DNA for genealogy or anthropology is not just about finding the ancestors, their information and rellies – it is about going to visit people and places from the cemetery down the street to the archives in any country in the world or the Ice-Age art of the caves of southern France and northern Spain.
I believe it was Dick Eastman who wrote a few years ago in his blog (see below) that genealogy was the number two searched topic on the internet, wherever it was that he wrote this, if it was him. He noted the number one topic searched was pornography. That did not surprise me and it did not surprise me that genealogy was so high. Today, I can’t help but believe that politics in one form or another must have surpassed both previous winners – but we won’t go there – except for the politics of getting and protecting genealogy records.
Genealogy and DNA tourism must be the new thing in travel and tours and I have often laid out the hints and helps for genealogy travel for many families and places and so I am excited to give all the bits of what we learned traveling as seniors (one who is missing part of a lung and the other who had to carry the loads, literally for two instead of just one) and toting all the gear and comforts that durable medical equipment and baggage limitations will allow.
Yes, I am going to mention some losers also. Especially if seniors are traveling and families with children or special needs, then if a company failed and/or misrepresented their services then people need to know. But I am going to write about the two hotel serious failures only after I write to the companies and see how they respond.
And even the places which will get and deserve glowing reviews – you still need to add more research than just my word. What if I was there on a good week or the places change management or ownership by the time you visit? So just like the family trees online, you need to use them and this only as a guide and document all the info.
I will soon have a blog on nothing but Google – and how to Google for research for your family and genetic history and for planning your travel tour. This entire trip was so wonderful and so wonderfully planned with special everything and this is due in large part to Google and how the search engine will give you any information, on any thing, any place, any, any.
Where to find your ancestors? – their stories? their things? their places? Google. Want to tick off your wife? Let your Cheeky financial adviser from CitiBank Washington DC convince you to override your wife’s order for participating in the Google initial offering. And your wife and your marriage was left out of the Google IPO and I still believe that banker and that bank owes me. The nerve of that woman – utterly unprofessional and it showed how unknowledgeable the financial industry was about tech and search engines.
The boolean search on Google – not from any other browser – Make your browser go to and search on and from Google only. Quotations give you a search that is phrase specific. If you search baylis washington harrison lewis you will get countless hits for each of the words individually and multiple combinations – but if you search
“baylis washington harrison lewis”
in quotations, then you will have refined your search results to create a personalized magic page of specific results
When, as seniors, we wanted to visit the Ice-Age Art of our shared ancestors I Googled info about what caves to visit, where to stay in those towns, how to access, get tickets, travel, what needs could be met for seniors, where would we eat and where and how often could we visit loos, toilettes, serviceos and what things will we need and where can they be gotten or not.
This blog is for winners – winners in the sense of – what was the… of all visited. The next blog is just about each cave – it will have no accommodation, or travel tips just the caves. But this is the blog that says how to do this, how to get to at least one of these places and also getting some needs met and all the while missing part of a lung.
Visiting Europe from the States or v/v you will need power adapters and converters – and incontinence pads; you will want docking stations to some degree and you will need Sim cards – the roaming charges, if any phone works at all will be a large fortune and so help yourself before you go or plan a day or two to buy supplies. For aging and ill health – you want many protections and airplane ear is another common issue – common enough that as you look at the kiosk rack in the airport – you easily see the problems.
Hearing that the plugs were all a scam anyway I never tried to fly again after airplane ear but for this i was going. And for this trip I also ordered early and ordered one of each of about 6 different types/styles of pressure reducing ear plugs.
Trying everyone of them around the house before the trip, it was easy to see… feel and not hear a thing… – every ear is just a wee bit different in shape and size and different from person to person. The one that worked like a charm for me was the Luiswell ball shaped plugs. The left ear is the one that is injured – I will call it – and the canal is much smaller than my right. I found in the right side I could use the Luiswell ball and also the gummie-like plugs.
I did also take the Vicks Dayquil Severe Cold and my usual snuffle up on the plane, which creates some added ear pressure – did not happen. After the first flight I only kept the ear plugs handy and did not feel the Vick’s was necessary – the plugs had worked. I was also on my knees thankful I had bought two pairs of everything (I did find buy two specials for all of them) The pair I flew over with became lost and are still not found. I had a second set of the major types also in his shave kit and there were plenty for him to have used if he needed or wanted. But the kiosk at the major airports did have Vicks Dayquil and ear plugs on the tiny rack of supplies – so this is a universal travelling need.
Since every ear and each person is different – none of them are wrong or a scam – you must ahead of time find out which will fit your ear.
In A Jiffy – No low-blood sugar and senior falls to ruin our trip
Many places you can buy supplies but we were travelling quickly to out of the way places and in the end I was right to carry my own supplies instead of shopping on arrival – this will vary from location to location. We were so glad to have three jars of my favorite Peanut Butter. Smooth, not too sweet and for those touring by train and not hopping around in cars, it was easy to get nice fresh bread everywhere, but we had carried also crackers and food bars and food supplement drinks to get used started until we could shop. We left behind just under half of what we carried, but when we needed our snacks we had walnuts, cashews, dried cherries, dates, and apricots.
Since we have to carry supplies while there, as long as you are within airlines and shipping baggage limits then carry your needs with you. More than one day the snacks helped me when I was famished. As a senior who is often off balance anyway, the low blood sugar risks were not worth the risk of a fall and broken bone with Osteoporosis.
Traveling with lots of drinking water… and incontinence protection – must go hand in hand and in britches.
Again it is how much shopping for supplies time you have, and how much you can initially carry – but it was hard to find un-scented hypo allergic things that did not create some itching. Many places in Spain had shops closed in the afternoons and we were language blocked for personal reading. I carried and needed the underpad bed protectors, the bulk pads as well as the dependable type full panty. Yes, this is more information that many people likely cannot handle but among the girl friends I have heard more than one person say how the issues have kept them at home. And for that matter – the guys also.
The airport kiosk is universal and the mini selection of the must have remedies let’s me know just how common these problems are – so pack up the goodies in your ole kit bag and check it!
A suitcase full of disposables, food supplies, bottled water, cervical neck pillows, back pillows, the rotator cuff pillow, micro fleece towels, micro feather light fiber blankets and rain ponchos. This is all how the RedCamp duffel came to be just the most wonderful, useful bag since the great migration of the Bell Beaker people across Europe. I even carried an extra duffel inside the checked bag duffel and while touring around the countrysides we are able to pack a “kitchen and supplies” and a “bed bath” and keep ourselves relatively organized for the three weeks of touring from place to place. The duffel was perfect. I do have the water and liquid in hard cases and not the duffel. The RedCamp was the perfect size for staying within the checked bag limitations.
The wonderful Google translation app. We can talk to each other. But before just starting with Google he was floundering around with those – even suspicious – APPs of translators – that work two minutes and then tell you how much money they want for the app to work again. He says that was all my fault – but they are his phones and I told him to ask google anyway. I think the errant APP is still on his phone and likely reading every iota of our data.
And Yes we got hacked in some way. There was an attempt on one of our accounts – with number, a day after we returned – but the company stopped it – thank goodness.
It is important to tell your card companies what to expect and where – they are there to take care of you and your account but they cannot if you don’t let them know.
Travelon ADAPTER –
(In the end we did not use any of the electrical items that required converson – only adapters – We bought and took items that had universal use only.) All the following items used only the adapter and so cut down on weight and bulk.
The C-pap machine was easiest to sort but the most expensive for power conversion. With so many people now traveling with some sort of device then investing in a good adapter and converter was the most economical and those are needed for a multitude of modern travel items. The concern was a mistake in plugging and frying the C-pap, so he got the travel C-pap that will take any current in the world with only the adapter needed.
The Braun Series 9 shaver is the winner and when I messaged them about its needs, learned the shaver he already had, had come with a “smart cord” and as long as we had the adapter then he was good to go and shave with power.
The iPhones and tablets were also universal for power but could use the USB ports and the best winner for power was the all in one Travelon ADAPTER only – we could have used two of these but the one has a center socket that will take several different types of male plugs – but ONLY one at a time. On the side are two USB ports. This item is NOT – NOT a converter – so you can only plug things into it that can take any current and just need a good multi-use adapter.
Is the house alright? RING is like… you just cannot imagine…
Just click on the APP and SEE the house – live, from how ever many cameras you have and you can hear and speak. You can review motion registered, which is your own index of camera-recorded audio and video in a list with the time of day. With participation you can review the items any neighbors might share and with a plan the video is saved for a lengthy period of time. Nothing like it. We have the standard monitored alarm company and every door and window of the house and out buildings have monitored alarms for opening and or breaking, we also have smoke and all the traditional detectors. And adding RING has been wonderful. Hearing and seeing from a third the way around the world was amazing.
With RING we could click the links from anywhere in the world, anytime of the day or night and see the house. We have always had the traditional monitored house alarm and we of course are keeping that all in place for every door and window – opening, breaking, smoking, or fresh air, but the prices for the old-fashioned companies were old-fashioned. Ring – I think another one is called Nest – and there are others I think and you can order and install them yourself and they had great options if you needed help for hard wired devices.
Newfangled pushing pulling and rolling luggage – Izod to Le Zed
Folks saw my first installment on the racket of baggage in travel and I am not through yet. We bought several new bags for this journey and used some old ones; some failed miserably and they were the most expensive, which is really ironic. But the little winner for a carry-on hard case was Izod. It was the exact size that it advertised itself to be. Its wheels rolled and pulled and when I was tired I strapped my shoulder bag to its handle and it still carried the load. The handle needs to be a bit stronger or feel stronger. In-between flights it served well with its expandable-zipper side and carried loads of vulnerable goodies in its hard case.
We taxied – with Biarritz Airport Transfers
The EU might have made Europe one place but there are a couple of glitches about cars from country to country – of course you can – for a price. We decided to let a Taxi company take us from France to Spain from one rental car company to another. I found a gem of a company in Biarritz Airport Transfers and apparently they cover most of the area that we traveled – they can tell you where all and what all they cover for travel but I realized they might have been able to help us see a couple of the caves we missed – well there is always next time.
And In Spain…
Where did we go? I googled it. Once I knew the names of the towns with ancestors – whichever whoever ancestors – in this case the ancestors or cousins of anyone who ever carried a gene pool through or near or visited SW Europe – which is most of humanity surviving – even if just in-laws – then the use of Google to see the place on a map and then ask for nearby – things to do – places to eat – places to stay and available transportation.
Many towns have loads of user-uploaded and shared photos of the places and facilities – so again Google and Googleology for Genealogy
Altogether now – in unison: boolean searching
“puente viesgo” spain “cave art”
El Castillo and Las Monedas are two caves to visit at the same site. They are both at Puente Viesgo, Spain. The largest and best accommodation – as far as I might see and say, in the town is the Grand Hotel and Spa. Since we wanted spas as much as cave art they were the winner – but they did not answer for over a week and by that time I had gone back to Google Maps to locate other accommodation and I was not disappointed. But we did enjoy the facilities at the Grand Hotel and had lunches with them two days. Cannot brag enough on their restaurants. The lovely main hotel dining room served me a petite filet that melted in my mouth and their Park restaurant across the street has amazing views, wonderful service and nice casual menu.
You can see the actual caves, you can see more than one and at least in the May, off-season, there was no problem getting tickets to see them. No photos are allowed in the caves so you need to enjoy the links below to the websites of the caves and tourism organizations to see what is inside the caves.
The most dangerous thing about visiting any of the caves is the walking. The Hurry Cane with the triple wide base would be the ideal for keeping steady on slick surfaces. In almost all the caves there was water and in some more than others. You must let them know you would like a bit of extra help in walking on the slick surfaces. You want sturdy hiking like shoes and over the ankles would of course be the best, but at least good sport shoes with good gripping tread.
Palacio de Trasvilla
At almost the same time in Germany, another lady was searching for places to stay near Puente Viesgo and she also used Google and Google Maps and Google Map Nearby Places and we both had independently found, and had three overlapping nights of our stays at the adults-only, six-room boutique hotel Palacio de Trasvilla. Put it on your bucket list. The couple from Germany were such a delight to chat with and all learning from each other places to go, things to do and people to see.
We had many exquisite and magnificent places but ‘the Palacio’ hotel takes the number one winner for the trip out of a total of, from door to door, seven hotels, and three long layovers using airport clubs, (for northern Spain) with varying facilities and services, and with extreme variations in price. A couple of the airport hotels were the most tedious, and all of them were the most expensive and all somewhat arrogant about their shortcomings. So the question is in all my reviews of places to stay is, can it take care of seniors in the way good accommodation should?
Photos of different rooms and different common rooms and terraces at the Palacio de Trasvilla. They are an adults only, meaning no children can break antiques, 6-room boutique hotel.
Using Google Maps, I asked for a map of Puente Viesgo, Spain and from there I also asked for the Caves location and how far the caves are from the town center. Also using google maps I could see the street view and knew that the road was long and uphill all the way. The visit to the caves from the town needs transport. This is the kind of info you can pre-gather for your trip and make sure you have all your needs met in place to place to palacio. The location of the grocery in town. The Palacio has a set breakfast but most then would be eating in town for both lunches and dinners (all restaurants seemed to be closed between 3:30 and 8 pm) – but the Palacio says it can try to accommodate needs there. The main room with terrace we booked is the Marquess.
One must eat in the morning so any hotel, for me, must have breakfast included and throughout the trip all of the hotels had breakfast and the first meal story will be its own blog and too wonderful to miss – the breakfasts varied so differently and we even have a couple of photos – I think from the iPhone for some of the meal plates.
If you have a facebook account you will be able to see this short video of one of the rooms we booked – I doubt that the management knew that I am blogging about our trip but of course he will after he reads it. Alfredo Italia and all the Palacio family were just wonderful. Immaculate and what a wonderful concept to take a 16th century home and turn it into a fairy land of magical history transformation into the past – and a couple of their six rooms have Jacuzzi!
El Castillo Cave plus… Multiple caves to visit in one location with easy access for several of them, must be a winner.
If you search for this from a google page you will get the google translate – offer – watch for the pop up question – do you want it translated and click yes – do this first in opening this or any webpage so you get the translation to your language of choice.
To top it all off there were many other amazing things to see and do in the area. The CABÁRCENO NATURAL PARK with its cable cars to view the Zoo from the air was wonderful and easy to enjoy with little walking using the cable cars.
This kind of travel is best with a car so if you are using public transport, as many do you will need to re-think distances for your stay and your visits.
In Puente Viesgo,
there was the Grand Hotel and from there you can take the hiking trail up to the Caves. Most hotels and hostels in the town looked lovely with a variety of accommodation and views. Use your Google maps and nearby places and things. The town offered many options.
Nearby: Altamira is closed but they have a beautiful museum with a fabulous replica
Previous On Cherie Lynn’s Herstory Ice-Age Tour:
Cherie In French… The Winners In Aquitaine – Beauty Along The Beune
Spas Around The World… Their Own Pangaea Of Pampering
All Cave Review… Many sites hope for DNA sequencing of ‘their people’.
The DNA Of Twins… Beds – that is. Mistakes that can ruin a trip.
Using the archived site of Jean Manco you can see DNA haplogroups in many places and in many eras – and follow your and all human ancestors through time.
A great place to search for new and used books is on abebooks.com of Canada and of course Amazon.
And her many other books also from her publisher Thames and Hudson
The must read for Ice-Age Ancestors Art – Genevieve von Petzinger