Travel : Portugal

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Travel : Portugal

Postby Dnls_mum » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:39 am

I went to Spain and Portugal in Sept and so KSPs have asked that I share my experience. So I'll split my write up according to the country. Will start with Portugal.

Part 1:
We took a cruise of the Douro River, the port wine region in Portugal.
The main city in the Douro region is Porto, the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, the capital. Most river cruises of the Douro do a round trip Porto. But as we wanted to go Madrid, we did Vegas Teron to Porto. The ports of call are the same as the round trip Porto cruises.

Porto is a very beautiful city and the historical core city and river side area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In fact on this trip, almost every corner we turn, we come to a UNESCO World Heritage site.

View of Porto from the Douro River:
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On one side of the river is Porto, and opp is Gaia. Along the Gaia bank, the various wine cellars "park" the traditional boats used to carry the wine from the vineyard in the Douro Valley to the cellars in Gaia. Now these are mainly more ornamental. Most of the wine cellars of Porto are now mostly in Gaia. Port Wine is actually named after Porto and only the sweet red wine from Porto can be called Port.

The traditional boat (lucky me was able to capture a seagull in the photo!):
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You can take trams in Porto or walk. It is a hilly city but very pretty.

The Porto cathedral:
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The city central area:
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The most beautiful MacDonalds must be in Porto. It took over the premises of the old Imperial cafe and retained the chandelier, stained glass windows and facade:
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To be continued.....
Last edited by Dnls_mum on Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby jetsetter » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:25 am

:lovesite:
Checking in...

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby Dnls_mum » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:34 am

Part 2: Porto

Did you know that JK Rowling was teaching at Porto University when she was writing her first Harry Potter book? It was said that she used to visit a very well known book shop in Porto and have coffee on the second floor of the small book shop. The staircase of Hogwarts castle as described in the book is based on the beautiful staircase of Livraria Lello, the oldest bookshop in Porto which has been listed as one of the best bookshops in the world by Lonely Planet.

Livraria Lello bookshop, the interior staircase:
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Another unusual place worth visiting in Porto is the Porto railway station, not to take the train but to look around. Its walls are covered with the beautiful Portugese blue tiles.

Porto Raiway station:
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One of the best things to do in Porto is to stroll along the riviera, and browse the shops or enjoy a coffee or even better, a glass of port and watch the world go by. :please:

Snap shots of scenes along the river bank:
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The wine cellars on Gaia side is also worth a visit. These are working cellars and wines are aging in the barrels in these cellars. We visited Graham's cellar as from the cellar, you can also get a wonderful view of Douro River.

Graham cellar:
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View of Douro River from Graham cellar:
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The beautiful night time view of Porto:
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There is a funicular that you can take to the top of a hill in Porto, but we did not do that. We did walk across the bridge which linked Porto and Gaia.

To be continued......
Last edited by Dnls_mum on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PORTO

Postby jetsetter » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:02 pm

Thank you DNLS_MUM!!!

Beautiful photos!! :love: :love:

I highlighted Porto in the Xi'an thread, not just because it's the second largest city in Portugal tourists must not miss, but because I've a very close uni mate cum hallmate from Porto whom I, without fail, called every Christmas for nearly 10 yrs! Stopped calling after we got busy with our career & family... LOL!

Hope to sail to Porto to visit my friend and his family some day, before I grow old!! *LOL*

:ugogirl: :politebleah: :lovesite:

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Re: PORTO

Postby Dnls_mum » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:26 pm

jetsetter wrote:Thank you DNLS_MUM!!!

Beautiful photos!! :love: :love:

I highlighted Porto in the Xi'an thread, not just because it's the second largest city in Portugal tourists must not miss, but because I've a very close uni mate cum hallmate from Porto whom I, without fail, called every Christmas for nearly 10 yrs! Stopped calling after we got busy with our career & family... LOL!

Hope to sail to Porto to visit my friend and his family some day, before I grow old!! *LOL*

:ugogirl: :politebleah: :lovesite:



Thank Jetsetter!
The photos are beautiful because the city is really beautiful. I didn't know much about Porto before we went and it turned out to be such a gem! I like it more than Lisbon, but DH says it is probably because the weather at Porto was better than when we were is Lisbon :). You must try to go. You will not regret!

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby Dnls_mum » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:44 pm

Part 3: Guimaraes

A day trip that can be made from Porto is to Guimaraes, another historic town in Portugal which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guimaraes was the 2012 European Capital of Culture and known as the birthplace of the nation of Portugal. The city dates back to the Middle Ages. The fight over Portugal's sovereignty was fought in Guimaraes and the victory let to Portugal declaring independence from Spain.

From top left (clockwise) : Guimaraes castle, the town square, the church of our Lady of the Olive (notice the lone olive tree in front of the church), Guimaraes cathedral.
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To be continued.......

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby jetsetter » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:56 pm

Nice writeup! :rahrah: You're really helpful!

For you, Dnls_Mum (I took this at the Royal Palais @ Madrid)

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My virtual treat tonight - A jug of Sangria & scrumptious Tapas spread to usher in 2015!
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(NB: 2nd/3rd pics not mine!)

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby Dnls_mum » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:17 pm

jetsetter wrote:Nice writeup! :rahrah: You're really helpful!

For you, Dnls_Mum (I took this at the Royal Palais @ Madrid)

Image


My virtual treat tonight - A jug of Sangria & scrumptious Tapas spread to usher in 2015!
Image
Image

(NB: 2nd/3rd pics not mine!)


Thanks Jetsetter! Happy 2015! I was at the Royal Palace in Madrid too, but did not go in....hehe...cheapo me look from outside only :rotflmao:

Now you remind me of all the yummy tapas! Slurp slurp!!

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby Dnls_mum » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:21 am

Part 4: Douro Valley

The Douro River:
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The Douro valley is dotted with vineyards. The grapes grown here are mainly used for port wine. We cruised the Douro River and stopped at various points daily. You can also drive. We chose to come in September which is the grape harvesting season. Some vineyards in the Douro still uses the traditional foot stamping to juice the grapes. Unfortunately we did not get to see that. We did see some people picking grapes at one of the vineyards we visited. I'll list some of the nice places we visited.

Castelo Rodrigo:
Castelo Rodrigo is one of 12 historical villages in Portugal and again is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This very small village which sits on a hill is very pretty. Reminds me of scenes on jigsaw puzzles!
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To be continued......
Last edited by Dnls_mum on Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Travel : Portugal

Postby CloudeeDaz » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:34 am

So beautiful...I'm following...
Thank you! :-)

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