Dunham, Waitsburg & Sleight of Hand
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Lisbon is Portugal’s capital and is the country’s largest city. It dates back some two centuries BC. While Lisbon has modern areas with long wide boulevards shaded with large trees, gardens and lavish residential areas, it also offers a wonderful old section that is built on its terraced hillsides. Lisbon is both ancient and modern and offers superb shopping and sightseeing.
This port city is home of numerous wine shops offering the best in Portuguese port and other wines, as well as some excellent Italian wines also. Women and men’s fashions are everywhere as are shoe stores and other leather products. Prices in Portugal are much lower than in France for the same products and many of the same stores that are in France have locations in Lisbon. If you are going to be clothes shopping, Lisbon is the place to do it.
A hike up to the remnants of St. George's Castle is well worth the investment of energy and time as the views of Lisbon are spectacular. If you have been to Lisbon before try heading out to the villages on the Atlantic Ocean. Sinta is especially beautiful and offers incredible beauty among its narrow and winding medieval streets with lots of charming shops and boutiques.
Oporto, or Porto as it is known, is famous for its port wines (which were named for the city of Oporto) It is a large city consisting of many different areas including a UNESCO historic city center with narrow winding and cobbled pedestrian streets dating back many centuries. It is located on the Douro River that plays an important role in the development of the region.
There are many boutiques, department stores, specialty shops and street markets within the historic old town section of Oporto, as well as along some of the more modern shopping streets in Oporto itself. Port wine may be purchased in numerous wine stores at incredible values. There are also many tourist boutiques selling ceramics, lace work, local jewelry, furniture, men’s and women’s fashions and other collectibles.
Exploring Oporto’s historic old quarters is a “don’t miss” event. There is also an excellent cathedral dating back to the 12th century and a tall (246 feet) granite structure, the Torre dos Clerigos, which is quite interesting.
La Coruna, Spain
La Coruna is one of the biggest port cities in Galicia and sits in a large gulf in the Spanish coast. It is one of the finest stops for cosmopolitan dining, relaxation and shopping. This Port offers a great culinary experience. Spanish cuisine is served in many restaurants along with the finest international eats. The architecture at La Coruna Port is beautiful; a mix of old structures and modern ones. Just opposite the cruise port of La Coruna are the city’s best beaches. Tourists flock to the area; the old time favorites are Riazor and Orzan. For the adventurous, there are shops that rent out equipment for water sports. In fact, there is even a statue near the beach that celebrates surfing.
The Port of Bilbao is Basque Country’s largest city and capital of Biscay Province. Almost half of the Basque Country’s population lives in the Port of Bilbao, stretching along the banks of the Nervion River in northern Spain about 14 kilometers from the river’s mouth and the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Bilbao is one of Spain’s most important economic areas, home to several important industries including aeronautics, electronics, information technology, energy, and manufacture of steel and machine tools.
While the city has had an industrial character for decades, many industries have moved from the city center. The Bilbao Exhibition Center hosts several international trade fairs each year. The Port of Bilbao is one of Spain’s most important northern ports. In 2005, it was the fourth busiest port in the country, moving 36.8 million tons of cargo. In 2006, over 354 thousand people lived in the Greater Bilbao area.
Biarritz (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), France
They call this the “Paris by the sea” with its many beautiful fashion, coffee and chocolate shops as well as the outdoor cafes scattered around every cobblestoned corner, Biarritz is a gem for the shopaholic as well as food lover. With all of this rich cosmopolitan atmosphere pressed up against a stage of beautiful beaches and secret coves, one can really enjoy the best of both worlds. You can surf world class waves at places like the famous La Gravière in Hossegor to the long board heaven of La Côte des Basques, and after all this, have a great night on the town. Biarritz is truly a unique place full of natural and old world charm.
Although Saint Jean de Luz is located a mere 20 minutes away from Biarritz and both are famous beach resorts, the atmosphere in St Jean de Luz is completely different, somehow more relaxed. It is busy but not overcrowded, beautiful but not overly luxurious. There are large beautiful Basque houses that form the old part of the town. Many of the buildings date back to the 17th century, a time when Saint Jean de Luz was one of the most important fishing ports of France.
Bordeaux is France’s second largest city and fronts the La Garonne River and is located some 35 miles inland from the ocean. The river has very turbulent tides, which rise and drop some 18 to 20 feet with each tidal change. Bordeaux is also the epicenter of the Bordeaux region that is made up of some of the best vineyards and wineries in the world.
One could easily spend an entire day taking in Bordeaux’s sights on foot. Its pedestrian streets, numerous cathedrals museums, monuments, small parks and shopping areas are enough for anyone to amuse himself or herself. Add in Bordeaux’s wonderful sidewalk cafes and restaurants and you have the perfect blend for a day well spent in a wonderful city. However, around the entire circumference of Bordeaux lies one of the most prolific wine producing regions in the world. Dating back well over ten centuries, the villages in the wine regions are simply wonderful.
Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France
Lying on the south bank of the Garonne estuary, Le Verdon is your gateway to what is arguably the finest wine-producing region in the world: the vineyards surrounding Bordeaux. Though the city has long been an important trading center, the foundation of its prosperity has always rested on all things wine. Wine trading began in the Middle Ages, when Bordeaux shipped Claret to England in exchange for British wool. While Bordeaux itself is a charming city that boasts superb examples of 18th-century neo-classical architecture, wine lovers will most often venture to the nearby Medoc wine region to visit any of its prestigious wine estates.
London (Southampton), U.K.