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Astorga, Spain

Written on: Sunday May 24th, 2015

A journal entry from: South Africa, Europe 2015

From Obidos we made our way further north stopping to hike to a couple of schiste villages (made of shale) in the Sierra de la Lousa. This is a local initiative that has committed some time and money to reconstructing these beautiful stone villages in order to attract visitors. It's also a wonderful area for hiking however, time was pressing and we were only able to stay for a bit. From this lovely and tranquil region we moved on to the coastal city of Porto. A place of course famous for its wines but also a very attractive city set at the mouth of the Douro river. This is the only fine wine in the world that is not produced in the area the grapes are grown. The Porto grapes are grown on the steep slopes of the Douro river located a hundred kilometres or so upstream. At harvest time the grapes are fermented near the vineyards for the 3 days to a week required then shipped to Porto, nowadays via tanker truck, and then aged on the premises of the various porto wine lodges located across the river from Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. As luck would have it we were camped in Vila Nova de Gaia and it was just a quick cycle in, via a beautiful coastal bicycle path, for tours and tastings. Wanting to see the grapes at their source we drove along the river road to the furthest possible town the road goes to. After that if one wants to see the Douro Gorges that run all the way to Spain one can either take a train that hugs the side of the river or a times hundreds of dollars of day river cruise. Luckily for us there was a third choice and for 10E we were able to take a one hour trip up the river. In that short period of time we were able to take in the iconic views that adorn so many travel posters and make it back to town for an amazing dinner served on a beautiful terrace overlooking the Douro.



From Marilyn & Wayne on May 25th, 2015

Bev & Larry....great description and the photos bring back many memories of our trip to Porto & the Douro Valley in 2011...We use our Douro Valley shot from our B&B on our Facebook page. https://m.facebook.com/wayne.mercer.16?_rdr Have a safe walk and looking forward to sharing stories when we all get back to Vancouver....Hugs, M & W

From Betsie & jac. on May 25th, 2015

Looking forward to hear jour story's wen you visit us, maybe with a drop of port...

From Julie and ron on May 25th, 2015

Your travels always take you to the loveliest of places. The cork shoes look comfy. Did you buy a pair Larry?

From Sharon B. on May 25th, 2015

Lovely Photos!

From Ranje on Dec 21st, 2015

I had car accident (it wasn't my fault, it was parekd when another car run into it). Few days after I've received a letter from my isurance company saying: Please contact us to confirm how the details of the other party were optained? . Also they are asking me if I was a witness of the accident or did a witness provide me with information. I don't know what exactly they are asking about? Dothey want to know how I get details of the other driver or are they asking about the company that have my car now to repair it?