We visited many more rural villages in the Algarve and they did begin to merge into each other in my memory. Pale cobbled streets, hills, an old castle, remains of ancient walls and small museums. Each village had all or most of these things. Loule was nice, Alte was particularly beautiful (and hilly), Faro had mosaic pavements but only the villages of Querenca and Tavira stood out.
Away from the coast there are many historic villages that look as if they have been forgotten by time.
Staying at home until the new year is not going well. After we got back from our quickly arranged trip to Germany we realised we’d never last until a short break at Christmas.
We were meant to visit Skye in the summer on a British Isles cruise but the weather at the top of Scotland meant the seas were too rough for the ships tender needed for reaching Skye.
Inside the grounds of Heidelberg castle is a real surprise – the German Museum of Pharmacy.
From just outside the world famous Christmas shop in the centre of Rudesheim you can take a cable car over the vineyards and up to the Niederwald monument. The tourist office sells a round trip ticket that includes the cable car up and a chair lift back down to the next village, Assmannshausen. Then you walk through the small village to the the river and get a boat ride back to Rudesheim.