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Hit the Wall

Last night was a sort of 'hit-the-wall' day for me. We didn't have a particularly hectic day, but we did have a LOT of trouble navigating one particular town. By the time we got home, I just wanted to shower and crash.

Today is a laze around day in this little town. That is why we find ourselves back in the free cyber.

Dan has been doing all of the driving and I've been navigating. It works well because I read the map like a woman. I turn it with every turn we take so that it is always oriented up. Then I can say turn left, turn right, go straight.

As amazingly easy as Spain was to navigate, Portugal is equally difficult.

There seems to be this idea that if you live here, you know where you are. So why put up road signs?

On the major highways there are adequate signs, but as soon as you get off onto a regional road, you are totally on your own. You can drive for 50km and have no way of confirming you turned the correct way.

We went to see Bom Jesus yesterday. It is in all the guide books, and leads you to believe it is the major pilgrimage site. (And we really did enjoy it) BUT, what we read absolutely nothing about was the fairly new (100 yrs) cathedral basilica on the mountain 500 meters above Bom Jesus. In fact there seems to be no attempt to put any literature about "Santuario do Sameiro" into English. Their gift shop was typically full of postcards, medals, guide books and the like; but only in Spanish, Portuguese, & a few in French.

They are obviously a major shrine. They were designated a basilica by Pope John Paul when he visited a dozen or so years ago. And we guessed from our limited translating ability that it is the major force behind Portugal's share of the effort to have him declared a saint.

Anyway, this place is HUGE! It covers many acres of land. All of it paved in granite and marble. I'll explain more about it when I post my photos and trip report.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 12, 2007 11:39 AM.

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