Spain-Portugal 2014

Spain_Portugal-DSC_0303 This customized trip was just about perfect. We enjoyed all our destinations and side trips, accommodations, services, and included (-or-suggested) meals. Kudos to GoToday who made all our arrangements and our on-site guide in Portugal, Paul Bernard. Bilbao was our first stop and …… we loved the split city with a river running through it, the spectacular Guggenheim museum, the foot bridges, promenades …
Spain_Bilbao- San Sebastian-DSC_0117 … and its proximity to San Sebastian, the tapas capitol of the world. Portugal turned out to be an interesting treat on many unexpected levels. Lisbon was beautiful and the several mountaintop and seaside towns we visited had their own special charm. We arrived in Lisbon to the hysteria of 2 Madrid teams facing off on a championship game that evening. The streets were jammed, but alive and happy — and we had a bird’s eye view upon arrival from the terraces of our Santa Justa hotel. Then we ventured out and joined the masses. Ronaldo! Ronaldo!  After the excitement of the first night, we had the opportunity to visit quite a few nearby sights on day trips to Fatima (first photo), Seisimbra (below), Azeitáo, Silves, Sagres … — and to enjoy many rounds of vino and delicious fish-based dishes in some unique and very welcoming settings.  Then we had a little ‘rest and relaxation’ in a resort in Albufueira, on the Algarve coast before an overnighter in Sevilla and our return trip to the U.S. I think it’s fair to say, “a good time was had by all” and we were happy to welcome Star and Marie — and missed our dear friend, Josie.

And now, on to memories and planning for 2015.

Here’s our hotel names and a few special restaurants (for future reference or referral). Barcelo Bilbao Nervion, Bilbao Hotel Santa Justa, Lisbon Falesia Hotel, Albufeira Patio de la Alameda, Seville Taberna Sarkue (Bilbao), Casa Mateus (Seisimbra), Leao d’Ouro (Lisbon), Rosa dos Ventos Com Vida (Sagres)

More photos (lots) here: Group/Portraits/Candid (74 photos) Portugal: Scenic, Street Photography, People (167 photos) Bilbao, San Sebastian: Scenic, Street Photography, People (58 photos) Dining and Drinking (37 photos) 

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