Ice Cream Party
Some say it was an early start today. Hardly! We set off at 9am and accompanied by local guides we drove just over half-an-hour to the town of Lamego. Overlooking the town is St Stephen’s Hill. Dom Durando, the Bishop of Lamego in the late 1300’s decided to build a chapel here. After some years this small temple was in ruins. Dom Manuel de Noronha, Bishop of Lamego in the mid-1500’s, decided to build a new sanctuary, where he had an image of Our Lady placed. The image of Our Lady of Remedies is a fine piece of art from the 16th century which represents the Virgin Mary sitting with the Child on her lap. Besides this image, the chapel houses mosaic tiles from the 18th century and several ceiling paintings. In the 18th century the small chapel was replaced by a bigger temple and flights of stairs coming up from the town, so that people could walk up, as if to a throne, to Lady Remedios who would later be their patron saint. If you walk up and down, there are well over 600 steps!
Fortunately we only have an option of walking down! Our next stop is a port wine house for a tasting of local foods and sparkling wine. The local speciality is “Bolas de Lamego”, essentially a savoury snack often filled with ham, cheese or cod. There is also some delicious finely cut Iberico ham. The local sparkling Espumante wines are rather nice too. It is not yet midday but it seems impolite to refuse.
After our tasting we enjoy some free time to wander around town. Some of us head for a guided tour of the museum, others shop for souvenirs and a few a are spotted sitting in the sun enjoying a glass of wine or beer.
We rejoin AMAVIDA at Folgosa quay and set sail as lunch is served. After lunch, Dawn and Natalie host an ice cream party on the sun deck. They are dressed in colourful aprons and have shower caps on their heads. Quite an alarming picture really. Home-made Vanilla, Mango and Strawberry ice cream is distributed at a rate of knots. The ship’s galley produces more ice cream on demand. 8 to 10 large bowls later we are all served.
This afternoon’s sailing takes us along some of the most scenic stretches of the Douro and whether you are in the lounge, on the sun deck or sitting on your private balcony, it is a most pleasant view. After dinner we are treated to a Flamenco show in the lounge. It gets us in the mood for our excursion to Salamanca in Spain, tomorrow!