Showing posts from October, 2012


29 March 2012 Braga will be the first city in Portugal going to heaven as once every other building in Braga was a church or seminary.  Today, churches are still abundant in this relatively small city. Once entered into the city centre, you will feel the intensive religious atomsphere around.  First, Easter Semana Santa banners hung everywhere prior to the festival.  Church is more frequently seen than in other cities. The city is clean and bright.  Buildings have been restored. Flowers were everywhere.  Well, it's lots of money to make the city beautiful.  Not all European cities are lavishly decorated with flowers.  Braga can be reached from Porto by suburbano.  The journey lasts about 1 hours 10 minutes, costs 3 Euro.  A quicker suburbano runs some time, 15-20 minutes less.  Or you can take IC train which cost 10 Euro.  My experience, take the suburbano from Sao Bento.  Taking out the travelling time, you can still enjoy a good full day in Br

Vila Real

2 April 2012 Vila Real is the 'must stop' for Casa de Mateus if tourist is taking a bus from somewhere.  Say, one way trip to Porto over an hour and cost 9 Euro. From there one can take a connecting bus.  The first impression of Vila Real is neat and tidy, organised and everything refurbished.  It is a small town (less then 25,000 population) but affords to beautify to impress.  Houses are very nice and in a good state.  I can't remember seeing any decadent houses. Walking down to the end of the main street (Avendia Carvalho Araujo) will lead you to a panoramic view of a valley.  You will see a few houses scattering, in progress highway construction, part of a river and terreaced fields.  Very green and charming!   Igreja S.Paulo We visited a few churches. Two are Igreja S.Paulo and the cathedral. The first embedded in the shopping area with tile panels inside. The Cathedral is Romanesque style, raw and appealing. The rose window is very modern, however.