Agent Name: Lisbet MacKay
Date: May 2007
Trip Location: Portugal, Europe
Overall Trip Impression: Portugal is a great country to explore. Beautiful scenery, lots of history, great food and wine and the country is small enough that you can easily see many different sights in a short period of time.
Our holiday had two parts. The first 8 days was how much does cialis cost at a pharmacy a self drive holiday, where we explored the http://viagracoupon-discountcode.com/ southern and central part of Portugal. The second part was a river cruise in the north of Portugal on the Douro River.
Our holiday started in Lisbon, and from there we drove to the Algarve coast on the freeway. The toll freeway had so little traffic on it that we wondered if there was something we should know and didn’t. The drive took only 3 hours, and we stayed at a Pousada, historical buildings converted to luxury hotels, for the next 3 days, while we explored the Algarve coast from the touristy areas with all the restaurants, bars and hotels, to the rugged historical Cape St Vincent, where one of the first navigation and exploration schools were established in the 15th century. We then headed north, this time on a cialis 30 mg dose scenic coastal route, again staying in interesting Pousadas. Some of the most notable places we visited were the charming town of Tomar, with its 12th century Templar Castle, now a UNESCO World heritage site. In the little town of Obidas, the Pousada is located in the old fortification and it looks over picturesque and whitewashed bougainvillea covered houses. Very charming. Sintra, also a World Heritage Site, was our next stop. This is where the Portuguese kings used to go to escape the summer heat, and it has many interesting sights such as the Castelo Castle. Perched on top of a cliff, it is a fanciful blend of architecture which rivals many Disneyland creations. Think a blend of Moorish, Gothic and Wagner inspired Bavarian castles if you can. In between all this viagra4women-femaletabs.com history we also restored ourselves with drives along the scenic coast, sampling
the local seafood and wine.
We then joined up with a Uniworld tour in Lisbon, and spent a couple of days exploring that city before travelling by bus to Porto, which is a really interesting old town. Port wine originates from this area, and we visited a number of the lodges where port wine is blended and aged. On the river, you can still see the picturesque old boats that used to bring the grapes from the vineyards downstream to Porto on the then very fast flowing river. The river has now been tamed by the building of some of the deepest locks in Europe, most of them over 30 meters (100 feet) deep, and it was very interesting passing through them as we travelled through the beautiful Douro River Valley, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rambling vineyards and small farmhouses cling the sides of the valley, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, and the river is so narrow at some points, that only one boat can pass at a time. The furthest away point is the Spanish city of Salamanca, also a World Heritage Site. Salamanca is nicknamed “The Golden City” because of its beautiful old gold and orange colored sandstone buildings, and it has the oldest university in Spain. It is still a vibrant city with a large university population, both from different parts of Spain, but also with students from many parts of the world who want to learn Spanish, as the Catalan Spanish spoken there is said to be the purest.
Travel Tips: If you drive, make sure you have an up-to-date road map. Ours was not, which caused some confusion when we would arrive at roads that did not exist on the map.
Where to Stay: For a sense of history and charm I would definitely recommend the Pousadas. Most of them were high up with beautiful views, but getting there with all our luggage was quite the chore at times. Having a smaller suitcase, where you can put the luggage you will need for a night or two while leaving the rest in the car, would make it a lot easier.
Best Time to Travel: Spring or fall
Things to Buy: Port wine, ceramic tiles
Local Foods: Even if you are not a sardine fan, try the fresh Portuguese sardines and other great seafood. The local wine is excellent, as is the port.
Quirkiest Green Tip: In the 500 year old Joanina Library in Coimbra, the bookshelves are covered with wire netting. At night some of the windows are left open, so bats can come in and eat the moths.