On the way to Vila Real

We had left Viseu, driving north and stopping at every gas station. The drivers of fuel tankers were on strike and there was no diesel available anymore. In the evening we reached Lamego with less diesel in the tank but we found a beautiful spot for the night. The next day we hopped from one sight to the next.

Solar de Mateus

Parking for the night

The next morning we visited the Sanctuary of  Lamego, which had a long baroque stairway leading up from the town below.

Finally we found a gas station which had just received diesel!

On the way north, we crossed the Douro river before we reached a more historic place of worship – the Sanctuário de Panóias.

Douro river
Entering the place of sacrifice
Carved into big rocks by the Romans
We didn’t hear that humans were sacrificed, but you never know

We received audio guides and could watch a short video, where we learned that this place was created by the Romans – I would have placed it much earlier. It seems the Romans used this location to sacrifice animals to a god of the underworld. At their times there were buildings on each of the rocks and the basins were used to capture the blood from the animals, burn their innards and roast the meat for the priest to eat in a sacred ceremony. What a strange place!

Easter decoration

We had only a short drive to a completely different kind of sight: the Solar de Mateus.

Solar de Mateus

This palace from the 18th century is still the home of the Earls of Mangualde but can be visited. A baroque garden with topiary, roses and camellias surrounds the palace.

Formal garden
Camellias in bloom

We finally reached Vila Real, where we parked near the train station and walked into town. Soon we ran into an Easter procession.

Flower of the day
Sprouting tree

What a day! Tomorrow we will go hiking to relax a bit 😉

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