Day 23, Tuesday in Barcelona Spain

Yesterday was our last day of the Model A Tour. Today everybody is leaving for home or other places. We say our final goodbyes. 

Marilynn and Bob leaving in taxi to get their car to travel on their own for 21 days through Europe before getting on a Mediterranean cruise.

We decide to explore Barcelona via the Hop On-Hop Off bus with Dorothea and Jim.

The sites:

Their cemetery here is crypts in the side of the mountain because there is so much hard rock and lack of room to bury people flat.

Christopher Columbus pointing the way to the New World.

Christopher Columbus statue through the many masts of boats in harbor.

Old buildings in the city:

Casa Batlló, the architectural jewel of Modernism by Antoni Gaudi.

The La Pedrera, a building by Gaudi inspired by nature with its undulating facade and wrought iron balconies, because he thought nature does not have straight lines.

Barcelona is a large city of 3 million people. The streets are very busy with cars and buses coming literally within inches of each other. They have built 100 km. of bike lane. There are also a lot of mopeds. But it does not even come close to the streets of Cairo.

We go by the Basílica de la Sagrada Família again today. To me it is a very different basilica. They are still building onto it.

One of many modern sculptures in the city.

There are huge cranes everywhere in the city to do construction.

This is Terrasses de Santa Maria del Mar, which is the most emblematic gothic church in Barcelona.

This is the World Trade Center and Barcelona Harbor.

We then take the bus back to the hotel. We are going to have dinner with Dorothea and Jim, but the restaurant doesn’t even open until 8 PM. So I finished this blog and we are packed to go home tomorrow. We have to catch a shuttle at 5:30 in the morning to the airport so it will be a long day home. The end of another wonderful trip with Lizzie. We took her 1500 miles with no major problems. We met great new people and are looking forward to the next trip, but for now goodbye!



Day 22, Monday, in Barcelona

We get up at 0630 and we make final arrangements for taking Lizzy and the group off to the warehouse for shipment home.  Everyone is a little sad to see the tour end.

Rene Werder (our shipper) giving final instructions. And then informing us that the longshoremen are going on strike on Thursday (Hope we see our cars by Christmas).

Rick and Lori saying goodby to Lizzy.

The group takes a Bus Tour of Barcelona.

Former Bull Fighting Ring, Now a shopping mall

Our group in with the crowd, looking for a lunch place


We see the old architecture next to the new.  Can’t get over the crowds of people.  Really a good thing we didn’t bring the A’s into downtown Barcelona

Now we find a restaurant for lunch

Pam and Rick looking over the menu

Lori orders a Blackberry Majito


We order the Paella with Shrimp and Pork

Bob and Marilynn order the Acorn Steak.

We run out of time as the bus is waiting for us and have to hurriedly end our lunch.  Ken never gets his order as their service is very slow.

We get back on the bus and resume to tour.  We see several building both old and new.

And then we stop at the Basilica Sagrada Familia by the architect Antoni Gaudi in the 19th century. It has been under construction continually since the late 1890’s. Our two photos here only show a glimpse of this overwhelmingly diverse cathedral with old and new construction methods, other architects have taken over.  There are spheres and spires that are something to see.  These two photos do not do it justice!!

More examples of architecture found in this city.


Note: We saw the statue of Christopher Columbus and other sites including the Olympic Stadium form the 1992 Olympics and returned to our hotel by approximately 7PM….

Arch de Triumph (?? Spelling) copied from Paris

Christopher Columbus looking toward the new world.


View of Barcelona from top of the mountain.

Olympic Stadum

Another church ??

As they say, Good Night for now

Day 21, Sunday, from Zaragoza to Barcelona (with an addendum from last night)

First I have to add last night. It was a fantastic day and ended with flamenco dancing and Spanish singing. 

One of the dancers was only about 10 years old.

Kathy gets up and dances with them.

 Then a man & woman dance.

The group singing.

Then there was a celebration for Ken’s 85th birthday.

And we presented Bob & Marilynn a thank you for being our groups leader.

Our little group of driving together.

Now onto today. Our last time parking down the sharp corners into the underground parking. Always a treat trying to get in and out! (some places it was 12euros/night to park)

Today we again have a police escort out of town and then the local club leads us leads us to a little village Alfajarin for breakfast and to say goodbye. Along the way we start seeing these huge “bulls” on the mountains beside the road.

This is the village for breakfast.

And of course on the church steeple one last picture of a mother stork and her baby.

Jay makes the news in another paper. And some of the group that I didn’t get the other day.

John and Lin Bieback

Pat & Jay Burbank

Terri Padgett

Some of the gang – Marilynn, Heidi, Lin, and Carla.

On our way from Zaragoza to Barcelona the country side becomes much drier and flat.

We make a stop in Montblanc an old medieval town for lunch.

We have a great lunch in an old building and head onto Barcelona. Coming into Barcelona is a long very curvy narrow road, not unlike highway #1 on the coast in California. As we are coming down we lose all power, it is a blown fuse. Rick changes it and we continue on down the coast.

Coming into Barcelona.

We get into the hotel and get Lizzie loaded to ship tomorrow. Still need to get our bag of shoes back from Carla. Rick goes down to visit and I do the blog. The connection here is terrible. To bed and will try getting this out in the morning.









Day 20, Saturday, in Zaragoza, Spain

We get up and have breakfast at our usual 8 o’clock and are ready to see the sites by 9. We have a police escort through the city to the main plaza.

It is a good thing because we now have 25 cars between us and the local club and a lot of signals and turns to go through.

This is the basilica and the ancient bridge from Roman times. It started out as a church and became a cathedral and eventually a basilica. It is one of the biggest and tallest building in all of Zaragoza. We are taken to the main plaza to show the cars

We leave the cars here for people to enjoy  while we take a city bus tour.

Always old buildings with statues. It is amazing how well they have lasted over time.

Always a bull ring.

But modern architecture is also seen.

Part of what remains of the fortress.

And ever present the basilica.

These lion statues are at one entrance to the plaza on the side.

Showing some of the ancient work on a church.

A few pictures from inside the basilica. Showing a dome painted by Goya, but at the time the Spanish people did not like it and asked Goya to repaint it. He was not in favor of doing that and left to live in Italy never to return to Zaragoza.

Showing the very large pipe organ . It  has 5,904 pipes! They still play it. There was a bomb that went off inside but did not harm the church except all the dust from it had to be cleaned from the pipes. There are two spots where bombs have done some damage to some of the paintings in the ceiling from the Spanish Civil War.

 Some of the pipes to the organ.

We are treated to a large buffet of Spanish foods. Then Jay takes every car and owners picture while we are still in the main plaza.

Jim and Dorothea Clausen

Werner Block  and Manfred Ulbricht (from Germany)

Linda and Paul Griesse

Bill Sebenski and Betty and Chuck Lesnewski

Kathy and Jim Glendinning

Shirley Johnson and Ken Kenewell

Pat and Charlie Dickinson

Bob and Marilynn Krause

Bill and Rey Brown

Katherine Bard, Dale & Karen Barry and Donna Dell’aio

Those not shown are the photographer-Jay & Pat Burbank, Terri Padgett and Pam Martens, John & Lin Bieback, Carla & Robert Oudenhuijsen (leaders from the Netherlands), Rene & Heidi Werder (the shipper) and yours truly taking the pictures and writing this blog (Lori & Rick Jensen).

We again have a police escort back to our hotel. One nasty local car cuts us off from the group and they buy themselves being pulled over by the police. We are headed to our banquet farewell dinner with flamenco dancing. It should be a great end to the tour. But we still have Barcelona to go. We are staying an extra day to explore and see Barcelona.

Day 19, Friday from Pamplona to Magallón to Zaragoza

We get up and get gas after breakfast and leave by 9. It is like we travel through a time capsule, because within a mile’s distance we go from Roman time aqueducts and castles to modern day huge windmills and toll freeways. While we travel in 1930’s cars.

We meet with the local Spanish Model A group of 12 cars. The leader of their group leads us to his home town of Magallón and we tour through the streets. Talk about narrow little streets. I think the whole town is out to see our cars.

These two are our captives in the back seat. They seem to be enjoying the ride.

 Suspension bridge on the way.

There seems to be no language barrier when it comes to the guys checking out each others cars.

We are taken into an old wine cellar to have some tapas and wine.

Rick engaged with a local telling him about the old winery. Sign language works wonders.

We then are onto the next stop, another local winery. It is another small family winery that has been here since 1770.

This is the clouds reflecting on a window with their logo.

  Down in the wine cellar. This is Ray (who interprets for us) with the owner of the winery.

This is the two families coats of arm in the cellar.

This is 100 year old wine from the family’s winery, behind an old locked gate in the cellar. They have not sold any but it would be too expensive to buy anyway.

They wine and dine us again. I have probably had more wine then I have ever had.

Old tractor on the property.

This is my picture of a outhouse (probably not but I am calling it that).

Old wine barrel.

Door to underground cellar.

All 25 Model A’s head to Zaragoza.

Pat and Charlie have a flat tire on the way and who is helping out again?

 Is there a nail?

Group effort to get tire changed.

Maybe we are getting a little boring to ride with, but Shirley has a nice shoulder to rest on.

We are escorted into Zaragoza by a police escort.

We make it to the hotel. Again Rick helps first Charlie with his tire.

Then Jim and Dorothea’s car loses its battery and is brought in on the trouble truck. They unload it and push it down into the garage. It also gets fixed.

Then it is on to help Bob work on his lights. All get fixed and running again. It is 10 PM and guess what? Time for some wine and camaraderie with good friends before going to bed.

Day 18, Thursday, from Bilbao to Pamplona

We get up and have a good breakfast again at the hotel. It is raining hard. Bob and Marilynn lead us out of town. We head up into the mountains and it rains harder.

We come down through some pretty country side and some small lakes.

We actually are the first ones to the hotel today. We manage to get turned around in their underground garage and in the residents part of the garage. They tell us we have to turn around and go out. What another round about in the garage! We get turned around and find the reserved part of the garage for us. We get registered and go for lunch. It is a three course meal. The rain is starting to let up.

We meet at 6 and take a taxi to the Historic Center. There we meet our guide “Manuel” for a guided tour of Pamplona. He is Basque. I learn the basque name for Pamplona is Iruna.

The city’s center plaza.

Fountain in the center of the plaza.

“IRUÑA” the Basque word for the city of Pamplona.

Pamplona/Iruña is the start of the Pilgrimage Route to Santiago since the Middle Ages. There are symbols along the route to show the way. When we got back to the hotel I road on the elevator with a gentleman from England who was here to start walking the route.

The city is known for the “Running of the Bulls” and for Ernest Hemingway having been here. It is known worldwide for it’s festival – San Fermines which is held  from July 6th to the 14th. This is when the running of the bulls and the bullfights are held. During this time 6 bulls and 6 steers-which lead the bulls, run down the street to the bull ring along with the people who are all dressed in white and red. It takes the bulls all of two minutes to run the route. Sign on side of bullring.

Sign on street corner. Street sign where the running of the bulls goes.

The street where the bulls run.

Sign showing how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the next running of the bulls will be.

Kathy next to a bull that gored a man in the run.

  Railing to block off the street.

Our guide showing how if a bull is chasing you, how you jump the railing to safety. Pat, Charlie and Karen looking on.

We see several statues of Ernest Hemingway.

We see the City Hall.

We see the 16th century Fortress surrounding the old city made up of three cities that were fighting for 400 years.

We also see and go in the  Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Real. The work was started in the second half of the 13th century and did not end until 1525.

We learn some about the Basque culture. This is a thistle bloom that is placed over the doors for “protection”, with Carla and Robert looking on.

After the tour we are left to adventure ourselves in town and find a place to eat. Pat, Charlie, Kathy and Rick and I find a place to have some tapas and then get a taxi back to the hotel. Rick helps Charlie fix his carburetor. Time once again to go to bed before another day begins.

Day 17, Wednesday in Bilbao

We get up and have a great selection for breakfast at the hotel. Rick and Bob go down after breakfast to look at Jay’s brakes.

We decide to stay in the city because going by our selves to the caves in this big city doesn’t sound like fun. So the Hop On – Hop Off bus it is. We see a lot of sites. This is a big city with one million people.

One of the bridges over the Ria de Bilbao, with typical city buildings.

  Statue is of a man riding a peacock.

 Main plaza with cypress trees.

 Ria de Bilbao during the day.

Shirley & Ken talking with lady from Norway. And Jim, Ken, and Rick taking a break in the plaza while waiting for the bus.

This is what the majority of the apartment yards consist of, several stories up. I guess I am spoiled with our 3 acres of space at home with the stream running in the back yard.

It is a city of both old with statues and churches and the new architecture. With shiny high rises and the Guggenheim Bilbao.

We visit the Guggenheim.  Art pieces, including spider in front of Guggenheim. It is raining quite hard at this time.

We stop at the La Ribera Market for lunch. It is reported the largest market place in Europe.

We go to the Basque Museum, but it is about religious artifacts rather than the history of the Basque people.

We finish the day by stopping at a bar and having tapas. It is very good. Once again it is late and I will just get this posted before it is tomorrow, so ends another great day.


Day 16, From Logrono to Bilbao, Spain

We get up and have breakfast at the hotel as usual and then are to be lead out of town. We are the last ones out of the dungeon garage (all the garages are gated and under the hotels with tight turns).

We go with Jay and Pat and Terri being lead to the winery by Carla. About half way there we need to stop for gas then carry on through pretty vineyard countryside. 

Note Jim and Kathy in front of us and Manfred and Werner behind us.

 Kathy & Jim in their coupe.

We arrive at the winery, which Shirley helped set up through Carla. Her neighbor back home deals with this winery. It is called Beronia.

The vineyards are just leafing out. Harvest isn’t until the fall – October.

This little beehive building is where the workers would eat in the old days when they were working in the vineyard.

Mural at the entrance to the winery.

They have the sacrificial rosebush at the end of the rows of vines. It will attract the deadly bug  that will hurt the vines.

The pretty vineyards at Beronia.

Some of the group with our guide in with the large wine vats.

The wine barrels. They have 31,000 barrels of wine stored here.

 Bottles of wine behind old locked iron gates.

Lori & Rick standing in doorway of a huge barrel.

View looking out to the vineyard.

Our photographer always at work.

Carla serving samples of the wine, with Shirley getting the first taste.

Mean while the quick change artists change Bob’s fan belt before we leave.


An old grape press.

Lizzie at the winery. We then are off and away to find gas for Bob and Marilynn. Easier said then done out here. The first station is closed. The next town doesn’t have a gas station. While getting directions to the next town with gas Rick lets a little local boy get behind the steering wheel. Not unlike Jenner he is soon pushing and turning levers and having a great time.

Gas is gotten and we are off to Bilbao. However we now are on the back roads and have to backtrack. We go up and down 6-8% grades to get into Bilbao. We get checked in and find out that Jay’s brakes are locking up. Rick , Bob and Jim will help him in the morning. For now we are going to walk to the old town part of Bilbao.

I am still amazed that this is how people do there laundry here. These are their clothes lines.

We walk through the streets and eat from a little shop on the square. Here is Rick and my dinner. It was very good. A chicken wrap and fish kabob.

While we were eating this black gentleman came up and started singing Louie Armstrong music. Ken & Shirley and Bob & Marilynn get up & dance.

We then walk back to the hotel by the river. It is 10 o’clock at night and very pleasant outside.

Time to go to bed.



Day 15, Monday – from Aranda de Duero to Logrono via Soria

Today we start by Rick changing the carburetor because yesterday Lizzie was running rough and he discovered the jet was missing out of the carburetor.

Our hotel in Aranda.

We go into town of Aranda de Duero to see the sites.

This was our welcoming committee, where we parked next to a park.

This is our fearless leader, who is so far ahead he sits and waits for all his ducklings to catch up! (Bob is sitting on the park bench, then  Kathy,Rick, Jim, Ken, Marilynn, Shirley and me bringing up the rear taking pictures.)

  This is the church, Santa Maria la Real. Its construction dates back to the end of the 14th century.

The arch over the front doors is done with Nativity scenes.

 The front doors are carved in wood.

There is fine detail, but they have worn with the years.

Showing details in the carvings over the front doors.

Next we go and find the medieval warehouse, (underground cellar).

We walk around the town and the guys head back because Rick changes the carburetor again. So while he does that I go shopping in a nice little boutique that the owner has been there for 18 years and I buy a dress. We go on out of town and stop in front of the bull fighting ring.

And of course one more picture of the storks.

We head on our way to Logrono. We stop numerous times to find a place to eat but a lot are closed. We find one in Almarza -great ham & bean soup

We go through a lot of various countryside today.

Vineyards and fields.

Churches in every small town.

Their fields are a vivid green in comparison to their deep red soil. We go through an area that looks a lot like Utah with cliffs and rocks with arches.

Our first sighting of snow again since we left home.

Coming down a curvy canyon, following the river.

Coming into Logrono.

We walk into town and see another church and go to dinner at a great little street cafe.

We get back to the hotel at 10:30 and it is time to go to bed.





We get up and have a croissant and orange juice for breakfast, then meet the rest of our group that stayed in another hotel across the river. Before we leave Kathy and Jim are awarded the “Dino Trophy” for the day for forgetting their passports at the last hotel.

We drive through various kinds of country. First through vineyards, then through some pine tree area (where it looked like they were tapping the trees and collecting the sap/pitch), and then through an agriculture area.

On to see the castle in Penafiel. It is once again on top of the outcrop of rocks.

It is then down the hill and on to find a lunch stop.

View of the city with the bull fighting ring!

We make it to the hotel in Aranda and wanted to tour the catacombs under the city but because it is Sunday they aren’t open and don’t open until after 10 tomorrow. So social hour will start early today. Dinner is at 8.

Day 13, Saturday – from Zamora to Toro to Tordesillas

First an addendum to yesterday. When we got back to the hotel Rick’s hat was at the front desk. It was so nice of the restaurant. We also had fun at the puppet show (all in Spanish), but a fun experience. We walk back through town at 10 PM and the town is hopping with activity.

Today we get up and head out to Toro. We go on a tour of an old local vinery – Farina. They sell there wine internationally. Beautiful theatre, puppet show.

Leaving the hotel in Zamora.

 The winery, Farina in Toro.


Coming into Toro.

Toro is built up on the top of cliffs over the valley and the Douro River.

We also tour a cheese factory and do sampling. The interesting thing to me was that the cheese was made from sheep milk.

 There are wild poppies and wildflowers all along the roads.

In the towns there are beautiful rose gardens everywhere.

Once in town we end up in a very narrow street that dead ends into the main plaza. Oops! So it means 5 Model A’s have to totally back clear down the street because there is no way to turn around.    Locals reaction to our predicament.

We do the rest of the city on foot.

There are always storks on the top of roofs, up by the cross and bells.

 They have baby chicks in the nests.

Last night I bought a pair of little sewing scissors with the handle being a stork. It was in a very little one man shop that was a knife shop. His grinders to do sharpening were all run on a old belt system.

We ended at a plaza at the end of town that overlooked the cliffs into the valley and the Douro River – where we had just come from. Magnificent view!

It is then onto Tordesillas. We look around, have drinks and pizza in the main square and head to bed in our 2×2 room with 2 twin beds separated by a night stand. Maybe not our most romantic night together, but talk to the kids and are thankful for everything we have.

Day 12, Exploring Zamora, Spain

After breakfast at 9, we head out to do the historical walking tour of the city of Zamora. Once again the city is old and very fascinating. There are the largest number of Romanesque churches here in all of Europe. So there is no way to do it justice with my pictures but here are some.

Today was a rest from driving and we do all walking the city of Zamora.

The government building with the shield and flags.


We meet in a city plaza. The storks build their nests high up everywhere.

Note the stork on her nest.

Trees are pruned in an interesting manner to make a canopy over square.

 Carvings and “little” seats in choir .

The ceilings and walls have beautiful paintings. There is very little of the original paint left, but they have recreated the paintings.

There are huge tapestries done from the fifteenth centuries.

Tapestry showing the killing of “Achilles”.

Each tapestry covers an entire wall and one tapestry would be about 2 1/2 years worth of work, done from behind using a mirror to see the front.

The Douro River that flows from Zamora to Porto.

The only remaining original entrance arch to the walled/protected portion of the city.

The twosome under an arch in Zamora, Spain.


Some of the carvings that remain.

 Added modern support arches.

Nice paintings are placed on building walls so the new generation will not put graffiti on walls with a painting already on them.

We stop in a restaurant that was recommended to us by the tour guide. Very expensive, but also very authentic Spanish food that we would not of otherwise chosen.

It was a 6 course meal. It started with a tomato soup, then bread and then goat cheese wrapped with salmon and topped with pine nuts, then chicken topped with shrimp, chickpeas, next veal and mushrooms, and to finish with dessert of chocolate, ice cream, truffle and a cream filled roll.

We are now headed to a evening puppet show. Probably all in Spanish but another new experience. Will write more tomorrow.


Day 11, May 2017, from Salamanca to Zamora, Spain

First a couple of pictures from our gourmet dinner last night.

 Marilyn, Rick, & Bob

Ken and Shirley

We get up and have breakfast (good quiche & custard pastries for me). Then we walk over to town by the Roman bridge to see the sites.

Ken, Bob, Marilyn, Jim, Kathy, Pam, Terri, and Rick.

I am still amazed at how narrow all the streets are and how old all the buildings are. However there is a lot of construction everywhere with large cranes to rebuild the old buildings. We are now in Salamanca and can see the cathedral from anywhere in the city. It was all lit up with lights last night.

We take the little shuttle train around to see the highlights of the town. To go through the cathedral you have a buy a tour. But it is very pretty from the entrance and the outside.

We go back to our cars and head onto the next stop which is Zamora. We again go the lesser traveled road and it is a nice drive even with the rain. We go via a small town of Penausende and stop for lunch. We find a great restaurant recommended by a local for lunch, named La Becera. In the entree there is an ancient board used to make flour. It is made from wood with small stones implanted to rub the grain against to make the flour. The chef comes out and is our interpreter. The lunch started with baskets of bread, then came a plate of lasagna, then the main course was a choice of pork with potatoes or fish (we chose the fish which was a white fish filet and mussels) and then came a choice of 4 different selections for dessert (we chose the cheese cake) and wine and water were included. To finish up with a cup of coffee and all this for only 7.50E/person! We continue on to Zamora and half way there Rick discovers that he left his Model A Touring cap at the restaurant. The front desk is wonderful and a lady calls to the restaurant and they will bring his hat to the hotel tomorrow. Rick is currently doing some laundry while I am doing the blog.

A site along our way to Zamora. The weather and sites are reminding me of Scotland. Rock walls to keep sheep in, rock buildings, and rain.

Ancient board used to grind flour.

Lunch stop in Penausende.

Just as a little side note yesterday when we went to the car museum in Salamanca the local newspaper sent out photographers and took some pictures. And guess who made the local newspaper today? None other than the foursome riding in Lizzie!

Day 10, Wednesday – From Ciudad Rodrigo to Salamanca, Spain

Well after getting over yesterday’s disaster, we get up and when I get out of the shower I realize my diamond in my engagement ring is gone. I search the room high and low over and over to find nothing. I am devastated. Then just before leaving the room I put my hand in my jeans pocket and there it is! Luck was with me for it to have come out of the setting in my pocket. It is now safely tucked away to not come out until we are home. Carla leads us out of the city to a ranch where they breed and raise bulls for bullfighting and we are honored to watch a demonstration of a bull fight.


Going out of town.


Going out to the ranch.           Cows and bull coming in.

The matador and the riders on horses that also fight the bull from horseback with Lizzie in the background.

Next it is a drive to a big auto museum. These poppies are everywhere here.


The cathedral view out our hotel room.

Our hotel in Salamanca.


Day 9, Tuesday – From Lamego, Portugal to Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain

Where we stopped and then almost got hit.

Driving the streets through the towns.

The entrance to the walled town part of Trancoso. We stop here for lunch and eat at a small one woman operated deli. We have fresh made little pizzas and a pastry of course for dessert. It was like a glazed donut stuffed with egg custard and almonds.

Typical site of washed clothes hung on balcony to dry.

 Church in Trancoso

Rick & Lizzie next to the walled city – Trancoso

We get up and have breakfast in two beautiful large dining rooms. Rick helps look at Dale’s car and we are on our way after a small shuffle to have Pam join our group. We get to the entrance to the vineyard and come within inches of a large truck hitting us broadside. Thank goodness for Rick’s quick reaction. We of course now have lost the others by stopping. So where do we head now? We ask a local truck driver and he says he will lead us to the main road. Bob calls us on the cell phone and we end up finding them and are on our way again. We want to stay off the highway and go on the smaller roads through the towns.

We go until we reach Trancoso and need to make a pit stop and have lunch. It is then onto Guarda and across the border into Spain. A piece of cake, just drive through not even stopping. Easier than driving through the bug stations into California! When almost to Ciudad Rodrigo Lizzie starts making a funny noise and I start to worry. We stop at the side of the freeway and Rick finds it is the air filter that has fallen off and melted on the exhaust. I open the door to put it on the floor board and manage to drop my camera to the ground. It breaks my camera and I am close to tears. We drive onto our hotel. It is even better than last night. We have dinner in a big room together. Rick goes and helps change Terri’s tire since she had a flat today. Pat is so gracious to loan me an extra camera she has. I am most grateful and now feel all isn’t lost. To bed for tomorrow is another packed day of activities.

Day 8, Monday from Porto to Lamego

Pedro, and Papa and Mama Anna and their Model A

Driving on the cobblestone roads.

Pedro took us to a fantastic place for lunch.

Model A’s – Bob & Marilyn, Jim & Kathy and us behind in Portugal.

Our Lady of Remedies

Entrance to Casa Dos Viscondes Da Vereza where we stayed the night.

One of the dining rooms where we had breakfast.

Rick at the entrance to our room and our bed.

Looking out over the vineyards down to Lamego with a full moon before we call a close to another day.


We get up early so Rick can warm up Lizzie and get her out of the garage. All to no avail, he still stalls and hits the license plate on the front bumper but gets out. We head to a special garage and car collection. They have a 31 Roadster , not to mention three buildings full of cars. The son’s name is Pedro and mama’s is Anna.They share their place with us as well as help out Dale Barry on his car. They then lead us out of Porto, which was a very good thing. They take us to get gas and then onto a wonderful place to eat lunch in the Douro Valley. The Douro Valley is a beautiful drive along the river, up and down and around through the mountains and vineyards. It is a Model A road and thanks to help from local people and the gps and maps we make it to tonights stay at  Casa Dos Viscondes Da Vareza. We stop to take pictures of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, built in 1750. It is known for all the steps leading up to it. It is in the town of Lamedo. We have an unbelievable spread for dinner and hear the history of the place from Maria the owner. Rick discovers that two of the lug nuts on one of Lizzie’s wheels have loosen and are gone. It is lucky we didn’t lose a wheel. It is probably all the jarring from the cobblestone streets that loosened them.

Day 7, Sunday – In Porto

Today we get to go at an easier pace, get up have breakfast and decide to go on the hop on hop off bus, the boat tour on the Douro River, and go to the port wine cellar. Porto is a big city with very narrow streets and the street signs have not improved, so we are very glad to be on the bus. The city tour is for two and a half hours and covers a lot. As is typical in Europe Porto has a lot of very old buildings. They are built on the hillsides by the ocean and along the Douro River. There are a lot of old churches, statues, history and interesting architecture to see.

This is our hotel, the Boa Vista. It is right on the ocean and the Douro River where it enters the ocean. The fort is right across the street which protected the entrance to the city.

Coming into Porto on the river there are five bridges both old and new.

Porto is very much a sea oriented city, with boats being a big part – both for fishing and to transport port.

One of the many squares with churches and statues.

I am fascinated with all the tile work here on the buildings.

Some of the churches.

The ocean in front of our hotel and the lighthouse.

Coming up the Douro River into the entrance to the city.

This was our lunch – cod with cornbread. It had cornbread crumb topping, then a layer of cod and spinach on top of a layer of potatoes. Quite tasty.

This is one of the port boats.

We take a tour and tasting through the Burmester cellar of Port.

 One of the interesting statues, a lion

Of course we could not have a boring day without some kind of adventure. We were riding the last “Blue Bus” back to the hotel with the same driver we had gone with all day, but didn’t want to ride the whole route again so told her we wanted to go to Boa Vista. So she said fine get off here and get on that bus in front of us, it is going there. So we jump off and climb onto the other bus. It goes a ways and then stops and the driver tells us that we have to get off and that he is done and going home. We get off and now have no way back to the hotel at the other end of the city. We finally discover that a section of the city is called the Boa Vista but is not near the Boa Vista Hotel. We call Carla to see if she can call two cabs for us since the six of us can’t fit in one. And Kathy gets two Uber cars coming for us when who comes along? None other than our Blue Bus driver we have had all day. We run and catch her and she says she will take us back to the hotel. This warranted a picture together when we got back to the hotel!

This is the fort in front of our hotel when we got back and this is the fort when we finished celebrating the end of another fun filled adventurous day!

Day 6, Saturday – from Figueira de Foz to Porto, Portugal

Well today starts off with a bang because Lori is thinking we are staying here two nights, but not! The luggage van is loaded and I don’t have all our bags packed and am asked to make more room for Shirley and Ken. So in my hurry to load and unload things I manage to lose the key to Lizzie! As is usual things work out , I find the key on the floor under the seat, get bags packed and to luggage van and move things to other cars and we are off and away. We want to take the back roads and stay off the toll roads as much as is possible, but as they say this is easier said than done.

The road signs are few and far between and not always easy to find.

Which way now?

We stop for our morning pit stop. They are BBQing  filleted chickens, at least 30 of them over coals. They are expecting a big group this afternoon.

Our next stop is at Praia de Mira for lunch. It is right on the beach. Their fishing boats are long with very pointed ends.

I have calamari for lunch and Rick has sole.

The buildings in Praia de Mira are all painted in stripes in different colors.

They have some kind of sailboat event going on.

We head on down the road to find the ferry to cross over to go onto Porto. We find the lighthouse first and then the ferry.

Loading on the ferry and looking back at the lighthouse we just went by.

A lot of colorful fishing boats.

Then there was the journey of getting to our hotel in Porto! This was not an easy task to say the least. This is the street to get into the hotel garage. From here Rick had to make a 90* turn to get in the garage, followed immediately by another 90* turn in the opposite direction going down a steep decline to have them say there was no more room to put Lizzie. Well needless to say you couldn’t just turn around and you certainly could not back out. So what to do???? Bob finally moves his Vicky way over and Rick makes one tight space fit two Model A’s! Needless to say we are not moving Lizzie until it is time to leave. Everything we do in Porto will be on foot or the Hop On Hop Off bus. At least we didn’t come in on the trouble trailer as two of the other cars had to.

We were served a nice meal and it is time to go to bed. Tomorrow will be a rest day of no driving and enjoying the sites.

Day 5, Friday May 5 From Sintra to Figueira da Foz, Portugal

We over sleep today but get up and have our luggage to the luggage van in time. We have Shirley and Kenny join us in Lizzie. We divide up into groups of three to four cars. We are with Bob and Marilynn, and Jim and Kathy. It rained hard all night and now is coming in spurts of downpour. We have our maps in hand, a gps with Bob and Marilynn and Kathy with her phone, how could we go wrong? But soon learn that eight of us flunk “Navigation 101”, at least in Portugal. The first thing is what are these toll things?  Then oops I think we are heading back to Lisbon and there are not off ramps with overpasses like back home to turn around. Oh and did I say something about turn around? You better learn how to enter and exit round abouts! Oh well we are on an adventure and having a great time with great people in a beautiful country with very friendly people.

First stop is at Ericeira, a great beach town. We stop and have a coffee and pastry and enjoy the beautiful view.

   Shirley, Marilynn, Kathy, and Lori

We pass several brick and tile factories on our way. They need them because 90% of the homes and buildings have red tile roofs.

Our next stop is for lunch and what a great find. A little family run restaurant called Dom Jose. The food was excellent, all cooked by Mama. The waiter was the son and the daughter does specialty chocolates. All came out to meet us and talk. They loved our cars.

Along the way today we past OLD windmills. We never were in a place where we could stop to take a picture so this little one had to do.

The son offers us to take us to the Buddha Eden, so off we go. It is some rich guy that has put his money into a beautiful garden with art and Buddhas. A long wall with blue painted tiles and our group.

He has a whole collection of the Terra Cotta Warriors as well as a lot of Buddhas, like we saw in Thailand. He also has a vineyard called Bacalhoa – Vinhos. Rick buys a couple bottles of wine.

Our next stop is to the Walled City in Obidos.

The whole ancient city is enclosed within the stone walls. There also is a stone aqueduct that brought water to the city.

This is the arch entrance to the city, done in beautiful tile work.

  Narrow cobblestone streets.

Vendor selling cherry liqueur in chocolate cups.

Castle and stone wall.

Overlooking the city from atop the stone wall.

View from Lizzie on the road.

View from Lizzie of typical narrow streets. We finally arrive late to the hotel and join the group for dinner. To bed and await another day of fun and adventure.

Day 4, Thursday May 4, Portugal and Spain Trip

Today started with getting breakfast in the hotel. Then we headed to the warehouse to get our Model A’s. Lizzie was dusty and the  front bumper had been removed. Rick and Kenny work on putting the bumper and tool box back on. Next to start her up, she has power but a little hard to start when they have totally drained her gas. So with the help of some added gas she starts right up. It is a stop at the nearest gas station with gas being $1.52/liter (which is about $6/gallon).

Rick and I are off on our own to find the Pena Palace, over cobblestone roads that are narrow and quite steep in some places. We make a few wrong turns but find the Portuguese people very friendly and helpful. Old Sintra is a very unique and fascinating town.

We make it to the Pena Palace and the National Park. The trails through the park to reach the palace on top of the mountain are very pretty.

  We reach the palace on the very top.

Some of the carvings on the outside of the palace.

We walk the outside of the palace with great views of Sintra below, even though it is overcast today.

 Some of the stained glass windows.

We head back to the car, we think but, when we reach houses of old town we stop a driver of a tuk-tuk and ask questions. It turns out we took a wrong turn and have walked about 3 1/2 miles away from Lizzie. The driver says “Oh, I know where your car is, I took pictures of it.” So for 5 euros a piece we get a ride back up the mountain in a tuk-tuk to Lizzie! The driver and a fellow driver are extremely helpful and friendly and give us directions back to the hotel. All adding to the adventure.

We get back to the hotel and meet up with Bob and Marilynn and they want to know if we want to go to old town Sintra and have dinner? We say sure, we know the way but decide to take a cab this time. We all try traditional Portuguese things including: green cabbage soup, codfish, and a sweet tart  for dessert. Then it was back to the hotel. It is now raining. We will see what tomorrow holds.