Portugal
Vera Cruz

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

25 travelers at this place:

  • Feb19

    Moliceiro Ride on Aveiro's Canals

    Yesterday in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    “When in Aveiro, one must take the lovely Moliceiro Boat ride along the Ria!” Would you turn that ad down if you saw it? Especially if the skies were blue and it was 20C and we were in the So-called “Venice of Portugal”?

    All the roads that we walked on, followed the canals that went through Aveiro. The boats, moliceiros, that we saw on the canals were not always tourist boats. During the 19th century, they were used in seaweed harvesting. This ‘seaweed’ was also mixed with the sludge that accumulated in the bottom of the river. After being collected, it was laid down on threshing floors to dry and once dry was used as a fertilizer in the sandy soils which belonged to farmers in the area. But as seaweed was progressively replaced by chemical fertilizers, this activity declined throughout the 20th century.

    A few decades ago, the old Aveiro “Ria” shipyards were reactivated in order to bring the moliceiros back to life and to teach willing learners the old manual manufacturing techniques used to build these boats. These new boats began to be used as tourist boats. Small and colourful, painted in the bow and the stern with traditional bright coloured drawings which represent historical facts or show religious scenes, moliceiros cruise through the “Ria”, giving tourists a good overview of the city of Aveiro, old and new.

    We decided on a 45 minute tour of the four canals of the city - the Central Canal, the Pyramid Canal, the São Roque Canal and the Cojo Canal. The captain started his engine and we were off.

    The Central Canal runs through the historic centre of the city and all of the beautiful Art Nouveau houses.

    Continuing on, we arrived at the Pyramids Canal, which provides access to salt fields of Aveiro. We thought it was named the Pyramid Canal due to the way that the salt is piled up into pyramidal shapes on the shore. But no, it is because of two columns, that look like pyramids, next to the sluice that controls the change in water levels due to the tides entering the city. This system maintains the water levels and keeps the river stable and safe for navigation.

    We backtracked a bit and went down the famous “São Roque” waterway. The “São João” Bridge is pretty low and we had to go through a small tunnel. It was a little tight.

    We loved going under a very peculiar, circular, iron pedestrian loop bridge which connected the most historic part of the city to a leisure park on the other bank. People were walking their dogs, bicycling and doing exercises on outdoor equipment.

    We passed warehouses full of salt and fish. Close by, down another small canal, was the daily fish market.

    Returning to the docks where we had started out, we continued down the Cojo Canal, past the very modern Aveiro Forum, an outdoor shopping mall and went under the “Carcavelos” Bridge, also known as Valentine’s Bridge. Built in 1953, 11 years after the original bridge fell apart, it became a place where lovebirds could tie ribbons to the railings. Locks could have been used but ahead-thinking planners pushed for a lighter and more colourful way to decorate the bridge.

    At the end of this very trendy area, we came to the impressive Fonte Nova factory which made tiles for the outside of houses at the beginning of the 1900’s.

    After about 40 minutes we returned to the small pier in front of a beautiful building called the Capitancy building, dating from the 15th Century. It used to be a tidal mill and now is the head office of the municipal assembly. The structure is resting on a set of arcs that we could see as the tide was low. Earlier we had gone into it, to see a display of striking photographs taken all over the world by National Geographic professional photographers - Exodus.

    And so we ended our moliceiro ride. A pleasant boat ride on a beautiful spring-like day.
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  • Feb19

    Tiles on Old Aveiro Houses

    Yesterday in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon
    by JENNY BARCHFIELD FEB 19, 2019 in CityLab online Magazine

    “With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.”

    Chris and I have been to a lot of towns and cities in Portugal where coloured tiles are used to decorate the outside of the houses but nowhere have we seen as many as we saw this afternoon in Aveiro. Pretty sad what is happening to these tiles in Lisbon.

    Tiles, or azulejos, were common in traditional Portuguese construction because they were affordable to the general public. In Aveiro, the use of tiles also provided waterproofing and were a form of decoration on houses built in somewhat boring-looking adobe (sun-dried clay bricks). Tiles with floral motifs were very sought after in the early 1900’s and these were produced locally in the Fonte Nova Factory, which now houses the Cultural and Congress Center.

    In a matter of 5 minutes, on one street, Chris was able to take photos of 10 different patterns of tiles on the old houses, and there were so many more. Here are Chris’ ‘5 minutes of tiles’ photos.
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  • Day73

    Aveiro

    July 20, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

    Heute verlassen den wunderschönen Campingplatz, hier hat es uns echt super gut gefallen!
    Es geht nach Aveiro - "dem Venedig Portugals". Diese Bezeichnung trifft für uns nicht ganz zu. Es gibt 3 Kanäle, die durch die Stadt verlaufen, auf denen Schiffe fahren die einem das Gefühl geben sollen, dass man in Venedig ist. Die Schiffe und die Kanäle sind aber viel größer als in Venedig. Es ist ein schönes Städtchen zum durchschländern. Am Parkplatz haben wir neben einem alten Feuerwehrauto geparkt, das ebenfalls zum Wohnmobil ausgebaut wurde.
    Daneben sieht der Bussi richtig niedlich aus!
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  • Day3

    Aveiro

    October 30, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    ... unser nächster Stop war eine kleine gemütliche Stadt namens Aveiro, durch einige Känale könnte es mit bisschen mehr Sonne sogar ein wenig Venedig-Flair haben. Leider wurden wir von einem starken Regenguss zum vorzeitigen Mittagessen gezwungen.. Nichts destotrotz gab es einen schöne Spaziergang durch kleine Gassen, in Gotteshäuser, an Bummelläden vorbei.. und wieder viele bunte Kacheln 😉Read more

  • Day25

    Aveiro

    May 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    This town is along the coast in a lagoon formed by the Ria river. There are canals criss-crossing through the town. People can take canal tours on the large, colorful boats that used to be used for harvesting seaweed for fertilizer. There are lots of beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, mosaic sidewalks, and clean pedestrian streets. A town confection we had to try is Ovo Moles made with egg yolks and sugar, originally made in the convents.Read more

  • Day25

    Baroque and Rococco Religious Art

    May 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    The baroque church is stunning. The organ in the choir loft is available for anyone who wants to play it, and we heard a very talented teenager playing.

    There were so many pieces of religious art in the museum, both Baroque (lots of gold leaf) and Rococco (very colorful). A lot of the pieces came from this convent.Read more

  • Day25

    Museum of Aveiro

    May 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    This is a religious art museum in a 15th century convent, the Monastery of Jesus. The convent is famous because of St. Joanna, a Portuguese princess. Because she was in the royal line she was never able to take her solemn vows. She rejected marriage three times; instead she lived out a modest life at the convent, and bequeathed her estate to it when she died in 1490. At first she was buried modestly as she requested, but when she was canonized in the 1600s, a inlaid marble tomb was made for her. We also saw the washing room and the refectory where the sisters ate in silence.Read more

  • Day9

    Aveiro

    September 6, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    I was able to visit the church of São Gonçalino the patrón of Aveiro. As far as I know his name does not translate to English. He was born in 1190 and was a priest known for welcoming and marrying people who were living together without being married. Unfortunately I did not get a picture with my phone. The church was built in 1714. I am staying next to the Aveiro Catedral and was able to visit and pray there today too. Very peaceful and pretty. Lots of tourists in this town.Read more

  • Day8

    Coimbra

    September 5, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    Old university town on the side of a hill. It is actually on the river but the albergue is up a very steep hill with slippery cobblestones. I don't know how you could walk if it was wet. It rained all night but the streets were dry by morning. It is picturesque in some places and very old and run down in other places. Coimbra dates back to at least the 400s, and the university was established in 1290.Read more

  • Day13

    Aveiro

    September 16, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Woke up and started heading south. We got to Aveiro, a town known as the "Venice of Portugal". I had a fun session on a fat softboard, and we had late lunch in an Italian restaurant with a birthday party to Mauricio, the 8 years old. We went to the guesthouse, and started walking around the city. We met a Belgian couple, and we visited a few bars...Read more

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