Lagos, Portugal

After a pleasant visit in Porto, we traveled south towards Lagos, with the sun leading the way.

About midway through our drive, we stopped to visit the Monastery of Batalha (Mosteiro da Batalha) in central Portugal.

Batalha Monastery

Batalha Monastery

Batalha Monastery

Western Facade of Batalha Monastery.  Statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira.

This massive monastery was built to commemorate the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.  Taking almost two centuries to construct, this Gothic structure is a marvel.  It was a fascinating stop on our journey to Lagos.

Lagos is located in the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region.  The Algarve is a popular tourist destination known for its sandy beaches, great golf courses, and picturesque coastline.  Lagos is one of the most visited areas in the Algarve.  It is a historic seafaring town, dating back some 2000 years.  Although our visit was brief, we managed to soak in some sun and a bit of the charm from this attractive, seaside town.  Here are the highlights in photos…

Lagos4 Lagos3 Streets of Lagos Lagos1

With its cobbled streets, coastal character, and relaxed vibe, Lagos is a wonderful  place to relax (although I hear it has a vibrant nightlife, especially in summer).

Old City Walls

Old City Walls (Constructed in the 16th Century)

Lagos Marina

Lagos Marina

Ponta de Piedade

Dramatic Cliffs of Ponta de Piedade.

Just hanging around

“Local Line Up”

Obrigado, Lagos…for some much-needed sun!

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Porto, Portugal

It’s been a few months, but k&mk are back…plus one. During the break, we added a family member, who we’ll call “little h” (in case you missed the new header).

Our first trip with the little guy was to Portugal. We started out in Porto, in the north, and traveled to Lagos, in the south, with the hope of finding some sun (a necessity during the wet UK winter).

Porto

Porto

The hilly city of Porto (also known as Oporto), located at the mouth of the Douro River, is one of Portugal’s oldest cities.  With its picturesque riverfront district, medieval alleyways, colorful buildings, and fascinating tile-work it is a lovely city to explore. Being the home of port wine also adds to its lists of attributes.  Here are some of the highlights from our trip…

Torres dos Clérigos

Tower of Clerics

The Tower of Clerics (Torre dos Clérigos) is the bell tower of Clérigos Church. Completed in 1763, this tower is an iconic landmark of Porto boasting the best panorama of the city (if you can climb the 230+ steps to the top).

Liberdade Square

Liberdade Square

Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade) is a popular square in Porto.  A statue of King Pedro IV stands in the center with the Avenue of the Allies (Avenida dos Aliados), a major, modern boulevard, to the north. Town Hall, with its tall bell tower, stands at the top of the avenue.

São Bento Station

São Bento Train Station

São Bento Station, the city’s main train station, is known for its impressive tiled panels in its main hall, called azulejos. Some 20,000 tiles representing scenes of Portugal’s history cover the walls.

Azulejos

Azulejos (painted, glazed, ceramic tiles)

Porto Cathedral

Porto Cathedral

Completed in the 13th Century, the fortress-like Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto) is one of the city’s oldest structures.

Church of St. Francis

Church of St. Francis

The Church of Saint Francis (Igreja de São Francisco), widely known for its opulent Baroque interior, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ribeira District

Ribeira District

With its colorful buildings,  scenic riverfront location, cafés and restaurants, the Ribeira is a popular district in Porto.

Gaia

Gaia

Located across the Douro River from Porto is Gaia (Vila Nova de Gaia), home to the world-famous Port wine houses.  Port wine tasting was a highlight of our visit.  A must-do when in Porto!

Barcos Rabelos

Rabelo Boats

Rabelo boats (Barcos Rabelos) once transported port wine from the Alto Douro Wine Region to Gaia to be aged and stored.  These replicas make for the perfect photo op.

We had a wonderful time visiting this charming, riverside city.
Obrigado Porto!

Notable Eats
O Caracas Restaurant
Rua das Taipas, 27

Off to Lagos

London 2012 Summer Olympic Games

Congratulations to all the medalists and all the athletes who competed in the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  It was a thrill to watch!

Olympic Rings

Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge

Olympic Men’s Basketball

On Friday night, we watched Spain play Russia in the Olympic Men’s Basketball Semi-Final Game at North Greenwich Arena.  Another great event.

North Greenwich Arena

London 2012 – North Greenwich Arena – Olympic Men’s Basketball

Spain v Russia

Spain v Russia Team Intros

Jump Ball

Jump Ball – Start of the Game

Congratulations to Spain!  They defeated Russia 67-59 to play in the Gold Medal Game Sunday.  Good Luck!