|Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 4, 2017 at 4:25 PM|
I felt like covering some kilometres today, and chose not to go into Coimbra, despite camping here overnight for the purpose. Felt a tad guilty, but I’m a bit citied-out at the moment. But also, I’m now saving parts for a future visit with A. Central Portugal is an area worth coming back to. The drive from Coimbra to Penacova was incredibly scenic, hugging green cliffs along a river with lots of Sunday rafters. Then I hit the magnificent landscape north of this and the Douro. The wow was aided by the perspective from the highway which twists and winds its way through, almost cinematically. It’s all so verdant, with terrace upon terrace of vines and villages. I’m not sure what makes it so majestic here (there are plenty of wine regions that are picturesque); I think the hills are higher, the valleys deeper and the bridges more curvaceous. As a solitary driver it’s hard to catch everything, though I did take some right-hand photos while driving – a feat I risked because there really is nobody else on the highways here. After Vila Real the landscape changes abruptly and becomes rockier and drier, which I feel actually, is a more interesting landscape to translate into art: more unexpected shapes, more colour variety, more meandering lines. You can only get so much artistic mileage out of green hills.