Don’t get too close to the edge! Douro Valley, nosebleed country It’s Wednesday morning and we are here in Casa de Casal de Loivos, a lovely little inn perched on mountainside overlooking the Douro River.

online pharmacy cytotec no prescription The view is breathtaking, if a bit vertigo inducing, from here overlooking the river and nearby village on the river’s edge far below.    It was built in 1658 and has been in the same family since 1733.   That’s a long time.  I wonder if anyone has gone through their stuff in the attic since then?  Hope so.  Happily, it’s been heavily remodeled so the rooms and private baths are quite modern.  What a spot.

This is the view from the back patio.  Our room opens up directly to this view.There’s a lovely pool.  Too bad it’s not warm enough for a swim. This is a view of the back of the inn.   The sun streams into the windows in the morning.  We had quite a time finding the place as the online directions took us to a completely different village.  Never the less, it was a lovely spot.  Good thing I had stopped for gas earlier.  Not a place where you’d want to run out.

In the “wrong” village we got to by accident, Nobody could speak a word of English. Oops… We were totally lost.  Somehow we were able to get our point across to the very helpful folks that kept speaking louder and louder and slower and slower, as we did, hoping to get our point across.  Alas, we figured it out.  Whew…  Nice view though.This and the prior photo take in just about the entire village.  Very small and quaint.  In retrospect, while we didn’t realize it, we could actually see our destination from there.  Our destination was the village across the valley in this photo.  Well across several valleys actually, at the bend in the river, although high on the mountain side. It’s late in the season and workers are trimming the grape vines to prepare them for winter.  I expect it gets pretty cold here as it is over 3,500′ above sea level.  You can see wisps of smoke coming from burning waste that has been trimmed from he vineyards.  The hillsides are so steep that the fields are terraced to keep the soil from washing away.  These fields have been under cultivation for hundreds of years.  If you enjoy port wine, this area is the only place that the grapes can come from.  Far down stream, on the coast, is the city of Porto, home of all port wine. This morning we are going to go for a hike around this little village where we are staying.  And the emphasis is on “little” as there are only a dozen of so homes here.  The inn manager said it should take an hour.  We’ll see…

Perhaps we’ll be able to enjoy the views on foot better than behind the wheel.  Going around the switchbacks, with no guardrail, is a bit of a white knuckle ride.  So far, no nose bleeds but our ears kept popping yesterday as we headed up, down and up again making our way from village to village trying to find this lovely spot.  We’re here now and so happy to have found our way.

Now for a walk.  I guess we’d better get going and enjoy the view…

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