Tuesday, 21 July 2015

02072015 - 19/07/2015 - San Sebastian, Spain to Blanes, Spain

02/07/2015 - San Sebastian, Spain to Lourdes, Fance

Sadly it is time to leave San Sebastian - but we are looking forward to seeing Karleigh and Luke in Barcelona.

From San Sebastian we drive to Lourdes (yep back in France).

Lourdes is know for the Sanctuaries Notre-Dame de Lourdes, or the Domain.  The Grotto Massabielle is where in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.  In total 18 apparitions appeared.  It was extremely peaceful to visit.

After visiting the Grotto we headed over to our accommodation, we had booked a Gites, which is a farmhouse that has been converted.  The Gite was a little bit out of Lourdes, and unfortunately for us with our little French we found it difficult to converse with the owners, we were lucky that their son could translate for us.  They did invite me for a wine and even though I knew that my charades were not going to help me out this time, I just couldn't resist a free wine, luckily their son came out and at least we could have a little conversation.  We had a lovely stay and when we are in France we will certainly look at staying at more of these Gites.

03/07/2015 - Lourdes, France to Barcelona, Spain

We had a beautiful drive across the Pyrenees the scenery was stunning.

On to Barcelona, we have been lucky with our accommodation so far, and at the time of making the booking the average temperature for Spain in July was 29, I hadn't worried too much about air conditioning - bad mistake during our stay in Barcelona we had temperatures over 45 degrees - yep bloody hot - and no air-conditioning.  Also the bed that Dave and I had, sagged extremely badly in the middle and our first nights sleep we both slept (well tried to) in about a 45cm width of space, I felt like there was an elephant in bed with us - funnily I seemed to lose out on trying to get more space.

04/07/2015 - Well Dave and I both woke up excited, it was time to go and pick up Luke and Karls from the airport.  Dave appeared to have ants in his pants, he couldn't stand still.  It was great to see them both.

So after settling in our hot house we decided to go out and explore La Rambla which is a popular street for tourists to go and visit.  We decided to get a feed in one of the restaurants in the middle of the mall - I know they are normally a lot more expensive and yes geared to tourists, but hey we had to do it.  So after settling into our seats we all ordered a drink 2 x beers and 2 x wines.  Well the beers that the Big Fella and Luke had had to be at least a litre of beer and Karls and I both ordered a glass of wine and somehow managed to end up with a 3/4 bottle each.  As Karls still hadn't quite recovered from her little session in Berlin, there was no way she could drink even half of hers, well as you may know I don't like to see wine go to waste, yep so I had to drink it.

After our bellies were full of food, beer and wine we wandered the streets and came across the Cathedral. You are not allowed to enter the Cathedral if you have bare shoulders, luckily Karls had a sarong, and I had a wee jumper - it just seems weird as their are no laws against nudity here, something I know my brother would love.  We then needed some more hydration, this heat is sweltering, so we stopped for a couple of cocktails.  Needless to say by the time we got home, I needed a rest before heading out to dinner.  We went to a delicious British Fish and Chips Restaurant for dinner.  I think the Big Fella is over Tapas and is craving a big steak.

05/07/2015 - Today we did the hop on hop off bus, and went to visit Sagrada Familia.

Karls is really get the hang of being a tourista.

I did know that you needed to line up for tickets to see the Cathedral, which we did, but then we were given a time slot two hours later - mmm what to do now, in this sweltering heat, find a park with some shade and have a wee nap.

Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church designed by architect Antoni Gaudi - it is still unfinished, and due for completion in 2026.  Whilst the outside of the church was unimpressive, to me, in fact in some parts I found it quite ugly, just my taste though, the inside of the church well that was a different matter - very stunning.

When we got home Luke and Karls gave the Big Fella his birthday presents - see below, he was a happy chappy - they had already shouted us lunch down on the beach, very nice.

06/07/2015 - Barcelona to Zaragoza.

I must admit I wasn't sad to leave Barcelona for us it didn't have a good vibe, we were glad we visited though.

Luke got to drive to Zaragoza and Dave (being Dave) was asking Luke how he was going.  Luke (in a little condescending way was saying to Dave that he had it all under control and basically had the hang of it, but whilst he was saying this the windscreen wipers were scratching across the wind screen and we were changing lanes, whilst Luke was trying to turn the windscreen wipers off and the indicators on.

We arrived in Zaragoza and were having trouble checking into our apartment, we had found the apartment but couldn't get in contact with anyone to check in, so after all of us wandering the streets we headed onto McDonalds to get a feed and use their wifi.  Luke decided not to go for McDonalds but to head to Burger King instead and meet us back at McDonalds.  Well Dave and I have had many interesting orders lately, but Luke came back with a meal deal, which included a salad and no fries...  He said he had no idea what they were asking him and just kept nodding his head.   So after a feed and getting in contact with the manager we head back to the apartment for a wee nap, before heading out for dinner.  After dinner we went for a walk and visited the Cathedral - now this is an impressive building - and so unexpected - Zaragoza was basically being used for a stop over, but we loved the feel and the look of this town.

07/07/2015 - Zaragoza to Pamplona

We were really happy with our stop over in Zaragoza but now its time to head onto Pamplona.  After the usual troubles with finding our accommodation - we have realised that our navigation system is not up to date - so I really need to do some planning on finding our accommodation.  We get settled in  and head on out to buy our outfits for the next few days.  It was so cheap to kit us all out - and you know how much I hate to dress up.

Later on we went into Pamplona for some dinner and a look around.  Luke has been doing a great job of picking out our dinner locations.  This time he has chosen a restaurant named Rodero.  It was expensive but is supposedly the best restaurant in Pamplona so we decided to shout ourselves to a nice meal - thats what Dave's expectations were...

Lets just say it didn't go to plan for the Big Fella.  We were all enjoying a beverage and discussing our selections when I said to Dave that I might order the Cod, he says 'oh this must be cattle country I'm going to order a Steak - you don't see the sea from here, so can't imagine the seafood being any good', so now I'm second guessing my selection.  The waitress comes over and I ask here what her recommendation would be she said that if you wanted to try their local specialty dish then go for the Cod - mmm good one Dave - so I order the Cod.  Dave had said he was ordering a steak so I really didn't take much notice to his ordering.  Well the waitress comes out with the correct knives of our corresponding meal, Dave just looks at his, he hasn't been given a steak knife, its just a butter knife and a spoon - so he just thinks she has our cutlery around the wrong way.  He then says I ordered the Steak.....tartare, then the penny drops and I let him know that Steak tartare is raw beef - he asks me if I'm joking and I just shake my head and cross my legs, we are all in stitches.  So all our meals arrive including Dave's Steak tartare and he just looks at it and then discovers that not only is the beef raw, but he also has a raw egg - well with Luke and Karls here the jokes and one liners just kept going, I was very lucky to get out of there without wetting my pants, I did have many a tear rolling down my face....


So after a few hours sleep and all decked out in our gear we head for the bus.  Luke has been psyching himself up, he has decided to run with the bulls, I must admit if I was a bit younger and I didn't have Dave in my ear telling me I would be stupid to do it, I think I would of joined him.

So we all gave Luke a hug and wished him the best, whilst we headed to the Arena.  We had about an 1 1/2 wait.  Which did go pretty quickly, it was obvious that a lot of the people hadn't gone home at all so they kept us entertained.  There was also a marching band and music going on.  They serve alcohol here 24/7 whilst the festival is on.  Later on, Luke did say that one of the guys that was running, ran the day before, hadn't gone home and was pretty drunk.

I must admit as it got closer to 8:00am Dave and I were getting pretty anxious to see Luke.

The actual running of the bulls happens every morning at 8:00am.  The bulls run from the holding yard up to the bull ring.  The distance is just over 832 meters and it is all uphill.  The street has two right hand turns in it with the second turn very, very tight.  (This turn is appropriately named DEAD MANS CORNER.)   They open the gates at 8:00am and the bulls are in the ring by 8:03am.


At 8:00 o'clock we heard the first rocket to say the bulls had been let loose, then not much later the 2nd rocket to say the last bull had left the corral.  It was great to watch it all unfold in front of us on the big screen in the stadium and then to see the people and the bulls tearing into the stadium.  But it was hard to really enjoy it until we could spot Luke in the crowd and know that he was safe.  He did admit to us after that it was the scariest thing he had done, he said the 1 1/2 hour waiting was probably the worst.  He also said he would never do it again.

After the bulls have run through the Arena, the Arena gates are closed.  And the runners that want to stay in the arena do so and those that don't get out.   Luke was at least smart enough to get out of this part of the festival.  Well this was something worth watching.  They let a small bull into the arena, and at first he just goes around head butting anything in his way, his horns have rubber stoppers on them, so there won't be any gouging, but plenty of knocking people over,  some people do get thrown into the air pretty high and the odd one gets knocked out.  After about 5 minutes, there is an announcement made (in spanish) and some type of music playing, then another larger Steer, also with rubber stoppers on his horns, makes his way into the Arena, you can see the people who don't speak Spanish, they are still standing in the middle of the Arena, whilst those that do speak Spanish are running for cover.  This Steer is fantastic to watch, he has only one thing on his mind to find the smaller Bull and get him out of the Arena.  The Steer doesn't care who or what is in his way and it is fantastic to see the looks on the runners faces as they get flung into the air, even better is when they don't realise this Steer has been let loose and get one heck of a fright when they turn around and find him running at them.  Once the Steer finds his bull he leads him out of the Arena.  There are about five of these small bulls that each have their turn.  Most people do wake up to the fact that when they here the announcement and the music the Big Steer is coming out, but for some people it doesn't click.

See the video above to see some of the runners lying in front of the gate were the small bulls make their entrance, the bulls supposedly will jump over them, well lets just say some do and some don't.

We have had a fantastic morning, so now its time to leave the Arena and find Luke and hear about the running.  We had arranged a place to meet, so we head on over there and find Luke having a well earned beer.

Back at the apartments we all settled in to watch the State of Origin on our devices, I was very very slack and couldn't keep my eyes open and actually fell asleep.  Luke and Karls have decided to try the specialty drink for the running of the bulls, red wine and coke.  After the game and when the others have had there little nap, its time to head back into the town and wander the streets and watch the festivities.  Well they sure know how to have a good time.  With a litre of beer about $4.50AUD, 2 litre cask of wine about the same and a glass of ice $3.50 go figure - we all had a good night.

For entertainment there is a lot of bands playing in the streets, some great marching type bands.  Everyone gets into the swing of things, the bands are just fantastic and its great to walk / run behind them whilst having a wee beverage.


After a small about of sleep, we catch the bus into the city.  This time watching the running of the bulls, was a lot more fun, not having to worry about Luke.  Dave and I really had a great time and have decided that we could stay for the whole week of entertainment.

We head onto San Sebastian to show Luke and Karls around, we loved this city the first time we visited and it still has the same effect on us.  Unfortunately, we have all run out of puff and decided to head to our hotel in Bilbao for a rest before heading out to an earlish dinner.  We need to be early in the morning as Luke and Karls have a flight at 6:50am to Ireland.

Well our navigation system, which Luke has named Tracey, hasn't been our greatest friend lately, and we have found out, after being lost many times, that she hasn't got the most recent maps.  So this time I ask the concierge for a recommendation for dinner, he provides us with a map, which surely will help.  Well we found the restaurant alright, but as many do in Spain - it was shut, with a sign on the door they were on vacation.

We drove around for a little bit trying to find another restaurant but to no avail.  So we ended up heading into Bilbao, something we weren't keen on doing, driving into another small city when we were all tired.  The restaurant we picked in the old town was one were you could order a kilo of meat, which came out on a hot stone, cooked to about rare, so if you wanted it cooked a bit more, you just left it on the plate a bit longer, which would of been dangerous with the four of sharing, so must of us settled for rare, Dave did put a few pieces to the side, saying they were his.  Well you would of thought a kilo of meat, chips and salad and we would be all happy - but oh know we are still hungry, so this time we order 1/2 kilo and extra fries.

10/07/2015 - 12/07/2015 Bilbao to Ceret

Unfortunately it was time to say goodbye to Karls and Luke and make our way back to Ceret, France - yes we have been travelling back and forth across the border.

Ross and Liz had kindly invited us back to Ceret for the Ceret festival, which includes the running of the bulls and the bull fights.  When we got to the Halyday's happy hotel, Liz had made us a beautiful home cooked roast chicken and vegetables, oh it was fantastic to have a home cooked meal.  The running of the bulls is at 3:00pm and Ross and Liz had secured a balcony for us to watch the activities - we certainly had a great vantage point. It was great to see the kids getting involved as well - these are the only bulls that I would like to run with.  The bulls here are a lot younger and are kept under control by the horses and their riders.  The runners would try and catch the bull (rather than running out the way) and try to bring him to the ground.  The atmosphere around Ceret is exciting and the alcohol and music is flowing.

The bull fight wasn't something that I wanted to see, but Ross and Liz had bought us tickets so I decided to go and experience it.  Well all I can say is that I hated it, as soon as I saw blood on the Bull, my head was down and I couldn't watch anymore, the fight went on for about 20 minutes.  To me it was the most barbaric thing I have ever watched, the tears were flowing and I just couldn't stop.  So needless to say at the end of the first fight - Liz and I got up and left and headed to the bar.  Dave and Ross lasted one more fight and I don't think they were impressed either, I believe there is 6 fights in all.

So after the Bull fight, we headed to a bar and waited for some friends before dinner, there may have been a bit of wine consumed.

Yet again we had a wonderful few days with Ross and Liz, we really did appreciate their wonderful hospitality.

13/07/2015 - 14/07/2015 Ceret to Tarbes

We said our farewells to Ross and Liz and headed onto Tarbes to see the start of the mountain stage of the Tour de France - something on our bucket list. We arrived the night before the start of the race and were very happy with the location of our hotel, we were about 100 meters from the start.  We awoke in the morning and went for a walk and you could see the excitement start to build.  First of all a huge group of vehicles (which they call the caravan) drives the route and throws out freebies, all the kids went crazy, I might of knocked one or two over trying to getting to the freebies, well that rubber bic keyring was very important to me at the time, and hey the kids need to learn early that you don't always get what you want.  It was great to watch the build-up and to see the riders and their support cars go past, we really enjoyed our time in Tarbes.

Lisa sporting the The King Of The Mountain Jersey......

14/07/2015 - 16/07/2015 Tarbes to Biscarrosse Plage

We were going to spend two nights in Bordeaux, but decided to spend it at the beach near Bordeaux instead and just have a drive around Bordeaux.  It is unbelievable how many field of sunflowers there is and not to mention vineyards.

16/07/2015 - 20/07/2015 Biscarrosse Plage, France to Blanes, Spain

From Biscarrosse Plage we head over to Blanes - yep its on the other side of Spain.  We have decided to stop in one place for a week and catch up on a few things, one of which is sleep.  We are still getting used to the culture here.  From what we have experienced no one goes to bed before midnight.  They do have a late start to the day and a siesta in the middle of the day.

Our accommodation in Blanes is on the Costa Brava, overlooking the beach - just perfect. The water is absolutely beautiful and crystal clear and with a temperature of around 25 degrees - How fantastic. There is a huge bar downstairs, which has had good entertainment on most nights.

And about 50 metres from our hotel is a Texas Steak Restaurant - Dave has finally had a really good piece of steak - he says it is even better then the ones they serve at the Morrison.  Not sure if this is true or just the fact that he hasn't had a good steak since we left home.

I have been to the hairdressers again.  Not sure if I mentioned it or not before but I did get a colour and cut in Ceret, France the cut was great but lets just say that I now have a yellow stripe down the middle of my head instead of a black and grey.  And know that my hair has grown a bit more I now have a black and grey stripe, followed by a yellow, then my normal white/blonde colour.  Dave did mention that when I got back from the hairdressers, my hair seemed whiter, didn't think that was possible.

If you would like to see more photos click here.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

30/05/2015 - 01/07/2015 Paris to San Sebastian

30/05/2015 - Paris to Amiens

Well the Big Fella didn't get much sleep last night - he was worried about our car that we were to pick up.  He needn't of worried after we found our way around the airport and got to the correct counter, there was no problems - back to driving on the other side of the ride.  As we were driving up to our first roundabout, I may have some little concerns as Dave is looking the wrong way for on coming traffic.  But other than that, that was the only problem we had, the Big Fella was back to driving on the other side of the ride very easily.

The drive to Amiens was a little bit over an hour, and we both arrived unscathed.  Amiens is a city in Northern France and is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy.  The Amiens Cathedral is the tallest of the large, classic, Gothic Churches of the 13th century and the largest in France of its kind.  It is a World Heritage Site.  The Cathedral was just breath taking and so unexpected.  The Cathedral was built to hold the alleged skull of John the Baptist - however it was not on display whilst we were there, it goes on display for a couple of months starting in mid June. We thoroughly enjoyed our stop over in Amiens.

31/05/2015 - Amiens to Normandy Region

Well I still haven't got over this wee cold that I've picked up - so my lack of planning for this day really showed - we may of got lost a few times and missed a couple of sights, but at the end of the day, Dave was still talking to me.  We were to drive around to a few of the sights of the Battle of the Somme, we got to two of the important sites for us.  We visited the Australian Memorial and the Adelaide Cemetery.

The Australian Memorial really tore at the heart strings.  I must admit my knowledge of this battle was very limited I didn't realise that in less than seven weeks of fighting three Australian divisions suffered 23,000 casualties.  Of these 6,800 men were killed or died of wounds.  It was a loss comparable with the casualties sustained by the the Australians over eight months in Gallipoli in 1915.

Between March 1916 and November 1918 more that 295,000 Australians served in the Australian Imperial Force in France and Belgium.  Of these there was around 132,000 casualties and 46,000 lost their lives.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the body of an unknown Australia soldier was recovered from the Adelaide Cemetery in France and bought home to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.  To read the eulogy that Paul Keating gave click on the link - https://www.awm.gov.au/talks-speeches/keating-remembrance-day-1993/ - it really is a fantastic eulogy.

Well after an emotional day, you would of thought that I would have a nice room booked for a well earned rest.  Well lets just say I had a room booked, the best asset this bnb room had was the view, that was pretty good, we looked straight out onto the English Channel, but thats were the good stuff ended. The room doesn't have an ensuite or even a toilet - not good for me who frequents the lavatory a few times a night.  The house is described as 'Art Noveau' mmm, basically it has more bikes inside lining most of the walls than what Dave will ever own - and it is full of (what I would call) junk, it was heavily cluttered and not very clean.  The door handles were falling off.  There was not enough hot water left when I went to have my shower, just what I needed.  Dave did get a hot shower but he was taken upstairs to use the upstair shower, apparently he was getting a bit worried he needed to go through several doors/curtains, to find it.  Oh well our room was clean with a great view.  We did wander about 20 metres down by the sea where we had our best meal to date, so all in all not too bad.  So my first experience of Airbnb not so good - but I will try again.

01/06/2015 - Normandy Region and Mont Saint Michel

We had a delicious breakfast and a great chat with our host - so in the end it wasn't a bad place to stay.  This morning we head off to see the Bayeux Tapestry.  The tapestry is an embroidered cloth nearly 79 meters long and tells the story of the events leading up to the Norman conquest.  It was made in the 1070s.

After the Bayeux Tapestry we head onto the Normandy Beaches to see the memorial dedicated to the American Soldiers who liberated France.  Omaha beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944.

From Omaha beach we headed onto Mont Saint Michel.  Mont Saint Michel is one of France's most recognised landmarks and the Abbey is just enormous with many stairs.  However, I don't think we could of done enough stairs to make up for the food we have been eating.  Oh I love France, the cheeses, the baguettes, the croissants, the cider, the ice cream and the list just keeps going, the food is delicious, though our waist lines and clothes are not.  The recommended drink of choice at the restaurant that we went to was cider and I think with carrot juice, mmm didn't sound so good, but was yummy.  We both had the recommended omelet, well it was huge, it was the size of a dinner plate, needless to say though no challenge for Dave and I we both cleaned our plates.

Our accommodation for the night was in a secure gated area and you need a code to get into the gate, this fact would of been nice to know when we booked the hotel.  So Dave had to keep doing the block, while I walked into the area to find our hotel and then obtain the code.  There was no way you were going to get a code by using the intercom.

02/06/2015 - 05/06/2015 - Mont St Michel to Perpignan

The scenery is just stunning and so much greener than I had expected.  We have found ourselves looking for McDonalds - we know what our coffee is going to taste like there and we get reliable wifi.

Dave has been doing a great job driving, other than looking the wrong way at roundabouts, minor issue. Okay I have to confess, I have lost my licence somewhere in Paris, which means that I am unable to drive - damn…

We drove over the Millau Viaduct (bridge) - the tallest bridge in the world with one mast summit 343m high - Dave was impressed - me yep its a bridge.

The Big Fella is still pointing out the mobile phone towers - enough already.

After about 7 hours on the road we arrived safely in Perpignon and we were happy to see that our point of contact for our studio apartment was Australian.  I could put my hands away for awhile and actually have a conversation with someone other than Dave.

The next day we headed out to Collioure with Bobbie and Brant.  Collioure is a small port where the waters of the Mediterranean meet the rocks of the Pyrenees mountains.  We had such a wonderful day, walking along the front and just taking it all.

That evening we were invited over to friends of Bobbie and Brant's for pre dinner drinks before heading out for dinner.  We had a fabulous meal whilst consuming a fairly large amount of alcohol.

The next morning was a bit slow, but we all crammed into the Citroen and headed off to Ceret.

05/06/2015 -19/06/2015 - Ceret

Well our first impression driving into Ceret is Wow.  Ceret is  a small village at the foothills of the Pyrenees.  It is just gorgeous, the streets are lined with restaurants and bars, my style of town.  I can see why the Haylday's (Ross and Liz) have bought a gorgeous apartment here, it has such a great feel and vibe.  One of the bars/restaurants is named after Pablo Picasso - who lived here from 1911 - 1912.

We have had a fantastic 2 weeks here in Ceret.  We have been wining and dining at many great restaurants and have also had some fabulous meals and drinks at Ross and Liz's - they are just wonderful hosts and we have appreciated every bit of their great hospitality.

It was so wonderful to catch up with our great friends Bobbie and Brant as well.

We have also managed to fit in a couple of golf games, seen the blessing of the horses, dinned in the streets.  Went to visit the Costa Brava coastline - sensational, beautiful beach and once again great food and wine - can't tell you the name it's Ross and Liz's secret...

Unfortunately I wasn't hundred percent for a couple of days here, Spring had sprung and so had my hay fever.  And even worse the Big Fella has had some sort of flu for nearly two weeks now, it has really knocked him around.  So after a round of antibiotics and it still hadn't shifted it was off to the Clinic for some more drugs - luckily Liz was there as I really don't think my charades would of worked. We had originally planned to leave Ceret on the 12th June, but the Big Fella needed a rest.  Oh yes mention the game of golf and the Big Fella immediately starts to feel better.

19/06/2015 - Ceret to Tarragona

After leaving Ceret we headed to Cadaques a really cute white washed village around a rocky bay.  We had a lovely couple of hours just walking along the sea shore and taking in the sights.

We left Cadaques and headed onto Tarragona and decided to head down to the beach for a look around.  Well, as we wandered around we realised that this was definitely a topless beach - no problems, but as we walked down this beach (its only about 200 metres long) it finally dawns on us that the other end of the beach is a nudist beach.  Dave's a happy man, so he decides he's feeling a bit better and would like to wander to the restaurant right on the beach, and have a beer.  Well about 5 hours later and dinner he decides that its time to go back to the hotel, by now the beach is now deserted.  He has come away asking if I'd like to get a set of DD's - I told him I'd rather spend the money on alcohol, gambling and cigarettes.  Oh yeah I forgot to mention, I haven't given up the cigs (again) - they are way to cheap, it would be ridiculous to give them up.

20/06/2015 - Tarragona to Valencia.

The next day we awake to a beautiful day and decide to head on down to the beach and this time go for a swim, the water is crystal clear and not too bad temperature wise.  So after a quick shower we are back on the road again heading to Valencia.

On our drive to Valencia we decided to pick up some fruit - you would of thought we'd pick oranges but no not Dave and I we went for Peaches and Bananas - and the sad thing is we both love oranges.   The drive into Valencia was different, it took us about 1 hour to find our hotel, when the navigation system was telling us it was only 400 meters away.  There are many one way very narrow streets and we seemed to keep taking the wrong turn, it would then take us about 10 minutes to get back to where we starteds - as you can imagine the Big Fella was a happy man - NOT.

We visited the Cathedral in Valencia, which supposedly holds the Holy Grail (the Chalice that Christ used in the last supper).  Once again it was a beautiful church with magnificent architecture.

We then wandered around the streets, and I must admit I didn't think I would find anything that would surprise me but yep we did, a vending machine in the main streets selling sex toys...

21/06/2015 - 23/06/2015 - Valencia to Granada

Onto Granada, our main reason for visiting to Granada was to see the Alhambra (a Muslim city that has been preserved since the 14th century).  If you want to get a ticket to the Alhambra you need to book a few weeks / months in advance, however you could pay a lot more and do a tour - guess what we had to do. The Alhambra was well worth seeing, the architecture was amazing.  One of the interesting facts was that the Muslims here were allowed to and did drink wine - they had there own vineyards.

23/06/2015 - Granada to La Herradura

After Granada we headed onto the coast for another couple of nights - La Herradura.  The Big Fella is still not very well and has been getting tired very easily, so a bit of a recoup is in order.  La Herradura is a town on the Mediterranean.  We had chosen a lovely hotel to stay at right across from the beach.  Well I knew I was going to enjoy this place, they offered you beverages yes wine or cava (sparkling wine) whilst checking in and then informed me that the bottles on the table were for anyone who was staying in the hotel and they would be replaced anytime they were empty - heaven.  So with a perfect view we settled in for a few nights.  We were excited to be back by the water again, and wandered down to the beach - not exactly what we would call a beach, there was no sand just lots of rocks and pebbles.  But hey it has its advantages no sand in places you don't need.  They had a few restaurants right on the beach, which we did visit - oh life is good.  Oh, we left the sunscreen in the car, so the Big Fella decided to use my Lancome makeup, it has 20+ sunscreen he says - well I don't think I'm going to see that bottle again, he's decided he likes it, says it feels nice on his skin, it would want to with the $'s it costs.

25/06/2015 - La Herradura to Gibraltor

From La Herradura we headed on over to Gibraltar to see and explore the Rock of Gibraltar.  The Rock of Gibraltar is an awesome rock that is about 426m high it has sheer cliffs on the northern and eastern side.  The ancient Greeks and Romans though this one on the two pillars of Hercules.  It is also known of the saying 'solid as the Rock of Gibraltar' used to describe something that is very safe of firm (a bit like my buttocks - hey Dave).

26/06/2015 - Granada to Salamanca

The next two days we stayed in a lovely town called Salamanca - it was more a university city and was a nice place for a stopover.

28/06/2015 - Salamanca to San Sebastian

From Salamanca it was off to San Sebastian - one of the cities I was really looking forward to visiting  and I was not disappointed wow wee.  I don't think I'm ever going to want to leave, it is just sensational and exactly what I was hoping for....

San Sebastian is known as the romance style so in the Big Fellas version of romance was to take me to McDonalds for dinner and then a walk along the river front - mmm not my idea of romance.

The picture above might help explain why Dave loves San Sebastian...

So far we have been enjoying our time in Spain - love that fact that anywhere you go you seem to be able to buy alcohol - even at McDonalds you can get a beer - don't think that would be wise to bring that in back home.  Wine costs around $3.00AUD for a glass and if you buy a bottle in the supermarket you can get a nice bottle for around $3.00AUD - that is if you know what you are buying.  We were finding it difficult to adjust to the hours of eating and opening of the shops etc, but hey when in Rome.  Most of the restaurants don't open until about 8:30 or 9:00pm for dinner, I'm normally having my hot chocolate by this time.  The shops close somewhere for around 3-4 hours in the early afternoon - so now thats our nap time.  We don't seem to be getting into bed until after midnight.  My charades haven't been improving and either is our Spanish, especially when a lot of their regions have their own version of Spanish or like in Basque another language - so confusing, we have ended up with some interesting meals though....

Also, when we have been grocery shopping at one of the larger stores, they normally have about 30 checkouts, the supervisor wears roller blades...

The Big Fella is starting to feel a lot better, he now thinks it was the antibiotics from the clinic that was making him feel unwell - once he finished with the antibiotics he has been feeling a lot better, so nice for him oh and me...

For more photos please click here.