Just over a week ago, the husband and I embarked on a mini adventure to collect a car that he had been left by his late grandfather. My grandfather in law lived in Portugal, near Faro. We live in Paderborn, Germany. Our plan was to fly down on a Friday afternoon, service and sort out any legalities with the car and start driving back on Tuesday morning with overnight stops in Valencia and Lyon.
I admit I had my doubts to the success rate of this plan and if it wasn't for the obvious love, albeit inexplicable to me, that my husband had for this "Mark 1, Land Rover Discovery", I perhaps would have suggested that the husband's want was a minor plot too far. Add to the mix that, two days before our holiday, the French were suffering from fuel shortages due to strike action, and that the Portuguese aren't known for their bureaucratic efficiency, you can hopefully see my skepticism from our outset. But at 18.30 on Friday afternoon, we had made it successfully to our first destination, Frankfurt Hahn airport, through a biblical rain storm and Friday night German traffic (one of the modern day plagues).
From there, for the next few days at least, things were fairly smooth sailing and if I wasn't lying on a sunbed enjoying the glorious Algarve sunshine, then I was eating ham and cheese with tomatoes from the garden. My sister in law and her husband (Mr and Mrs M) arrived the day after us so that at the stroke of midday I had people to drink cold Sagres with, while the husband tinkered with his new toy - every so often coming into the garden from the garage talking like an excited toddler.
Come Tuesday morning, whilst we weren't quite ready to go, we had achieved more on our to do list than I had expected. I had managed to chomp my way through my body weight in Peri Peri chicken and my husband had managed to get most of his documents together and the car had a new set of wheels. In fact, by three o clock, just 5 hours behind time, we left Mr and Mrs M behind and headed East for a night in Cordoba. Valencia was just too far to get to that day without driving straight for nine hours - something my husband would have gladly done. Me not so much.
Cordoba was stunning, warm and...narrow. Unfortunately, it all too soon became apparent that it was not the best city to drive around in, even in a smart car, let alone something short of a tank. I had booked a quaint hotel online during the car journey, but it was difficult to find with our satnav and car width. That being said, we parked up perhaps 20 minutes later than expected and I found the hotel to be well located within walking distance of most sights. Given our short stop in this Moorish city, we were not able to do its sights justice, but we squeezed in a few important stops. Namely the Roman bridge, the Mosque and some jamon croquettes.
That night we had a good night's sleep in our small, but perfectly formed room. We slept happy in the knowledge the Disco, now named Tali due to a misread of the letters "Tdi" on its side by yours truly, had survived her first real test. We had completed 232 miles of 1751 miles. That left only 1499 for something to go wrong. But more on that next week. Sign up to my VIP subscribers' list to get the next installment direct to your inbox!