If you read my post about Lisbon or have been watching me gush on twitter  and Facebook then you know: I fell in love with the city almost immediately upon arriving there . The same held true for Tavira – a small town on the eastern Algarve that had beautiful streets to stroll


Tavira shop

and sunsets that only furthered the infatuation.

tavira sunset

And just outside of Odemira where we uncovered Zmar eco camp and spa it was more of the same beauty  plus plenty of activities to hold the boys’ attention.

Riding at zmar

Portugal was magical. It has somehow retained an innocence that I thought was long gone in the world.

And so yes, our quick stop in Lisbon of “3- 4 days max” quickly became 5 and then we had to have more and so two weeks later – and only with some prodding and a lot of regret – we prepared to leave Portugal.


soccer street algarveOn the bus out of the Algarve and into Seville (Spain), the countryside continued it’s magic. For much of the trip the two places looked the same:  Red tiled roofs, white walled homes, rolling hills, smiling people.

portugal countryside


And so it seemed, when we finally arrived in Seville, that we really hadn’t left Portugal at all -more smiling people; couples kissing EVERYWHERE,

Spanish love the artistic graffiti that seems more art than vandalism and look! There!  A taxi ready to take us to our new digs!

Along the way we chatted with the driver about the city. What luck! We’ve arrived on the eve of one of the biggest festivals in Seville (which explains why we could only find a place to see outside of the city) and our driver even shared news about the big game between Barca and Real Madrid. (Love meeting locals!)

street art sevilleI almost asked for his card, this wonderful man, thinking we could call him if we needed anything further but we were all exhausted from late nights, much too big (but still gonna finish it)  seafood lunches and the emotions of leaving new friends in Portugal. And I forgot, amongst my excitement about another new city to explore, to ask him.

We were tired and when we arrived at the hotel it was all we could do to gather our bags, navigate the enormous hotel and check in. By the time we got into our room hungry and tired, we basically scrambled to find something to eat and crawled into bed.

And  it is only as we sat in the dark and began to process the day that it occurred to us: The taxi driver ripped us off to the tune of 40 euro for a 15 euro ride.

We are awake now.