Dec 242015
 

Picture Portugal

Picture the glittering lights of Lisbon, sweeping vistas of the stunning Douro Valley, Baroque architecture, colorful ceramic tiles, and delightful surprises. These are just a few of the facets of this wonderful country that we captured for our Instagram gallery during our first visit there on our Viking River “Portugal’s River of Gold” cruise. Here’s a glimpse of Portugal on Instagram.

Beautiful Douro Valley

View from the Quinta do Seixo winery and Douro region countryside

View from the Quinta do Seixo winery and Douro region countryside

After an exciting ride into the hills that took our large coach on twisting roads sometimes extremely close to the edge, we reached the Quinta do Seixo wine estate. I loved this late-afternoon view of the valley and hills over the red roofs of the winery.

Christmas lights of Lisbon

Lights of Christmas in Lisbon

Lights of Christmas in Lisbon

We loved this festively-decorated building in Lisbon and the gold lights of street decorations draping over the street. 

Colorful buildings of Lisbon

Colorful buildings of Lisbon

Colorful buildings of Lisbon

Soon after arriving in Lisbon after our flights from the United States, we walked a few blocks from the Hotel Tivoli for an authentic Portuguese lunch at As Velhas. Lisbon is quite hilly, and the narrow street pictured above climbs much further up the hill than you can see in this photo.

Baroque architecture

Ornate altar of church in Porto

Ornate altar of church in Porto

It was a rainy day when we stepped into the warmth of Clérigos Church in Porto to admire its ornate baroque beauty. Its bell tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, can be seen from most points in the city and is one of Porto’s most characteristic symbols.

Red!

Decorative red sacks and evergreen bows adorn buildings for Christmas

Decorative red sacks and evergreen bows adorn buildings for Christmas

Red is my favorite color, and I love how it popped out on the holiday decoration pictured above, red sacks with evergreen boughs on this storefront in Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was first settled in the 9th century and is often called “the birthplace of the Portuguese nation”. We saw this type of decoration in several places as we toured the Douro River region.  The passerby in red seemed to fit in just right.

In awe at the library

Library at the University of Coimbra

Library at the University of Coimbra

On our way by coach from Lisbon to Porto (where our cruise on the Douro River would begin) we got a glimpse of the library at the University of Coimbra its beautiful décor and its amazing collection of ancient books.

A taste of Mateus

Mateus Palace

Mateus Palace

Even in winter, the gardens of the 18th-century Mateus Palace in Portugal are lush with green hedges, typical of noble elegance. Are you familiar with Mateus Rosé? The palace was depicted on the bottle’s label. 

Azulejo tile art

Azulejo tiles on the grand baroque staircase in Lamego

Azulejo tiles on the grand baroque staircase in Lamego

One of the disinctive azulejo ceramic tile works on the steps of the grand baroque staircase in Lamego from the city center to Santuario Nossa dos Remedios (Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies) at the top of the hill. Azulejo blue and white tiles are very common forms of decoration seen throughout Portugal on building facades and monuments.

A frightened bride?

A bride sighting in Guimarães

A bride sighting in Guimarães

Is she having second thoughts? Perhaps she was just considering the effect dragging her beautiful dress across the wet stones was having on it. I can’t resist taking photos of brides and bridal parties when I come upon them unexpectedly when I travel. This bride sighting was in Guimarães. 

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink in Pinhao, Portugal

Pretty in pink in Pinhao, Portugal

Pretty in pink in Portugal — this little pink car parked on the main street of Pinhão, a picturesque town along the Douro River and in the center of the Douro wine region, caught my attention. The color contrasted perfectly with the background of old buildings and the cobblestone street.

Mr. TWS and I were quickly enamored with Portugal and will be telling you much more about the highlights of our Douro River cruise and pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. Thanks to Viking River Cruises for sponsoring this amazing experience.

  8 Responses to “Picture Portugal on Instagram”

  1. Loved your instagram peeks of Portugal. We’ve been to Lisbon and would like to see some more of the country one day. That is a lovely view from the winery!

  2. Beautiful photos of Portugal! It’s a country I haven’t explored yet except for a few days in Lisbon for work. So I’ll experience it vicariously through your posts!

  3. Portugal is stunning, Cathy. I’m in love too! I could stare at the cloud formation in your Douro Valley shot forever. All your photos are. I can’t wait to read more about your visit.
    A belated Merry Christmas to you and Mr. TWS, Cathy and all the best for the New Year!

  4. Never really thought about visiting Portugal in winter. Lisbon looks so pretty this time of the year.

  5. Looks great – I think an off season visit is a great idea. As for the bride, she’s beautiful.

  6. Beautiful shots of Portugal. Someday hope to explore further than Lisbon. Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you and Mr. TWS.

  7. What wonderful photos of Portugal. Lisbon looks magical at Christmas time.

  8. […] When you picture Portugal in your mind, what do you see? Prior to our trip to northern Portugal in December, I had seen many wonderful photos, particularly of the main attractions — trams on steep streets, towering bridges, and historic sites such as Belém in Lisbon. I was excited to see these scenes in person and even happier to experience Portuguese culture expressed in art, architecture, and music as portrayed in the second post of my Portugal Instagram photos. […]

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