Jo’s Monday walk : Viseu

Can I take you for a walk somewhere I didn’t like, this week? That’s a little unfair to Viseu. We had just come from lovely Lamego, driving through the serra, with lemon gorse and white heather covering the hills. I wasn’t ready for a bustling city. I wanted to stay in that beautiful countryside. But we were heading south towards home, I had heard good things about Viseu, and it seemed a logical choice for a one night stopover. This was, without doubt, the smartest accommodation of our trip, and yet I had a distinct slouch to my step as we set off to explore.

Probably I should have sought out another Rita, like the lovely lady who showed us Braga, but time was short so, armed with a map, we followed our noses. Our receptionist had pointed out ‘must see’ churches but, truthfully, there were churches everywhere and even I can tire of azulejos sometimes. Honestly!

You can read the captions if you open the gallery

Hard not to feel a little reverence when you step out of bright, noisy city streets and glaring sunshine into the peaceful gloom inhabited by these lovingly created works of art.

We wandered through a busy pedetrianised shopping area and out of the other side to Praca da Republica, where a sweeping wall of tile panels and Restaurante Rossio caught my eye. And another church!

It was tulip time and a small army of lady gardeners were giving full attention to the immaculate flower beds.

Looking at the map I observed that the River Pavia flowed through the city. It’s always my instinct to follow water so we headed downhill in search of a riverside walk. It was actually a bit of a disappointment, being more like a canal at the point where we joined it, but it opened out to a more pleasing vista.

And then, something of a surprise, we came upon the tracks of a steeply rising funicular. We hung about hopefully for a while, but no tram materialised. Nothing for it but to climb the hill, back to the city.

If there was a sight in Viseu not to be missed, I knew that it was the Catedral da Santa Maria. Not especially inviting with its dark granite exterior, the approach is across a huge courtyard. Far more attractive, the Igreja da Misericordia which faces it, but the guide book suggests this is not worth looking inside. Timewise, that made sense for us. By contrast the Cathedral offers cloisters lined with battle scenes, and richly knotted vaulted ceilings.

I have to admit, I was impressed. And the jumble of narrow streets behind the cathedral were a pleasant wander too. I could almost have fancied a little genteel shopping.

But it was time to find our way back to the hotel. Himself had a notion that the Parque do Fontelo would bring us quite close, so we headed for leafy green. You could say that what transpired next was the highlight of the day. We were treated to a shrieking, noisy display from an ostentation of peacocks. Yes, really!

It has to be said that I didn’t really dislike Viseu. It just wasn’t my first choice. And now I’m feeling remarkably generous. I can offer you Doce de casa, a few mini chocolate eggs, or even breakfast, courtesy of the hotel. Help yourself!

Time to put my feet up for a while and share a few walks.

Teresa takes us to her much loved and familiar places :

Let us go for a walk

Something I haven’t tried, but I did tell Sarah I don’t like tea… I hardly think it matters :

A walk in a tea plantation

I do like an intrepid yomp with Mel, especially from the comfort of my sofa :

Walking in a Whole New World – The Pipeline Track from Glen Davies to Newnes, Wollemi National Park

Or I could cheat, and hop a train, if Drake will allow it :

In walking distance

Just short of a mountain, these views are superb, Carol :

Up The Hill

Ending, as I always like to, in a garden with Jude. A double dose :

Garden Portrait: The Garden House Part I

Garden Portrait: The Garden House Part II

Come back next week for a high point in our trip? Have a good one!

73 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Viseu

  1. Pingback: A grey Castelo Branco | Still Restlessjo

  2. Gosh – your accommodation was elegant! I like the yellow walls, especially combined with the blue and white tiles and I love the weathered door. You didn’t really explain what you didn’t like – perhaps a side effect of packing a lot in. Sometimes it can just be a mood that takes you. We arrived in Harrogate in the evening for a one night stay earlier this week and wandered around the park and town tired and hungry and I felt very uninspired to be there and borderline grumpy. Next day, rested and fed, I enjoyed it.

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    • That was exactly how it was. I was desperate to be in the beautiful countryside rather than the city. I saw enough to know I won’t go back but I’m still glad I saw it. πŸ€£πŸ’Ÿ

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  3. Pingback: Serra da Estrela, Northern Portugal | Still Restlessjo

  4. Wow, Jo. I had a similar feeling of being overwhelmed at all the beauty to see similar to being in the Vatican. I’m sure it was different for you because you had your walk spread out over hours rather than minutes. But there is so much to see and so much variety in your photos. Some of the fronts of the churches just made me gasp they have such beautiful lines against the blue skies. Do you even have ugly skies there? I even enjoyed the ugly door that had lost its paint and the yellow car. The canal scenes rested my brain and heart in much the same way looking out the windows from the Vatican did after looking up, down and all around and seeing sculptures, mosaics and paintings floor to ceiling. I’m glad you shared this place that was not first on your list of places to visit. I loved it. πŸ™‚

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  5. Jo, although you did not love this place, you have done a very good job of getting us to like it. Beautiful photos and descriptions. I particularly loved the Cathedral, and to be honest I can never tire of the azuleijos. I have returned home two days ago and I am commenting using my main PC, for some reason using my iPhone does not allow me to comment. The reply box does not show(??), very annoying. Anyway, I can still read all your posts and enjoy them πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks for your patience, Gilda. I have issues using a phone too, not least that the captions don’t appear. I’m so glad you hung in there with me. When I look at the photos I too wonder what’s to dislike? I had read and been told that it’s a beautiful city and I have no good reason to disagree. I just wasn’t in the mood for a city.

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  6. Pingback: In the mood | Le Drake Noir

  7. Yet another wonderful walk, Jo! I am in awe of the exquisitely painted tiles that adorn the buildings’ faΓ§ades in Portugal. Thanks for sharing and have a good day πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful walk with us.I really enjoyed it. Sometimes we’re just not in the right frame of mind or mood for a place. You might have enjoyed it more on a different day.

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  9. Beautiful architecture, Jo. My favourite, the peacocks. That was an unexpected sight and you clicked them in all their glory. The place where I’m presently has many peacocks and hens strutting about, two are residents birds. Simply gorgeous but I’ve yet to get perfect clicks. They get spooked easily. So kudos for getting such amazing shots.

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  10. For somewhere you didn’t like you seem to have found plenty of appealing sights. I can see that living over there you might tire of azulejos, but I haven’t done so, and I loved seeing all of these! I even rather liked the rough exterior of the cathedral πŸ˜‰
    I’m doubling up with Terri’s Sunday Stills this week and taking you for a stroll around one of England’s most famous sights: https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/a-visit-to-stonehenge-on-salisbury-plain/

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    • Happy Solstice, Sarah! I meant to watch online this morning but was otherwise engaged.
      You can’t rave equally about everywhere, can you? How boring would that be! This was simply an interlude between 2 very special places. As I said, with more time available we would have done a guided tour. Mari did a very brief one and was left with a similar impression. It all depends what you compare with. I managed to find some lovely and very satisfying sights, in spite of wearing my disgruntled head πŸ€£πŸ’—

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  11. Love the impressions you brought home even if it’s not a favourite place with you. I know what you mean with big cities.

    I wonder which smaller places in England would count as your favourites if you were to go away for a short break?

    Sunny greeting from North Norfolk, Dina x

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    • I very much loved the city of Durham. Not small, exactly, but it had a homely feel. Familiar but still beautiful. And Knaresborough – have you been there? Not so close to my old home but always a venue I enjoyed. Thanks darlin, for your time and lovely company πŸ€—πŸ’—

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  12. It looks good to me Jo, I am going to put it on my ‘must visit’ list. We are in Portugal in September this year but I don’t plan to go that far north this time.
    Interesting about the tulips, I lived in Spalding in Lincolnshire for 10 years so I am always interested in tulip stories.

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  13. Well it all looks amazing and beautiful to me! Love all those blue and white murals and the peacocks must have been a treat to see. I don’t think I have managed to take a photo of one displaying it’s beautiful feathers.

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  14. So many churches … and beautiful tulips! And this is one STEEL uphill – it’s clear from your photo! Beautiful photos of the peacock – that’s quite a showy display! Thank you for a lovely walk – I enjoyed your pictures of Viseu (even though it wasn’t your first choice, you have portrayed it actually quite charming) … and thank you, I will enjoy a few mini chocolate eggs now 😊.

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  15. It doesn’t sound like a bad place, maybe you were just not feeling it and I can understand being a bit bored with churches and tiles, they all start to look the same if you visit too many on one trip. We had a fairly blah visit to a place before the lovely garden I wrote about (and I have changed the second link to this post). I also was not impressed with Exeter, it appeared dirty and too crowded, though I did actually like the cathedral. Won’t be rushing back. Peacocks we encountered in Cascais – lovely birds, but Brian is so right about the noise.

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    • I had my not quite sulking head on because I wanted to go and see the rock art at Foz da Coa, if I’m honest, but truthfully the countryside was so glorious it was a shame to be in a city. You can’t always get what you want, in the words of Jagger. Would he know? Anyway, the following day was a real gift.

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  16. Pingback: Garden Portrait: The Garden House Part II – TRAVEL WORDS

  17. No matter what, an amazing blue sky – with lovely tiny clouds. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Excellent captured, dear Jo – not only the sky. πŸ˜€
    When a walk ends up with good cakes and good cup of coffee so it is good. πŸ™‚

    The only thing you need, dear Jo – is to borrow a black mountainbike, better than trams. πŸ™‚

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  18. We lived about 40km from Viseu when we lived in Portugal and I quite like Viseu as a small city. The peacocks were a nice surprise, and I see you found lots of murals. Hopefully I will have some time to visit Viseu in the 3 days we will spend in the area this July.

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    • Sorry if I gave offence, Sami. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not really a city person any more. I love beautiful buildings but not the busyness. I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time in Viseu, especially if you can see family while you are there πŸ€—πŸ’—

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  19. Sounds like you wanted to be home and not roaming about. I did enjoy my walk but was hoping for a funicular ride as well. Beautiful photos and lovely eats πŸ™‚

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    • I actually had my heart set on some rock art at Foz da Coa, Brian, but it took us further from home and himself was less than impressed with the idea. Another time! πŸ€£πŸ’— Just grateful for small victories.

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  20. We stayed at the Pousada at Viseu on our brief stay in Portugal and had a short walk through the town, too brief to gain an impression of it, but I enjoyed the azuelos as I’m don’t see as many as you do and the Cathedral of Santa Maria was very impressive. I agree with you, however, it didn’t strike me as a place one would want to linger in for too long. It was however, a delight to see such a clean town, something I’m not used to in the UK.

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    • Good grief Mari! I was just about to reply to this when your email came in so I read it first. What a drama and how lucky that you are still more or less in one piece despite the purple patches! I’ll reply later but how glad I am that you survived the incident. Traumatic all round! Thank heaven for Ro. πŸ€—πŸ’—πŸ’—

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  21. Viseu looks lovely! Maybe you were just all travelled out? I get like that, especially if we pack a few places into one trip. The peacock is brilliant, I know they are noisy but I do love the swagger they have! * adds peacock or two to the list of things I’ll have when I have my own house*

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    • You do not want to have a Peacock at your place…..my neighbours thought much the same but after less than a year, the Peacock went to a new home. I could hear it at my place around 500metres away. It roosted on the roof and made a real mess. Not good if you are collecting water for you consumption. Pretty to look at….especially at someone elses place πŸ™‚

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    • I think Brian’s is good advice, Helen. I had a slightly different itinerary in mind but I know not to push my luck too far. Sometimes you have to compromise, and the following day fully made up for it. πŸ€—πŸ’—

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  22. Pingback: Esztergom – Boomer Couple Travel Journal

  23. Wow beautiful photos Jo and love all the artwork on the walls
    I couldn’t see the captions not sure what toy meant by opening the gallery
    I find it quite annoying when I caption my photos and then they disappear if I change the block!
    I quite liked Viseu maybe its the way you presented it

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    • Hiya darlin! My husband just said the same thing- what captions? He’s viewing on his phone and I just checked and I can’t see them if I view on my phone either but they are here on the laptop. A bit annoying, but I don’t know how to change that. I try to indicate where and what the photos are in my woffle, but sometimes the captions help. I’ll bear it in mind in future. Thanks for telling me. And yes, looking at the photos, it’s a nice looking city. I was just in the wrong mood.

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