LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON PART III(a): SELLING A LIFETIME OF STUFF

Since leaving America in 2013, I had been renting my house a year at a time, thinking I was going to move back in.  I had my office, clothes and bed in the basement.  I’m here now to sell everything I own, except a few personal possessions like art, clothes and my priceless rock collection.  From Slovenia it seemed like I could do it in a month, wrong, so wrong.  I called Natasa and told her if I could do it in 2 months, I’d be doing good.  It took me 5 weeks working 10 hour days to sort out 35 years worth of living in America.  I had tools from several business’s, I had my grandfathers woodworking tools and all my household goods.
So this blog is about that 2 month process. I hope you find it a revealing as I did about America and it’s stuff.

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MY FIRST DISCOVERY WAS THAT RATS AND EATEN THEIR WAY INTO THE RAT POISON.

THE RATS HAD THEIR POISON FOOD STASH LINED UP AND READY TO TAKE BACK TO THE NEST.

THE RATS HAD THEIR POISON FOOD STASH LINED UP AND READY TO TAKE BACK TO THE NEST.

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THE RESULTS WEREN’T GOOD FOR THE RATS

After cleaning up the rat mess, I set up the tent from the Bike Helmet events in my driveway, to be used for the Estate Sale.

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IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO START FILLING IT UP WITH MY WORLDLY POSSESSIONS.

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After the first day I started to realize the HUGE job I was about to try and tackle.

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CLEARING OUT THE BASEMENT WAS MY MAIN GOAL.  STARTING THE SLOVENIAN PILE

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               IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO FIND MONEY WHILE YOU WORK, $200!

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THIS “BEDROOM IN ARLES” by VAN GOGH, I BOUGHT IN VIETNAM. WHEN THE ESTATE SALE IS FINISHED THIS IS THE SIMPLE LIFE I WILL BE LIVING IN SLOVENIA. (I’m bringing this with me)

It wasn’t all Estate Sale work that needed to be done while I was here.  In between jobs included house maintenance and apartment stuff.

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I WAS SELLING ALL MY LADDERS AND CHAINSAWS, SO I NEEDED TO USE THEM ONE MORE TIME.

Last year, at the apartments,  two giant trees died so I had them removed, this year the third one died.  The yard was looking pretty bare.

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WE PLANTED GRASS WHERE THE OLD TREES WERE AND PLANTED 3 NEW TREES.

It wasn’t all 100% work, my neighbor Handsel, was an NBA fan too.

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WE WATCHED THE NBA PLAYOFFS, WITH SALAMI, BRIE CHEESE, CRACKERS, OLIVES AND FRUIT SALAD,

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DON’T NEED THESE ANYMORE GOT THE VASECTOMY!

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THE AMOUNT STUFF WAS STARTING TO BECOME OVERWHELEMING

Handsel is renting the little cottage behind my house.  He became such a good friend and really gave me a helping hand when I needed it.  There were times I didn’t think he would answer his door!

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HANDSEL INSPECTING THE TOOLS BEFORE THE SALE.  THE MOST POPULAR TOOL.

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MY GOOD FRIEND MIKE HELPING PRICE STUFF. HE WARNED ME SOME STUFF, YOU’LL BE LUCKY TO GIVE AWAY. WTF?

I thought I could have the sale in a month and then go to the apartments and replace rotten sidding and paint too.  No way.  In college I learned the key to success is to delegate authority (trust people to help you).  I met Jonathan of ANFIELD PAINTING at the Adidas Store.  He became a true hero and helped me accomplish the multiple tasks I had.

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LOOKS A LITTLE DANGEROUS TO ME, BUT THEY GOT THE JOB DONE.

My business sometimes involved cleaning out houses, so some of this stuff came from those jobs, I didn’t buy everything you see.

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COOLERS USED AT THE OXBOW CAMPOUTS

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A GARBAGE CAN OF BASKETBALLS, VOLLEYBALLS AND FOOTBALLS (soccer)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had a all my Grandfathers woodworking tools, this was probably the hardest part of the sale.  I loved my Grandparents, they did so much for me.  I used the tools for a business and to make my furniture.

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I HAD 22 HAMMERS, 10 DIFFERENT KINDS

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THERE HAD TO BE 100 SCREW DRIVERS

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WHO USES A FILE ANYMORE? MY GRANDFATHER DID

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NEED A PAIR (OR 2) OF PLIERS?

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KITCHEN DEPARTMENT

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PORTLAND TRAILBLAZER MEMORABILIA

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LOTS! OF CANNING JARS, I WAS READY FOR THE CRASH.

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RIVER FUN: RAFTS, INNER TUBES AND LIFE JACKETS.

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I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE MIRROR I HAD GOTTEN AT A JOB, SO I DECIDED TO MAKE THIS BED.

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JUAN SETTING UP THE BED IN THE BACKYARD FOR THE SALE

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JUAN AND MICHELLE HELPING PRICE STUFF THE DAY BEFORE THE SALE.

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TENT SALE READY TO GO

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WE HAD GREAT WEATHER (THANK YOU CLIMATE CHANGE)

I had some personnel stuff that I didn’t want to just sell to the public, I wanted my friends to basically have a piece of me. So I had a Pre-Sale for friends and friends of friends, only 4 people showed up.  I was really disappointed, but I will cover this in my next blog post, “What about your Friends?”

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KEN GOT THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER ITEM, THE MULTI-TOOLED DEWALT CORDLESS DRILL, SAW   AND LIGHT    

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I SOLD THE BBQ TO JONATHAN’S EMPLOYEE AND WIFE

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KIM WAS THE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

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JILL CLEANED THE BIKES LIKE THEY WERE HER’S, THANKS SO MUCH JILL

This post is getting too long so there’s going to be Part III (b) The sale and who bought what?

Thanks for reading

Jeff

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I GOT IT EASY

LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON: PART II, PORTLAND’S UNIQUE & DIVERSE BIKE CULTURE WILL BE MISSED

I “invented” my first bike BackPack from an old hiking pack when I was 16.  When all my friends were getting their driving licenses, I was learning to bike tour.  Biking gave me the freedom to  go where I wanted-when I wanted.  The car keys in my house,  came with so many stipulations, biking was a better option.
I moved to Portland in 1974 by train and brought my bike with me.  It wasn’t much of a bike city back then,.The city hired a full time Bike Program Manger in 1993 and since then bicycling has been given some budget priority.
I started a free bike lights program called Get Lit, for which I received a BTA Alice Award.  I was also volunteer of the year at the Community Cycling Center.  Bicycling has been in my blood for a long time and Portland was the perfect bike city for me.

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THERE ARE SO MANY BIKE PARADES IN PORTLAND, I MADE THIS TO SHOW MY ENTHUSIASM FOR BICYCLING

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I HAULED IT AROUND WITH MY BIKE AT BIKE EVENTS.  I FOUND SOMEONE TO ADOPT IT AND CARRY ON THE MESSAGE: “BICYCLING IS A BARREL OF FUN WITHOUT A BARREL OF OIL.” BIKING IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF THE PLANET TOO.

In 2002 Portland hosted “Bike Summer” which helped kick start Portland’s love affair with Bike Fun.  Everyone had so much fun that SHIFT and PEDALPALOOZA were created.  Then in 2005, Jonathan Maus started the “BIKE PORTLAND” website.  He did a story on the history of what helped Portland to create it’s Bike Culture.
I was lucky enough to be in Portland for this years PedalPalooza bike events.  In the past I hosted, Bike to Skate, the Oxbow Campout (an introduction to bike touring) and co-hosted with Jill, The Dandy Warhol’s tour of Portland.

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        OXBOW CAMPERS GETTING READY TO RIDE OUT

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WHAT’S HE DAYDREAMING ABOUT?

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PATRICK HAULING IN THE “SUPPLIES”

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ZIA (in the green) and JILL (in the white helmet) leading riders around on The Dandy Warhols historical locations tour: album recordings, living situations, favorite bars and  a private tour of the recording studio-The Odditorium (awesome!)

PedalPalooza culminated with the Multnomah County Bike Fair,  Which really celebrated Portland’s  Culture of BIKE FUN.

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WITH THE HELP OF MANY VOLUNTEERS THIS WAS ONE OF PORTLAND’S BEST BIKE EVENTS (before Sunday Parkways)

Some photos ofThe Sprockettes performing  before hundreds of spectators.  I always thought the bike jousting was a little dangerous, but always a crowd pleaser.

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I received a grant to offer low cost helmets and lights and had a booth at the event, promoting what I thought was important-Bike Safety.

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PORTLAND’S MANY EVENTS WOULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT IT’S GREAT VOLUNTEER’S

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MY FRIEND MIKE BEING FITTED BY ONE OF OUR MANY VOLUNTEERS

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KIM, PUTTING THE DEALS TOGETHER FOR PEOPLE.

Portland’s best bike event by far is SUNDAY PARKWAYS and I was lucky enough to participate in 2 of them, while in Portland.  It’s an opportunity to walk, run or bike Portland’s streets without cars.  It’s a great event too, because it’s the one event in Portland that doesn’t have beer as the main ingredient., it’s all for the love of walking and biking.

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A FEW YEARS AGO BOTH HANMI & I WERE RECOVERING FROM INJURIES AND COULDN’T RIDE, SO WE HIRED PORTLAND PEDICABS TO TAKE US ON SUNDAY PARKWAYS, WITH WATER PISTOLS!

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SUNDAY PARKWAYS ALLOWS DIFFERENT BUSINESS’S TO ADVERTISE WHAT THEY DO. LIKE SOUPCYCLE THAT DELIVERS, BY BIKE, FRESH SOUP TO YOUR HOUSE. IT’S SO PORTLAND!

These are some photos from this years Pedalpalooza kick-off ride.

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Portland’s bike community wants you to do “everything” by bike.

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EVERYONE IS INVITED TO A WEEKEND BBQ IN THE PARK WITH “GRILLED BY BIKE” PORTLAND’S CREATIVE NATURE IS SO INSPIRING!

Pedalpaloozaz’s  most attended event for riders and spectators is the WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE.    Why ride Naked?  The worldwide bike ride highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. It’s also a lot of fun and it’s free for all!.  I rode the first WNBR in 2004 and hadn’t ridden one since, Why? I have no idea.  But since I’m moving, I thought this would be a great event to participate in.

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YEP, THAT’S ME WITH ME WITH THE HANDY PHONE CARRIER AROUND MY WAIST.

My camera  lens was dirty and I didn’t have a T-shirt to clean it, so my photos were poor to bad.  They estimated there were 10,000 riders.

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The streets were lined with spectators and their cameras

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I SUGGESTED THESE LADIES RIDE NEXT YEAR, (hopefully they will!)

if you want some more WNBR photos try HERE
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ealpalozza ends again with the Multnomah County Bike Fair, but it doesn’t quite match the effort from years past.  But I had a windup bike toy I’ve wanted to give to Dingo the Clown for 5 years and I thought he would be there.

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I WAS RIGHT HE WAS THERE AND I FINALLY GAVE  DINGO THE TOY.

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THIS IS DINGO AND OLIVE AT THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY FAIR, HE ATTACHED THE TOY TO HIS HANDLE BARS.

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MR. RELIABLE, CARL LARSON, AT THE MCBF ALSO ONE OF THE FEW WHO TOOK THE TIME TO COME TO MY PRE-ESTATE SALE, IT MEANT A LOT.

There’s so much more to Portland’s bike culture that I can’t cover it all on this Blog.  But I would like to mention just a few more of Portland’s iconic bike pillars that have contributed to making  Portland the bike mecca of fun, that it is.    Bicycle Transportation Alliance,  Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, Jay Graves former owner of Bike Gallery, Nut Case Helmets (for making bike safety cool & fun) Cycle Oregon, Zoo Bomb, Urban Adventure LeagueFilmed by BikeBike Smut (why mention this? I don’t know why)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I liked writing it. Your feedback and comments are always welcome,  I’ve got some readers, but not so many writers.

Thanks for reading
Jeff

NEXT? LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON: PART II, SELLING A LIFETIME OF STUFF

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LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON. PART I “What’s up in Portland?”

Sorry for the delay in posting, but Portland and my commitments ate me alive.  I’m back now in Skofja Loka, Slovenia with my wife and couldn’t be happier. Since I’m now living in Skofja Loka, I had to return to America for a major house clearing.  I had to  sell everything I own, tools, vehicles, household goods, art, basically a lifetime of possessions.  It’s one thing to have an Estate Sale after you’ve passed away but it’s another thing-if your still alive and watching your life go out the door. But it’s more than the stuff I’m parting with, it’s goodbye Portland and  goodbye friends.  The next several blog posts will be about all of these things.  There has been some laughing, some crying but no regrets. I’ve lived in Portland Oregon for 35 years, had several business’s, volunteered a lot, organized community events, was involved in a political campaign so my network was large and I was well connected in the community (maybe not always well liked?) In this blog I’ll be looking at Portland’s  uniqueness & quirkiness.  If you live in America, you probably move to Portland. My move to Skofja Loka enabled me to live the life that  Portland yearns to be.   I just don’t have the 20 years to wait for Portland to actually close it’s first street to cars.  I now have: a car-free walk able town square., bike friendliness, 3 days a week farmers market, great bus & train opportunities and I have them today. Oh yea and a super wife too! I’m living the dream here in Skofja Loka, Slovenia.

PORTLAND SCENES 

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PORTLAND’S AFFECTION FOR VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN  FOOD OPTIONS INCLUDES ALMOST EVERYTHING ELSE TOO!

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EVEN THE FOOD CARTS TRY TO MAKE THEIR BUSINESS’S SUSTAINABLE.  CORVALLIS IS 100 MILES AWAY, CLOSE CONSIDERING AMERICA’S AVERAGE MEAL TRAVELS 1500 MILES.  MOST OF MY  PRODUCE FROM THE FARMERS MARKET HERE COMES 3 MILES–THAT’S SUSTAINABLE.

IMG_3603 Portland is a clash of values, there’s healthy local food  then there’s VOODOO DONUTS.  This is a must visit when you come to Portland, if anything just to see how many people line up for their doughnuts (don’t forget it’s deep fried sugar).

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PORTLAND WANTS YOU TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

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BUT THERE’S STILL PLENTY OF REAL FAST FOOD AVAILABLE.

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THIS IS A PART OF PORTLAND  I DEFINITELY WON’T MISS.  PORTLAND CAN’T SEEM TO HAVE A MEETING, A GET TOGETHER OR ANY FUNCTION FOR THAT MATTER THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE BEER  (usually free) AND PLENTY OF IT.    SOMETIMES I WONDER HOW THEY GET ANYTHING DONE?

Marijuana was made legal in Oregon while I was there.  For years “Medical” Marijuana had been available with a “medical” card.

IMG_4446IMG_4444                      There must be a lot of sick people in Portland, there are “clinics” everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                               Portland is also known for it’s love of Cats and Dogs, Portland has the most animals per person than anywhere in America.

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                               MORE DOG THAN OWNER

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THEY LIKE TO DRESS UP THEIR PETS TOO.

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BARK-N- BISTRO-DOG TREATS by BIKE!

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THERE’S MORE THAN DOGS AND CATS IN PORTLAND, ANIMAL RESCUE IS HUGE TOO

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SHE’S CARRYING HER CAT WHILE WALKING HER DOG AT THE SATURDAY MARKET.

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                        NO ANIMAL  LEFT BEHIND IN PORTLAND

Portland’s Food Carts are world renowned and hugely popular.  It offers an opportunity to nearly anyone with the imitative, to start their own business.  The variety of world taste is more than you can imagine.  This is a part of Portland I’ll miss, though somewhat unfair to brick and mortar restaurants, who must provide amenities like handicap bathrooms.

One food cart I discovered this time was Rahel’s Ethiopian Food.

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The food cart pod , CARTLANDIA is just off the Springwater Bike Trail offers a huge selection of international food.  My new favorite and a must visit if your in Portland is RAHEL’S ETHIOPIAN FOOD.  It can be as spicy and as vegetarian as you like or add some lamb or chicken.  I had the lamb and it was very good and tender too.

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YOU DEFINELTY GET THIS WARM FEELING WHEN EATING AT RAHEL’S

Gang violence has been erupting all over Portland, but mostly in the North and Northeast.  The Alberta Last Thursday Art event had a shooting last month, but since I’m leaving soon I thought I would take a chance at having one last look before I leave.

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THERE WERE PLENTY OF PORTLAND’S FINEST READY TO HELP KEEP THE PEACE.

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VEGAN–GLUTEN FREE–NICOTINE FREE–SYNTHETIC FREE–AROMATHERAPY BENEFITS. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?

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SOMETIMES PORTLAND IS JUST SO FULL OF ITSELF.

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EARRINGS MADE FROM OLD UKULELE’S

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STREET DEMONSTRATIONS OF POLE DANCING

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MORE BOW TIES FOR DOGS

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IF YOUR PRODUCT ISN’T SELLING I GUESS IT CAN ONLY HELP BY TRYING TO GET THE SYMPATHY SALE.

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I HAD TO GO HAVE A LOOK (I’m a guy)

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SOMEONE’S “ART” PROJECT

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HANDMADE TENNIS-BOOTS

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OREGON INSPIRED T-SHIRT

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 NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR GOING TO NEED A SLING SHOT!

Thanks for letting me share some of Portland’s uniqueness and quirkiness.  There really is only one city in America like Portland and it’s definitely Portland.
Were just weeks away from opening our own AIR B & B apartment in the old town of Skofja Loka.  Mark your calendars for a visit.
Until Next time,
Jeff

Next blog?  Portland’s incredible Bike Scene

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LEAVE RESUME? HOW HARD CAN THE JOB BE, I’VE GOT MY GED!

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BARCELONA AS SEEN FROM A TOURIST BUS,

We pay for our train ride and are released from the underground train station.  We meet our Air B&B host and get the keys.  We glance over the maps and make our wish list of places to visit.  .  After 5 weeks of adventure travel and Natasa killing me in Colera. , I don’t want to walk 5 blocks. We decide to buy the all day tourist bus ticket, on & off all around town I’m looking forward to the bus ride. They give us headphones to listen to our recorded tour guide.

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FEELING LIKE A TOURIST NOW, BUT STILL BETTER THAN WORKING!

IMG_3351 I notice a lot of the apartments all have outdoor patios, there are no patios here in Skofja Loka.
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Were go to Sagrada Família first, but can only get a ticket for a 4:30 entrance.  We hop back onto the bus and head to Park Güell, can’t get an entrance ticket until 6:30 pm.  So we get back on the bus, we’re full fledged tourist now.

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THE DRAGON GATE AT THE PAVELLONS GUELL GAUDI’S EARLY WORK

The bus only stops at designated stops, not like when you ride a bike.  After all the walking in Colera, I’m super happy just sitting and riding around on the outdoor top deck of the bus.
Were back at the Sagrada Família ( outside google images) (inside google images) for our entrance time.

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WE PAY EXTRA TO GO UP THE ELEVATOR IN ONE OF THE SPIRES

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TREE BRANCHES THAT HAVE BEEN REMOVED WERE USED FOR GAUDI’S DESIGNS

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GAUDI LIKES TO USE FORMS OF NATURE IN HIS DESIGNS

We grab the bus and hurry to Guell Park

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PALM INSPIRED FENCE AT GUELL PARK

MORE PHOTOS FROM GUELL PARK

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MORE GOOGLE IMAGES OF GUELL PARK

We grab the last bus home, but must ride the whole route around town before we can get off at our destination.
I’m so done, I tell Natasa that I don’t want to walk anywhere or go see anything tomorrow.  After 5 weeks of adventure travel I’ve reached the limit.  I just want to take a shower, write some postcards and have a hit.   I agree to meet Natasa at the church square, but even that is a bit too much for me.

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THIS IS A PICTURE OF A PROFESSIONAL TOURIST

Natasa went out alone, to see and explore more of Barcelona.  When we met up she asked “did you miss me?”, we were laughing so hard.  So were walking down to the beach for lunch and see this rock shop.

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                                                                                                                      THESE ARE SOME OF THE LARGEST “FLAWLESS” AMETHYST CRYSTALS I’VE EVER SEEN. 

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I TOLD THE SHOP OWNER I WAS A ROCK COLLECTOR AND HE PRECEDED TO TAKE US TO THE BASEMENT AND SHOW US MORE, A ROOM FULL OF AMETHYST CRYSTALS AND MANY MORE SPECIMENS

We go out for our last meal in Barcelona, paella, which is a traditional Spanish meal..  We order the cod and vegetable paella, 2 little pieces of fish and not a vegetable in sight.  Then they’re shocked were not buying any wine.  But then they too pull the same “appetizer scam” , they bring us toast with ketchup and a bowl of olives just another 10 euro.  Lunch was 60 euro or 60 dollars.  I can’t wait for a home cooked meal.

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AFTER THAT MEAL, WHERE CAN I GET SOME OF THESE?

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AT THE FARMERS MARKET i SEE THESE DEER FEET, FOR SOUP?

We must fly to Rome first, then fly to Triesta for our 2 hour bus ride to Ljubljana.  As old as Italy and Rome is I couldn’t believe this.

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THIS ULTRA MODERN BATHROOM HAD NO FAUCETS OR ANYTHING, WATER, SOAP AND DRY BY JUST PUTTING YOUR HANDS IN FRONT OF THE IMAGE.

We must wait another hour in Ljubljana for our final bus to Skofja Loka-HOME!

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NICE COMFY COUCHES & COFFEE FOR OUR FINAL HOUR OF WAITING.

It’s so great to be home.
Thanks for reading and commenting
Jeff & Natasa

NEXT?  I’m going to America in a few days. I will be comparing America to Slovenia and Portland   to Skofja Loka, this will be fun!
Corey from France via Portland is visiting for the next couple days.  I’ll keep you posted

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COLERA, SPAIN: A HIKING WE WILL GO

When I first arrived in Colera 2 years ago, I thought I was just staying for one night, France was only 8km away.  I paid camping for one night, then I rode my bike into town.  Looking around, I knew right away I would be here longer.  I stayed 2 weeks and did something different almost everyday: hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, beach combing, hitchhiking, ride the train to the Dali Museum,   The town has 800 year round residents, the rich of Barcelona have homes and apartments here too.

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GOOGLE MAP

From Tavira we took the bus to Seville and flew to Barcelona the next day. We got the train through Colera, the problem is that this train didn’t stop in Colera   So we stopped in FIGUERES , home of the Dali Museum where there were 150 people in line.  It’s the second time I’ve been to the Dali Museum and I still haven’t been inside.

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DALI MUSEUM, FIGUERES . SPAIN

I’m pretty excited to get on our way to Colera.  Were staying at CAMPING SANT MIGUEL.  I highly recommend it for camping or renting a small cabin.  It’s only a 5 minute walk to downtown Colera.

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CAMPGROUND WITH COLERA IN THE BACKGROUND

THE CAMPGROUND WAS CROWED ON THE WEEKEND BUT BY MONDAY WE HAD THE WHOLE TOWN TO OURSELVES, IT  WAS ALMOST A GHOST TOWN.

There’s some great hikes in the area, one is to the abandoned village of Molina.  I was here last in mid. June and I don’t remember seeing so much wild lavender, rosemary and thyme (maybe that’s because of Morocco?).

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THE START OF THE HIKE

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HILLSIDES OF WILD LAVENDER

This trail is also suppose to be one of the best mountain bike trails in Spain. Last time here I met some locals who were going to rebuild a house.  When I met them there was only 6 left of the 12 that started together.

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RECLAIMED HOUSE

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MOLINAS ABANDONED HOMES

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Once we left Molina the real climbing started

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THE VIEWS FROM THE TOP WERE SPECTACULAR AND THAT’S MOLINA IN THE EDGE OF THE SHADOW

It’s a long 14.5 km (9 miles) hike up & around the mountains I was beat when I got back to the campground.  There was an event in town, crafts, salamis, cheeses and 3 people baking bread.

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THEY WERE BAKING OLIVE, SUN DRIED TOMATO, SPELT, SEEDED AND CHOCOLATE BREAD RIGHT ON THE STREET.  THE GUY PLAYING THE BREAD BOARD KNEW JUST ONE ENGLISH LINE &  EVERY TIME WE SAW HIM “HOW ARE YOU?”  WE GOT THE SPELT, OLIVE & HOT CHOCOLATE BREAD.

I wrote about the artist Nuria Surribas after my first visit here.  I bought one of her signature ants last time.  We finally went over to meet her and she had an art project for us.

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NATASA GLAZING HER CERAMIC FISH

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NURI FIRING THE CERAMIC FISH

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CERAMIC FISH IN OUR GARDEN BOX

Nuri has art around town and at the campground too! She’s the true artist. When I was here, 2 years ago, I suggest she get a sign on her “business”, she promised.

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NO SIGN BUT STILL THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN COLERA

SHE’S A TRUE ARTIST.  ANYWAY I NOTICED HER WINDOW’S NEEDED CLEANING. SO I BROUGHT OVER MY WINDOW WASHING KIT I GOT IN ROYAN, FRANCE.  SHE WAS HAPPY.
HERE’S A SAMPLE OF SOME OF NURI’S ART:

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CERAMIC LAMPS

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THANKS NURI FOR MAKING IT SUCH A MEMORABLE TRIP, AGAIN!

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LOOKING BACK TO COLERA HIKING TO PORTBOU

The next day we hiked to Portbou, which is only 2 km from France and plan to take the train back.

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COLERA

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PORTBOU

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BEACH AND BAY IN PORTBOU

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THIS WAS IN THE TOURIST OFFICE WIDOW IN PORTBOU

(update)  My friend Jill translated the dog sign.
“If yours doesn’t know how, you do it!
There are people and children at the park and in the streets. For everyone’s good, pick up your dog’s poop.
Be a civic-minded person. We all come out winning.”

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THE TRAIN LEAVES YOU AT THE CERAMIC TILED “ART” PARK OVERLOOKING COLERA

It took an hour and 40 minutes to hike over and 4 minutes for the train back (tunnels help).  We got back quick, so we rented a couple bikes from the campground and rode through the “exclusive” neighborhood.

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THIS HOUSE HAS THE ULTIMATE GREEN ROOF, SEE THE GARAGE DOOR ON THE LOWER LEFT AND THE HOUSE IS ON THE RIGHT

Today were walking along the beach to LLanca about 12 km.
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I like giving back to places I visit and last time here I picked up garbage on my beach walk. I asked Natasa, if she would, she agreed.

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FIRST LOADS PUT INTO EMPTY DUMPSTER

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I WANTED TO DUMP INTO ONTO THE SIDEWALK, BUT NATASA SAID NO, I REALLY WANTED TO SHOW ALL THE PLASTKIC WE FOUND ALONG A “SMALL” STRETCH OF SEVERAL BEACHES. THOSE ARE LARGE PLASTIC BAGS.

We waited to come Llanca  until after the holidays.  Nearly everything was closed?  We did have some goat cheese salads that I’ve made at home twice now.

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We take the train back to Colera

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Sant Miguel Campground has added a Tiki bar/coffee shop.  There are lots of new cabins and grassy tent sites. This fish pond (with fish) is brand new, this place is super nice.

Natasa wanted to pick a little lavender and rosemary, on the hikes it was everywhere, but not close to town. She brought home a little lavender. Colera is my favorite place, I don’t need to go to Barcelona to know that. If you want a super active vacation, Colera is the place.
We catch the train which will follow right along the beach to Barcelona.  We board the train and Natasa looks around and announces “we hiked every mountain”, I’m thinking no shirt, I’m so sore I’m happy to be riding the train and saying goodbye to Colera (that I love).
There’s no train ticket office in Colera, your suppose to buy on board.  No one ever came by? But when we got off in Barcelona we couldn’t get past the turnstiles without a ticket. They gave us a super deal, it was great ( I guess?).
Thanks for reading & commenting
Jeff and Natasa
NEXT? Barcelona and Gaudi I ride my first tourist bus-ever

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AS SEEN IN A SHOP WINDOW IN TAVIRA

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IT’S SPRING TIME, GET PLANTING

SOME MORE GREAT MUSIC

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TAVIRA THE GEM OF PORTUGAL

I rode my bike through TAVIRA  nearly 2 years ago.  I really loved it here and wanted to return to see Miguel of LAGOAS ALOJAMENTO LOCAL and their super hostel.  It’s a must visit.

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WE TOOK THE TRAIN TO TAVIRA, WERE CROSSING THE BRIDGE THAT’S IN THE SUNSET PHOTO ON THE LISBON BLOG

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Our first day was the warmest of the 4 days we were here. So we rented bikes, rode to the dock and go to Tavira Island. (3euro).  Last time I was here I walked to the dock, I tried to hitchhike, no one would give me a ride, but then I saw those same people waiting for the boat. Were they scared of me now?

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TRAVELING THIS TIME OF YEAR IS THE BEST, THE FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING NOT A LOT OF TOURIST  AND IT’S NOT TOO HOT.  WE DID GO IN THE WATER, STILL COLD.

Tavira has a castle too, like almost every city I’ve visited n Portugal.

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THE STAIRS ARE SUPER NARROW AND STEEP. YOU CAN SEE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE SKIDDING DOWN ON THEIR ASS, IT’S SCARY.

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CASTLE COURTYARD GARDEN

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HOSTEL HONEYMOON SUITE

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BREAKFAST ON THE HOSTEL TERRACE

There was a local photographer who had collection of photos of local doors and doorways. So it sparked our interest so we walked around town, to look and take pictures of architectural features.

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I had the best meal of my whole bike trip here in Tavira, but where?  I couldn’t find it, I asked everyone, I downloaded the photo and showed people if they recognized the interior.  Miguel thought he knew too, so we went to a place O CICLISTA (who’s logo is a chicken ridding a bike)

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THE FOOD WAS GOOD, BUT IT WASN’T THE RESTAURANT

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      I  LIKE THE MATCHING HAIR                                     THE OUTDOOR TERRACE BED                                                                                                                                                               
There were some fun photos to be taken  too.

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Tavira, Miguel and family were all awesome, they said come back in Sept. when it isn’t so hot.  Natasa got a big smile on her face.

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SAYING OUR GOODBYES GOING TO TAKE THE BUS TO SEVILLE SPAIN.

THANKS FOR READING
JEFF AND NATASA

NEXT? Get ready to go hiking is Colera, Spain (is that like walking?)

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LISBON HONEYMOON STARTS NOW

IMG_3097I arrive a few days early from Bordeaux and stay at the Oasis Hostel, the place I stayed at when I started my bike trip 2 years ago.  They remember me!, go figure right?  I just work on my blog and wait to get my first Air B&B apartment a day before Natasa arrives.
I arrive at the airport an hour + early to pick up Natasa.  So I drink coffee and a use the bathroom.

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THERE’S EVEN WALL STREET HATERS AT THE LISBON AIRPORT!

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OUR APARTMENT IS ON A SHORT TRAM LINE,. THE TRAM’S ARE A HUGE TOURIST  ATTRACTION.

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IF YOU PARK YOUR CAR OVER THE WHITE LINE THE TRAM CAN’T PASS, SO THE POLICE AND TOW TRUCK SHOW UP.

The apartment is small but if your visiting a new city, your not in your room, accept to sleep.

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GOLDY LOCKS LET DOWN YOUR GOLDEN HAIR

Riding a bike in Lisbon, is difficult at best.  There are trolley tracks everywhere, plus it’s a city of hills. (where’s my E-Bike?).  I’ve traveled to 20 + countries in the past 2 years, as a pedestrian Lisbon is the safest city I’ve ever walked in.  When you look to cross the street, the cars practically skid to a stop to let you cross.
There is a nice but somewhat confusing bike path that is on again and off again along the Tagus river.  We rent bikes and head to the Belem Tower.

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A NICE SUNNY DAY TO BE A TOURIST TAKING PHOTOS

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THE MONUMENTS ARE GREAT, BUT IT’S GREATER TO SHARE IT WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE.

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THERE WAS A WORLD MAP MADE WITH STONE INLAY.

I had to post this drone shot of the map, that is stone inlay around the map.  It’s an amazing piece of Art.

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We make it to Belem Tower, the line to get inside is at least 2 hours, nope.  HERE are some google images of the interior.  We have the famous Belem Creme Cake, good with coffee.

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A DEFENSE TOWER BUILT IN THE EARLY 1600 CENTURY.

We return the bikes and talk with the shop owner and he suggest we take the ferry across the river and have dinner.  We go

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ANOTHER SAN FRANCISCO GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE LOOK ALIKE, ONE OF SEVERAL AROUND THE WORLD.  IT’S TOO COLD AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN, WE GO INSIDE TO EAT.

There is a habit (or scam) of restaurants in Portugal, they bring you multiple appetizers, that you never ordered.  They brought us a big chunk of goat cheese, smoked fish, olives, bread.  I was full by the time the food we actually ordered came.

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THEY CALLED THEM SEAHORSES ON THE MENU, WHAT THEY WERE THEY? FRIED SARDINES.

Our Air B&B host thought one roll of toilet paper was enough for 2 adults for 4 days. So we thought to buy some, we could only buy a 6 pack.  So while in the restaurant bathroom, I spotted a small roll sitting on the back of the toilet, so I stuffed it into my pants.  On the walk back to the ferry, I was so proud of myself, I showed Natasa my score.  Then she said she saw one in the women’s bathroom too.  Did she take it?  She confessed that she put it in her purse, but overwhelmed with guilt, she put it back. She wasn’t paying attention in Jeff’s budget travel ideas class.  We paid an extra 20 euro for food we didn’t order, I say next time give me a full roll.

The next day were walking the streets of Lisbon.  It’s my 2nd time here, but with another set of eyes you see more.

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LIKE A BUILDINGS WHO’S EXTERIOR IS TOTALLY COVERED WITH TILE

Walking the pedestrian streets is a great way to see a city and it’s many characteristics.

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Delivering vegetables and the blue tiled door entry, laundry hanging, security door and graffiti–this photo defines Lisbon’s diversity.

We waited till Monday to go so SIntra a mountain of multiple palaces, castles & gardens, I’ve been here twice and still haven’t seen it all.

PENNA PALACE SITS AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE 1775, IT WAS REBUILT AND USED AS A ROYAL RESIDENCE.

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SELECT PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE PALACE: PALACE, DUAL TOILETS, CARVED ARCH, WOOD INLAY FLOOR
MORE GOOGLE PHOTOS  INTERIOR PICTURES–EXTERIOR PICTURES.
We took the bus to the Pena Palace  and walked down the Castle of the Moors

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IT’S WARM AND WINDY                                      YOU CAN SEE THE OCEAN 
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                IT’S A GREAT PLACE FOR SELFIES,  i WATCHED HER TAKE  10 PICTURES.

Then we took the bus to the Monserrate Palace .  It was being remodeled, but still there was some things to see.
IMG_3148                                The carvings are plaster castings with marble supports.

The best part of the palace were the gardens.
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Lots of the cacti were blooming in the Mexican Garden.                                                                                                                                                              IMG_0831                                                                                                                                                                    IMG_0854                                                                                                                                                                  It’s been a long day and we will have to list Sintra as a “must re-visit.”  There’s just too much to see in one day.  Leave yourself 2 FULL days to see it all.  Maybe visit one day then hang out in Lisbon, then head out for another long day.
Thanks for reading.
Jeff and Natasa
NEXT?  WE VISIT TAVIRA PORTUGAL.

I highly recommend this new band Allah Las