Chicken Noodle's travels through
the Homeland...
Portugal Days 6 - 10

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Portugal - Days 1-5 Portugal - Days 11-14 The Route Home Pictures

Day's never finished! Master's got me working... someday master set me free!

Day 6

Rio Douro, Lamego, São Pedro

  • Cruisin'
  • Steppin' up
  • The Beautiful Portuguese

Journal Entry

We relaxed the day away on a cruise down the Rio Douro, passing through the numerous vineyards of the famous port wineries of the Douro region. A quick stop in the town of Lamego, with its 600-step crisscrossing staircase leading up to the small hilltop chapel, preceded our visit to São Pedro, a lovely small town with rich traditional Portuguese culture.

Port wine dates back to the 17th century, discovered when British merchants added brandy to Douro wine to prevent souring in transit. Today, port is made from grapes grown in the demarcated regions of the Douro, treaded or fermented in stone or steel tanks, and then fortified with the addition of brandy or grape spirit. This arrests the fermentation process, leaving the wine sweet from natural grape sugar.

We shall never surrender!

Day 7

Serra da Estrela, Sortelha

  • I got a fever, and the only prescription...
  • I'm a Dapper Dan man
  • Skanky water

Journal Entry

Our visit to Serra da Estrela brought us up, up, up to the highest point of Portugal to catch a glimpse of the villagers, sheep, and sheep dogs among the panoramic views surrounding them. Our later visit to Sortelha brought us face to face with history as we visited the old crumbling fortress in this old deserted town once used to guard the border against Spain.

Serra da Estrela is mainland Portugal's highest peak, reaching up to 1,993 metres high. The Torre built on the spot stretches the height to 2km. The region is used mainly for herding sheep, and the wool provides for a textile and cheese industry. Sheepdogs, faithful friend of the shepherd, are raised and sold throughout the region.

Ding, dong! The chicken's deaf...

Day 8


  • The Bomb
  • International board games
  • The bells toll for thee
  • Portuguese water torture

Journal Entry

A quiet day left us in Alverca to enjoy a Sunday with my cousins. A quick visit to Igreja dos Pastorinhos allowed us to explore the carillon with its numerous bells.

Igreja dos Pastorinhos, dedicated to the children of Fátima visited by Mary, contains the world's 3rd-largest carillon, a musical instrument composed of dozens of bells controlled by levers and pedals. Of the 76 bells in the carillon, the three largest are named Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, after the three pasture children.

Hey, how's it going? Know of any good night spots around here?

Day 9

Fátima, Vilar Figos, Barcelos

  • Uncle Manny's Minibus
  • The miracle of faith
  • Cute fuzzy bunnies
  • Exotic cuisine

Journal Entry

The Canadian travellers all piled into Uncle Manny's Minibus for the trip up north. We stopped at Fátima along the way, site of a series of apparitions of Mother Mary to three shepherd children. We continued up north to Manny's hometown of Vilar Figos, and then to the city of Barcelos.

In 1917, three children in the small village of Fátima were visited by apparitions of the Virgin Mary, on the 13th of each month. Mary instructed the children to pray their rosary, and told them three "secrets": a vision of Hell, a warning of the rise of communism and World War II, and a debated third secret depicting catastrophe. Doubtful of the children's claims, 70,000 people came to the site to witness the visitation, and saw the Miracle of the Sun: the Sun danced around the sky and changed colour.

You want me to climb what?

Day 10

Braga, Guimarães, Penha, Barcelos

  • Early morning wake-up call
  • So many stairs...
  • Where it all began
  • Strange television

Journal Entry

Travelling to Braga, we visited a number of Portugal's famous sanctuaries, including Bom Jesus do Monte, with its long and extravagant often-imitated crisscrossing steps and Sacred Way. Next, we visited the original capital, Guimarães, for a lesson in Portugal's early history. We then stopped at Penha to climb rocks and get lost among boulders before returning to Barcelos for the evening.

Afonso Henriques, son of a princess of Leon and a French crusader, held aspirations at a very young age of a country not ruled by the Moors or by Castile. In 1129, Afonso defeated his mother for control of Portucale, and ten years later defeated the Moors at Ourique and claimed Portuguese independence. He made his first capital at the castle of Guimarães, and established the Portuguese Royal House of Burgundy.

On to Day 11

Return to Spudles' Cup of Noodles
(C) 2000-2005 David Faria