Darryl and Dawn


Darryl and Dawn

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 26th 2017

November 24-27th Barcelona, Spain Our final stop on our European trip is Barcelona. It has been much in the news lately with Catalonia independence movements and terrorists but when we arrived all was calm and quiet and amazing. I'm sure the news makes it sound like all hell is breaking loose, but to the vast majority life goes on as usual. Like most big cities we've visited on this trip, there is a greater police presence than ever before due to the terrorist goings on. Armed police were in airports, important squares and landmarks and entrances were blocked by vehicles to prevent entry. It was quite impressive to see the French, Portuguese and Spanish police and, at the same time, it was thought-provoking. After our short flight from Palma, our prebooked shuttle brought us to the ... read more
Foyer of our Gaudi Hotel with mosaic tiles
Balcony view to Gaudi House roof across the street
Jonathan looking for nachos

Europe » Spain » Balearic Islands » Majorca » Palma November 25th 2017

November 21, 22, 23 Mallorca A 25 Euro taxi ride got us to the small Granada airport for our flight to Palma de Mallorca. Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic islands. It's a 50 minute flight (or seven hour ferry ride) from Barcelona. We had rented an apartment in the heart of the old town and looked forward to doing laundry (it had been two weeks since our last apartment rental in Madrid). I was instructed to call Maria who would give our driver directions about where to drop us off as the building couldn't be reached by vehicle. It was a short, up hill and up steps walk to #8 Cofrerria de San Miguel. Maria welcomed us with a bottle of Spanish wine, olive oil and candy and showed us the large apartment, all ... read more
Handsome Spanish prebooked drivers everywhere we go!
Lugging our luggage up to our amazing apartment...the travails of travel
Our beautiful front door

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada November 24th 2017

November 19&20 Granada, Spain The bus from Malaga rolled into Granada at 4pm and a taxi took us to the Plaza Nueva and our hotel, the Macia Plaza. Our balconies looked out on the busy square and up to the Alhambra, our touring destination tomorrow. After getting settled we set out to explore the neighborhood and find a good place to have supper. The outdoor restaurant right next to our hotel fit the bill perfectly...paella, falafels, pizza...and ice cream from across the square for dessert. Granada was the last stronghold of the Moors and the Moorish culture is still prevalent. In 1492 the last Muslim ruler surrendered here to King Ferdinand and Isabella after the last battle of the Granada war. On Monday morning we took a taxi up the hill to the world famous Alhambra. ... read more
Our three first floor doors with great views
A typical small street with a church view
The fountain in our plaza at night

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » M├ílaga » Malaga November 21st 2017

Saturday November 19th and Sunday November 20th... Malaga After leaving Gibraltar we drove to Malaga situated on the Costa del Sol...Sun Coast. The hills and coast line along the way were filled with what looked like condos and resorts. The Barcelo Malaga was a modern hotel adjacent to the new mall/rail station complex and located near the bus terminal which made for serious convenience. (In the hotel there was a metal slide from the first floor down to the mezzanine bar.) The mall was filled with restaurants and we each picked something different for dinner take out...Taco Bell for me, Pizza Hut for Dawn and Sushi for the Temples. On Sunday we took a short taxi ride to Plaza Marina to walk about the stunning old town, an area with everything from cafes to ruins to ... read more
Our last Citroen road trip...Gibraltar to Malaga
Pizza Hut girl
Pizza Hut girl's crazy sister at the top of the hotel indoor slide...

Europe » Gibraltar November 21st 2017

Friday November 17 and Saturday November 18th Algeciras and Gibraltar With our all-too-brief stay in Seville over, we once again loaded up the car and drove south to visit Gibraltar. We were staying at the Marriott across the Bay of Gibraltar in the Spanish port city of Algeciras. Barry found the busy loading dock, viewed out our 7th floor windows, fascinating. (We could also see Gibraltar and "The Rock" seemed to have a permanent cloud hovering over it.) We walked to nearby Plaza Alto along a pleasant pedestrian street and had delicious club sandwiches, beers and decadent desserts at an outdoor cafe called "Okay". Happy hour continued when we returned to the hotel and we hit the sack early. The days when we change locations are always tiring...Saturday we would tackle Gibraltar. After checking out of ... read more
Welcome beers in Plaza Alta
Old man posing in the square
Young boys playing in the square

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville November 20th 2017

Thursday November 16th Seville, Spain Dawn was up pre-dawn, so to speak, to catch photos of the sunrise. I followed her out just as the sun was appearing and found her way out on a limestone cliff, happy as a clam. After breakfast we loaded up and headed for our one night in Seville. Like Portugal, the highways are great to drive on and we got there in about 2 1/2 hrs. We had booked a quaint little old hotel called the Casa Maestro right within walking distance to all the main sites. To reach it, we had to go down a narrow street with cars parked on both sides and only inches to spare! Pulling into a space in front of a service garage, everyone clambered out, unloading luggage while I hurriedly got instructions from ... read more
Amazing roads and bridges
Our quaint hotel
The bottom of a guitar on a sitting room wall

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Carvoeiro November 19th 2017

November 14-15 The Algarve Portugal About a two and a half hour drive south of Lisbon, you reach the southern coast of Portugul known as the Algarve. Here the Atlantic seems to slowly work away at the limestone, carving huge gouges, creating caves and tunnels along the steep cliffs, incredible at both low and high tide. Clear blue skies and temperatures around 21 degrees greeted us as we arrived at the Suites Alba Resort. Being off season made for a quiet stay here...just what the doctor ordered. For two days we ate and drank well, lounged in the sun and looked out on the sparkling ocean. Dawn chased photos of sunrises and sunsets and one warm day we walked along the rough trail atop the famous cliffs, taking more photos everywhere. Dawn's new exclamation became "holy ... read more
Steep cliff, no railings...natural, unspoiled beauty
Some sort of Algarve two step?

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon November 16th 2017

Monday November 13, Lisbon The short drive from Sintra to Lisbon had us arriving at the Hotel Mundial by 11am. It was a large, modern hotel in the center of town. We were too early to get into our rooms, but we dropped off our luggage after parking in the hotel's underground lot and off we went on our walkabout. Dawn and I visited here briefly 8 years ago while on a cruise, but my memory of the city was quite vague. We do remember the incredible history and atmosphere here in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal since 1255, and one of the smallest European capitals...vibrant and multicultural. There are many beautiful squares with fountains and statues, one after the other, between our hotel and the promenade on the River Tagus. We walked through the Praca ... read more
Holding up the symbolic gateway arch to the city
Saude!...on Rua Augusta pedestrian street
Dawn always photos the interesting corner building signs

Europe » Portugal » Sintra November 15th 2017

November 11&12th Sintra, Portugal On our last morning in Porto, Dawn and Lynda went down the street for a last minute shopping spree at a corner Portuguese handicraft shop when it opened at ten o'clock. Artisan jewelry and azulejos tiles! We were on our way south to Sintra by eleven. Anna, our host, recommended a stop at the coastal town of Nazare, a world renowned surfing spot, just two hours south of Porto. On the cliff above the amazing water views, we found a cafe that served Lynda and Barry's new favourite...deep fried cheese and cod cakes. Barry also bought Lynda a beautiful Portuguese sweater in a local family shop. Nazare is a picturesque town that hosts major surfing events during certain times of the year due to the gigantic waves. We rolled into Sintra around ... read more
Portuguese "joie de vivre"!
Nazare statue of surfer/deer from a fable about the cliffs above the surf
One end of the Nazare beach

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto November 13th 2017

November 9, Porto, Portugal Today was our long drive day. Barry and I look a taxi to the Hertz rental location, and drove back to pick up the girls and say goodbye to our wonderful host, Jose. Lucky for us it was a city holiday in Madrid and traffic was minimal unlike the hustle and bustle that it usually is. We left the city about 9:30 and were immediately impressed by Portugal's...like Spain's....fantastic highway system, mostly toll roads. At 120km/hr, it doesn't take too long. I set the cruise for 130 but still got passed a lot....by Mercedes, BMWs and the like. We stopped for coffee and pastry...a recurring theme...in the quaint walled town of Ciudad Rodrigo, near the Portugal border then it was off on the last stretch, to our accommodation called Belomonte Guesthouse, right ... read more
Toll booth
Pastry shop in Ciudad Rodrigo

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