Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day!!! We just spent two Days exploring Portugal!!!

Yesterday and today were days of exploration!!!  Tiffany had some breaks midday on both days from filming/performing which gave us enough time to do some sightseeing in Porto yesterday and a trip out to the Portuguese country side today :-)  My favorite part of travelling is getting out the country and into the small villages.  That is where we always find the purest form of the culture of whatever country we are in!  We had just spent several days in cities--Lisbon, Seville and Porto.  So, we were very ready to get out into a quiet place in nature today.  After some looping and turning around.... We finally found what we were looking for!

Yesterday (4th of July) we climbed the Clerigos Tower here in Porto.  There was a splendid view from the top and we took some fun pictures. Then we toured through another cathedral--there are plenty of those in Europe so that probably won't be the last one!  Next, we decided to visit the local market where we found some fruits, veges and a couple of local trinkets that we picked up for souvenirs.  It was so hot that we nearly died of heat exhaustion walking around on the cobble stone streets which heat up like ovens along with the stone buildings on each side of them.  So we stopped in a little café and ordered ice water--which apparently is not a common thing to order--but, phew! they accommodated us.  After sitting there and melting for a while, we felt a bit refreshed---enough to pick out a few Portuguese pastries to take home and eat with our special meal that we would prepare in our little hostel where we are staying.  It was so splendid to have some food that we are used to eating!  It was also nice to spend a little time in the kitchen which I haven't done much of lately!  The meal was hearty and the treats were an interesting managere of flavors which we found unusual but pleasant and fun :-)  After dinner, it was time for Tiffany to report for duty to do some music at the ASI meeting.  John Bradshaw from It Is Written is speaking nightly and His messages are very powerful!!  We were blessed!

This morning Bryan and I were feeling like we needed a longer run since we hadn't really done that for a few days.  So we got up early and went down to the river--our hostel is up high on a hill and there are a lot of steep cobble stone streets and steps to go down to reach the water.  So we bounced down the steps and streets and were on our way to run beside the beautiful Rio Douro!  About a mile into our run, I noticed that my phone (my life) was missing from my water belt pouch that I usually carry it in.  We immediately turned around and retraced our steps through town examining each area carefully to see if we could find it.  But it was gone!  It has been a hard day transitioning into not having my camera, email, phone and internet access for blogging and facebooking all at my finger tips!  I've prayed and asked God to return it to me... I know that sounds a bit crazy but I know He cares about the little things... Even though it is very unlikely that anyone would return it, it isn't impossible with God!  Someone suggested today that we should check with the police to see if anyone turned it in.  Maybe we'll attempt to do that tomorrow before we take off early on Sunday morning--flying to Rome, Italy.  I don't know what else to do.  If anyone else has any ideas, please let me know!  Thanks!!!

After running, we showered, breakfasted, and picked up Tiffany from the morning ASI meeting where she had done music again, and took her and her friend Sarah on an excursion out to the Portuguese mountains where we found some beautiful clear water creeks with pools for swimming!  We had lunch by one of the creeks and then, after a few wrong turns, finally found this beautiful canyon formed of slate rock with lots of quartz mixed into it. It had some waterfalls, natural water slides with great swimming holes beneath them!!! How refreshing that was on such a hot day!  And how wonderful it was to get out into the country after spending so much time in busy cities lately!  After returning from the water adventures, it was time to report back for another evening of music which we enjoyed again immensely. 

Oh yes!! Guess what else we found today??!! There's a  Portuguese vegan restaurant literally 2 blocks from our hostel!  It looks like this little hole in the wall from the outside but when you walk in it's a whole different world!  Even though it took them about an hour to prepare the food, we were able to enjoy some typical Portuguese dishes cooked in a vegan style which were absolutely delicious! What a treasure that was--especially since meat seems to be the main staple of their diet here. 

Tomorrow is our last day in Porto and Portugal. Time to move on to Italian Adventures!  We will spend it enjoying some more music and inspiration at the ASI meetings and also will fit in a trolly ride out to the beach and a trip to the police station to check if there is an honest person that may
have decided to do the right thing and turn the phone in.  Please pray with me that the Lord's will be done with that one, OK?  Obrigata!!!

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