In The Mountains…
Much of the drive-in between these sites was through the mountains. Up and down, over rocks, down steep hills, the jeep went everywhere. Once we got off the main road, our guide took the top off the jeep, which allowed us to stand up and take some great video and pictures. In some areas where it was really rocky, we found it more comfortable to stand up rather than sit.
One of the first things we saw was an old hospital, in the middle of nowhere that was shut down in the 1960s. It was used to treat tuberculosis patients. These patients came down with tuberculosis while working in the coal mines. After seeing the hospital it was evident there were a lot of patients. Now, it’s used primarily as a place to sightsee, take a few pictures, and walk around learning the history.
2,000-year-old Roman Empire Gold Mines!
What we have come to love about traveling are the unexpected experiences that make your jaw drop and say to yourself, “that’s so freaking cool!”. The 2,000-year-old Roman Empire gold mines did this. The history throughout Europe is genuinely mindboggling, and this gold mine was no different. How a group of people could dig mine shafts 85 meters deep with virtually no technology or tools is beyond my pay grade, but it still blows your mind to think about it.
Another thing that shocked us was the safety factor. If this exhibit were in the United States, there would be safety cages and precautions; they would be covered over, locked up after hours, and set you back $20 for the admission. This place was a public park!
Enjoy at your own risk! To us, it was almost refreshing to see Porto, and experience these sites the way they were years ago! No covers, no fences, or security. Just hang on and enjoy. At one point, we even got to walk through an old mine and into a cave. Be careful of what mines you enter as they could collapse; there are a few that you should not go in. The video below shows a little bit of the cave, but it was so dark we couldn’t film much.
Town Bar & Sardines
On the other side of the bridge was the town bar, only open on weekends. We got lucky as there were a few guys from the village cooking lunch, specifically sardines. Even though we didn’t speak Portuguese, we could tell they were offering us lunch and welcomed us to eat and drink with them. We went into the bar, sat down, and they brought in five or six sardines they had just cooked on the open flame beside the bar.
Joel tried the sardines, but he quickly realized he was doing it all wrong. Earlier in the week when we went to a restaurant in Porto, they brought small sardines out that you ate whole, head and all. These were bigger sardines, apparently ones that you needed to debone. He wolfed the sardines down in one bite, two of the people in our tour were laughing at him. A french couple on the tour knew he was eating these fish all wrong, but probably got a kick watching him choke on bones. Lol
After eating lunch they showed us around the area a little bit, and we took some awesome drone shots as you can see in the video. It would have been great fun to return during the weekend so we could hang out. It would have been fascinating spending a Saturday afternoon with all the locals.
Our last stop was a Portuguese home jewelry making business. It was fascinating for everyone. The owners were a married couple who have been in the business for 30 to 40 years. The work was so intricate and delicate. You could tell it took a lot of skill to make this jewelry. If you notice from the video, they start out with a heart template, that is the general shape. Once the heart is made that’s when the inside perfected.
They would start with a rod of sterling silver. Eventually, they would have to get it down to a thread-like diameter to work with it properly in order to make the specific jewelry like rings, necklaces, etc. The video shows one of the devices they used to thin the sterling silver. The sterling silver is woven using small pencil-like shapes that curved all through the inside of the heart.
After giving us a tour of how things were made, we were able to see all of their finished jewelry and products. Some of the sterling silver pieces took them months to make. Their claim to fame was having Sharon Stone buy one of their necklaces. It’s the gold necklace in the video. For us, it was shocking to see the amount of work, effort, and time it took compared to the sale price. We bought a beautiful ring, and we were off.
If you don’t like being in a jeep, bumpy rides or getting a little dirty this might not be a tour for you. Just trying to be honest and upfront. If you like nature, culture and you’re looking for a fun afternoon enjoying the beautiful mountains of the Porto region, this is a tour for you. Sit back, enjoy the day, and see some fascinating sites in the Porto mountain region. We highly recommend Oporto Mountain Tours for the tour, because of their professionalism, and knowledge.
This article and video are a collaboration with Oporto Mountain Tour. We don’t receive any monetary compensation should you decide to book one of the Oporto Mountain Tours. All opinions are those of 2 Traveling Lovers.
Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!
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The drone we use is the DJ Spark with Remote Control Combo. We like this drone because it’s compact, it’s effortless to take on trips, it’s easy to fly, and it shoots 1080p. All of our drone footage on our blog posts and youtube videos are taken with this drone. We highly recommend it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click here.
Another item we use daily is our Primocean Backpack with an insulated cooler bag. We use this as Christie’s carry on bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination. We used to use a different backpack and we switched to this one because it’s better made of durable material with quality zippers. We love this backpack!! The cooler section is smaller; however, all the compartments and the quality of the backpack make it a much better choice for basically the same cost. We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.
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