Provesende – Portugal – A Treasure above the clouds

    As our coach climbed the hills of the Douro Valley, through the fog and the clouds, I had no idea of the steep drop at the edge of the road. Im not very good at heights so the fog was a blessing in disguise. Even when we arrived there was still a swirling …

Castelo Rodrigo – The Secret Historic Village on the hill

    Our visit this morning would be to Castelo Rodrigo.  This was a surprise as we were to have visited the Coa Valley. Apparently the dock for the Coa Valley was closed. Castelo Rodrigo is one of the  historical hill top villages in Portugal.  I hadn't heard of this place at all.  Once I …

Barca D’Alva and a wee bit of Lemon juice and a ton of whiskey!

The afternoon after our jumper shopping expedition in Regua we set sail for  the town of Barca D'Alva.  The following day we would be heading to Salamanca.  Some of us went to the  top deck to see the 3 bridges in all their glory.  The sun was shinning.  Yet the wind chill factor must have …

A day in Salamanca – Spain

  On the Tuesday of Day 6 of our cruise we were all going to Salamanca. This city is the capital of Salamanca province and is part of the Castile and León region. It is classed as an UNESCO World Heritage sight. It began very humbly during the Iron Age, and, over the years, included …

Peso da Régua and our quest to buy a jumper

A couple of days before we had berthed at  Peso da Regua around 6pm so those that wanted could  visi the Douro Museum. Muriel and I had decided not to visit.  It had been touch and go whether we would get their in time for the tour.  Also it was freezing and staying on the …

St John of Tarouca and the fortified Ucanha Bridge and the Little Dog that could!

The construction of St John of Tarouca began in the year of 1154.  It was the first Cistercian male monastery built in Portuguese territory. Monasteries were always built by rivers so they could be self sufficient. In 1834 there was an extinction decree of religious orders, meaning no more monasteries.  The church was converted into …

Guimarães City Portugal

Today we would be visiting Guimaraes Portugal.  Before we left Australia we were given a choice of two places to visit.  One was Guimaraes Portugal or Quinta da Aveledao. Muriel and I decided on Guimaraes City. We woke up to a wet and very cold day.  My biggest worry was those cobble stones, they can …

Azulejos of Portugal – our attempt at traditional tile painting

  After lunch and a bit of a rest in our room we went up to the lounge to catch up with our fellow travelers. As we were going through the reception our Cruise Director Phillipie with his beaming smile and shinning eyes asked us if we were going to do the Tile Painting.   …

Morning tour of Porto

After a hearty breakfast onboard the Scenic Azure we set of for a Porto Panoramic Tour.  We would take the same roads that we went on the Hop On Hop Off bus the day before but with a very informative commentary.  So much so we told Carla that she should do the commentary for the …

The Hop on Hop off Bus – Porto

After a delicious breakfast at the Sheraton Porto we went to the front desk to organize our tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus.  We chose the Red one as we have found in other cities that one has been the best.  At only $15 euro's each it was quite good.  There were no …

First Day in Porto for the sisters

3 flights and many hours later  we arrived safely in Porto.  Our flights from Australia were ok.  I think I actually slept a bit.  Which is not the normal for me. I flew from Melbourne to Singapore and Muriel from Perth to Singapore.  We then flew from Singapore to Frankfurt.  We had a couple of …

A River Cruise, Why Not!

Have you ever thought of going on a river cruise?  If not why not?  You may very well change your mind once you read this. We recently went on the Scenic Azure on the Douro River in Portugal. From the moment we stepped on board we knew this cruise was going to be amazing. This …

Tips on traveling with a chronic illness

    In less than 2 weeks Muriel and I will be heading to Europe.  To be more specific Portugal and Spain.  Paula will be home recuperating from a knee replacement. As most of our readers know that I have many chronic illness'.  So  travel takes a bit more effort and forward planning.  I just …

Great Ocean Road

Back in January Muriel, myself, her son Chris and his girlfriend did a two-day trip of the Great Ocean Road here in Victoria. Monday saw the 4 of us line up in Chris's car to board the Ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff.  The trip takes about 40 mins   The cars line up to board …

Paris on Foot

Armed with a crappy map the cruise ship company provided,  we proceeded to walk back to our ship.  It was berthed right by the Eiffel Tower.  Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower!  On a map it doesn't look that far does it.  Maps are so deceptive. I think we walked more miles than needed, as I …

Montmartre – Artists Village

Montmarte...I fell in love with this bohemian village on our first trip to Paris. A place where poets, artists and writers lived as it was a cheap place to live.  I could imagine sitting in one of the many cafes in a past life writing about the people I saw each day.  Joining me would …

Les Andelys – Water into Wine?

Legend has it, that the workers who were digging the foundations for the Abbey  Of Sainte Clotilde complained they had nothing to drink.  The Queen prayed for water to be turned into wine, the Fountain of Sainte Clotilde flowed with wine.   Apparently, this "miracle" has never happened again.  I can understand that as I …

Happy New Year – 2019

Wow...its 2019 in this part of the world.  A lot of you are still in 2018.  So this year brings a bit of travel for us. A couple of days with my sister Muriel and her son Christopher and his girlfriend.  I have to be quiet where we are going as I don't think Muriel …

Chateau Gaillard – Richard the Lionhearts Castle

Richard the Lionheart - King of England and Duke of Normandy  built Chateau Gaillard in two years!  From 1196 - 1198.  Two Years! It was built to protect both the Seine River and Rouen from the powerful King of France Philippe Auguste.  These two had set out on a crusade to the Holy Land earlier but …

Somme Battlefields – Part 2

Our day wasn't over.  We would visit several more museums and cemeteries.  The magnitude of what these young men went through is overwhelming. Every corner or town square as we drove to our next stop, would be either a small cemetery or memorial to those who fought and lost their lives in this war.    …

Rouen Cathedral of Notre Dame

If you have yet to visit  Rouen in Normandy France perhaps this might entice you to put Rouen on your list.   I still say "pinch me" that we happened to be in Rouen to see it. Every summer between June and September a free Cathedral Light Show takes place in Rouen with dazzling illuminations …

Rouen – A step back in time.

Rouen is the capital of Normandy.  So many famous people had also been to Rouen, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert, Pierre Corneille, William the Conqueror, Claude Monet…of course  those most famous - Muriel and Bree from 3 sistersabroad. (tongue in cheek) We had the whole afternoon and evening to explore Rouen after our trip to …

Anzacs in the Somme Battlefields

On Sunday 11th of November 2018 marked the Anniversary of the 100th year since Germany signed the Armistice to end the Great War. It would be a few days before the guns would fall silent. It wasn't like it is today with a text or a tweet saying "the war is now over" It took …

Missing in Action but Im back Now!

Our wonderful internet here in Australia under the name of NBN or National Broadband Network isn't really wonderful!  Its using the old phone line coming into the house and the wire (not cable) is strung across the street. So when a big truck comes roaring down our street bam!! The line is pulled down.  Last …

Honfleur Normandy

I was so excited to be visiting the seaside port of Honfleur. Was it like the images that are on the internet, would it live up to my expectations? Honfleur such a beautiful place.  “Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary …

Caudebec-en-Caux

Our cruise ship had docked early in the morning at Caudebec-en-Caux.  Once we had lunch on board after our visit to the Pays d'aude Region we had a free afternoon to explore Caudebec-en-Caux.  It was a Saturday afternoon and most things were closed.  However, we managed to find some very interesting things.   Caudebec-en-Caux during …

Beuvron-en-Auge, Normandy

After our visit to Chateau Le Breuil-en-Auge, our coach stopped for quick visit to Beuvron-en-Auge.  Situated to the west of Lisieux and 25 kilometres east of Caen in the Calvados department of Normandy, Beuvron-en-Auge is one of the most beautiful villages of France. The house's are half-timbered of which Normandy is famous for. The village is small and …

Chateau du Breuil en Auge – A Taste of Normandy

  We visited Chateau Le Breuil en Auge and its famous distillery for tasting of their cider.  Of course we also were able to sample the cheese that is produced  in the area.  Can I just say "thank you to all of those at my table who decided to not try the cheese.  Some were …

Invisible in Melbourne. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO LIVE HERE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS?

Sheryl from https://www.achronicvoice.com is hosting an Invisible Link Up.  When Sheryl tagged me in this I was like yes please I will do that.  A great way to learn what it is like for others living around the world with a chronic illness.  I have several chronic illness along with a couple of rare diseases.  I have learnt …

A stroll through Giverny France

Giverny is roughly 3 kms from Vernon and only 75 kms from Paris.  So an easy day trip by car or one of the many day tours that go there.  You can also stay in one of the many little "Gites" or B&B's that are in Giverny or Vernon. Giverny is pronounced - Jee-va-nyee.  It is …

The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries

  Back in April of this year my sister Paula, our niece Penny and myself - Bree went to the exhibition of the The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries at the Art Gallery of NSW. Designed in Paris around 1500, these tapestries are considered to be some of the greatest surviving masterpieces of medieval European …

Claude Monet’s Garden

Claude Monet's garden and house is in Giverny Normandy.  We have all seen the photos of the garden on the internet, Museums. To actually be there and see all the different colors and flowers is one of the greatest things anyone can do.  At the previous post I said I wasn't into flower arranging but that …

Chateau de Bizy

It was only a very short drive in the coach to Chateau de Bizy.  Hidden behind trees in a huge estate is Bizy Castle.  The castle and the park surrounding Bizy is under monumental protection and features water gardens of the baroque splendors of the 18th century.   The famous stables still home for a …

Panoramic Sightseeing Tour of Paris & River Cruise

  I should have read the brochure properly. In 2016 when  in Paris and had a morning sightseeing tour of Paris, our coach stopped  many times for loo (Australian for toilet, bathroom )stops, coffee stops and opportunity to take photos. This time we were whizzed around the sites of Paris, look left look right, it …

The TGV is fast! Lyon to Paris in less than 2 hours!

Excitement and sadness filled the air as our cruise along the Rhone had ended. We would be heading to Paris on the TGV - which translates to very very fast. Our coaches arrived to take us to the Lyon Part-Dieu railway station. Wow such a busy train station.  We had been warned that pick pockets …

Lyon France – just a few more pics

    It was fascinating watching the young children play in the fountains.  We could have watched them for hours. The pools were crowded.  What else does one do on a hot day.  Wander around doing touristy things or going for a swim.  We did the tourist things. Im so glad we did.  You can …

Phew that was lucky!

After our tour of the Traboules and the old town of Lyon we were taken back to the ship for those who wanted lunch.  I was full from all the samples we had at the market. After cooling down we walked back into the city.  I had my cross body bag from Modipeller and Muriel …

Traboules Of Lyon

  In the 5th district or Vieux Lyon most of the streets run parallel to the river making it difficult to get from one street to the next without making huge detours.  So courtyards and passageway were designed making lots of shortcuts. This also helped the workers who would move their produce through these covered walkways. …

Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse

Our next stop would be the famous Les Halles de Lyon - the food market. In 1859 Lyon  opened its doors to its first food market in a large metallic structure located at Place Cordeliers in the centre of the city known as the “Presqu’ile”.  100 years later they built a new market to represent their …

Lam Awareness

The month of June is coming to a close.  June is Lam Awareness month.  Sarah from https://www.travelbreatherepeat.com has done an amazing awareness program each year for the month of June.  Below is my piece this year.  Do go over to her blog and check them out.   https://www.travelbreatherepeat.com/physical-therapy-with-lam/   Thank you for reading and following.     …

Fitzroy Gardens and the MCG Melbourne.

On Saturday I made my way into the city to catch up with a friend who was visiting from Perth, Western Australia. Such a bleak cold Saturday so what does one do apart from staying indoors and keeping warm. We got on a tram and made our way to the MCG - Melbourne Cricket Ground. …

The Painted Walls of Lyon – La Fresque Des Lyonnais

After breakfast we boarded our coach to be taken on a tour of Lyon.  Our first point of call was this amazing building. A mural of over 30 of Lyons famous figures past and present. The Roman emperor Claudius, who was born here when Lyon was the fortress of Roman Gaul; the pioneer filmmaking Lumière brothers; silk …

The lights of Lyon on the Saone and the Rhine

  After dinner at Abbaye of Collonges we made our way across the road to our ship to be taken into Lyon.  We were to arrive in Lyon around midnight so quite a few of us with drinks in hand stood on the front deck to watch the lights as we meandered to out stop. …

World Wide Lam Awareness Month

  Can you say Lymphangioleiomyomatosis? Let me break it down for you - Lymp -angio -leio- myo -ma - tosis.  What a mouth full.  Us Lammies and the medical profession call it Lam.  So much easier don't you think! What is Lam  or Lymphangioleomyomatosis you ask?  Here is the link to the Australian Lam organisation. …

Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne

After we had some wine and the frogs legs our guide would be taking us on a walking tour through this delightful town.  We needed to walk off all the wine that comes flowing with these tastings.  Our walk took us around an hour.  We wandered around the little cobblestone streets going through "secrect" walkways …

Frogs and Snails and puppy dog tails

Today we would be taking a tour into the Dombes region to visit the picturesque town of Chatillon sur Chalaronne where we will have the opportunity to taste the regional specialty of frog's legs and visit a snail farm. Now I have had snails on many occasions.  I love them especially done in a garlicky …

Vienne France

    We spent an afternoon sailing along the Rhone as we headed to Vienne.  We could eat as much as we liked of the "Calorie Free" Ice Cream after lunch.     Then Muriel, Tania, Peter and I did a tour of the Wheelhouse with Captain Tony and Pierre about river navigation. Captain Tony …

Things I always carry in my bag

The Wine!

The last few days I have read two wonderful posts on "Things I always carry in my bag" and I thought to myself why not do a post on this.  The Happiest Pixel and Cheila's Blog is where I first read this post. How on earth do some men get away with just carrying a wallet in a …

Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in northern France

        On the 25th April  the Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli.  This was a bloody campaign with both sides,the Anzacs and the Ottoman Turkish Defenders with heavy casualties.On the 25 April 1915 , 16,000 Anzacs  landed on narrow beach in Turkey.  By the time the sun sets roughly  2,500 …

Europes Best Kept Secret – Ghent

    It was raining lightly when we arrived in Ghent where we were to have an hour boat cruise along the canals. The boat had a glass roof, and sliding glass windows, so no chance of getting wet.   Lunch would be served along with refreshments, champers, beer, soft drink or water.  The sparkling …

– Leibster and Sunshine Awards

      In the last few  months our blog has been nominated for not one but 3 awards.  Actually one of these The Sunshine Blog Award was from last year.  I mean how bad is that.  The blog gets nominated and I do nothing! The First Sunshine Blog Award was from thegotogirlsblog last year.  The Second …

Our vist to Lamego – Portugal

We set off to see Lamego in driving rain and fog.  It was April 2019 so in Australia that's Spring.  Our Springs down under are cool nights and warm days.  In Portugal they considered it winter still.  It was cold, I don't think the temperature was over 5 degrees.  It was snowing in some areas …