Day 11 – Visit Cordoba * Journey to Ubeda
Travel day today. Stopped at a little gas station for a break and saw a huge field of cilantro growing. It had gone to flower for the corriander seeds. Very cool.
Stopped in Cordoba to visit a very old Mosqu that has a Catholic Church in the middle. It is like two different buildings .. But the active Catholic church is in the exact center of the old mosqu… Wow.
Had a carriage ride through town that finished just as the rain began.. Perfect timing.
On to our parador.. Another great place. This one has really high ceilings and an indoor patio.
Tomorrow we get to find out about growing olives and making olive oil!
Day 10 – Explore Ronda
Walked around Ronda today on a city tour. Good guide, the history of this city is very interesting.
In our free time we took a hike 1/2 way down the gorge to see the waterfalls. It was steep and no hand rails. Going down was not so bad but coming back was difficult. I almost had a panic attack several times because I am just not good with heights. It was a very nice view.
In the evening several of us went to a guitar concert. He was good. I have never seen someone play the guitar like that. He strummed and picked the top strings with his fingers at the same time.
I want to take a moment to talk about the hotel. It is in the best location.. Looking over the gorge and we have great balconies. The rooms are big and it is nice. The pillows are not very comfortable and the water temperature fluxuated the entire time I was showering. So far in Spain, they actually let you keep a towel for two days if you hang it back up. The towels have also been huge! No air conditioning but outside weather is cool so we open the window or door and let the air circulate. Such little differences make the trip more interesting.
For dinner we went to the McDonalds next door to the Pousada and had a beer, because we could!
We are walking quite a bit each day. I think the lowest mileage so far has been about 4. The walkways are also cobblestone and uphill more than this flatlander is used to. If I weren’t eating and drinking so much i would probably lose some weight.
Day 9 – Overland to Ronda
Goodbye Carmona… Wish we could have spent more time visiting!
We drove through the mountains today and it was beautiful. Stopped for a coffee at a little town and then visited a ranch that breeds bulls and horses.
The ranch was quite cool and the process is very interesting. I learn something new everyday. As it was pointed out today, your hamburger comes from a breeding farm .. Here they sell all the animals to the butcher, there is just a public art form th
at includes the public killing of one of the hundreds of bulls prior to the sale.
The bullfighter trains everyday and it is almost like a dance. Bulls are very smart and have never been in a ring before their single fight or the bull fighter would be killed instantly. The bull fighter we met was very nice and answered all the questions we had.
Our hotel is just beside a beautiful gorge. I will not get close to or look over the edge but I look across the landscape and it is amazing. We have a balcony that includes chairs and
tables.. So nice!
What is up with showers that don’t have full doors or curtains? I suck at those.. Water all over the floor. Maybe I will figure it out before the trip is over but I doubt it.
My sinuses are not bothering me today !! WooHoo.. That is so great!
Mom hasn’t smoked a cigarette since we left. She has done great, especially since they smoke so much over here. Today was a tough day for her but she made it to the end of the day without a smoke and without hitting anyone and only a few moments of grouchy. Way to go Madre’
Staying in a castle on top of a hill… It is super cool and great view. Food is good but it isn’t as good as last hotel. Room is much bigger and towels are giant! I have found out that I just cannot take a shower in a tub with a 1/2 shower door without getting water on the floor. I do not know why.
Went on optional tour of Seville today.
Paid 60 cents to use a public restroom, first time I’ve gone through a turnstile into a bathroom.
Overall.. Continue reading Day 8 – Seville
Another great day.
We toured the University and spoke to two students about their classes and how they view their future. They have a special uniform with a cape and a book that tells the rules about how they are too wear it. They were fun.
Then a walking tour of Evora including two catholic churches and the creepy bone room. Mass started at noon and at 11:55 only 10 people were there. Our guide told us that most people would show up between 12:02 and 12:10. Continue reading Day 6 – Evora * Portuguese cooking lesson
What a great day!
We toured a rug museum and saw a demonstration of how to embroider a rug followed by coffee at an outside cafe.
Then we toured a cemetery. It was beautiful, not a word I would normally use to describe a cemetery. From the cemetery we could see the ruins of a castle on top of the hill and we all tried to get a good picture of it.
Then we went to a winery. Saw a fantastic collection of carriages (as one lady put it, women collect shoes – men collect cars). I never imagined that carriages had places for hunting dogs, hunting ferrets, beds and toilets. Then we walked a long way (not really) through the vineyards to the winery. I never knew grape plants could be so beautiful. Part of the road had olive trees along the sides. After learning about how to make wine and how important it is to have a great wine master (we Continue reading Day 5 – Evora
Today we left the hotel at 8:30 and took a driving tour of Lisbon. Saw part of a taxi driver protest of Uber, some very interesting architecture in the rich part of town and went across an 11 mile bridge.
In the county we learned to make tile – very labor intensive but also very beautiful. We got to paint our own tiles. They will be glazed and fired and delivered to us in Madrid. Continue reading Day 4 – Rural Portugal
Day 3 already? Day 1 and 2 ran together into just a really long day.
The hotel breakfast buffet was good. I skipped the beans and sausages but had eggs and bread and fresh fruit and some pretend coffee (not that great).
We headed out for the day at 8:30am. Drove around Lisbon to some tourist sites… A park, A monastery, a statue.. Had to either buy something or pay to use the bathroom at one place (only about 50 cents). They boasted the sexiest toilet paper on earth but were skeptical. Continue reading Day 3 – Lisbon * Sintra
We arrived about 9 am Lisbon Time. My phone wasn’t working and I couldn’t access my Starbucks Card so I spent my first Euro on a Starbucks at the airport. It was not that good.
When we got to the hotel about 10, our room wasn’t ready so we got a map to go on a walk and have lunch. We walked about a mile downhill on a beautiful street. Lots of stores and signs in English and Portuguese. Portuguese looks somewhat like Spanish in print so I could pick out a few words (thank you Duo Lingo). We ate lunch at an outside cafe and then walked downhill another mile to the waterfront.
I told mom that this looks like what I would imagine San Francisco looks like with the cable cars and side streets but then there was a Times Square type building.
After we checked in to our hotel room and relaxed a little, we met the group for our welcome dinner.