A Travellerspoint blog

Pego

overcast 15 °C

After a quick stop in at Benidorm....

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We finally reached Kieran’s family in the quaint little town of Pego.

I was pretty nervous considering everyone spoke only Spanish and my language skills are poor to say the least! Kieran picked up the lingo pretty quickly and now even talks to me with hand signals. Haha. I found smiling was the best form of communication. I feel like the best way to describe everyone is welcoming and lovely. I have to say that we have both become Buddha’s.

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For example:

10.00 am: cake, biscuits and coffee (yes, sweets for breakfast!)
11.00 am: nuts, crisps, beer, soft drink
Noon: olives, yellow beans, nuts, crisps, beer, wine
1.00 pm: Noodle Paella
2.00 pm: Fruit salad
2.30pm: coffee and various cakes
5.00pm: coffee and crepes
8.00pm: tapas, wine
10.00 pm: chicken and noodles
11.00 pm: coffee

So it’s safe to say we rolled into bed – well that is after the fiesta. We all dressed up (I went as “spider woman” and Kieran as a “hippy”) and went into the town centre for the celebration.

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Next on the agenda was more food (and lots of it) and a bit of site seeing. We checked out the local beach, rice fields, Denia, Oliva, La Cueva de Las Calaveras (skull cave) and more.

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Posted by JessBeard 16:12 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Sevilla & Granada

sunny 20 °C

Unfortunately our time was up in Portugal...but at least we were heading for sunny Spain.

We arrived in Sevilla and heading straight to the town centre. Along the way we found some true Spanish cuisine; paella (just like carlos's) yummmmo.

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Visited Catedral De Sevilla

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And sipped on numerous espressos and wine :)

Next, the bull fighting arena; Plaza de la Maestranza where we were guided around the historic arena, gallery and museum.

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And finally Plaza De Espana - where we cheked out the Andalusian Day celebrations (a local celebration of eight provinces; Cadiz, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Jaén, Almeria and Huelva).

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Next stop; Granada.
We arrived in Granada wearing shorts and t-shirts to only be shocked by the chilly weather and even the sight of snow! After a quick clothe change we strolled around the town taking in the sites including another massive cathedral hidden in the town square.

Day two was much more interesting. We ventured up a mountain to see one of Spain’s most renowned palaces; Alhambra.

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It was intricately designed and beautiful, especially with the snow-capped mountains in the background. The palace and grounds were huge and included a maze of gardens, mosque, church and fortress.

I got slightly snap happy :)

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After a humongous lunch of salad, soup, wine and more paella we hit the road and headed to the snowy mountain tops to check out Sierra Nevada. The village was packed full of skiers and snow-boarders but unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to hit the slopes. With the bright blue skies and white slopes it was a stunning site.

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Next - Murcia

Posted by JessBeard 15:43 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Nazare & Sintra

sunny 16 °C

The small fishing village of Nazare was our next destination on the cards. If you are even going to Portugal add it to the list. Beautiful beaches, white washed houses and seafood galore.

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Sintra is another must see (along with the rest of Portugal). Absolutely stunning and heaps to check out. Day one we trekked up through the cobble-stone roads and rough tracks to the top of a mountain to check out Castelo dos Mouros...

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... and Parque da Pena.

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The palace albeit quite recent had breathtaking architecture. Unfortunately like all the good sites we couldn’t take pictures inside.

Afterwards we joined Pedro, the owner of the hostel we were staying at for a traditional Portuguese feast. Too much food, many stories and a lot more wine later we stumbled up to bed.

Day two in Sintra: we ventured to the most western point of mainland Europe; Cabo Da Roca.

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Visited a 15th century monastery; Convento dos Capuchos which was made of stone and cork and hidden away in the midst of the mountains

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And, checked out another breathtaking palace; Parque de Monserrate. Complete with its ‘own cactus garden :)

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Next...Faro

Posted by JessBeard 11:17 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

Porto

semi-overcast 14 °C

Portugal’s second largest city; Porto was next on our list of destinations. We decided to check out some local sights; churches, a railway station covered with pictured tiles, a mixture of old and new buildings and the main river. The churches were definitely the highlight; one was rather disturbing yet intriguing with its skulls and bones, (human at that) in the bottom of the church.

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Kieran sampled the local cuisine; "Francesinha" a sandwich four different meats, cheese and egg....hmmm

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Next, Porto wine tour. The riverfront of Oporto is infamous for its port cellars so we decided to check that out. First stop a wine, port and chocolate tasting, yummo. Then a cellar tour and more port tasting. Definitely a sweet way to chill out for the afternoon.

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Posted by JessBeard 11:42 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

Vila Do Geres

all seasons in one day 11 °C

We left Leon bright and early for our drive to Portugal.

I was driving through Spain’s picturesque snowy mountains when I was suddenly interrupted by the sound of sirens and flashing lights, yes I was pulled over by the Spanish national police…shit!! Kieran had the hard task of talking to the officers who understood nil English for a good 30 minutes which involved a lot of hand singles and pointing. Eventually we were let off with a fine. It was an interesting start to the day to say the least.

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We finally arrived in Geres, a barely existent town in the middle of Portugal’s Parque Nacional Da Peneda-Geres. Our hotel was so cute; we even had a view overlooking the lake. The pictures say it all really! We were hoping to hike into the mountains to see the 12th century stone villages hidden amongst the hills but the weather was definitely not on our side. So we chilled out in the hotel and ate pizza instead.

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Posted by JessBeard 11:33 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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