Saturday, May 4, 2019

GSH 2019: The Rock, Seville in Spain and Ports of Portugal - Volume 2

It is 5AM and we are already on the road out of the Blue City of Morocco - heading for Tangier - to take the ferry to Gibraltar.  I am actually sad to say "Goodbye" to Morocco.  But I do get to keep the memories of Rainey on a camel (50 points ... but only if wearing full Arab dress ... hence the Lawrence of Arabia outfit).

We have to leave Sal and Vi at the border of Morocco and forge ahead on our own. Sad face ... they were the "secret sauce" and added charm to that leg. Best group photo from Morocco... eating a feast of a meal that we produced at a cooking class in Fes (150 points).  Best chefs ever (although I did cut myself and bleed a little into the couscous... hope no one noticed).

The Rock: Gibraltar was more and less than I anticipated.  The rock is there.  So are the monkeys.  But it also so uniquely odd: an oasis of English village (complete with English accented inhabitants and the currency used is English pounds) surrounded by Spain. There is not much to it other than a tax haven but we came, we saw, we ate fish and chips under the begging eyes of a monkey, we conquered the points and we moved on.

Seville, Spain:  Our next stop was Seville, Spain.  It was May Day in Spain so the bus and train schedules were all messed up.  Roadblock.  We faced the disappointing prospect of getting stuck in Gibraltar when we really needed to move on to Spain as quickly as possibly.  In the end, we managed to buy our way onto a Tour Bus (midway through the tour). A lot of discussion and tour guide explanations later, we arrived in Seville in the early afternoon.

Rainey andthe money shot at Plaza de Espana

Tracking down Don Juan

Be a Flamenco (50 points)

Portugal:  Early the next morning we headed out for Huelve, Portugal.  Another transportation hiccup.  We were at the bus station at 6:30AM, only to discover that the bus was sold out. Yikes!! A woman in the bus line tells us to go to the NE corner of the bus terminal where the BlaBlaCars meet up.  What?  BlaBlaCars is a new app in Spain where people - who are driving in different directions out of the city - arrange to car pool.  Modern day hitchhiking: high tech style.  At the corner,  we found Sebastian, a security guard for a company in Huelve.  He picked up Rainey and me as well as a student (Pablo).  We each gave him 5 Euros towards gas and he dropped us at a hotel at the edge of town where we got a taxi to the Huelve walkway (our scavenge and worth 100 points).

Point rich Faro:  Our next stop was Faro, Portugal a little town with LOTS OF POINTS.  We did indeed LOVE Faro even if I felt like camping out on the sign and taking a 4 day nap (I am THAT  tired).

Church of Bones:  Nothing creepy about this … a chapel made entirely of bones.  Femurs hold the walls up with skulls as accents.  Apparently no genocide was involved…. this order of monks just got a kick out of digging up skeletons and decorating with them.  What DSM-5 mental illness is that?

Tin Can Alley:  How about an entire store that sells ONLY canned sardines.  Dozens of kinds and flavors.  All tastefully arranged.  And these were not cheap… so not designed for Mittens’ dinner. Do people in Portugal really eat this much canned fish?  I thought only Doomsday hoarders stocked up on tins of fish and Spam.  

The Mermaid:  Just from our trips, I see a common theme of naked female / mermaid statues in port towns.  From the most famous in Copenhagen (with Jordan, 2013). 

To the one in Vancouver's Stanley Park (Global Scavenger Hunt 2014).

To this one in Faro… clearly by an artist who is has confidence issues about his ability to create faces... so he just gave up and plunked a shell on her head.

Porto, Portugal:  This is our last stop on this leg.  We arrived late in the night off a bus marathon from Faro, slept a few  hours and then was up banging out some points in Porto by dawn. This is a lovely seaside city.  We got acquainted with the lay-out of the town by taking a slow-moving old fashioned tram all the way down the waterfront (75 points)

And mimic-ed the tiled lady from the Sao Bento train station.

Cream Puff City:  Porto LOVES custard.  This city offers probably 73 variations of cream puffs, donuts, tarts, you... if it involves a custard filling and is very fattening... they have it. And - YAY - we were required to eat a selection of them.  Pasteis de nata (25 points)

Bolo de berlim (donut with custard filling) - the size of my head (25 points)

Last scavenge of the Travel Leg ... Jardins de Palais ... Have I already detailed from tired I am?

Next up... for our very last leg of the trip ... we head to New York City. I hate to think that the 2019 event is almost over (very sad face).


galavanting gal said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts and in particular Morocco, having just returned this month. I totally agree with you about Casablanca....the only thing worth seeing was the Grand Mosque of Hassan. There were storks nesting throughout the country....very photogenic, And I'm off to Portugal in June.
Keep charging! Jackie Glass

Beverly said...

what am amazing leg.. just had a custard the other day in the Azores.. we fell in love with them last year when at all the places you visited in Portugal... we arrive in Lisbon and be in the area for 4 days before on to Madrid... was that your first time in Seville? just love it and stop there any chance we can....
you two are amazing...was so tired when finished reading this leg... well done you two.
bev and buz...


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