Again, not speaking Portuguese, I believe this translates to the "Fountain of the Candle". But I was also confused because when I looked at 'vela' in the dictionary later, it also came with candle and sailing. I can't say much else about the city's fountain, which is in an open air green park area. Someone did tell me that it was brought to Guarda...more
I believe it properly translates to the 'Blacksmith's Gate', but then again, I don't speak Portuguese.It dates back to the original founding days of the Castle, acting as the gate on the east side of the old town. Its square tower form has arched portal doors. As you can see by the photo, the arched portals have slightly different forms (round and...more
The 'Se' is one of Portugal's many interesting buildings. This granite-walled building was a long time in the making, taking 150 years to build from start to finish (1390-1540). Its exterior does not have the grace of most cathedrals, mainly because of its fortress-like construction. But then again, when it was built long ago in this frontier city,...more
Urbanizacao Quinta das Covas, Lote 34, Guarda, 6300-389, Portugal
Good for: Business
AVDA MONSENOR MENDES DO CARMO, Guarda, GU 06300
Good for: Solo
Alvendre, Guarda, 6300-030, pt
Good for: Couples
Having walked by the display cases here a number of times, we were tempted to try what looked like a locals favorite place. The delicatessen style store has some savory pastries, but mostly sweet ones. The servers will gladly take your order over the glass and then serve you at one of the small tables. The chocolate pastries are all very rich and...more
Known as the oldest restaurant in town, I'd have to say that it is also a local favorite. The staff at our hotel said it was good and even though we were only in town for a short time, there were some familiar faces enjoying their meals as we dined that we kept bumping into.The menu is made up of local Portuguese foods. The interior had white...more
We had a bit of difficulty understanding the Portugese menu (even though they had a reduced English version), but our waiter did his best to be helpful translating for us! In the end, I decided to have a bowl of traditional northern Portugal 'Caldo Verde' soup to get me going (E1.25). This dark green soup was a bit bland in taste, but it was...more
Our rented Fiat Punto was a great little car for getting around the far reaches of Portugal. However, on the few occasions when we ventured into the larger towns and cities, we tended to limit its use to the bare minimum because of the traffic and parking issues.
In the case of Guarda, we had our worst experience with traffic and streets of the entire trip. On arrival in the town, we only had the address of our booked accommodations at the Solar de Alarcao, but no map. After circling around various confusing streets for a while, we stopped at a very large and impressive looking hotel and asked the doorman for some help. He was more than helpful, giving us a map of the town and pointing out how to get from 'A to B'. However, even with this we could not find our spot. It seemed that we kept running into 'do not enter' signs that diverted us away from where we were headed.
Finally, for the only time on the trip, we gave up and parked the car on the side of a street that we knew was close to where we were headed. The two of us then walked a few blocks from there and soon found our accommodations!
The young lady that booked us in very kindly returned to the car with me and she navigated me through the streets and into their parking lot! What a relief that was! The photo shows the impressive old private chapel that is attached to our accommodations.
By about 10 AM, we finally left Guarda, after poring over our map in our car, on the side of the street in front of our Residencial. Since we had accommodations booked northwest of Guarda, in Lamego, we decided to take a scenic cross-country route via the N226, just north of Celorico da Beira. I guess that, by this time, we had been overwhelmed by the number of things to see and do in Portugal, because we had not realized that this would take us through the impressive town of Trancoso.
This small town, given to the wife of Dom Dinis as a wedding gift in 1283, is surrounded by beautiful walls and towers that give it a very appealing air. We stopped here at about 11:30 AM on a Saturday morning to see if we could find some stores to see to our shopping needs! I found this town to be a very pleasant and relaxing spot to stroll around, especially in the bright sunshine and pleasant temperatures! Parking was no problem at all, lots of spots to choose from along the streets outside the walls.
What to buy: In our case, we had a few simple needs. Sue needed film for her camera and we also bought a new pen for our daily diary. Of course, we had to pick up the usual supplies for a lunch on the road - cheese, tomatoes, buns, water bottles and wine! Altogether, a very pleasant break in our drive north to Lamego!
The main portal of the Se, by which you enter the western end of the cathedral for direct access to its long nave, is a beautiful example of Manuline architecture. This style arose during the reign of Manuel I (1495-1521), a time of great discoveries and world-wide exploration by Portugal.
The style is marked by rounded arches instead of pointed ones and also features pillars and other decorations done in a 'twisted rope' motif to reflect the national pride in their maritime exploits. We saw a number of examples of this type of architecture, a derivative of the Late Gothic style, in our travels around the country. It is a style that really appealed to me!
All through our trip in Portugal, we kept seeing hillsides covered with beautiful yellow bushes. The Guarda area was no exception, so we stopped to take a photo of one of these clumps near Trancoso as we continued our drive northward.
I am no botanist, but I believe these are known as Yellow Broom plants, a varient of the Scotch Broom species. They actually are a bit of a weed, spreading to cover whole hillsides and shutting out other species.
However, they are not all bad. In Portugal, these 'May plants' hold a special place in the culture. On the night before May 1st, the villagers traditionally place sprigs of this plant on all windows and doors so it can magically ward off the devil for the remainder of the year! In my case, I just happen to think they are very pretty!
Another thing that I particularly noticed during my walks around Guarda was the fact that many of the buildings forewent the banal white plaster siding and opted for more colorful and ornate tiling.Many buildings along the main streets can be seen with various colors, patters and styles. When the sun trickles through, they can give a bit of a...more
One of the things that I noticed about Guarda was the amount of cobblestone streets in the old district, the maintained quality of those same streets and the degree of details put into their layout.There may be a line painted on the cobblestones from time to time, but the vast majority of lines (stop lines, pedestrian crossings, parking lines,...more
Guarda's location in the Serra da Estrala mountains makes it the highest city in Portugal. Also, because of its proximity to the Spanish border, the city has long been one of the 'guards' of the Portugese kingdom.We arrived here after a long drive from Castelo Branco in the south and, the next day, we continued onward to Lamego.more