About Our Next (2012) Trip

Friday 25 May 2012

In my wildest dreams of yester-year I would have never imagined we would do a bicycle tour.  Going across country…….are you crazy?!?

Never mind, it’s really is a rhetorical question.

So, here we are three long trips later, planning on doing it yet again.

Our “intended” course begins in Lisbon, Portugal, follows the Atlantic Ocean south until we reach the Straits of Gibraltar; then with the coastline on our right, we will head to Rome, Italy.

That being said, as we prepare for this (and every) trip, we each have specific tasks to get us ready.  One of Jerry’s many tasks is figuring out the course, something I don’t really concern myself with (just no time for such a luxury) until we actually head out.  Well the “ignorance is bliss” was ruined the other day when some said, “There is no easy way over the Pyrenees, is there?”……….WHAT!! This trip will prove to be a mountainous challenge, pardon the pun, especially after last year’s dedicated bike paths and relatively flat (ie: NO mountains) course.  “If ya’ scared, just say ya’ scared”……… ok, SCARED!!  As for how many miles??  From the map below, it looks like a long, long way!

We hope you will join us all along the way and as always, we look forward to hearing comments from you.

 

 

And So It Begins

Saturday 26 May 2012

Wow, this is tough to start….. and I do mean the blog AND the ride.  Arrived in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday morning and miraculously made the very wise decision to get a taxi to our hotel, instead of putting the bikes together in the airport and riding into town.  It took us almost a half an hour to get there by taxi and that’s at 100 mph; but we made it to our hotel safely.  Our hotel is quietly nestled between the small towns of Estoril and Cascais, all easily accessed by the a huge boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean.The area is much like what Del Mar is to San Diego, charming, spectacular weather, lots of shops and restaurants, but a lot less expensive and the view from our room……let’s just say, we took a lot of pictures from the balcony.

So far, we’ve found Portugal magical and seductive, yet the people are warm, friendly and very helpful.  Our first day, we wandered up and down the streets of Cascais in a jet-lagged stupor, yet enjoyed the sites and whimsy of this delightful town.

We however, enjoyed the waterfront the most, note the walled in swimming pool.

As much as we’d like to spend many more hours walking the streets, we are tired.  We find a quaint side-street restaurant, and even before ordering are enjoying fresh baked breads and local cheese and olives.

We’re going to turn in for the evening, but will show you more of Portugal tomorrow.

 

 

Lisbon, Portugal – Friday, May 25

Sunday 27 May 2012

Twelve glorious hours of sleep does wonders for the soul; hopefully for our venture into to the City, too.  Lisbon is a grand city  filled with beautiful architectureand relaxed and laid back restaurants (Lisa, notice the beanbag chairs)

yet the churches are not the scale we were used to seeing in northern Europe.What was the most dramatic was the steepness of the streetsstraight up and down!

The contrast in what the city offered was striking yet not disturbing in it’s incongruence.

We enjoyed small cafesand majestic squares, beautiful flowersand expansive wine stores,but my favorite;this gentleman probably sat here for hours feeding the pigeons.  It was a grand day in Lisbon, but we needed to call it a day!  We’ll see you tomorrow.

Cascais & Estoril, Portugal – Saturday, May 26

Sunday 27 May 2012

Saturday is market day is Cascais, so we strolled into town to see what it was about, passing many beautiful homes along the way.

The market offered lots of local fare:  fruits and vegetables, flowers,cheese, bread, olives and lots of fresh fish (many we did not recognize). We strolled the streets, poking our head in a few interesting shopsand watching the children enjoy the beautiful day. Continuing along to the seaside, we watched sailboats enjoy the crisp breeze, people play on the beach and everyone enjoying their Saturday. As we headed back to our hotel, we stopped for an afternoon snack of chilled gazpacho and fresh tuna sandwich ……we better start biking soon!!  But not without a quick walk to Estoril.Once again the wide boardwalk made the walk an easy one.Estoril seemed to have a much more local flavor; not as many tourists,but still a magnificent coastline.On our walk back to our hotel, we were treated to a sky writer,a nice ending to a lovely few days.  As the afternoon comes to a close, we begin our final preparations for the upcoming day….Yes, we are finally going to get on a bike and ride!