Joined June 2016
  • Day13

    Can you say , crazy travel day?!

    September 28, 2017 in Italy β‹… β›… 18 Β°C

    Sooo what a day of travel it was ! Started off leaving our host Anthony in Barcelona at 6:00am. We needed to be at the airport for a flight to Naples at noon but because of heightened security at the airport we had to be there 3 hours early. Our flight was smooth , except for those RyanAir landings! So rough ! We then needed to buy bus tickets to get to Salerno our next leg of the voyage. No problem we had 45 minutes before our bus left. Great! We verified with not only the person who sold us the ticket but also with the people working at the info booth inside the airport where we should go to get to the bus stop . We followed their directions and waited. Well don't we look up and see our bus going by us further out in the street. 😳. Plan B ... try to get to the train which meant a bus to the train station then who knows ...or wait 2 1/2 hours for the next bus. We decided to wait. Our bus tickets were still good for that bus too. Once again verified the bus stop only for the lady at the info counter to tell us , the busses stop right outside the main door 😑. I was stressed knowing the 4pm bus was the last one to Salerno for the day. Thankfully it came and away we went. We arrived in Salerno and got tickets for our next bus trip to Amalfi. Ok great ! From Amalfi we had a 5 minute window to get the bus to Scala. Well the roads are crazy ! Narrow and twisty and turny with nothing but a guard rail between you and the coast. Up and up we went ! The scenery is amazing and it is unbelievable how these bus drivers do it. Here we thought the road to Hana in Hawaii was tricky ! 😫. We made it finally to Amalfi but had to wait for the next bus to Scala. Our B&b owner was picking us up in her car to bring us to her place. Katia is lovely and kind. She stopped by a pizzeria do we could get something to take out. She also helped plan our 3 full days here ! This place is unbelievable Our part of the place is like a small home. We have our own patio looking our over Amalfi and Ravelo . We can't believe it! It made the long long travel day so worth it !!! That and the delicious wood fired oven pizza we ate. Can't wait to get up, have breakfast made by Katia's mom , on the main patio area. Katia will drive us down to Ravello and drop us off. We will look around for a few hours then take a bus to Amalfi and spend the evening there ! πŸ’•πŸ˜ŠRead more

  • Day12

    Chilling by the Mediterranean Sea

    September 27, 2017 in Spain β‹… πŸŒ™ 20 Β°C

    After days of walking around much of Barcelona we decided to take a day off and go relax by the sea at Barceloneta beach. We got there in the morning and just relaxed in the sand until about 4:00 . Barry did go in for a swim while I just dipped my feet in and looked for sea glass on the shore. So many vendors selling everything from beach blankets / pareos to fresh mojitos, sangria and icy cold beer to massages of your neck and feet lol. πŸ˜‚!!! We decided to go back to La Boqueria market to grab something quick for supper. We had empanadas , fresh pressed raspberry/coconut juice and a big container of cut up fresh fruit. We went back to our place to get ready for our travel day tomorrow. Headed to the Amalfi Coast! While we were walking back from dinner the other night and now tonight from our window we could hear lots of people banging pots and pans out their windows. We googled it and found that it is because the Catalonia people here in Barcelona want to become an independent state from the rest of Spain. The government of Madrid is resisting their wishes for a referendum , the vote takes place in November. This is their way of protesting. We have also noticed many flags and peaceful protests around the city. Up early tomorrow to get the airport bus to get our flight. Stay tunedπŸ’•πŸ˜˜βœˆοΈRead more

  • Day11

    Tapas , where have you been all my life

    September 26, 2017 in Spain β‹… πŸŒ™ 20 Β°C

    One if the things I have been looking forward to this vacation happened today. We went to La Sagrada Familia a church built with the phenomenal ideas of the architect Antoni Gaudi known as God's architect. It is still unfinished 130 years after the building began. With donations from the Catalan people the work continues and should be completed I. 2026. Honestly it is the most spectacular building I have ever seen. With the stained glass and the unbelievable architecture your eyes don't know where to look first. It's amazing. From there we went to Parc Guell. A park also designed by Gaudi . Beautiful! We took the metro back and went to the Boqueria market. Rows and rows of fish , poultry and fresh produce. We bought fresh pressed juice that is sold by the vendors. After that we went back to our apartment and chilled for a few hours. Around 8:30 pm we went out and had tapas. At a tapas bar you order your drink and they give you a plate. Lined along the bar there are plates of tasty hors d'oeuvres and you just reach in and tsk what you want. You are then charged by each tapas you choose , they count your bill by the number of toothpicks on your plate. We went to two different places. So good and surprisingly filling. We headed back to our flat and plan on getting up and heading to Barceloneta beach tomorrow!Read more

  • Day11

    Las Ramblas ramble

    September 26, 2017 in Spain β‹… πŸŒ™ 19 Β°C

    Arrived safe and sound to Barcelona . We travelled in comfort by high speed train. Once here we found our air bnb and our host was home to let us in. It's a little different this time as we share his apartment and have a room. This place has the teeny tiniest bathroom we have ever seen πŸ˜‚. And we share it with him!! He is lovely and very friendly. He works during the day so we may not see much if him . We started our day here walking down Las Ramblas. Such a cool street but bittersweet when we saw the memorial set up for those who were run down during a terrorist attack not that long ago. We walked all the way down to the marina and saw the Columbus monument. We had some lunch and in the way back we stopped at one of the literally hundreds of terrasses and had the largest glass of sangria ever. Barry had red and I had the cava. Sooo good ! Earlier our host Anthony let us know today was a holiday and the city is celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It is called LaMerce. At Placa D'Espanya one of the city's squares with the Magic Fountains , they had fireworks like we had never seen before . We found a great place to sit and watch . Right before they started they played Imagjne by John Lennon as a tribute to those who lost their lives on Las Ramblas. Everyone lit sparklers and two ladies sitting by us gave us a couple. When we looked around we couldn't believe how many people were there , easily 500,000 or more ! It was an amazing sight to see ! The fireworks were awesome. After they were done we slowly made our way to the apartment and are tired from another day of travelling and waking. Another full day awaits us tomorrow πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•Read more

  • Day9

    A bear and a strawberry tree...

    September 24, 2017 in Spain β‹… β›… 23 Β°C

    On our last full day in Madrid , we set out after breakfast in our apartment and once again headed out to see more sights. Our location is perfect , we are within walking distance of everything. Lots and lots of walking but it is the best way to see everything and get a true experience of this city. One if our first stops was Palacio Real , the national palace. A magnificent 18 th century palace which is the official residence of the royal family but is only used for state ceremonies. Right beside the palace was Cathedral de la Almudena. It is a Catholic Church and it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Madrid. We were there when the bells rang at noon! Talk about loud ! We were determined to get to Puerta del Sol. It is a city square , the exact center of Madrid , kilometre 0. The spot is marked by a statue of a bear and a strawberry tree, which is the official symbol of the city!! From there we left and headed to the complete opposite side of the city to one of the most beautiful parks I've been in, parque De El Retiro. It's an expansive park that belonged to the Spanish monarchy until it was given to the public in the 19th century. It's known as the green heart of the city. It is 350 acres , with flowers , fountains , a man made lake where you can rent rowboats , and monuments. Palacio de Cristal is a gorgeous glass building in the middle of the park. We had bought a picnic lunch on our way. A sandwich of traditional cured Serrano ham on a baguette bun , a beer and an orange 😊. We ate in the park and being Sunday it was full of families spending a nice sunny hot day in the park. We headed back to our place. We had decided to cook dinner ourselves so we bought groceries to make pasta and dessert. After supper we walked back out to get coffee. We catch a train at 8:30 tomorrow morning to go to Barcelona. Luckily the train station station is just a 10 minute walk from our place! Madrid it's been real 😊Read more

  • Day9

    Madrid, so different from Portugal

    September 24, 2017 in Spain β‹… β›… 19 Β°C

    Our first full day in Madrid is done. We arrived late last night after a delay in our flight of an hour leaving Porto. We scrambled a bit knowing our hosts were waiting for us to check-in in Madrid. We took the express airport bus as far as we could then jumped in a cab to our air bnb. No answer when we rang the bell. Freaked out slightly. 😜 We we into a Bar/ resto that was shutting down for the night. They were kind enough to let us use their cell phone to contact our hosts. By now it is 1:00am! No problem , they would be there in 5 min to meet us. Sure enough they came in their pyjamas lolπŸ˜‚. Sweetest young couple ! They checked us in and gave us info we needed for their great apartment. Needless to say we passed out not long after 😴. Today we explored Madrid. Such a contrast from the cities we visited in Portugal. Portugal had such an old world charm, hardly any fast food places at all. Madrid is much more cosmopolitan , Starbucks , McDos , fast food etc... it does however still have a very historic side to it with beautiful monuments , palaces and the most gorgeous city centre square , Plaza Major. We ate churrios dipped in melted chocolate At Chocolateria San Gines! Highly recommended by Taylor from when she visited Madrid. Tonight we ate paella and sangria. 😊. We watched a beautiful dance show in Plaza Major before coming back to our apartment. Tomorrow... there are a few sites left to see. Cheers to another fantastic day in our European adventure πŸ·πŸ’•Read more

  • Day7

    Good bye to Portugal , next stop Madrid

    September 22, 2017 in Portugal β‹… β˜€οΈ 19 Β°C

    Checked out of our fantastic air bnb around noon and took one last look around. We went back into Sao Bento train station, easily the most gorgeous train station ever. Beautiful tile mosaics on the walls and high arched ceilings. We bought a sandwich and some fruit and walked back over the bridge to Gaia and sat in the park overlooking the Douro river with Porto on the other side. Such a beautiful sunny day. We brought along our 2 unfinished bottles of wine and ate our lunch in the park. Drinking wine right out of the bottle is perfectly acceptable and we were hardly alone . 😊 What a fantastic way to end our stay in Portugal. Sadly we made our way to the airport by metro and are awaiting our plane to our next stop ... Madrid Spain πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈRead more

  • Day6

    Last day in Porto

    September 21, 2017 in Portugal β‹… πŸŒ™ 14 Β°C

    Today we decided to get away from the touristy spots and take the metro to parque da Cidade a beautiful, big greenspace outside of Porto. We walked around this beautiful park for about 1 1/2 hours . We saw roosters, and a huge group of really loud geese that weren't too impressed with us ! We had packed a lunch and some beer and Somersby ciders for a picnic. On the north side of the park is Motosinhos beach . We ate our lunch and watched the surfers. There were a few surf schools where you could take lessons too. We sat in the sand , ok maybe we laid in the sand lol, and enjoyed the waves and the sun. Eventually we made our way back to the metro , grabbed a few more groceries and went back to the studio. We changed and headed out for dinner and one last look around Porto at night. We went to Santiago Cafe which is known for its Francesinha sandwiches. Francesinha is a Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce with an egg on top served with french fries. This is also known as a heart attack on a plate. πŸ˜‚. Barry had this for supper , I did taste it and it was pretty good. I opted for a steak sandwich and salad. From there we went back and crossed both the upper and lower decks of the DomLuis bridge which overlooks Porto. It is absolutely gorgeous at night with all the lights along the Douro river. Before coming back for the night we stopped and had a cappuccino and a last taste of pasteis de nata pastries. Omg so good πŸ’•. Tomorrow we check out of our air bnb at noon and we catch a flight to Madrid at 8:30 pm so that leaves us a few hours to wander around Porto before leaving this beautiful city . Someday we will be back , this I'm sure πŸ’•Read more

  • Day5

    Porto you have won my heart !

    September 20, 2017 in Portugal β‹… β›… 16 Β°C

    What a perfect day! Our feet are exhausted from all our walking today πŸ˜‚. We started our day strolling around at palacio de cristal a huge and beautiful garden a little north of city centre. From there we walked along the water and stopped in the historic centre of Porto and took a river cruise past the 6 bridges on the Douro River. The river separates Porto from Vila de Gaia the area where porto is produced. The cruise was awesome! We then walked along the waterfront and crossed over the Douro River on the Dom Luis bridge. We walked along the lower level first then on the other side in Porto we climbed the hill and walked back to Gaia on the upper level of the bridge. The bridge is 279 feet over the river. On the upper level pedestrians can walk along even as the trains are passing about 5 feet away from you 😲. Once back on solid ground in Vila de Gaia we went for lunch at this charming restaurant where they sat us on the second floor by our own little balcony overlooking the Douro River. The food was great and the Portuguese wine was wonderful. 🍷. After lunch we walked to the Calem port cellars and did a guided tour with a port tasting at the end. We tasted a white and a tawny port. Good but a little too strong for my taste 😜. We then walked back over the upper level of the bridge and explored more of Porto and found a great place with a fantastic view of the city. After a full day of walking we decided to call it a night and headed back to our studio to rest our feet ! Now relaxing and planning our day tomorrow πŸ’•Read more

  • Day4

    Good bye Lisbon , hello Porto !

    September 19, 2017 in Portugal β‹… πŸŒ™ 13 Β°C

    We slept in s bit then packed up and went to do some last minute exploring of Lisbon. We went one last time to the lookout near our apartment to see the view of Lisbon .We started walking towards the train station and discovered a huge outdoor flea market where we wandered around a little bit. We ended up in the Amalfa neighbourhood a part which we had not seen yet. We arrived at Santa Apolonia train station which is right next to where all the cruise ships dock . We sat in the sun and people watched until it was time to get out train. Other than witnessing a pigeon being run over right in front of our faces it was a nice way to spend some time ! πŸ˜‚. We took our train to Porto and our air bnb was a short 10 min walk from there. Our studio apartment is so amazing. Literally smack in the middle of city centre ! We met our host , got some info from her then we headed out to get groceries for breakfast and then had the best pork sandwiches for supper! Back at the studio , nice tea and ate our last pasteis de Belem. Up early to book a boat tour and see some of the Porto wineries.Read more

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