Saturday, November 22, 2014

From Evora to Seville...





We left Evora in the early morning light.
I was sad to say goodbye to this quaint walled city.

Our luxury coach would get us to Seville in style.
Being high up makes for ease of viewing 
and the business class legroom certainly allowed me to enjoy the trip
without  feeling cramped

The view from my window.
At long last the sun made and appearance.
Something that Insight Vacations has no control over...

This is known as The Ghost River as it flows both above and below the ground

We arrive in Spain.
I had to remember to set my watch back an hour.
There used to be a border post here in Rosal,
however with the advent of the Shengen Visa, this has been removed

I found this small flock in the center of town...

We stopped at a gas station for a washroom break and I found these in the shop.

Back on the coach and everyone is tweeting about what they have just experienced.
Having Wi-Fi on the bus certainly helps social media "addicts"...

These balconies can be found throughout Spain and Portugal

This castle has been uninhabited for more than 600 years.

Cork...
And it is used to make everything from stoppers for wine bottles
to umbrellas, handbags and I even saw a dress made from this versatile material

This is representative of roadside "workers" worldwide...

And they get this sort of treatment from motorists.

This little fellow and his dog were uncertain of the reason for our visit to his village.

We had come to tour this factory.
Why?

To see how they turn these Black pigs

Into world famous ham and sausage!

I found these in the shop on the premises.
Not for sale, but I can well imaging what they were used for.

None of the slaughtering is done on the premises,
and this worker was merely selling product, not killing it.

The end product...DELICIOUS!
The factory might be slightly off the main road, but it is well worth a visit.
Check customs rules for your country before buying 
and trying to "smuggle" it airport security when you get home.






My travelling companions.
Justin, the Gnome, Kwand-hare
and the "travelling heart" from my daughter...


"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.

          


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Lunch at Sem-Fim in Monsaraz.Our final day in Portugal







After a "busy" morning, it was time for a cruise on the Alqueva Lakes
near Monsaraz.
I am not sure what I was expecting to cruise in,
but I was surprised when I discovered that it was this boat.
In retrospect, it was a most enjoyable outing.


Our helmsman...I never got to find out his name.
A quiet fellow who just got on with his job.


We head out to "sea".
This system of lakes is actually man made
and has Portugal on one side and Spain on the other.
There is about 100km of cruisable waterway
and the lakes are stocked with a variety of different species.
All the concrete houses that were "swallowed" when the lakes were built
were demolished but the stone houses still remain.
The lakes took a year to fill


"AARGH me hearties, time to splice the mainsail"...
Put a group like ours together and Pirate talk WILL occur


A view of Monsaraz castle from the water


And it was time for a snack, Portuguese style.
Fresh bread, salami, cheese, wine, beer and juice!
The food was prepared by Tiago,
who owns the boat as well as the restaurant we would be eating at later


From Down under...Ali, making sure that the guests are kept hydrated


This is where we had lunch.
An eclectic mix of old olive oil factory, restaurant, bar and art gallery


It might not look like much from the outside,


But inside is another story altogether
Old equipment down the left wall
and art installation pieces in the old olive presses on the right


Part of one of the "installations"...
Or perhaps just a collection of plastic bottle tops?


These gauges controlled the presses 


I discovered the old barber's chair in the art gallery


The bar area off the main dining room...


And ANOTHER barber's chair


The old oil barrels are now used as decor


With the amount of food that has been consumed by our group to date,
I was fearful that we were going to get weighed before/after lunch


The main produce of the area.


A big thank you to both "Captain" and Tiago for a wonderful afternoon.
It is excursions like these that make Insight Vacations "different".
This area is not a mainstream tourist destination,
HOWEVER the time that guests get to spend here is VERY special.
  

Food glorious food...AGAIN!
Our lunch at Sem-Fim.
I had codfish which was delicious.
There was also pork on offer for those who did not want the fish.
And the lone vegetarian in our group was well looked after.
This was our final excursion in Portugal,
we head off to Seville, Spain for the final part of our Insight Vacations adventure. 






My travelling companions.
Justin, the Gnome, Kwand-hare
and the "travelling heart" from my daughter...


"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.

             


All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings