Andrew Lisowski


Andrew Lisowski

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." I've traveled for a long time and have many memories of places and people. I enjoy travel, especially to new places I haven't seen before. Every journey, whether brief or extended, provides the opportunity for a new experience or a different way to see things. I like travel photography, too, and always have my camera with me.

I look to the "4Hs of Tourism" as a guide when traveling: understanding the Habitat; Heritage; History and Handicrafts.

Member of the TravBuddy travel blogging community from 2007 until its demise in 2018.

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 23rd 2022

Our return flight itinerary was scheduled to be Vigo-Madrid-London Heathrow-Washington Dulles. Viking had arranged a coach transfer from Santiago de Compostela to Vigo airport. (Like us, most of the Santiago group were flying to Madrid to make connections. Vigo appeared to offer a better outgoing flight than Santiago.) To accommodate our early morning departure, the Parador kindly provided a to-go breakfast. This included an apple, nuts, a juice drink, a ham sandwich and a pice of almond cake. The coach departed at 6:30 a.m. for the 9:20 flight from Vigo. Once there, we learned high winds at the Virgo airport caused Iberia to redirect the incoming flight to Santiago. We had already checked in, so everyone then had to collect their luggage and head for Iberia buses to take us and hour's drive back to Santiago! ... read more
Sierra de Guadarrama
San Agustín del Guadalix
Madrid–Barajas Airport

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela October 22nd 2022

Our morning walking tour of Santiago de Compostela began right at the hotel. Our local guide first took us around the historical Parador to see the courtyards. The Hostal was built around a plan with four courtyards and a chapel in the center. The front two courtyards, Patio San Marcos and Patio San Juan, were built out in the later 16th century, soon after the building was completed. The two in the rear, Patio San Lucas and Patio San Mateo, were not built out until the 18th century. They are in Baroque style and more elaborate than their Renaissance counterparts. Patio San Lucas is notable for its elliptical shape. (The others are rectangular.) The ellipse is said to be a Galician design convention. Patio San Mateo has topiary of crosses and crowns, a nod to Ferdinand ... read more
La Berenguela
Fonte dos Cabalos
Quintana Façade

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela October 21st 2022

We were now in the Spanish province of Glaicia, which has many historic and linguistic ties to Portugal. Motoring north along Autopista AP-9, we passed Vigo at 3:00 p.m. Catching a glimpse of Vigo was interesting. It has a large Atlantic-facing port and is Spain's most important fishing port. Cruise ships call at Vigo for shore excursions to Santiago de Compostela. The city and port are situated on the Ria de Vigo estuary, which we crossed on the Ponte de Rande highway bridge. A number of raft-looking objects were floating in the estuary. These were Bateas, used for Galician mussel farming. Between Vigo and Pontevedra, the coach made a stop at Área de Servicio San Simón for an afternoon break. Arriving in Santiago de Compostela, the coach boldly drove right up into the historic district and ... read more
Hostal dos Reis Catolicos
Colegio de San Jerónimo
Roasted Barnacles

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Braga October 21st 2022

The Santiago de Compostela extension group left Porto at 9:00 a.m. A bonus on this trip was a stop at Braga, Portugal. It was not a long ride north to Braga, we reached there about 10:00. The first stop was at the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte. The hilltop has been a Sacri Monti pilgrimage site since the 14th century. The present church was built in 1784-1811. The theme of the shrine and the surrounding grounds is the story of the Passion of Jesus. Bom Jesus do Monte has many similarities to the shrine of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego. It is situated on a hilltop reached by a long staircase and overlooks the city of Braga. The staircase was built in three stages, each with a different theme: the Staircase Porch, Staircase of ... read more
Chancel and High Altar
The Crucifixion

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto October 20th 2022

Thursday morning was set for Porto sightseeing. The Viking tour bus drove us across the Ponte Infanta Dom Henrique from Gaia to Porto proper. Multiple bridges across the Douro connect Porto and Gaia. To the right was the iron Ponte D. Maria Pia, built by Eiffel in 1876-1877, now out of service. To the left was Ponte Luis I, built in 1881-1885. It has always been a tram bridge. The first stop was Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto). Porto is a very hilly city, built on basalt cliffs rising directly up from the river. The cathedral was built on one of the hilltops. Begun in the 12th century, the cathedral is fundamentally Romanesque in design, but it has undergone several retouchings. The two Romanesque towers and rose window surround a Baroque portal addd in 1772. Inside, ... read more
Ponte Dona Maria Pia
Sé do Porto

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Peso da Régua October 19th 2022

I would be remiss if I did not include a blog entry about Peso da Régua. Régua, with a population of some 17,100 is the largest of the riverside towns and the gateway to the Douro wine region. Cruise vessels always make a port call here. It was our jumping off place for tours to Villa Real and Lamego. The community took form as a village in Medieval times with wine production always its principal industry. There is a Douro Museum in town that we did not have an opportunity to visit. Régua is a regional transportation hub. The railway station is decorated with the Azuelo tiles typical of Douro Line depots, though they are not as spectacular as those of Pinhão. The former wooden freight shed nearby has been repurposed as a restaurant and shopping ... read more
Régua Station
Douro Queen
Engenheiro Mário Fernandes

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Lamego October 19th 2022

Today rain caught up with us. Portugal and the Douro region were happy, as we had already learned the past summer had been the driest in many years. Our shore excursion from Régua was to Lamego. Lamego is famous for the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. The Bishop of Lamego founded the pilgrimage site as an alternate to Santiago de Compostella. Pilgrims seek healing for themselves or family or a friend. The Rococo church was built in 1750-1905, replacing a 14th century church on the site. Inside is a gilded high altar with the image of Our Lady of Remedies (Nossa Senhora dos Remédios) carved in wood. Photography is not permitted inside the church. In the small park adjoining the church are two very old chestnut trees, estimated to be over 700 years old. What ... read more
Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Ancient Chestnut Tree
Chestnut Tree

Europe » Portugal » Northern October 18th 2022

To return to our exploration of Douro, the shore excursion today was inland to the village of Favaios. Favaios styles itself "The Capital of Moscatel". But not only is the community famous for it wines, it is also famous for its special style of bread. We learned first about its bread making tradition. Arriving in Favaios, the group made its way to the Padaria da Rosália, the bakery of Dona Rosália. Dona Rosália has been baking Favaios Trigo, the local four-corned bread, for more than 30 years. We watched her as she prepared the dough and her assistant placed the dough in the oven. Everything is authentic looking here, from the wooden paddle to the wood-fire wall oven. Flour dust is everywhere. A sample of the warm bread, dipped in olive oil, was delicious! Next on ... read more
Morning Along the Douro River
Douro Wine Region
Igreja de Favaios

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Salamanca October 17th 2022

An all-day coach trip to Salamanca was the agenda for today. From Barca d'Alba we crossed the Águeda river, a Douro tributary, to enter Spain. The mountains of Portugal extended briefly into Spain, but shortly thereafter we were crossing the high plateau of central Spain, known as the Meseta, This region is part of Castille and Léon. The landscape and vegetation here, like the plateau in La Mancha, is very reminiscent of Southern California. It is mostly open country with scurb vegetation or farmland. A few towns are encountered on the road to Salamanca. The first was La Fregeneda with a hilltop church. Others featured light industry, warehouses and agricultural businesses. After about a two-hour ride, Salamanca came into view. The first sight of Salamanca was the tower and dome of the New Cathedral. Then we ... read more
Plaza Mayor
Arco del Toro
Plaza Mayor - Ayuntamiento

Europe » Portugal » Central » Castelo Rodrigo October 16th 2022

Castelo Rodrigo is both a mountaintop fortified village and a ruined medieval castle. The mountain upon which it sits is just over the border from Spain, thus the castle has been much contested between the two countries over the centuries. The castle was established around 1209 by Alfonso IX of Léon, a Spaniard, but was granted to Portugal in 1297. By then a town had grown up around the castle. It aligned with Castile at the time of the previously mentioned Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385 and thence came back under Portuguese jurisdiction. In 1492 Castelo Rodrigo became a refuges for Jews expelled from Spain. A popular uprising destroyed the castle and palace in 1640 during the Portuguese revolt against Spanish rule. In the 20th century the community became a refuge for those seeking to escape ... read more
Portão Oriental
Torre de Menagem

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