Tag Archives: castle

Portugal, Guimarães – a day a trip from Porto

On a very rainy day I took the suburban train from Porto Sao Bento to Guimares (the place where Portugal first began to exist – allegedly). If I thought it was rainy in Porto I was about to see a lot more of it in Guimarães.

Like all old towns – at least the ones I grew up with in the UK – this has a proper castle and a palace that used to belong to the Duke of Braganza (one of the most powerful nobles of the town).

Even though it was raining it was quite fun to clamber around ramparts and castellated architecture – kind of like some of the school trips I used to do (including the rain).

It is actually a “real” castle of its time and so I thought I would play around with the photos to show it off in different ways.

The Duke’s Palace was again typical medieval – large halls, heavy furniture and lots of stairs!

There used to be a very old and large chestnut tree by the palace which came down recently in a storm, so the authorities asked a modern sculptor to repurpose it for posterity. I think he did a brilliant job – it was my favourite thing that I saw all day.

The old town was what I was expecting with more rain – yes I am whinging a bit!

Finally I noticed that one of the good things about rain is that flowers look especially lovely afterwards and certainly Spring has sprung here so I discovered a few new tricks with my iPhone camera and took theses which I am quite proud of!

I think Guimarães is a perfect day trip from Porto – just over an hour away and Euros 7 return but because a lot of it is about being outside choose a sunny day!

Next stop my 104th country!

Slovakia, Bratislava – NEW country for me!

I am always thrilled to visit a new country ie. one I have never been to before – so the opportunity to take a one hour trip to Bratislava from Vienna was not to be missed. We took the boat from downtown Vienna and the train back – both trips just over an hour. The boat brings you right into the centre of town and is an enjoyable ride on a sunny day – and then it is an easy walk to the town centre and a steep climb to the castle but worth it for the views (and the steps!). A day is fine to see the town and make sure you find the well hidden Blue Church – pics taken through the window – well worth getting lost for.