Blogs from Northern, Portugal, Europe - page 5


Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto May 14th 2011

We began the day by taking the reasonably new commuter train from near where we are staying, Gaia, into the centre of the city at a very cheap return ticket of 2.40 euros. The Sao Bento railway station has the walls of the concourse decorated with pictures of triumphant historical battles made from blue and white tiles. The effect was stunning. From the station everything seemed to be going uphill. And if there is an uphill there must be a downhill somewhere so the day was going to be one of physical exercise in temperatures in the high 20’s. The first stop was the nearby information centre to get all the maps and details of the city that we needed. The large city market was our first visit. On the ground floor were traditional fruit. vegetable ... read more
Avenida dos Aliados
Some of the tousands of steps

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto May 13th 2011

Crossing the border from Spain into Portugal is rather a non-event. Driving south you suddenly come across the EU symbol of yellow stars on a blue background with the name Portugal written across it. We gave a great whoop and then carried on as if nothing had happened. Really we were quite excited because we were driving into the unknown, and that proved to be just the case. After leaving Santiago de Compostela everything seemed straight forward, just follow N550 south. The scenery was quite picturesque with small agricultural plots on whatever land was able to be cultivated, or coastal scenery. There was still a lot of hill driving. The coffee stop at a roadside cafe was a welcome break and even more welcome was the 1.20euro price for the coffee and complimentary slice. This might ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto April 17th 2011

No dia 17 deste mês de Abril realizou-se, tal como estava programado uma visita ao Convento de Tibães e à Quinta do Convento da Franqueira. Partimos do Porto em autocarro rumo a Mire de Tibães, no Concelho de Braga. Este mosteiro fundado no sec XI, também chamado S. Martinho de Tibães, engloba a Igreja e o Cruzeiro de Tibães. A partir do sec XII foi ocupado pela congregação Beneditina. No sec. XVI, tornou-se a casa mãe da ordem para Portugal e Brasil. Os edifícios principais actualmente existentes foram construídos nos secs. XVII e XVIII. Um dos arquitectos que nele trabalhou foi André Soares. Com a extinção das ordens religiosas masculinas ocorrida em 1834, é vendido em hasta pública, com excepção da Igreja, Sacristia e Claustro do Cemitério. Ficou em mãos de privados até 1986. Foi classificado ... read more
Quinta do Convento da Franqueira
Sé : Braga
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Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto April 2nd 2011

Our first stop in Portugal was Chaves, a small town just over the border from Spain. It was primarily a place to sleep on our way to Porto but it still light when we arrived so we walked around town and saw the Roman Bridge and the remains of the fort. To be honest, there was not much else to see. The next day we took the scenic route. Despite the proximity to Spain, the landscape was very different. It was much drier and there were fewer trees. In addition there is a tremendous amount of litter and the people are not dressed as nicely as Spain; the country feels just a bit poorer. Our next destination was Porto but the guidebook warned us against driving in Porto so we found a hotel in a town ... read more
Roman Aquaduct
Ponte Dom Luis I
Traditional Costume

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 28th 2011

Oporto Ah, Porto, where the utterly confusing conglomeration of narrow, cobblestone roads network together, somehow, to make up this stunning city connected to (yet somehow removed from) the rest of the world. I discovered it is substantially cheaper to take several small bus/train trips from Santiago de Compostela to Oporto, meeting the same bus in Vigo, Spain that had left from Santiago de Compostela for the last leg of the journey. First impression seemed much like Basque country, but on closer examining discovered the sun is a bit hotter, the gulls are excruciatingly louder/larger/stupider, and the language is relatively different, though much of it is understandable. Also worked on toning my musculature by lugging my rucksack and always walking uphill, it seemed. LOVE the buildings in Portugal covered in Azulejos, hand-painted tiles ... read more
Oporto, Portugal
The streets of Porto
Along Rio Douro


Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 27th 2011

We arrived in Porto and took the subway to the street that the hostel was on, we came to #93 which is what it said it was in the directions and there was no sign for the Atum Guest House. We must have looked very confused because someone was in the window above watching us, he yelled down, "Michelle?" Shelly answered and well we were 'home'. We looked around a little skeptical that this was the right place but Padro walked us in, sat us down and took a map out explaining the best places to go. He told us all about Porto and Lisbon. We then walked around the little apartment and it was... hard to describe, but pretty cool. There was about 5 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a kitchen and a balcony. It was getting ... read more
Shel outside Croft Wine Cave
Us inside the caves
Small beach just outside Porto

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Miranda do Douro March 26th 2011

Thursday 3rd March 2011 One of the reasons we had chosen this particular route out of Portugal and into Spain was because we had fond memories of the drive through the Duoro Valley on a previous trip to the area. As is often the case with such return visits, we were concerned that this experience would not live up to our memories, but we needn’t have worried. Whichever way you travel through this region it is truly breathtaking. I had already discussed the most scenic route through the area with a man at the tourist information office in Porto, and it wasn’t long before the rolling hills gave way to steep, terraced vineyards producing the wine for the port houses of Vilanova de Gaia. Stopping briefly for lunch along the river bank, we noticed the large ... read more
On the banks of the Douro
Douro view
Sandeman Estate

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 26th 2011

Monday 28th February 2011 Time to move on to Figuera da Foz, a convenient stopping point about half-way to our next planned destination, Porto. The site itself was very well placed, next to a pine woodland and with its own private access to the beach. After the usual settling-in chores and a bout of schoolwork, the call of the sand dunes proved too strong. Ben and Jack tired themselves out running to the tops and back down again in a Star Wars Tattooine- inspired game of chase and dare. The day ended with some internetting in the TV/ recreation room on site. Tuesday 1st March 2011 Another long drive up to Porto. Once again, the proximity of the site to the beach allowed the boys to let off some steam after the journey – this time ... read more
Beach Figueira
Town Hall Porto
Tiled Hall Porto

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 21st 2011

Concerto Promenade no Coliseu do Porto No passado dia 13 Março 2011 realizou-se, como estava agendado, um encontro constituído por 3 eventos: 1 Concerto Promenade no Coliseu do Porto 2 Almoço no Grande Hotel do Porto 3 Momento de poesia O Concerto consistiu na suite sinfónica Sherazade op. 35, de Rimsky-Korsakov (compositor russo que nasceu em Liubensk, perto de Sampetersbugo em 1844 e morreu em 1908). Foi interpretado pela Orquestra Sinfónica do ESMAE (Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo) sob a direcção do Maestro António Saiote. Os lugares foram bem escolhidos pois a audição era boa (o que não acontece em alguns outros sítios do Coliseu). A refeição decorreu no Grande Hotel do Porto o qual tem um ambiente acolhedor, uma decoração sóbria com um toque muito britânico. O ... read more
Momento de poesia
Orquestra Sinfónica do ESMAE
Concerto Promenade no Coliseu do Porto

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 18th 2011

My feeling toward the people of Europe is one of appreciation and affection. Everyone is kind and helpful. Were it not for the kind intervention of some unknown Samaritan in Brussels, we would have never FOUND our plane let alone catch it. Landing in Porto, the good feelings continued as we were accepted into the warm current of life in this vibrant and truly entertaining city. Again, strangers came forth to offer assistance (Maria hobbling about with her cane may have been some help in this regard...), unbidden but certainly appreciated. This is a real blue collar town. Folks here yell and gesture, they argue and kiss and generally strut around like a bunch of hormone-crazed teenagers. Workmen seem to be everywhere, knocking stuff flat and putting things up and patching things together.Buildings are ornate, but ... read more
Guia, Porto
Guia Porto

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