Monday, July 21, 2008

Visit to Northern Portugal.

As our time gets closer to leaving Portugal, we were wanting to take advantage of the time we have left and see parts of Portugal that we haven't seen yet. Our language tutor took some time off, so we decided to visit Northern Portugal. We had a nice time and saw "o berco de Portugal"(the birthplace of Portugal), the castle where the first king, Afonso Henrique, of Portugal was born. We also saw the mountains in the center of the country and Porto. We had some great language opportunities as everything in Portugal is hard to find and we had to stop and ask directions many times. We were quite proud of ourselves as we understood the directions and never really got lost(which is highly unusual on a trip like this). Here are some pictures of the trip.

This is a waterfall we hiked to in the Serra De Estrela mountain range in northern central Portugal.

That's Traeger standing on the rocks in case you can't quite see him!

Here is a picture of the sunset in the mountains, where we stayed.

This is a francesinha. Porto and Northern Portugal are known for them. It is made with slices of meat and two slices of bread with melted cheese and sauce on top. They are actually pretty good.

Here is a view of Porto and the river running along the edge of the city.

Porto is also known for it's many bridges. We took a short boat tour along the river to view the city and bridges from that perspective.

The houses along the river are very colorful and beautiful.

The kids taking a break from all our walking on a door stoop.

This is a picture of the housing in the city of Guimaraes. It is a very beautiful city--very well kept and clean.
This is a statue of King Afonso Henrique, first king of Portugal. Tim and the kids are showing off their muscles.
This is the Paco dos Duques(the palace of the Dukes). It is the palace that King Afonso had built and lived in.
This is a picture of the Castle where King Afonso was born and lived until he built the palace in the previous picture.

This is a picture of the Northern coast of Portugal. It was very beautiful.

The kids collecting rocks and shells at the beach.

Our hotel had a pool and the kids spent hours swimming. They had a children's pool and an adult's pool. Traeger is really becoming quite the swimmer! They love the water.

Karis also gained a lot of confidence in the water and isn't near as timid as Traeger about going all the way under!

This is the "Bom Jesus" in Braga. It is an old Catholic Parish.
*Just a reminder to continue to pray for Tim this week as he is preparing to preach on Sunday. We'll make sure to post an update after he is done.*

1 comment:

FrZ+ said...

Good photos!
A couple of minor notes-- the Douro River doesn't run through Porto-- the 'other side' of the river (top half of photo) is a different city, Vila Nova de Gaia (where I preach most Sundays, in Portuguese, at parish churches of the Igreja Lusitana, the small Portuguese branch of the Anglican Communion. [I'm a retired American priest, volunteering here because of there shortage of clergy.]

Also, Bom Jesus was never a convent-- it was built as a parish church. It's amazing staircase is one of northern Portugal's biggest tourist attractions, as well as a site for Roman Catholic pilgrimages, as at each turn of the stairs there's a statue or fountain allegorically depicting scenes from Scripture (some of the most devout Catholics actually climb the 350+ stairs on their knees, a level of devotion that my orthopedist would be horrified by!
Good luck Sunday!