Monday, April 18, 2011

..not even talking about the weather.....

but, this will be a bit of a longer post to outline my little plan.  It's taken me a few days to try to decide what to do.
I want all of you to be able to enjoy a little of our holiday in Portugal... and yet... my friend Maria and I took so many photos that it is tough to decide which ones and how many to post.  If I do too many in each post..it will take forever to download for those not on high speed....and I know some of you have trouble with that....

I think I'll just begin at the beginning... and post several photos a day for ..oh,... for a verrrry long time.  Maybe even til next year and perhaps we go again.  Hahahha... perfect.  I don't even have to think about what I'm going to post.  But, since we both took lots on each day and they are still in separate albums..(because Mr. BV still has some fiddling to do with something that he is trying to accomplish)....  I just have to figure out which ones I did post from each set and therefore...which not to post a second time. Still haven't figured that one out..... it'll be a bit of "backing and forthing" I guess.

After 10 hours to Frankfurt and a few hours wait in their deluxe airport...  then another 2 1/2 hour flight to Lisbon.. our friends picked us up and drove us around a bit to get a little first look at Portugal.  Had a wonderful meal at our hosts ...(it was a very late meal for them as the big meal is usually earlier in the day) and then, some wine, and even some port, because we wanted to get a good sleep and actually still felt pretty wide awake even after such a long trip. I never sleep on planes... next time..I'm taking some good drugs or using a damn big rubber hammer.

Anyway...we wanted to get on Portugal time right away...jet lag be damned!  We only had 3 weeks to be tourists; we weren't wasting any of it.  The first day...we awoke at 11:00 am.!!  Acckkk..what the?? ...day half over... after the best sleep of my life!  I couldn't believe it.  But... onward....

 We drove (okay, Joe did the driving) to a nearby small town called Constancia....( Check the link to see more info regarding this little town.)  It was our first up-close glimpse of the tiny streets in most of the little towns we would see during our stay.  So tiny, only tiny cars can drive through them... and definitely only one car at a time........there is backing up if somebody comes from the opposite direction...I still haven't quite figured out who decides to back up...but, on looking back at some photos...I do see signs indicating no entry on some of them.

So...without further ado.... please enjoy a walk with us around this lovely little hillside town of Constancia... from the parking area so you can get the idea of the terrain.















All the streets ..walking and driving areas... are cobbled in chunks of marble and in some places granite.  The whole country seems situated on marble .. it's everywhere.  There are lots of quarries in Portugal, so I suppose seeing as it is pretty cheap and easy to come by...they use it freely, plus why not use up the leftover smaller chunks for something worthwhile.  I'm betting asphalt would be more expensive and not easy to use in most places... so.. chunks of marble it is.  Plus...it's lovely to see, of course.



















A lot of the buildings were restored, freshly painted and really kept up... others, of course, were not kept up quite as well. There seem to be several little porthole windows in various building in this town..



















I thought these anchors looked neat... designed right into the cobbles...



















You can see the hilly terrain....















These little streets are for driving as well as walking believe it or not.  People on foot and in cars coming and going, some carrying baskets of groceries... although it certainly wasn't busy.  A sleepy little place actually... and lovely. This would be a great place to live in which to keep fit.  Walk down for bread each day.  Oooh... and the breads....yes, indeed.... I would definitely not mind walking to get the breads  ...every single day!!   As a matter of fact... I would need to keep walking a lot.  I loved the breads in Portugal.   I'm still trying to find the perfect cornbread recipe since coming home.  So far..no luck.  Do you have a cornbread recipe...and I'm not talking southwest stuff either...this is a yeast based loaf I want. Dark thick crust... lovely tight crumb...and sweet tasting...oh...man...it was yummy.   With olives..meats and cheeses.....sigh...............................................................

I'm thinking a lot of clutch changes if you drive in these towns ..hahahha... and actually in one steep place ..later on..we did smell a totally burned out clutch on a car.  Some poor guy not used to standard shifting or hilly terrain I guess ...who finally managed to navigate his way to the top of a particularly steep street.  Some of them might just be slippery in wet weather too...  and,...they better hope it never snows.  Of course, unlike here...they don't have to worry about that scenario.  Oh.. I forgot...I wasn't going to moan about the weather. Sorry.  I must have looked out the window.  Still two feet of the white stuff in my front yard.

Back to sun and holidaying...... Up and up... looking into eveery nook and cranny... snapping photos all the way.... we loved it.  So quaint compared to what we are used to here in Canada.  Not much history ... or even the look of it here.



































Cute little doorways....some tucked back in out of the way.  Some of the doors opened almost directly onto the roadway.... not only in tiny villages...but, along the main highways!  don't stagger out in some places after one too many glasses of port or in a hurry to get somewhere.   I'll post a couple of those later ....most taken whilst enroute....



















Maria and were both taken with the tile work we saw everywhere during the 3 weeks of doing touristy things at cathedrals, towns and castles.... .......and.....the doors...and doorways.... so loved those!!  My idea of European towns and cities... the beautiful photos of windows and doorways...



















The doors were so tiny.  I'm only five foot two and my head was mere inches from the top of the door frames in many of the towns.  All I could think of was hobbits.... yes, most of the little older folks are definitely not tall...but in days gone by must have been much shorter yet.   Some doors we saw were so low we would have had to bend over to get through.  I really wanted to have a look inside some of the sweet looking little homes.  Maybe next time.......



















Some of them were so clean and white washed ...and with little plants...or kitties hanging around outside.... love it all.......



















This one's for you Krista.  Isn't it a beauty? Not afraid of people at all either.  There seemed to be quite a few cats everywhere we went during our stay.  However, I can't say they appeared feral.... they all looked so soft and clean and well kept.  And...it appeared that even though they were allowed to wander they were well fed.. probably by more than one person.  I spied little bowls beside some steps...and did see one lady putting out a few bowls...near several steps.  Maybe they just make sure all cats are fed...I don't know...

7 comments:

Maa said...

Lovely- looks like I'm going to be on this holiday for the next year. Reading about your's. Thanks you. Maa

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Vee,

I loved seeing your holiday photographs and Portugal looks wonderful.
Yes, isn't the Frankfurt airport amazing - we had a stopover there and was intrigued by the bathrooms with self cleaning toilets.
I do hope that the snow has gone away so you will be able to enjoy Spring.

Happy week
Hugs
Carolyn

Krista said...

Vee - these are magnificent! I am so excited to see MORE MORE MORE!

That little kitty is adorable! I am so glad to hear that all of the kitties seem so well cared for! That always makes me feel good; to travel and see animals that are so very obviously loved and cherished. It makes me miss mine just a little bit less.

The streets and buildings and tiles are all really gorgeous. WOW! Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to see what you decide to show us next!!!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Loved the photos and yes I too love walking through narrow streets and wonder what it is like within those quaint little doors.

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Vee,

Thanks for taking me back to Portugal. I have been to that little town too and loved it. As I walked around , I felt like knocking on a few doors to see if they would allow me to look around. Hee, hee but never got the nerve.
Can't wait to see more.
Hugs

Sue said...

I love seeing these pics and reading about your trip! Thank you!

Susan said...

Am so glad you took hundreds of photos and are sharing them. Portugal looks gorgeous. I love everything you've pointed out. Waking up every morning with these places to explore - what a holiday! It must've been such a contrast to the weather you left back home as well :D)