europe 2021

Covid 19 was easing and we broke our traces and headed off.  Our plan was to take the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander, then get down to Portugal taking in some spots on the north-west coast of Spain.  My target was to visit Lisbon but that didn't happen, but it was mostly all good.

We chose the Brittany Ferries, Galicia and we were very pleased with the boat and the service aboard.

We passed close to this lighthouse but I don't actually know where it is.


If you are viewing this on your phone you will have to scroll to see all of this pic.  I wanted it this size so the little boat to the left of the lighthouse can be seen.  Glad we missed those rocks!

First night stop at El Peral after exploring Colombres.  That's an interesting town.  In the late 1800s, many of the younger population left the poverty of the area and headed to the West.  Several made their fortune and eventually returned to Spain and built fabulous properties to display their new wealth.  Several of these properties remain in Colombres. You can get a free map of the town and the properties at the tourist office.


Our second night stop was at Landres, an interesting place with free parking for us camper people on the edge of the town.  It was a nice level-ish walk to explore. 

Landres harbour     Landres

Many of the properties have enormous windows.  Glad I'm not a window cleaner.  There is a good supermarket, Alimerka, but it doesn't have any parking suitable for us so we had to carry our shopping.

Next, a recommendation by Andy McKettrick in his book "Go West", Lastres.  Plenty of free parking in a field opposite a restaurant.  So, we headed off to walk the town.  I have no idea how the locals cope, the streets are incredibly steep and we only made it about 1/3 of the way down before we chickened out and returned for a wine and a nice fish meal in the restaurant.


 Lastres   Lastres

The weather wasn't fab so we moved on, driving on the A66.  It's a toll road but, Wow.  Great scenery on the way south to Leon.

We like Leon but it rained.  We need to return sometime.

Into Portugal ...

Braganca and Coimbra were our next stops but the next pics are from Tomar.  We had planned to stay for one night but stayed for 4 days.

Tomar street      Tomar

Yes, that is a street, albeit one-way.  There are loads like that.  Needless to says campers are banned from those streets.


We watched a crane building a crane then lunched at La Bella, Italian restaurant which was so good we stayed on at the town for another night so that we could have another meal there.


Christ Convent on the hill and a hotel in the town.  There's a good market in town on Saturdays

Vila Nova De Barquinha

Duck house    Is it a climbing frame or artwork?

First, it's definitely a duck house but not sure if the second one is a climbing frame or an artwork?  An odd small town.  We had missed the week-long festival by a couple of days and everywhere was closed !

The beach next, at Foz Do Arelho  Giant aire at €6 per night.  Electric hook-up anyone?  We didn't !

On to Soure for a night.  Great restaurant there if you are passing, Ti Maria  We shall certainly return if we are in that area.

Aveiro rained on us but we did get down to the canal for a quick look.


Thank you Marj for the info

Back to Spain ...

Mondonedo, another of Andy McKettrick's recommendations in his "Go West"

It rained there too but we still managed to explore


Most interesting use of the local slate used vertically on several buildings.  We've seen this done in France but not with so much style.  Love it.

Mondonedo   Mondonedo

Okay, so they are both Pokéstops.  The cathedral was very dark inside, too dark for John so we didn't go in.

Along the coast, a campsite to do the laundry.  A good meal at their restaurant too, Gaivota Camping.  The beach right outside was popular with surfers and watchers.  The information board is a Pokéstop, Yay.

Praia De Barreiros

After another fab fish meal at Cudillero where there is free campervan parking beside the sea wall, next day, we got to Santillana del Mar.  The aire seems to be a bus station so not sure if we parked in the right place.  Well, no-one got on or asked where we were going and we had a peaceful night.  Would have like to explore the town, but, it rained.

A few days later we found Avenida Virgen del Mar.  There is a massive, slightly sloping, car park and we spent the night there.  There is one enormous light in the middle.  During the evening a local parked his car close to it.  I have no idea what he did but the sounds the lamp post made were amazing and actually, quite entertaining.  Our night was very peaceful by the way.

Next day,


We don't know what he was catching but he's obviously a local.

We returned to England on the Galicia (Brittany Ferries) and it was really good again.  Actually, this is an inside cabin but how clever is that window?  It's an illuminated picture !

And we spent our first night back in England at Port Solent, Portsmouth.  This was our view in the morning

Portchester Castle

You'll need to scroll to see all of that one.