Rob n Liz


Rob n Liz

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona June 24th 2017

There are 2 ways of getting to Girona from Vielha, both are long and through the mountains. So it was a coin toss as to which route we took. We decided to head south through Lleida then East to Girona after some suggestion that a quick visit to Andorra might not be the best. The road south again was through some stunning valleys of the Pyrenees including a 5.4 km tunnel near Vielha and so much superb scenery that constantly tugs at the driver to steal a glance. Very few opportunities to stop present themselves and usually do so when not expecting them or you have some-one else in a tearing hurry up your rear bumper making it impossible to take the time to admire. Some gorgeous lakes had been created by damming the river to ... read more
Gala's House

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux June 20th 2017

To break up the long drive from Logrono to Pessac (just outside the city of Bordeaux) we stopped at San Sebastian. This place is an outstanding display of affluence with splashes of the rich at every turn. The long and beautiful beach was suitably well populated on this very warm Sunday. A number were out there catching waves on the not too challenging surf and having a great time of it. The drive through the valleys and mountains was gorgeous with roads sweeping across deep valleys and breathtaking views Then off to France. After negotiating the roads through San Sebastion to the border we stopped at a lovely wayside stop for lunch, where Liz was promptly locked into a toilet due to a fault door lock. Not a good start in a new country but Rob ... read more
Brilliant old houses Arcochon

Europe » Spain » La Rioja » Logroño June 17th 2017

Forecast for Seville is 44 degrees tomorrow. Good thing we are heading north into southern France soon. Only 34 and 37 for the next two days here in Logrono. The drive from Madrid was a little more enjoyable than the typical trek down motorways. We crossed over some mountains heading toward Logrono hitting 1100 metres at about 4 separate locations. The last 30 or 40 kms was through an amazing, very ancient, glacial valley. Huge steep rock faces provided some spectacular scenery with a few small mediaeval villages nestling in among the rock. We were also very impressed by the tiny village we found for a lunch stop with some very old (medieval again?) house and inns. This is a great part of the world to explore far from the tourist crush of recent major city ... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile-La Mancha » Toledo June 14th 2017

Toledo is about a one hour drive from Madrid and a very worthwhile day trip it was despite the 39-40 degrees and some uphill footslogging. First settled by the Romans in 170 odd BC and then a place that eventually housed Muslims, Jews and Christians harmoniously together in the one relatively small but well fortified town for many centuries. A lot of the buildings are rebuilds from Roman dwellings completed some several hundred years ago and some effort has been expended in retaining the style and character from earlier times. A modern construction has been added housing a six level escalator system to convey the tens of thousands of visitors this city attracts up to the hilltop from the surrounding plain area. We were quite lucky to visit when we did as the next day was ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 12th 2017

About 38 degrees on our arrival into Madrid with Rob and the gps successfully negotiating the streets of Madrid to find our apartment which is well located 50 m from the Gran Via and between Tribunal and Callao metro stations. First stop on Tuesday following the Queen's Birthday PH was to get the replacement for the stolen passport process underway. After the Embassy visit we braved the heat and from the Parc de la Montana could see our next points of interest including the Placio Real where the King of Spain still resides and then the Cateral de la Almudena. This being a major tourist highlight area in Madrid. On to Plaza Mayor and the Market where we ended up having tapas for dinner with what seemed like everyone in Madrid, it was packed. Some good ... read more
Parc de la Montaña
View of the Palace and Cathedral
Temple of Debob

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Salamanca » Villamayor June 10th 2017

Leaving lovely Porto behind we encountered some brilliant scenery heading out of Portugal. We crossed a bridge 353m above the valley floor and also the Marao Tunnel which is 5.6km long on a road that was only extended a year ago. It was later we learned this to be the most dangerous road in Portugal due to some really steep sections that many trucks had incidents on. Salamanca is a very pretty city. Along the lines of Oxford or Cambridge, it is a University town. Hence the population is fairly young (or are we getting old?). The buildings and streets are incredibly ornate and grand with the buildings having been constructed using cut stone so a much more recent technique. This gives a very attractive style and appearance that has been kept consistent throughout the city ... read more
Plaza Major, Salamanca

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto June 9th 2017

Driving from Lisbon to Porto was another day of a seeing how many tolls we could avoid. On arrival in Porto the outer suburbs could almost have been anywhere in Australia. Quite different to the typical narrow streets and barely a footpath let alone any sign of a nature strip that we have become used to. Our apartment was at the top of the hill with a long walk down into the town centre. It is apparent that there is generally less money about in Portugal than Spain with a number of property developer opportunities looking for a bank balance. Very sad to see so many run down buildings that were obviously grand in their day. You get the feeling that in a few years time the locals will not be able to afford to live ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon June 7th 2017

Lisbon has trams like Melbourne had a half century ago and so we have trammed up and down the hills of this beautiful city seeing all the sights. They provide a great way to get around the city and are very popular with the tourists. The screeching of the wheels and rattling around brought back memories of the old w class trams I used to catch each day to school. Though these ones are a lot smaller and less comfortable​. But a lot of fun. Mentioning tourists though, Lisbon is a seething mass of tourists from all over Portugal, the rest of Europe and the world generally. They fill the cafes and restaurants, the trams, streets and bars. If the tourists were all to suddenly go away this place would grind to a halt and unemployment ... read more
Funicular Plus Graffiti
Street Art near the funicular.
Portugal is famous for its tiles.

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon June 6th 2017

We decided to break up the trip from Cadiz to Lisbon with an overnight stop at the seaside town of Lagos. It is a pretty little town where the wind seems to blow a gale most of the time. A really nice intro to Portugal with some great beaches, wonderful old town atmosphere of narrow streets and outdoor restaurants and some coastal geographical features. Oh and a number of almost obligatory Roman fort ruins. It wasn't till the following day we found we had gained an hour with not knowing Portugal's time zone. A quick check on a world globe reveals why this would be although apparently Portugal struggled with this for a while and only settled on the same time zone as the UK in the 1990's. Now the drive into Lisbon was fraught with ... read more
Streets of Lagos, Portugal 2
Lagos area Ponta de Piedade
Lagos area Ponta de Piedade 2

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Cádiz June 5th 2017

Another city of small laneways but not so big that it becomes a problem. I.e. fairly easy to navigate around. Our apartment was comfortable if a little on the small side especially the bathroom. Strictly one at a time here. First up was a walk along the beach to get over a couple of hours in the car. Lovely sand and coolish water. Quite strange to find a public building built out over the sand at this relatively small patch of beach right near the old town area. What it did though was to provide a shade area for those looking to not go too hard on the suntan - i.e. the two of us! A walk around the Cadiz old town area you can see the history from Roman times right through Muslim invasions and ... read more
Pretty - so are the flowers.
The Cakes of Cadiz - yum.
Camera Obscura

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