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Published: October 19th 2019
Thursday, Oct 17
Up early for a trip to Salamanca, Spain. We are at the farthest part of the Portugal section of the Douro River so it was a 2 hour drive through interesting winding hills, the rain plains and quaint villages to Salamanca. Only need to have picture ID, no passport required. Realized that somewhere I lost my little braided cork bracelet – now on the lookout for another. We had a tour of the University library (13th
century – amazing collection). Students dressed like Hogwarts. Apparently JK Rowling spent time here so probably got the cape and uniform ideas from here. On our free time we went to an Art Deco Museum (no pics allowed). As we walked in, we were stunned by the stained glass ceiling. There were wonderful sculptures in bronze and ivory – so fluid looking. Walked around admiring the architecture, cobbled streets and alleyways. Drive back was a siesta time for most of the people. Unfortunately, one of our group had to stay onboard since she had a digestive issue. All better the next day.
Friday, Oct 18
At 9 am we headed off to a town called Favaios. If you ever
get to Portugal try to get to this village and see what life is really like for village people. We went to a bakery and had fresh bread thrown at us and watched a woman knead and shape loaves in minutes and then set in wood fired ovens. Bread was divine. A little muscatel washed it down. Next, to a little museum about the bread and wine of the area. Lunch was at Quinta da Avessada winery, more muscatel and something called firewater (grappa) in our coffee. Our host (the owner) was quite an animated personality. Before each course (4) he regaled us with some historical point or story in Mr. Bean fashion complete with giggles and flamboyant arm gestures. What a character. The trip back to the ship was through winding, steep but very scenic hillsides. We rode in huge buses on what we would consider single lane roads. In the evening we had a TUNA group come and entertain us with Portuguese folk music and songs. They had driven 2 hours to do a 45 min. show and then had 2 hours to drive home again. It was very entertaining and lots of laughs.
Saturday, Oct 19
Ross and the dentist went ahead with the included tour which meant an hour on the bus (driver made a wrong turn and delayed our departure). At Lemago they were dropped off at Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies where they looked at it then went down 676 steps to meet the bus. Meanwhile all 4 women walked around Regua looking for the market to buy cheese. First, we found a good shoe store and bought quite a few pairs. After one of us bought a round of cheese to take home we wandered back down to the ship. We are now passing through all kinds of weird weather on our way back to Porto. Sunshine, windy straits, plain gray, sideways downpour through the lock and again, a little brighter skies. We received our disembarkation papers. We have to have our luggage outside our cabins by 3:15 am and we leave the ship at 3:45 am for a flight from Porto at 6:00 am to Frankfurt. Four hours later we will be on a direct flight to Vancouver if all goes well. This will be the last posting for this trip unless we have some kind of issue. Only
one couple has made it unscathed through my blogs so far…..
PS:. She found her shoe. It was in her suitcase - surprise.
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