Monday, May 26, 2014

Valencia: Home to Tapas, Street Lined with Orange Trees and Cheap Bottles of Ribera del Duero for 2€

They say the Spainards eat a late lunch (2  - 4PM) and a later dinner(8 - 12MN).  But somehow we've eat  the early bird trifecta.  Since our earlier arrival in France, carrying into Spain, we've managed to scope out every patisserie and chacuterie within walking distance of our apartments.  Not to mention the Valencia Central Market.

Never out of stock, mealtimes take place whenever hunger strikes.  Of course,  the late lunch schedule in Spain works just fine with our city strolls not demanding that we drop everything and plan for lunch(ala French style 12 to 2 PM. )  Did I mention most things are closed during lunchtime including many museums?

And did I mention the Paella-  Not to be missed.

Valencia is Ć  town of old and new - Roman walls, winding warrens thru the old city, and the lovely green space ru ning thru town that had been the river before it was diverted due to flooding.  THe are is full of parks, playing fields, and new museums.  Great for walking or biking.

And amazing beaches.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Au Revoir

We've left France but not before spending two amazing weeks, first in Marseille then in Ceret.

Ron has proven to be tour guide 'Excellent'.  Our locations have been great - with wonderful side tours. 

Ceret was a wonderful location - cherry capital, home to art, entry to the Pyrenees, Saturday market that snaked all over the village with tempting purchases including our new hats, and a great place to venture to the three Dali locations - Port Lligat, the Dali home for 60 years, Figueres, the Dali Theatre which he also designed and is buried at, and Pubol, where he moved after Gala died, and where she is buried. 

All three amazing Dali creations - and both Port Lligat and Pubol are amazing locations.

As George Orwell said, "...Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dali, Our Gateway To Spain

While this week we've settled into Ceret, France, today's daytrip was out to Portlligat, Spain for a tour of Salvadore Dali's home from the 190s through to his death in the late 80s.  No worries, much more on Ceret to come in a bonus posting shortly.

Dali's home, built over a couple of decades, and certainly expanded well beyond that time, sits in a spectacular cove and further isolated from the mainland by a single lane ( maybe lane and a half) tight mountain road.

Portlligat is actually a small fisherman's cove a few coastal bends from the small of Cadaques.

With this magnitude of natural beauty and geographic isolation, high in Dali's intent, its easy to see an artistic fountain emerge.

Two more day trips will focus on Dali before we head furthe west into the heart of Spain.

Stay tuned, tomorow, Saturday is market day here in Ceret. Many treats anticipated.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Walking, fish & more walking

Besides the three floors up and down from our apartment, there are many steps up to cover Marseille - particularly the old town.  Whether it is true or not -I have no guilt with any  eating we do here after the many stairs we take traversing the town.

 And going up and down from our apartment. The mornings we start out wandering the fish market at the dock - a daily event.

 Then off to the old section of town to an art exhibit of Picasso, Margritte & Warhol and a walking tour.  Another amazing day a of sites and sounds.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And the trip begins ...

Flight over might have been more difficult, but it would have taken real effort to get there.  But, we made it and the bad flight will be forgotten and the trip will out survive the length of the travel here - just under 48 hours including an evening in Berlin where we did have a hotel room.

After our lack of sleep we had little energy to do much in Berlin for our short evening stay - a 4 am wake up call for our flight out of Berlin.  But we did take a walk around.  We revisited the East Berlin - Ampelmannchen - the little traffic light man.  

And it was our first adjustment back to European living - showers with half doors - (just try to keep the floor dry), no washclothes,  light switches only on the outside of the bathrooms, different mechanisms for flushing toilets for every one that you visit, first floor is now the second floor, and that is just day 2.

But we have successfully made it to Marseille - a beautiful city on the Meditarean coast and second largest city after Paris. 
We successfully checked into our apartment whbich we rented thru VRBO, first of many to follow.  Did I mention that it is a third floor walk-up? 

Sleep, at last

Third day out, we sleep. Apartment in Marseille right above a 'wine cave', otherwise know as a liquor store.  Fresh fruits, and ahh so good Roquefort, where have you been? Yes, we did get mesmerized by the array of French cheeses in the local supermarket. Who knows what damages are to come when we find the open air food markets.

Off to explore Marseille after a fit and well done deserved sleep.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In transit, day one, we have met the sardines and they are us

We left Miami in anticipation. Ever heard of 'airberlin'? No? Keep it that way. Seat packed a regulation 8", nose to screen on back of seat ahead, except when seat ahead reclines their allowed 4".  Little sleep, oh yeah bring snacks and skip the served meals, bland and starchy at best.

On arrival in Tegel airport, Berlin, we quickly located bus transit to out overnight hotel. Puppy eyes did well and a vacant room appeared many hours ahead of scheduled check in. A few hour nap, first sleep in a day, and a brisk walk about town landed us in seats, beer steins at the ready, for people watching in whatever town this might be. 

Perhaps an evening nibble and toast to come, to be followed by a short night's rest before Wednesday's 6AM flight to Paris before a final leg to Marseille.

So far all is well, we've made to the continent, negotiated transit, a hotel, and our first rounds of German beers. Tomorrow a croissant and cafe.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Travel time is Upon us --- Bonjour, Hola & Ola

We are off on a new journey - this one starts tomorrow - Cinco de Mayo.  We will begin our trip - after a long and arduous flight - in Marseilles France.  After two weeks touring southwestern France, Provence and Pyrenees, we will move down the road west along the Spanish Mediterranean, north through Portugal, and finally circling back east through northern Spain, Andorra to Marseille.

We will be updating our blog as our trip moves us through the countryside.

Pictures and posts to follow.

Adios por ahora, au revoir,  adeus por enquanto, anon