view from the castle high in the air
Viana do Castelo Travel Blog› entry 18 of 48 › view all entries
July 5th, 2008 – by: lauro
our main destination when we get to the border was a small city called viana do castelo in portugal - its not located in the main highway and we have to turn to dirtroads to be able to reach it.
ive researched about the the place and it has a fantastic city atmosphere - with a cathedral perched high on a mountain with an amazing , striking and fantastic view of the atlantic ocean, the city and the surrounding mountains.
as we were driving in the autovia in spain - i am still sick, i cant even drink water and eat food - which am very weak for the moment. its the first time ben drove in continental europa with a left hand steering wheel, so he was still getting used to it. at one point while driving ben bumped the car on the road and all the girls screamed with nervousness and i swore in tagalog "putang ina" hahahaha hahahah i was damn scared but then - i got well! hahahaha hahaha all i need was a bump to get me back into action again! hahahahah hahaha.
thank you ben! :D
as we drove into the dirt roads in portugal leading to viana do castelo - it reminds me so much of the philippines - rustic, poor roads, farms, bougainvillas, houses which are similar to the countryside in the philippines.
i was seated beside ben in the front and reading the map for all of us. there wasnt a hitch so we arrived at viana do castelo at about 8 pm. there was still a lot of sunlight left and portugal is an hour less from spain - it has the timezone as in great britain.
now the most challenging part is how to drive to the cathedral, it was pretty diffucult once inside the city because there are less directions to go and where and finding a place to sleep for the night.
we took some false turns and i said we should go to centro because im sure we can get directions from there easily. but we still hadnt been to the centro when i saw a sign going up to the cathedral! ben was so confused in the motorway because of not being used to left handed driving hahahaha hahahah hahaha.
it was again a FANTASTIC RIDE going up the mountain into the cathedral - most of the tour groups and buses were going down because its already dusky.
it was chilly there! it was only 16°c and gust of winds blowing. i dont have any warm clothes with me - all i have was the orangey thingy hood but that was not enough. i was cold up there AND HUNGRY TOO.
there were no people up there except for some portuguese tour group - the last one, who were singing.
atop the cathedral i was so breathless, it was amazing - no words can describe how beautiful it was.
the cathedral is named cathedral de santa luzia, as far as my memory is concerned while studying in über exclusive catholic schools back in the philippines, luzia was one of the three children where the virgin mary appeared to in fatima which is coincidencially a town also in portugal.
there were some informations saying that according to national geographic the cahtedral de santa luzia has one of the most breathtaking views of any cathedral on the world! how marvelous was that?!
lori, hannah, rubs and robbo watched the sunset because it was so beautiful - but i cant stay in one place i need to move since it was so chilly. so ben and me were hopping like rabbits in the area. hahahahaha.
i couldnt take it anymore - i need some food and i coerced rubs to find mcdonalds for us :D hahahahaha.
ben was driving like a lunatic because its difficult inside portugal - signs are a rarity - and eagle eye lori remembered that theres a mall just near the central station with a mcdonalds sign on it.
after a few twists and turns we finally found it! and ben parked the car somewhere near the town hall.
when we got inside the mall ALL THE PEOPLE WERE LOOKING AT US, it made me red with embarassment - most of the people were looking at rubs! hahahahah hahahah hahahahah hahahahaha and at me because i dressed strangely :D
we finally decided to eat at pizza hut and the waiter were so confused and amazed that we were foreigner and they made us sit outside but it was too chilly - so hannah asked the waiter if we can sit inside. it took 1000 years to finally get our order! hahahaha i was trying to take a pic of us but dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my camera was not working anymore! i cant take night pics with flash! arrghhhhhhhhhhh ill worry about that later im hungry! i ate lasagna and shared an appetizer with rubs.
after late late late dinner - we must find a parking lot for us to sleep.
after driving a couple of turns, the guys decided to "camp" on a parking lot on the harbor with lights on and lots of people milling around. i dont like the idea of this and i am against it. its not that i am the boss or anything - but it can get seriously creepy - imagine if someone would trip on us and punch holes in tires of the car?!!
then we decided to look for more secluded places - then we found one in the middle of the park where it was allowed to camp and sleep. but its still freaky because people in portugal dont sleep at all! hahahah they were just walking and walking - i am so tired and needed sleep but i still cant sleep! the guys plopped on the sidewalks and started drinking booze.
we drove back atop the cathedral and found a small parking space to park the car - so we decided to sleep there, as were about to sleep lori suddenly freaked out! because there was an altar with red candles on with the virgin mary just across us and lori said it was devil candles! hahaahahah fuck that was 40 minutes or even an hour or so freaking her out before she finally tucked in to bed! when it was quiet - i finally slept and DREADING the next day for us!
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