Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Douro River Valley

We were based in Porto for the remainder of the Portugal trip.  Porto sits on the mouth of the Douro River.  After a few days spent exploring Porto, we took a couple of day trips to some towns along the river.

The Douro River Valley is mostly known for it’s Port wine grapes and the beautiful quintas (wineries) that dot the hills.

Guimarães was one of our stops.  It is a sweet little city where it would have been fun just to get lost in…if it weren’t pouring down buckets of rain, BUCKETS!  Due to all the rain, these pictures were taken with my phone as it was too hard to keep the real camera dry.

stuff 018 stuff 038 stuff 058 stuff 063 stuff 084stuff 106 The Medieval Cafe is a nice place to dry off and warm up.stuff 099 stuff 104stuff 103
A local pastry – torta de Guimarães – and a hot cup of coffee was a nice way to pass the time.

Another day trip was taken to Lamego in order to visit  the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. 

There are 611 steps leading up to the Sanctuary – that’s 1222 round trip!

The views from the steps (of both the city and the church) are lovely. The 1,222nd step!
Funny story about the sneakers…At the time, they were my workout/walking shoes.  Because they were incredibly light and comfortable I brought them as my main shoe for the trip.  I was wearing them on the first really rainy day in Porto, and within minutes by feet were soaked.  It was raining pretty heavy so I didn’t think much about it.  The next day I wore them in the light rain and had soaked shoes again after stepping into a shallow puddle.  When I got back to the room that night, I lamented about how wet my feet had been for two days.  I turned them over and realized that they were designed with several “air holes” on the bottom of the shoe. 
Ya, not the best footwear choice.


  1. You may be very surprised how lightroom 5 will recover those shots. And the trial version will keep if you save them to file permanently.

    And it's really cute that you live in a climate that you didn't know your shoes were leaky.

    1. I worked with the photos a bit in PS, but I struggled with the rainy ones. Anything I did to lighten the dark blew out the color. I haven't had a chance to try Lightroom. I tell you, I'm a MUCH better photographer in the sun! :)

      Who makes shoes with HOLES in the bottom?

    2. Yes I know the sky will blow out if you up the exposure in PS. And using one of the tools to do just the sky will simply drop all of it.
      In LR5 there is a graduated filter so you can raise or lower the Ex over the section. Or over the entire pic.
      For instance, even with a jpeg that castle will be lifted out of the gloom.
      What you're seeing is what I've to deal with ALL the time. There's more light than you'd think. But up above. So the ground has not bounce from direct light.

      On the shoes. If you aren't careful you can buy ones that are totally porous. They call them exercise footwear.

    3. A good reason to cross over then.
      Nowadays, most of my sneakers are made of some mesh-like material and I'm sure they've done that to keep them lightweight. They're not big puddle worthy even if there aren't holes on the bottom. If I had known about the two weeks' worth of rain I'd have brought boots instead.

    4. Are they brighter today. They seem brighter.

      I don't know. I'd say they're trying to reduce the big drawback of trainers, stink. For no matter how expensive you go with trainers they are nasty rancid things after a few weeks.
      And the way things are going it would be far easier to buy a pair of wellingtons that pay the air weight of them. People here have realised going to Spain is far easier to have a small case and buy whatev's there, that have the case put in the plane's hold.
      I used to call them sneakers too. But trainers seem to be the name these days. I thunkedded it was trainers in SoCal too.

    5. Nope, I haven't done any work on the photos yet. Maybe it's your renewed computer. :)
      I believe the first time I saw the word 'trainers' was in Nick Hornby's "About a Boy" and then heard Hugh Grant use it in the movie of the same name.

  2. I found out about my leaky shoes the first rainy day of spring. They are so comfortable but since the weather is chancy here in MO, I plan on taking them as the shoe of choice for my CA trip.

    1. Yes, they will be great in Santa Barbara, as long as you don't walk over a sprinkler puddle or something.

  3. That's my kind of stairmaster! :) It sounds like a great trip!

    1. Ha, it did feel a little like running steps at the stadium except they weren't uniform in size and I wasn't running, instead stopping every flight to take pictures. :)