A Travellerspoint blog

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro

Regua, cruising and Bitetos

semi-overcast 70 °F

This morning we did a brief cruise to Regua and toured to the Quinto da Pacheca for a sampling and buffet munchies. This is a wonderful little winery that uses their own grapes and prepares the wine by foot! The wines and ports were superb.

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After lunch we headed back down the Douro to Bitetos where we left the ship for dinner at an old monastery, now hotel - the Monastery of Alpendurada.

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Posted by rpickett 10:02 Archived in Portugal Tagged and regua bitetos Comments (0)

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro

Castelo Rodrigo and Cruising to Pinhao

sunny 75 °F

After breakfast today, we boarded our buses for a gorgeous trip into the hills to visit Castelo Rodrigo. It is one of the 12 historic villages of Portugal. Its heritage goes back to the 12th century, and town has a wonderful little Jewish Quarter. Again we tasted some of the local wine, cheese and almonds which are grown throughout this region as well as grapes and olives.

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This afternoon, we cruised east to Pinhao, past the Quintos of all the major port makers.

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Tjhis evening we left the ship for dinner traveling to Quinto da Avesadda. We were hosted by the very colorful owner - the "Mr. Bean" of Portugal. Again great food and wine with some local musicians and a little local dancing. We got back to the ship at about 11:00pm - late for some of us!

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Posted by rpickett 07:47 Archived in Portugal Tagged and the douro castelo rodrigo pinhao Comments (0)

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro

Barca D'Alva

sunny 75 °F

As has been our tradition in past cruises, we always take a day off. Rather than a 10 hour bus trip, we relaxed on board on the Portuguese border city of Barca D'Alva. The town is very small and good for about a five minute walk. This evening, the ship hosted a wonderful BBQ on the sundeck to complete our quiet day.

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Posted by rpickett 07:17 Archived in Portugal Tagged barca d'alva Comments (0)

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro

Lamego and the Douro Valley

sunny

Or morning adventure took us to the lovely town of Lamego. With origins before the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, Lamego is known for its historic city center, having a long history as a principal city of the former TrĂ¡s-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province. Legend holds that the first Portuguese Cortes were held in Lamego, in 1143.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lamego is based in the city center. The highlight of the city is the Shrine of our Lady of Remedies. One of the oldest church erected during Portughese era. It has been dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The statue on the main altar has profound history. The non-Christian powers tried to vandalized, disgraced and burn this beautiful structure but Blessed Mother protected the building from distructive forces. the staute has been intact inspite being burnt down several occassion. Over the centuries people have experience the healing power of the Blessed Mother (not just physically but mentally, emotionally and psychologically) healing touch. For this reason, Mary has been called Our Lady of Remedy (HEALER). When Vasai diocese was erected, this church got the status of the Shrine.

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After lunch we got underway for our eastward transit of the Douro Valley to the Spanish border, of course traversing several locks. It was a postcard day and the voyage was spectacular.

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We finished our day with a Flamenco show on board!

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Posted by rpickett 04:02 Archived in Portugal Tagged landscapes and the douro lamego Comments (0)

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro

Cruising and Regua

overcast 72 °F

We got underway this morning for wonderful cruise to Peso de Regua. The highlight of the morning was traversing the largest lift lock in Europe with a lift of 46 meters. It was pretty spectacular. As you would expect, the riverboats on the Douro are built to the maximum size that will fit in the locks. Only inches separated us from the side of the lock.

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In the afternoon, we headed to the Quinto Sandeman - the Sandeman Winery for our first wine tasting (of many). "Sandeman was started by a Scotsman, George Sandeman, in 1790. In 1792, he shipped and bottled one of the earliest vintage Ports, 1790 Sandeman. He was followed into the business on his death in 1841 by his nephew, George Glas Sandeman. By 1870, Sandeman was the largest Port exporter, accounting for 9% of total Port exports. Under George Glas's son, Albert George Sandeman, the House of Sandeman became the first Port shipper to export wine bottled and labeled in Oporto in 1880. The Sandeman family lost control of the company after it went public in 1952. They were sold to Seagram in 1980, and the '80s saw a decline in quality as the firm seemed to lose its way. In 1990, the bicentenary of the company's founding, George Sandeman was appointed managing director in Oporto. Quality improved and the firm refocused. Quinta do Vau supplies the top grapes, those that go into vintage wines. According to Richard Mayson's authoritative tome Port and the Douro, "Sandeman's vintage Ports have changed in style, the 1994 and subsequent declared vintages being much richer, sweeter and perhaps more forward wines than in the past." Sandeman has long been known and admired for their high quality tawnies, especially the 20-year-old." (Cellar Tracker)

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Posted by rpickett 03:58 Archived in Portugal Tagged regua Comments (0)

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