Portugal Travel Notes #7 (7/11/18)

We began the family trip phase of our vacation yesterday with a welcome dinner at my sister-in-law Maria Do Carma’s house. Mira’s oldest brother, ‘Cico and his wife, Aliza, as well as her second-oldest brother, Armindo. Dinner included freshly barbequed steaks, pork ribs, rice and potatoes, fresh garden salad, and homemade red table wine. These large dinners will become a running motif!


Portugese chatter

my sister-in-law urges

me to eat


Sometime after lunch–a large meal that many would call dinner–Mira tells me that we’re heading to Chaves’ municipal hall to take care of some business. When we arrive, we find that the hall is closed. Undeterred, Maria Do Carmo leads us on a walking tour of her city. We begin by visiting yet another castle. This one consists of a tower, low walls and gardens. It is a museum of military history, all of whose exhibits have commentary written only in Portugese.


city view

the glint of light off the swords

on display



Frank and I at the top of the Castle tower in Chaves


Afterward, we continue. Maria Do Carma leads us through cobblestone streets past the “mother church” of the city, across the Roman Bridge–now a pedestrian walkway–and around the soon-to-open museum featuring the excavated discovery of Roman Baths. We also visit the St. Francis Hotel, which was once a convent and fortress also within the city’s medieval walls.


Sometime during this adventure, we stopped for coffee.



My sister-in-law, Maria Do Carma



sore feet

the meat pasteries she buys

before we head home



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