Delivered the “Gang” to Posh Pets in Alhaurin – Their new Holiday Camp – Then a five hour drive to Merida. Relatively painless apart from a slow patch around Seville. Nothing new there then !!
Arrived in Merida and checked into the Merida Palace Hotel on the main square where I had stayed before some years ago whilst on a cultural adventure. An old historical Spanish town (aren’t they all ?) with some amazing Roman remains (arenas, stadia, temples etc). No time for much sightseeing as this was just an overnighter, but did manage to visit the old Roman bridge and Moorish Fortress.
Next morning onto Viseu (Portugal) for another night.
Portugal a very different and greener vibe than parched Andalucía. Some of the rivers even had water in them !! Quite a lot of scorched forest however due to the latest wild fires. Good roads, though a ruthless toll system that seemed to go “beep” (and cost money) every few Km. Got to Viseu and very nice hotel next to the Cathedral. Time for a bit of sightseeing before Sushi (very Portuguese !!) and early night before the final drive of this phase into Porto.
Arrival in Porto
A two hour drive up to Porto and eventually found Grand Hotel du Porto thanks to Sat Nav. and a very patient concierge who talked me into the heart of the pedestrian area and a car park where I left the Toyota for the next week or so. A spot of sightseeing around Porto (Train Station, Churches and Cathedral etc). An amazing city on the banks of the Duoro on many levels so lots of hills and steps. Lots of walking and aching calf muscles !! Plenty of Catholic guilt and gilt – Loads of Baroque architecture and interiors but very impressive with great views (if somewhat hazy) of the Douro river.
Next segment is the 7 day cruise up and down the Douro River. Serious wine and port country, so I sense a spot of will power will be required as am firmly back on the wagon again. A good time to go on a Wine Tour but more of that later ……….
Will publish this while the Wi-Fi holds up. Expect a few days of radio silence as history has proved that rivers and Wi-Fi are an unreliable combination !!