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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Rome, Lazio, Italy

Jul 5, 2013 - The Algarve, July 5

Spent the day just being lazy, doing laundry and reorganizing the suitcases. Took one last walk down the hill to the village square and onto the small beach. Then we had supper at a restaurant overhanging the cliff with another small beach below. It was an excellent meal - kabobs of monk fish and shrimp grilled over an open fire right on the patio in front of us with fresh garden vegetables. We are now sitting on our deck listening to great live Latin Caribbean music coming from our resort square. What a great way to end our trip. It has...

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Europe 2013

Jul 4, 2013 - The Algarve, Wed., July 3

Spent the morning reading, etc., etc. You know the routine. Decided to look for a beach today. This wouldnt be an area for beach lovers. You really have to look to find access to one. We just drove thru the developed areas following the general direction of the shoreline til we found a place where cars were clustered then look for a path down. We had a couple of false leads then hit paydirt. As it happened we found the exact same beach that they had found 10 years ago. What are the odds?! And the descent had been made quite navigable over...

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Europe 2013

Jul 4, 2013 - The Algarve, July 4

Spent the morning.........yada, yada, yada. Boogied down the coast to Silves today. It is a 15th century medieval castle and village. Again lots of empty spaces. Area is known for its lemon and orange trees but it appears that the season here may be different from home. There was only the odd piece of fruit on the trees as though it had already been picked. Extremely hot and humid today. Getting home to 33 degrees will be a relief after the high 30s. Some days the breezes are strong and give great relief on our deck though. I haven't...

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Europe 2013

Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, Mon., July 1

Happy Canada Day to everyone back home! Spent the morning reading and gazing at the pool and ocean. The guys go down the hill periodically to get provisions and check the various prices of Port. It has become an obsession with them - they cant pass a store without browsing. In the p.m. we went down the coast a few minutes to Portimao. McGuires had been here 10 years ago when they attended the Rotary International convention in Spain. We may not have found the same area that they remember but what we saw was very sad. Mostly empty shops and...

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Europe 2013

Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, Tues. July 2

Spent the morning reading and gazing at tfhe pool and ocean. Ho hum. How tedious! Before we left home I had read a magazine article on an annual International Sand Sculpting competition in The Algarve. Turns out it is only 15 minutes from here. What an amazing thing! It appears like a bulldozer had created a huge amphitheater in the sand and the piles of sand moved out were used to create the sculptures - 45 tons worth! We saw some Canadian names on the creations as well. The theme this year was "Music" and large panoramas, much larger...

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Europe 2013

Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, Sun., June 30

Spent the morning reading and gazing at the pool and ocean. Walked down the hill (of course) to the village which is flat (thanks be to God). We poked around all the lovely little interesting shops. There are lots of the Portuguese tiles for which the country is famous. They are mostly similar to the typical Dutch blue and white tiles. But apparently the Portuguese originated it and used it to decorate the entire facade of their buildings to make them more attractive. Its amazing to see all the buildings in the old quarters entirely covered...

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Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, june 29

We picked up the car and headed south after our obligatory getting lost session. We took the coastal hiway. It was very different terrain. Mostly flat and very dry. Would only be good for grazing cattle. There are small patches of irrigation for some grapes and corn. I understand why almost 1/3 of the 10 milliion population of Portugal lives in Lisbon. It would be very hard to earn a living here without the money to buy cattle or sheep. It took 7 hours including time to stop for lunch. Unfortunately very little of the hiway is near enough...

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Europe 2013

Jul 2, 2013 - Fri, june 28

We took the Hop On Hop Off bus today around Lisbon. Excelent wah to learn background of area and see all the sights. Go off to see the Tower of Belem one of the last defences of Portugal historicaly. And The Discoveries which is a huge monument to the historical figures involved in Portugals history of new world discoveries. When you see it, it is very decognizable and well known. We ended up at the oldest bakery in Portugal. They are famous for their Belem Tartes - an absolutely delectible custard tart that makes you think you can go out...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon, Thurs 27th

There was a strike today of all transportation. We were going to take a train to Sintra but had to make a hasty reservation on a guided tour. There was a great deal of concern for Rotarians who had tickets out on Portugal Airlines and couldnt couldnt extend their hotel stay because they were all booked. Guess we will hear some stories when we get home. Went to Sintra, Estril, and Cascais which are fishing villages on tfhe coast just 30 minutes from Lisbon. They are now beautiful resort towns. If we had it to do again we would spend 3 days...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon, wed 26th

Didnt go to convention til closing ceremonies today. There were a lot of speeches etc and intro to next years president who is from the US this time. Last onewas from Japan. Believe me when I say that the president of Rotary has the same status with Rotarians as the president of the United States and probably nearly as much influence worldwide. The following entertainment was 2nd to nothing we have ever seen. There was Fado, of course. Then " 2 Cellos". They are a duo from Romania. An amazing combination of pop done in a classical style on...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon tues 25th

Went to sessions this morning and heard from very inspiring clubs around the world and the amazing good things they are doing. And it is usually very simple things that make a world of difference to the disadvantaged. It would feel very good to be involved in some. Had very necessary naps in the afternoon. Then attended Rotary "Taste of Portugal". It was held in a convent dating from the 15th century. It is one of Portugals oldest and richest built from Portugese white and pink marble. I thought convents gave up everything for...

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Jun 26, 2013 - Lisbon, monday

Didnt go to sessions today. (Bad!) We walked up to St. Georges castle (and I mean UP!) On the top of one of Lisbons 7 hills with amazing views of old Lisbon. It was so obvious to see where the old town with its low buildings and red roofs ended and the modern city begins. In 1755 an earthquake destroyed part of the city. Then a tidal wave came in and after fires destroyed even more. Some building of the Moorish Alfama did survive. Then we took the famous tram 28 around old town. It barely fit in some of the narrow alleys. While we walked...

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Europe 2013

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