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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

A Walk Through Alfama

This afternoon we took tram 28 from the bottom of our street all the way to Alfama. This is one of the oldest areas of the city and follows the old Moorish street plan. It was easy to take the tram up the hill and walk down through the neighborhood. This is a place to stroll without any particular destination and we took turns  deciding which direction to take.

I hoped the walk would wake D. up though I must admit he  is quite cute when half  asleep in the photo below. Tom, if you're reading this please note it was a Saturday and D. did a half day of coding before we went out, perhaps that's why he's so tired!

This is an area filled with small restaurants where you can hear fado. I took pictures of a pile of places so I could check the online reviews.

There is a sense of faded grandeur in Alfama and quite number of buildings are still to be renovated. Narrow alleyways and staircases criss-cross the neighborhood. We were here on Saturday afternoon when everyone was out on the street. There were young children playing football, men in groups playing cards, older women standing together talking and a women sitting on her front step drinking a beer. With small houses built tightly together Alfama is an area where the social life happens on the street. I felt too self conscious to gawk or take pictures of their relaxed weekend routine, so instead I focused on the beautiful buildings.

A. & A. enjoyed the stroll with us or at least they said they did!
 You can see the density of the district in the photo below. This is  a distinctive area of Lisbon and very lovely. Not to be missed.


Anna said…
The wonderful oak-panelled, leather and brass interior-ed Tram 28: the guide books are right, it can't be missed! Take it from the centre of the city to the Alfama for a rocking, squealing, clanging, twisting, jolting, narrow-gauge, compact ride down and up the slopes! Loved the Alfama district - atmospheric place to meander, as you say. The up and down climbing, the narrow streets and steps that suddenly open to reveal tiny squares with men playing cards, women hanging out the washing, children playing... And the now-and-then partial glimpses of life behind the simple frontages. Greengrocers and hardware shops - and posh clothes shops too. Fascinating place.