Matosinhos-you can have adventures in familiar places.

We have returned to Portugal! Porto is our starting point, as it would be a gentle re-entry thanks to already figuring out the transit, and we had a list of things in the region we knew we wanted to see. The decision on where to stay was easy too, thanks to a great experience on our last stay. For those who know us in real life, we do like having our bar preferences known and a familiar greeting. Well, from the “Welcome Back!, how long will you be here this time?” at check in, the “you take one coffee and one tea” at breakfast, the bartenders remembering which beer we preferred-and that they could offer us “guidance” as to which Portugese futbol team was best, the servers all knowing they had seen us before, and the dessert whisperer smiling with glee as she contemplated which desserts to recommend, we certainly made a great decision!

Our hotel overlooks a park with fountains, and lots of space for wheeled activities. The weather was great for early November, so the people and dog watching has been fun!
The Chocolate Hazelnut dessert. We were talked into this on our first visit, exactly 6 months to the day before we were again tempted. On the first visit, it was observed that we must really like each other, because this is seldom shared.
And, the remains of another dessert – this time the chocolate brownie. It’s actually not on the dinner menu, but was brought over (10 feet or so) from the cafe because the Dessert Whisperer knew we had tried all of the other desserts.
The hotel is in Matosinhos, just north of Porto on the Atlantic Coast. There are a lot of beaches, and a very nice walking path. This view is from a small park that offers shady places to sit and enjoy the waves.
There are many buildings with skylights like this, not all of them are colored glass, nor do they line up with the setting sun for a photo so nicely.
This is the cruise port lit up at sunset. And the beach, which is just down the street from our hotel. One of the things we really like about this location is being able to take a short walk down to the ocean. There are always things going on, from surfing lessons and futbol matches, to beach volleyball and a paddle ball game that looks like fun.
One of the items on our list to do during this visit was ride the transit to the far flung stops and see what was there. Povoa De Varzim is at the north end of the red line, so we bought some tickets and headed out. It was a nice ride out at mid-morning. We arrived in town, and this is the city building.
The fort for the city. This is a coastal fishing village and the fort provided protection from Pirates!
The gates to the fort. Beginning in the 1400s, these fortifications protected the city. It took its current form in the 1740s and was restored by the city in 2015.
Povoa de Varzim is on the Way of St. James, a pilgrimage that goes through northern Portugal. This church sits on one of the routes.
Lapa Church, built by the local fishermen and near where the fishing boats dock. On the back is a small lighthouse.
The Main Church, this church is away from the coast and a bit out of the city center, but the sun was shining on it and it looked nice.
Back in Matosinhos, another scene from the walkway along the ocean. They aren’t kidding, between the spaces in the boardwalks, the gneiss boulders protruding on the walkway, and the risk of wandering to the edge of the path while watching the waves, a tumble is certainly possible! But, so far, we have managed to fall in love with the area and not make an actual fall.

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