2012 Portugal

November 3rd – 17th 2012: We left Toronto November 3rd and returned on the 17th. Our original plan had us leaving on the 2nd but damaged passports prevented us from boarding. In a mad dash we were able to get new passports and leave the following day.  On this trip our first week was doing volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.  

Blog Entries:

  • The Flight #1

    The Flight #1

    Our recent trip to Portugal was almost preempted by passport issues.  While I had successfully scanned the passport twice before reaching the gate, at that last point it would not scan.  This apparently was a problem and as a result we were not able to board.  The issue, we were told, was that we were…

  • The Flight #2

    The Flight #2

    Our second attempt at Portugal was more successful.  We got past the gate and boarded. The flight departed Toronto at 9:45 PM and arrived in Lisbon at 8:45 the next morning.  We picked up our car and began the drive to Braga.  The drive was guided by GPS, an essential tool for travelling in Europe.…

  • Braga First Day

    Braga First Day

    After we arrived, we dropped our luggage in our room and walked around the city.  The hotel was located in the old town, within the city walls.  This area is largely a walking zone of cobblestone streets and passageways.  The hotel desk had given us a city map so we proceeded to the city centre.…

  • Chestnuts


    It is the time of year when the chestnuts are in season.  Walking by any one of these trees one will see the husks of fallen nuts covering the ground beneath.  On many streets and in the markets one see vendors selling barbecued nuts.  

  • Central Square

    Central Square

    It was a quiet, sunny Sunday afternoon in our first day in Braga. 

  • Sunday Cafe

    Sunday Cafe

    We walked by a little cafe with patrons chatting or reading.  

  • Market of Barcelos

    Market of Barcelos

    Near Braga is the town of Barcelos, well-known for its market.  Our guide said this was one of the older markets in the area.  He noted that malls were coming into play and were attracting many of the young people; older people tended to remain committed to markets, if only as a matter of routine.…

  • Bom Jesus do Monte

    Bom Jesus do Monte

    To reach the sanctuary at the top of the hill one must climb some 800 steps. The first series of steps traverses several landings where each one hosts a circular chapel. The second series of steps zigzag their way to the sanctuary. At each landing is a sculpture dedicated to one of the five senses.

  • The Sanctuary

    The Sanctuary

    Two colleagues stand at the exit of the Sanctuary.

  • Wheelbarrows


    Four wheelbarrows stand waiting for their next mission.

  • Possibilities


    A house of possibilities.

  • Porto


    While visiting Porto we took a river cruise along the Douro.

  • Port Barges

    Port Barges

    Porto is famous as the origination of Port, a fortified wine.

  • Óbidos


    The village is built up against the citadel is made up of many winding cobblestone streets and passageways.

  • The Batalha Monastery

    The Batalha Monastery

    Sunlight through the stained glass leaves a colourful fingerprint.

  • The Batalha Monastery

    The Batalha Monastery

    Pondering the inner court yard containing a maze of sculptured bushes. Of the several monasteries we saw, this was the most impressive.  

  • The Batalha Monastery

    The Batalha Monastery

    Puts our house work into perspective.  

  • Sunset on the Village of Budens

    Sunset on the Village of Budens

    Located on the south coast of Portugal near Lagos. The footsteps are mine. 

  • Sunrise on the beach at Lagos

    Sunrise on the beach at Lagos

  • Cork Trees

    Cork Trees

  • Lisbon


    From our Hotel balcony.

  • Castle of São Jorge

    Castle of São Jorge

    It was raining when we toured this Lisbon castle, but the sun peeked out and lit the tower and conjured up a rainbow.

  • Lisbon


  • Lisbon Street Car

    Lisbon Street Car

    We left the hotel early to drive to the airport. It was Saturday morning and there was very little traffic in the city.  I stopped on the side of the street and waited while Linda visited a bank machine.  As I waited and watched I witnessed a random act of chivalry.