A Travellerspoint blog

valencia day 3

overcast 29 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Yesterday, I walked all over valencia. The city is so nice. I will say it is like a chicago-everything is quality. The city tries to be modern with art-and mix of old.

In spain and portugal, the starwood cha8n is highly recommended. I feel the price is reasonable-the staff great and multilingual. internet and health clubs ect.
Today we left for Barcelona. What is mosy exciting is we get to give back the car and stay put for 4 nights. This city has so much and Joe and I are excited to do the walking tour tomorrow.

We are at dinner in the main square-very casual and great people watching. There are many french tourists. very pushy- coming from an aggresive NYer.

Looking forward to the picasso museum and gaudi architecture.

Joe shaved his mustache. Very disappointed because now he is speaking with a french accent and mixes in romanian-spanish-english. I have to let him be him. good thing the alcohol is readily available.

i have trouble downloading pictures will try and send email of pictures

Posted by Jcarrara 03:40 Archived in Spain Tagged family_travel Comments (0)


sunny 31 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept. 5-???

We needed sunshine desperately!! So Valencia it is. I never thought we would make it here-no research was attempted. Grabbed my guides. FYI the starwood hotel chain is the way to go in the cities-great locations-multilingual staff and amenities.

Valencia is beautiful-we sacrificed Toledo, Cordoba and Granada-if I had known the upper northwest had a gray cloud-would have planned differently.

The sun is bright. The people are alive-the SHOPPING- an upgraded 5th/Michigan Ave. The setting is amazing. All outdoor bars and old european d├ęcor. I am home-except- can not add anything else to luggage!! Waiting for Kari anyway.

Today, Joe went to visit friends of a friend-romanian-actually happy for him since I'm not into the party scene and love to pass out after good meal-fyi food getting better-not sendong back the fish heads anymore.

Today, I went to the beach. Yes I went european style-which is more conservative than my deck at home-neighbors are blushing!

The beach was an exfoliating experience. The wind is strong here and the sand is so fine. I finally cleared the sand from the Long Beach incident-ask me over wine- and now this will take years-especially since going back tomorrow.

Have no desire to site see -rejuvinating and happy to be in one place for multiple days!!

Tonight was dedicated to cava. spanish champagne. nice alternative to prosceco.

Posted by Jcarrara 16:30 Archived in Spain Tagged lodging Comments (0)


sunny 30 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 4\5

After the mountain tops, we drove through Bilbao to Logrono. This town is the heart of the La Rioja region-napa of spain.

Joe lets me drive-on open highways. He even closes his eyes and when he makes a comment, I tell him I will wake him up when we are in a ditch.

The north of spain is green-because it rains all the time. Since we entered Lisboa to Porto to Galacia-rain and gray. We decided to go south again(devra take your mind out of the gutter).

Logrono was the perfect place. I was so excited about another wine encounter- forgot to get gas. Freaked out when light went on. I exited the highway and drove 6km- I'm metric_of course found gas station-out of gas too. Just my luck. Drove back to highway and tense 23 km until we found gas. We arrived and settled in before 7. The weather was warm again.

I decided I needed to do laundry-we even looked for a laundramat??? Can't even spell it-I'm a dry cleaner girl. No luck so we sent it to the hotel- for 200 euros-not even going to convert it-lots of ice testing- the cleanest clothes ever.

After the ledge-I have restricted my wine visits to bars and restaurants. Note-if really want to do wines-must go on professional tour. This town had a great town plaza-tapas and great vibe. Of course Pepe found the Romanian bar-which actually was great. Amazing how well he speaks romanian.

By the way-pepe-aka Joe-is growing a mustache!! He looks at the growth all the time. Also, he LOVES the hotel products-he has taken all the samples from just about every hotel-so proud of himself. He loves to stock up on freebies-have no idea where he inherited this habit from-only insiders know. He actually brought cheese and crackers from the ambassador club on plane with him.=

Posted by Jcarrara 16:16 Archived in Spain Tagged automotive Comments (0)

picos de europa,spain

View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 4

After livng on the edge(ledge), we drove to the picos de europa- some mountain peaks.
We had to take a winding road to some remote place. The road was very curved- Joe had his Mario Andretti face on. My hand holding the door-although after my day-I can not say anything about how other people drive.

I especially love the cow crossing signs. They are correct and since I have bonded with 2 the day before-I coukdnt resist the picture of a cow in the street.

We went through huge gorges-the scenery was amazing. We drove through one area called La Hermana- this town is so deep into the gorge-sunlight is limited to 6 months a year. I was looking for the pharmacia because I would imagine prozac and all other antidepressants would be big business. Who in their right mind could live with limited sunlight???

We went through another cute town-Potes-these tourist trap towns are really fantastic. Such a diferent life. After potes-came de la fuente.

This is where the cable carwas located- to take us to the peak. The view was great-the fact that it took over an hour to go 30 miles to tram up and back was very funny.

Joe wouldn't let me drive back-probably a good idea. =

Posted by Jcarrara 16:06 Archived in Spain Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

galacia, spain

wine routes

rain 23 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 3

first just a little information about the trip. Joe and I are very different people. We like to drink together and socialize with other people.

Im a morning person and Joe not so much. He loves that dinner starts at 9:30 pm and he parties on afterwards.

With that said, we are trying to cover as much ground as possible. I have done the research and he is still searching for Ibeza. I wanted to tour all the wine regions and after Porto, we were heading to heaven-region of white wines. I have maps and memorized all the 'wine roads'.

Also, I hate to drive. We rented a c class mercedes. Very cute-silver. Gas is 1.5 euros per liter. The car has a great trunk for our luggage-probably 120 pounds.

I wake Joe up early to start- he went out and was pissed that I woke him up- not a nice start. I drove. We passed the border and my white wine tour was to begin. I followed my map-he was sleeping. So proud of myself. Visions of ordering tons of cases home. I try and follow a vineyard sign-totally lost- now Joe is up and we are just driving. For all I knew, I could be back in portugal. After 20 minutes-I come to a dead end in someones driveway. I use my great spanish to chat up the woman- who could not image how I was soooo lost. They said I could wait an hour or so and I could follow them out. By the way- green spain because it rains non stop.

I could not wait-I was on a mission- so as I backed up to attempt to get on road again- totally rolled off a concrete ledge. The back passenger tire off the pavement and in the air. The front driver's tire in air. 120 pounds of luggage-joe gets out-like a see saw. We were fucked. The entire family comes out-mom, big dad, deaf grandfather, the adult children and a grandchild. Thought we would be stuck all day- tow truck would never find us. Big papa and grandma-neighbors- lifted car up while joe steered. So lucky-I have pictures. Guess waiting isn't so bad-in the rain-in barn- they have 2 cows for milk. I look around and grapevines all over- they make homemade wine. Thought I hit the jackpot.
Crossed wineries off list for rest of trip-and meeting real spanish family. Joe drove for a bit.

So now we are going to Gijon for night and hitting picos de europa tomorrow -logrono and towards valencia-need sun. J =

Posted by Jcarrara 17:37 Archived in Spain Tagged automotive Comments (2)

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