Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm BACK!

Warning: Lots of beautiful pictures and very long post.

We are back from our 2 week holiday in Portugal. What a fun time we had touring around the country. We took the train to different areas around Portugal. Our flight was into Lisbon and we stayed for 3 days before taking the train West to Sintra (my favorite place in all of Portugal, you'll see why soon). Isn't this blooming tree so beautiful, it's so full of flowers you can't see any greenery.
There are little cable cars to take you up to the St. George's castle that over looked the city, it dates back to the 6th century and was fortified by the Romans. We didn't take the easy way up, we walked up the narrow windy streets making a guess that we are going the right way. This was the start of many walks UP HILL and hoping we are heading to the intended destination, why is it that you can count on the place you want to go to always be uphill.
So many narrow streets to follow. We had to watch for coming cars because they couldn't be seen until they were right at the corner and cars in Lisbon don't watch for pedestrians anytime.

Oh look we found the St. Georges castle at the top of the hill. Here's a glimpse looking down at the city.
Other view of the city. One house seems to be added to the next and it just keeps on going as far as the eye could see.
Incredible views in every direction.
These were some stairs that went down to the main shopping streets, I guess we could have walked up these stairs instead of the street. I didn't go down to see, I was too afraid I would have to turn around and come back up all those stairs.
A fountain in one of "many squares" around the shopping district.
Isn't this the cutest train station, we are now in Sintra the most beautiful romantic place in Portugal, even the train station is lovely.
That's a little restaurant on the corner of the building, there is a cute little table with 2 chairs sitting outside. We tried to get that table for dinner but wasn't successful.
I was amazed at how narrow the streets are, see the handicapped parking, there's barely enough room for a car to get by never mind the pedestrians walking. See the clothes hanging out the window. I swear they don't have dryer's in Portugal, everywhere we went the laundry was hanging outside the windows. Even the 14 storey high rise apartments had laundry hanging outside the window. There seems to be a standard hanging line attached to all windows for drying clothes.

The castle of moors in Sintra, was built by the moors in the 9th century. And of course the castle is located in the high hill over looking the town, do you see more up hill walking for me. The next picture shows the town below and the castle on the hill.
See how beautiful and romantic this little town is. DH wanted to walk up to the moors castle and it really isn't as far as it looks in the picture but this time I had to say we are taking the bus as the incline is very steep. It turned out to be a good thing since we walked all the way around the castle walls, up stairs and down stairs. You can see in the picture above this one how the stairs are all the way around, I think it took us a couple of hours to get through this castle.

Another picture of the Castle of Moors.

This street is in a small town North of Porto, I know I've skipped ahead. I can't seem to get Picasa to load more than 4 pictures at a time and I've got some pictures a funny order....sorry I'm getting off topic. This small town is called Guimaraes, we took a 3 hour train from Porto to get here. This is one of the medieval streets we walked around.
I thought this sign was pretty funny, good illustration of what is expected when you have a dog. I wish some of my neighbours would do this.
Another castle, this one is a 10th century medieval castle with 8 towers 92 ft high. Again there was more up hill walking and we also walked around the castle walls. Every day we did about 10 to 12 km of walking. The food was awesome in Portugal and we sure ate well after all the walking we did. Sometimes ordering food was a challenge because most menu's were not in English and most people didn't speak English either. I was able to pick out the word salmon and ordered this I think at least 5 times.

I don't know anything about this church, I took the picture because of the blue tiles. The tiles were used extensively through out Portugal both inside and outside of buildings.

I think this is enough for one day....I hope I didn't bore you too much.....time for bed, I'm still trying to adjust to the 9 hour time difference.

My next post will have more Portugal pictures and I also have some stitching to show as well. Train rides are a good time for stitching.

Thanks for visiting.
Wendy

31 comments:

Susan said...

Beautiful pictures of Portugal. They make me feel like I'm there!
Thanks for sharing...

Stina said...

Lovely lovely pictures.. my DH have been in Portugal..and he says ..it is the most fantastic place he have been too.. and after yur pictures... I believe him!! :o) That tree!!!!! :o)

karenfae said...

it is all so pretty, I have never been to Europe. I love the castles! the pretty tree in blossom is so colorful. You are lucky to have went. It looks like a wonderful experience! We are all traveling it seems. I love looking at everyone's vacation pictures of where they have been.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Carol said...

OMG Wendy what incredible pictures...thank you for sharing them with us...I feel like I am right there.

Quilt Hollow said...

Wonderful pictures of your trip and glad to have you back! Seeing the photos reminded me of our years spent living in Europe. I'm ready to go back. :-)

Kaaren said...

Your photos bring back fond memories of the time I spent in Portugal many, many moons ago.

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing more.

Jackie said...

Portugal is beautiful! I never really thought of it as a vacation destination, but I guess I will think twice now. Thank you for sharing!

Darlene said...

Welcome back!!! What a delightful vacation! I've visited many countries in Europe but sadly we never go to Portugal - thank you for sharing. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Yvonne said...

Welcome Home Wendy.....your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing....sounds like an awesome vacation. :)

Carrie ~ said...

I am so enjoying your pictures of Portugal, looks like you had a wonderful trip. Look forward to more.

Gayle said...

I was so excited to read your post this morning because my husband and I will be spending a week in Portugal in July (only six weeks away!). We'll be on the Azores Islands instead of the mainland, but it think it should be very similar. What was the reason for your trip? We were invited to visit and stay with friends who live there, and couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Pam said...

Welcome home Wendy!! I looks like it was an amazing holiday. And you have come home to some hot sunny weather so you will feel like you are still on holiday!!

Judy said...

Oh so fantastic! What a trip Wendy! I love seeing those streets and all the tiny shops and houses. This must have just been a super trip!

yellowfarmhouse said...

Hi Wendy - what a wonderful trip you had. Never been in that neck of the woods, but thanks to your beautiful pictures I feel like I had a visit. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for taking us with ya.

Hugs - karen

Libby said...

Fabulous!

Gwendie said...

What a wonderful trip! I love seeing your pictures. It looks like you had so much fun. I really hope that I can go someday.

W. Latane Barton said...

Wow, what an exciting journey. Beautiful pictures, lots of fun, I bet.

Carrie P. said...

What great photos of your trip. Thanks for sharing.

KSedlak said...

WELCOME HOME, Wendy

I have been keeping an eye out for your next post, knowing it would be about your trip. My goodness, I didn't realize how beautiful Portugal was. I just don't keep track of that part of the world.
It sounds like you had a wonderful and ROMANTIC trip.
Rest up and I look forward to your next set of pictures.
Hugs,
Karen

dotti white said...

What a wonderful trip and terrific pictures! Glad it was fun and that you are back safe!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Wendy -- how cool that you got to go to Portugal. I've heard that it's one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Your pictures are beautiful!

Penélope said...

I'm glad you loved my country as much as I love your work...

Judy S. said...

Welcome home, Wendy! I'll bet you had a bit of stitching time on the plane also? Love your redwork BH baskets....I may do them that way too. One thing for sure is that I've yet to start!

Carole said...

What a lovely trip! Thank you for taking the time to show us your pictures! So much history! BTW, Lisbon is just like Quebec when it comes to pedestrians! lol I guess I'd feel right at home! lol Cheers!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I love your photos Wendy. They are wonderful. That blooming tree is beautiful. I'd love to have one of those in my front yard.
Welcome home.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh what a dream trip! I can't get over those roads! And you are a lot braver than me ordering from a menu not in english and not having someone tell me what it is!

Floss said...

Great pictures. I love castles. Thanks for sharing some of your trip.

Teresa said...

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures. That is probably as close as I will ever get to Portugal and enjoy seeing it through your eyes.

bluebird-lyn said...

Hello Wendy, sounds like you a beautiful time away....thank you for sharing your pics.....look forward to seeing your stitching....warm regards lyn

Khris said...

One day I would love to travel to Portugal and other countries. The States has been the only overseas country I have been to....thanks for sharing the pics...it really looks like a gorgeous place to visit..hugs Khris
p.s. love the bag you made for your friend

Donna said...

Thanks for sharing your pics. Another place I would love to visit!