Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Portugal travels continued

Continuing our diary of our travels to Portugal, it was interesting to see when driving through France the vineyards and fields of sunflowers (not the ones that grow many metres high!) these sunflowers only come waist high. They were dried out and done to a crisp - rather brown and curling at the edges. They were certainly ready for harvesting. Were these destined for bio fuel we wondered?

On to Spain - also fields of sunflowers ready for harvesting and hundreds of olive trees and many vineyards. You could never get blasé about the scenery - mountains as far as you could see - beautiful. Certainly worth the 1,600 miles journey there!

The one thing you notice in Portugal are the orange groves. At any time of year you will see oranges on the trees (we have been in December and were surprised to see oranges still growing). Of course the best time is the springtime when the blossom permeates the air. You can purchase bags of oranges varying in weight up to 10 kgs from the locals.

The beaches are truly stunning, with varied backdrops. You can find beaches that are private coves with enormous cliffs protecting them on the western Algarve, but on the eastern Algarve the beaches are easier to access, some with sand dunes and miles of pure golden sand to walk along.

Car parking is never a problem. Amazingly in the busy summer months you will still find parking spaces at mid-day! In the U.K you would be queueing miles back from the beach on a sunny day.

To be continued.....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Portugal travels

Well, we have been on our travels again. We have driven to Portugal on the Algarve, which is about 1,600 miles each way!

We crossed over to France via P&O Ferries to Calais, staying two nights in Le Touquet, then further into France and staying at a Campanile hotel near Bordeaux, and on to Spain, where we stayed at another Campanile hotel (one of only two in Spain) in Alcala de Henares - a suburb of Madrid with a beautiful square full of restaurants - very popular. We love it there and it gives us a respite from the hundreds of miles of driving on motorways.

The continental motorways are really quite good, not so much traffic as in the U.K even though there are usually only two lanes and not three. They are probably not used as much because of the toll charges - no camper vans - hooray! We noticed that the land became more and more arid as we got further into Spain, no wonder they have had those terrible fires. Every where looks as if is crying out for some rain.

We finally arrived in Altura, on the Algarve, right by the beach which is really beautiful, miles of golden sands and sand dunes. Altura is near Villa Real de San Antonia, right next to the Guadiana River which marks the border between Portugal and Spain. We are about 17 miles from Tavira which is always worth a visit, and 35 miles from Faro, the capital of the Algarve.

All of the towns have lovely little squares with cafes and bars where you can enjoy fresh local seafood, fresh orange juice, local beers, wines, etc. In the spring the square in Villa Real D.S.A. is full of the scent of orange blossom - heaven!

More to follow on our travels later.....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back in England, missing Lily

We've been back home from our wonderful Thailand holiday for a week now, and both John and I are really missing our gorgeous granddaughter Lily. We're missing our son Peter, daughter-in-law Su and everyone else there too, but this was the first time we've ever seen Lily (of course, since she was only born in June). We hope to go back there again some time in the early part of next year.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

First photos of our granddaughter Lily

Our son Peter posted these three lovely photos of beautiful baby Lily on his blog recently, the first one from the day after she was born and the second two when she went home yesterday:

Lily Anne Inns, 1 day old

Lily Anne Inns

Lily Anne Inns

Ahhh, how sweet! John and I are really looking forward to seeing Lily (and Peter and Su of course) when we go to Thailand in about one and a half weeks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our granddaughter Lily was born today!

Fantastic news - Lily Anne Inns, our first grandchild, was born in Thailand today! Mother Su and baby Lily are both fine, although Lily was born one month premature and so has to stay in hospital for a little while. Can't wait to see some photos!

We are going to Thailand to see Peter, Su and his family on July 12th, and we are staying for nearly a month. This was planned a long time ago around Lily's expected due date of late July, so it is really wonderful that she will already be there when we arrive!

Monday, January 02, 2012

We are going to be grandparents!

Happy New Year! And fingers crossed that all goes well - our son's wife Su is expecting a baby in July. This will be our first grandchild. So exciting!