A VERY WELCOME PRE-TOUR ENCOUNTER!

On this weekend, once a year, the community dress in Medieval costumes

On this weekend, once a year, the community dress in Medieval costumes

It’s now only two days until our group meets in Oporto in northern Portugal to commence our autumn ‘Camino with a Difference!’ Tour. In preparation I have come to the neighbouring town of Guimaraes, the cradle of the Portuguese nation. This is the birthplace of the country’s first King, Alfonso Henriques and the site of the main thrust of Portuguese efforts in the Reconquista.

On Monday our tour group will visit the 10th C fortress where the monarch was born and other sites of interest, as well as having time to explore the labyrinth of

The medieval castle where King, Alfonso Henriques was born

The medieval castle where King, Alfonso Henriques was born

medieval streets and colourful, flower bedecked plazas. We also plan to visit nearby Citania de Briteiros, an important fortified pre Roman hillside settlement where it’s possible to see the archaeological remains of cylindrical houses built by the Celts.

By chance this weekend is the annual festival where the community celebrates its unique place in history.

Snapped! Waiting for medieval festivities to commence in Guimaraes, birthplace of the Portuguese nation.

Snapped! Waiting for medieval festivities to commence in Guimaraes, birthplace of the Portuguese nation.

A wide range of festivities, people dressed in period costume, street theatre and stalls selling the crafts of local artisans are scattered all over the historic centre. Deciding which open air restaurant to eat in is likely to be a challenge!

Guimaraes is well known for its ornate churches and colourful gardens

Guimaraes is well known for its ornate churches and colourful gardens

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