Autumn

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

John Donne

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Mowgli’s first adventure

This is it.  Adventure time with Mowgli.

We catch the train to Winchester.

There is a lot of snuggling and loving of a polite dog loving man we’ve not met before.  (Don’t worry Mr Elf, Mowgli did the snuggling and loving not me).  This seems to be the biggest issue we encounter with a pup on transport…his affection for complete strangers is inexhaustible.

received_10155108356117655Transport in London is pretty pet friendly.  No dogs on the seats and they must be “under control”.  So tubes, buses and trains are all open as long as you have these two rules sorted.

The train to Winchester is about 50-60 minutes long and do able in puppy bladder terms.  although we do ensure he is empty before we get on and he gets a change to go as soon as we get off.

Pubs and cafes are also for the most part dog friendly in the UK although, do respect the signs that say otherwise when you see them.

We spend the weekend tearing around the garden and avoiding the cat.  Said cat…not too keen on this usurper of affection and steal-er of unattended food.

The train ride back is easy…Mowgli is happy to all asleep on a lap and wake up back in London.

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Pinhao and Wine tour

Next up on the Northern Portugal road-trip is Pinhao

Pinhao is a small village in northern Portugal. It is surrounded with vineyards and dips down to sit just on the Douro River. It is picturesque and when we visited quite calm and beautiful. The local train runs from Porto to Pinhao and although we did not take the train it is supposed to be a beautiful trip.

We park and pop into one of the IMAG2878vineyard offices to see if we can go on a tour. Unfortunately not…it would appear that booked ahead for the most part is a must. So we wander in the town and down to the river bank to do some googling.

We manage to find a smaller and newer vineyard called Quinta de la Rosa which can accommodate us for the afternoon tour. We march up the hill (perhaps get a taxi) it’s hot but the view is more than nice.

Once we have arrived and joined the tour group we head into the courtyard and off into IMAG2889the processing and storage areas.

Quinta de la Rosa still use the traditional stomping the grapes method which would be amazing to see (in August – September depending on the season). The tour is great, and informative and the lady who takes us around is obviously passionate about Port and the winery.

Next we move on to the tasting, we try in all 2 different wines and 3 different ports. I would recommend this winery tour is a great option for a reasonably priced option. Although there are lots of options out there…make sure you book in advance if you have particular tours you want to go on.

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This post is not sponsored at all but if you would like more information about Quinta de la Rosa please click here .

So that you can come back…

This is one of my newest favourite quotes about traveling and I feel a beautiful truth within it.  Feel free to leave your favourite quotes below as well.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back.

So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too.

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

 

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Ponte De Lima and Lindoso

This is a combo post about two of the great little places we visited one day during out drives around Northern Portugal.
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The First is Ponte De Lima.  

Ponte De Lima is a cute little Medieval town on the Lima River bank.  It is named after the bridge that crosses the river.

The car park seems odd as you appear to drive on to the bank of the river but aside from this it is an easy place to visit.  The main square is beautiful looking back across the river and the old bridge to churches and countryside.  As always with any town, move away from the main square if you want to save some money on food or drink.  We wander in the streets and enjoy the old village feel.  This town is lovely and I would definitely like to revisit it.  There is a big and famous market that opens every second Monday, all the way along the river bank…alas it is not Monday when we visit.  But this sounds spectacular.

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Lindoso

Lindoso sits within the national park and surrounded by beautiful ruggard countryside.  The area is famous for the old granaries which are called Horrreo.  The Horrero look like little stone houses or tombs, you can find them in some of the towns hidden among the older areas, or all gathered together on hillsides.  Linodoso have a big group that stand together near the castle.

The castle is great, its free to go into except the very inner walls which are only open a small part of the year and coast a couple IMAG2919of euros to get into.  The Castle has a long history and was used up until 1910 by the Portuguese

Government.  We spend an hour walking along the walls and enjoying the view and crumbling history.  It definitely feels like an adventure.

 

Also….The National Park is home to special cow found in this area of Portugal, they are called Arouquesa and they are wonderful.  Look at this guy!!

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Sunshine!

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

Maud Hart Lovelace