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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Portugal & Spain 2015

In May 2015, my crack traveling companion, Kit, and I set off for four weeks in Portugal and Spain, primarily backroads places that not very many tourists visit. A reminder that you can click any of the photos for a larger view. And when you get to the bottom of a page, click "older post" to continue on in chronological order.

Of course, you can't avoid - nor would you want to - large places like Lisbon and Madrid, but having been to both countries many moons ago, it was nice to see some smaller towns and more rural areas. But first: Porto


The second largest city of Portugal straddles the Douro and has a fabulous collection of historic buildings. The main part of the city is on the right bank, with Vila Nova de Gaia, home to many port wineries on the left bank. So let's start with Vila Nova. To get there, you have to cross the Douro by boat or using the 1886 Dom Luís I bridge:



At the end of the bridge is a wonderful old monastery, the Sierra del Pilar:



Or you can take a boat across the Douro - why not?


Vila Nova itself is a warren of tile-roofed port wineries:


You may recognize a few of the names of these port wineries:



And that last one, Ferreira, was one we visited; sadly, the port we bought there was all gone by the end of the trip... ;)




Just one of some gorgeous buildings in Vila Nova de Gaia:

Slipping down the Douro to its mouth at the Atlantic, we visited a 1661 fort, hosting a variety of occupants through its history, most recently the Northern Commandos Association:






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