Madeira is a place we’ve been wanting to visit since we first began visiting Portugal about five years ago. It’s an archipelago that is part of Portugal, made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the Desertas with an overall population of less than 300,000. It’s situated to the south of Portugal about 500 km off the coast of Morocco. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and settled in 1420. From Lisbon it’s just a little over 1 1/2 hours flying time. Covid caused us to cancel our trip last year, but in March we decided to try again as it was open to Portuguese residents as long as you had a Covid test recently done.Continue reading “Madeira, Portugal”
I’ve written about the Algarve here, here and here, but it is worth revisiting once more to recommend a couple of beach places we’ve discovered and enjoy for long beach walks as well as cliff exploring. The cliffs of the Algarve, primarily found around Carvoeiro, are fantastic for hikes, but if you just want to walk the beach and feel the sand between your toes, the beaches here are too small and short. Great for hidden hideaways, but not if you just want to walk the shoreline for as long as you can. That said, we’re also not big fans of pure beaches that offer nothing but beach; (like around Faro) – a rocky shoreline and cliffs provides a little color and variety which we prefer. We have two beaches that have become favorites of ours.Continue reading “Back to the Algarve (again)”
We returned to Auron in mid’ February of 2013, but this time to ski not just to visit. We arrived on a Monday and it had been snowing all the night before and continued all the way up. We took the bus, which was a good idea as there were a lot of cars along the side of the road, and we reached Auron in 2.5 hours. When it cleared up in the afternoon we had more than 15 cm. of new snow on the hill. We took an afternoon pass (US$20), and enjoyed fresh power and sunshine. The next day they opened the other side of the mountain; so more fresh powder and even more sunshine. Not a cloud in the sky by mid’ afternoon.Continue reading “Back to Auron”
Our special in-room dinner service began with a wonderful massage for both of us, which was just what we needed after a long day of exploring medieval chateaus and towns in Brittany. It was followed by a fire lit in the large fireplace in our room, served with a demi-bouteille of champagne and appetizers. As the last sips of the champagne went down, the Manoir staff re-appeared to set up our table with salad plates, a bottle of Bordeaux and a wooden cutting board with a large raw coté de Boef steak and aluminum wrapped baked potatoes. They then set up a special grill in the fireplace and left us with instructions that when we were ready, to grill the steak five minutes each side and reheat the already baked potatoes. We followed the instructions shortly after and the end result was a fantastic dinner for two by the fire in our room. Quite something. Oh yes, almost forgot. Dessert were to small pots, individual-sized with an apple crisp topped with chocolate chunks. A few minutes on the grill and we had hot dessert to finish off an unforgettable dining experience at the Manoir de la Begaudiere.