terça-feira, 18 de novembro de 2014

A visit to the Douro Valley



 Não somos apaixonados apenas pelo Côa. Toda a região interior revela uma beleza natural única, especialmente se falarmos do Parque Natural do Douro Internacional. Na semana passada um grupo da ATN teve a oportunidade de visitar alguns dos locais mais espectaculares do Vale do Douro. Espreite a história escrita na primeira pessoa pelo Niek, um estagiário holandês que está neste momento a cobalorar na ATN.

We are not passionate only about Côa. All region reveals an unique natural beauty, specially if we mention the Douro Natural Park. Last week a group from ATN had the chance to visit some of the most amazing sites at the Douro Valley. Read the complete story, wrote by Niek, a dutch intern who is now collaborating with ATN.

Friday 17 November we got the opportunity to visit the Douro Natural Park.
Our first stop after we left was near a small house with a good view over the valley and on a vultures breeding site.  

We crossed the border for a short look on the Spanish side.  The different way of land use, population density and fire prevention created ad landscape with more forest.  Some slopes are almost fully covered with trees.  There is land in common property that is used for extensive grazing with cows. Between the trees are small open spaces with short grass.

The third point on our way is a old medieval and maybe even roman road with a bridge over the Ribeira do Mosteiro. On the way to this place we catch a glimpse of some blue birds that could be the blue rock thrush (melro azul). There are some small abandoned houses and an orchard with orange trees.

Point four goes further back in time to a prehistorically period where people made a engraving of a horse on a rock near the river.  It is relatively warm on this altitude (around 150 meters above the sea level) There are Holm oaks which are already flowering. (at the same time some acorns sprout while they are still some on the trees).

Point five gives us a breathtaking view from a high rock near the river.
On the road to the next point we did see a giant strawberry tree and we took the opportunity to taste the fruits.

The last point is very high and should give us an great view but the weather gives us no chance to see anything at all.  Down in the clouds we could hear the streaming water and there is a statue from senhora do Douro.