Blogs from Portugal, Europe

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Europe » Portugal April 14th 2019

Now I am back on wifi after a few days without access! I continue to be amazed each day by the beauty and the variety in the Portuguese landscape. We settle in on the walking days to a good pace and cover around 20km each day which usually brings us to our next accomodation spot by about 3pm. The accomodation varies greatly from a sort of backpackers very simple room to where we are this evening in a sumptuous 4 star hotel! We never know until we get to the spot what awaits us! I have a couple of blisters despite my careful preparation over the last few months. In fact my fourth toenail has simply fallen off this afternoon leaving a gaping hole! Looks horrible but is not particularly painful! Today is Palm Sunday so ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 14th 2019

As we cruised out of Bermuda on a stunning evening we were looking forward to a week at sea. To some this would seem daunting but there is so much to do on a ship. There is plenty of time for reading, lectures, crafts, blogging, paddle tennis, swimming, hanging with new found friends or simply gazing at the beautiful ocean. The most important factor in crossing the pond is weather. When the Voyager came from Europe last November, they encountered a strong storm and had to cancel stops in Madeira and Bermuda. They ended up taking a southern route across the Atlantic via the Canary Islands and the Caribbean. For folks like us, who want to be outside, we always hope for good weather. We were very lucky. Captain Stan said it was the smoothest passage ... read more
"THE FLOATING GARDEN"
GONDOLA TO THE TOP
MONTE CATHEDRAL

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon April 12th 2019

Lisbon 11th April Our final port of call and we were arriving a good couple of hours late due to fighting head winds all day yesterday as we came out of the Mediterranean Sea, through the straits of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean. Normally we approach quite early in the morning so it gave us a chance to see the coastline in the daylight as we sailed up the river Tagus to our berth. We berthed at the newest terminal prow to prow with the Aurora, our next cruise ship which will take us to the Caribbean in January 2020. Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 of April suspension bridge. Since our visit last year they ... read more
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Europe » Portugal April 7th 2019

After arriving in beautiful Porto, Jenny and I have a day to explore the city before setting off northwards to Santiago. There is much to see in Porto. We begin in the train station where the walls are covered with over 20,000 tiles depicting historic scenes of the region. Across the road is the cathedral located on the hill and overlooking the River Douro. It is a Romanesque fortress church built of granite, like many buildings in the area. Inside are the medieval gold leaf reardos and altars. After exploring the cathedral we head downhill towards the river to see the bridges. One of these is built by Mr Eiffel, before he built the Eiffel Tower and indeed it does bear some resemblance to the French structure! I was not looking forward to the steep climb ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Northern » Braga April 6th 2019

We are more and more against booking supercheap flights with budget airlines since it is more and more evident that these airline need to make money with different "services" such as spraying. We have our own opinion about this and do not want to support chemtrail activities. But this is not the point in this blog. Nevertheless, this time, we booked such a cheap flight as we simply could not find another option to come to our destination. For only 32 hours we flew to Braga in Portugal. From Switzerland it is a short 2 hours flight. We landed in Porto late morning with a fantastic spring weather and really warm temperatures. We took our rental car and drove the short way to Braga. Braga is a city in the north of Portugal about 40 min. ... read more
the old town
our spiritual master - Paramahamsa Vishwananda
us during darshan - in the very back you can see Paramahamsa Vishwananda giving darshan

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto April 1st 2019

We have been in our 'new' home for a few months now and since the actual move had meant we had cancelled our winter sun plans, things were now much calmer 😅 I was spending less time at the hospital and in general things were quiet. Andrew had some annual leave to use up before the end of March so a quick search on the Ryanair website and Porto was booked ☀️✈️ Neither of us had been to Portugal for quite a few years, we figured the weather wouldn't be too bad and the flights were cheap and convenient so whats not to love ❤️ . In the weeks preceeding however we had managed to find a house to buy and James had dropped out of school so things were not so calm on the home ... read more
OLD CITY DESIGN APARTMENTS
TOURIST TRAMS
FUNICULAR!

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira March 27th 2019

We took a shuttle to Albufeira today to our next apartment. The company was a bit of a pain as they wouldn’t let us check in early, charged 3% fee for absolutely NOTHING even on the deposit. The apartment was large, 3 bedrooms and a balcony overlooking the old town. However, the new thing for these Airbnb companies is to buy up real estate and start renting them out as self-catered flats. Essentially charging an arm and leg for apartments with nothing in them but furniture. No salt and pepper, no toilet paper (except for rolls in place), no hand soap, no dish soap, no dishwasher soap. It is frustrating as you have to buy a months worth of stuff for a few days rental. It is frustrating to renters ( or at least us, who ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Central » Coimbra March 26th 2019

Tag 18 – Entspannter Tag mit portugiesischen Unterhaltungen & makaberen Unternehmungen Heute standen wir schon gegen halb neun auf und liefen wieder zur Markthalle, um etwas zu essen zu kaufen. Wir kauften ein Brot und wieder vier Pastelarias. An einem Obststand entdeckte ich eine Papaya, oh sowas hatte ich noch nie wirklich gegessen, müsste man ja eigentlich mal probieren. Aber die kleinen Stücke waren irgendwie an der Schale etwas geschimmelt. An einem anderen Obststand gab es auch Papaya, doch da war das gleiche Problem. Schließlich gingen wir wieder zum ersten Stand. Da war nämlich ein großes Stück, das recht gut aussah. Ich fragte, ob wir vielleicht die Hälfte davon haben konnten. Sie wollte uns das Papaya-Stück bereitwillig in zwei Hälften schneiden, aber das wollten wir ja nicht, wir wollten nur die Hälfte kaufen. Nein, das ging ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Central » Coimbra March 25th 2019

Tag 17 – Coimbras Gärten & Universität Am nächsten Morgen schliefen wir erst mal aus. Dann liefen wir zur Markthalle Mercado do Pedro, um etwas fürs Frühstück zu finden. Die Markthalle war recht ausgestorben, nur etwa ein Viertel der Stände war belegt. Wir hatten jedoch von unten eine Paderia im oberen Geschoss entdeckt. Hoffentlich war die auch geöffnet. Und wir hatten Glück – da war noch viel Auswahl an vielen leckeren Backwaren, und die ältere Verkäuferin war sehr herzlich. Wir kauften vier verschiedene Pastelerias – die waren hier wirklich günstig – und frühstückten dann im Jardim de Sereira. Anschließend gingen wir in den naheliegenden Jardim Botânico, der 1772 unter anderem für die Heilpflanzenforschung der Universidade de Coimbra eröffnet wurde. Heute konnten wir dort einige beschilderte Bäume, einen Bambushain sowie zwei Gewächshäuser sehen,... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Monchique March 24th 2019

Tag 16 – Silves Heute konnten wir das erste Mal diese Woche ausschlafen. Und ich schaute prompt um 6.40 Uhr auf die Uhr, wo wie ja sonst immer aufgestanden waren. Aber eineinhalb Stunden weiterschlafen war dann schon ziemlich schön. Nach dem Frühstück brachte uns Danielo nach Monchique, und Charlotte drückte mir noch das Gästebuch in die Hand, in das ich während der fünfminütigen Fahrt schnell etwas schrieb. Wir fragten den Busfahrer, ob wir mit unserem Interrailticket fahren konnten. Er rief in der Zentrale an, um nachzufragen, aber leider mussten wir dann doch wieder je 4,50 € bezahlen. Diesmal warteten wir im Bahnhof in Portimão, wir hatten mittlerweile genug von der Stadt gesehen. Wir nahmen den Zug nach Tunes, stiegen aber auf dem Weg in Silves aus, um dort einen kleinen Zwischenstopp einzulegen. Als erstes mussten wir ... read more
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