East Views From Luís I Bridge, Porto

Guindais and Fontainhas, Douro River, Porto

I always encourage anyone coming to visit Porto for the first time to walk across the top deck of the Luís I Bridge, as long as they’re not afraid of heights. (The bridge is 45 metres high, and when the metro crosses the bridge it vibrates.) The most obvious reason to walk across is for the unobstructed views of both Porto on the north bank and Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank.

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Portugal’s Picturesque Northwest Corner

the view of Portugal's northwestern corner from Monte de Santa Tecla in Galicia

The top of Monte de Santa Tecla/Santa Trega in Galicia gives a fine view above the Minho River, Portugal’s northern border. From that vantage point 341m above sea level, we could see the beaches of Caminha, the little island of Ínsua (which has a fort), and further out to sea. To our left, towns flanked both sides of the river, clusters of white connected with snaking roads.

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Scenes From Pontevedra, Spain

Pontevedra, Spain

In our long weekend jaunt around the southwestern parts of Galicia the other weekend, we visited some towns that Paulo had been to before when he walked the Portuguese route of the Camino de Santiago in 2012. One of the ones he mentioned that he’d like to return to was Pontevedra, the capital of the county and province — also named Pontevedra — and the main city of this area called Rias Baixas.

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Sunset At Praia do Paraíso

Praia do Paraíso (Matosinhos, Portugal)

After Mother’s Day lunch (and Paulo’s tarte de maça) followed by an afternoon of volunteering that ran later than usual, I wanted the rest of Sunday to look like this: pick up Ice the Dog, go to the beach and watch the sun set. Paulo was on board with this idea, and we made it in time. These are the images that marked the last light of the weekend at Praia do Paraíso (Paradise Beach) in Matosinhos. Plain luck gave me this landscape scene with the fisherman, and I have a portrait version at the end of the post, too, because it is so iconic of Portugal.

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Paulo’s Homemade Tarte de Maça (Apple Pie)

Paulo's homemade tarte de maça

Today is both Dia do Trabalhador (Labour Day) and Dia da Mãe (Mother’s Day) in Portugal, which means nobody should be working today — ESPECIALLY not mothers. Sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t always work in practice. Plenty of people went to work today (and unlike in Canada, Portuguese don’t get long weekends when national holidays fall on Saturdays/Sundays, either), and we were totally unsuccessful at getting my mother-in-law out of her kitchen this year.

But all is not lost: Paulo made an apple pie.

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