Portugal with Family   Leave a comment

Portugal with Family

April 8 –14, 2017

Porto, Braga, Ponte de Lima, Pedrinhas Apulia Beach, Porto, Obidos & Lisbon Airport, Portugal

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My daughter & son-in-law met up with me in Porto, Portugal and whisked me away to yet another part of Portugal to spend fun time with them.  I had just completed back to back trips with Overseas Adventure Travel.  I had seen lot of Spain & Portugal by doing “Back Roads of Iberia:  Spanish Paradores & Portuguese Pousadas” and  “Northern Spain & Portugal – Pilgrimage into the Past”.  (These two trips are the feature of my last two posted blogs.)  So off we went on some quality family time.

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This is my rendition of our itinerary from Google Maps.  Jim & Kellee picked me up in Porto, Portugal and we drove to Braga and spent 2 nights, the beach at Pedrinhas for 3 nights, and Obidos was the last night, then off to the airport in Lisbon for me to fly home after being out and about for 5 weeks. 


Braga, Portugal:  Braga is an ancient town in northwest Portugal. Its history and livelihood are tied to Christianity dating to the 3rd century.  Most likely Holy Week in Braga has its historical origin in the late 4th century, and it holds one the world’s great Easter celebrations.  This is the reason we went to Braga, and we weren’t disappointed. 

Standing on the balcony of our nicely located Air B&B in Braga.

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  Christ Carrying the Cross:  We were in Braga the Saturday night before Palm Sunday and joined in the procession of “Christ Carrying the Cross.”  A bunch of men all dressed in purple robes hoisted the huge statue that was on a platform to their shoulders.  They each carried walking sticks with metal tips on the end.  You would not believe the cadence!  As we all walked through the quiet, dark, cobblestone streets the perfect cadence of the strike of the metal tips on the cobblestone was awe inspiring.  I think this was the highlight of my whole 5 weeks in Portugal & Spain!

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As tradition has it they were transferring the cross from the Holy Cross Church to the St. Paul Church.  The procession would stop at the “Stations of the Cross” that are located throughout the town.  At each stop there would be music and/or singing.

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It was wonderful being in the processional and in my memory I can still hear the awesome cadence as we walked along.

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The city of Braga is decorated with Holy Week motifs, or street altars, and is filled with flowers and lights.

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Palm Sunday in Braga:  We experienced the blessing of the palms.  The clergy carried palm branches and everyone else was given an olive branch to be carried on the processional that followed the blessing.

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We joined in the procession of the Palms from St. Paul’s Church to the Cathedral of Braga. 

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Then it was time for refreshments.  The ice cream was so good, and it’s always better if one buries one’s face in the whipped cream on the cappuccino!

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Sé Cathedral of Braga:  Work began on Braga’s imposing cathedral in 1070 and wasn’t completed until the following century.  It the oldest in the country and was built by the parents of Portugal’s first King.

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Preparation for the next Processional in Braga.

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Palm Sunday Afternoon:  The next holy week celebration was the “Steps Procession.”

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Much later in the afternoon we heard music and the awesome cadence & spotted another parade.

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Ponte de Lima Bridge, Portugal:  We departed Braga and headed to Pedrinhas Apulia Beach via a pretty & hilly scenic route.  We stopped at Ponte de Lima for lunch.  This town is spanned by a long medieval bridge that crosses the River Lima.  The 15th-century church of Santo António stands at one end of the bridge. 

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Porto de Lima, Portugal:  It’s one of the oldest towns in Portugal and historically significant as a Roman settlement. There are remains of medieval fortifications and a maze of cobbled streets lined with 16th-century houses.

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Pedrinhas Apulia Beach:  Next on the itinerary was relaxation at a fisherman’s cottage located in the dunes on the waterfront of the ocean. 

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 A great seafood meal just a couple of blocks from our waterfront cottage.

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 The fishermen coming in with the catch of the day.

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The fishermen bring the boat right up on the shore, then another guy with a tractor pulls it on out of the water and they drive directly to where the fish is sold which is less than a block away.  We are talking fresh seafood!

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So long cottage by the sea.  It’s time to move on.

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On our drive to Obidos we stopped in Porto to do a wine tour.

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Graham’s Caves, Porto, Portugal:  The grapes that are used to make Port must be grown in the mountainous Upper Douro region of Northern Portugal, which in 1756 was the world’s first officially demarcated wine region. This protected region is the only place in the world that can produce authentic Port.  Graham’s was one of the first Port companies to invest in its own vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley in 1890. Port is still produced in this way, by intentionally interrupting the fermentation of the grape by the addition of a clear grape spirit, referred to as ‘brandy’. This preserves a large amount of the grapes’ natural sugars, thereby giving Port its characteristic sweetness and richness.

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 Graham’s Caves is located on a hill overlooking the city of Porto.  We had a delicious lunch (with a view) at Graham’s before continuing our journey.

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 Obidos, Portugal:  I love small medieval walled towns so I was a very happy person to be here.  The Moors had established a fortification here, but the area was taken from the Moors by the first King of Portugal, in 1148.

The intact medieval walled town of Obidos is known as the “Town of Queens” because Obidos was the traditional bridal gift of a king of Portugal to his queen, a custom which begun in 1282.  The Santa Maria Church was the location of the wedding of King Afonso V to his betrothed cousin Isabel in 1444.  The bride was only 8 while the groom was little older at 10.

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The main gate into Obidos contains a unique tiled chapel that overlooks the main thoroughfare. The 18th century glazed tiles depict the passion of Christ while the ceiling represents the crown of thorns.

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The main street of Obidos is lined with a variety of shops and Kellee & I bought a couple cute lacey blouses.

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 Kellee walked the walls of the ancient town.

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A fun dinner at the local bar in Obidos.  We enjoyed their flaming specialty (note flames in 3rd photo). In the last photo Kellee is lifting up a tap that discloses …!

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 After 5 weeks it was time for me to go home.  I had seen lot of Spain & Portugal by doing “Back Roads of Iberia:  Spanish Paradores & Portuguese Pousadas” and “Northern Spain & Portugal – Pilgrimage into the Past”.  I made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with some new gal friends that were also traveling alone.  It was a joy traveling Portugal with my daughter and son-in-law.  It was great family time.  It was time.  So off to Kansas I went!   “Life is what you make it.”

Keep on traveling!



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Posted June 6, 2017 by marilynfarmer in Travel

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