Apr 25, 2015 - Camino community
One of the things that sets the Camino hike apart from others is the community that is formed. Along the walk, at various stops, you end up sharing a water break or lunch with a group of people and then end up seeing them in town later that evening for a drink or meal to celebrate the day’s successful walk and compare injuries. Nowhere else I've been has it been standard practice for people to whip off their shoes and display blisters and mangled toes! Everyone comes from such different backgrounds and countries. Everyone walks for their...Jump to full entry
Apr 24, 2015 - Day 7. Day in Barcelona.
Day 7. 21/4/15. We'd planned on getting up and away early today, but didn't wake till 8.40am. Tonight we'll leave the block-out curtains partly open. And go to bed early. And put the alarm on... We caught the bus to Montjuic which is an old fort overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and many old cannons are still in place as evidence of its use. It was also used as a jail, and many executions took place here. The 360 degree views really show off this wonderful city. We came down on the cable car and got a cab to the port end of la Ramblas, and...Jump to full entry
Apr 22, 2015 - Gaudy Gaudi
I like many different kinds of architecture, but I have to say, my limits were stretched marveling at the productions of Gaudi, his many houses and his mind boggling cathedral Sagrada Familia, more a sand castle than a church. If Victorians thought that more style elements is more, then modernists must think more stuff is more. Two spires not enough, how about 12? Neo Gothic style not enough, how about modernist and post modernist? How about the fruits of the spirit on top of 8 or so lessor spires, depicted as oranges, pomegranates, grapes,...Jump to full entry
Apr 21, 2015 - ballearic which?
OK, just to show more of my geographic ignorance, I could not have told you where the Palma de Mallroca is, nor what the Ballearic islands are...thinking on the coast for Palma and having no knowledge of at least three good sized islands over here south of Spain even though my mother has given me very nice pearls from Mallorca. For shame. How about Ibiza? Now I have heard of it, but where is it? On the Costa Blanca, maybe? OK< all of you who knew this may feel appropriately smug now. Sigh. So we find ourselves on a remarkably good sized...Jump to full entry
Apr 20, 2015 - Alikantay!
No, I have never heard of it either. That is the beauty of a cruise, you get to see a little sample of a place and can determine if it bears more inspection at a later date. The drawback is that you only get to see a little bit and the charm of a place is really in the people you meet there...and you don't get to meet a lot of people on the whirlwind blitz. Que lastima. We visited a fort on a hilltop that had once been held by...yes, the moors...who gets it next....the English. Safely ensconced, the French try to blast them out by digging a...Jump to full entry
Apr 20, 2015 - Day 6. Barcelona.
Day 6. 20/4/15 We crashed last night - too much walking for this old couple! Barcelona works on the hours of about 10am to 2am - very different from what we're used to, but we're learning. We got out of bed about 8.30am, hit the road about 11.30 after a muesli bar and coffee for breakfast. First stop was the Gaudi houses, which are in the upmarket area by the looks of all the specialty shops. Lunch, then on to Sagrada Familia, which has to be seen to be believed. Look it up on the web if you don't know about it - we didn't until Tony told...Jump to full entry
Apr 20, 2015 - Day 5. Paris - Barcelona.
Day 5. 19/4/15. Up at 5am, left the hotel at 5.40. It looked pretty grotty outside the door from the nights goings on and before the hotel staff had swept and cleaned. Cold walk to the station, and no taxi, but managed to hail one, and arrived at Gare de Lyon just before 6am. Found our platform and waited till coffee shop opened at 6.30 to buy breakfast of toasted ham and cheese sandwich - on bread like we have at home! Here a sandwich is a hard roll. By the time we finished eating and walked to the train we had to rush as our carriage...Jump to full entry
Apr 19, 2015 - Malaga, that's ma' la ga, not ma la' ga
We left Gibraltar about 11pm. This never sits right as one can never see as well driving at night. I mean, if they can't get time of sunrise and sunset right on a regular basis, what else can't they do? Is that just too much to ask?! I was actually thinking about getting into the incredibly busy with traffic Mediterranean Sea. Why do I think about these things?! I mean, it's a big ship, who can possibly not see it!!Jump to full entry
Apr 19, 2015 - Washington slept here
Spent no time in Malaga, but a two hour bus ride to the Alhambra in Granada. This is a remarkable world heritage site of several moorish castles and Christian churches spread over about 60 hectares. The history on this one boggles my mind. The moors are the Moslems who left from Mauritania and are not Arabs. This property changed hands several times as Spain was mostly moorish from 700 AD to 1492ish but wound up being Christian at the end of the day with Ferdinand and Isabella. In fact, Columbus left with the three ships from Valencia where...Jump to full entry
Apr 18, 2015 - Villamayor de Monjardin to Sansol
Day 6 Villamayor to Sansol 21 km After Villamayor I was told there are no villages, food or water, until Los Arcos 12km away so therefore stock up before leaving. About 6km into the day I rounded a corner and swore I was seeing a mirage, a little cafe oasis in the middle of nowhere serving freshly squeezed orange juice and 'bikini sandwiches.' I was walking with Byron and we stopped for a juice and tortilla. It was a pretty and pleasant trek through open countryside to Los Arcos where we stopped for lunch and ran into Janette, a fellow...Jump to full entry
Apr 17, 2015 - Ciraqui to Villamayor de Monjardin
Day 5 Ciraqui to Villamayor de Monjardin 32km (including 6km of backtracking...) After a sleepless night in the Alburgue due to Byron snoring down the house and keeping 17 other pilgrims awake I felt it was best to get an early start and head out on my own to walk off my surliness. AND I took an immediate wrong turn, walking 1km around the whole town and back to the alburgue. This did nothing to improve my mood! But as the morning wore on and the sun rose all was right with the world again and I enjoyed the solitude with the occasional...Jump to full entry
Apr 17, 2015 - Flight to Asia
Today we spent the day in the airplane flying to Singapore. Singapore airlines had great service, but the airplane looked a bit old. We luckily had a sit for matteus, so he could sleep and be active at the same time. Even if the flight was in the morning, it was smoother than the one to Europe. 12h flight though a bit long. Met this brave Taiwanese woman travelling alone with 2 babies and no stroller from for-so-bcn-Singapore-Taiwan non-stop. Still breastfeeding. Impressive! And babies behaved so well.Jump to full entry