Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2023!

Window of the custom hat maker.

 I've been watching CBC News coverage especially of the West Coast and the snow storms, you who live there, have been having this week with prediction for more. I feel bad for you, as I "bask" in 20 degree weather here in Sevilla. Last week we had a a lot of torrential rain, needed, but, please, not all at once.

The Artisan Christmas market is on this year and I've been a couple of times. The vendors are friendly and products are beautiful! Even the packaging and the stall decorations are also beautiful.

The vendor made this with recycled materials and leaves, picture doesn't do it justice.

I bought this jug with it's patina from the shop, above picture, he uses electrolysis to create this effect, yes, dented, made it more appealing to me, call me crazy...

I was at El Cortes grocery store in the fancy veggie section (fancy because product is selected by a clerk and you are forbidden to touch) and I saw a flower made from an artichoke. She showed me how to make it and so I bought some and here is the result. 

My vegetable Christmas decoration.

Wishing you a safe, happy Holiday Season Friends! Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

This year's street lighting.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Pictures from Lagos

 Here are some more pictures from Lagos, Portugal with captions for explanation.

Foggy evening on the roof terrace bar above the Fish Market

One of Anya and Paul's rescue dogs. Don't let that face fool you, one of the sweetest little dogs.

Ryan, Oliver (Oli),  Angela, me, Anya, Paul at the Piri Piri chicken restaurant in Odiaxere

The "end of the world" Sagres coastline, truly spectacular!

Raku fired sculpture at the cafe on the viewpoint in Sagres

Oliver Schmidt from Berlin stayed a week, friend of Ryans for 20 years the restaurant was called O'Mexihalo (mussels are their specialty) and in my opinion, best fish restaurant in Lagos. Oh, almost forgot, they also serve a multitude of choices of Gin and Tonics
Disappointedly a completely fogged in mountain called Fiora but the goat herd compensated somewhat.

Those murals I promised last post.

Not a mural...

Us, three amigos, at the Lagos Marina

We all took loads of pictures in the month spent there, the coastal scenery is stunning. It was a vacation for me including sun, sea, good friends and new friends, I enjoyed it, good times!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Tuk Tuk Tour in Lagos and beaches

 I took a city tour in an electric Tuk tuk with Tukano Tuk Tours my driver was Carla, her partner Nuno signed me up the day before. I've never been in a real tuk tuk before and I suspect this one was slightly more comfortable than the originals might be, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the sights. Here are pictures with captions. Carla was a delightful guide, telling me the history and present day of Lagos.

From the top of the cliffs Porta da Piedade

One of the gates in the walls that surround the city, built to keep citizens safe from invasion. 

Original Portuguese homes the top facade hides the roof and the door handles in the shape of hands indicate wealth, no need to knock with your own knuckles.

Art Museum located across from the 2nd floor of the large food market downtown.

Traditional tile works, still being taught today to school children and adults wanting to do the work in trade, a tradition preserved.

Igreja de Santa Maria de Lagos, next to the city walls, destroyed (as was the city) in 1750 by a fire it has been rebuilt over centuries. Many of the churches do not open to the public, only for special events and Sunday service.

So that is a snap shot of my tour. Lagos has many beautifully done (in my opinion) murals on buildings, enough that I will do a separate post on those, more to come.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Visit to Lagos Zoo


We went to the Lagos Zoo which has only been open since 2020 and they have accomplished a lot but have a way to go in our opinion. Pens are quite small and not very clean from poop. Many more birds than furry animals but it was a delight to go and see, Bruce and I were always suckers for zoos. Even though in the past living conditions for the animals were not good, now they tend to be much better with breeding programs especially for the endangered ones. We all took pictures and Ryan and Angela took videos so this post will be Zoo, Zoo…

Really, a need for this sign?

From the brochure: "150 different animal species"; then on another section it says "350 species collected from various cultures and spanning the 5 continents"; you can attend an animal feeding; "proud to participate in the european programmes for endangered animals".

Most of the pictures and the movie are from Angela with Thanks! my camera battery died about half way through, didn't have the foresight to charge it before going. 

Entry fee was €16.00 per person which I thought a bit steep but didn't after we were walking through. Great day! 


Thursday, October 20, 2022

Lagos Dolphin Tour

We went on a Dolphin Tour with Two marine biologists aboard, one piloting the boat and one explaining. All were extremely pleased when we saw a pod of 100 or so dolphins, up close and personal too, they swam around the catamaran boat and underneath it. Awesome is a word I would use for the experience. They were females with their calves and then an adult pod joined in. WOW!!!

Here is a video Angela produced.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from Lagos, Portugal


The above picture is down the driveway of a swanky hotel close to the apartment I am in, also close to Ryan and Angela's.

What am I doing in Lagos? Ryan and Angela invited me and since Portugal is difficult to get to from Spain unless flying or driving I responded with a resounding yes please! It was getting colder in Freiburg, here in Lagos it is mid 20's shirt sleeve weather which I am enjoying immensely.

The apartment I booked is ideally situated for both the marina and downtown and is furnished beautifully. Lagos seems to become quite the foodie haven, meals have been great and not very expensive. Soooo, here I stay happily until the end of the month and then go to Sevilla.

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving which ever day you celebrate it, I envy you if you have turkey.  

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

P.S. this lovely Red Admiral (yes I had to look it up) came and visited outside the bathroom window in Freiburg. It showed up the day of the Queen's death, quite fitting I thought.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Chateau Commarin and Village of Pouilly-en-Auxois

Viewing room in the left cone shaped tower.

Took a 35 minute drive south east to Chateau Commarin which is quite an impressive castle situated entirely in a moat.

At the entryway, horns are from an Ibis

Christoph took the French spoken tour and I walked the rooms all of which were about five. It is still inhabited by the family after 900 years Furniture was original and well worn with threads hanging off chairs. 

It was in one of two towers and only one floor available for viewing. The floors themselves were both of high quality individual tiles and slotted wood, think parquet but much more elaborate in design. 

The above two pictures are serving dishes. The kitchens in those times were situated well away from the main house due to fire risk. This one was actively used until 1970.

There was a fellow who also didn’t follow the tour who seemed to be very interested in what others were not. We walked the rooms together but did not speak. I imagine him to be an architect or builder of sorts because of his interest in the sculpture and the flooring. 

Pieces of tapestries on the walls.

Writing desk adjacent to a library.

Note the walls in these pictures, they are not covered in wall paper but beautiful fabrics. 

The garden means trees and perhaps hedges in this part of France, definitely not what we would think of as a garden with flowers or vegetables. There were large stables for horses, all cleaned and not used but a couple of horses names were still on the stalls.
Chapel attached to the castle.

I really enjoyed the visit, not grandiose, a place where a family lived, but missed the other barns which must have been off limits to tourists. The guides were all friendly and the one Christoph had was enthusiastic about the chateau. 

This was Sunday and we hadn’t booked lunch ahead, mistake we’ve learned cannot happen again. We ended up inside a large place in Chateauneuf that was packed and the kitchen slammed for inside and outside dining. We were at a closed window so at least had a look outside but being in that enclosed space made me very uncomfortable with the amount of people inside. It was a relief when we asked for coffee outside in the fresh air. Note, book on the weekends!

This bad boy/girl was in the parking lot at Chateauneuf.

Back down the same highway to Chateau Commarin we visited the village of Pouilly-en-Auxois. We had an excellent lunch at Hotel Poste, housed in the former post office of the town. 

After we looked for the canal and while I saw this bit, I knew there were boats that go along the canal for tourists. 

We asked and drove out to the meeting point. There were many people waiting around to board and there was an hour left before time to so we skipped the ride. Because of Bruce, I noticed a fair number of people in wheelchairs ready to board. When you think about it or are with a person who uses one, there aren’t many boats with access for wheelchairs, so this would be a treat to get out on the water and see some bird life.

We realized that we'd been to Pouilly-en-Auxois before and identified the restaurant we'd been to but it was raining that day and I hadn't done any research on the town itself. This was a much better visit in the sun and seeing the canal.

All for now, Cheers!