Iberian Road Trip – Guimarães, Pontevedra and Santiago de Compostela

Our Iberian road trip continued north, first stopping in Guimarães, Portugal before heading into Spain, where we visited both Pontevedra and Santiago de Compostela.  With spring comes rain and it seems we couldn’t escape it on this trip.  Luckily, we did have a few sun breaks, so we tried to make the best of it.

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The Baltic Rim: Lithuania

Pope John Paul II visited in 1993

Entering the Baltics, Bobby and I didn’t really know what to expect.  Unfortunately, as soon as we entered the country it started raining, making for a very dreary Lithuania travel day. We reached the city of Kaunas after a long day of driving, so we were happy to have a warm, dry bed to sleep in.  The next morning, we woke up to sounds of someone talking (screaming!) over a loudspeaker outside our window.  Little did we know, it was a city celebration of fitness, with group exercise classes and road races (5k and 10k) through the streets of Old Town Kaunas.  Bobby and I took a stroll through the city and took in the road races at a street side cafe.  We capped our Lithuania trip off by traveling to Siauliai and the famed “Hill of Crosses.”… [Read More]

Basque-ing [and other French travels]

Rosaries

While in Biarritz, Bobby I and I decided to take a couple day trips to neighboring towns near the French Basque region.  Lourdes, the first of the two cities, sits at the base of the Pyrenees mountains an hour and a half south of Biarritz.  It is known as a pilgrimage site for the Catholic faith.  Over a span of time (beginning in 1858), “Our Lady of Lourdes”, better known to us as the Virgin Mary, appeared to a young girl 18 times.  Now, some 5 million visitors flock to the town each year to see the grotto where the apparitions took place and drink its holy water, which is said to have natural healing powers.

The second of the two cities, Bordeaux, is well-known for its vineyards.  According to some sources, Bordeaux earns 14.5 billion euros each year with its wine sells/exports alone.  The city is also a large university town, which boasts a young vibrant culture with many bars, shops, and restaurants.

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