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Portugal - Douro

Today I'm heading to the mountains in the north of Portugal. In fact, I'm trying to save myself from the cold and rainy weather, with rare breakthroughs of sunshine, which has accompanied me since my arrival.


Tonight, I'm going to sleep in a stone house but first, I'm going to visit.


Braga

First stop in Braga at the Santuário do Bom Jesus do Monte.


Besides the huge sanctuary, there is a monumental staircase called the “Sacred Way of Bon Jesus,” a forest (the Bon-Jésus Park), and a century-old hydraulic funicular.


This funicular, opened in March 1882, is the oldest in the world still in service.


The driving force is provided by spring water. It is made up of two cabins moving on two parallel tracks, one at the top, the other at the bottom of the slope. The water added to a tank located under the upper cabin allows it to descend and the lighter lower cabin to rise. I love human inventiveness when it manages to create useful and simple things. There is no risk that this funicular will stop working following a solar flare.



I even get a bell concert. One more memory to keep preciously in a corner of my mind.



Guimarães

I've been gaming for a few months. I became what we call a “gamer”. Nothing particularly special here, there are millions of us playing video games, but my old age (I have been over fifty for a long time), and my negative perception of video games did not predispose me to this hobby. However, when my son suggested a game that suited my personality, I said to myself: Why not!


So I discovered Baldur's Gate 3 with difficulty at first (it's not easy to control a character when you don't know WASD and other basic controls) and with delight afterwards, as my mastery of the characters was refining. When I play, I immerse myself each time in a dreamlike world allowing me to give free rein to my secret desires.


So, when I enter the palace of the Dukes of Braganza, located in Guimarães, my imagination takes flight. I see myself grabbing the Night Spear and fighting the enemies in the halls of the palace.


I even carefully examine the tapestry in the great hall to see if my exploits are recounted there.


Okay, okay, let's calm down and slowly come back to reality... because I still have more to discover today.



Cabeceiras de Basto

Paradise on Earth. The owners, a Belgian couple, decided to swap the hustle and bustle of the city for a calm life close to nature. This required some adaptation on their part but they are still happy with their choice, ten years later.


They found an old, abandoned stone house in the mountains of Portugal and quietly renovated it. They thus created the Casa da Ribeira de Cima.


It seems easy said like that but in fact, they encountered several difficulties and... they overcame each one, one after the other and transformed the hovel into an idyllic place.


They now share their almost entirely self-sufficient paradise with tourists/adventurers who arrive from all corners of the world.






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