Category: Europe

Finding Childhood Nostalgia at Villa del Balbianello, Italy

The STAR WARS movies captured my interests from the very first time I watched the first movie in 1978. As a young child, I was immediately drawn into these wonderful futuristic, yet believable worlds. The space scenes, the desert landscapes of Tatooine, and the jungles of Yavin 4 all seemed like places I could imagine myself visiting someday. Here we are 42 years later, … Read More Finding Childhood Nostalgia at Villa del Balbianello, Italy

Acts of Love and a Bear Made of Trash

I unzipped the opening of our tent and let the morning sun flood inside. We both peered outside and marveled at the mountain peaks guarding us like giant rock sentinels. Our previous day’s efforts, of riding the challenging 5.3 miles (8.5 kms) military road, had paid off with one of the best wild campsites we’ve ever experienced in Europe! We were feeling quite accomplished … Read More Acts of Love and a Bear Made of Trash

A Long Slog to Fort de Viraysse

After the previous two long days of riding our motorcycles 880 km (547 miles) on paved roads, we were itching to slow down and do a bit of exploring via the less traveled dirt roads. Fortunately, we were in the French Alps so there were plenty of dirt road options available. The day started with some wonderful riding through small French towns and narrow … Read More A Long Slog to Fort de Viraysse

Riding through Provence and Verdon Gorge, France

We are flying! Covering 880 km (547 miles) in two days is not our typical happy travel pace. On average, we tend to travel no more than 150-200 miles (240-320 km) per day. So why the rush? Because we felt like we were running out of time. As American citizens, we are limited to 90 days of travel in Schengen Europe areas (highlighted below … Read More Riding through Provence and Verdon Gorge, France

Adiós España – Our Last Day in Spain

We never imagined we would be spending nearly five months in Spain. When we first crossed the Pyrenees Mountains and into the Catalonia region of northern Spain on March 9th, we were somewhat oblivious to the extend at which the Coronavirus was sweeping across the European continent. By March 14th, the Spanish government had activated a State of Alarm which granted exceptional powers to … Read More Adiós España – Our Last Day in Spain

Playa de Las Catedrales & Las Médulas, Spain

There are some days that we look back on that are truly memorable. This was one of those days. Both of these landmarks have been on our push-pinned Google map for a long time, so when we were finally seeing them in person it was pretty exciting. Our original plan was to visit Playa de Las Catedrales on Friday. We had arrived to the … Read More Playa de Las Catedrales & Las Médulas, Spain

Enjoying the Coast of A Coruña, Spain

Our first impression of A Coruña, Spain was not a positive one. When we arrived, late in the afternoon, it was cloudy and raining. As we approached the city, via the Autovia AG-55, we were a bit overcome by the smell of factories belching heavy, black smoke, into the already cloudy grey skies. Fortunately, we didn’t let this first impression ruin A Coruña for … Read More Enjoying the Coast of A Coruña, Spain

Obscurities on Spain’s Northwestern Coast

I should have known that it would be a challenge to get any sleep as soon as we rolled into the campsite and saw how crowded it was. The entire campsite was full of campers, cars, kids on bicycles, and families enjoying the warm weather and wonderful Spanish sun. The camp-host did her best to find us a small grassy section that was wedged … Read More Obscurities on Spain’s Northwestern Coast

Exploring the Region of Western Galicia, Spain

After a week of hiking the Camino de Santiago, we were really excited to be back on our mules once again. The advantages of motorcycle touring compared to hiking were obvious because we easily covered more than twice the distance in one day as it took us to hike the entire week. We left Tui, Spain with the plan to see three sites: The … Read More Exploring the Region of Western Galicia, Spain

Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 6 of 6

Our last day of the Camino! Up to this point, we’d hiked 104.1 (64.7 miles) so we were eagerly looking forward to completing out pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Today we had just 12.9 km (8 miles) to reach the famous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. An easy day! We woke up well before sunrise, so we would have enough time to finish the … Read More Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 6 of 6

Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 5 of 6

Day 5 of our Camino and we’re still in good spirits! The reality of the Portuguese Camino is that it’s really not that difficult for most people who are comfortable walking distances of 10-15 km (6.2-9.3 miles) per day. The terrain is relatively flat, the distance between restaurants and hostels is relatively short, and many older folks have made the pilgrimage. Taking days off, … Read More Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 5 of 6

Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 4 of 6

We were looking forward to a day of rest! Three days ago we had started our Camino from the border of Portugal and hiked 52.7 km (32.8 miles) to the city of Pontevedra. Since it was a Sunday, we took the day off to enjoy the sabbath, discover a few churches, and explore a little bit of Pontevedra. Capela da Peregrina (Chapel of the … Read More Hiking the Portuguese Camino – Day 4 of 6