A SWEET DAY WALKS and SIGNS

Early morning walk with Suki the dog. The sun is rising. I watch the world come awake. Here we are at a lovely old olive grove that is being cleared and rehabilitated.. Sunlight streaming in through the trees.
On the early morning walk, I come across these signs…. Left to MERUGE Right to CORTINHAL. What does this mean, I think. Must go there.

A typical stone carved road sign. I love this. RUA Da CORTICEIRA. Grey stone, dark letters.
In the late afternoon we love sitting on the giant rock next to the house. Suki is a sensational dog.

MEGALITHIC DOLMEN Sacred Burial Tombs

Donny and I took these pictures… Sacred burial sites 6000 years ago. Peacefully resting in the countryside.
Truly sacred. Made by human hands 6000 years ago. Strangely timeless.
Lovely, simple explanation of the site. There are quite a few in this area. Thank you to our friends Jeanne and Tony for showing this to us.

Dolmen. This one just about 15 minutes from where we are staying in Oliveira do Hospital.

A DAY TOO BIG TO CAPTURE

I don’t have the words to describe today. Tony and Jeanne and their awesome dog Toby came to visit us in Oliveira do Hospital from their home which is in Manique do Intendente (which is where we first housesat for them when we arrived in Portugal a month ago.) Jeanne and Tony and Toby came from about two hours away and they got a beautiful B and B nearby us so we could explore this area together. Today we hit the Roman Ruins (and there are many) but these are literally 10 minutes away.

Besides the massively amazing things we experienced today, we learned that “do Hospital” means that this area was indeed the site of a “Hospital” . The monks and the Knights of the Templar had a hospital here. Early 700s??? ( where they tended to the sick and injured.) And that’s AFTER the Romans were here. !!! Please don’t hold me to being an historian… but today was a journey of all journeys. My mind and heart are full.

We get an unexpected , personal tour by the lead archeologist at the Roman Ruins Museum. Our American friends that we met through our fist housesit are with us. Here we are with our mouths agape as we meet living history.
The lead Archeologist takes us to his active dig . They are only 10 years into discovering this Roman Village. Occupied 6000 year ago.
The Square. They uncovered this Roman arch and put it back in place. There is a temple under my feet. They are going to uncover it next. The house behind me will be removed. The Arch is the entryway to the Coliseum.
The Museum. Bobadela Roman Ruins. Ten minutes from where we are staying in Oliveira do Hospital. This Museum is truly wonderful. Actively engaged with schools, teachers, community, tour groups… it’s ALIVE.
Photo by Donny. The Coliseum which they have just recently discovered. Active site. They are still uncovering and adding to it.
One kilometer away….The Olive Oil Museum. AZEITE is the word for Olive Oil. Olive tree, and Olives… different word. We ate at their restaurant. Another total story….. delicious.
Honoring the Olive Tree planted by the Romans.
Lovely local docents talk with us about all things Olive Oil, and more. Including the Roman Ruins next door.
AND…. the furry friendly gorgeous Olive Oil Roman Donkey on site.

The connections we experienced today were profound. From the lovely young women who greeted us at the Museum of Olive Oil (we did not know that our server at the restaurant was the Museum Founders daughter) to the docent at the Roman Museum who came out to speak to us in the courtyard near the Roman Arch… he was from South Africa… to the fully engaged young archeologist who took us to his dig sites, to the furry donkey watching over the whole thing. It was all connected.

Bobadela Ruins

Olive Oil Museum Museu do Azeite town of (Oliviera do Hospital)

WE ARE IN OLIVEIRA DO HOSPITAL NEAR COIMBRA

SUCH A GREAT HOUSE. EARLY MORNING WALK.
Donny and Stella in the sunshine.
Rocks are part of everything
Clearing the countryside. Tractor hauling brush behind the house.
Wonderful host dog Suki in our car ready to show us around.

The grocery store is only 6 minutes away in the town of OLIVEIRA do Hospital. It’s a city really.

BAR OF SOAP LOCATED IN THE CITY OF PORTO

CLOTHES LINE WITH ONE SHIRT, AND A MARTINI GLASS.

THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET, COOL PEOPLE, DOGS, AND KINDNESS…….

BAR OF SOAP is a place I keep reading about while researching the city of Porto which will be our next stop on February 24.

BAR OF SOAP came up repeatedly on many of the international ex-pat and travel forums that we follow, as an almost mythical place in the City of Porto, where you could do your laundry, get a drink, a light meal… and more importantly… make lots of great connections and fellowship.

BAR OF SOAP is a place I had already decided I wanted to visit in Porto, and incredibly, they are now expecting us!!!

Last night Donny and I were trying to find an affordable, pet-friendly place to stay in Porto and we weren’t having any luck. So I decided to message BAR OF SOAP to see if they had any suggestions or insights.

Almost immediately I got a reply from Jesse. He called the HOTEL AMERICA across the street from him in Porto, to see if they would take Stella. More importantly, Jesse told me that you can always ask. Especially with a small dog. Donny and I were doing searches on line and clicking the “Pet-Friendly” button and we weren’t getting a lot of choices, especially in our price-range.

Yes, Hotel America would take Stella !!!!!!!!!! but they had no dates available that worked for us. But they turned us on to Oporto City Apartments just minutes away and when I called to ask about dogs, they said YES to Stella. Super location and super affordable.

Massive thanks to Jesse who embodied all the amazing things we had read about Bar of Soap.

See you in Porto in a week. !!!! We can do our laundry, make friends, join a writing group, listen to music, get new ideas, meet travelers from all over the world…

REPEAT PHOTO OF STELLA ON THE LUGGAGE CART. IT DIDN’T HURT THAT I INCLUDED THIS PHOTO OF STELLA IN MY MESSAGE TO BAR OF SOAP ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE!!

SUNSHINE AND BOULDERS

THE SUN SHINES ON THIS WONDERFUL HOUSE WITH STONE WALLS AND RED TILE ROOF. SO MANY WONDERFUL VANTAGE POINTS. THIS BACK VIEW IS THE UPSTAIRS. EACH LEVEL IS AT GROUND LEVEL!
THE BACKYARD. WE LOVE THE BIG BOULDERS. WE SAT ON THE BIG ROCKS TODAY WITH THE DOGS AND JUST SOAKED IT ALL IN.
COOKING DINNER. SUPER KITCHEN . THE STONE WALLS AND WONDERFUL DOORS AND WINDOWS CREATE SO MUCH ATMOSPHERE.
AND YES THERE IS A SUPER LITTLE WOOD BURNING STOVE.

TRUSTED HOUSESITTERS

HAPPY THAT WE BROUGHT OUR RAIN BOOTS FOR TRAMPING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. DONNY AND JANET’S BOOTS ON A ROCK IN OLIVEIRA DO HOSPITAL.
HOUSESITTING AND SETTLING IN. STELLA ON THE SOFA. THIS RENOVATED FARM HOUSE IS A WORK OF ART. YES, THAT GIANT ROCK IS PART OF THE WALL. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.
STELLA AND OUR HOST DOG SUKI WHO IS SUCH A SWEETHEART. THEY ARE MAKING FRIENDS ON THE SOFA.
THERE ARE TWO ADORABLE CATS HERE AS WELL. SUPER AFFECTIONATE AND SWEET. CHECK OUT THE THICK STONE WALLS AND DEEP WINDOWSILL.
THE RENOVATION AND STONE WORK IS SIMPLY OUTSTANDING IN THIS SPECIAL HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY.

We will be here for about ten days Housesitting and I promise lots of photos and information. Lawrence, the owner, is from England and he said that we may post about his beautiful home in Portugal. He is so well-located and so well-settled here. And, he is in the process of building another house on his property and this house will become a rental. It is truly special~~ we feel so fortunate to have met Lawrence online and today we met him in person. We are looking forward to our time here with these lovely animals in this setting. Stay tuned!

Oliveira do Hospital

Trusted Housesitters

WE ARE IN THE NORTH IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

MAP. SAGRES TO OLIVEIRA DO HOSPITAL.
Stella in our hotel room.
Spent the night here at darling rural hotel.

We spent last night at QUINTA CHAU DA VINHA. Super sweet. Great breakfast. No English. Very friendly.

Quinta chau da VINHA. Cobblestone pathway on the property.
A lot of beautiful stonework in this area. Thick stone walls.beautiful doorways.

We found a wonderful place in the village for dinner and again almost no English but super super warm and friendly. All locals. Family run and delicious local country food.