David goes to Ponte de Lima

The hat overlooks the river Lima to the church of Santo António da Torre Velha in Portugal
The hat overlooks the river Lima to the church of Santo António da Torre Velha in Portugal

I’d seen a post from someone about Ponte de Lima on one of the forums so I decided to have a little hike down there. It turned out to be a 45 minute drive but never mind, the van hasn’t been driven in weeks so it was nice to give it a run. 

Ponte de Lima is an old town with an ancient Roman bridge across the river. That’s really it’s main attraction! Although to be fair it’s a quite a pretty town, they’ve gone some lengths to ensure there’s a mix of the old with a fountain, old buildings and some very old trees forming a boulevard, and the new, with bronze art works and some steel depictions of Roman soldiers. It makes it quite interesting and quite pleasurable to wander round the town.

I only spent a couple of days there because the massive car park which is only gravel, had been flooded the day before I got there. The river was still high when I arrived and in fact I slipped in some mud at one point as the entire car park had been covered. 

However I did enjoy the town and managed to fill up with diesel, petrol and gas while there. I found a sort of city farm on the last day and Jack was loving it kissing cows, bulls, goats and pigs. I’d definitely not class this as a tourist destination, but I did enjoy being here: I hope David did too. 

Be Sociable, Share!

Poio, Spain

The Hat at Poio
The Hat at Poio

We haven’t travelled far in a couple of weeks as I’ve been arranging garage visits and doing some of my own repairs too. I found I had a leak from somewhere so I found that and sorted it and have planned a full reseal of the entire van. 

Anyway, I came to Poio as it’s on the coast and me and Jack really like that but we found a garage here who agreed to weld the split in my exhaust pipe. We managed this with no Spanish at all from me and not one word of English from them, but the job is done now so all is good.

Where I am there is a lovely park right on the prom with some form of structure in the middle of the grass part of it. It’s obviously some form of art that has been put there probably simply for aesthetic purposes. Anyway, here’s the hat, on that structure, enjoying Poio beach even though it’s rained all day!

Be Sociable, Share!

A visit to Arcade, northern Spain

Arcade in Spain
Arcade in Spain

This is my first visit to Spain in a camper, and I’ve had all sorts of mechanical problems with the van which I’ll not describe here. Anyway, of course the hat came with me and although I’ve been on the continent for 3 weeks, this is the first day of real sunshine we’ve had and the first day I’ve explored properly. 

I’m in a little town called Arcade in Spain and although it’s a bit run down it’s a nice enough town and the people are friendly enough. I’ve got all the shops I need here although a van garage would be the icing on the cake! I’ll probably be driving to Pontevedra soon to get the van repaired. 

The view here is from the shore line of Arcade looking west toward the impressive Puente de Rande (Rande Bridge). 

Be Sociable, Share!

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

David's hat in front of the view I had at Golling where I was parked.
David’s hat in front of the view I had at Golling where I was parked.

Salzburg was an utter joy and my second favourite city in Austria after Linz. This opinion is based mostly on the old town and does not include places of interest such as museums and art galleries, as normally they don’t allow dogs in. 

The day I visited was a hot day in the high 30 degrees so leaving Jack behind simply wasn’t an option. It’s good that he was allowed on the train although I had to pay €2 for him, which I found out just in time.

An elderly couple were struggling with the ticket machine at Golling, and there was no staff around to help so eventually they stood back to allow me to get my ticket. They indicated they wanted to watch so I showed them how to buy a ticket and being distracted by the couple it barely registered in the back of my mind that I had seen an option for a dog for €2. I got my ticket and set off for the tunnel to get to the other platform for my train.

It preyed on my mind and after 10 minutes, with only 5 remaining before the train was due I went back to the machine, just to check I had the right ticket. The elderly couple were still there but happily managed to get their tickets after a minute or so. I checked and sure enough it was €2 extra for the dog! So I quickly bought a ticket for him and ran out to see the train pulling in. I scooted through the tunnel and got on the train with a minute to spare…phew! 

Be Sociable, Share!

Linz, Austria

Linz, Austria

The hat at Linz
From the north shore we look across the Danube at the city of Linz, capital of Upper Bavaria.

Linz is the 3rd largest city in Austria and the capital of Upper Bavaria. Like many major European cities the Danube runs through it.

Adolf Hitler spent most of his youth here, as did Adolf Eichmann and after the war the city spend decades shedding it’s links to these people. There remains a balcony in the city centre where Hitler gave a speech from, but there’s nothing at all to advertise which one it was.

Most of the touristy bit of Linz is on the south side of the Danube and consists of ancient areas including old Roman ruins, old squares and buildings dating back centuries, and modern buildings with glass and steel. Enormous pleasure boats dock here and testify to the amount of tourists who flock to the city.

I actually prefer it to Vienna for several reasons: it’s smaller so easier to get around, it’s less expensive, it’s a more down to earth city where real people live, it’s actually got more to see.

Predominantly Roman Catholic there are numerous churches and a cathedral, and religious iconography everywhere. 

There’s art installations and centres around the city, technological centres, museums and some beautifully kept parks. I’m staying here for a little while. Like Rouen and Amiens, it’s just one of those places that you want to stop and relax for a while.

The photo of the hat was taken on the north bank where I was parked and where there is an enormous park which was well used by people for all sorts of leisure activities. I decided one day when it was warm but not bright to picnic here and let the dog roam around a bit while I read a book. I like to think David was enjoying relaxing and watching the world go by. 

Be Sociable, Share!

Nova Bystrica, Slovakia

Beautiful forests and rivers are a feature of northern Slovakia
Beautiful forests and rivers are a feature of northern Slovakia

I came down into the village of Nova Bystrica following a road down from the forest near Breza. It was a most beautiful drive and the sun was blazing so I stopped at that next village which happened to be this one. 

We got out because despite the blazing heat sometimes moving around keeps you cooler than sitting down. 

In the EU funded car park in the centre of town a plaque which was also in English gave a snapshot of the history of the town, which was first mentioned centuries ago. 

Dave maybe would have liked that the first building as you enter the town was a cafe bar 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!