Wanderings around Europe Summer 2022…

It has been a while…. Not sure, not had the inspiration to write… A lot has been happening and time flies. Marianne left for uni in the UK in August, we went to Europe for the first time in 3 years, we decided to move on and have been job hunting.

First stop Lisbon in the Summer. What a beautiful city and country, I never tire of it. We had not seen anybody for so long, it was amazing to make connections again and to feel part of something. Living so far away, with such a different lifestyle, it can be easy to feel a loss of connection with those we are close to. Covid further created

Castelo de São Jorge, Sintra
Brother Jorge!
Discoveries monument, Lisbon
At the top!
Yay, Joshie and Sandra have arrived!
Recycled art at the Oceanarium
At the castle, on top of the world!
Expo site cable cars
Riverside in Lisbon
Just love jellyfish!

Sadly we all got Covid during our stay in Portugal! Just before, we had a fabulous family reunion in a beautiful area in Minde. Thank you Leonor for organising this.

Glacial river! After the warm water in Thailand, this was way too cold for us.
Wherever we go, Maz finds a horse to ride!
And Sandra finds cats…

There was one thing I have wanted to do for years, to walk the Passadiços do Paiva, 8 km of steep wooden walkways along the bank of the Paiva River with scenic views. Provides a walk “untouched”, surrounded by unique beauty of landscapes, in an authentic natural sanctuary with waterfalls and rivers. The route extends from the river beaches of Areinho and Espiunca, lying between them, the Vau beach. A journey through biology, geology and archeology. Sadly, between having Covid and one of the hottest summers in history, we were not able to do this walk as it was closed due to the danger of fires. Instead, we chilled in our own schist village in Arouca. Very isolated and raw natural beauty!

Room with a view
We had a river close to the house, not cold at all.

I had not been to Coimbra before and I absolutely loved it! What a beautiful city steeped in history. I could easily have spent more time there. We visited the old university, of course.  It was the first Portuguese university in 1290 in Lisbon and relocated to Coimbra in 1308, making it the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013. The library, built in 1717 is simply stunning and considered one of the most beautiful in the world. You are not allowed to photograph inside so these are not my photos. Oh, and the books are protected from insects by a colony of bats!

The library!

We visited the Cabinet of Curiosities in the Science Museum of the university. These cabinets were popular in 17th century onwards and were mainly created by the European nobility, who tried to gather in these rooms a set of objects, such as exotic pieces, in an attempt to recreate the work of God. The aim of these cabinets was to display rare, exotic and even bizarre objects, so as to amaze the visitor and simultaneously show the cosmopolitan vision of their owner.

Cabinet of curiosities
The main square

The rest of the city was great for walking and we did some exploring although by this stage we were all pretty sick and spent the next two days in the hotel recovering.

Bordalo graffiti in Coimbra

It was time to leave and visit out friends and family in the UK where the weather was also fabulous. Don’t you just love the British seaside… and Brighton! Here are some typical seaside scenes, you wouldn’t expect this in such a trendy city but there you go.

As we were in Brighton we decided to go up on the i360, a 162 m moving observation tower with, as the name suggests, 360 degree views! Fabulous, highly recommend it.

Duke of York’s cinema, Brighton

We spent some time exploring London with Mazzie, Camden Market was her fave place. We found Peaky Blinders over there!

We couldn’t even remember the last time we saw each other! So, so long ago… We had a great time in Portsmouth, pottering about like tourists. We went up the Spinaker Tower, what a view at 170 meters high with a glass platform, not for the faint hearted.

Back to Brighton once again and it is time for Pride 2022! The city is full of colour and rainbows, such a happy, carefree atmosphere.

It is always a pleasure to spend an afternoon in Lewes, wandering around the old lanes, sitting in the cafes and what a wonderful summer of sunshine to do this in.

Anne and Grammy kindly let us stay in their beautiful house. We were very lucky to also look after Sam who is a truly lovely doggo. Mazzie and I enjoyed taking him for walks up on the hills, beautiful views and sense of freedom up there.

Brighton grafitti
Fancy finding Pickard here…

And it was nearly time to go back home. Time to leave Mazzie who went on to America to work at a stables in North Carolina. It was so hard to say goodbye… Before she left, we went to Barcombe Mills for a swim but it was full of algae and not safe for swimming.

Thailand here I come! Another school year about to start and time to start job hunting for our next adventure.

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