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Norwegian Breakaway

Ponta Delgada

semi-overcast 63 °F

After 5 days at sea, we reached the Eastern Atlantic and arrived at our first port of Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. The origin of the placename, was elaborated by the famous Portuguese chronicler, Father Gaspar Frutuoso, wrote:
“This city of Ponta Delgada is named for its situation located along volcanic lands, thin and not too considerable like on other islands, that lead to the sea, and where later, was constructed the chapel of Santa Clara (Saint Clare of Assisi), which was named the Santa Clara point...”

In around 1450, Pêro de Teive, established a small fishing village that eventually grew into the urban agglomeration in Santa Clara.
The naval Battle of Ponta Delgada (also known as the Battle of São Miguel) took place on 26 July 1582, off the coast, as part of the 1580 Portuguese succession crisis. An Anglo-French corsair expedition sailed against Spain to preserve Portuguese control of the Azores, which had aligned itself with the pretender António, Prior of Crato, thereby preventing Spanish control (it was the largest French force sent overseas before the age of Louis XIV).

We had not signed up for any excursions, so we spent several hours wandering around the city and had a nice lunch in one of the local cafes.


Posted by rpickett 10:57 Archived in Portugal Tagged ponta delgada Comments (0)

AMA Waterways - Lisbon and the Douro

The photo album of this wonderful adventure is available for viewing. Click https://goo.gl/photos/LhJ8wABiA3vzLTEL8 to view the album!

Posted by rpickett 13:41 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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)

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