September 18 - Visit to Lamego and Vila Real and a boat ride on the Douro
Off in the bus at 9 but we got stuck due to an accident and the order of events was reversed for the day. While waiting I made a panoramic of the opposite side of the river (283). We drove to Lamego finally, which turned out to be surprisingly large and modern, evidently quite prosperous. We went to see the Church of Our Lady of Remedies (284 - 288). This is a pilgrimage site since the 18th C. It has a magnificent double stairway with 686 steps and 9 terraces down which the more intrepid members of our group descended, but not us. We went down in the bus and waited for them in a park (289).
We went on to Pinhao where we got on a boat that had been hired just for our group. It would take us down river to a dam just above Peso da Regua and we would have lunch on it (290 - 313). The trip was uneventful, but scenic and the lunch was good, but forgotten now. Started with a good seafood soup. Near the end we came to a dam and descended in a lock, all of which is captured in figs 300 to 311. It was quite interesting to see how it operated and to see what a large drop it gave.
After that we went on to Vial Real. We were stopped and forced to detour because of people in the street in front of a church. Evidently someone prominent had died and the people come together when that happens. Finally we got to Casa de Mateus. This baroque manor house was built in the 18th C and was at one time depicted on the label of the Mateus wine bottle (314 - 315). We had a tour of the house but by that time we were getting a little overwhelmed by baroque and not permitted pictures. Whether saw the chapel (316) and the gardens, which are spectacular (317 - 322). The star of the garden is the cedar tunnel, which was planted in 1941 and is trimmed with special curved ladders (318 - 319). Then we went back to our pousada for dinner which was good but forgotten.