Afurada de Baixo

Here you’ll find travel reports about Afurada de Baixo. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day42

    The Pleasures of Porto Continue ...

    September 30, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    FUN FACTS: We were told that Potugal has been named one of the three safest countries in the world! It is nice not to feel a sense of wariness all the time when out and about! And ... it has also been declared as of the most popular tourist destinations! We can see why! 

    GORGEOUS: With all its little lanes lined with shopping and cafes and patisseries ... it is so charming and magnetic! You are drawn in by the sights and smells and sounds that envelope you as you stroll through the narrow little streets steeped in history ... or wander down the river walks ... or stare out into the ocean!

    GASPS OF AWE: We were ambling along the very popular pedestrian mall here ... in search of a Christmas ornament from Portugal when we decided to find a little place for lunch. We stumbled upon "Delta Q" which had their bakery along the windows so you could watch them making croissants and custard tarts etc! We watched with rapt fascination as the complex croissant process unfolded before us! It was so intriguing we got a hankering to have one ... but guess what ... they RAN out of croissants!! 😔

    GOOD GOLLY: And so we took that as a sign that the Universe had a different plan for our lunch. So ... we carried on. We ended up at a very famous high end restaurant called Cafe Guarany. They had fancy linens and fancy waiters and fancy olives and tuna paté and all kinds of fried toasts and soft buns that they brought you ... just for starters!! John ordered the daily special ... Cod Loin ... and I had the Prawn Linguine. It was good ... but none of that was particularly remarkable ....

    GASPS OF SHEER DELIGHT: But THEN ... we ordered the almond pie with pistachio ice cream ... which was served with a Port that was older than our server (by his own admission!). 😁

    GIFTS: And ... hands down ... it was the VERY BEST dessert either one of us has EVER had! Yes. The best. Not at all sweet ... and ... the pistachio ice cream was such a great compliment (even for me!) And ... John so enjoyed the 30 year old Port alongside. He absolutely loved it.

    And then he and our server discussed the pros and cons of age of Port. So ... John had to try the 20year old too! Just to compare ......! He preferred the younger one. Let's hope he doesn't think he should do that with wives!

    GOODNESS: And Porto continues to impress us! It is just so enchanting. So many of the store fronts display such intricate tile work on the age old buildings. And the way the buildings line the slopes of the Douro River is truly a masterpiece of architecture. 

    GASPS OF AWE: And after our lunch we took a tour of the "Livaria Lello". This was the library where J.K. Rowling spent time writing her infamous "Harry Potter" series of books!! It was simply indescribable!! The wood ... the stairs ... the stained glass!!! Spectacular! I'm hoping the pictures do it justice. 

    GRATITUDES: And then we finished up our day by going for a cruise on the Douro River. And then hiked home ... took us an hour on foot to get back but we're happy to have our own little happy hour and tuck into bed early.

    GROANS: We have not slept well here in Porto. Our room has been so darn hot (forgot to make sure our booking had a/c). We can open the patio doors but then we get all the traffic noise, the light ... and ... just enough mosquitoes to make it miserable. 

    GRIMACES: So, I'm going to have to slather up with bug spray before bed tonight so we can keep the windows open. We are here for two more sleeps ... and ... we need some good sleep!! 😬

    Keep your fingers crossed for us okay ... k&j
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  • Day44

    The Douro Valley ...

    October 2, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    GRATITUDES: For our last day in Portugal we had booked an all day river cruise up the Douro Valley. The excursion included breakfast and lunch on the boat and then Port Wine Tasting at one of the many vineyards lining the Douro Valley. It was a long day though ... we had to be at the boat by 8:30am and didn't return until 9:15pm! 😴

    GAFFAHS: Due to traffic, we were running behind ... and then ... as I was hurrying to get out of the taxi ... one of the metal rings on my theft-proof purse got attached to my seat belt somehow!! Seriously!! I am not making this up! And so... I couldn't get out of the cab until I freed my purse because my purse was slung over my body ... so there I was ... late for the boat and stuck in the cab!! 😟

    GAH!! How do oddball things like this happen?? After wrestling with it ... I finally freed myself ... but ... I really didn't need the extra panic!!! 🤯

    GRATEFULS AND GROANS: We got to the boat and got on in time ... but ...my fear about breakfast was realized. A real European breakfast. Buns and jam. No protein. 😥

    GRATEFULS: Fortunately I had some protein bars in our bag ... thanks to my daughter! And we ended up with some lovely table mates who were also Canadian and had done part of the Camino trail last week! We enjoyed our conversation with them very much!

    GROANS: It was darn cold on that boat. We had certainly expected it to be a bit chilly in the morning .... but the howling wind was adding a very unfavorable element to the cruising. 🌬🌬🌬

    GRATITUDES: One of our new table mate friends offered me an extra jacket to cover my bare legs ... which was deeply appreciated!

    GRINS: The sights were stunning along the river ... with the endless vineyards lining both sides of the valley with layered terraces of grape vines and oodles of olive trees! And the lunch made up for the breakfast ... it was excellent! And it warmed up eventually too!! ☀️

    We also went through three locks which the old boy found very interesting. One of them took us up 85 feet!! Amazing if you think about how mankind has found ingenious ways to manipulate mother nature!

    And then on our way home ... we stopped at one of the vineyards for some Port tasting! I declined but John tried the Rosé Port. He thought it was good ... not as strong as the tawny.

    FUN FACTS: We learned that they are not permitted to irrigate by their governance board. They believe if they do, then the plants get lazy ... they want the roots to search deeply for the moisture. They will go down 20 feet to find a drink! They often plant sage between the vines as a way of determining whether they need to spray for bugs. If they can see them on the sage ... they spray the vines. 

    Oh ... they plant the vines vertically as long as the slope is not more than 45°. If it is steeper than that ... they build terraces ... which are all picked by hand ... AND ... the grapes are still stomped by feet. They still stomp with feet because feet won't break the seeds in the grapes. Oh ... and the terraces are made of shale to keep the moisture in and the heat more constant. It was so fascinating!

    The grapes are teeny tiny ... like pearls! About the size of blueberries. And the grape vines that produce the Vintage Port are 100 years old. Vintage Port will keep for eternity ... it just keeps getting better with age. Other varieties need to be consumed within 10 years for optimal taste and color.🍇🍇🍇

    It was a long day ... but a good day. And now ... we are hoping for a good sleep. We are travelling for the next three days. Porto to Paris tomorrow. Paris to Calgary the next day. And taking the Red Arrow home the day after that!

    Looking forward to seeing you soon ... k&j

    P.S. I keep forgetting to share some pics with you of the authentic lifestyle of the locals in this neighborhood. They do their laundry in a large open pit ... and ... cook on the wood coals on the streetside!
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  • Day43

    A Glitch of a Day in Porto!

    October 1, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    GRATITUDES: And so ... the fog rolled in early last night and cooled things down considerably!! We washed underwear by hand and draped them all over our balcony to dry ... opened the patio doors ... and, very thankfully, had a fabulous sleep!!

    We awoke nicely rested with renewed energy and were ready to hit the marble and stone roads! Have I mentioned how hard they are to walk on?? Thank goodness I got those new walking sandals in Roses! My expensive but cheap Barcelona flip flops would not have cut the mustard on these historic roads and little lanes! 

    GLITCH #1: Foggy undies. Our freshly washed underwear was not even a wee bit dry. 😯 First lesson learned for this prairie girl. Things don't dry in the fog.

    GOODNESS: We wandered down one of the narrow stone paths to our favorite little breakfast place ... Café Christina. It was opened 214 years ago ... in 1804!! Its such a busy little place. John captured some video to give you a felt sense of why we enjoy it so much!

    GIFTS: We took the river taxi to where we could hop back on the bus and then hopped off so we could walk over one of the six bridges here in Porto. And then ... we took the Funicular up the riverbank hillside so we could, once again, wander through the old historic parts of the city.

    GASPS OF GREATNESS: We scaled the tower of the Church of the Clerics (aka:Torres does Clérigos) which was designed by Nicolau Nasoni (1691 - 1773). If I understand correctly, the Church and it's Tower were started in 1725 ... and not completed until 1795.

    GRANDEUR: It was 111 steps up from the 4th floor and then another 33 up to the very top. John even scraped up his elbows because it got so dang narrow the higher we went!  But ... it was worth t! The views were absolutely stunning. And ... they also had brass plaques all around the turret with interesting information. For example, comparisons of heights of tall structures around the world. It was a fascinating experience!!

    GLITCH#2: Afterwards, we stopped for lunch in the touristy area ... where the placemat had a sudoku puzzle on it. This got me wondering if we were in for a long wait?? But no. The food arrived quickly ... but ... it was the most disappointing cuisine we have had in Porto!! I couldn't drink my red wine and my lasagna was soggy. 😥 And so, I tried some of John's fries ... but they tasted fishy (must have been fried in old oil) and his appy tasted off to me. So ... I left ... still hungry ... in search of a second shot at lunch!

    GLITCH #3: And then ... we arrived at Pimms (I had seen it from the bus!). And ... I was tickled to see I could get a 
    "francesinha" ... which I had heard was a MUST HAVE in Porto. 

    And before I knew it ... I was being ushered to a table ... in the back ... by the most authentic and quite aged but very determined little Portuguese lady. She seated us and then we watched as she bustled and snagged customers who were looking at the menu on the side of the building ... just as we had. It wasn't until I went to the menu board to get the correct spelling for my sandwich that I realized things were not as they seemed!!

    The proprietor of the restaurant approached me and wanted to know my purpose ... and ... what I was writing in my phone. I told him I was checking the spelling on the sandwich we were having in his restaurant. He grabbed my phone suspiciously and typed it in ... reading what I had written ... and informing me that I was not seated in his restaurant. 

    Yep. The ambitious little lady had stolen his patron and ushered us to her restaurant... right behind his. And, even funnier than that ... she was making me a francesinha... even though that item was on HIS menu but NOT on hers!! 😏

    GLITCH #4: It might have been hilarious at the time, but they were doing renovations or restorations or demolitions on the adjacent building. So ... they were jack-hammering tile and tossing it down towards us. My amygdala was on fire with the crashing down of things beside us! 

    GLITCH #5: My francesinha was way too salty to eat. So much for lunch attempt number two. Argh! The wine, however, was lovely. And I was enjoying it until this fiesty little lady actually pulled the table away from me ... so she could seat two other prospective patrons that she had snagged at the streetside. 

    GAFFAHS: No. I'm not kidding. The two potential patrons looked at me ... looked again at her ... and backed away ... suggesting I should just enjoy my wine. 😉

    GAHS: The little lady would have none of that ... no need to lose a new customer the one who should drink up and leave!. She plopped the hand written bill on the table and nicely shooed me away! It was actually so bizarre it was funny ... and ... the patrons at the other tables were chuckling along with me at the hilarity of it all. John was in the bathroom... so he missed most of these shenanigans! And ... so ... I drank up and we left ... with another unforgetttable experience of this fabulous city!

    GIFTS: We ambled up and down a few more lanes (it's very hilly on the banks of the Douro) ... not knowing where we would end up. Fortunately, we found some comfy chairs at a bar right along the riverside ... in the SHADE ... and had another exceptional experience! Green wine!! We had never heard of it ... but ... the server said it was made rom grapes that were not yet ripe ... so it was quite dry and fresh and grassy! Perfect for a hot, hot, hot day on Porto. So ... we ordered one glass ... and then another ... and ... I think we even had a third! If/when you come to Porto, be sure to please your palate with the green wine!!  And ... we languished and lounged on the shores for a good while. It was sublime.

    GRATITUDES: We capped off the evening with a dinner at a local restaurant that grills the fresh catches of the day ... outside ... over white hot wood coals. The old boy was ecstatic! He had grilled sardines and dorado ... and ... I enjoyed the sole. The oohing and awing from my hubby went on and on and on and on! It was fun to see him enjoying the experience so fully!

    GOODNESS: We understand that Lisbon is also an exceptional choice, but we are just loving the pace of Porto! It has been such a gift to enjoy all the moments thatis special space has to offer without the congestion of a bigger city. For example ... the sunset on the walk back to our AirBnB was exceptional tonight!!! I couldn't get enough pictures of it!

    And so ... despite the glitches ... we say "obrigado" Porto. It's been another wonder day annd we end it with grateful hearts!
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  • Day41

    Well "Hi There" Portugal!

    September 29, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    GOSH: As we head into our last few days abroad, we're keenly aware that this opportunity to travel for 45 days has been such an extrardinary adventure for sure. But as I commented to a friend recently ... I'm looking forward to revisiting our trip through our blog when I will have more time to reflect on it! Right now we are just so busy living it! 😊

    GAHS: And so ... to start off our first day in Portugal, we headed out in search of breakfast this morning.  We were trying to get our bearings because by the time we arrived last night it was dark ... which made it more challenging.  And so, we got lost. 😟

    GROANS, GRIPES AND GRIMACES: We asked a little old lady for direction but ... unlike most Portuguese  ... her English was not great.  Along came a young boy ... who spoke great English ... but she commanded the space telling him where she thought we needed to go. We were honestly not even sure if she really understood where we were headed ... or ... why she didn't just allow us to talk to him in English, but the young fellow was so respectful with her. I, however, was not as inclined to be patient. The whole encounter would have been hilarious if I wasn't both starving AND lost.  And so ... we were off to a rough start! GRRRR. 🤨

    GRATITUDES: The lovely lady ... who was so intent on helping us... was convinced we had to take a bus.  Fortunately another older gentleman came along who directed us to a lovely narrow foot path down to the water! Yahooo!!

    GAHS: And ... as we arrived by the river ... I was really looking forward to breakfast, but we could only find bakeries.  And I needed more protein than sweets for breakfast! 

    GRATITUDES: And, another patron ... who worked for ReMax started to give us directions to a better option, but instead took us personally to a very busy little place where were had the most fabulous croissants. And they even heated them up!!   One with crispy chicken and one with ham and cheese ... and ...we followed it up with some very light and fluffy dark yellow cake!! Also ... delicious! 😍

    GRACE: We sat outside in the warm sun and embraced this entirely authentic cultural moment. Just us ..  and all these kind wonderful Portuguese people. And ... we opted to re-start our day with each other on a more positive note!

    GOODNESS GRACIOUS: And right across the street at the tavern ... the coals were hot on the outdoor homemade grill ... and a fellow was charring green peppers!  So fascinating to see this custom of outdoor grilling on the street. The open barbeques have wood briquettes in them rather than charcoal briquettes ... and ... the aroma around the town is lovely as a result!

    GRATITUDES: And with our bellies full and our tempers cooled, we headed off along the rivers edge ... in search of the Hop On Hop Off bus.
    We enjoyed the tour ... and became more infatuated with Porto with every turn. 

    We decided to get off at the beach ... and ... it's a gigantic beach! There were lots of people surfing! Then we got back on the bus  ... took it a couple more stops  and caught the river taxi to cross over to our side of the river.

    We wandered the neighborhood for a bit and then took supper at one of the restaurants our Airbnb host recommended. John enjoyed the best turbot he had ever had ... and I had a remarkable salmon ( for just $10€ each!).  They also served octopus ... as an appy ... with olives and cheese.  And ... it was so scrumptious that even I enjoyed it!!! 🦑

    GRINS: We sat by the window and watched the sunset ... and then ... took an Uber back to our room.  We had been told not to taxi because they might 'take us for a ride' ... both literally and financially! John had never Ubered before and was very impressed. It only cost us $3.75€ plus a well deserved tip.  😊

    And so ... all in all  ... it was a great day!! Move over Ireland ... look out Spain ... we are falling in love with Portugal!! ❤❤❤
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  • Day40

    On the Move Again ...

    September 28, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    GRATITUDES: And so we couldn't believe our good fortune to get such a good deal on a room in a fabulous hotel for our stop over in Barcelona last night ... we paid just $98€.  We had paid over twice that for our wee little place in Amsterdam! Remember ... the 52 skinny steps up ... so tiny ... not even a chair. This one was described as "Plush, stylish rooms in a modernist high-rise hotel with dining, a health club & an upscale spa." Yep. That it was.

    GROANS:  And not unlike the elevators which you pre-program at the alter before you even get in ... the drapes in our room were controlled electrically by one of the buttons in the panel of switchs beside the bed.   Which we did not discover until this morning! Argh. So we slept with the bright lights of Barcelona casting enough glow into our room that it never did get very dark! 😏

    GAHS: For people who have been travelling for almost 6 weeks ... you'd think we'd be a bit more savvy.  Which brings me back to this hotel choice.  It truly is very luxurious.  But when we booked the room we opted NOT to have our breakfast included because it was another $24.90€ PER person.  With the exchange ... it's about $38 CAD. This seemed a bit steep ...

    GRIMACES: We thought for sure we could eat cheaper than that ... somewhere.  And we were correct!  We could have one coffee, one orange juice and one croissant for $9.90€ in our hotel. Well ... THAT seemed even less desirable ... so ... we blew the wad and had the whole buffet!!!  And it was delicious.  We helped justify the expense by reminding ourselves that the hotel provided a complimentary shuttle to the airport. 

    GRIMACES: Airports. Period. They  can be such interesting places but ... the flurry, the hurry, the scurry and then the wait ... it just feels so stressful compared to train travel.  We have really loved the trains ... seems so effortless and easy. 🚄🚉🚅

    In the UK and Europe it seems they won't announce the gate until 20 minutes before you fly.  So you must watch the board... and watch the board ... and then as soon as they post the number they instruct "go to your gate".  And sometimes the gate is a long ways away!! 

    And then they check your ticket and determine which line is right for you to queue.   Today ... one line for me and a different for my husband(?) Even though we are seated beside each other. 🤔

    GAHS: And then we stand in the line up.  Only to have Google alert me that the plane is delayed by 15 minutes ... which ends up being 30 minutes.  But we are still standing. No announcement at the gate that we are departing late.  🙄

    GIFTS: But ... it's a nice bright airport! And we have a very lovely flight with TAP Air Portugal from Barcelona to Lisbon. The announcements are only in Portguese and English.  No Spanish nor Catalan nor French. And I am reminded of how much less stress I experience when I can easily understand the announcement system.

    GRATITUDES: And they served complimentary sandwiches and drinks (including wine!) ... which was absolutely appreciated.  And we made up most of the delay in the air... so ... no worries about our connection to Porto! ✈

    And then ... on our short flight from Lisbon to Porto ... they served us chocolate caramel nut frozen ice cream bars!! I don't even much enjoy ice cream ... but ... that snack sure beats the pretzels we usually get on a short flight! 🍦

    And ... our Airbnb host picked us up at the airport so no issues with finding transport or location!  BUT we had another WILD ride ... including going the wrong way up a one way single lane path!! 😱

    On the plus side ... our host had a wealth of suggestions and recommendations for us. He really went out of his way to ensure we got a good sense of the possibilities for us to enjoy here! We are very grateful.

    And now ... we are settled into our 8th floor room. The view from our balcony is beautiful and we are looking forward to getting more acquainted with this lovely little city in the morning!  😊

    Sending warm hugs .... k&j
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  • Day1

    Camino start

    September 10, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    River Douro, Porto, train station Porto with tiles on walls, Teresa and Clara purchasing port wine

You might also know this place by the following names:

Afurada de Baixo, São Pedro da Afurada

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