As our coach climbed the hills of the Douro Valley, through the fog and the clouds, I had no idea of the steep drop at the edge of the road.
Im not very good at heights so the fog was a blessing in disguise.
Even when we arrived there was still a swirling mist/fog amongst the buildings and land. We were the only tour group to arrive so it was lovely and quiet. Only a few locals were wandering the cobblestone streets.
You could tell spring was in the air. So many pot plants full of colorful flowers on every step and porch.
As we walked past the buildings you could see the decay of so many. It was cheap to buy a home but then you were faced with the red tape of renovations.
Yet the fire department was housed in a new building with shiny trucks.
Walking into the church we were greeted to the beautiful sounds of the organ being played. (see Instagram post) We sat on the pews and as the music played we took in the sheer opulence of this tiny church.
Our next stop was the famous bakery Padaria Fatima which has been baking bread since 1940. The smell of the bread baking even made me who is gluten intolerant want some. I didn’t buy any but one of our group did. The cost of the bread was only 1.80 Euros. They make over 200 loaves every day and take the loaves of bread around the village. There are 300 people who live in Provesende. Yes I succumbed to a teeny tiny piece of bread and it was delicious. Bread made the old fashioned way with no colors or additives etc.
Making our way around the village we passed a man who was making baskets the traditional way. We stood and watched for a bit and many of us put coins in his hat. Of course he had a helper a cute little dog.
Our next stop was to visit the manor house Morgadio Da Calçada. It was built around 1680 by a powerful magistrate, Jerónimo da Cunha Pimentel, still owned by the family, who reside there during the tourist season, between February and November.
During visiting hours the family has tours through the living areas upstairs. You can stay in the guest house which was the barn and outside buildings. These were renovated back in 2012.
As we passed two of the biggest wine barrels in Portugal – 1600 liters each on the ground floor we were ushered into a long room where there was a large table with many chairs around it. On the table were wine glasses, several bottles of wine and cake. We had 3 white and 3 red varieties.
After several – hick- glasses of wine we were then taken upstairs to view the manor.
Opposite the bakery is a cafe museum, after our walk around the village many went and had a cuppa. Muriel and I decided to look at the Baroque style fountain and the view over the valley below.
Before boarding our coach to be taken back to the Scenic Azure and lunch we wandered around the gift shop at the manor and then an amazing gift shop with traditional Portuguese kitchen ware.
I chose some soap hand made in Portugal and a cute Rooster for tooth picks.
On the way back to the ship you could finally see what a huge drop it was alongside the mountain road. I wasn’t too worried as the snow on the tops of the mountains kept me amused.
*Wee bit of History*
Did you know Ferdinand Magellan who was the first to circumnavigate the globe was born very near to Provesende? No me either.
Today we saw a peaceful village yet many years ago Provesende was used as a hideout by outlaws.
How Provesende got its name – Legend has it that from the death screams of of local Moorish King Zaide who yelled “Pobre Zaide, pobre Zaide” as he was tortured by village’s during an uprising. Over the years it became Provesende.