We left Cambria early to drive to Madrid via Guarda, Salamanca and Avila -over the mountains and through the snow. We weren't too happy to see it snowing again. Really didn’t have much trouble at all in Madrid - lots of traffic but wide streets. We found a place at the Hotel Lis - huge room with honest to goodness heat.
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We are in Fatima and since we had no idea where to go, we asked the waiter. He said he had a friend who was a university student from Oporto who would go with us. He took us to the location of the monument where the vision appeared to the children. Lucia was 17 at the time and the other two were around 10. Lucia is now 55 and a Carmelite nun in Oporto. She is now 55 years old. All of this is outside of Fatima and very uncommercialized. The town itself is very touristy.
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Drove to Azeitao to visit the Lancers Winery. Toured the winery and gardens and then tasted some 7 and 35 year old wines - really good Muscatel. They gave us each an ashtray and some little bottles of wine. Glad we got to see the winery since we had been planning on it since last summer. We were surprised to see that it was such a small winery and employed 120 people. Most of their business seems to be in making and exporting Lancers to the US.
We drove out to the Jeronimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoverers. Then on to Estoril and Calais which are the playgrounds for the rich and famous. From there on to Sintra which is a little inland. High on the top of the mountain there is the Pena Palace (Byron’s Other Eden). It is in perfect condition and is a combination of Moorish, Manualine and Baroque architecture. From there, you can view the sea on both sides. It is surrounded by huge lovely parks. It is really a great castle. Returned to Lisbon and went to the House of Cork where on really gets the royal treatment - wine and Cassis. Bought some coasters with the flags of each country we have visited.
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We drove into Beja, Portugal which is situated on a hill with the valley on all sides of it. We stayed at the one and only hotel and I think everyone in town turned out to watch us unload the car. Then we walked around town and up to the top of the hill to see the castle. We award the prize for the cleanest city to Beja. We bought chestnuts and the streets were so clean that we wouldn’t think of dropping the shells on the sidewalk as we walked around.
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We drove to Sevilla. The roads were full of holes and were covered with water in three or four places. Seville is beautiful. It has many lovely parks and many huge impressive Moorish buildings. The Cathedral is one of the largest in Europe. It was built on the ruins of a Mosque. the Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower and the ramps that allowed the the Muezzin and others to ride on horseback to the top were preserved. . The Plaza d’Espagna which is built in a semi circle Parts of it are like the Sacrada Familia in Barcelona. It is right next to the Giralda
We drove to Granada. The main road was flooded so we took the back roads to get to the Alhambra. We decided not to spend the 50 peseta entry fee and so we didn't go in. Instead we went back to a monastery. What a surprise! It was so ornate and still a work of art. We expected ruins but the cloister and sacristy are in perfect condition.
The Bull ring
Drive into Malaga to see the bullfight that we came back from Morocco to see. There was no bullfight. Next Sunday maybe. We stood in front of the Plaza de Toros for two hours before we found that there wasn’t going to be a bullfight. But we talked to a man from Baltimore who gets our award for the nicest American we have met in Europe. He is sailing in a boat he bought in Denmark. We also saw quite a few grubby Americans while we waited. The man from Baltimore said that the police have a bad time with the beatniks from America. We returned to the hotel and walked barefooted to the beach.
Nasty day. Rained all day and the lights went out. About 8 pm we drove to Torremolino to a place called Pedros with the intent of having a Scotch and water. We got our drinks and found ourselves in a little side room as the bar was full. An older couple joined us and so did an older gentleman. After awhile he said a few words to us, then ordered us another drink and eventually he paid for even our first drink. Then he suggested that we go with him to have something to eat. He took us to the El Camilon which was really a great place. And there at 11:30 pm, we ate pigeon, cooked vegetables, soup, dessert and coffee. And the nice man from Sevilla paid for everything. It must have set him back close to $10 plus his drinks and dinner and then he went his way and we went ours. Absolutely amazing.
La dueña (landlady) made some salami sandwiches for us to take with us. Sometimes these people just go overboard with their niceness. Drove to Fuengirola and got a room at the Hotel Florida.
A daily diary of a journey in 1962. Please post comments about where you were then on the Background page.
1962 was pivotal. This is the background:
It was a year colored by the Cuban Missile Crisis, an escalating involvement in Vietnam, the Berlin Wall and the Cold War with Russia, Civil Rights issues, a nascent space program, Nelson Mandela in prison, Betty Friedan's, The Feminist Mystique, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the death of Marilyn Monroe.