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.
The owners are also growing grapes and have created a small winery in 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.
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!
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.
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.