Jenny and I spent our honeymoon in Portugal, mostly because it’s a country neither of us had visited. Here’s a summary of what we did.
10 Oct 2009: IND to PHL to LIS
Simply a day of travel. When we arrived in Lisbon, it took us more than an hour to find Thrifty our car rental company because they did not maintain a booth in the airport like all of the other car companies. Do not rent from Thrifty if traveling to Portugal.
12 Oct 2009: AlcobaÃ§a, Batalha, and NazarÃ©
We spent the day traveling to towns near Ã“bidos.
In Batalha there was another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Monastery of Batalha. Complete with flying buttresses, gables, and spires, this monastery is considered one of the best examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal.
Lastly, we visited the coastal town of NazarÃ©. We also visited O SÃtio, which is an old town, on top of a cliff, overlooking NazarÃ©.
13 Oct 2009: Almourol and Tomar
Tomar (and the Convent of Christ)
We stayed the night in Tomar, but not before vising another UNESCO World Heritage site the Convent of Christ, aka the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar (transferred in 1344 to the Knights of the Order of Christ).
Travel day, headed north to the Alto Douro wine region.
On our way, we stopped of in Viseu to visit it’s old town and the Rococo facade of the Igreja da MisericÃ³rdia de Viseu. Unfortunately, it’s doors weren’t open so we couldn’t take a peek inside.
We eventually arrived at our second pousada, the Pousada de MesÃ£o Frio – Solar da Rede. Located in the middle of the Douro — a demarcated wine region and another UNESCO World Heritage site — this 18th century manor house was located within a 27-hectare vineyard and offered a great view of the Douro river.
15 Oct 2009: Amarante and Oporto
Travel from where the grapes are grown to where the port wine is made (and consumed): Oporto (aka Porto).
By the afternoon, we arrived in Oporto and headed straight to the Historic Centre of Oporto, another UNESCO World Heritage site. In particular, we liked the waterfront and the wineries. We enjoyed a tour of Calem. Unfortunately, Jenny and I both believe ports are too sweet for our taste.
16 Oct 2009: more Oporto
With a full day in Oporto, we started by visiting a few churches, enjoying lunch by the river, followed by an old trolley ride to the Atlantic to visit a not-so-cool fort (Forte de Sao Joao Baptista) and a nice park.
17 Oct 2009: Lisboa (aka Lisbon)
It took us about four hours to drive from Oporto to Lisboa, which gave us enough time to head to the old town to visit another castle: Castelo de Sao Jorge.
About an hour west of Lisbon is the hill town Sintra, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site. There we visited the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the Castelo dos Mouros, and the beautiful PalÃ¡cio Nacional da Pena.
Back in Lisbon, we took the metro to spend the day at the Oceanario de Lisboa, which had a very large tank in the center filled with fish, shark, and one large sunfish.
20 Oct 2009: Lisbon’s BelÃ©m region
The morning started off with rain. But by the time we road the metro and tram to Lisbon’s BelÃ©m region (west of downtown), the skys cleared up. There we visited the Torre de BelÃ©m and Mosteiro dos JerÃ³nimos (both UNESCO World Heritage sites), as well as the notable Museu Nacional dos Coches.
Faced with our second semi-rainy day, we decided to stay near the hotel and to visit Lisbon’s pathetic botanical garden the Jardim Botanico. Take a look at our photos to see how rundown it really was.
Our last full day in Portugal was spent about two hours east of Lisbon in Ã‰vora, also our last UNESCO World Heritage site. There we enjoyed a nice historic center filled with churches, a walled city, and some Roman ruins.
23 Oct 2009: LIS to PHL to RDU (and eventually IND)
With the honeymoon over, we headed back to the United States. We stopped by Raleigh for a few days before returning to Indianapolis. My parents through a nice post-wedding party for us which had many friends and family in attendance. It was nice.