25th Dec 2013 - We decided to stay at the Ramada Encore Hotel at Luton Airport for Christmas Day. By doing this we would not have to leave home so very early. The hotel is a few minutes from the airport, walking distance in fact. Unfortunately, they only had very limited bar meals. Also, Roy had slipped over on the soggy, muddy grass outside and was caked in wet mud when we went in to sign the register. He hadn't brought a change of trousers with him so set about washing the mud off and then using the hair dryer. It nearly worked. Comfortable room as per photo.
We had reserved a car with Europcar but they had none! Well, not for hours anyway. We got one eventually.
The Lisbon route is much easier than getting through Porto; we were straight on to the main A1 and out of Lisbon in minutes. It was 4pm, 26th December when we got to Mega Fundeira after a shopping stop at the Intermarche in Pombal.
Rosa-Maria was there to hand us our bunch of keys the builder had used to gain access in our absence. The corrective work he was asked to do he had done very well and we were pleased. But how do we pay him? We don't even know his name! We'll have to aks our Portuguese/Spanish friends who recommended him.
The weather was pretty dismal, raining most of the way. And we had the same on Friday 27th Dec.
And for £6s each - a main course, wine, dessert and coffee. True.
Apart from the price, the location, cleanliness, friendliness, food quality and choice were excellent, as always.
Next to Pedrogao Grande to collect our other set of keys from the Esfera Real Estate office. Claudia, our solicitor, happened to be there so it was lovely to see her again, and Carlos, of course. We'll go back and see Fernando another day.
The photo shows just a small part of the undercover market at Figueiro dos Vinhos. Lots of clothes, shoes, household items, fruit and vegetables, meat, bread, plants, etc. All you could need at a low price. Next was a trip to Coimbra, Portugal's third largest city and a university town. It was still raining. We used the new A13 toll road.
It continued raining on our way back so our plans to stop off in Miranda do Corva and Lousa became just a drive-through.
Went to Cafe do Alto for lunch - great. Met Ankh, a Dutch artist. She exhibits at Sammy's Sunday market.
Next we went to Pedrogao Grande to take this photo, mainly to show the two paintings that Susan did that were bought by Fernando (nearest). Here he is with Carlos in their offices - Esfera Real Estate.
Susan wanted to try the cafe that has wi-fi so we went there and, yes, met an English woman and her daughter who are renting a friends property for a year to see if they want to make a permanent move to Portugal.
Decided not to do any long drives - just to Cafe do Alto for lunch. Tomane introduced us to Chris, and Englishman living nearby who originates from Norwich (40 mins from where we live in the UK).
The postman called and left us our water bills - £5s a month. That's about £4.80 each month. Here in the UK we pay £48.00 each month. Coincidentaly that's 10 times as much!
Let me think ... where do we want to be ... HAPPY NEW YEAR