The final train we took into Tavira was not a beauty, but covered in graffiti inside and out. It lurched and swayed from side to side , you can just see Alex’s eyebrows raised in question? It was a far cry from the spiffy trains in Switzerland, that travelled at great speed around curves, there was hardly a sense of movement inside. He was so impressed. The landscape in Portugal was dry, dry, dry. I am sure there must have been areas that were producing food, but not that part. It was good to see Linda on the platform after our “out of the way trip up to northern Spain”.
We walked to the beach, we enjoyed her little apartment , and talked lots, on all sorts of subjects. We had spent time with Linda and her family in Victoria BC. a few years earlier. Now, her three children were living in Finland as students and she wanted to be on the same side of the Atlantic as they.
We enjoyed meeting Alex and Karen, her friends. Alex was originally from Portugal and met Karen in Virginia, and now they were relocating in Portugal. On Sunday, Alex (not Sandy) took us out into the surrounding country side and we ate at a outdoor eatery that was under a lush grapevine. Big clusters of grapes hung over our table. We feasted on a pheasant stew. Linda, Karen and I put our taste buds to the test to try to determine what the wonderful flavor was comprised of. We were quite sure there was wine, garlic, bay leaf. The bread was so chewy, olives and cheese were there as well, as red wine, and I do believe my Alex did not resist some grapes.
We felt refreshed after a few days with Linda, and not travelling, and while there, Linda went on line and found a inexpensive flight from Madrid to Berlin, so we booked that. She set us on a much better way to get back to Spain, by putting us on a bus to Seville, Here we got a train that was catering to commuters, and I have to tell you, I have never seen such a concentration of well dressed business men, just absolutely impeccable , and I must say as we slipped into our first class seats, they wondered where we came from. We were at tables that faced two others . We were now speeding through landscape that might have been California> There was lots of orange groves. ( Now I know where Seville oranges come from) Dinner was served, a delicious meal of beef in wine sauce, with spinach and potato souffle, rolls, butter, cream cheese, chocolate cake and coffee and of course wine. Very good. Much better than air plane meals. We missed our flight to Berlin and made a reservation at the Best Western. We walked a bit that night,but the streets were so crowded. We did go into one department store, that made our high end stores look a little shabby. In the underground train, Alex was pick pocketed. It was a little disturbing, but we managed to get in touch with the credit card company he was carrying and sure enough someone had tried to get $3,500. worth of jewellery on it. It had not been honoured and of course it was cancel immediately. Fortunately, I was carrying both passports and another credit card, so we proceeded on our way.
Linda, my niece ,has built a home on a country property outside of Tavira and has a B&B. Check out her website. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/772055?af=1273813&c=wg1 She is wonderful host.<