Sunday 31 July 2011

Summer holidays {part 3}

And after a short ride (less than 300 km) we arrived in the Algarve, Vilamoura to be more precise.
We stayed at the Hilton Golf & Spa resort, recently built. After 2 stops of busy cities, culture & history, it was time to relax. And so we did!
(which means that there are not so many pictures to show you, too busy relaxing!)

Views from the hotel's beach:
We went to Cabo São Vicente, the most south-western part of the European mainland.
I can imagine that people in the early days thought the world stopped there.
 We spent the week in the Algarve with friends and together we had a small picknick at Cabo the São Vicente
Our little family 
All the boys enjoying the sun! 
 And of course we visitid Portimão & Albufeira, played tennis and golf, admired the beautiful nature and enjoyed lovely lunches and delicious diners! But most of all: we enjoyed the sun, the beach, the swimming pool, the time to read a book, the time to spend with friends!!

For our next stop we'll be heading to Spain again, exchanging the 'obrigada' for the 'gracias' :-)
Are you coming with me?

Até mais!
(see you later)


Monday 25 July 2011

Busy, busy... next holiday post is coming up,
but for now,
a beautiful 'lavatera'
to wish you all a happy, sunny week!
 Flowers are the music of the ground
From earth's lips spoken without sound
Edwin Curran

Friday 22 July 2011

Summer holidays {part 2}

So after 2 days in Spain, we had to change from Spanish into Portuguese. With 6 years of living in Brazil, this was peanuts ;-)
We left Bilbao early morning and arrived in Lisbon late afternoon, checked in into our hotel, had a swim, a shower & went out for some Japanese food (needed something light after sitting in the car for about 1800 km!).
The next day we went down town by metro for a breakfast (which was around lunch time... we're on holiday!!) and ended up with this view:
 With the stomachs full, we went for an open bustour through the city, it was 37 degrees Celsius so that was a comfortable but still very hot way to explore the city :)) I must admit that I don't like the real tourist things too much, but a bustour gives you an overview of a city, shows you the points of interest so that you can go back afterwards. And usually it's 'hop on - hop off', so you decide yourself when it's enough!!
Not that many pictures made... too hot to lift the camera :)

At night, we went for diner in a very cosy restaurant called Tagide.
It's situated in the heart of Chiado and has a stunning view:
Inside it's nice too:
The next day, after a quick breakfast at the 'padaria' (bakery), we visited part of the Water Museum
But first some pictures from outside, nothing to do with the water but I love the blue Agapanthus:
More from the inside now:
The temperature rose again to 34 degrees Celsius so we decided it was time to cool off in an airconditioned shopping mall. On our walk to the shopping Amoreiras we found some nice old stuff:
We were hungry!
( comments...)
After lunch we took the bus along the river Tagus.
Here are some streetviews (with an overload of sunshine!):
We ended the tour with a visit to the Océanario.
Lots to see, too much to show, so only these cuties made it to the blog, they are really entertaining!
At night we looked for a simple restaurant down town and found one in Bairro Alto, THE place to be for food & nightlife!
 Laundry still drying outside:
 The next morning we left Lisbon via the Vasco da Gama Bridge over the river Tagus:
And that was Lisbon!
I hope you enjoyed the tour?
Next stop: Vilamoura - Algarve.
See you there?

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Summer holidays {part 1}

We're back from our summer holidays!! We've been travelling through Portugal & Spain (and a couple of days in the French Pyrenees) for almost 4 weeks! We left Versailles on a rainy morning and after 900 km and 9 hours of driving we arrived in Bilbao, in the Basque Country, in the north of Spain. It was a sunny afternoon and the city really surprised us. We had been to San Sebastian and Santander about 16 years ago, but so far never made it to Bilbao. 
From our hotel we walked down the (newer) shopping streets to the historic centre which is beautiful and full of little shops, nice squares & narrow alleys.

Of course we had to stop somewhere for the first tapas of the holidays.
It was a nice place to sit & relax and it had a lovely view:
There was a lot more to see & explore:
Old & new are very well mixed in Bilbao: 

The next day, it rained a little bit and after a late breakfast in a local 'pasteleria', we headed to the Guggenheim. For sure the Guggenheim museum that opened for the public in 1997 gave the city a boost in terms of tourism.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. It is built alongside the Nervion river, which runs through the city of Bilbao, to the Atlantic coast. The Guggenheil is one of several museum belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The museum features permanent and visiting exhibitions by Spanish and international artists.

No pictures from inside (left the camera in the locker as we thought it was not allowed to take pictures...), but some from outside (it's difficult to capture the beauty of the building in one picture... so I had to grab in from someone else!!):

(picture from here)
After the visit, the weather changed so we had a lunch outside & I did some shopping :))
The next morning we woke up early again and entered Lisbon in our GPS system... another 850 km to go.

Are you ready for our next stop??
See you later with our stay in Lisbon!!


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