Portugal, Spain, France · 10 Days · 35 Moments · September 2016

Laura's odyssey through Portugal

19 September 2016

Day 10 Gloomy day and shops apparently don't open on Mondays. Coffee in the cathedral square and walked around, hip killed me with the damp! Lunch near Joan of Arc church and then lit a candle for Kim in the beautiful cathedral. Time to return back to the UK to face my hip replacement AND colonoscopy at the end of the week. At least I have pleasant thoughts of a great family holiday; missed Joe but next time 💖
Where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake
Day 9 Final long drive to Rouen, exactly a year since my Kim came so was very poignant for me, especially as I bought a new red raincoat in the petrol station and Kim was wearing a red coat too; we always turned up wearing the same colour!! Rouen, wow amazing architecture and so beautiful. Luckily there was a light and sound show on the cathedral too. Amazing French cuisine at Paul's Brassiere on the cathedral sauare, snails, pate froie gras, steak and smoked salmon baquette. bottle of wine all for £105.
Day 8 Sad to leave this beautiful city; found Carrefour on exit so bought my strawberry gin x6 boutielles. Drove through the picturesque Basque country and reached the vet just over the French border at Saint Jean de Luz. Pretty little town, lovely vet too. Coco all sorted we drovea further 2 hours to a ghost town 10 km north of Bordeaux called Amberas. Weird place but found a place to eat called Patataseri, menu made of potatoes and camembert as produced in this region.

18 September 2016

17 September 2016

Day 7 contd Met up with kids and Coco for a fab dinner; Abs had his suckling pig, Saad oxtail, Hana prawns and a fab pasta seafood salad for me. We walked round this lovely, vibrant, clean city. We were all n awe 😍 So much to look at! Bed at 1130 as up for a trip to Carrefour for my strawberry gin .
Day 7 Hannah and I caught the compound courtesy train to the Cabanes beach, where a small boat ferried us over. WOW stunningly beautiful, the best beach of all Algarve 👍👍 An hour to relax then on the road again to Seville where we drove around to view some stunning architecture. Certainly another return city break. Found an apartment in, what I thought would be another city in the barren wilderness. How wrong was I??? Salamanca, what an unexpected surprise. A beautiful city full with sandstone architecture. The University of Salamanca, which was founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain and the fourth oldest western university, but the first to be given its status by the Pope Alexander IV who gave universal validity to its degrees. With its 30,000 students, the university is, together with tourism, a primary source of income in Salamanca. Off to Lidl to buy our liquor, sooo cheap! 50p bottle wine, £1.50 prosecco.

16 September 2016

Day 6 On the road again along the N125 coastal road of the Algarve. Interesting to see how suddenly it becomes the tourist hot spot. Stopped off at Carvoeiro which turned out to be quite a cute little cove with lots of shops. Stopped for coffee and bit of shopping; my UK blue disabled badge came in handy for parking! On to Vilamoura and stopped for Abs birthday lunch on the beach. Lovely food although service was so slow! Poor Coco had to be left in car. Onward journey out of the tourist spot and towards the Spanish border. Found a hidden gem called Cabanes, a small fishing village with so much life. Great little apartment in a Spanishy compound, overlooking the pool. Walked 5 minutes into the village to some fabulous bars and celebrated Abs' birthday with tapas, birthday cake icecream and a live band. Fabulous place.

15 September 2016

14 September 2016

Day 5 Left Lisbon for the coastal drive down to the Algarve. Some lovely beaches and coves but surprised how the villages were like ghost towns and the houses are so uniformed and uninteresting unlike the Spanish homes. Arrived in Lagos and found an apartment with a pool. Hana and I sat sunning ourselves on the balcony with a rose wine whilst the boys went food shopping for a bbq tonight. Such a hard life! Well, someone's got to do it.
Day 4 Hannah and I hit the town for the bus tours; frustrating as none of the "blue line" buses stopped so we had to take a tuk tuk back into the centre. Snack lunch of chicken baguette, Portugeuse nata (custard tart) and spinach croquette. After the long tour we had a few Mateus rose wines before meeting the boys at a cocktail bar in the Parca De Comercio. Brazilian caiparinha 🍷 Walked around and ended up earing a fabulous seafood dinner, lobster, steak in mushroom sauce, prawns and salmon with rice in tomatoey sauce and baked fish. Home to bed for us elders whilst the kids went out to meet Majid and friend. Good day but tiring

13 September 2016

12 September 2016

Day 3 An interrupted sleep due to Hana and Saad coming home "merry". Abs and I bused it to town to enjoy the Hop on and off bus tour round Lisbon, Bigger than I thought. Amazed to see my buddy Jackie on a tram also on a holiday here. Lunch with the kids, met up with Jackie, Gary, Tracy and Russell finally after getting lost on the 28 tram that was damaged so we all had to disembark! Enjoyed a few drinks in the old part nearbour flat and then enjoyed a lovely traditional Portuguese meal with traditional music. Tram back up the hill to bed. Shattered 😩
Day 2 Abs walked to the nearest boulengarie for croissants for our long journey ahead to Portugal. Picturesque once we got to the rolling forests of Portugal into Lisbon. Welcomed by Pedros in an amazing apartment in The Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon. Lovely touch of chocolates with a bottle of wine and bowl of fruit, free parking slot too. Walked part then taxi to central part as cobbled stoned pavements proved a problem for someone with a cane! Saad met up with old mates and enjoyed a Portugeuse cuisine. Hana and Saad continued until the early hours whilst us oldies who had driven ten hours collapsed to bed! At least we made it.

11 September 2016

Day 1 After a full day and night (watching Ricky Gervais in concert) in London, it was difficult waking up to the alarm at 0400 am!! We hit the quiet road to the Eurotunnel and enjoyed a breakfast there. Drove nearly 1,000 km and stayed in a small hotel in Saugnacq et Muret 65 km south of Bordeaux. Enjoyed a meal, glass of wine and early to bed, ready for our onward journey to Lisbon.

10 September 2016