Chicken Noodle's travels through
the Homeland...
Portugal Days 11 - 14

Home Introduction Tuscany - Days 0-4 Tuscany - Days 5-8
Portugal - Days 1-5 Portugal - Days 6-10 The Route Home Pictures

Any sign of chicken-eating sharks?

Day 11

Viano do Castelo, Póvoa de Varzim, Vilar Figos

  • Panoramic views
  • My kingdom for a beach!... With bikini-clad girls!
  • Freakin' bloody cold
  • Sweet beautiful Port

Journal Entry

Today's visit to picturesque Viano do Castelo afforded some spectacular ocean views, and our stop at Póvoa de Varzim allowed us to get close to it by visiting its famous beaches. We returned to Vilar Figos in the evening for a classic country Portugal supper.

Viano do Castelo gained prominence as a fishing centre. It provided ships and sailors in the Age of Discovery, and was the departure point for João Velho's explorations of the Congo, and João Álvares Fagundes charting of the Newfoundland fishing grounds.

Come on in! The water's fine!

Day 12

Barcelos, Gerés, Vilar Figos

  • Silly Europeans
  • They probably sell fleas there
  • Be like Figo
  • Mountain-climbing cows
  • Bite my tongue

Journal Entry

The Thursday morning flea market at the centre square of Barcelos allowed us to shop for a wide variety of articles, from clothes to music to food, even livestock! We spent the afternoon travelling the mountain range of Gerés before our final evening in Barcelos.

The Cock of Barcelos is a legend well-known throughout Portugal. The story tells of a Galician pilgrim convicted of theft and sentenced to death. Pleading before a judge at his dinner table, the man claimed that as proof of his innocence, the roast cockerel would stand up and crow. To everyone's amazement, the cock crowed and the man was released.

All aboard!

Day 13

Coimbra, Alverca

  • Working for my food
  • It's a small world after all...
  • Stop to smell the roses
  • Instant espresso

Journal Entry

Travelling back south, we stopped in the historic city of Coimbra, home to Portugal's most prestigious university. We visited Portugal dos Pequinitos, a miniature village showcasing cultural and architectural styles from around Portugal and the former colonies.

The second capital of Portugal, a title held for 117 years, Coimbra is a city rich in the roots of nationhood. It is the birthplace of six kings, and home to the country's most prestigious university; one of Europe's oldest. Some of the city's most cherished residents were St Isabel, the charitable Queen, and Inês de Castro, mistress of Pedro I, heir to the throne, who was murdered by order of the king. When Pedro took the throne, he had the killers' hearts torn out in revenge.

Who needs a hug?

Day 14

Lisboa, Seixal, Almada, Alverca

  • Water play
  • One experiment too many
  • A great big hug
  • Family fun

Journal Entry

Today we crossed the 11km Vasco de Gama bridge onto the other side of the Rio Tejo to visit its quiet hillsides and sailing spots. Further along the coast, we stopped at Cristo Rei, the tall statue of Christ's embrace, overlooking Lisbon across the river.

Cristo Rei, modelled after the famous Cristo Redentor of Rio de Janeiro, was built in thanks for Portugal being spared the destruction of the Second World War, completed in 1959. The 28m tall figure of Christ stands at the edge of the Rio Tejo embracing the city before him.

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