Adventures & Learning Articles

Madeira Action: Ride, Run, Swim

With only two days left before leav­ing Fun­chal, we decid­ed to pack the day with adven­ture and start­ed with a sun­lit ride up the moun­tain on the Monte Cable Car, moved to a fast-paced clip down the Tobog­gan Run, and fin­ished with an exhil­a­rat­ing swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

Adventures & Learning Travel

St. Michael’s Mount

Getting close to the castle now...
Get­ting close to the cas­tle now…

A small rocky isle on the south­west coast of Eng­land in the coun­ty of Corn­wall, this spec­tac­u­lar set­ting show­cas­es a medieval church and the cas­tle home of the St. Aubyn fam­i­ly who con­tin­ues to man­age the island as they have since the 17th cen­tu­ry. Fran­cis St. Aubyn gave the land and prop­er­ty to the Nation­al Trust in 1954 while secur­ing a 999-year lease for the fam­i­ly to con­tin­ue res­i­dence in their ances­tral home. For vis­i­tors, the fact that the cas­tle, gar­dens, and lands have live-in own­ers with a long his­to­ry of stew­ard­ship gen­er­ates a pal­pa­ble feel­ing of gen­uine care­tak­ing and gra­cious over­sight.

Adventures & Learning Articles

Barcelona Adventures

City Sightseeing Bus

We final­ly broke down and jumped on the train into Barcelona for the day–all of 30 min­utes train ride. The sta­tion is only 10 min­utes walk from our apart­ment, pass­ing our shops (gro­cer, fruit & veg, and of course, bak­er). Sit­ges has a fun lit­tle sta­tion with trains every 10 min­utes or so to Barcelona with its pop­u­la­tion of over 1.5 mil­lion. Train trav­el is the ulti­mate in easy com­mut­ing for res­i­dents who pre­fer to live in a small town and work in a big city.

For us, the best way to get a good overview of any large city is to take an open-topped bus. The CitySight­see­ing Bus (hop on/hop off) fills the bill. We caught it out­side the Barcelona Sants Sta­tion and began an enter­tain­ing trip around the city. Grate­ful­ly, the city’s nor­mal sum­mer cli­mate — warm and dry — made the jour­ney a most pleas­ant expe­ri­ence. In fact, the over­cast skies kept us from toast­ing on the top burn­er of the bus.

Take a peek at our pho­tos on Flickr.

Accommodation Articles

Room with a View

Good night from hotel room after Stephen’s spec­tac­u­lar birth­day din­ner at La Zuc­ca (the pump­kin) — known for its amaz­ing home­made veg­gie dish­es.