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Month: January 2017

Keeping fit in Estoril

Keeping fit in Estoril

I wasn’t too thrilled to hear that we were moving on again, especially when I heard we were going to visit Lisbon, but it turned out to be not so bad. The trip alone was wonderful; long, unpopulated stretches of surprisingly lush countryside, eucalyptus forests (gosh, but they really smell fantastic after the rain!), miles of sand dunes, regular glimpses of the sea ….  The highlight for me was the ferry trip across the Sado estuary from Troia to Setúbal….

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The Wild West

The Wild West

We’d had a taste of things to come when we visited the cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente, but we still weren’t quite prepared for the unspoilt, rugged beauty of the south western coast of Portugal. The entire area is a national park (Paisagem Protegida do sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina – try saying that after a bottle of Blog wine!), and so the small towns and fishing villages are far and few between and there are none of the…

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Storks

Storks

I am not the only Big Bird on the cliff. Since we arrived in Portugal, we have seen a large number of storks, many nesting on roofs, poles, chimneys, church belfries and derelict industrial buildings in towns and villages along the coast. They are quite a common sight which is not surprising, considering that the stork is protected in this country and it is against the law to demolish any structure on which storks nest. The lucky ducks! We poor…

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Finding my niche

Finding my niche

Time to start hitting those famous Portuguese beaches! We’re going west and yet again, alongside the orange and lemon groves, the coast road is full of dilapidated buildings and graffiti. Already from the outskirts however, Lagos looks much better kept. We got hopelessly lost, looking for our Airbnb accommodation and so had a lengthy tour of this lovely coastal town – several times over. The old town centre is typical of the area, with its narrow cobbled streets. At one…

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Far, Faroway

Far, Faroway

I’ve been promised sun, sea and sand but all I can see is snow. What’s going on? At least we are moving – by train to Vienna. Where’s all this sun the Oldies have been talking about? Ah! This is more like it! We are just landing in Faro, Portugal. Wonderful! From the plane window I can also see the huge mounds of salt at the salinas (salt beds), so the open sea cannot be far away. The sun is…

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Getting cold feet

Getting cold feet

Good. I was afraid for a while there that we might get cooped up in the hotel or spa, but the weather is great, cold but sunny, so we are heading off to do a bit of exploring. It is my first time in Hungary and one of the first things I’ve noticed is the large number of extra-wide road signs, necessitated by the ridiculously long place names. Wonderful! Just don’t ask me how to pronounce them. What a language!…

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Getting into hot water

Getting into hot water

2016 ended with a bang. I most certainly did not enjoy those fireworks. But at least 2017 is getting off to a good start. Bags are being packed, maps unfolded and refolded. We are on the move again! Well, this is interesting. Our destination is Héviz, a thermal spa town in Hungary, not far from the western end of Lake Balaton. Ok, it’s not by the sea, but there is plenty of water around. Both hot and cold, in fact….

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