2009

First full year of retirement

In 2009, we made a trip to France, Spain and Portugal.  We have been frequent visitors to France in the past, but Spain and Portugal were new to us.

This trip started in Strassburg, then down through Alsace and the French Alps to a gite (house) that we rented near Aix-en-Provence.  There are many lovely hilltop towns and Roman ruins not to far from there.  We visited Pont du Gard (image above), one of our favourite places, although access has changed greatly over the years.  When we first visited in 1983 you could drive across the viaduct, by late 1980s you no longer drive across but you could walk across the 2m wide covered water channel on the top layer, and now it has huge parking lots and many times more tourists and access is limited to walking across where we once drove.

Later we crossed by train into Spain and particularly enjoyed Granada and Cordoba.  Granada for the famous Alhambra Palace with its many different rooms and styles as shown in the images below.

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The arches within the Mezquita in Cordoba were mesmerising.

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After a few days in Seville, with many lovely buildings we took a horrible overnight train trip from Madrid to Lisbon.

Again Portugal had many interesting things to see in Lisbon, the palaces at Sintra and during the trip by car to Porto.

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