Viseu to Porto

After breakfast Thursday morning Duke talked to the helpful front desk staff at the Pausada in Viseu about what we should see in the area. They suggested the old village of Santar which is in the middle of a transformation to become “The Garden Village”. The owners of one of the local grand houses have worked with other garden owners in the village and with a famous landscape architect to connect their gardens and create marvelous spaces. We took a tour and saw one of the wonderful old houses and all 5 public gardens. Even though they are undoubtedly more beautiful at other times of the year when there would be more color, the gardens were still really beautiful.

On the garden tour
The pond that is used as a source of irrigation water.

The owners are also growing grapes and have created a small winery in the former stables

In the winery
The former stables

Next we got on the road to Porto. We stopped at a grocery store and bought picnic supplies. We found a lovely spot to picnic. It is interesting that a lot of people are burning wood, probably for heat. The smoke in the air was pretty thick.

At the grocery store
Picnic lunch

The short route to Porto would have been just over an hour but of course we took the ‘scenic route’. it turned about to be a bit longer than we might have liked but the drive through the mountains was certainly scenic!

The Portuguese mountains
Our mountain road

I navigated our way to what I thought was the location of our hotel in central Porto. There was lots of traffic but no hotel! After much consulting from the whole team we figured out that in Google maps Hotél Pestana Palácio do Freixo is a 30 minute drive from Pestana Palácio do Freixo. Argh!! We finally got to the hotel in Portu on the Duoro River about six.

The view from our room.

Dinner in the hotel restaurant was fabulous. Our waiter was concerned that Linda might not like the tripe but she said it was very good.


Lisbon to Viseu

This morning after breakfast we took a one hour Tuk-tuk tour of central Lisbon.

Duke negotiating with the Tuk-tuk driver
On our Tuk-tuk tour.

We made several stops. Learned about Lisbon history and the earthquake, fire and tsunami that destroyed the city in 1755, The whole tour was a lot of fun.

View of Lisbon
After our tour

We packed up, checked out then played a few hands of bridge until it was time to pick up our rental car.

Playing bridge before leaving Lisbon

We picked up our rental car and drove north about three hours to Viseu. We will have this rental car for 11 days. Watch for a video review from Duke before we turn the car in.

Our rental car

We stayed in Viseu at this Pausada once before on 13 February 2016. The building is a former hospital. The central court is three stories tall and surrounded by colonnades. Duke and I had gin and tonics in the central court yard then the four of us finished our bridge game. Linda and I won!


Pausada of Viseu
Gin an Tonics in the Court Yard

We had an excellent dinner in the hotel restaurant..

Sea bass