Obidos, Fatima and Porto

Trip Start Jun 06, 2014
Trip End Jun 21, 2014

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Flag of Portugal  , Northern Portugal,
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today was transfer day as we leave Lisbon and head to our ship in Porto. Travel distance is only about 200 miles but it was an all day trip as we made several stops along the way. The first stop was at the lovely medieval hill town of Obidos which is surrounded by a 14th century wall, 45 feet tall. It is characterized by narrow, cobble stone streets, colorful buildings, and small shops selling local goods. It reminded us somewhat of the small towns on Santorini.

Obidos dates back to 300 BC, but achieved its fame in 1282 when a Portuguese King brought his new wife here. She liked the town so much that he bought it for her and it became known as the "wedding city". To this day it is a popular place for weddings.

A specialty of the area is a sweet cherry liquor called " ginjinha" which is served in a small chocolate cup which you eat after downing the shot of ginjinha. Not bad stuff. We even had to try a second one to make sure our initial impression was correct!

After an hour to visit a few churches, do a little shopping and take a bunch of pictures we left for our next stop, Fatima.

Fatima is one of the major religious locations recognized by the Catholic Church. In 1917 three small children tending sheep were visited by the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. Today the site of those apparitions is a major pilgrimage site that is visited by millions of people each year. There are two major churches on the site of the original sighting;  the site resembles St Peters Square in Rome and actually seems larger in overall size. It is a sobering sight to see men and women crawling on their knees on a cement walkway, working their way to the chapel where the original apparitions took place.

Lunch was at a local hotel restaurant and we then headed to our ship in Porto, which will be our home for the next week as we navigate the Douro River. Time to visit the Portuguese wine country.

We arrived at the ship around 5PM and were quickly shown to our rooms(small but very modern). There was a crew introduction at 6:30, followed by a great (salmon or duck) dinner with plenty of wine and port wine served with dessert. We then adjourned to the lounge where a local group of 13 college engineering students entertained us with music and song. Such groups are called "TUNA"-don't ask me why. They were quite talented and we now own a CD of their music! 

We leave in the morning for the week long exploration of the Douro River region. Unfortunately the temperature has turned hot (90+ predicted).  Hopefully it will be temporary.
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Annette Landvatter on

I am so glad that you and Yvonne are having a great time. I liked your reasoning for having another shot of liquor in a chocolate cup. It is very believable. jk


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