Part of the fortifications on top of the hill at Valenca do Minho
Today is our second wedding anniversary! At the Portuguese border no one wants to stop us and look at our passports. Near the border we spot a huge fortress town called Valenca do Minho. Parked at the bottom of the hill and climbed up into the city. The other tourists realise that you can drive there and follw traffic light systems through the narrow openings in the walls. There is a warren of streets inside with tourist shops and cafes and we indulged in some octopus vinegrette and coffee.
Coimbra is our next stop and we wander through the town and the steep cobbled streets. Andrew wants to make it to the top but I am not sure that my blisters want to be punished. Andrew keeps coming back down a few streets to insit that I keep going.
Inside the Coimbra cathedral
At the top there is a huge open square surrounded by a church with a very ornate interior, a university a statue in the square which looks a little like Henry VIII of England but is not and a view back over the town. Batalha promised a cathedral with a very ornate exterior and we agree, then find a camp site nearby at Nazare
. This ground had eucalypt trees in it and we decided for want of knowing what a 2nd wedding anniversary is that as Australians we would make it our gum leaf anniversary. Thanks Mum for letting me know that it was actually cotton. We have secured our Aussie flag at the top of one of our rear windows so that people seeing our number plates don't mistake us for Brits!
South through Portugal to Lisboa ( Lisbon) the famous port where many world explorers left from including Vasco de Gama who set off to explore for the Americas.
The fortress town at Valenca do Minho
Unable to get round it on the ring road due to a wrong turn we cross the waters leading away from the city via a large exceedingly long modern bridge. Mum reminds me that on our sea voyage to Australia in 1970 we did in fact stop here for the day back then. We chanced on Cabo de Roca, Europe's most westerly point. It is a wild, fragile, windy piece of nature with many lighthouses scatterd along the coastline and samphire one of the protected plants. Gruncho, Cais and Estril suddenly have modern houses, blocks of units which we learn are mainly populated by Brits and Dutch. Pushed on to Albuferia and a camp ground with large number of British holiday makers. No toilet paper in the facilities and this is the begining of this issue and we are also back to the situation that used toilet paper is to be placed in bins and not flushed.