Seville day 4

Saturday 13 July 2013 I tend to get up earlier than my travel companions. Maybe my coffee addiction doesn’t like me to sleep in. On Saturday, I used the early hours of the day to cook: I made a mild chickpea curry for lunch. Ruby and I then went out searching for somewhere to print…

Seville day 3

Friday 12 July 2013 A vast cathedral with a lunch to match; a peaceful park and a confected plaza—that was Friday in a nutshell. But we needed to start the day with something to fortify our legs. I learned how to cook Eggs à la Ho Chi Minh from a street-vendor who had a tiny…

Seville day 2

Thursday 11 July: 2013 Today was flamenco day! But before we could climb into that sublime furnace, we had to walk across some ordinary coals… On our first morning in Seville, Ruby and I headed off to a supermarket in Plaza del Duque to stock the fridge. We filled two large shopping bags to the…

Algarve—Seville day 1

Wednesday 10 July 2013 We drove back to Faro in the little Fiat Punto with Susie dozing off in the front seat. The Europcar office provided a free shuttle service to Faro Airport, where we caught a metro bus back to the dismal bus station. Its only saving grace was that the small cafe there…

Algarve day 4

Tuesday 9 July 2013 Our fourth day in the Algarve was the most languid day of the entire trip. We had slowed down to a virtual standstill. The weather was perfect. There were many weeks of travel behind us and several weeks still lay ahead. Ruby cooked a slap-up breakfast with eggs, mushrooms, spinach and…

Algarve day 3

Monday 8 July 2013 On our third day in the Algarve, Susie and Ruby slept in again so I decided to explore the cliffs in front of our tiny cottage. It was quite difficult to pick out a path among the dry stone walls and prickly scrub, but I knew there were some goat tracks…

Algarve day 2

Sunday 7 July 2013 If you need to recover from a cold, you might as well be perched on the top of a cliff in the Algarve, with warm weather, lots of food and wine, and some sympathetic company. I was well and truly on the mend by the time we arrived in the Algarve,…

Lisbon—Algarve day 1

Saturday 6 July 2013 On our final day in Lisbon we took leave of our host, André. He bought us a small bag of treats from the pastelería. We walked out of the Alfama to the nearest metro station. We had little time to spare by the time we arrived at the bus station. As we…

Lisbon Day 4

Friday 5 July 2013 It was difficult to come to terms with the fact that today was our last full day in Lisbon. We had not allowed nearly enough time to explore this fascinating city. Four lifetimes would not be enough, so four days was completely inadequate. We keep reassuring ourselves that we will return…

Lisbon day 3

Thursday 4 July It was shaping up to be a scorcher in Lisbon, with the temperature set to peak at 41°C. After the disappointments of the day before, we were determined to tackle three different attractions. The first was the exhibition of art by Joana Vasconcelos at the Palácio National da Ajuda; the second was…

Lisbon day 2

Wednesday 3 July 2013 Sometimes when you’re travelling, things don’t always go according to plan. Today was one of those days. Furthermore, Susie’s resilience was reduced by a headache that had begun two mornings ago in Porto, and which she was unable to shake. This was one of the unfortunate side-effects of sinusitis, and in…

Nazaré—Lisbon day 1

Tuesday 2 July When we woke, our view of Nazaré was no longer obscure; it had vanished altogether. The mist blowing in from the Atlantic had completely blanketed the town in an opaque fug that was so thick you needed a raincoat to walk through it. And walk through it we did. After packing up…