Pilgrims, Picasso and Palaces

We had attempted to see the north of Spain once before but had to change plans with an opportunity for a housesit presenting itself, but now we had an extra ten days from our return to Madrid, so planned to explore places we couldn’t find housesits. We picked up our very cheap car rental (costing… Read More

Cruising…

We awoke the first morning of the cruise to the rocking and manoeuvring of the ship into port, opening the curtains to discover the lovely German town of Warnemunde outside. With no organised tours booked, we disembarked to catch the local train to Rostock, where we enjoyed wandering (and avoiding the showers) for a few… Read More

Copenhagen … cooler temperatures, hot prices

When we made our plans to take our year off, part of the process was Chris handing over his clients to new consultants, with the thought that by March he would be twiddling his thumbs waiting for our departure at the end of the month. Surprisingly (?) this didn’t happen and March was a very… Read More

Westward ho…

Driving west again from Salamanca, the landscape was very flat and the roads stretched out before us. We had been warned by the rental car company to register the car at the border for tolls to avoid fines, and we also discovered we should fill up the petrol tank before driving into Portugal as it… Read More

How many pets? House-sitting magnified…

Before we left NZ, we had secured a referral* housesit through one of the sites I had signed up for and completed a house-sitting course with. This opportunity piqued our interest as it involved looking after feeding stations for local stray cats in the town of Alhaurin (al-er-REEN) de la Torre. Meeting the “home” family took… Read More

The Alhambra

This was a special place, so I have decided to devote this whole post to it. We had been forewarned that tickets should be prepurchased – even so, when I looked at availability, the earliest entry time for the Nasrid Palace was 2.30pm. At least we had tickets, we heard of people who expected it… Read More

Italian interlude

The Cinque Terre and Milan seemed so close to where we had been petsitting in the south of France, we thought, “why not?” and planned an extra few days in Italy before flying back to Spain for our next assignment. Vernazza in the Cinque Terre was our base 15 years ago (for our family trip)… Read More

Of steep roads and strange dogs

Arriving to our latest house and petsit in Calpe, we wound our way down switchbacks catching the most amazing views of the Peñón de Ifach and the Mediterranean beyond. Cliffside houses spilled down the hill and we marvelled again at the engineering of the roads and retaining walls that give rise to these places that… Read More