Well, the plan was ambitious, but we could respect it in a wonderful trip, despite the constraints of a irregular weather.
Writing about the visited places will take time, but the links to those notes in the site will be added as soon as they are ready. This is the summary of where we have been in two and a half days, with photos not yet edited:
14:00 Departure to S. João de Tarouca
We did it at 14.09 (not bad), and only got lost when leaving highway to refuel (saving 5€, but losing more 20 minutes).
After a menace of snow when descending to the village the visit started with rain, that the rainbow sent away just in time to make a few pictures.
Details about the monastery will be published in my Tarouca page.
When? Well as soon as possible
17:08 Departure to Tarouca
Almost one hour delayed, with consequences.
Tarouca was a planned stop juts to visit S. Pedro church. We met a funeral there, so, the only advisable thing to do was to see it from outside and at some distance, recovering a few minutes.
. The rain was gone, good to proceed.
17:59 Departure to Lamego
We recovered time in Lamego, and saw all the desired attractions. Beautiful city, to visit again with some degrees above the 5º that we had
19:14 Departure to Pinhão
We did it half an hour earlier, giving us time to stop several times making pictures of Peso da Régua, and the wonderful margins of Douro river.
In Pinhão we had two objectives – the train station (closed) and the sightseeing point of Casal de Loivos. We arrived almost at sunset, and the pictures from the sightseeing point miss the desired vibrancy..
20:04 Departure to Vila Real
We arrived almost in time, with the chance to see several beautiful points in the slopes of Pinhão river, including Provesende, with the dusk covering the landscape.
Dinner should be (and it was) in Vila Real allowing a few minutes to browse the center of the city.
22:00 Departure to Amarante
The final leg of the first day was just to move to the previously booked hotel, in Amarante.
We left some minutes before the scheduling time, but the trip was too slow, because we were caught by snowfall in Alto de Espinho.
9:30 Departure to Felgueiras
The visit of the lovely city of Amarante (and a couple of shops in the way) made us leave after 10.30.
In Felgueiras we had in mind a general look of town (not appreciated) and the visit of Pombeiro monastery – interesting but closed, thus recovering part of the delay
11:09 Departure to Ribeira de Pena
Ribeira de Pena was just a curiosity – in Facebook it’s common the publication of wonderful photos taken there. Of course, the best landscapes demand to follow one of the many trails, and that was impossible in the available time. Some more minutes saved…
12:26 Departure to V. Pouca de Aguiar
We went to this small city in 2008 to dance, driving straight to the pavilion, and leaving by night. I was curious about this place, and, arriving later than planned, we decided to have lunch there. Nothing remarkable, but now I saw the essential of it. The best remains the Cup of Portugal won in the first visit.
13:04 Departure to Vidago
Vidago was planned as the place for lunch, and the change of plans replaced it by a short visit. Small place, well arranged, with a nice park.
If with time we would also stop in Pedras Salgadas (my favorite drink, the local water), but we decided to skip it
15:47 Departure to Chaves
The trip was quicker than expected, and the visit eased by the concentration of the best attractions. We arrived almost in time, and left earlier than planned. We already knew the city (slept there in the nineties) but missed photos. Now we have some
17:07 Departure to Montalegre
Another trip quicker than expected, and another place less interesting than expected. We had a freezing sun dismissing any idea of staying too long, so we won some more minutes, precious for the following stage,
18:24 Departure to Lindoso
The shortest way to Lindoso was across Spain, passing by a few small and common villages, scattered in the rough beauty of the mountains.
A church in Couso de Salas justified one of the few stops, the other dedicated to the landscape, mainly by Lindoso dam. Lindoso, with sun, allowed interesting photos
20:13 Departure to Ponte da Barca
Disappointment is the word to classify our first impression of town, so we moved away, changing dinner to Arcos de Valdevez. The plan was to sleep there, but it was hard to book a hotel, and the closest that we found was in… Ponte da Barca. We returned to sleep,discovering that we missed the historic center in the first passage. It was our first stop in the next day.
22:14 Departure to Arcos de Valdevez
Dinner instead of sleep, we arrived there still with light enough to make some pictures, but the beauty of the city, forced us to return a second passage in the next day, as done in Ponte da Barca.
9:00 Departure to Sistelo
Repeating both visits meant more than an hour of delay, but the road to Sistelo is better than expected, and the tiny village took half of the planned time to visit. Good weather, holiday and touristy promotion gathered to fill the place with cars. We were lucky and got a place right in the center.
10:05 Departure to Monção
Brejoeira palace was one of the objectives, but the last guided visit had already started, so we proceeded to town. It was nice to have another image of a city where we had been only once, almost 40 year ago.
11:05 Departure to Valença
Valença was planned as a quick passage, with a picture of the fortress. Well, pictures weren’t easy nor beautiful, and with so many people and cars around, we had no time to search for the distant angle to the imagined photo.
11:55 Departure to Ponte de Lima
One of the highlights of the trip. I had been twice in Ponte de Lima, always passing by, having lunch by the river. This time we had time to browse the very beautiful center, full of light and people.
12:35 Departure to Viana do Castelo
Another already seen city to remember, but the strong traffic of the holiday forced us to limit it. Santa Luzia was seen, but the center was almost skipped.
14:35 Departure to Barcelos
Barcelos was a nightmare – “Festa da Cruz (cross festivities) led many thousands of people and cars to town. We drove across it very slowly, without any chance of parking, and slowly exited town. Before, roller skate took me twice to Barcelos, but only a fourth visit will show me the city.
16:15 Departure to Porto
I know Porto, and this time the plan was to make pictures of a specific area between Sé and Aliados.
Returning to the car, in a free park by the cathedral, I missed the key.
Lost, or forgotten in the ignition?
The addicted that I tipped when parking approached saying that he noticed that we left an open window (yes, Fernanda joined the “party” leaving her window open), and remained around, watching it.
Uff! The tip grew to a lunch level…
19:30 Departure to Miramar
The trip was over with emotion. There was only one more detail to see, if with time, we had it, want stopped in Miramar to see the exotic chapel of Senhor da Pedra by the sea.