São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

This morning as we were eating breakfast in our hotel in Ponta Delgado a Brazilian three mast tall ship was entering the harbor. It tied up at the dock in front of our hotel.

Across from the Brazilian ship a Portuguese Navy search and rescue ship was tied up. They were giving tours so we got to go aboard and the chief engineer gave us a tour.

This afternoon we drove up into the mountains to see Lagos do Fogo.

Then we stopped to see the hot springs at Caldeira Velma.

For dinner we found a top rated hamburger place on a narrow street away from the harbor. My first hamburger in two months tasted wonderful.

Madrid to Lisbon to Ponta Delgada

This morning we parted ways with Roger and Gayle who we have been traveling with and having fun with for the past two weeks. They flew home and we flew to Lisbon. We had a several hour layover there so we caught the Metro into central Lisbon.

We ate the Portuguese treat Pastel de Nata and coffee

We walked around a bit. Then we sat on the main square and had some lunch.

About 4:00 pm we headed back to the airport and caught an evening plane to Ponta Delgada in the Azores where we will be exploring until next Thursday.

Lerma to Madrid

It’s hard to believe but last nights blog post was my 1000th post on this blog!!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I anointed the Parador de Lerma since it was the last Parador of our trip. As I was walking into the lobby I dropped our food bag on the marble floor of the lobby. The bottle of wine in the bag broke and soon there was as a large pool of red wine in the middle of the lobby!

The Parador of Lerma was beautiful and we woke up there this morning to a beautiful view and a beautiful day.

We drove to Madrid, turned in our car, and checked into our hotel. Then we headed out to have a couple iconic Madrid experiences. We ate jamon and cheese at the Museo de Jamon restaurant near our hotel.

And we went to Chocolateria San Gines for churros and chocolate.

After a rest at the hotel we went out for tapas. The streets were packed with people.

We have had a wonderful time in Spain. It’s hard to believe that we leave tomorrow.

Gijon to Lerma

It is Friday and we are on our way back to Madrid and the end of the Spanish portion of our trip. We drove almost five hours today, our longest driving day of the trip.

About an hour and a half into our drive we stopped to see the Altamira Cave Museum. In the 1800’s prehistoric cave art was found here. Because of the damage caused to the art by too many visitors the actual Altamira Cave is closed and the museum allows you to visit a Information display with artifacts and a reproduction of the original Cave.

The paintings are much larger than I expected them to be. They are colorful, realistic and beautiful. They were obviously created by very talented artists.

Our Parador tonight is one of the best of the trip. It is built in a former ducal palace. Our room is in one of the towers.

The central lounge is where we had our welcome drinks and played cards.

In the center of the lounge is a big loom with a partly finished tapestry on it. On one side you can see the thirty or so spindles with different colored thread being worked. On the other side the rich picture is emerging.

Before dinner we went for a walk around Lerma.

We ate dinner in the Parador. This is my stuffed artichoke starter.

Duke’s duck.

My pineapple and lime desert.

Corias to Gijon

Thursday morning we drove into the town of Corias just south of our Parador. They have one very old bridge and one new pedestrian bridge that each caught our eyes for their beauty.

Then we drove to a bar/restaurant that we stopped at two years ago. It was such a friendly nice place that we wanted to stop again. It is in the little town of Oviñana.

After having coffee there we went out to the beach nearby.

Then out to the nearby Cabo Visio lighthouse.

We arrived in Gijon where we are staying at the Parador and went for a walk along the waterfront.

For dinner we went to the nearby restaurant, La Casa del Parque. We had a fabulous meal but I completely forget to take pictures of the food.

Ribadeo to Corias

Before leaving Ribadeo this morning we stopped at Lidl to buy some lunch supplies.

We crossed the river into the region of Alturis, drove along the coast a bit, then headed south on backroads. The roads were narrow and very windy. At one point we followed s small, worn sign down a dirt track to this church. The sign seemed to say that a battle with the Romans occurred near here.

A bit farther down the road near a crossroads on a ridge top we stopped for our picnic lunch.

It’s Wednesday night and we are staying at the Corias Monastery Parador. It opened in 2013. It is an absolutely beautiful Parador with a swimming pool and archaeological remains in the basement.

The Monastery library is to die for!

The building is quite large.

And so are the rooms.

We had dinner in the former Monastery dining room. Here are the highlights of the meal. Roasted goat leg with potatoes, onions and peppers.

Pear tart with apple ice cream.

Milk curd with walnuts and honey.

Vilalba to Ribadeo

This morning we drove straight from Vilalba to Ribadeo on the coast. We immediately went out for a walk and bought some bread to go with our lunch.

In the park people were playing bocce ball.

We walked along the shore and watched a ship come in.

This is the view from our room in the Parador. We have seen lots of Eucalyptus tree farms in Galacia. Apparently the fast growing trees are harvested for making paper.

While we had lunch on the balcony of one of our rooms we watched them load the ship.

Low tide today was at 8 pm. We planned our trip to Cathedral Rocks Beach for low tide so we could walk the beach among the giant rocks.

we had an excellent Parador dinner. My scallops starter was especially tasty.

For his main course Duke had salmon with an orange sauce.

For desert I had luscious pineapple cold cake.