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Day 1 - Vila Nova de Gaia to Pinhão

Saturday 15th April 2017

 

  06-30 hrs Set sail from Vila Nova de Gaia to Peso da Régua  
  07-50 hrs Crestuma-Lever Lock (14m)  
  13-15 hrs Arrive in Peso da Régua  
  13-30 hrs Coach leaves for Lamego  
  14-00 hrs Ship sets sail for Pinhão    
  14-30 hrs Ship passes Bagaúste Lock  
  16-15 hrs After afternoon sightseeing in Lamego, coach travels to Sandeman's Quinta do Seixo for tour and port tasting  
  16-30 hrs Ship arrives in Pinhão   
  18-00 hrs Coach returns to ship in Pinhão   
  Overnight Moored in Pinhão   

 

Early morning departure from Vila Nova de Gaia

Speed restricted due to heavy fog

Approaching Crestuma-Lever Lock at 8-15 a.m.

Crestuma-Lever Lock

Exiting Crestuma-Lever Lock

10-45 a.m..... the fog has gone and we are cruising up the Douro in brilliant sunshine

 

The AmaVida heading downstream

The river narrows considerably at this point

Approaching the Carrapatelo Dam, with the lock tucked into the left hand side

 

Inside the lock, with a huge guillotine gate behind us

Exiting Carrapatelo Lock

 

The Vasco Da Gama heading downstream

Approaching Peso da Régua. The lush covered hillsides have largely given way to an intricate patterned landscape of steeply terraced vine covered slopes characteristic of the port wine area. The climate has evolved too: leaving the Atlantic behind is noticeably warmer and dryer. The topography has a much more Mediterranean appearance with browns and ochres replacing verdant greens.

 

 

A 30-minute coach journey took us to Lamego. The first Portuguese king was declared in Lamego where, in 1143, the first parliament in Portugal's history was hosted and a group of clergy and noblemen assembled to recognise Afonso Henriques as the nation's king. As such, Lamego lays claim to being the birthplace of both country and crown - a fact hotly disputed by Afonso Henriques' birthplace, Guimarães.

King Afonso himself was instrumental in achieving Portugal's independence from the Spanish kingdom of León and doubling its area with the Reconquista wars against the Moors.

Lamego is the home of Portugal's sparkling wine Raposeira.

 

 

The most striking building of Lamego is the sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies (Santuãrio de Nossa Senhora Remédios) which stands above the town on the Monte de São Estevão, flanked by twin bell towers. Its hundreds of zigzagging stairs are decorated with tiled friezes. This 18th century church is regarded as one of the country's most important pilgrim sites.

 

Ornate ceiling

 

Immediately in front of the church is an ornamental water fountain featuring a 22 meter high obelisk.
686 steps lead down to the town of Lamego itself

 

 

 

 

 

Lamego Cathedral (Sé Catedral de Lamego).... widely divergent eras are visible on the facade,
the tower windows being the oldest elements and typical examples of 12th century Roman style

 

 

The statue of D. Miguel of Portugal (the Bishop of Lamego)
by Francisco Franco Madeira and was inaugurated in 1951

Driving past Bagaúste Lock on the way to Quinta do Seixo.

Our first glimpse of Pinhão on the opposite bank of the river

 

 

 

The guided tour of Quinta do Seixo

Port tasting

 

Leaving Quinta do Seixo

Pinhão

A welcome cocktail in the Bar/Lounge after a long day

Pianist Ricardo keeping us entertained