Friday, 26 May 2017
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Admiral Horatio Nelson's warship HMS PickleA replica of Admiral Horatio Nelson's warship HMS Pickle is to set sail from Portugal to a new home on the Humber following months of restoration.

Finishing touches are being made to the vessel by a team from North Lincolnshire after the unique ship fell into ruin. The schooner brought the news of Nelson's victory and death to England in November 1805.

CLICK HERE to see a video.

Cerro da VilaI arrived in Vilamoura Marina in December 1992 on my way to Gibraltar in Henry Morgan my Rival 34, I was not too impressed, the place seemed to lack any natural ambience. I walked ashore to find a supermarket and the old part of the town. I found the supermarket but never found the old part of the town.

SegoviaI have to confess that until very recently the only Segovia that I knew of was Andrés Segovia the very well known guitarist. Then in October 2010 while looking at Google images for Roman ruins in the Iberian Peninsula, I discovered the Roman aqueduct at Segovia and read that it is almost 2000 years old, nearly 30 metres high and made with large blocks of stone with no cement! It was photographs of this incredible aqueduct that persuaded me to spend some time visiting Roman ruins in Spain and Portugal in January 2011.

 Torre de Menagem with horseshoe arch windowA satisfying morning´s halt (reports the AA Explorer Guide to Portugal). You can take in most of the sights in ... half a day, according to The Rough Guide to Portugal. Neither was Lonely Planet encouraging: At its worst, Baixo Alentejo´s principal town ... is dull and depressing, with drunks often lounging in the main pedestrianised street... We had already visited Beja previously on two occasions and determined to try out the Pousada de São Francisco again, and we booked for 5 January nights.

ConimbrigaConimbriga is probably the most fascinating Roman town in the Iberian peninsular. It is situated at Condeixa-a-Velha just a 16 kilometres south of Coimbra in Portugal. About 15% of the total area of the Roman City has been uncovered to reveal, houses, baths, a forum, two city walls, an aqueduct and Roman artefacts which are now on display in a museum, which is even better than the excellent museum at Merida in Spain.

The Romans in Spain & PortugalIt is almost impossible not to be aware of the amount of Roman ruins in Spain and Portugal. Below this introduction you will find a description of Italica near Seville, this is where I first realised that the Romans used concrete as well as stone and brick for their construction.

The Iberian peninsular was first visited by Phoenician traders as far back as 1500 BC who came in their ships from the area that we now know as Lebanon and settled all of the Mediterranean rim as far west as the Straits of Gibraltar. They did not come as conquerers but to trade with the locals, most of the major Mediterranean coastal cities were originally founded by Phoenicians.

Lisbon's underground wondersLisbon´s Underground Roman Galleries, located in Rua da Prata, Baixa, will open to the public on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of September. The entrance is in Rua da Conceição nº 77.

Discovered in 1771 during the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755, the galleries are dated from the first century after Christ and are similar to other public buildings of the Roman city of Olisipo.

Working WindmillI quite often give in to my fondness for chocolate, but usually it involves a 12 minute drive or ride to the chocolate shop at the shopping center at Guia, or even easier stopping there briefly on my way back from Lagos or Portimão.

However on March 12th because of the proximity of my birthday I succumbed to temptation and we rode 332 kilometers to the 'International Chocolate Festival at Óbidos'.   We stayed in a very nice hotel called Casa d’Obidos about three kilometers walk to the center of Obidos and walked up to the town the next day.