Such an idyllic setting
Now on Rhodes, what an interesting place this is. We didn't have great expectations, but it's an old charming and fortified city established by the Crusaders many. many years ago, so lots of little winding streets to wander about in and old buildings to look at. I might add it has also seen the Romans and the Turks, so a lovely mix. Lucky to stay in the old part of the city with a view of the old palace and the mosque.. . A good feeling to put roots down for a few days as we've been on the move a lot with our van. Sure it's touristy here, but in the old part , it's still possible to get away from the crowd, and we keep finding new areas to explore.. It's a living fortified city, full of atmosphere. Love our little local restaurant, which serves good traditional Greek food. A total family operation, with mamma dressed in her traditional dress out the front, we enjoy very generous servings, so all is well😊
Getting back to our Spanish/Portuguese travels. After Salamanca we had a short stint in Portugal as we wanted to have our gas bottles refilled, - not
Our private guide to the cave
possible in the whole of Spain , you have to buy a Spanish bottle!!! - plus we wanted to pay a nostalgic visit to Caminha, where we spent 3 weeks 4 years ago. Norm was also is in great need of having his 'natto' fix, a special Portuguese custard cake. On our way to Caminho we called in on several small villages in the mountains in the northern part of Portugal. Here you find villages with only 40-50 inhabitants. Lots of elderly people in black, ploughing their tiny lots using donkeys or horses. It's a tough life there and the younger generation seems to have escaped to the city! One village that stood out, was Dine, very idyllically set and with the friendliest people. A couple of farmers riding their tractors beckoned us to stop, they were so happy to have a chat, would you believe they spoke French, as they had worked in France for a while! Now back to Dine. It has a bit of a name due to its lime caves and its tiny museum full of local excavations. We got talking with some of the villages, who urged us to contact one of their neighbours to
Norm has just woken up!
show us around. This lady was quite amazing, she starting hopping like a kangaroo when she heard we were from Australia. She was very bright and outgoing plus really fit. I guess her daily work on the farm would keep her fit, she was well into her 70's but that didn't seem to slow her down one bit. Off we went on a tour of the caves, the local church and museum. It turned out that the excavations of the caves had been done by a Dane, who'd been livingwith her family while doing the job, (a small world, isn't it😊
Of course we had to visit Santiago de Campostello, where we spoke to several hikers, who'd walked the Camino. They were still on a high and they were entitled to be, 800 km in 5 weeks, that's quite an achievement. Were we a bit jealous, maybe a tiny wee bit!!! but our knees have to improve before attempting a task like that! Many people plan their visit to Campostello to see the Butafelliro in action. This device is a kind of a swinging pendulum spraying incense originally designed to alleviate the odour of the pilgrims having just done the
One foot in Spain another in Portugal
camino. How lucky were we just to walk into the cathedral a few minutes before the device was set into action😊
Next we were off to Fisterrra, or 'The End of the Earth'. A beautifully situated Cape, the most western part of Spain and also Europe. We camped out here, so saw both the sunset and sunrise, it was great. The next week or so we spent mainly camping out on various capes along the north-western coast of Spain. A very rugged and interesting part of the country, not many other travellers, just our kind of country😊 In this part it's very green, which of course usually means lots of rain, but somehow we escaped that, we had lovely sunny weather. Houses in this area are painted in strong colours, often even in pastel colours. You can imagine it's a spectacular view to see these strongly coloured houses against the green scenery.
On our way to San Sebastian we called in on a very cute little fishing village, Cudelleiro. Here the houses kind of drop down from the clifftop to the ocean. It was a very enjoyable stay, also partly due to meeting a very lively Scottish couple, who
were on their way home from the southern coast of Spain, where they spend the winter months. We shared a few drinks and laughs together. Our final port of call in Spain was San Sebastian. This is a very charming city, which seems to have all infrastucture and facilities you could dream of and still be of a happy size. No, I'm not forgetting the wonderful food here, Spanish people come here to eat😊 I must say, we also had the best food in Spain here. The tapas bars seem to have a never-ending supply of food lined up😊
While in France we managed to fit in a visit to Saint Emillion, a well-known wine district. The village of the same name, is in an idyllic setting consisting of charming old houses and winding streets, touristy, yes, but it's a living breathing village, people live there after dark! Although we loved our van, we opted for a night's stay in a Manor House, it was actually called a 'Castle', not sure about the castle bit, but it was lovely to soak up the atmosphere, the furniture, the paintings and the medals from wine making. Yes, they did make a splendid
red wine, we sampled it with baguette and cheese, as you do😊
Finally, it was time to clean up the van in Germany, which we managed in between the showers. The handover went very smoothly, they even let us use the van an extra night, where we slept at the airport in Dusseldorf. It so happened that the prices of hotel rooms there had skyrocketed because of the Eurovison Song Contest!!!
Have just completed a 2-day car trip of Rhodes. We stayed in a tiny fishing village the first night, a very Greek experience, had coffee and croissants for free for breakfast😊 The second night we stayed in Lindos, a very pretty village with an acropolis as a backdrop on the east coast. We indulged with dinner on a rooftop on one of the many restaurants. Haven't learnt much Greek yet, so YASU.
PS Hope yu appreciate the photos. I couldn't add the photos on the computer yesterday, so trtamped the streets for an hour to find another internet cafe, hope I'll succeed!
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