Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Algarve Portugal - the south coast  May 24th - 27th


The southern coast of Portugal is packed with beach resort towns. The water is a beautiful turquoise blue. The coast ranges from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs. Everything on the land is green or white painted buildings. As usual we tried to visit the less populated areas. They still exist, but are disappearing fast.



Main square in Tavira, Portugal.




Carousel in the park along the Rio Gilas. Carousel's are very popular. We have seen them everywhere in Portugal.




Hotel courtyard in Tavira. This was unusual because it was painted gold not white. A real eye catcher.




One of the narrow street in Tavira.


Our free spot for the night at Cape Sagres on the western tip of Portugal.



Sunset looking toward Cape St. Vincent, also on the western tip of Portugal.




View of the coastline at Cape Sagres.











Sagres Fort and Navigator School



In the 18th century a fort was built at Cape Sagres.





In 1420 Prince Henry the Navigator built a school to teach navigation. This is the chapel they prayed in before setting out.


The fishing port of Sagres.




The beach in Salema Portugal.




View down a street in Salema.



FIESA International Sand Sculpture Festival in Pera Portugal.


Even in Portugal they express their opinions about Trump.

Sevilla, Spain - May 22nd


We went on a free history walking tour in Sevilla. The tour was great, the temperature was not. Lucky for us our guide always stopped in the shade to explain what we were looking at. We have found that free tours are excellent, usually the guide is a local university student. For this tour we had a college history professor.



View across the Guadalquivir River toward the center of Sevilla.




Giralda Bell Tower - part of Sevilla's cathedral




One of the entrances to the cathedral.




View of the cathedral.


 Buildings in Sevilla.



Plaza Nueva




It was so hot even the horse carriages parked in the shade.


 Streets in the Jewish Quarter.

Small courtyard in the Jewish Quarter.


Love the bougainvillea.


Fountain in Sevilla.




View of a narrow street.




Dinner in the scenic little Plaza de Dona Elvira.




View of the cathedral from Patio de Banderas.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017




The White Hill Towns of Andalucia Spain - May 17th - 21st

We visited five hill towns in the Andalucia region of Spain. The towns are perch on hill tops with great views of the surrounding countryside. The roads are narrow and twisty along steep mountain sides. A bit scary, but wow what a view.
Ronda, Spain - They were filming Berlin Station while we were there. They took over a lot of the old town. I can see why they chose the area, it is beautiful.



Ronda sits along the top of a canyon wall.




New Bridge was completed in 1793 and spans El Tajo ravine connecting the Moorish quarter with the El Mercadillo quarter.












Sights around the city.


 Bullring in Ronda. It is the birth place of modern bullfighting.


Hand painted flamenco fans.


Zahara de la Sierra with a Moorish castle ruins on the hilltop.

View from the Moorish castle tower.

View of the church roof in Zahara.
From Zahara we drove a narrow road that hair-pinned up to a pass and back down to the next town, Grazalema. You have to wonder why the road was built. It goes steeply up and back down a nearly vertical mountain, but the scenery is fabulous.



Grazalema town square.




Grazalema town well.




Grazalema home front yard - only room for a vertical garden.














Jerez, Spain - The old town was full of blooming jacaranda trees.










Colorful sherry barrels. Jerez is famous for two things - horses and sherry.











We arrived in Jerez during the Festival of Horses. There were horse drawn carriages and people riding horses everywhere.