Guimaraes

We headed to Guimaraes, a short drive away. It is regarded as the birth place of Portugal and this extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city. Largo Hill is to the north of the city and this area contains the most important historical monuments of Guimarães….

Bragging in Braga

We piled into the car after 9:00 and headed to Braga, the third largest city in Portugal with a very attractive old town, where we had an excellent breakfast and then walked around and soaked it in. We headed towards the city center, where the main sights were located. Braga’s upscale old center is packed…

Port Wine Tasting

After that sardines lunch, we were ready for the second part of our Porto day! We walked with an Australian couple who had taken the tour to the meeting place for the 3:00 winery tour about port wine production that was to include lots of tasting. At the meeting place, we were greeted by a…

Free Tour: Porto Edition

After a good night at our hotel in Porto, we started our sightseeing day at a nice breakfast place the guidebook recommended. Then on to a free tour of Porto!! This was a major event in the lives of Elly and Dan. They have tended to avoid tours, preferring to walk and explore on their own….

700 Year Old University

We then headed off to Coimbra, which was something more than 1½ hours away, another easy drive with ¾ of our party sleeping. Unfortunately, once the GPS got us to the “town center” of Coimbra, the place was totally nondescript with no indication where the cute part might be. Eventually, we drove to the university,…

Medieval Obidos

After the hotel’s excellent breakfast, at 8:45am, we left and headed for Obidos. As much as Eitan tried to find fault with Dan’s excellent stick-shift driving, he had no problem sleeping for long periods with Dan at the wheel, as did Eitan’s wife and mother-in-law. But, once we arrived at the parking lot, Dan failed…

Fairytale Sintra

After our strange and curious day in Lisbon during which Sarah & Eitan and Elly & Dan did their own things, we rejoined forces to go to Sintra, a fairy-tale town just 20 miles outside of Lisbon. Unfortunately, fairy-tale towns don’t have a lot of fairy-tale parking, so we struggled to find a lot, finally…

The Tower Of Belem

While we were separated from Elly and Dan for the day, we decided we needed to explore Belem, on of the “Freguesias” (civil parish) of Lisbon. Originally we wanted to take the historical tram to get there, but the insane quantity of tourists and the long wait between trams forced us to take the normal bus to…

Lisbon: The City Of Fado

After a short flight from Casablanca, Morocco to Lisbon, Portugal where Sarah got lucky enough to get all the rows for herself, we finally arrived back in the old continent. After renting a car which took around 3 hours ( for some reason everyone was renting a car!), we headed to our beautiful hotel in the…

Shukran Morocco!

  In the morning we were met by a nice lady guide for a tour of Marrakesh. Koutoubia Mosque, or Mosque of the Booksellers, was begun under the Berber dynasty of the Almoravids in 1120, but was substantially rebuilt from 1162 Almohad caliph under Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, and became one of the most characteristic…

Marrakesh

It is the fourth largest city in the country, after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. But is possibly the most important of Morocco’s four former imperial cities (cities that were built by Moroccan Berber empires). Marrakesh has some similarities to Fez in its age and sites, but there is one big difference: Motorcycles. Whereas, in Fez, the…

Morrocan Coast: Essaouira

In Morocco in July, it is possible to escape the heat by heading to the coast, and so we went to Essaouira for one of our more laid-back days to explore an exotic walled town that, relative to our other stops, had fewer must-see sights. This gave Eitan something of a break from his relentless…