Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Overdue Post About Tui, Spain

A side street in Tui

Since we returned from Galicia last October, revisions, dog problems, and health issues in my god-family interrupted my posting about the trip. Because of our dog's age-related condition we are staggering our trips this year, and it occurred to me it's time to finish the post I promised: the trip to Tui, pronounced "Twee". (My husband just came back from his trip to Galicia two and a half weeks ago, and I'm leaving for my trip June 8th. I'll be posting while I'm there, though.)

But—returning to the trip to Portugal last fall—we spent an afternoon in Tui with our friends, David and Terri, on the way back from Porto. Porto, a bay city and a port, is on the Río Douro (the Portuguese name for Río Duero in Spanish); Tui is on the Río Minho (the Portuguese name for Río Miño, and pronounced the same way.) The Río Minho partially divides Spain from Portugal. (You can see a map of the Iberian Peninsula and the Río Minho HERE ).

Walking around Tui
Typical balconies
One view of the Cathedral.
 As is always the case in Iberia, it was a lovely drive from one city to the other. Once we reached Tui, we parked and spent the afternoon walking around. Tui is a cathedral town, as well as an old fortress town from the 12th and 18th centuries. The original city was enclosed by a crenelated stone wall. We started at the old quarter that clusters around the huge cathedral and ancient hospital for the poor (as well as for the peregrinos, or pilgrims—Tui is one of the pilgrim stops on the way to Santiago de Compostela). The cathedral was started in the 12th century and finished in the 17th century, and thus reflects a variety of architectures. It also has a cloister. And the front entrance, the portal, is truly awesome with fantastic stone statues of saints:

                   
Then we walked from the cathedral area with its adjoining buildings, down to the river, which was smooth as glass. The river walk along the Río Miño turned into a series of reflected scenes, as if on a mirror. On the opposite side was the ancient fortress city of Valença (pronounced Valensa) in Portugal. You can see we had good weather that day.
                                                                                           

There was also a small exercise park at one point; a "playground for seniors". And then, just as we thought we were coming to a dead end, we saw a road going back up to the Cathedral. By that time, we were all hungry, and David found a charming cafe (A Muralla) that overlooked another street and had outdoor tables covered by awnings, from which you could also see across to Portugal. (A nice view of the balcony section of the restaurant can be seen at A Muralla, Tui - Opiniones de restaurantes - TripAdvisor.) The food was delicious. And a very nice waiter took our picture before we left.

Senior playground?
                                                       
Starting back to the old quarter

A great end to the afternoon!
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Tui. (Tui is in Galicia, in the province of Pontevedra.) I am always so amazed by the ancient stone buildings, the sculpture work, and the general architecture, that I see in that region. But I suspect much of Europe is like that.

For those of you who have traveled to other parts of Europe, I'd be interested in similarities or differences you've noticed in the places you've visited.



24 comments:

Julia Hones said...

Lovely post, Elizabeth. I've never visited Europe but those places resemble other places I've been to. I should think about it. I'm exhausted right now, so it's not the right time to think about it, but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post.

Richard Hughes said...

It looks like a people-friendly town. Nice post. Nice photos, too.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Julia, I'm glad you liked it. When you have time, I'd like to know the places that resemble those in Tui. It's nice to think there are places like that right here close to home.

Richard, it was a very interesting town. It is people friendly, with friendly people. I had an interesting conversation with someone who had been looking out the window when we walked by and just started talking to us.

Julia Hones said...

It reminds me of a town in New Zealand. I lived in New Zealand for almost two years.

Kenda Turner said...

I really enjoyed this post, Elizabeth. It brought back some neat memories from last November when we visited Spain. Didn't make it to Portugal, but all that you've described reminds me of some of the things we did see, especially in Madrid and Granada. And a week in Aguilas on the Mediterranean... First trip to Europe,but hopefully not the last!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Kenda, your own trip sounds wonderful! I hope you have pictures. we have yet to get out of the Madrid Airport, and we are dying to see Granada. I hope it isn't your last trip to Europe, too. I love Europe!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lovely post, Elizabeth. Enjoyed both the pictures as well as your trip news :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Rachna. I never can get enough of Iberia!

Catherine A. Winn said...

I love arm chair traveling with you! Great pictures to make the experience more real!

Murees Dupé said...

Oh, it looks lovely and like it was a great experience and adventure. Safe trip on your next adventure.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Love, love, love your photos, Elizabeth. Hope you have a wonderful trip in June!

Denise Covey said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the virtual trip to Tui. I've travelled in Spain but not Portugal, unfortunately. Your pics and descriptions remind me of La Roche Guyon, a small village of beautiful royal buildings and a setting on the glassy Seine to die for. Have stayed there twice we loved it so much, and just a short trip to Monet's Garden from there.

Denise

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Catherine, "armchair traveling", I love that. Glad you enjoy the trips.

Murees, thanks for the good wishes on my next trip. I hope to bring back more pictures.

Victoria, most of those pictures were taken by my husband, Rajan. He is absolutely in love with the area. Glad you liked them.

Denise, Tui is actually in Spain (Galicia), but it's just across the river from Portugal. The little bit I've seen of France, I've also loved, and how I would love to see Monet's Garden. Monet is one of my favorite painters.

Carol Riggs said...

Enjoyed your wonderful photos and post as usual--it's like traveling to these places! :) I've never been out of the US, myself.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Elizabeth,

Nice pictures. I particularly like the ones with the statues in the Cathedral. It never ceases to amaze me how people were able to create art without the technological advantages we have today.

Hope your dog is doing okay.

Tanya Reimer said...

Your pictures tell the story just as beautifully as you did! I had to close my eyes and just picture it for myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Carol - yes, pictures and posts are a nice way to travel. I've enjoyed some other posts for the same reason: posts about Scotland, Greece, Ireland, all places I would like to see one day, but who knows it I ever will?

Joy, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for asking about our dog. He's chugging along, but slowly going down. He's on his home stretch, I'd say. Meanwhile, I'm so glad you liked the Cathedral statues. My husband was wild about them. I agree, it's amazing the wonderful sculptures people were able to do in the past without all the technological help we count on today.

Tanya, I'm glad the pictures helped you "be there". Most of them are by my hubby, and I think he does capture the essence of a place.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Gorgeous pictures!

Shallee said...

Ooh, you really make me want to get out and travel again! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics and experience!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Charmaine, nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the pictures.

Shallee, glad these motivated you to travel again. There is nothing like travel to enlarge one's world. I feel it has enriched my own world tremendously.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I'm envious! What beautiful photos.
And good luck with your dog. Aging animals can be challenging and heart-breaking.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Cynthia. Glad you liked the photos. And, yes, aging animals prepare you for heartbreak. But they also teach you a lot, too.

Lynda R Young said...

I want to visit Tui now.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Ah, Lynda, you would love it!