We have been doing a lot of traveling the past two months and although we didn’t have the problems encountered by Steve Martin and the gang from that classic movie, we are glad of some down time now. In April we headed to Porto by train, then to Canada in May, and in June we were off to Spain and Central Portugal on road trips. This post is a summary of our recent travels, but we have plenty of material from our road trips to share in separate upcoming posts.
Where to start? It has been quite a while since our last post so there has been a lot of water under the bridge – especially in April. We have all of our paperwork completed and no Portuguese language classes until September so things haven’t seemed quite so hectic. Our futebol (soccer) team – Portimonense qualified for the Premeira Liga next season. March and April were wetter and cooler than Portugal has experienced in a long time. The weather has now turned and is more of what is expected for this time of year so our activities are now shifting to a slower pace and exploring close to home.
In late April we took our first trip to Porto (by train) with friends from Nova Scotia and we loved it (a separate post to follow). Coincidentally we were in Porto at the same time as our friends Kemkem and Federico from Nextbiteoflife. We had a wonderful evening with them over a great meal and a few glasses of wine.
After another relaxing train ride across Portugal back to Portimão, we spent a week showing them some of our favorite areas and restaurants. While it wasn’t hot and sunny the cooler weather was very comfortable for walking and sightseeing.
No sooner had our friends left and it was time for us to travel back to Canada (by plane) for Erik’s graduation from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. At our age we know how quickly time passes, but 4 years sure flew by as it seemed like only yesterday we said goodbye to him on the steps of one of the dorms. The convocation ceremonies were uplifting and we felt so proud as we watched him and his friends accept their degrees and awards.
Of course some time with families and friends was in order and we did our usual driving (and now the automobile) from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, through the Annapolis Valley with stops in Halifax. Good food and even some good weather along with lots of smiles ensured that our week passed very quickly.
In what has been a great opportunity, Erik came back to Portugal with us to spend two months before he embarks on the next stage of his life. After recovering from a (very) long twenty seven hours of flights, airports, lounges and lines we decided to do a couple of road trips before the weather got too hot, the crowds too big and summer prices came into effect.
Our first was back to Andalucia, by road this time which gave us the opportunity to see much more of this part of Spain. We will share some of the highlights from Santiponce (Italica) and Cordoba in a future post.
We have been wanting to visit much more of Portugal so for our next trip we headed north to Coimbra, Porto, Aveiro and Nazaré. Each of these areas impressed us in a different way, and reminded us of the diversity of Portugal while retaining the friendliness, history and unique aspects of this little corner of Europe.
Now we are taking the time to catch our breath and will settle into summer here in Portimão and enjoy the many activities taking place as well as some time at the beach and by the pool. Retirement is just so tough! Also just in time for the World Cup which promises to be an exciting few weeks.