle Africa and was brought to Morocco from Sudan ... read more

Africa » Morocco September 29th 2010

We are now in Essaouira, on the Moroccan Atlantic coast. Smoking shisha and trying to get the hotel’s free Wi-Fi to work. To recap over the last few days: I last left this blog with the Hammam experience. The next day we headed off to our next port of call - Ait Benehaddou dubbed as ‘Mollywood’ Morocco’s answer to Hollywood as blockbusters such as Gladiator, Prince of Persia not to mention countless others. Firstly we stopped at a local co-operative for handicapped people, mainly young people teaching them handicraft and basic schooling skills. It is a very worthy cause supported by Intrepid. We bought a few things there. Then we headed to the movie studios - the actual studio was hilarious SOOO tacky in so many ways. Firstly the façade was decorated with EGYPTIAN pharaoh’s - ... read more

Africa » Morocco September 27th 2010

As I am writing this we are en route to Ait Benhaddou, driving between the Middle Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains. I’ll recap what has happened over the last 2 amazing days. After our visit to the embroidery co-operative we made our way through the atlas to the desert. Along the way we stopped at a fossil museum. The first fossil was uncovered in 1970 and date back to 600 million years ago. Large quantities of fossils were Ammonite, a relative of the calamari family and the fossils had been embedded in stone over time and now are uncovered, cut, buffed and polished. Amazingly they sell the fossils there in everything from pendants to water fountains. We bought a couple of souvenirs and headed to the town of Merzouga to one of the many Auberge’s and ... read more

Africa » Morocco September 24th 2010

Today we are on the road again heading for a desert camp in the Sahara this evening. The last 2 days have been absolutely mind blowing beautiful, crazy, exhausting and fun all wrapped up. Tuesday we arrived in Fez, Morocco’s most traditionally city and usually one of the most photographed of the Moroccan cities. As an outsider, all one seems to see in travel show about Fez (and the rest of Morocco could fit into this category) is images of the old medina - the windy, colourful streets of the souq and beautiful intricate doorways of mosques and other building appearing out of nowhere. I was surprised to arrive in Fez and the Ville Nouvelle (built in 1912 by the French) is a very cosmopolitan city with the main Hassan II Avenue dubbed the Moroccan ‘Champs ... read more

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