A few weeks ago summer vacation ended for the older daughter, Rita. Instead of driving straight from Sintra to Madrid, we decided to do some tourism on the way. We traveled to the North of Portugal, more specifically to Felgar, in Trás-os-Montes where my Father is from. The reason for such was to pick up some olive oil from his land and show the girls a bit of the country.
Due to a late start, the first day there was very little tourism on the way up north. So on our way to the North we simply stopped for a quick bite and straight to Vilar Torpim where we stayed at an adorable airBnB. Next morning we took the road bright and early towards Gouveia, Alfândega da Fé.
On the way there, we did a few wrong turns or perhaps right ones that the GPS told us to go through, but I must say, there were a few dirt, rocky roads we were going through that had be a tad scared for our car. We stopped at my cousin's house to pick some of the family olive oil, then the girls, Miso and the dog and I decided to explore the quaint village.
Once the car was filled with a few bottles of olive oil, we headed to Felgar where my Father was born. The road from Gouveia to Felgar was gorgeous and we ended up going through a small road up and down a hill or small mountain with breathtaking views of the river. All this was so amazing, that it made us want to go back with more time to explore the areas.
Again, we were there to discover, to learn, to visit, and... to pick up some olive oil. We met up with a gentleman who takes care of lands and helps with the production of the olive oil. Both daughters loved learning all about how the process works, meeting the people and explore the region.
Once half of the back of the car was filled with bottle and jugs of olive oil... we went to check the lands and onto Spain traveling over the Douro river.
The views are breathtaking and again, just makes us go back calmly to check it all. So much to see yet so little time. Next stop was Salamanca. Once again we stayed at an AirBnB. Absolutely adorable and I would recommend it to all. Perfect location and cute as can be.
Reason I prefer places as such, is, not only traveling with children and dog, but also as a survivor, knowing I can quickly cook my own food, feel comfortable to relax a bit more if I am tired, without the feeling of being in a room of a hotel, makes a world of difference.
After battling cancer, many expect us to be ok, back to normal. And though we MAY look like all is fine, and we are as always were, we are not. My energy level is NOT what it once was, I have much little patience than I used to. I say more easly "NO". I think more of myself. And that, world... not all like it. I am stronger than I was in years, I follow my dreams, I create memories, I do not worry about tomorrow. I want those around me to relax, to enjoy the moment. I want to help, more than ever, I want to spread the love and care and teach how to live our precious life that we take too much for granted. So yes, even small things such as a hotel compared to an AirBnB or general B&B make a huge difference in my world.
Last time I was in Salamanca was with my Mother and Avó (GrandMother). I recall us walking all over downtown, my Avó who was a world of knowledge telling us all the historical facts she knew. This time, it was my turn to discover this gorgeous university city with the girls. We had a magical time.