Page 5 of NigelR Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais » Lille July 29th 2016

Sorry no blog last night. It was a long day - up early and home late....So, today will be a rest and recovery day, starting with yesterday's blog. After a couple of days on bikes, our butts were begging us to spare them the bike seats. So, we headed out early (ish) for the north east city of Lille. Getting out of the city took a while with getting slightly lost combined with some road closures.....but then we found the A1 (not the sauce) and headed north. We played a car game of "country license plates" and found nearly all of Europe's plates (Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg). The highways here are A, N and D and work the opposite of cup sizes (A is the biggest and D is very small). We made ... read more
Too big!

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Issy-les-Moulineaux July 27th 2016

Well, today started with difficulties printing and difficulties in getting out of (Sceaux) we changed our plans (we had planned to bike to Versailles which we will do another day) and decided to take a beautiful bike trail from near our house all the way to the Chateau de Sceaux. Along the way we saw some soccer fields, urban greenbelt, petanque pits with matches underway, and lots of trail users (both walkers and runners). it was a pleasant ride and so worth it to arrive at this gorgeous property with a grand canal through the middle, massive landscaped gardens and the chateau at the top of the hill overlooking it all. We were able to ride all around the property (which would have taken forever on foot). We stopped along a boulevard with a tree ... read more
Part of the trail

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 26th 2016

First blog of the trip!! No blog yesterday as we had wifi troubles which have since been resolved. Flight was good and we found the car without a problem. Driving to the house was fine although heavy traffic for part of the drive. Nigel always loves driving standard but the drivers here are very aggressive. We settled in and picked our rooms (there are 7 bedrooms here so we will be rotating around the first few nights to test all the beds.....). Then we walked to a nearby shop to pick up some food essentials (baguettes) and then relaxed for a bit. Ate in and then walked around our neighbourhood for a while. We are in an urban area in the S of Paris just outside of the ring road. It is such a culture change ... read more
Market Day
Bottom of the Eiffel Tower
Other view of the tower

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 15th 2016

Well, our dry spell is over! We are finally embarking on another home exchange, this time to the outskirts of Paris. Just in time for the UEFA Cup 2016 (dang, missed it) and the Tour de France (will have missed that too...). Well, we will find something to do......We leave in just over a week but wanted to set up our blog in advance. Gotta pack. Au revoir... read more

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon August 5th 2013

This morning was cleaning up the house and packing...not too exciting. Also saying goodbye to cute little Stig. We'll sure miss the little fella. He was an affectionate little guy and always happy to see us! In the mornings when we would leave, he would chase after our car to say goodbye! Then we drove to the Faro airport to get our rental car. Well, I hate to do this to you, but we had yet another Seinfeld moment......the lady behind the counter was having difficulty finding our reservation. I had a printout of the confirmation and she finally found it. Well, the reservation was for a mid-sized car. All she had available was a tiny little Citroen C1 (subcompact). With our 3 large bags and 3 carryons (very little luggage considering the length of our ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos August 4th 2013

Today has been an unexpectedly delightful day!! We had booked the boys for a 2-hour morning fishing excursion with no other real plans for the rest of the day. Late last night the company sent us an email asking us would we be ok with a free upgrade to the 4-hour fishing trip. Well, yes, we would be ok with that. So, we got an early start off to Alvor which is only 10 minutes away and the boys got on their boat at 8:30 and headed off for a 1/2 day of fishing excitement! For this paragraph, I (Nigel) will take over writing. The fishing was an absolute blast. There was constant action. You were either re-baiting your hook, getting a nibble, striking to hook a fish, or else someone else was reeling one in. ... read more
Eric and friends
(Some of) our catch

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Aljezur August 3rd 2013

We took a vote last night to decide which beach was our favourite and Arrafina won! So, that is where we headed today for our last west coast beach day. It was busier than last time for a few reasons: 1) It was a Saturday 2) It is now August and according to the people we have met here, on August 1st (could be any day of the week, it doesn't matter), the Algarve suddenly fills up with tourists and Portuguese from the north on vacation. We have definitely noticed an increase in traffic since the 1st. Having said that, we have yet to really deal with any slow downs whatsoever. Traffic here has never been a problem, even today. But the beach was definitely a lot busier. Still, we got a good parking spot and ... read more
Pose 2
Pose 3
Pose 4

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro August 2nd 2013

This morning we relaxed and built up an appetite for the Ribizio (all-you-can-eat fish) by running and swimming. We went back to the same restaurant and had all the same staff (same greeter, same waiter, same owner lady) and they remembered us and even remembered what Russell's favourite fish was last time! This time Nigel had the Robizio along with Russell. I had grilled squid and Rachel stuck with the bunless burger although once the fish started coming, she wished she'd had the fish too...... The fish started coming and Round 1 was Blue Mackerel (Russell's favourite from last time). It was a big hit again. Next up was Sea Bass (they loved this one too). Next was salmon steaks. Then Scarab which was Nigel's second favourite (after blue mackerel)! Russell got this far and then ... read more
...and after
Cuttle Fish with black ink

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Aljezur August 1st 2013

Carrapateira. Sounds like something you might eat for dinner but it is not! It's the name of a small west coast town and also the name of one of two of its beaches. The other beach was called Bordeira (as was the next town over). Both are big surfing beaches. We only popped in to Bordeira Beach on our way home to check it out and we spent our day at Carrapeteira. This was another gorgeous beach (sadly, we are getting spoilt by the coastal beaches and any other future beaches are bound to compare unfavourably...). There was lots of swimming although it was agreed that the waves at Arrafina were bigger. One interesting thing was that there is a small river that starts at the side of this beach and heads inland. The only way ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville July 31st 2013

Ah, Espana! We headed out as early as we could (without setting the alarm). The drive was about 2 1/2 hours total. There was no change or difference when we passed into Spain, although there was more signs of agriculture, notably olives and sunflowers. However, we did notice that the time on the iPad jumped ahead an hour - turns out we changed time zones! We parked at a mall on the outskirts of downtown and took a bus into the old city centre. Our first stop was at a Tapas restaurant with outdoor tables. We enjoyed the grilled squid, fried camembert with raspberry sauce, avocado stuffed with seafood, grilled swordfish to name a few. We also had a dish of paella. All delicious! Next was the Cathedral and the Giraldi tower. We didn't actually go ... read more
Tapas menu
Seville architecture.

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