Last Sunday my husband and I were woken up at an ungodly hour by our lovely children as they kept shouting “BREAKFAST. I WANT TO EAT BREAKFAST!” from the top of their voices at 5 am – I’m pretty sure our neighbours hate us.
Like anyone else that only managed a few hours sleep and is feeling rather exhausted and resembling a walking dead person we decided to
take it easy and stay in our pj’s all day take the kids on a road trip to the lovely town of Amarante. (why do we always do this to ourselves???)
I always wanted to visit because my grandmother was born there and lived there until she started working in Porto. I remember well the way she used to talk about it. She always talked about it’s beauty and good wine. She was definitely not just saying it. Amarante is certainly a very beautiful town.
We got in the car and drove North. Amarante is only around 1 hr drive from Porto so it wasn’t total madness and the bonus part was the kids were so exhausted they slept most of the way there (not something that happens often). We arrived around 10.30 am and decided to walk around the centre of town until lunch time then have lunch and swiftly get the kids back in the car for a nap on the way home (I love a good plan).
Amarante is situated in the Minho region, and belongs to the Porto district. The Tâmega River runs through the town and is crossed by a large arched bridge – Ponte São Gonçalo. It’s said this bridge helped local forces fend off a French attack in the early 19th century.
Nowadays the older centre of town is dominated by a multitude of cafés and restaurants dotted along the steep banks of the southern side of the Tâmega River.
We were not organised enough to take enough snacks or lunch with us (I blame the lack of sleep and prioritising the drinking of coffee over packing) so soon after we arrived we had to stop for yet another caffeine fix as well as a snack and drink for the kids. We stopped at Confeitaria Da Ponte. The cakes were TO DIE FOR and we could not resist having some with our drinks.
We sat outside and enjoyed the view over the river, São Gonçalo’s bridge and Church. The kids behaviour was exemplar (until we run out of cake).
After our coffee and cake we decided to walk around a little and explore the centre of town. The children really enjoyed it but we ended up spending most of our time around São Gonçalo’s Church and the river.
The kids highlight was definitely the church and listening to the bells ringing. They were totally taken by it. Such a simple thing yet so captivating and in my opinion very beautiful.
We could tell it was time to swiftly execute out exit plan when little lady decided the pram was for losers and wanted to be carried everywhere and her big brother kept threatening to throw his shoes in the river!
We made it to the car just in time and the kids slept all the way home. It was really quite a nice day out in the end so I’m glad we didn’t stay at home in our pyjamas feeling sorry for ourselves all day.