Posts Tagged ‘walk’

International Park “Gerês”-“Xurés”

July 31, 2014

Today I stumbled on this great video on Youtube about the Nature Conservation Park located in both Northern Portugal  and the Spanish region of Galicia.

On the Portuguese side one of the doors to the Park is actually in “Lamas de Mouro” – Melgaço if you drive around 20 minutes up mountain from the town.

As you can see it in the video it is a beatiful place with ancient ruins from “Stone Age”  dolmens to Roman bridges.

Check a list and GPS coordinates HERE (new tab).

The mountais are covered with giant round shaped rocks some of them famous for their curious shape. There is also a lot of small rivers, waterfals from many sizes and small lakes.

Wild animals include wild flurry horses (video 0:46) and deers. There are wolves too but don’t expect to see them as they are scarce nowadays and the ones that are left are intelligent enough to avoid humans.

Now that I moved to Hungary I’ve had the chance to explore quite a few European Conservation Parks and usual mountain/forest destinations in Austria, Hungary, Croacia and  Slovenia, so I can make you comparison with this places.

The first difference is that “Gerês” is not such a popular place. For some strange reason it seems that the European tourists usually don’t travel West by car. Last year I was in Slovenia and I had never seen so many German, French and Italian cars parked together. So if you want to explore on your own and prefer under-the-radar places this is a plus.

The second difference are Ticks. As crazy as it may sound, yes, ticks – those blood sucking parasites are a plague for forest-travelers in most of Central Europe. Everyone who lives here always packs a tick-removal tool for their travels, take B-vitamin or use some repelent spray. This was something completly new for someone used to hike in Portugal.

The third and last difference is in fact a disadvantage for the non-popularity of this place. While there are tourist oportunities for radical sports, hiking, rent-a-bike, rent-a-boat and others, you should search online and take notes of what you want to do and where before traveling.

Enjoy the video!

Blitzwood @Spotify

“The Boston Global” article about Porto

November 12, 2013

The Boston Globe journalist Christopher Muther has published an article about his visit to Porto. He planned to stay just one day, he ended up staying 4 nights.

What I found … was a series of charming old stone buildings, church squares, and open-air markets. There’s a river that glistens as it snakes through a city that clings precariously to cliffs and a night-life scene that rivals any European hot spot on a summer night.”

“I’m not one to take pictures of my food at restaurants. I usually feel that food is meant to be digested and not shared on Facebook. But I took out my camera, the good one no less, and photographed my steak tartare and the beautiful presentation of the truffle-style alheira (a meat and flour-based sausage) on a bed of toasted bread, bacon, and almonds.

Porto’s “Ribeira”

Read the article at:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/11/09/porto-sophisticated-new-edge/Qo25mGhnY4HaRTUzdKGpJM/story.html

 

There and back in work again

April 16, 2011

I have a new job this month, 50 Kilometers north from Oporto in Esposende (Portugal). Trying to make me feel more comfortable in the area my new co-worker (apparently a hiking addict) recommended me to cut through the fields towards the ocean for a walk after lunch. It’s less than 10min each way. I had my camera with me so I took some photos to share. Judge my lunch break sights.

What do you see in your luck break?

Madeira: more photos (4)

March 6, 2011

This is my 4th post with Photos taken in Madeira, feel free to check and comment. And don’t forget to add this island in the Atlantic Ocean to your “must-go destinations” 😉 .

 

Photos taken in 2009

Matosinhos in January

February 3, 2011

Seashells in Matosinhos

It’s winter in Portugal of course but snow is not common in Portugal. Especially not compared to the temperatures in central Europe, our January here had snow in some mountain districts but in the north  coast the temperatures were always around 10ºC (50F) and we had some sunny days too.

In sunny days there was a considerable amount of people walking along the beach. The surfers also enjoy this days for some practice since, except some occasional brave person, they are the only ones in the water.

For more information about Matosinhos please check my other posts in this Category.

Photos were taken in January 2011.

“Melgaço Radical”

February 2, 2010

Melgaço Radical” is a group dedicated to explore the natural values of Melgaço and its multiple opportunities for adventure and sports. The mountains and the Minho River provide the conditions for activities like Rafting, Hiking, Canyoneering, Paintball and others.

Rafting in December

Rafting for example is practiced throughout the year with a 30€ price for person (discounts for groups).

Canyoning

 Unfortunately their site is only available in Portuguese but you can surely e-mail them at geral@melgacoradical.com .

For more information about the municipality of Melgaço please check the Index page or my first post about Melgaço.

Other links: Melgaço Radical official site (Portuguese) ; more photos

Oporto: Castelo da Foz

January 22, 2010
This post is part of  Matosinhos – Oporto following the Atlantic Ocean and Douro River, please check the Index page for the other posts following the same tour.
———

Castelo da Foz

 

“Castelo da Foz” is also known as “John the Baptist Fort”. It was built in the end of the 16th century for the defense of the Atlantic coast and the entrance to the Douro River. The building of the castle absorbed the Church (in renaissance style) that was previously in the same place.

There is no ticket required to visit the castle but the place is not crowded at all, there was only one other tourist when I visited, no one else!

Art Exposition inside

There was a painting/art exhibition in a large room inside, the only person there was the artist himself. He confirmed me that one can explore the Castle at his own will but there are some rooms off-limits where apparently there are some administrative offices.

From the balcony outside it is visible that some parts of the Castle have suffered the passage of time. There’s a good view of the mouth of the Douro River.

From Praça Gonçalvez Zarco to the mouth of Douro River

January 19, 2010

This post is part of  Matosinhos – Oporto following the Atlantic Ocean and Douro River, please check the Index page for the other posts following the same tour.

Check the path I followed on this post: HERE

Cheese Castle -> Foz Castle -> Douro River mouth

The Atlantic Ocean

Continuing to follow the Atlantic Ocean Southwards you’ll be now in an avenue with a wide sidewalk. There are a lot of classy villas and other buildings on the other side of the road. This is probably the zone with the most expensive houses in Oporto.  

Along the coast there are small gardens near the sidewalk and 3 not-too-big sand beaches. Then you’ll reach another castle (“Castelo da Foz”) guarding the mouth of the Douro River.

Danger: Wave Zone

The manmade barriers in the mouth of the river are usually under the continuous collision of waves so walking to some areas above the barriers can be dangerous.

The “Arrábida” bridge can be seen upriver linking Oporto to Gaia (Vila Nova de Gaia).

After the “Foz” Castle, leaving the Ocean behind and already following the Douro River, there is a public garden “Jardim do Passeio Alegre”, with fountains and a mini-golf area.~

Madeira: “Levadas”

November 24, 2009

Levadas” are aqueducts in Madeira Island built in order to bring water from the North of the Island where it is abundant to the South where the main colonization of the Island has always taken place. Besides carrying water the Levadas also create walk trails in the landmass of Madeira that are the best ways to explore the natural wealth of this island. You’ll be able to see the laurisilva endemic forest (UNESCO World Heritage, 1999) with trees like Ocotea foetens, Laurus azorica or Persea indica and also birds like the Trocaz Pigeon or the Pterodroma madeira and others.

There are many trails with different difficulty ratings, I don’t know yet if I’m going to post specifically about different levadas later but it is easy to find the information on any of the hotels or tourism centers in the island.

Most of these trails will take several hours to complete and go across remote parts of the island so you shouldn’t go alone in case you get hurt or need medical assistance for some reason.

Special thanks to Carolina for the photos.

“Caldeirão Verde” means Green Cauldron; “Lagoa do Vento” means Wind Lagoon

There aren’t snakes or any other dangerous animals in the Island.

Helpful Links: MadeiraNature.com

Other interesting links: MadeiraIsland.travel; Youtube (levada video); Madeira 1st post

Melgaço: Exploring the town

November 6, 2009

Although the municipality of Melgaço covers a wide area (238,1km2 or 91, 9 square miles approximately) the main town – “Vila” is a small place.

Walking is the best way to explore Vila and I think I don’t need to recommend you a specific path. You’ll find multiple services like the Post Office, cafes and stores as you would expect from any small town. It’s also safe so if you want to go out for your explorations at 4a.m you won’t have any problem. Please check the map i’ve created in Google for orientation: HERE.

Some tips to guide your walk:

There are two squares in Vila: “Largo Hermenegildo Solheiro” where the TownHall is located and near the Firefighter’s HQ; “Praça da Republica” where you can visit small underground ruins and there’s also a free Internet Center.

City Hall

Largo Hermenegildo Solheiro

You should also walk along the “Rio do Porto” Urban Park (blue line) along a small river to find a playground for kids, a small half-pipe (and an area for skaters to master their tricks) and a bar (called Rio’s) behind the City Hall.

In the Old Town zone, streets are smaller and maybe more confusing. If you follow “Rua Direita” which pretty much is the main-broader-street there you should have no problem finding the entrance to the Castle, “Solar do Alvarinho” (– the building dedicated to the Alvarinho Wine), the “Matriz” Church and the Cinema Museum. The Castle Gardens are also nearby of course.


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