Our Spring 2014 Camino is about to begin!

It’s hard to believe that after many months of anticipation we will shortly commence our April ‘Camino with a Difference!’ Tour.  The long journey to Portugal was certainly worth it with temperatures in the low 20s, just perfect for long distance walking.

Lisbon

Lisbon

Before heading to Oporto a few members of our group met up in Lisbon where we spent some enjoyable days visiting the historical and cultural sites of the medieval era and learning about the golden age of Portuguese discovery.  This is a fascinating city to explore if you ever get the chance.  Make sure to allow plenty of time, there is so much to experience.  Don’t miss a day trip to nearby Sintra a UNESCO World Heritage Site where some of Portugal’s most beautiful parks and historic buildings are located.

The views are magnificent in this city of many hills

The views are magnificent in this city of many hills

Although this is the Easter holiday period we are fortunate that the peak tourist season has not yet begun. Yesterday I joined a walking tour led by a local guide in Lisbon’s atmospheric Alfama district that was inhabited by Muslim and Jewish communities from the 8th Century.  Located in the narrow winding alleyways are houses that date back over 500 years. Communal baths and washing troughs are still in use today – it’s difficult to fit such facilities in individual houses.

Enjoying the melancholy mood of traditional Fado music

Enjoying the melancholy mood of traditional Fado music

A highlight of our stay in Lisbon was dinner last night at a small family run restaurant where we were entertained by the melancholic Fado music and song that is typical of this area.  Just in case you are looking for an authentic Fado restaurant with great fish meals it would be hard to beat A Baiuca in Rua San Miguel, Alfama (not far from the Museu do Fado).  Tell Isabella that I sent you!

And now onward (by train) to Oporto where the real journey begins!

 

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