Here you’ll find travel reports about Santos-o-Velho. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

21 travelers at this place:

  • Day15

    On Thursday we completed our cycling trip across the Algarve with a triumphant arrival at the very windy Capo St. Vincent, the most western point of Portugal and mainland Europe. After a look at the beautiful vistas and a celebratory beer, we were transported by van to the lovely hillside town of Loule. We enjoyed another excellent Portuguese meal where Helen and I had cuttlefish done in lots of olive oil and garlic. Can’t go wrong with that. We all really enjoyed Loule the next morning. It felt much more like a real working town and not simply one that was overrun with visitors. It seems that the secret is to get away from the coast a bit.

    Friday afternoon we arrived at one of Lisbon’s many rail stations. The entrance to the city was quite impressive over a bridge like San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge . Lisbon sits by a large, natural harbour that is at the mouth of the Tagus River. Much of what happens in the city is centred around the waterfront.

    Helen has been in charge of our Lisbon visit and she has kept us going at a very fast clip. She even wrote notes for the blogs- she took her job of Lisbon convener very seriously indeed. She rented us a large and well appointed 2 br apartment in the Estrela area which sits on one of Lisbon’s 7hills. Wéve been walking up and down cobbled roads for the past 2 days. Thank goodness we decided not to bike this. Would have been impossible!

    Helen writes: We arrived Friday a bit north of our rental flat and, after a bit of argy bargy, found the cab stand. More argy bargy while the cabbie discussed our address with his fellow cabbies - pointedly avoiding us or our gps - and we set off and shortly were settled in a very stylish flat overlooking the old town.

    By the time we headed out for dinner it was late so we were modest in our ambitions. But we had found a promisingly well reviewed restaurant in the neighbourhood so set off down the hill to explore. we found the restaurant but it was fully booked, sigh, so we repaired to a wine bar next door. Only to discover that at the wine bar we could not only sample the best regional wine but order anything we wanted from the restaurant (too full to accomodate us) next door. Private party! Great food and an absolutely brilliant bottle of Douro red.
    The young server also gave us some interesting incites into lofe in Portugal these days.

    Saturday we had a leisurely start at the well appointed flat and then set out to explore old Lisbon. We started at the Basilica nearby - v grand- then caught one of the old trams towards the old fort. The little wooden tram was a great way to chug through the twisting and narrow old streets. We then worked our way on foot through several alleys and, pausing for coffee and portugese pastries, to emerge at the gate of the fort...rebuilt on similar lines by all the armies that occupied lisbon over centuries.

    Despite the historic importance of the site, we were put off by the VERY long ticket line, and decided to just walk through the district up to one of the viewing points on one of the seven hills of Lisbon. We ambled through the flea market, took in the Pantheon, and enjoyed the view. We also entertained ourselves watching a freshman pickpocket trying to work the crowd without skill or success. Poor chap - we nearly asked him to pose for a photo under a sign that warned tourists about pickpockets.

    Time to tackle more transit....quite a bit of head scratching and we finally cracked the metro tickets and headed north to the site of the 1998 Exposition to indulge in a little modern architecture. ( ps Heather immediately recognized the architect as Santiago Caletrava). We managed to dash into a restaurant for lunch as the heavens opened. But rain was to be our fate for a bit. We hopped into a cable car to get an impressive if watery view of the longest bridge in europe - the Vasco da Gama bridge. There are a lot of significant things named after Vasco Da Gama.

    A bus ride back towards town and we ended the cultural part of the day with the National Tile Museum. This may sound dry but was absolutely stunning - a beautiful old monastery adorned with Portugese tiles in the most imaginative of expressions.

    Our feet were cold and sore by this point so we headed home to dry out/warm up. A bit later we headed out to eat simply in a nearby place. Our first choice - a convivial Italian - was full. Or so we thought. Turns out they were happy to accommodate us in another room across the street! We finished off with a limoncello and headed ´homé. Belem and Baixa await tomorrow

    Update from Sunday. Helen had another full day (23000 steps worth) for us today and we walked around a couple more of the interesting barrios in the city and made a quick stop to sample the Regional cherry liqueur known as Ginjinha. 10 am was A bit early to be sampling liqueurs but we were too pooped to go out last night and Helen and Laura are purists and insisted that we go to THE little shop for a tasting. It was actually not unpleasant. Next we were off for more squares, statues and then made a stop at Time Out Market which is a food market set up in an old market building. There are a number throughout world and the idea is for people to sample excellent regional food and drink. We tasted some delicious fish cakes made with salt cod and potatoes. Kind of like a croquette. After that, we were off to the Belem area which had been the Centre of Portugal’s former maritime glory. It is now a residential district but has a few good things to visit including an ancient tower guarding the harbour and the beautiful monastery built to celebrate - yup you guessed it - Vasco da Gama’s successful journeys to other parts of the world, including India, He is buried in the church there.
    We have only touched on the many things to see (and eat) in Lisbon. It is an interesting city with nooks and back alleys to explore as well as some significant museums and sites. The food is wonderful, the weather is normally better than the rain we’ve had and we’ve had no problems getting around. It feels like a safe city with the obvious cautions. They could do a better job on the dog dirt front and also get the graffiti under control. Certainly worth another visit.
    Tomorrow we set sail north. We pick up a rental car at the airport and will overnight at a Pousada in Obidos. We are expecting luxury for one night in the castle. ( Mike thinks for what we paid that he’s actually bought the place)

    That’s all for now. Boa-noite for now,
    Love Mom/Heather
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  • Day1

    Lisbon Layover

    March 6, 2017 in Portugal

    Day 1... From London to Lisbon, my journey started in the Portugese capital. Nice city that doesn't feel like one. Old colourful buildings and charming cobbled streets. Also my second 'Couchsurfing' experience with a cool American - Vincent. Had a great evening and great hospitality. Off to the airport in the morning for a 10hr flight to Venezuela!

  • Day2


    Yesterday in Portugal

    Nach knapp 20 Kilometern in den Beinen gibt es doch nichts Besseres als die Beine hochlegen und ein Bier 🍺 zu trinken, va wenn es einen auch so nett anlächelt...
    Nebenan wird schon geschlafen 🛏 versteht sich auch

  • Day6

    also called the Palacio de Sao Bento. Massive neoclassical building is the seat of Portuguese parliament.

    Started in the 1500's as a Benedictine Monastery of Sao Bento. after the dissolution of the religious orders in 1834 the building became the seat of Parliament known as the Palacio das Cortes.

    The guards outside actually changed position while we were there.

    Great view from the top, and barricades set up at the foot of the stairs, probably to prevent anyone trying to rush the doors.

    I like the huge light in the doorway.
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  • Day6

    calcada da estrela - lisbon

    June 11 in Portugal

    Wandering up from the government building up to this Basilica Da Estrela.

    Beautiful Jacarda trees contrast with the blue building.

    I like there drainage ditches, nicely tiled.

    a hard ware store......nothing like our local canadian tires, just a small petite store.

    the basilica was next to a turnaround for the trams.

    Basil plants: this from a website. they are part of the festival as St Anthony is the matchmaker saint. and males are suppose to give these to their female partners.....

    "Starting June 12, Lisbon honors the city’s patron saint with a 3-day festival. The 12th is the feast day of St. Anthony, who is also known as the matchmaker saint.

    Lisbon’s festival begins with a feast of sardines, a tradition that dates back to 13th century Italy. When locals didn’t care to listen to St. Anthony’s sermons, he took to the sea and delivered them to the fish.

    The festival is also a time to celebrate love and marriage prospects. Single women stand small statues of St. Anthony upside down, awaiting the day that he delivers a viable husband (which is when the statue will be placed upright). Men partake by delivering basil plants to loved ones with poems attached. Throughout the city, balconies can be seen with basil–and pot plants, with affectionate messages to St. Anthony or the recipient."
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  • Day6

    Basilica de Estrela lisbon

    June 11 in Portugal

    Basilica De Estrela - Maria I daughter of Jose I vowed she would build a church if she bore a male son. She did so she built this church in 1779, unfortunately her son died of small pox just before it was completed. 1790.

    The huge domed basilica set on a hill in the west of the city is a landmark in Lisbon. The church was built by architects from the Mafra schooling Late Baroque and Neoclassical style.

    the facade is flanked by twin bell towers and decorated with an array of statues of saints and allegorical figures.

    the spacious interior (no photos inside) where light streams down from the pierced dome is clad in grey, pink and yellow marble.

    The elaborate empire style tomb of Queen Maria 1 lies in the right transept. Locked in a room nearby is Machado de Castros extraordinary Nativity scene, composed of over 500 cork and terracotta figures (we skipped this it was 2 euoros)

    There is a tomb of Maria inside the Basilica. She died at age 81 in Brazil, during the napoleanic wars when the royal family had fled to Brazil. They brought her body back to bury her in her basilica.

    -the piedmont has one of those symbols that appears on the american money.
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  • Day6

    Basilica da Estrela -lisbon

    June 11 in Portugal

    we climbed up to the top of the basilica 2 euros each.

    232 stairs up, circular staircase like those in scotland's castles.

    there was a nice little courtyard garden at the bottom of the stair case.

    the cross on top of the piedmont is Iron as are the weather vanes.

  • Day6

    Basilica da Estrela -lisbon

    June 11 in Portugal

    Great view from the terrace. You can see the Castle de Jorge that we had walked up to on Sunday, and the Church Graca with the single rounded dome, and the green lookout at Monte.

    Next to the basilica was a convent for the Carmelite nuns

  • Day6

    Basilica da Estrela -lisbon

    June 11 in Portugal

    Inside the cupola. No signs that hyou can't take pictures here. Very high up, You can see the 3 different colours of marble. The church itself was closed at this point and would reopen at 3.

    we went across the street to the Jardin da estrela for lunch and a wander through the park, then we went back into the church.

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