Joined May 2022 Message
  • Day118

    San Sebastián, Spain

    June 13 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    San Seb was 10/10!

    I’ve always wanted to go and Dan had been before but didn’t have the best time, so we were going in with mixed emotions! 🤣 It was a rocky start as turns out parking near our apartment was going to mean we starved...it was a tense few hours as Dan did laps of the main town on search of a free spot, whilst I soaked up the sea view from our balcony 🙃…he ended up a 50 min walk away, not a happy chappy!

    Despite the initial hiccup, it certainly delivered and after a few days exploring, surfing and eating more pintxos and local seafood, 🦑 we were dying to stay longer. 3 days is never enough, particularly when Dan reckons he spent half that time trying to park. 🤣🙄
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  • Day115

    Getxo & Bilbao, Spain

    June 10 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A wonderful weekend with Ollie & John filled with exploding kittens (it’s a game don’t worry!), pintxos, cervezas, salsa, kebabs and endless broken Spanish and giggles!

    We stayed in Getxo, a random little seaside town half an hour from Bilbao. Turns out it’s where all the old, rich peeps live so we brought the average age down by 50 years! It was a win for us as no tourists = cheap fun. We felt like locals in no time as we frequented our local cafe 3 times a day which was always pumping (with all the oldies of course), crossed the terrifyingly high Puente Vizcaya (the bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel) and got involved with the local medieval festival that was on in Portugalete to celebrate 700 years of the Basque Country (we think, can’t be sure!). 🇪🇸

    A big Saturday night pintxos crawl through Bilbao with many sangrias, cervezas, shots, games of fingers, local salsa clubbing and kebabs left us rather broken, so we hit the nearby beach of Sopelana for a Sunday surf, swim and lunch on the cliff top.👌🏼

    We said goodbye to the boys and went to our first museum of the trip… the Guggenheim. The car exhibition made it well worth every penny!

    A few coastal stops at Mundaka to check out the surf, and the famous Game of Thrones filming location, San Juan De Gaztelugatxe, which was pretty epic (last few photos), and we were bound for the highly anticipated San Sebastián.
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  • Day112

    Rioja Region, Spain

    June 7 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Luckily a more successful ferry back to Barca, but a less successful accomodation choice… hilariously Dan booked a ‘love’ hotel which he claims was an accident! Many a giggle and we were out of the creepy mirror covered room pronto and on the road north to the Rioja region.

    A quaint little guest house perched amongst the most magical nature awaited us. Not an English speaking person in sight so luckily our Spanish has progressed…a little. Local cuisine consisted of pork pâté (ew) and fried goats cheese salad (yum) with lashings of delicious €1 Rioja of course.

    A few winery stops (with fancy automated wine tasting ooolala) as we headed north to Bilbao to meet Ollie & John for another weekend of fun! 🤩
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  • Day103

    Mallorca

    May 29 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Mallorca was absolute paradise! We loved it!

    Well, we loved everything other than the 7 hour overnight ferry from Barcelona with 100 screaming kids on school camp 🙀 let’s just say we didn’t get much sleep given that and our ‘lobby bar floor space’ tickets!

    We had 5 nights to start in a lovely spa resort in a random spot north east of the island. Lots of Germans, lots of naked Germans, lots of German sausages in the sauna. 🤣

    There are the most amazing blue water cove beaches along the coast, our favourite was Cala Mitjana, a hidden oasis amongst a massive estate. A hike to get there but well worth it as we watched the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and tripped on every rock going!

    Elliot & Jess joined us from London for a weekend of fun. We had lunch at Cala Deià where the Night Manager was filmed (amazing!), rented a boat from Port de Soller which was a must do (thanks JoJo!), pulled up at Cova de Sa Sal, watched the boys struggle to anchor (thanks for the drop off) and had lunch on the cliff top at Sa Foradada - the best view, paella and sangria. What a day!👌🏼

    Port de Pollença was our next highlight. Cute little beach front town with endless cafes and restaurants. The headland north of there was also amazing, we followed the windy road for as long as we could to get the most epic views. Platja de Formentor for chills. Cala Figuera for walks and views from the top.

    8 days just wasn’t enough! So many places and recommendations we didn’t have time to get to, so we’ll definitely be back.
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  • Day98

    Ullastret, Costa Brava

    May 24 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    After a wild weekend in Barcelona, we escaped to the Spanish countryside with Fif for some much needed R&R!

    Our Air BnB, Mas Blanc was absolute bliss, hosted by a lovely Spanish family and senor fox (the dog!). We had the perfect mix of chilling by the pool and exploring the gorgeous Costa Brava. Wow those med sea colours are amazing!

    Our friend from Aus, Flick was in town for a wedding so we met her at Llafranc for the day which was lovely. That and El Golfet were our favourite little beach discoveries.

    A fab week of exploring, pool chills, cycling to local towns, beach outings, games, wine and BBQs. ✅ We will definitely be back. We loved the Costa Brava and can’t understand why no one has raved about it before?!

    We had the day in Sitges, the gay capital of Barcelona, before our ferry to Mallorca and absolutely loved it! Cutest little place with lots of nice cafes, restaurants and walks. The beach is 1000 times nieces than Barca, the perfect day trip!
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    Catriona Hay

    Ahhh serious FOMO!! And nice beard Dan ;)

     
  • Day93

    Barcelonaaaaa

    May 19 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    After an incredible 3 weeks in Portugal and endless amounts of road trip Duolingo, it was time to put our (Dan’s) Spanish to the test…

    If you just want Barca tips, skip straight to the bottom, otherwise strap in for the unexpected but hilarious F1 weekend!

    Our Barca Air BnB wasn’t a great start (our first bad one of the trip!), but it slept 4 of us (with Fif & Jen) and we decided it would be more of a luggage storage facility anyway, right?

    We had a night solo before Jen, Fif, Rosa & Giff flew in to join us for the F1 so we thought we’d test out the local tapas and wander the old town for some local wine… what a hustle there was, F1 fans everywhere!

    Then the fun really began… the gang took to the streets of Barca on Friday! A few sights (the only good thing about our place was it was next to the Sagrada Família) and a few sangria stops later, we were well and truly stuck in to the Spanish lifestyle, so naturally dinner was at 10pm! Bar Brutal (thanks Andy for the amazing reco).

    Saturday morning the gals strolled La Rambla, hit the famous Boqueria and drank more sangriaaaa by the water. Divine. It was now time to get out to the track for qualifying and boy were we shocked to discover what was in store for us…

    …a desert heatwave of 35 degrees, no water, no alcohol and a 5 hour adventure to get home!! ABSOLUTE CHAOS! Turns out Barcelona wasn’t quite prepared for the 300,000 F1 fans that descended…a 5km walk to the nearest train station to find a massive, static queue and no additional trains, no taxis or alternate transport. The only option was to sit on the grass, drink beers and watch it all unfold! After a few false starts (including a big purple limo) we made it back to the city around 11pm. The only positive was we knew how to be prepared for race day.

    Race Day: Dan, Giff and Rosa were too traumatised from the day before, so decided to stay local and watch from the comfort of the aircon (lameooooossss!!). Being our first F1, it was gals on tour as Jen, Fif and I stocked up on agua, gin and snacks, fully prepared for the day ahead.

    The 36 degree heat and huge queue to get in that met us wasn’t a great start, but that didn’t burst our bubble! The gin was successfully smuggled in and we found a spot to pitch up on what was to be corner 4 and little did we know it would be the best action on the track! We had an absolute ball as cars flew off the track right in front of us, zoom after zoom. 🏎 We were slightly nervous about how to get home, but we knew the only strategy for exit was to pitch up in the rauchas beer tent outside the track, make some friends and wait it out with pitchers of sangria and plates of potatas bravas. We couldn’t believe our luck when 5 hours later we had bagged a taxi right outside the gate! What a win and boy were we smug returning to the gang in the city for a late Mexicanoooo feast.

    The fun doesn’t stop here…Dan had spent the day setting us up with a club night at Carpe Diem for a boogey. Very nice. Sexy dancers, champagne on fire, grey goose everywhere and a sneaky appearance from none other than Charles Leclerc! Rosa spotted him walking through the D floor but given she isn’t an F1 enthusiast, the boys weren’t so convinced she’d seen right. I mean why would he be casually walking through a club (after bombing out of the race) with no crowds following him? Bizarre. The detective work began with a game of fingers and the loser having to go and see what’s what. Captain subtle, Dan decided to walk on over and ask straight up. It was him. We were all giddy and in disbelief, so of course we started taking group photos with his head tactically positioned in the background. He then got up to leave and now was our time to pounce. He agreed to a photo with us “sorry you must get this all the time but please can we have a photo with you” 🫣 and the gals (particularly Jen) were in heaven! Shiny foreheads, shadow moustaches and all. What a day. What a night!

    All feeling a little broken, we went our seperate ways for a day of either beaching or sight seeing before re-grouping for an incredible final supper at Cal Pep, a local seafood tapas joint that Rosa & Giff had been with their parents. It was amazing. No menu, they just serve their best dishes. They even treated us to some Spanish cava and ‘special’ liqueur shots. We certainly finished the trip with a bang!

    A few of our must do’s:

    TO EAT & DRINK
    - Nomad coffee lab - cool place, yum coffee
    - Granja Petitbo - yum brunch & coffee
    - Bo De B - incredible sandwich shop
    - Cal Pep - amazing seafood tapas, an absolute must
    - Bar Brutal - delish dinner & natural wines
    - Dow Jones - stock exchange inspired bar
    - Boca Grande - cocktails on roof. Expensive but great food
    - Dr Stravinsky - cocktail bar
    - Oaxaca - amazing Mexican
    - 1898 rooftop bar
    - Carpe Diem - epic club for a big night
    - The El Born area is great for late night drinks/food/street salsa

    TO SEE
    - Sagrada Família
    - Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona
    - Cathedral of Barcelona
    - Park Güell
    - Casa Batlló
    - Wander the back streets of the Gothic Quarter
    - Wander the waterfront, check out the super yachts
    - La Boqueria
    - La Rambla
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  • Day92

    Porto - Sintra

    May 18 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    We had one night spare before we dropped the car back in Lisbon, so we decided to head back to the mystical town of Sintra and took the day to stop at some gorgeous wee towns along the way.

    📍 Aveiro - known as the Venice of Portugal, not sure I’d quite agree but definitely a cute stop!
    📍 Costa Nova - charming fishing village with cool striped colourful houses
    📍 Coimbra - oldest university in Europe, the library is worth doing

    Driving the back streets and towns on this route is a must!

    Our last minute Air BnB booking in Sintra was an absolute win! Would definitely recommend the boutique hotel, La Quinta Dos Lobos. We had the most gorgeous sunset from our room with some delish local wine gifted by the hotel. 😋 The perfect end to our Portugal road trip. We absolutely LOVED it and will definitely be back!

    Earlyish start, quick garden sweat and we were off to Lisbon to fly to Balcelonaaaaaaa for the F1!
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  • Day91

    Porto, Portugal

    May 17 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We weren’t sure what to expect from Porto, the home of Port and the huge Francesinha sandwich. Everyone we met en route said it was like Lisbon on steroids… still unsure of what that meant we were glad to check it out for ourselves.

    It was cool. Very cool. More rugged on the north of the river where we stayed, but with an amazing old town to explore and vibrant night life along the water. Lots of wandering (see list below) and even a cheeky local barber experience for Dannos!

    Our Air BnB was great and the rainforest shower was definitely appreciated after the van life!

    Things to check out:
    - MUST get to O Afonso and eat a famous Francesinha sandwich… you get them all over Portugal and we finally caved! Full on but delish!
    - Stroll along the river and take in the views and live music 🎶
    - Port tasting in Porto is obvs a must. We went to Graham’s which is worth it for the amazing view
    - Wander the old town of Ribeira
    - Eat the best roast pork roll from Casa Guedes Tradicional
    - See sunset from top of Jardim do Morro or the Yeatman Hotel
    - Check out the traditional grocery store - A Pérola do Bolhão for yummy cheese & meats, the one opposite is pretty good too
    - Park das Virtudes was pretty cool

    We wanted to go to Cozinha Cabral but couldn’t get in, was very busy! If we had more time, we’d probably have got a boat down the river too!

    ✌🏼
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  • Day90

    Lisbon - Nazaré

    May 16 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    It was bye bye to our beloved green van with a very high stress hour while we awaited the cost of our tyre incident (after playing the victims and saying we got run off the road by a big log lorry!) 🤫 So far so good, but I’m sure the bill will come!

    Now for the road trip to Porto, via Nazaré in a slightly different ride - an old school Fiat ‘convertible’. Of course as soon as we picked it up it started raining, and of course Dan wanted to drive the whole 3 hours with the roof down… soggy!

    So many interesting Portuguese smells followed us up the coast to Nazaré, the world’s biggest wave and a must see for us surf enthusiasts! 🤣 The huge swell is only there in October so with pretty flat conditions now, it was hard to imagine it as big as the footage shows. A look around the cool wee museum at the lighthouse and we were off.
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  • Day84

    Van Life: North of Lisbon

    May 10 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    After an epic south coast trip and 20 + beach stops, we headed north of Lisbon for 📍 Beleal & Peniche, home to one of the best breaks in Europe…SUPERTUBOS (lol). 🤙🏼 You can only imagine Dan’s excitement levels…

    Peniche itself isn’t much to write home about and it was super windy meaning our beloved Supertubos was blown out… sad Dan.

    It was busy in town so we headed up the coast a bit to find a secluded spot on the cliffs at📍 Praia da Almagreira. 👌🏼 We woke to amazing waves there…happy Dan! Too big for me so a beach run and my book were on the menu…

    We explored 📍 Beleal the next day which is a very cool wee spot. Good, fun surf and the beaches are lovely with little rock pools over on the island.

    Yummy seafood around too. After 7 days and nights of cooking all 3 meals in the van, we treated ourself to some sushi from Sushi Fish… so yummy! 😋

    Our last day with the van and I think we are just about ready for a hot shower! It was a big day…We stopped for a swim and a beer at 📍 Ericeira - an world heritage surf town with surf schools, camps, outlets everywhere, we wondered why Byron doesn’t have so much as the surf capital of Aus!

    A spot of inland touristing was then on the cards with 📍 Obidos - a walled medieval town with an epic castle. The local cherry liquor in a chocolate cup was a must here, along with the sardine shop!

    Finally, we stopped and parked up at 📍 Sintra - a misty magical little town with so much history perched up in the hills! Amazing road up to the Pena palace and Moorish castle. Snack at Piriquita II!

    Things we didn’t do but got recommended: walk around Colares, visit Adega Regional, eat at Restaurante Azenhas do Mar, see Cabo da Roca
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    Wonderful👍 [Christine]

    5/17/22Reply
     

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