We have had a fun and busy schedule! About 2 weeks after my last day at work, we set off for a terrific trip to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. I had visited Portugal when I was 13, but aside from that long-ago trip, neither of us had been to any of these places. It was about time!
We enjoyed all three, which were completely different, even though they are relatively close to one another. I learned a lot about the history of the region — the Spanish Inquisition and the eviction/persecution of Jews and Muslims made me think, “can’t we all just get along?!” The Moorish history made for some gorgeous architecture and design.
I learned that Moorish gardens always have three elements — fragrance (flowers), water, and edibles (fruit). These elements, combined with beautiful tilework, etc., are gorgeous. Check out the trip page for some of my favorite photos. I thought the Real Alcazar (royal palace) of Sevilla was one of the highlights of the trip, as was the Alhambra in Granada. I also loved Obidos, Portugal, a charming old walled city.
The ancient Moroccan medinas in Fes and Marrakech were fascinating. Mostly (to me) because they are there — not for tourists — but for regular, everyday business. And have been doing business like that for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Throughout, we had great weather, and very yummy food. The famous Iberian ham is absolutely delicious and I ate it as often as possible. (See postscript below if you’re interested in my “secret” method of avoiding traveler’s stomach.)
About 2 weeks after we got back from this big touring trip, we packed up again and flew to Grenada, West Indies for a week of scuba diving at Sandals La Source. Very relaxing and it was nice to be able to laze around in a beautiful setting.
We’re back home now. I’m joking about having to get my own meals now, but it really is great to be home. We love traveling, and we love coming home.
P.S. OK, so here’s the deal about me & traveler’s tummy. Until I discovered this “secret” method, I got traveler’s tummy 100% of the time. Every time I left the country. So in the last 20 years that I’ve been using this method, I have been TOTALLY FINE. And I’ve been in Egypt, India, China, Mexico, Turkey, Morocco … where other travelers have had tummy troubles.
So what’s the big secret? It’s so simple and it works for me. Every night that I am on the trip, I take a dose of Pepto Bismol — even if I am feeling totally fine. If I feel like my tummy’s going in the wrong direction, I pop another dose. Now that Pepto Bismol (actually I take a generic) is made in tablets and pills, it’s super easy. When I started this method, I had to take the yucky pink liquid.
That’s it. Super simple. And if you have a delicate tummy, it is TOTALLY worth trying. What do you have to lose? Not to be indelicate, but I will tell you that this method will stop you up a bit for the first few days … but it sorts itself out, and in my opinion, it’s way better than the alternative. Good luck!