Entering the home of port was both unnerving & amazing. The first because it was a large city whose steep, narrow streets were filled with busy traffic but amazing because R.A.L.F. had taken us to an Aire that was just across the Douro from the old town that was perched up high glowing brightly in the afternoon sunshine.
200 kilometers NE of Lisbon, Castelo De Vide was a breath of fresh air. A tiny town only 20k from the Spanish border whose attractions boasted of castle ruins, a juderia (old Jewish quarter), old synagogue (converted to museum), church and a fountain.
Seville being our first stop back in Spain I was expecting a city that, like most others, had developed itself into the 21st century at a cost to it's heritage but I was soon proven wrong. As we approached the old quarter the crowds started to thicken and an exciting vibe filled the air.
The week or so we took to drive from Madrid to the Spanish Mediterranean coast was very pleasant with some ever-changing landscapes but nothing too dramatic. Of the small towns we visited en-route we stopped at Toledo & Cuenca. Having felt like we have visited every church ever made it was only fair to visit the two remaining medieval Spanish synagogues in Toledo (apart from the small one in Cordoba mentioned in a previous post).
Driving through more breathtaking mountain landscapes we were amazed to find a campsite nestled in a small valley. As we parked the farmer was herding his dairy cows through the area and the noise made by the bells they wore sounded like giant wind chimes.
Even though we were still 40 minutes from the Swiss border there was a small chapel (image at top of post) and a Swiss restaurant 100m up the road and Deb was hanging out for a cheese fondue, unfortunately it wasn't the best but the sausage & onions made up for it.
In order to avoid overloading (of both readers & author) I have tried not to post too often, so please forgive this short attempt to catch up and make this as real-time as possible.
After a few sunny days on the shores of Lake Geneva's French side we drove around towards Montreux on the lake's Swiss side stopping by Château de Chillon (pictured at top of post). From there it was on to Lake Thun & Interlaken.
I fear there are going to be fewer posts this year as a blog of any type is a beast that must be fed regularly and let's face it, how many pictures of cake, castles, churches & cathedrals can anyone take. So with this in mind please join Ralph (the trans-gender GPS), Norman (the self-trimming motorhome), Deb (the automatic missed turn & speeding alarm) & myself (the wind generator) for our trek through central Europe.