Three Countries in Five Days

After nearly three months of nothing but Toledo (except for the delightful little day trip to Cuenca) I was starting to go a bit stir crazy. The only thing that kept sane was an upcoming trip, which my friend Noelia had organised: Three nights at her friend’s place in Badajoz, Extremadura, just a handful of miles from the Portuguese border. From there, we would invade the neighbouring country and stuff ourselves silly with all the glorious Portuguese food we could cram down our gullets. Then, it was onwards, across the entire country and down to Andalucía for a couple of days, following a kind invitation from one of Noelia’s workmates, who had bequeathed us a lovely flat overlooking the beach.

All you all ready and comfortable? Let’s get started 🙂

Badajoz has some lovely public gardens

Badajoz has some picturesque public gardens…

...and glorious views.

…and glorious views. The town itself has a very southern Spanish flair, although it’s not much more south than Toledo. The Portuguese influence is keenly felt in the architecture, the colours and on restaurant menus. Salt cod and custard tarts galore!

Moving on to Portugal…

Évora's party piece: A Roman temple from the 1st century

Évora’s party piece: A Roman temple from the 1st century

Roman Temple and moi

Hidden gems

Lots of crumbling gems to discover…

...as well as some modern art. Noelia (left), and our hosts Gracia (right) and Lua (centre).

…as well as some modern art.
Noelia (left), and our hosts Gracia (right) and Lua (centre).

One of Évora's stunning residents turning his back on me

One of Évora’s most glamorous residents turning his back on me

The Almendres Cromlech, a few miles from Évora. A megalithic complex erected 8,000 years ago, and pretty well preserved. We just made it in time for sundown.

The Almendres Cromlech, a few miles from Évora city. A megalithic complex erected 8,000 years ago, and pretty well preserved. We just made it in time for sundown.

We're in Elvas now, another historic town settled since the year dot. Just don't ask me what that thing in the middle is...

We’re in Elvas now, another historic town settled since the year dot.
Just don’t ask me what that thing in the middle is supposed to signify…

Like any Portuguese town worth its salt, Elvas has a castle...

Like any Portuguese town worth its salt, Elvas has a castle…

...impossibly steep, cobbled streets...

…impossibly steep, cobbled streets…

...and plenty of tiles. Everywhere.

…and plenty of tiles. Everywhere.

 

And, of course, FOOD! Here we are, waiting for ours. The desserts at that place were to die for.

And, of course, FOOD! Here we are, waiting for ours. The desserts at that place were to die for.

For one last look at Portugal, how about this cork oak? The souvenir shops are full of cork products. You can even send postcards made of cork.

For one last look at Portugal, how about this majestic cork oak? The souvenir shops are full of cork products. You can even send postcards made of cork.

Cádiz Province, Andalucía, here we come!

Andalucía billboard

BEACH BEACH BEACH

BEACH BEACH BEACH!!!

I was very taken with that umbrella ;.)

I was rather taken with that cheery parasol 🙂

Andalucia Castellar

Did I mention the beach...?

Did I mention the beach…?

Noelia and our generous host and indefatigable tour guide, Paco

Noelia with our generous host and indefatigable tour guide, Paco

A cute frog fountain in Tarifa

A cute frog fountain in Tarifa

Soto Grande Boat

 

Gibraltar... that was the third "country" on our trip. We spent the morning there, I made a beeline to M&S, bought as many packs of hot cross buns as I could carry and several boxes of walnut whip. None of which survives.

Gibraltar, the third “country” visited on our trip. We spent a morning there, during which I made a beeline to M&S, heaping as many packs of hot cross buns as I could carry into my basket, as well as several boxes of walnut whip. None of which survives.

Now there’s just one thing missing, one VERY IMPORTANT thing:

Badajoz Cake

 

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78 thoughts on “Three Countries in Five Days

  1. linnetmoss

    Ravishing photos, from the spring blooms to the Roman temple and cromlech, to the beach and the… what is that last photo anyway? At first I thought it was a tortilla, but it looks like cake 🙂
    You look so happy to be there! I can see why.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Oh, what a fabulous trip you’ve had. And some great shots in there.

    What’s in the delicious dessert / cake at the end? Apart from cream!?

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  3. June

    Gorgeous photos. Glad you had a nice time! I’m a teeny bit jealous. I remember trying to navigate our camper through those streets in Portugal! We loved Evora and really loved Andalucia. Sigh…

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  4. Everyday Asia

    That last tarta is such a tease!!! I love the Almendres Cromlech and that peacock perversely turning its back on you. Now.. just what mischief were you up to that prompted such behaviour?? Hmmm….?

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  5. roughseasinthemed

    Never mind WK, if you went to Marks you were literally five mins away from me. Assuming I wasn’t in Spain at the time. Evora struck me as weird. It was like a museum that closed at 5pm. And I took one look at those Atlantic beaches and thought … Tarifa!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Aw, Marks, how I miss it! And it was the same cashier serving me as last year, LOL, Lorraine… I’m sure you know her 😉 The first couple of beach pics are from San Roque (or just as you come down from there), and the next few are indeed Tarifa 🙂

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    2. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Oh, and as for both Évora and Elvas, it was time time travel back to the 50’s. Very pretty and totally worth a visit, but the thought of having to live there would terrify me.

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  6. LoveUntitled @_@

    Reblogged this on L .OV. E. UNTITLED and commented:
    Happy Easter Everyone! I just came across this blog post about Portugal from the blog Lady of the Cakes! A great story and beautiful photographs make me want to hear up and head to Portugal.. Check out the post and blog, its wonderful!

    LoveUntitled @_@

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  7. Heyjude

    Oh, I am SO glad to see you back on here. I have missed you your cakes. That last one definitely makes up for it though – huge!! Lovely trip, and I want those beautiful pink floral tiles – how gorgeous are they?
    Jude xx

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  8. Karolyn Cooper

    Am I the only person not greedy for cake? Maybe I’m just stuffed full of Easter food already. Anyway, the photo that impressed me most was the one of the tree, hills and water. Where is that?

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  9. Jackie Cangro

    Terrific photos — the palm tree against the hills at sunset, marvelous! The horses on the beach — that’s the stuff dreams are made of. Looks like you had a nice break.

    I didn’t realize there were such well preserved megaliths in Portugal. That was great to learn.

    You did keep us in suspense until the very end…I was wondering when we would get to the cake!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. Girl Gone Expat

    Three countries in five days – you are not waisting time! 🙂 Loved the pictures of the streets of Portugal, very nice. And what is the huge cake in the last picture? Wow:)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Kim in Fiji

    So happy to see you again! And anyway – yes, Karolyn, you are the ONLY one not interested in Lady’s cake …. (paint me Ravenous). Anyway, I loved the photos, but am most envious for that beautiful shiny brown horse on the beach. Hope you can keep getting out and around so you feel like sharing your photos and your wit with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I’m not sure how to tell you this… but… I think you have a right to know: TTB (The Travel Bug) is an incurable disease. And the worst thing about it is this: The only way to stop it from killing you is by travelling, which, in turn, makes the symptoms worse! We are doomed 😉

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  12. bevchen

    Gorgeous photos. I do like Portuguese architecture.

    So jealous of your M&S trip. I love Walnut Whips!! Jan went to Gibralter a few years ago and brought me back blackcurrant squash and Galaxy chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. restlessjo

    Eat your own weight in cake? 🙂 🙂 Evora and Elvas are lovely memories for me. Never really thought about Badajoz- nice bridges! And superb peacock and palm tree shots 🙂
    Happy Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  14. BerLinda

    Do they have Boots on Gibraltar as well? I miss that more than M&S 😉
    I LOVE that shot of the flowers and suspect you put it first just for me 😉 Nah, I prefer the sunset on the rocks pic – flowers. Meh 😉

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  15. barbedwords

    Whaddya know, I’ve just come back from a week in Spain with a day in Gibraltar, most of which was also spent in M&S. I thought the lady emptying the shelf of hot cross buns looked familiar… I should have said hello 😉

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  16. Kim G

    Sounds like a wonderful trip, complete with wonderful photos, and wonderful cake at the end. I don’t know if you are a Lily Tomlin fan, but you might enjoy this routine of hers. Your cake fetish made me think of it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVApt_45Hiw)

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we like to bake our own cakes for when friends come by.

    Like

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