Sunday, January 23, 2022


 I'm not sure how I am lucky enough to keep testing negative for COVID (well, you know...vax and booster and masking...but still...also, luck) but since I did, they let me on a plane to Portugal on Wednesday.

After landing in Lisbon on a hazy, mild winter morning...

...I headed straight down to the south coast, to the eastern Algarve town of Tavira, where I slept off the jet lag and began exploring. Sweet view from my Airbnb bedroom window:

And even sweeter views walking around this town, which is very sleepy in the off-season.

Each day I took long walks, including to Ilha de Tavira and its epic beaches. This anchor graveyard is at Plaia do Barril:

To get there from Tavira, I walked through endless lemon and orange tree groves and lovely farmhouses.

My initial impressions of the Algarve:

    1) It's a bit chilly and windy in the winter/off-season.

    2) It's very quiet, tourism-wise in the winter/off-season.

    3) The scenery is still beautiful and the towns still quaint.

    4) I love all of the above.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Locorotondo, Alberobello

 And now we're caught up! T and I took one more daytrip, where we hit the little, beautiful town of Locorotondo...

...and then on to Alberobello, with its funny village of limestone houses with conical roofs, which looks like a town for gnomes and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

And now, too soon, by the time you read this I'll already be back home! I expect to be Stateside for the rest of the year. But I'll see you back here in 2022... ;)

Monday, October 18, 2021

Polignano a Mare

 If you Google images of Bari, you'll probably actually end up with an image of the beach at the town of Polignano a Mare, a bit down the coast. Drop dead gorgeous.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

T and Food

 The biggest difference between my time in Bari and the rest of my time in Italy is that my friend T flew over from the States for her own European adventure and started it out by hanging out with me in Bari.

This also marked a transition from me mostly just self-catering in the places I've been staying to going out for dinner with her every night. So it was a week full of pasta...

...and pizza...

...and gelato...

...and caprese salads...

...and some less typical things that I tried. Like this "hot chocolate" that was actually warm chocolate pudding, and a little apple cake...

...and this delicious, rich dish that was pureed bean, cocoa-flavored pasta, porcini mushrooms, thin slices of dried tomato, and I can't even remember what else. But, yum.

The highlight was definitely having dinner one night with a very sweet family who are friends of T's, who invited us over for a typical Pugliano dinner. It. Was. Fantastic.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

I fell behind!

And now I am at the airport on my way home to the States. But let me go ahead and give you some pictures from this final leg in my Italian journey. From Ostuni, I took the train to Bari, the biggest city of Puglia region. It definitely felt larger than any of my stops so far this trip (other than Athens, of course).

But it was a very lovely city as cities go. It sits along the coast...

...and has a charming old town like most Italian towns and cities do. In this one, there is a little street where a bunch of women spend their days making orecchiette, "little ears," the regionally typical pasta shape.

Which wasn't the only reason it was fun to wander Old Town.