A Travellerspoint blog

September 2015

AMA Waterways, Lisbon and the Douro


sunny 70 °F

This early morning we set sail for Porto, and upon arrival, headed off for a city tour followed by a tour of the Grahams Port Warehouse. Porto is a fantastic city where Harry Potter's JK Rawlins spent much time as an English teacher. The city and it's famous bookstore gave her the inspiration to write the Harry Potter books. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its combined Celtic-Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name "Portugal", based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese, the name of the city is spelled with a definite article ("o Porto"; English: the port). Consequently, its English name evolved from a misinterpretation of the oral pronunciation and referred to as Oporto in modern literature and by many speakers. Our tour included the train station with its famous tiles and the Cathedral!


Our final stop and final tasting was at the Graham warehouse, one of many in the port area of Porto. Again the wine was great.


The Douro is a hidden gem. Because all of the rivercruising is during the day, you really get to enjoy the countryside and its many Quintos. Most want to go to the Danube. The Douro is equal if not better!

Posted by rpickett 07:54 Archived in Portugal Tagged porto Comments (0)

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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


We finished our day with a Flamenco show on board!


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

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