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About jpalbny

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com, https://www.blogger.com/profile/01909358205846920309

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  1. Just back from a ridiculously cheap dinner in Tomar. €38, including the most expensive bottle of local wine, and dessert. *** After breakfast at the hotel this morning, we went for a walk in the park next door. Pretty riverscapes. Looks a little cloudy, though. Then we attacked the hill where the castle and convent are located, up above Tomar. It looked nice in the mist. We went inside. Nice self-guided tour of the convent. Lots to see. But we finished the interior touring, then climbed the castle walls. The views were limited in the mist and rain. Oh well. We went back downhill to town and went wine shopping. I found a bottle for €2.99. It was hard to pass up, though, for obvious reasons! We bought some nicer stuff to take home. Then a few snacks for lunch, and we drove off for Conimbringa. This is a Roman settlement about an hour north of Tomar. We made good time and enjoyed the ruins. Here, a peristyle of a Roman house. And a private bath, in the house of a very rich citizen. We had made such good time that we could stop in Penela on the way home, to... Climb up to another castle, of course! More views. These castles are in great spots! We climbed to the highest point of the keep. No enemies in sight! Looks like a catapult! Maybe we can take the castle! We made great time back to Tomar, and had time for a sip of Port on our patio while making dinner plans. Then an early dinner, cheap as mentioned above. There was a nice view of the castle on the way home. But we liked the full moon over our hotel instead. Now relaxing with a splash of the JP wine. For the price it's not bad at all. Chris says it's a little rough around the edges, like me... Tomorrow we pack up and drive to Coimbra for a half-day visit, before ending up in Porto for the next two nights.
  2. Full moon in Tomar tonight. We are relaxing on our balcony with a splash of Port, making dinner plans. Beautiful view! Not very conducive to leaving. It's been another busy day (of course), details to follow maybe after we eat.
  3. M, that cool cat needs a smoking jacket to go with his tie. And a few kittens. Just to touch on every possible controversy!
  4. We got into Lisbon at 9:00 yesterday. Even though it was a very short flight, less than 6 hours, I slept for a few. So I was somewhat awake and ready to go! On the way from Lisbon to Évora, we stopped at a few neolithic sites. The caves at Escoural were closed, but that didn't deter us. Instead, we rattled and bounced 4km down a dirt road to Almendres Cromlech, a collection over 100 standing stones. Not quite Stonehenge but pretty cool! Next was the Menhir of Almendres, a massive solitary stone about 1km from the Cromlech. Then the Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro. This was even more deserted than the Cromlech. We drove through dirt roads between cow fields, through big mud puddles, to get there. But worth the trip! We drove to Évora, checked in, and parked for the day. Lunch time! We found a tapas bar. We didn't know which wine to order so they gave us some samples. We had tapas. One of the dishes was sauteed mushrooms. So good. Then we had the energy to climb the tower of the Sé. You can walk on the roof too. What fun! We also had time to see the bone chapel at the church of San Francisco. Very impressive! And you can take pictures. It started getting rainy so we walked home. We passed along the street where the aqueduct still runs. They have built dwellings in some of the arches. And the streets pass through others. Dinner at a local place, then finally bed time!
  5. Hi coolers, and bom dia from Portugal! We arrived yesterday morning and picked up our rental car in Lisbon. We were on the road quickly and had time to visit a few neolithic sites before checking in to our hotel in Évora. Today we were busy! We wandered around Évora some more before breakfast, then went to Elvas, Marvão, and Almoural Castle before settling in for the night at Tomar. A few pix from today. A fountain in Évora Roman temple ruins, Évora. Elvas Castle. Only a few miles from the border of Spain. Elvas Castle and a view Streetscape in Elvas Marvão castle. What a view! Getting cloudy. And a nice breeze too. Note the Silversea parkas. We needed them today! There was a festival in Marvão today. We had lunch with wine for €8 at a food counter. The wine was €1 per glass! We could afford a few Euros for dessert afterwards. Almoural castle. Built on an island in the Tagus River by the Knights Templar in the 1100s. You have to visit by boat. View from Almoural Castle Now relaxing with a glass of Port after dinner, and planning tomorrow's route. Good night all!
  6. So we are all packed as of last night. One rollaboard and our two backpacks. Piece of cake. Room for extra wine if we get more than a case. Tonight we played "use the leftovers" with some prosciutto and a few mushrooms. They went onto a tasty pasta dish, along with some fresh sage from the herb garden. The last task for tonight was to put a set of snow tires on my car. Earlier than I'd have wanted, but there may be snow overnight here in Albany, so better safe than sorry. It will be a tough drive to JFK tomorrow if the roads are slippery, and we still have summer tires on. We'll put the snows on Chris's car after we get back.
  7. Yeah, we used to travel that way. No longer. And now with free laundry on SS, there's really no reason to overpack. But a week in Europe with a carry-on isn't even a challenge any more. The only question is whether we bring one wine check (6 bottles) or two? Decisions, decisions! 😁🍷
  8. Great pix Silver! Learning about the Moche civilization was a real eye-opener. Great to see those places again.
  9. True, it is a rollaboard size, so not very challenging... It's only the two of us, and no need for fancy clothes this trip. We need to leave room for wine on the way back!
  10. Obrigado! Looking forward to it. Last night we put out some clothes. Tonight it's time for a test-fit in the suitcase. Might get away with one...
  11. Yeah, he can't operate an ATM, and thinks she's a good gambler? LOL.
  12. Thanks Jilly! Enjoyed your review. Would love to read your blog when you get around to it. Don't know if you saw/remember from earlier but we did sign up for the Ponant cruise Singapore to Darwin, November 2020. Looking forward to another visit down under!
  13. It's our first time there (together) though Chris went a couple of years ago in High School... 😉 We will stay at the Hyatt Centric Gran Via. I paid their basic room rate and used points for a suite upgrade. Should be great. Only problem is that the adjacent Metro station (Gran Via) is closed down. So a few extra minutes walk each time, from Sol...
  14. I'll let you know in 2 weeks, if you can wait... we will arrive there a week from Friday.
  15. Made some Rahmschnitzel tonight for dinner. One of my favorite dishes from our Germany trips... it always brings back great memories. With lots of Spätzle, of course! And Grüner Veltliner. Time to think about packing for our trip. We probably will start on that tomorrow.
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