Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

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.

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Catching the early train to Lisbon in Portimão

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.

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The goldfinches loved the abundant seeds of spring

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A wonderful mixed flock of sheep and goats

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Returning from a hike in the Serra de Monchique

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An open house at Quinta dos Vales Wine Estate in Estombar

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Quinta dos Vales Wine Estate blends great wines with art

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.

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The start of a great meal at a small restaurant in Porto. A Nigerian, an Italian, a Costa Rican, a Nova Scotian and two Newfoundlanders meet in a tavern in Porto – there has to be a punch line!

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.

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We never tired of the beautiful spring blooms, especially near the coast

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Under the sardine baskets at the Museu de Portimão

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Magnificent coastline at Praia da Marinha

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The setting and the food at Jony’s Restaurante in Armação de Pêra were both perfect

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Arrival of the French frigate Hermione in Portimão

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.

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Mount Allison’s Convocation Hall in Sackville, New Brunswick

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The big moment!

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Very happy grads – Erik with Anna Jamieson

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Regular readers of our blog may recognize these two great guys from our travels – Keeghan (Costa Rica) and Xave (Lisbon).

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.

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Steamed Nova Scotian lobsters and white wine – how could you not smile? Anne with Tim’s Mom and sister.

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Watch for this site in the upcoming movie “The Lighthouse” – filmed in Yarmouth, NS.

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No this isn’t a truck dealership. Lower West Pubnico is one of the most lucrative landing sites for lobster in Atlantic Canada. Also the site of the excellent Dennis Point Cafe.

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.

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A long layover at Gatwick Airport gave us the opportunity to have a great pub lunch in nearby Crawley.

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Time for a couple last hikes before the heat of summer. We wanted to see how much water was in Barragem da Bravura and were pleased to see it nearly full.

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.

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Enjoying the fields and hills between Sevilla and Cordoba, Clio’s first journey to Spain.

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.

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The site of the colossal winter waves of Nazaré

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.

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Futebol Park Alameda, the site of the World Cup in Portimão

About Tim & Anne Hall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we could. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe, and are now living happily in the Portuguese Algarve, Portimao to be specific. We are gradually chnging the focus of our site to feature images of Portugal. Stay tuned - its a work in progress.
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6 Responses to Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

  1. kemkem says:

    Love the picture of you guys under the sardine baskets! Congratulations to Eric and to you guys as well. It’s great that you’re loving the lives you’ve carved out. It was great seeing you guys in Porto, a lovely surprise indeed..and l am waiting for the punchline 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Kemkem – we’ve had a busy but exciting couple of months. You guys have been n the go a lot as well and it seems like you’ll have plenty to write about while you’re relaxing over the summer. It was a real treat to see you both in Porto! Cheers!

      Like

  2. Whew! You guys have really packed a lot into the last few months – time for a deep breath or two!
    As crazy busy as its been, you’ll have some great memories and a lot more fun is in store for the rest of the summer too. I love the photo of you at the Museu de Portimao and what fun to see Kemi and Fede’s faces in your pics and hear the story of how you met them by accident in Porto. A huge congratulations goes out to Erik. I’m having a big laugh picturing you 3 celebrating and traveling around and about on 2 continents as the Griswolds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Anita. It’s been a lot of fun already and we have another month to enjoy Erik’s company. Look forward to getting to meet your grandson when you get back and we’re sure he’ll enjoy the time with you both. Take care, Tim & Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  3. clint and cindy says:

    Good day!
    Moving to Porto in October (awaiting our visa approval) and would’ve to connect with you guys and gather information regarding living in Portugal as an expat.

    Liked by 1 person

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