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Old 06-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #31
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We continued on following the GPS with no real goal in mind, it was nice just being together, and going with our own flow. We came up to a big dam and stopped for some pictures.






I was not sure where to go next, as the GPS was showing to drive over the dam, so that is what my DH did. At one point we looked down upon a small village and my DH decided that would be our lunch destination.




Graveyard

I was not too sure about that as it looked like we would be going down some very narrow roadway, and I was a little nervous. My DH, always ready for a new adventure, decided to go for it and down, down, around and around we headed. We stopped at Restaurante Novo Sol, in Caldas do Gerês for lunch. DH had a huge bowl of cod with house made fries, he said it was very good. I had a pizza with chorizo, black olives with the pit still in them and cheese. It was ok, but it really needed to be cooked a little more.





I had put my sunglasses in my back pocket and when I got in the car and sat down, I of course broke my sunglasses in half, lucky I had a spare pair back in the room.

Cont'd in next post
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #32
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Nice road trip! Getting to lunch sounded like an adventure, too. Sorry about the sunglasses.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #33
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Grain storage

We continued through the park, heading to the town of Braga outside of the park. We found a modelo (mall) and we stopped in to buy a phone card. We had purchased a phone on a previous trip so we just needed to pick up a new sim card and purchase some time for the phone. We walked around the mall a bit and purchased some beer, water and chips for the room.

Next we headed back to the room, stopping along the way for some sandwiches for dinner later. We arrived at the hotel at 5:30 pm, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

We will definitely have to return to this park on another trip and find the hiking trails, although it was very nice just spending time together without outside interruptions.

Costs today:
Lunch €23.80
Groceries €8.10, (15 mini beers were €4.99)
Dinner €12.35
Tips €10.20
Internet €9.90

Day 4 Will we be able to see our way to Porto
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:54 PM   #34
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Such interesting sights as you all wandered the park!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #35
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The meal looks yummy! The sights are interesting!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:37 PM   #36
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Very beautiful hotel! And your view was amazing! I love the nighttime photo.
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Nice road trip! Getting to lunch sounded like an adventure, too. Sorry about the sunglasses.
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Such interesting sights as you all wandered the park!
Thanks Cam, it was a fun road trip.

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The meal looks yummy! The sights are interesting!
Thanks I think DH's meal was better than mine.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:32 PM   #37
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What a nice, picturesque drive. I like that you had no real destination, and chose your lunch spot at random when you came upon it. The stone buildings are wonderful.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:55 AM   #38
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Beautiful sights around the park.

for the cow photo - that was my favourite!
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #39
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Another great day! Love the pictures!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:26 PM   #40
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What a nice, picturesque drive. I like that you had no real destination, and chose your lunch spot at random when you came upon it. The stone buildings are wonderful.
We are no sure what the stone buildings were we just happened upon them and there where no signs or anyone to ask.

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Beautiful sights around the park.

for the cow photo - that was my favourite!
I thought you might like the cows.

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Another great day! Love the pictures!!
Thank you.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #41
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Day 4: Monday, May 7

We woke up today, and our lovely view was gone; in its place was fog and rain, we could not see more than 5 feet.




We headed down for breakfast. There were not as many items out today, and instead they brought us scrambled eggs, bacon, buns, ham, and cheese right to the table. There was more than enough food for the two of us.

We headed out at 9:15 on our way to Porto, for those who have never travelled in Portugal (and maybe the rest of Europe) the roads in the cities are very narrow, often only wide enough for one car, with a lack of road signs. What signs there are are in Portuguese, so it can make for some white knuckle driving. Also Portuguese drivers are known as some of the worst drivers in Europe, so driving in Porto is not something I look forward to.


Narrow roads.


DH was smart and again had pre-programmed our destination into the GPS: the Lello bookstore. Once we were close to the bookstore we watched for parking signs and quickly found an underground parking spot. According to Lonely Planet “Lello bookstore is one of the 3 most beautiful bookstores in the world, the building dates back to 1906 with design by architect Xavier Esteves. The narrow facade of this bookshop stands out for its Neo-Gothic design. The interior is even more astonishing, presenting a wooden ceiling and beautiful bookshelves. But what really draws your attention once you step inside is its amazing spiral Art Nouveau staircase. “ I was looking forward to seeing it in person and it was indeed very beautiful. It had a huge stained glass roof and the staircase definitely draws your attention, unfortunately pictures were not allowed. We browsed around and I bought my DD a book.

We then walked around the area, window shopping and going into a few shops. I bought my DM some Ginja (a cherry liqueur) and I bought myself a cork purse. On my last trip to Portugal I had found a cork purse and it lasted two years, so I was happy to find another one, as they were not that popular last time we were here. As I would find out later cork items are very popular in Portugal now and I should have waited as I found lots of other purses that I liked.








I was looking for the Arcádia chocolate shop, they are known for their wonderful chocolate and I love chocolate. We finally located the store and it had a delicious smell, it was very upscale, almost like a fine jewelry store, with the chocolates in glass display cases. I bought a box for my staff and a box to take home to my DD’s.

It was cold and drizzly and we decided we’d had enough for today and headed back towards the hotel. We have decided that for our next trip to Portugal we will have to find a hotel right in Porto and spend a few days, exploring everything this city has to offer. We stopped at the mall and got the rest of our phone set up. We split a plate of chicken, rice and fries - it was delicious. As we climbed the mountain to the hotel, we could see less and less as the fog had stayed all day. This was disappointing as we had hoped to tour the Church of Santa Luzia and at this point we could not even see it from our room.






We had a nap; I must say it was nice having no responsibilities except for doing whatever we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. We went to the mall in Viana do Castelo, wandered around looking at all the different shops and made a few purchases for family back home. We started to get a little hungry and each got a ½ bowl of soup, it was very good. We also got some chicken sandwiches to take back to the room for later. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing as we did not want to head back out in the fog and darkness. Tomorrow we were checking out and heading to our house near Lisbon.

While at the mall we needed to take a restroom break, I am always very careful in the washrooms in Portugal as they try to conserve everything. I try to figure out the signs as best as I can as most time if you pee they want you to put the waste in the garbage not the toilet. I was having some trouble as I could not figure out where the water was to wash my hands, I eventually figured it out and met up with my DH, he said what was your view like in the washroom, I thought he meant the sink area, imagine my surprise when he showed me this picture.




Costs today:

Lunch € 5.75
Dinner €14.30
Tips € 5.00
Snacks € 2.00
Gifts € 124.48
Phone set up € 34.90
Parking € 3.70

Up next: heading for our home away from home and lots of family time.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #42
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Sounds like you managed to have a nice day in spite of the fog and drizzle.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #43
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More great updates! The pictures of the park and roads reminded me a lot of a place we went to in Ireland. Too bad they wouldn't let you take pictures of the bookstore it sounds so beautiful!
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:05 AM   #44
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I found the photos with the fog and the drizzle quite bizarre and they're certainly unique. Sometimes, although the weather may not be what we want, it does make for some unusual shots.

Porto looks lovely - I have heard it's a beautiful city.

By the way, a friend of mine who lived in quite a few countries in Europe told me that most people believe the Belgians are actually Europe's worst drivers, which I found hard to believe at first, but since then, I have seen a few incidents that have made me think that might be right...
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:13 AM   #45
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Sounds like you managed to have a nice day in spite of the fog and drizzle.
We did and the fog just added an interesting twist.

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More great updates! The pictures of the park and roads reminded me a lot of a place we went to in Ireland. Too bad they wouldn't let you take pictures of the bookstore it sounds so beautiful!
I would like to visit more countries in Europe, I imagine they all are so beautiful. I was surprised you couldn't take pictures, although I am sure alot of people do anyway.

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I found the photos with the fog and the drizzle quite bizarre and they're certainly unique. Sometimes, although the weather may not be what we want, it does make for some unusual shots.

Porto looks lovely - I have heard it's a beautiful city.

By the way, a friend of mine who lived in quite a few countries in Europe told me that most people believe the Belgians are actually Europe's worst drivers, which I found hard to believe at first, but since then, I have seen a few incidents that have made me think that might be right...
I love taking pictures of the old broken down buildings, I hope to one day frame a bunch of them and hang them up. I believe they rate Portugal drivers the worst based on the number of accidents per year. I am sure with the roads being so narrow in alot of countries in Europe there are many countries that could hold this title
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