Thursday, 11 August 2011

Portugal Part 2

It's another beautiful day in Portugal.. we're off and running!


A quick visit into Santar and a peek at the Duke of Portugal's house.  Really good looking place and we also peeked through the gate to the back yard.














Seems like a pretty normal house for royalty..  but it does carry on a bit..


Now for a REAL CASTLE!!  I know I've shown a zillion castles in this blog.. but Europe is just full of them.  This one is the best one I've seen.. for sure!

Castle of Guimares.. home to the first King of Portugal!

Built in the center of the city for the purpose of defence against the Muslims.. from there they were able to conquer Portugal.  They say this is the place that Portugal was born in 1129.  The King's name...  D. Afonso Henriques.

The castle was kept busy even after independence as it was then headquarters for defending Portugal from Spain for the next several hundred years.  Apparently successful!  I've heard some people speak of combining the two countries even today for strength in the European union... in a more civilized way of coarse.  From an outsiders point of view,  I wouldn't know but I'd be surprised if that would happen..



It was a lot of fun to run around inside this one..  it really is different to so many of the other castles I have been in lately.  Castles usually look like castles but this one seems more like one I'd see in a story book.



Statue of King D. Afonso Henriques


After this break we stop for another fantastic Portuguese lunch.. authentic good local food. thank you Miguel!!  And while we were talking, a couple from Portugal who I had planned to meet in their home town up the coast in a few days time showed up today instead where I am... at the restaurant we were eating... surprise!!  How they found me I don't know..

Very nice couple Mimi and Manuel Piexoto.  Well since they have many things to show me, we plan for me first to go to a campground they had previously told me about and here we have to bid farewell to Miguel.  Like I said, very lucky to meet him and experience south Portugal in a much better way than I could have ever done on my own.



Little did I know, that the Piexotos were already here for 2 days wanting to wait for me. The good news is that they already scoped out a super good little restaurant in a nearby village.  Nice to get off your bike in a herd of  local goats who are making their own way through the village. They sneak a meal in from the neighbors.. thieves!! ;-)


 Too cute!

The next day we pack up camp and roll out to see the coastal part of Portugal.. Not a horribly huge country but it has lots of variety!

Mimi and Manuel Piexoto



Nice view of the coast from here!


Igreja dos Pescadores (Church of Fisherman) in Praia de Mira

Costa Nova

They use a lot of colors and ceramics to decorate their buidings in many areas of Portugal.  I like it! However this town out did itself! Never seen home design anywhere else in the world this way.. very fun and happy place to live I'd say! ;-) 

The Piexoto's take me to their home in Porto Portugal.  I've noticed that "port" is a bigger part of Portugal than I knew.. Remember I met Miguel in Portel, I'm with the Piexotos in Porto (or Oporto) and we are having Port to drink.. in Portugal!

We have a meal and they make another surprise celebration of my one year anniversary on the road with cake, candle and that very special ancient glass of Port (from 1937!)with their son Miguel!  Gee whiz they know how to maka a moto girl feel special!


The Christmas tree?  They love to travel on their motorcycle and Mimi says she just can't be bothered taking it down and re-setting up every year when they'd rather be on the road, so now it's part of the decor..!



Was a fun day all around.. and how hospitable are the Portuguese people!!  I haven't had a day alone in this country.. lucky me!  I enjoy so much learning about the culture first hand and I could not have imagined that I would get to see and experience so much already.. thank you Miguel, Mimi and Manuel and Miguel #2
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2 comments:

  1. Hello, I am your follower from hundred miles south of BCN, you are now in Porto, my second home. I am still in Spain, what a pity not meet you!!
    You said something of combining Spain and Portugal, Stela, my wife, is Portuguese and we decided to pass to action, we are now "Iberians".
    We wish the very best, take care.

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  2. looks like you're flying over Portugal :-)
    by the way, don't miss Sintra, I'm sure you'll love it.

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