Saturday, October 13, 2018

Amarante to Peso da Regua, Portugal, October 13, 2018

I had a great sleep and the included breakfast was second to none - Greek yoghurt, cereals, cheese, ham, gorgeous breads, fruit, coffee and tea!  After breakfast, I headed out to see the 2 things there are to see in Amarante:  the church of St. Gonçalo which was started in 1543 by the order of King Joao III and Lady Catarina.  There are different architectural styles including Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque-

The altar is gaudy as usual-

Amarante was a fortified city and the wall remains-

I think the highlight of the morning was the Ponte Sao Gonçalo.  The original bridge was built in 1763 but destroyed by floods.   It's where there was a battle in 1809 against the French.  The River Tamega flows underneath-

I love the reflection-

I was nervous about getting in my car and getting out of the parking area - over a metal bridge and up a high hill on stone roads built for one but it turned out to be a piece of cake.  With the help of, I was eventually on my way to the Douro Valley which is absolutely beautiful-

The road wasn't very busy so I was comfortable putting along.  Occasionally i'd pull over to let someone go by but it was a very pleasant drive.  

Portuguese cemeteries are similar to others in Europe with lots of fresh flowers-

Many had lanterns burning-

Some only had carefully sculptured gravel on top-

The Douro Valley is miles and miles of vineyards-

The Douro River is 897km long.  Almonds, grapes and olives are grown in the perfect micro-climate.  I'm looking west-

and looking east-

My hot rod-

I checked in to the Dom Quixote hotel and my room looks like most of the rooms I've had so far-

So does the bathroom, complete with bidet-

After getting settled, my first stop was at a Quinta where I'd hoped to have lunch but they were completely booked.  I couldn't even have a glass of wine-

I drove back to my hotel, parked and walked downtown  I didn't want to be drinking great wine and then driving.  I ended up going on a one hour cruise in the river for $15 with other Canadians from Calgary.  I thought we were going to go under the bridges but we went the other way so we had a great view of Peso da Rejau-

There were 2 river cruisers docked.  I can't imagine doing that-

The river banks are terraced and planted.  All the grapes have been picked-

There are continuous houses and villages along the river bank-

After the cruise, I stopped at a grocery store where they had dried fish-

came back to the hotel where I did some wash and am now listening to the Riders getting demolished on CKRM!  Looking forward to another day in Peso da Rejau tomorrow!

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