Travel day, first evening in Lourdes, changed all my pump settings

Too tired to write, so this is mostly pictures. I’ll fill in the blanks tomorrow. Traveled from Lisbon to Toulouse France then train to Lourdes. Walked all over Lourdes trying to find the Monoprix. Got lost going back to the apartment, then it was right in front of me.

Tomorrow………the Church!.


Porto discoveries!

This was my second day in Porto and last day in Portugal and wow, did we stuff as much in as possible!!!

As you’ll see in the first couple pictures, I had a crazy shower…….Surround sound and a bunch of jets. Ok, it was a little bizarre, but good bizarre. It was a nice way to start the day. The hotel provided a light breakfast and then we were off. We rode the trolley/tram over to where the Lello bookstore was, but we were distracted by the university gift shop, which had some really cool and innovative gadgets. A short walk away was Lello, which today’s visit was planned around. Enjoy the pictures, because nothing I say will come close to describing how wonderful it is. Fran bought a couple books and we were off in search of lunch. But, this time we were distracted by a favorite china shop “Bordello Pinheiro”, where I found a piece I’d been wanting since June….. St Anthony as a sardine…’s a thing. We ended up at a lovely Art Deco cafe sitting under the trees….having a toaster for me and a crepe for Fran. But then, a lively coffee and port macaron which was fantastic! I ran across the street for just a minute to photograph the fanciest McDonalds I’ve ever seen, complete with pastry case.

Next up, we grabbed a cab to head to the Graham’s tour, but he didn’t want to take us. Our reservation was for 3 and time was closing in. We hoofed it down the road and suddenly a cab appeared and the woman agreed to take us up the hill to Graham’s. The tour was fabulous!!! The aroma, incredible. And the tasting? Well, I did. This was a special occasion and I sipped all three glasses in my flight. Afterwards, I purchased one bottle available only there and in the UK and Fran bought 2 for Fritz. I just have to say, after serving Graham’s Malvedos vintage port for 20+ years of my career this was a special afternoon for me.

We then got a cab to visit the student’s store at the university, which was cool and reminiscent of Harry Potter again. From there we raced down the shopping street, ordering dinner for aboard the train along the way. While it was being made, we ran to the hotel to pick up our bags. Back to the restaurant to pick up food and grab a cab to the station where we found out it was late….of course. So that meant we were able to catch our breath. Train showed up and we are on our way back to Lisbon. What an awesome day!!

Unfortunately, this was my last day in Portugal with Fran and Fritz. Very early tomorrow, I will fly to Toulouse, France and then a train. You’ll just have to tune in tomorrow night to see where I end up! Enjoy the pictures!

First visit to Porto

I titled this “First visit to Porto” because I think I’ll be back. This is an awesome city! It’s laid back, beautiful, and fun. I’m here 2 days and won’t come close to seeing everything.

We arrived early and immediately bought hop on hop off tickets. I love these, because you get a great overview and become oriented to the city. It also ate up time until we could check in at the hotel. Wait until you see the view!!

After eating a great lunch we were off to the Ribiera area. I’m super tired so will probably leave a lot out. We did the boat ride to see all six bridges and took some great pics. Weather was hot and sunny

Ok, just too tired to write. Enjoy the pictures. By the way, blood sugar was a pogo stick today..

Attending church in a foreign land….

My friends invited me to attend church with them this morning and I was more than happy to go with them. My friend is a retired Episcopal priest and has associated with the local Anglican Church. It’s very interesting, there is a Portuguese branch of the Anglican communion and then an English church here is Lisbon, where expats attend and services are in English. I’m sure I’ve explained that incorrectly, but not sure how to.

The service is the same, just a few words are different. And how nice to hear the Queen’s English ! The people were very nice and I was welcomed. Admittedly, I didn’t know the hymns. After the service, there was a nice coffee hour where quite a lot of people showed up. I love that and was able to meet several interesting people.

I went back to the sanctuary to take pictures and learn a little history of the church and graveyard .Fascinating stuff (I will edit later to include a link to the history. I loved wandering around the graveyard and you’ll understand why when you see the pictures.

The readings this morning were about healing, which really moved me as I’m headed to Lourdes later in the week. Currently, I’m on the train to Cascais. It would seem everyone is headed to the beach today. I’m including a picture from the train that I found funny. You’ll understand why. Hoping to take a lot of pictures in Cascais.

Thoroughly enjoyed myself in Cascais, weather could not have been more perfect. I wandered around somewhat aimlessly taking pictures and enjoying the sights. I found 2 markers for the Camino, not realizing previously that in went through Cascais. I’m told the water is freezing here, but there were plenty of people swimming…..hardier folk than I! Food trucks were set up along the beach and I got a crepe to tide me over. Fran and Fritz are fixing dinner tonight and I’m really looking forward to it. They have been such great friends (and hosts).

T1D update: while I don’t usually change the time on my pump when working, I did change it to local for my 2 weeks in Europe. I’ve had a few lows attributed to some steep streets and foods I was unfamiliar with. As always, my Dexcom is my lifeline and keeps me from going too low. Things I’m planning on reviewing during this trip are the InPen and MedAngel. Both have been great info for you.

Link as promised to the St George’s history

Quite smitten with Coimbra….

What a lovely day!! Dark and early we headed for the Oriente train station to ride to Coimbra. We were lucky to sit across from a young couple from Rockville, MD and chat the whole way, so the ride went very quickly. We arrived early in Coimbra and went straight to the central plaza, where we stopped for the local pastry and coffee. Shops were already open so we looked around a bit and found one of the small music troupes singing fado. This particular group were all female and attending medical school. They were very good and funny too. If you didn’t see the video earlier on my Facebook page, check it out. Next up, we hired a Tuk Tuk to give us a tour of the city and give our tired legs a break. The driver was training a new guy so we learned a lot. I was very happy to see the Roman aqueduct and the mermaid pool. Along the way, we saw the university store where all the Harry Potter-esque uniforms are sold. We went back but they were closed. We purchased tickets to see the 500 year old library that I was so excited about, with an entry time of 5pm. The library was incredible, as expected. You are not permitted to take photos in the library, so I’m sharing pics of the postcards I purchased. Then, we took the river boat ride which Fran had done previously. It was great for picture taking. One of the highlights of the day was meeting the young law student who was selling decorated pencils to raise money for one their traditions (the ribbon burning ceremony, google it). I must say, this is one of those cities I could live in , much to offer. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry.

An afternoon at Fatima

After arriving in Lisbon this morning, my Friend Fran picked me up and we hit the ground running. First stop was the train station to pick up tickets for two trips… Coimbra and Porto. Next up, a stop at the house she and her husband Fritz are living in during there retirement in Portugal. It is absolutely incredible and I hope they’ll let me post pictures tomorrow. It has incredible tile and woodwork and an outside kitchen I hope to duplicate. A picture of their lovely cat will have to suffice for tonight.

Then, we were off on our day trip to Fatima. It was , of course, incredible. I was amazed by the quiet. Despite there being many people (children included), it was near silent. I doubt such respect would happen at home. I’m going to let the pictures do the rest of the talking. I didn’t get more than an hour’s sleep on the flight and I need it. Tomorrow, we are taking the nice train to Coimbra and I’m so excited to see the college and library.

Anticipation, preparation…and so, the next adventure begins.

I’ve been planning this trip for so long, reading books and websites, making lists, and just daydreaming. The real work though, started this past week. Part of traveling successfully with type 1 diabetes is trying to anticipate everything you could face and then prepare for it. I’ll be on the road for 15 days. At home, that means 5 infusion site changes. So, I’m bringing 10. That’s in case every single one fails. I have a whole bottle of glucose tabs and will pick up juice boxes in each city (love trying different things like pear juice). While my dexcom would last the entire trip (I put a new one on before leaving), I brought 2 for backup and extra adhesive coverings. I have ketone strips and regular meds, cold medicine and tamiflu. I brought nuun tablets for dehydration and a fiber mix in for, well you know. I have 3 vials of insulin for my pump, 3 cartridges for my InPen (my new back up) and a pen of long acting. The InPen and long acting are for if my pump fails (which only ever happens if I’m out of the country. The insulin is in a frio bag, handy for travel and if the hotel doesn’t have a fridge. All of it fits nicely in a repurposed cooler that is pictured below. I also have a spare glucometer. Throw in a few snacks and we are all set!

There will always be glitches, but being prepared gives me confidence to handle it. Over the next two weeks, I hope you’ll follow along on my adventure.