A fort, a church and Oporto or two

Today was another big one.

We visited the fort that we had seen from our kitchen window. The outside was well preserved but inside was a bit on the skeletal side.

Imagine our surprise when on scaling one of the intact towers, there was little left but two medieval vending machines serving cold refreshments and even accepting modern day Euros! Kudos to those forward thinking fort builders!

It’s a miracle really

Just down the hill was the “Duke of Braganza’s Palace”, and after being a little underwhelmed at the fort, we decided to give it a go.

Pic borrowed from the inter webs because mine was a failure

It more than made up for the fort.

Lots more pretty things to see.

Lots more lovely rooms to visit

Except for the Weapons room, top left

And it’s very own church.

Yep, tourists!!!
Some stained glass love

Next stop was a little detour to Bom Jesus do Monte, a recently appointed UNESCO world heritage site, and pilgrimage drawcard.

Stunning!!

That’s a lot of stairs

What’s a pilgrimage site without a church? Once again , it was filled with expensive looking stuff and was decorated elaborately. Same, same! Except for this, which looked like a whole lot of little figures sitting on a wedding cake!

Grahame and I headed down the stairs only to have the pleasure of walking all the way back up. (My Garmin stair climber was happy again today). Each level had a water fountain with water coming out from a different places. The eyes, ears, mouth and nose of the little statues took it in turns to pour refreshingly cool water into a bowl. We were worried about the next level, but the designer had better sense, changed tack, and used vessels and crosses to issue forth the water on the remaining levels.

The view down to Braga was impressive as well.

Braga itself was very pretty. The first real flowery gardens we’ve seen so far. The whole length of the Plaza leading up to a central fountain was ablaze with colour.

Mithyl’s pic

Once again, the tiles were amazing. I loved this blue building, and up close was just as lovely.

We sat in one of the town squares, people watching for a while.

My kind of people watching
Fountain watching

We decided it was time to move on. It had been a warm afternoon so we thought we’d stop at a nearby beach.

Vila do Conde was a cute little place with a little observation deck on the rocks. We had thought we might have a quick swim before arriving at our nearby Airbnb.

No way José!! The water was icy! We got our toes wet, climbed the stairs to the deck, and retreated to the car.

We met Maria, our Airbnb host , who gave us a whole pile of useful ideas and recommendations for both dinner in a local restaurant and places to visit in Porto tomorrow. Her home was only two blocks from the beach at Miramar.

We walked down in time to see the last light recede behind the local “church of surf”.

It was so beautiful in the last light , just had to take a couple more pics.

Now dinner, a local speciality, was a meat lovers delight. Francesinha. It is made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat, and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce. (Thanks Wikipedia!). Mithyl tells me it is inspired by the French “Croque Monsieur” But I think it’s that, on steroids. The chef threw an egg on top just to add to the cholesterol levels.

Omg!!

And then, I cut into it!

No vegetables!! All types of meat!!

Tomorrow is a fruit and veggie day!! Yeah sure!!

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