Ruth Walsh – September 2016
In the European autumn I visited Portugal. The highlights for me were Lisbon with its narrow streets, of the colours of the buildings, the little trams that chugged up and down the steep hills of the city. It is a small , built around a massive harbour, a city easily traversed by foot and tram and with many tiny hidden nooks that call for discovery. Delicious local food, friendly people and a destination that is still not widely visited by Australians.
I travelled north from Lisbon through Portugal and across the border to Spain. Driving through the hills to the old town of Sintra, with its exquisite coloured tiles and the extraordinary palace that somehow hung in the mists of my morning visit – again few tourists.
The beautiful town of Porto, located on the Douro River estuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site with its narrow medieval cobblestone streets, its bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel, a must city to visit.
I followed the Douro River Valley towards the Spanish border, part of the journey by boat and the rest along narrow winding roads that hugged the valley and let to the Spanish border.