Day 22: Obrigada, Portugal! (not you, TAP Airlines)

4:30am came awfully early, as we needed to drive back to Lisbon to catch a flight to London, and then on to Chicago. While it was dark and pouring rain when we left the apartment, Jim navigated (more…)

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Day 21: Saving the Best for Last

Today was another light sightseeing day, as it was our last full day in Portugal and we had lots to do to organize for our return trip to Chicago. As a bonus, it was a (more…)

Day 20: Sightseeing-light in Sesimbra

Much like our time in The Fig, we did a lot of relaxing and general nothingness during our two full days in Sesimbra. It was Sightseeing Light, a concept with which we aren’t super (more…)

Day 19: Back to School in Coimbra

Since our trip was winding down in a few days, the decision was made that we’d better start making our way back toward Lisbon. We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing, carefree time spent in The Fig, and (more…)

Days 17 & 18: Catching our Breath in The Fig

Partly because yesterday’s post was a doozy by being long(er than normal), I am combining these days because, well, we didn’t do a whole lot. It was our vacation from the vacation, and mostly involved (more…)

Day 16: A Tour of Porto & Parking Garages

It rained – no, poured – all night, and was coming down so hard we awoke several times. I wondered if clouds ever run out of rain and just shrivel up on the spot, but that (more…)

Day 15: And Now, A Famous Cockerel

We haven’t been sleeping well, so today was an early start and we were out the door by 8:40am to get a better look at Braga. It was drizzling when we started, but that soon let up and (more…)

Day 14: World Heritage Guimaraes

This morning we were up and out by 9:30am. While it was only overcast when we started wending our way west along the river, shortly the clouds started unleashing moisture upon us. Have I mentioned how (more…)

Day 13: Man- & Nature-Made Beauty of the Douro Valley

Today we awoke early to rainy skies and decided it was a good day to tend to our dirty laundry. I approached the front desk clerk of the hotel and asked if there was self-service laundry nearby, and she warmly smiled and (more…)

Day 12: Guarda, Belmonte, & Almeida

Today was time change day in Europe, so we got an extra hour with which to check out Guarda and the area. We started by driving into the historic center of Guarda, and by that I mean we almost drove right into the (more…)

Day 11: Ruins, Rocks, and Rain

We were up and at ‘em early today, hitting the road before 9am. Our mission was to get to the city of Evora, which was about an hour away. While it was no problem navigating roundabouts, traffic, pedestrians, and (more…)

Day 10: Cliffs, Castles, Cork, and a Dam

We were up by 8am today and ready to get going. The trouble was, breakfast didn’t start until 9am. So we entertained ourselves by doing a slow roll around the grounds of the hotel before (more…)

Day 09: Today We Put a Cork in It

Today we enjoyed a leisurely morning, breakfasting on the terrace by the pool before moving to our veranda to consider options for the day. Word on the street was there is a cork factory nearby, and we wanted a (more…)

Day 08: Getting Back on Track in the Algarve

After a fitful night’s sleep, we awoke to bright sunshine and a better sense of how today was going to shape up.  Spoiler alert:  it didn’t involve driving out to Troia and back. We were (more…)

Day 07: Ola, Portugal. Again.*

Today was a very long day for us, but I’m going to try not to make it a very long day for you. For one thing, I barely (more…)

Day 06: We Reached the Western Shore

Today we were up and out by 10am and ready to have a leisurely day touring the western side of Sao Miguel. It was mostly cloudy upstairs, and we were hopeful by the afternoon things would burn off a bit, especially since we were going to see (more…)