Always on the Verge

Reflections and connections of a life-long learner.

Constance

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We Land on the Islands: Madeira and The Azores

Having covered much of mainland Portugal we decided to spend our last two weeks checking out island life. First stop: Madeira The Azores! This archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is comprised of nine islands. We stayed on São Miguel, nicknamed “The Green Island” (Ilha Verde). We flew into Ponta Delgada, the island’s largest city, and immediately jumped into our rental car and headed for the northwest corner of the island to Mosteiros,.. Read More

Three Cities; Three Vibes

For a country that is approximately the same size as the state of Indiana we are constantly amazed at the the diversity Portugal offers. By the time our latest adventure is concluded we will have driven the entire length of the country (it takes about 5 hours if you do it in one continuous trip) and even jumped off to a couple of islands. We are finding some wonderful cities to explore and have taken.. Read More

Porto: Thirty-Six Square Blocks and Some Road Trips

We are back in one of our all-time favorite cities! On our previous visit (pre-covid) our rental flat was in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. (For a recap of that visit, photos of our beautiful views, and stories of various vagabond activities: https://conhan8.com/?p=2135).) For this go-round we decided that staying near the historic center of Porto would be an interesting change of pace. Bob did the research and found us.. Read More

Formula for Successful International Travel: (2P+T) x Fl / C + BA = Portugal!

WIth a nod to former math lessons on the order of operations, the above formula pretty much sums up our latest travel adventure: Twice the patience plus tenacity multiplied by flexibility and divided by covid and British Airways resulted in an overall happy landing in one of our all-time favorite places, Portugal. (An aside on British Airways: a challenge from start to finish. Poor communication, abysmal website, lethargic service providers, and the repeated excuse of.. Read More

Basking in Basque Country; FYI: The Rain in Spain does NOT Fall Mainly on the Plain.

Our last weeks of travel were through the beautiful Cantabrian and Pyrenees Mountain ranges in northern Spain – Basque Country. After busy, busy Portugal it was nice to settle into a quieter, more slowly paced part of the world. It felt like Mother Nature was conspiring on our behalf, and the rainy days we had were just perfect for allowing us time to catch our breath and reflect on our travels while the sunny days.. Read More

Northern Portugal – Photos, Photos, and More Photos (you have been warned…)

But first: a disclaimer: Two weeks in this part of the world resulted in almost 250 photos to sort through and choose from. I figured if I kept the text relatively short and the number of photos at around 60 it would take a person with an average reading speed and a quick mouse finger under 10 minutes to make it through this post. (And where are all those middle schoolers who ask when they.. Read More

Southern Portugal: “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Just like Oliver Twist with his longing for more food, we have realized that one visit to this beautiful area will just not be enough. As I mentioned to my friend and fellow travel lover, Patty Bartscher: We dived into the vast attractions of Portugal like were like first-timers at an all-you-can-eat-buffet. We wanted to try everything and we just kept piling more on our plate.

Three Days to Rock the Kasbah

Arrival on Easter Sunday. We had booked our digs through Airbnb and the owner recommended the services of her property manager, Abdellah, as a guide. It was our good fortune to take her suggestion as over the course of our visit we were given what felt to be a real inside view of life in this part of Morocco. This photo was taken just as we go off our ferry. The tall building to the.. Read More

Andalusia: Olives, Flamingos, Moors, and More Olives…oh, and the Pueblos Blancas

Okay, you sharped-eyed readers – you know those are not olive trees. They are just a sample of the hectares and hectares (1 hectare = 2.47 acres, in case you were wondering) of grape vines we drove past as we made our way from Valencia to Fuente de Piedra, a small town that put us equidistant from a number of things we wanted to see on this next leg of our travels. Our next stop:.. Read More