North America, Europe · 25 Days · 49 Moments · May 2017

The Gray European Journey 2017


21 June 2017

A good end to a great trip, shopping for last minute trinkets, a fine meal at Trempe and Portugal tequila. Who knew??? It was delicious ( for tequila that is). Packing for home, with very full backpacks and even fuller hearts. Thankful for the trip of a lifetime. The time flew by and we each had different favorites. Dave's was the beach day at El Campello with the body boards, Elisa's was the first day in Barcelona and the great surprise of the magic of the city, Addie's was the Segway tour guide in Lisbon, and Josi's was spending her 16th birthday in Barcelona.

20 June 2017

Last beach day in Portugal before we head home. Costa De Caparica -and a sushi dinner at Hikidashi because it was worth a return.

19 June 2017

Today's highlight was a Segway tour -- it was a blast and full of historical information about Portugal along with a few food stops and tastes. We also ate the best sushi of all time-- the piece pictured is quail egg with caviar, soft shell crab in the center and a piece of truffle and a sprinkling of truffle oil.

18 June 2017

It is Father's Day so Dave picked our venture-- which was first to try and sleep in past most of the heat, visit some churches and the castle town of San de Jorge, walk the narrow streets of Alfama and eat Indian food.

17 June 2017

We ate our last breakfast of almond pillows in Sintra and headed to Lisbon where we are staying in the area known as Campo de Ourique. We have a beautiful three bedroom flat that has a view of the ocean and Estrella park. The temperature is 102 so we are moving a lot slower and drinking a ton of water.

16 June 2017

Today we took a side trip to the Atlantic ocean and ate percebes (goose neck barnacles that taste like scallops), salt cod, and fresh grilled sardines (which are not salty at all). The ocean was rough and cold like the Oregon Coast but the sand was so soft and the weather perfect. Uber is our friend and we have had some funny moments trying to hook up with a driver in a large crowd bouncing between English and Spanish when the language is Portuguese.

15 June 2017

The Moore Castle.
Sintra-the town of castles. This is the Pena castle.

14 June 2017

Made it to Sintra, Portugal where we are surrounded by castles, tiled streets, porto wine and cherrie liquor. We are staying on the third floor of a very old building with a view as shown in these pictures.
Another sunrise, off to Portugal, and In the Alicante airport Burger King sells beer!

13 June 2017

Our last day in El Campello, Spain-- soaking in the Mediterranean. What an absolutely beautiful place on earth. Love everything about it.
Night lights on the beach and sunrise from our balcony.

11 June 2017

El Campello-- about 30 minutes south of Alicante-- favorite AirBnB so far with an incredible view of the Mediterranean, we can hear the waives and feel the breeze in every room in the 9th floor apartment. We've taken a few down days to rest, rejuvenate, catch some sun rays and get ready for The next stop, which is Portugal.

10 June 2017

It happens to be a parade day and we found a pirate bar.
On the move again, heading further south along the Mediterranean. We arrived in Alicante--beautiful and much smaller than Barcelona. The beach always feels like true vacation time.
Totally kitschy hotel called El Tomate-- huge room with lots of great furniture and fun space.

9 June 2017

In under a minute this artist used scissors to duplicate Josi's silhouette and then we happened on a food gastronomic street fair where some already famous and up and coming chefs were creating magic.
Incredible food experience.
Park Guell- where the Gaudi monuments are--looooong uphill walk and tickets for entry were out for the day so we visited with headless man.
The market and lunch at Ravi-- a local small spot we happened into.
Barcelona day two-- La Familia Sagrade- designed by Gaudi and still under construction. So beautiful.

8 June 2017

Josi turned 16 today -- she chose dinner and we had paella. We went to an incredible open food market. A long wonderful day started at 6:00 am and ended 1:00- walked almost 10 miles today.
Joe our tour guide taking us into the old Roman City, eating churros, and Dave got a hair cut.
Early morning destination change to Barcelona. We were all feeling like maybe we should not leave San Sebastián BUT Barcelona is magical. We did a foot tour of the old City -- lots of history regarding Spain's tortured history of conquers, plagues, dictatorships, and eventual 1992 Olympic hosting recovery. The picture of a kiss( showing the simplicity of a memorable act of love), up close is thousands of pictures that represent freedom from all over the world.

7 June 2017

Last day in San Sebastián--pictures of the beach (little clothing worn by most- excluding us), and our little apartment. Loved every minute here and sad to be leaving. We could live here.
Last day of Pinxtos- two favorites- pigs ear, as delicate, tender and crispy as your mind can imagine and smoked cod on charcoal with an asparagus liquid shooter.

6 June 2017

Food, food, and more delicious food-- the dish in front of Dave is a delicacy of mushrooms with a quail egg and the steak was was an aged ribeye we waited in line for over an hour for and it was worth every minute.
Hiking up another Igueldo- with a monument of Jesus and the Cathedral of Buen Pastor.
Visiting the University Dave attended 24 years ago and his old apartment.
Exploring La Concha in San Sebastián and hiking up to Mont Igeldo and Park of Attractions.

4 June 2017

San Sebastián is foodie heaven and Addie is making some great choices getting us into Pinxto bars.
Leaving France and arriving in Spain-- some views while on the trains. We made two train transfers and a cab to get to our AirBNB in San Sebastián.
Boarding the train ride to San Sebastián Spain through France
Markets in Paris and charging our phones on the bike stand at Montparnasse Gare train station. Leaving Paris via train.
Museo D' Orsee-- with works of art by Monet, Van Gough, Pissarro and many others, the Sacre d' Ocre on the hill in Paris's bohemian village and red light area.
Notre Dame

3 June 2017

Bubble Tea shops-- one of our favorites along with the locks bridge and the electric unicycle.

2 June 2017

Big Bus --Hop on Hop Off took us all over Paris
The Eiffel Tower-- we did go all on the way to the top.
Leaving London and taking in all of Paris- first stop Arc de Triomph.

1 June 2017

Travel by Euro train was super fast, comfortable, and an easy way to land in Paris-- not captured in photos-- some technical difficulties in ordering a French uber while standing in the bike only lane.

31 May 2017

Food in London -- especially soup dumplings at Yamatcha and China Town. Sooooo delicious. The plate in front of Dave is Frog Legs-- and yes, they do taste like chicken.
Awww the sweets and macaroons--Addie's favorite.
Out on the town with Jane and Jon and the Tower of London which was a great tour.

30 May 2017

More of London and Jane is easy to spot in the pink hat.

29 May 2017

Exploring London with Jon,Jane, and Charlie-- near the London Bridge and royal buildings.
First stop London

28 May 2017

Hosted in Jane and Jon's beautiful flat over looking Hyde Park and experienced our first ever British Tea at Fortnum and Mason.