Wellington Wrap Up

We’ve spent the last few days reacquainting ourselves with Wellington, so figured it was time to dust off the blog. It was 2015 when we were last here, but we’ve had a longer visit this time, so have had the chance to explore a few different things, and then revisit some favourites from last time. Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to:

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Carcassonne in Carcassonne

We have a car now! Which is at times terrifying. At least I’ve stopped reaching for the gear stick with my left hand, and no longer feel a jolt of terror when moving into the overtaking lane. France as a nation seems to view road rules primarily as suggestions; at least in Carcassonne most of the streets were one-way, so I didn’t need to navigate oncoming traffic as well as avoiding snapping off wing mirrors.

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Bilbao and the Ballad of the Luggage

Sim kind of wrapped up Porto last time, but let me add my two cents. Portugal generally was fine. I would rather have been there than in the office. But for my money, I prefer Spain. I like the food better (except the tarts in Portugal, the tarts are great); the cities seem less likely to contain massive hills you have to drag your luggage up; the language is basically recognisable if you speak a smattering of any other Roman language. Portuguese is decipherable if written down, but aloud it sounds like French being spoken by a Russian.

So yesterday, I was happy to return to Spain, despite their absurd ideas about it being appropriate for a bakery to be closed until 9.00am. We flew from Porto to Bilbao via Lisbon. Our luggage flew from Porto to Lisbon, and no further.

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Sintra is a town a short train ride from Lisbon, built by the Portuguese in order to have somewhere to put their fancy buildings. It has a population of some 377,000, and contains five palaces, an historical convent, a hilltop castle, and several stately homes. Apart from the tourist industry, it appears to have little economic or political value, though the castle, at least, has some military advantages, being on a hill overlooking the Atlantic.

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Seville Wrap Up

It’s the thing I was most excited about in Seville! The Real Alcázar. A network of palaces originally built by the Moors, it was then added to over the centuries by the Castilians, and even today includes the official residence of the King and Queen when in Seville. (Side note: did you know there was still a monarchy in Spain? I did not. This is something I possibly should have googled before I came here; the Catalan situation seemed more of an immediate issue at the time but in the end our entire interaction with it was seeing flags hanging from windows.)

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