Vila Nova de Cerveira
On 14thJune 2012, the 3rd day of our trip to the North Coast of Portugal, the sun was gone and the rain was back.
We visited the “Aquamuseu do Rio Minho” (River Minho Aquamuseum), where we had much fun observing the sea lampreys (you can see here one of the videos we made).
The otters were shy and didn´t want to show themselves. We needed the help of the staff to see them sleeping cuddling together. We were told they are very lazy in the morning, usually being active only in the afternoon.
We left the Aquamuseum and went to the city center. We were planing to go inside the Castle but we only found closed doors. In the Tourist Office, we were told that, because the Inn inside the Castle (“Pousada D. Dinis”) was closed, the Castle was being opened only on Sundays… So, we would not have the chance to go in there.
Well, we still had some time until lunch time, so we decide to go for a small walk to the “Forte de Lovelhe” (Lovelhe Fortress), under some light rain. We would like to explore the Fortress but, because of the weather, we were not in the mood for that.
This time we had no problem to find an open restaurant. The difficulty was to choose one of them. After some time, we chose the Adega Real Restaurant and we chose well. We were very satisfied with the specialty of the day, “mãozinha de cabrito” (baby goat’s hoof).
Meanwhile, the weather was getting better. After a rainy morning we were presented with a sunny afternoon, which was spent in Caminha.
Caminha is a Portuguese municipality located at the mouth of River Minho, where this river is met by River Coura. We went there by train. It’s just an 8 or 14 minutes trip, depending on the type of train caught.
We found our first geocache next to the Mother Church of Caminha, and that was the beginning of a new hobby, the geocaching (for details visit http://www.geocaching.com/). The Mother Church, also called ” Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção” (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption), took almost 70 years to be built and it illustrates the transition from Gothic to Renaissance with Baroque, Manueline and Moorish influences. The Church is classified as a National Monument.
While we were setting the GPS coordinates of the geocache, there was a jumping spider that jumped to my leg and I couldn’t resist filming the spider.
We followed the main street, called “Rua Direita”, that ends (or begins) in the old castle keep, which was turned into the Clock Tower in the 17th century.
Next to the Clock Tower is located the Town Hall and, on the other side of the street, there’s the Conselheiro Silva Torres Square, also known as “Terreiro de Caminha” (Caminha Square), where we find the “Chafariz do Terreiro” (Square Fountain), a Renaissance Fountain built in 1553, and the “Casa dos Pitas” (Pitas House), a building from the 17th century.
The Square is the center of life in Caminha. Here, we can meet a friend for a coffee or have dinner or lunch in one of the several esplanades . It’s also in this Square that, every Summer, a medieval fair takes place.
We took the train back to Vila Nova de Cerveira, but not before we went shopping. We needed some ingredients to prepare our dinner.
We improvised a meal in the Youth Hostel’s kitchen by just boiling tomato, zucchini, couscous and ham and, for our surprise, it was delicious.
On that night we stayed in the Vila Nova de Cerveira Youth Hostel, just relaxing and enjoying the place.