europe 2019

We didn't get away in 2018 so were super happy to be setting off in May 2019.  Unfortunately, initial plans were thwarted by events.  We had planned to get straight down to Portugal.

We left home as the Wisteria blossom was fading, so hoping all the blooms will have magically disappeared by the time we return.

We left Mrs Duck in charge.

Our plan to take the ferry from Southampton to Spain were dashed when the ferry caught fire - before we got on it, I must add.

Our only practical alternative saw us ferrying to France instead.  It would have cost us nothing to drive through the tunnel, paying with Tesco vouchers.  But heigh hoh, on we go ....

The ferry ride was good and very few passengers.

So, we arrived for a one-night stop at a campground in Nantes, we stayed for 3.  The staff were great and recommended several things to do and see.  The trams are very easy to use, and cheap too. Jules Verne was born in Nantes and his writing is celebrated throughout the city although he lived in Paris for most of his life.

Our highlight was Les Machines de L'Ile

Visitors are allowed to help to drive the exhibits, and then outside

An elephant weighing 40 tons actually walks from the collection of the machines to a fabulous carousel nearby.  The elephant can carry about 20 passengers too.  I'm sure I've got photos of the carousel, but I can only find videos at the moment.  I haven't learned to satisfactorily compress video, so I suggest you check out their web site

Nice spot for lunch and would be magic in the evening I would think.

Square Graslin

That's the Opera House in the background.

Onward to Spain ...

Burgos was the first new place we explored.  I was most fascinated by the trees, which are all grafted together.  I'm still not sure if they do it naturally, or are persuaded to do so?


Burgos Cathedral

Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul, probably the most elaborate of the many buildings in the city.


This guy is El Cid, who lived in the 11th century and is known as the national hero of Spain. He is remembered as a fierce champion of Christian Spain against Muslim and particularly Almoravid forces during the early years of the Reconquista and as the embodiment of knightly honour.  I'm a Humanist, but it's a great statue.  I like the one below too.


and the food ...


and then, on to our planned destination, Portugal ...

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