A Travellerspoint blog

Lisbon - and then............

sunny
View Europe on Bob and Kerrie's travel map.


Hola dear Amigos

Aren't those cobbled stone streets lovely - fairly innocuous, harmless looking tiny stones carefully planted in the streets of numerous European towns. Well, let me tell you, they aren't so lovely, nor innocuous, nor harmless - not when you trip and almost face plant yourself into those tiny, rough, hard and dangerous things!

Innocuous cobble stoned street

Innocuous cobble stoned street


We had just arrived in Lisbon, safely ensconced ourselves in a lovely van park on the outskirts of town and caught the local bus into the town centre. An interesting little half an hour ride through the streets of Lisbon and around the city centre. We jumped off the bus, excited to start investigating the town. I got myself a coffee and followed Bob across the cobble stoned street back to the town square when oops...........................I tripped on one of those lovely little stones and landed shoulder first hard onto the street - coffee flying in the air. Bob heard "oh no" and turned around to see me lying on the ground. He and another fellow helped me up, with my right arm dangling down the side. Immediately the other fellow (who had some medical knowledge) said "you've dislocated your shoulder"! Holy moly - what have I done!! This fellow knew his stuff and immediately sat me down, took my scarf off and wrapped it around my neck to form a sling for my arm - and then rang the ambulance, speaking in Portugese and relating my injuries. Oh by the way, this is only at 11am in the morning - I hadn't been drinking - although I sure felt like one after the fall!

The ambulance arrived and took me to Lisbon hospital which fortunately was just up the road. I was in the waiting room with the million other people waiting to be looked at. I was in sooooooo much pain and in shock. Bob did his very best in pushing me up the queue as fast as he could - trying to explain in his best Portugese hand language that my injury was pretty damn bad and needed to be looked at urgently. After about an hour or so, he finally convinced a doctor and in I went to triage. Then it was action stations! After the x-ray, the doc took Bob and I into his room, explained the situation, then drugged me and took me away to put my shoulder back into place. Next thing I know is that I am in a ward with my arm back in place - all good. Bob was finally let into see me. By this stage its about 3 or 4pm in the afternoon. After Bob is assured by me and the doc that I will be OK, he then heads back to the campsite to have a rest.

Now thats what I call a break - that's bits of bone floating around in my shoulder

Now thats what I call a break - that's bits of bone floating around in my shoulder


At about 10.30pm that night, I am visited by two docs. They give me the news that my shoulder is severely fractured and that they are going to have to operate immediately. The reason is that they believe the bone in my shoulder is dying. There's only 10% chance the bone will live and I have two options - one is to put a plate in my shoulder and pray the bone lives - OR use a prosthesis straight away. WHAT THE HELL - I don't want a false arm - operate and put a place it, no matter how slim the chance is (it's not until the next day that I realise that by "prosthesis", they meant false shoulder ball - not arm!). Anyway, I ring Bob and tell him the news that the docs are going to operate tonight . WHAT THE HELL Bob says! So Bob catches an uber back into the hospital. After several more tests, they wheel me into theatre at 2am in the morning - Bob is told to wait in the waiting room and they'll let him know how they go. Well, 4 hours later at 6am, after numerous texts from my two lovely sisters wondering if I was alive or not (Bob trying to re-assure them that while he doesnt know, he's sure I'll be OK, he hopes!! I do survive and am wheeled back into another ward with 5 or 6 other Portugese patients.

Kerrie now has a new plate

Kerrie now has a new plate


So long story short - I had dislocated my shoulder and severely broken it in four places. Can you believe that! I still cant!

Kerrie in Lisbon Hospital after op

Kerrie in Lisbon Hospital after op


I spent a week in Lisbon hospital, which wasn't that bad and in fact the docs and nurses were really lovely. There were times that I felt pretty sore and sorry for myself - and for Bob, ruining our holiday etc etc, But I kept reminding myself that it's not the end of the world, particularly when you look around at the other patients in the orthopaedic ward that I'm in - lots with spinal and neck injuries with neck braces and in wheel chairs - what have I got to whinge about! And also, look at the view from my hospital bed - cant complain about that!

View from ward in Lisbon hospital

View from ward in Lisbon hospital


Our travel insurance company was fantastic - handled everything (with the help of Bob) very quickly and efficiently. But of course, we can't continue on our travels in the motorhome and I need to get back to Australia for ongoing treatment. After I'm let out of hospital (those 6 days seemed like an eternity!), we stayed in a lovely hotel across the road from the campsite for a few days. We packed up the campervan (well, Bob did - I just supervised), gave away our champagne, port, whiskey and food to the campers next door (who interestingly where a lovely young couple from Rockhampton - but that's for another story!) who were most appreciative.

Then we were flown back to Brissie (did I tell you business class - oh I have, haven't I!). Then the long, long road to recovery.............................

We will continue our Portugal journey another time!

Love
Kerrie and Bob

Posted by Bob and Kerrie 22:58 Archived in Portugal Tagged lisbon Comments (0)

Roman ruins in Conimbriga, Nazare, Obidos and Peniche

semi-overcast
View Europe on Bob and Kerrie's travel map.


Hello Amegos

After Coimbra, we head towards the coast to our next town which is Naraze. On the way, we absolutely need to stop (so Bob says!) to have a look at some ancient Roman ruins in an area called Conimbriga. I don’t know if you’ve heard the story about a previous trip we did to Rome in which we spent a whole afternoon (and I mean hours and hours) investigating Roman ruins and then the next day, spent the whole day at Pompeii. I’m not sure what it is about Roman ruins but Bob has this never ending fascination with them. Anyway, the Roman ruins weren’t too bad – and were actually quite interesting. The ruins were of an aristocrat’s large mansion (3,200m2 – now that’s a BIG house) with beautiful mosaic hand laid tiles on paths and courtyards all around. The mansion was surrounded by old thermal baths, smaller cottages for tradespeople, shops, fountains, small stadium and stage. The heating system for the little town was very interesting in that an aqueduct bought water from nearby Conimbriga (about 3 kms away) into a reservoir and then along stone and brick pipes throughout the neighbourhood – and there was some sort of heating system as well. This was all built in the 1st Century! Now of course Bob took 1,000++ photos but I‘ve picked a few of interest.
Mosaics

Mosaics

Mosaics

Mosaics

Aristocrat's mansion

Aristocrat's mansion

Ruins

Ruins

Ruins

Ruins

Water system

Water system

Ruins

Ruins


Ruins

Ruins

Small schematic town model

Small schematic town model

There was a museum next to the ruins which had some interesting old tools, jewellery and coins which were used throughout the time. Bob found the sculptures shaped like a phallus (aka penis) the most fascinating – apparently they were made in this shape to ward off evil spirits of some sort.
Clay recreations of penis

Clay recreations of penis

Iron depictions of penis

Iron depictions of penis

We finally leave the Roman ruins and head to Naraze where we stay two nights. The Nazare campsite was quite nice with grassed terraces running down towards to shore front. The only compliant was damn cold showers!

At the campsite we run into two nice couples that we’ve met along the way. One was Carl and Helen and the other Paul and Brenda. Paul and Brenda are looking for some company so they ask if we’d like to accompany them on a little journey the next day. We jumped at the chance to be driven around looking as some new sites – so we were on board.

So the next day we head off with Paul and Brenda to Obidos is a gorgeous historic town with a maze of cobble stoned streets, lined with flower decked whitewashed houses painted vivid yellows and blues.
Lovely cobble stoned laneway

Lovely cobble stoned laneway

Lovely cobbled stoned laneway

Lovely cobbled stoned laneway


We walk around this lovely little town looking at all the highlights, tasting chocolate cherry licquor (at 10am!) on the way and of course, trying our first “pastel de nata” or custard tarts (famous little tarts in Portugal).
Kerrie about to try cherry liquor in chocolate cup

Kerrie about to try cherry liquor in chocolate cup

Kerrie will bundle of joy - Potugese custard tarts

Kerrie will bundle of joy - Potugese custard tarts


Some of the highlights include an aqueduct, old castle, interesting book shop and an ancient wall that surrounds the village and keeps invaders away! We go for an intrepid walk on top of the wall, which is very high and has a very narrow walkway – with absolutely no workplace, health and safety rails whatsoever. A few people walking around the wall had white ashen faces, were clutching the side wall for some stability and one even turned around and when back down because it was so nerve wracking. Anyway, we survived and saw some lovely views of the town and surrounding countryside along the way.
Aqueduct

Aqueduct

View of castle

View of castle


Bookshop

Bookshop

Town wall

Town wall

View up stairs to town wall

View up stairs to town wall

Walkway along city wall

Walkway along city wall


By late afternoon we left Obidos and Paul and Brenda said “let’s go onto see another side” – why not! So head off to a coastal point called Peniche which has spectacular rock formations along the sea. There are huge boulders leaning against each other which seemed to have been purposely positioned that way by some sculptor but have just been formed by the force of the waves and water.
Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Jumbled rocks

Bob still searching

Bob still searching


We have a fabulous day with Paul and Brenda and arrive home late, exhausted but pleased with the day.

Adios for another day

Posted by Bob and Kerrie 00:49 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Viseu, Aveiro and Coimbra

sunny


Hello Ameigos
After leaving our lovely campsite at Lamego, we drive back through the countryside towards the coast and stop for lunch at a little town called Viseu. We wander the historical centre, through cobble stoned streets, meandering up and down alleys, through the local council building (with beautiful mosaic tiles) and through a leafy public park.
Lovely park Viseu

Lovely park Viseu

Bob in park at Viseu

Bob in park at Viseu

Kerrie in park at Viseu

Kerrie in park at Viseu

Kerrie and Bob in front of church

Kerrie and Bob in front of church

View of canal

View of canal

Kerrie over seeing old fellas work

Kerrie over seeing old fellas work

Cable car lines running up very steep street

Cable car lines running up very steep street

Kerrie having lunch in lovely laneway cafe

Kerrie having lunch in lovely laneway cafe

Stairs and murals in council building

Stairs and murals in council building


After Viseu, we head to the coast to a little coastal town called Aveiro. Aveiro is known as the little Venice because it has a number of canals running through the town navigated by gondola ride boats.
Boat in canal

Boat in canal

Boat in canal and nice buiding

Boat in canal and nice buiding


Aveiro is a gorgeous little canal town and we start our visit at the local fish markets – gee, how interesting they are. Squriming, slippery fish, octopus, eels – you name it ready to buy, cook up and enjoy. We can’t quite get past the wriggling eels (well, we think that is what they are) so we don’t buy anything.
Fish market

Fish market


Then we decide not to wander anymore but to catch gondola and travel through the canals so we can see the town that way. The trip is about an hour long and very interesting – we travel through various canals and the driver tells us all sorts of stories and history of the town. We see some interesting buildings, most old but some new with modern architecture – some only a few metres wide, little bridges and all sorts of things.
Modern building - see tiny one in middle

Modern building - see tiny one in middle

Modern home

Modern home

Lovely old very bright yellow building

Lovely old very bright yellow building

Old flour mill now council building

Old flour mill now council building

VIew of pedestrian bridge

VIew of pedestrian bridge

Canal

Canal

Canal

Canal

Inside church

Inside church

Ribbons along bridge

Ribbons along bridge


Oh and the reason behind the horn (in the boat assistant’s hand) is that when you approach a bridge, you sound the horn to let other boats know you’re coming through!
Gondola assistant blowing horn

Gondola assistant blowing horn


We then drive onto on our next stop, Coimbra, We arrive in the afternoon and pull into our campsite on the edge of town, and low and behold, who do we park alongside but Helen and Carl from Lamego! It’s amazing who you run into when in Portugal!

The next day we catch a local bus into Coimbra which is a reknowned university town, with the oldest University in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world. Apparently to study at Coimbra University is a great honour. The town itself has an atmospheric historic centre which cascades down the hillside above the river and we spend the whole day wandering around.

We learn that today is a day of celebration by university students and the town is quite busy with all sorts of mischievous activities by the students.
We’re told that if you want to see some the renowned public buildings, we had better hurry up because some of them will close because of the student celebrations. So off we go. We have a look at some impressive rooms of the University Building itself (the Room of Grand Acts, the Room of Arms, the Yellow Room) then onto some other buildings including a Science Museum. All very interesting, especially the Science Museum because there were lots of manual experimental machines that you could push buttons, pull strings, wind bits and pieces and even blow up a helium balloon! We had lots of fun.
Kerries helium ballon - Science Museum

Kerries helium ballon - Science Museum


University square

University square

University buildings

University buildings

Tree lined street in university

Tree lined street in university


Room of Grand Acts - where ceremonies of academic life took place

Room of Grand Acts - where ceremonies of academic life took place

Old libaray

Old libaray

Old library

Old library

Old manuscript

Old manuscript

The most anticipated and exciting part we (and everyone else) want to look at is a very, very old library (not the one in the photographs above) but another more interesting one that still operates although under very strict rules. Because it is so popular, there is limited time slots and limited viewings of the library but we're able to get in in the nick of time. We aren't allowed to take photographs but we bought a brochure for us to remember it by and take our own photos. It was built in 1728 and has over 200,000 volumes of books. It has two very large rooms with double height ceilings all painted with baroque motifs. Both rooms are lined with dark oak shelves, with books and manuscripts behind grills. Apparently oak was used because of its natural pesticide qualities. Another method they use to keep rodents away is bats - there's a colony of bats that live in the ceiling that the library chiefs are happy to have. In the evenings the library chiefs put leather table clothes over the tables (we watch them do it) and allow the bats to fly around at night and ward off any rodents (the table clothes are to catch the bat poop!)
Coimbra Library

Coimbra Library

Coimbra Library shelves

Coimbra Library shelves


Then we wander around to the other buildings and around town – very interesting and vibrant little town!
Lovely laneway

Lovely laneway

Gardens and church

Gardens and church


View of bridge and river

View of bridge and river

View of river and city

View of river and city

Kerrie trying to look relaxed in stools made from old tyres

Kerrie trying to look relaxed in stools made from old tyres


We run into lots of student celebrations - mostly of the older students giving the younger students an initiation of some sort.
Here’s some younger students crawling up a laneway – they’re made to do that by the older students – pretty damn tough!
Students crawling up steep laneway

Students crawling up steep laneway


Here’s a young law student whose just finished her degree. The vegetable she’s holding is a turnip and the tradition is that once you’ve graduated, celebrated with a belly full of beer, then you have to eat the turnip – yuk!
Law student

Law student

We finally wander home (by Uber!) and end up drinking two bottles of champagne with Helen and Carl - a great day and night, hic!

Adios for now

Posted by Bob and Kerrie 00:30 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Viseu, Aveiro and Coimbra

sunny


Hello Ameigos
After leaving our lovely campsite at Lamego, we drive back through the countryside towards the coast and stop for lunch at a little town called Viseu. We wander the historical centre, through cobble stoned streets, meandering up and down alleys, through the local council building (with beautiful mosaic tiles) and through a leafy public park.
Lovely park Viseu

Lovely park Viseu

Bob in park at Viseu

Bob in park at Viseu

Kerrie in park at Viseu

Kerrie in park at Viseu

Kerrie and Bob in front of church

Kerrie and Bob in front of church

View of canal

View of canal

Kerrie over seeing old fellas work

Kerrie over seeing old fellas work

Cable car lines running up very steep street

Cable car lines running up very steep street

Kerrie having lunch in lovely laneway cafe

Kerrie having lunch in lovely laneway cafe

Stairs and murals in council building

Stairs and murals in council building


After Viseu, we head to the coast to a little coastal town called Aveiro. Aveiro is known as the little Venice because it has a number of canals running through the town navigated by gondola ride boats.
Boat in canal

Boat in canal

Boat in canal and nice buiding

Boat in canal and nice buiding


Aveiro is a gorgeous little canal town and we start our visit at the local fish markets – gee, how interesting they are. Squriming, slippery fish, octopus, eels – you name it ready to buy, cook up and enjoy. We can’t quite get past the wriggling eels (well, we think that is what they are) so we don’t buy anything.
Fish market

Fish market


Then we decide not to wander anymore but to catch gondola and travel through the canals so we can see the town that way. The trip is about an hour long and very interesting – we travel through various canals and the driver tells us all sorts of stories and history of the town. We see some interesting buildings, most old but some new with modern architecture – some only a few metres wide, little bridges and all sorts of things.
Modern building - see tiny one in middle

Modern building - see tiny one in middle

Modern home

Modern home

Lovely old very bright yellow building

Lovely old very bright yellow building

Old flour mill now council building

Old flour mill now council building

VIew of pedestrian bridge

VIew of pedestrian bridge

Canal

Canal

Canal

Canal

Inside church

Inside church

Ribbons along bridge

Ribbons along bridge


Oh and the reason behind the horn (in the boat assistant’s hand) is that when you approach a bridge, you sound the horn to let other boats know you’re coming through!
Gondola assistant blowing horn

Gondola assistant blowing horn


We then drive onto Coimbra, which is a university town with an atmospheric historic centre which cascades down the hillside above the river. We pull into our campsite on the edge of town, and low and behold, who do we park alongside but Helen and Carl from Lamego! It’s amazing who you run into when in Portugal!

The next day we catch a local bus into Coimbra and spend the whole day wandering around.
University square

University square

University buildings

University buildings

Tree lined street in university

Tree lined street in university

We learn that today is a day of celebration by university students and the town is quite busy with all sorts of mischievous activities by the students.
Here’s some younger students crawling up a laneway – they’re made to do that by the older students – pretty damn tough!
Students crawling up steep laneway

Students crawling up steep laneway


Here’s a young law student whose just finished her degree. The vegetable she’s holding is a turnip and the tradition is that once you’ve graduated, celebrated with a belly full of beer, then you have to eat the turnip – yuk!
Law student

Law student


We’re told that if you want to see some the renowned public buildings, we had better hurry up because some of them will close because of the student celebrations. So off we go, first of all to a very, very old library with ancient manuscripts in them.
Old libaray

Old libaray

Old library

Old library

Old manuscript

Old manuscript


Then we wander around to the other buildings and around town – very interesting and vibrant little town!
Lovely laneway

Lovely laneway

Room of Great Acts - in one of old law building

Room of Great Acts - in one of old law building

Gardens and church

Gardens and church

University square

University square

Room of Arms - in one of old law buildings

Room of Arms - in one of old law buildings

View of bridge and river

View of bridge and river

View of river and city

View of river and city

Kerrie trying to look relaxed in stools made from old tyres

Kerrie trying to look relaxed in stools made from old tyres

Adios for now

Posted by Bob and Kerrie 23:50 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Lamego

sunny
View Europe on Bob and Kerrie's travel map.


Hello Amegos
After Pinhao, we head further west, again along the Duoro River to another little town called Lamego. There’s a campsite on the edge of Lamego that’s been recommended by other campsiters – and it’s a beauty. It’s run by a lovely couple called Nino and Clara. The site has a beautiful old hotel of around 15 rooms that Nino and Clara bought from Nino’s old uncle. It was a bit run down but N & C have renovated it to a high standard and are almost ready to use it as accommodation. In the meantime, they have set up about 8 or so motorhome sites around the hotel – with a wine/beer garden in the middle. It’s a really lovely set up and the wine/beer garden is where most motorhomers congregate at night having a drink and meeting new people. We enjoy the arrangement so much that we end up staying there about 3 or 4 nights, meeting some really nice couples along the way.
Bar area at Lamego campsite

Bar area at Lamego campsite

Hotel Lamego

Hotel Lamego


Dizzie next to hotel

Dizzie next to hotel


The main name to fame in Lamego is the beautiful old cathedral that is based on the BOM Jesus site in Braga (remember that one that Bob made me walk up 600 stairs!). Well, this one is much the same in that it is built on top of a very high hill amongst a forest and has similar 600 step stair case leading up to the cathedral. Of course, we have to walk up each and every one of those stairs – and you think my life is easy!! Anyway, the view from the top is wonderful in that you look down to the town and through the tree lined park below – very well designed by those old Portugueseans.
Looking up at church

Looking up at church

Good view of church

Good view of church

Tiles on stairs

Tiles on stairs

Tree lined square in park

Tree lined square in park


On one day of our stay at this campsite, we decide not to go out and about but to just relax at the campsite. I sit around in the sun and catch up on some blogging while Bob hears that there’s a rally on with old vintage cars. Well, that’s the last I saw of Bob for the afternoon! He found the rally drive which ran up and around the cathedral on the top of the hill, through the lovely forest. Now there’s a man in heaven! There are about 1,000 photos that Bob took – but here’s one I picked.
Historial rally drive

Historial rally drive


Railly drive

Railly drive

Adios for now

Posted by Bob and Kerrie 23:48 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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