Today I took the bus to Padron. Padron is a town with great religious and historical significance. There are churches, museums, and a small but lovely botanical garden. There is a large open-air market but it was a holiday the day I was there and not open. The Hotel Pazo de Lestrove was actually in Dodro so I took a taxi although if I had known where it was I could have walked. Once checked in, to the newer side of the hotel which was ok, I walked back to Padron to sightsee. The taxi driver was surprised to see me again but the problem was that I just did not have a local map until I actually arrived and was never quite sure where to go. Today was another hot day as I left the hotel to walk back to Padron on the Rua do Carme, turning right onto the bridge over the Rio Sar that takes you to the church of Santiago Apostle in the center of Padron. Just walk a little further to your left to find a maze of shops, restaurants, and bars or walk/sit by the river down a beautiful avenue.
I had seen the bus station on my left when exiting the train station the day before so I walked down after checking out of the Parador after breakfast. Again it was a lovely day and I took a slight different route to get there. I could have picked the bus up at one of the stops nearer the river but my language skills are laughable so played it safe.I only realized once I was on the bus. When I arrived in Caldas de Reis I had to take a taxi to our hotel, Torre do rio.
The taxi driver said it was muy beuno, a very good hotel and it was absulutely stunning. All the rooms have names, not numbers and this large country house has a river that runs through the grounds and feeds the amazing pool that boasts its own waterfall. while it was hot, the water was ice cold and I just put my feet in. Originally an 18th century textile mill, now renovated as a country house hotelon Umia River. Breakfast and dinner were excellent as were the rooms with upscale toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. The landscaping was gorgeous, a perfect place to stay. Take a look at these pictures.
I left early taking a taxi to Redondela station and catching a train to Pontevedra as I knew there would be more to do in a good size city and I was not dissapointed. There was a tourist office in the station and armed with a map and directions I set off for the Parador. I took a wrong turn and then another and got completly lost which was really the best thing as this is really a lovely city. Lots to do here whatever your taste. Pontevedra is a very walkable and interesting city with lots of pedestrianisation and car free center. Surrounded by hills, the city is located on the edge of an estuary at the mouth of the river Lérez by the sea, at the bottom of the Ría de Pontevedra, in the heart of the Rías Baixas.
The Parador, is a palace that was once the residence of the counts of Maceda, now a hotel located in the old quarter of the historic city of Pontevedra. It was quite wonderful with its stately carved stone staircase leading to comfortable and large guest rooms. The garden is absolutely stunning.
Walking through the well-preserved old quarter of Pontevedra, most of which has been pedestrianized. Lots of stunning buildings, museums, shops, cafe and restaurants. Visit Santa María la Mayor Basilica, and La Virgen Peregrina Church, a chapel with a scallop-shaped floor plan and beautiful night lighting.
Here we met up with some other walkers, the Aussies and the Brits in the Parodor bar and a lively evening was has by all.
I spent the morning in Baiona after a wonderful breakfast with John in the Parador. I took the bus from the waterfront all the way to Vigo getting off at the Av. Florida 16. The ride today was longer, an hour and twenty minutes. Having a map which I had picked up from the Baiona Tourist office I found my destination and navigated towards Casco Vello, or “Old Town,” near the port, sighteeing on the way.
The Hotel America is a modern hotel in the historic quarter of Vigo which is a city of approximately 300.000. To get there I walked through Príncipe and Urzaiz Streets, the shopping & commercial area. It became quieter as I neared the hotel and once checked in by the very friendly & helpful staff, I set off to explore.
This Pastelería was amazing! Cakes made to look like Chanel and Gucci accessories were so beautifully made, they were utterly delightful. I strolled down to the old port and saw that you could take a ferry to the Cíes Islands, which are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. The Cíes are known for their rich birdlife and crescent-shaped Rodas Beaches. Alas we did not have the time to visit this time. I walked around the beautiful large squares and the narrow hilly streets enjoying my time in Vigo, I would definately go back. John arrived later as it was a longer walking day and we had drinks and dinner on the roof top bar. After dinner I showed him the Casco Vello.
I caught the first bus out leaving at 7.30am forgoing breakfast otherwise; I would have to wait until 3pm for the next bus. I was tired, having not slept well and I decided if I could not get an early check-in, Baiona was a larger city and there was more to do.
The Paradors Conde de Gondomar is situated on the Monterreal peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, It is an actual medieval fortress with battlements and lovely walks within its walls. Truly, an elegant hotel, I fell in love with this hotel. We had a large room with a sea view. I was able to check in early and as I had missed, breakfast took it here. I relaxed before going to take a long nap drifting off to the sounds of the waves. Up later, I met John in reception and he too was as surprised as I was with the location of this hotel.
There is a lot to do in Baiona, which has a lively atmosphere due to the many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. You can enjoy a drink at the terrace cafés by the sea as well as many popular nightspots. We went out for drinks and then found a restaurant in the old part of town. The second day was the rest day for the walkers and we just enjoyed walking around after breakfast in town as well as the hotel grounds.
Baiona is famous as Villa de la Arribada (Port of Entry), as it was the first place in Europe to learn of the discovery of America, 3 days before Columbus’s La Nina sailed into Lisbon Portugal. There is a replica of the La Pinta ship in the harbour, that we visited.
I saw this online and I thought it would be the perfect piece to store all our drinks as well as look great in our very 1930s dining room. Please note that most of my staging projects lend a contemporary look when staging to sell, but it is always different in your own home, as the way you live is indeed different to when you place your home up for sale.
My latest project had to be repaired and restained as once home, I found it was coming apart at the back and needed to be thoroughly cleaned, repaired, reglued, and reinforced. It also needed to be restained. New shelves to be made and stained as the old ones had buckled and would not support any weight. It was useful to have them as templates for the ones to be made. New knobs ordered as some were broken and the drawer to be lined. The reveal will come soon.
Recovered! During the heatwaves, I like to work indoors with the A/C on! I had these two stools that were beginning to look shabby. and I thought I would have to pay to get them recovered in the same style, or get rid of them which was not that popular with the family. So I decided to take them apart...
Original – The before.
With the top cushion cut off…
Side by side…
The new material which was a fab find that I have had for years and been dying to use.
Completed in a couple of hours with a staple gun. I placed the top cushion on top of the lower footstool and pulled the material tight and stapled underneath. They look great against the back of the leather sofa. I think I may paint the little legs green too now I have seen the pictures.
Last weekend I traveled up to Grand Bend with a friend to check out The Pinery Flea Market’s Annual Spring Yard Sale. The market is open every Sunday from 8am until 4pm, May to (Canadian) Thanksgiving. In addition to the regular market line up, there are additional sellers for this one sale which was the first one this year. The cost is a $1 per person and includes parking.
We arrived at 8am, parked and perused the stalls. I actually only spent $20 that day while my friend spent a lot more and visited the ATM! My van was filled up! After a couple of hours, we stopped for the hot breakfast and had some coffee. Very convenient! There were proper bathrooms on the premises
Here are my tips to shop like a pro.
Dress comfortably! Wear your comfy shoes and if the sale is being held outdoors, like the Pinery, which has parking in a field, if it has rained or is wet, rubber boots or waterproof shoes may be a better option. Wear layers, it was chilly on arrival and as it warmed up I just peeled off a jacket and sweater. Use a messenger style bag so that your hands are free and your wallet safe in your bag. Sunglasses and sunscreen if you will be out all day.
Arrive Early or at least at the opening time, so you will have the best pick. See if you can do a quick once over to get an idea of what is available.
Once you find your treasure buy it or someone else will.
Bring cash. Most markets only deal in cash (although the Pinery had two ATMs) and bring smaller bills, plus loonies and toonies too.
Have a Plan. Think about what you want, a coffee table or vintage clothing and go looking for these items. Have a notebook with measurements of where your finds may go. Bring a tape measure so you can check the size to see if it will fit. Other treasures will catch your eye too. I had seen some pictures of what the vendors were selling but I never found any of the items so the pictures were not current and I had to settle for what was available.
Bring snacks and water in case there is no food or you do not care for what is on offer. Wipes and sanitizer are useful too. Use your camera on your cell phone if you find items that you like but want to see more and then use the photos to compare.
Update, upcycle and rescue any item that you love but is damaged with paint, fabric and more.
If you are interested in the Pinery Antique Flea & Farmers Market, the address is 10163 Lakeshore Rd, which is 3 miles south of Grand Bend on Hwy 21. Find them on facebook too.