Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


A few more pictures taken around Porto city centre , along the way to Matosinhos, to Póvoa de Varzim on the metro. Click the box to go the album.

Best value sightseeing trip in Porto is the number 500 bus, from Praca da Liberdade to Matosinhos market. For just €1,95 cash or using your tourist or Andante 24 pass, you can enjoy a 35 minute ride along the river and to the beach area at Matosinhos. And it is a double decker bus, so there are great views. It’s a normal city bus but tourists have obviously latched onto it.

At Matosinhos you can enjoy the huge beach on a sunny day, maybe watch the ships entering and leaving the docks and in summer there might be cruise ship at the flash looking terminal.

If you are there for lunch or dinner, there are any number of places to eat along the Rua Hérois de França, which is the road more or less from the docks and market area into town. There you will see cooks preparing and grilling fish in outdoor kitchens.

For a different way back into the city, you can take a metro tram from the Matosinhos Market or Matosinhos Sul stops. The metro is above ground almost all the way.

If you do that, you will pass through the Senhora da Hora station. In its time it was an important junction on the narrow gauge network of lines that served Porto’s northern suburbs and places further afield. Opened in 1875, it operated until 2002 when some lines were replaced by the modern metro. Steam trains were running as recently as 1968. I found some old pictures which are included in the album.

Off to Póvoa de Varzim, at the far end of the metro (have to get my money’s worth from the 3 day pass!) where I chanced upon a little food fair and an urban farm. At the food fair a small team was grinding flour on a mini windmill, an elderly woman was making the dough (rather expertly it seemed to me) and a younger chap was baking Pão de Chouriço – basically sausage in bread. As well as other stuff. And very nice they were too.

Visit to Porto area, third part

Tagged: , , , on March 28, 2018 by cubsur51

Leave a Comment


A few pictures from an afternoon out to Espinho and Aveiro.

Espinho is a popular seaside resort about 20km (12 miles) south of Porto. The beach is no doubt very inviting in summer, but on the day of my visit it was very windy and pretty cold. There was a junior surf pro competition under way. Espinho was at one time cut in two by the main Porto to Lisbon railway. Trains had to slow to a crawl because of many crossings. A few years ago the line was buried in tunnel, leaving a ‘green space’ above which has yet to be filled with anything meaningful. I spotted some old pictures on a mural. Espinho is easily reached from Porto by frequent local trains.

Then to Aveiro. Aveiro is a pleasant city with many canals. The old railway station is noted for its tiled murals, some of which are pictured in the album if ou click the box below.

They are unfortunately in a poor state of repair, with those on the front of the building in a pretty poor state. The area was cordoned off at the time of my visit, let’s hope these excellent pictorials are to be restored.

Finally, in this batch, a few shots taken inside the modern station.

I have a large number of pictures taken around the town itself. I will have these ready on Tuesday 27th.

Visit to Espinho and Aveiro March 2018

Tagged: , on March 26, 2018 by cubsur51

Leave a Comment


We don’t get the weather we used to!

In Pictures from England,the weather and things on March 2, 2018 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

Among the chaos being caused by the very cold weather across much of the UK, not to mention the wet and windy weather that has been battering Portugal, I post this pictures taken at the railway station of my former home town, Tonbridge, in the early 1908’s as I recall.

Note the diesel locomotive pulling an electric train. We were snowed in for days. Staff couldn’t get to the depots or stations, I could barely get out of my front door which was 200 yards from where I stood, camera in hand. Don’t get the weather we used to.


Short visit to UK

In Pictures from England on October 25, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

I have spent a few days in the UK, staying with friends in Eastbourne. Unfortunately most of the weather has been grey, raining and generally not very nice at all. Not worth removing camera from bag since the Tonbridge visit on Saturday. Returning home this evening.


Visit to Tonbridge 21st October 2017

In Pictures from England on October 22, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

Back in the old home town to see the people, drink far too much beer and watch a football match. It was a very windy day with frequent heavy showers courtesy of Storm Brian.

Some pictures at!Am0w7qp9HCpqguwryr-6gcQDnRlUeQ



Tonbridge Castle

The gatehouse is the substantial remains of the 11th Century castle that protected the important bridge that crosses the River Medway.


Just a few pictures from my trip over to Royan earlier this month.

Traditional nets and cranes are still used by fisherman in these parts. These are fairly new but many are sadly no longer used.


Traditional fishermen cabins Royan, France

This small beach just north of the town centre has the distinction (I found out later) of being the third public beach in France to be declared a non-smoking zone. It’s the Plage du Pigonnier, so if you like sit on sand rather than in a giant ashtray, this could be the place to go!


Plage du Pigonnier, Royan, France

Further west are long stretches of sand in the towns of Vaux-sur-Mer and La Palmyre. Bike trails run all the way along the coast, sometimes beside roads, often on well maintained bike trails through the woods. They were very, very, busy the day I rode. I managed 22km before my knee started protesting. But I still had to ride back 22km to the ferry!


Beach near Royan, France

As the ferry leaves Royan, there are some good views of parts of the town and the busy water. Most of the town, as I have previously written, was destroyed in a botched Allied bombing raid in World War Two, but to the east and west of the centre there remain many of the large houes with the distinctive tiled towers, built a century ago by the rich.

Royan, France, seen from the ferry.

This is a better picture, piched from a lettings website.

Typical villa in Royan, France

Gironde estuary at Royan, France.

The estuary was very busy with all kinds of boats, yachts, water skiers, jetboats and this great big ferry kind of pushing its way slowly through!

Busy water, Gironde, Royan, France.

Royan, France

Tagged: , , on August 21, 2017 by cubsur51

Leave a Comment


Some more from Bordeaux

On my last couple of days I took some long walks around, including a visit to the Gallien ‘Palace’.

I saw this company sign above an old building. No, it isn’t anything to do with the guillotine I found out!


Guillot & Cie facade

The Gallien ‘Palace’ is so named because it was once thought to be a palace built for the wife of Charlemagne. Not so, it is definitely the remains of the arena of the Roman city of Burdaglia as it was then called. It is perhaps named for the Emperor Gallienus, who reigned in the middle of the 3rd century AD. Seems that having a stadium named after you for personal vanity is not a new thing!

The stadium is a little way from the city, so I imagined the fans complaining as they do now about the difficulty in getting to the ground, the traffic, the parking and I will be they had trouble getting into the bar for a swift vino or cerevisia

Very little remains of what was once a 15 – 17,000 seater stadium (about the size of Centre Court at Wimbledon) that fell into disuse after the city was sacked by the usual suspects, Goths, Vandals, Visigoths etc. Substantial remains stood until the time after the French Revolution when they were built over with new housing. That was in 1793! The ones you see today are the same.

This drawing shows the remains around that time, with most of the outer walls still intact.


Gallien remains late 18th century

Take a close look at the Google satellite view below. It’s possible to trace the curved stadium shape, particularly on the right hand side, where the older houses were built up against the then-standing wall. The newer houses lie along the cross streets that fill what was the stadium floor.


Gallien map

The main part to see is one of the entrances.


Gallien entrance




Gallien – the two people there give you an idea of the size of it



Some of the inside – some decent brickwork and a slot drain, all attention to detail that wouldn’t be seen again for several hundred years.


Brickwork at Gallien


slot drain at Gallien

This next picture was taken from the Rue du Colisée, more or less on what would have been the middle of the ground.


Gallien from ‘inside’


As I walked back along the Rue du Colisée, I spotted a bit of Roman brickwork up among the roofs of the 18th centtury buildings. A puzzle to me as to how it is still there or if it serves a purpose to this day.


Brick arch Gallien


Brick arch Gallien

Moving away from ancient times, some of Bordeaux’s history can be seen in the street signs. Here’s just a couple from near the Gallien site.

Often you can see the original street names carved into the stone, above it the post revolutionary names and on the blue plaques the present day name, which although the same here is often different. Many street names commemorate World War 2 heroes and battles. I dare say there aren’t many Avenues Louis XIV or Allées du Dauphin in France, but everywhere has a Rue 11 Novembre or 8 Mai etc. Avenues General de Gaulle abound. I searched Google maps in vain for a Field Marshal Montgomery Street but Winston Churchill does have an Avenue in Southsea.


Street sign Bordeaux


Street sign Bordeaux

The late afternoon sunshine caught this gilded statue nicely. It’s on the Cathedrale Saint Andre, Place Pey Berland.
That’s all from this visit to Bordeaux. If I can find those from Royan, I will post them in a day or two.

Some more from Bordeaux

Tagged: , on August 15, 2017 by cubsur51

Leave a Comment