Once upon a time we took a trip to Europe.  MrS, DogS and me.

Well it seems like a long time ago. Even at the time we felt it might be  a kind of a “last hurrah”.  We didn’t know how easy a trip like that would be after Brexit. To be able to pack up the car and drive down through England, into the tunnel and on through France,  and Spain, to Portugal.

And back again, but following a different route.

our outward journey

Where we  had an (almost) week long stay in Guimaraes. “Aqui Nasceu Portugal”*

We didn’t have the best weather so couldn’t make the most of the terrace in Casa Porta Nova but we made full use of the rest of the lovely townhouse.

the views up and down the street

I read in a guide somewhere that you could see all the sights of Guimaraes on a day out from  Porto. Well maybe you can,  but it wouldn’t be nearly so much fun.  We visited most of the museums, climbed to the top of Penha, rode the cable car back down, shopped, and extended our portfolio of TV property improvement shows.

MrS even baked bread using his sourdough starter that we’d taken along too.

And we ate.  Perhaps the most famous Portuguese delicacy is the Pasteis de Nata and we certainly ate plenty of those. But they’re not the only pastry available, one particularly rainy day we comforted ourselves with these sweet and savoury delights.

And less traditional choices were also available.

At the  Ducal Palace. we almost by passed the temporary exhibition. After all the Inquisition isn’t  the most appealing of subjects. We entered through a door unlocked for ticket holders and closed firmly behind us. Once inside it wasn’t a cheery exhibition and featured possibly the most gruesome set of artefacts I’ve ever seen.   But I spent most of my time reading the boards which gave an unflinching description of the way religious doctrine was used to scapegoat a minority, for what were largely economic reasons. So long ago but so familiar.

The exhibition is over now,  and of course the whole museum is currently closed.  But if you get a chance, sometime when we can travel again, Guimaraes is well worth a few days of your time. Meanwhile I hope that washing is still hung from balconies, Pasteis de Nata are baked, and our host Anthony remains safe and well.


Until tomorrow


*Portugal was born here

One thought on “Taking time to explore

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