26 June 2012

To Portugal and back.... its a long way

 This years' summer holiday was 2 weeks on the Harley going to Portugal - thats 3291 miles, hard on the bottom to say the least.  The weather was mixed, but the predominate feature was the wind, followed by rain.  We did see good weather through Spain and Portugal but always with the wind.  Something to do with the jet stream I believe. 

Our route took us from Cambridge on 8 June - by the time we were ready to leave it had stopped raining.  We crossed via Eurotunnel to France on the 9th to overnight in Tours (Fr) - St JeanDe Luz/Ciboure (Fr) - Salamanca (S) (2 nights) - Badajoz (S) - Cascais/Sintra (P) (2 nights) - Porto (P) (2 nights) - La Coruna (via Santiago de Compostela) (S) - Burgos (S) - Angoleume (Fr) - Chartres (Fr) - St Omer(Fr)- Home

The photos are in no particular order as Blogger has decided to mix them up and I can't be bothered to move them around.

Jambon Serrano & Iberica

Cascias Harley Davidson European Rally

Port in Porto!
Flowers around Cascais

Porto - see the use of corrugated tin as siding for houses!

Along the coast from Cascais

Cork Chalet at the Pena Palace - Sintra

Pena Palace Sintra

Cathedral in Salamanca

Cascais - Rally

Salamanca - the first of the tapas


around Salamanca

Street art in Salamanca

Views from Pena Palace
More Pena Palace

Lock Garden in Salamanca

We really liked Salamanca and when looking through the photos, most are from there.  We loved the tapas culture, not actually eating a proper meal, just tapas and beer or tapas and wine.  We had lots of jambon, lots of coffee.  They really do make good coffee in Spain and Portugal. We couldn't find the yarn shop, and lets talk about shops, why oh why do they close for so long during the day, so frustrating.

Portugal, we'd not been before and I'm not sure I'm actaully that keen to go back.  Cascais was ok, full of Harleys as you'd expect, it being the host town for the European Rally, but I don't like resorts with huge hotel complexes and really that is all you can see along the beach line.  Along the coast we did find some beaches with less buildings, but with it being the Atlantic Coast the sea is very rough. Sintra old town was lovely and we enjoyed a good breakfast - see pic below. We did enjoy the Pena Palace and Park, and spent a good proportion of the day wandering round the grounds, the Chalet,  the Palace which we went inside but no photos allowed. 

Portugese Custard Tarts - Peter's favourites
Porto we found really dirty away from the main river/tourist area and we actually felt a bit uncomfortable, also their sewage system leaves much to be desired, I'll spare you the photos!!!!  The best thing was the glasses of Port and the sardines.

We called into Santiago De Compostela on the way to La Coruna, amazed at all the walkers doing the Pilgrims Walk, and its a long one.  Found a yarn shop - closed.

Found another yarn shop in St Omer - but the selection was dismal, lots of nasty cheap acrylic

So there you have it, our summer holiday for this year.  Not sure we will do another long bike trip, think we are getting to old for all the one nighters and the packing up every day.  What a difference the years make.


  1. WOW! Amazing photos Sue. Port in Porto. Perfect.
    Welcome back. You were missed!

  2. Yet another excitement filled trip! You saw so much too! I really loved seeing so many wonderful photos! Maybe you could plan a shorter trip next time?

  3. What great photos. The architecture looks so interesting. And the meat market, too.

  4. It sounds a bit mixed, and visiting new places can be challenging - at least you have the bike and were able to move when you wanted to. The pictures tell a pretty tale with lots of great architecture. Like Pumpkin suggests maybe shorter next year with more nights in one place? Glad you made it safely and had some good food - the yarn is a bummer though!

  5. What an adventure and what amazing photos!

  6. As is usual for you, plenty of stunning pictures. The places you visited are beautiful, cultural or both. Your trip must have taken much planning. Glad you both had a wonderful time with no mishaps apart from the yarn shops and the sore derrières. I also agree with Pumpkin and RobinBrz, a shorter trip and/or longer stays at destinations.


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Yours in friendship, Sue x