Friday, 29 May 2009

The Lord of the Stone chapel (2)

The Chapel is an "icon" for photographers in Northern Portugal. Winter and early spring is an exceptionally good time to take pictures there: it´s cold what makes the air more transparent and clear.

The chapel is partially surrounded by water from the small torrent passing nearby.

My older post and photos from The Lond of the Stone chapel.

Nikon 80, ISO 100, Maciek.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Blue church of Cortegaca.

The church of Santa Marinha of Cortegaca was built in 1910. Covered with beautiful blue azulejos ( typical Portuguese ceramic tiles ), with two high towers and nice portal, the church looks really impressive.
Today the church most of the time stays closed and abandoned. The village people has lost something very precious.

Date/time: 2008-05-22 16:30:00
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
F-stop: f/9
ISO: 250
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 18 mm


Monday, 25 May 2009

A love flower

Four phases of Agapanthus flowering.

Agapanthus praecox is the evergreen specie, generally 0.8 to 1 m tall that flowers in the beginning of summer. Flower heads can be white or blue.

The name Agapanthus is derived from the Greek agapé: love and anthos: meaning a flower. So it´s "a love flower" or "a flower with which I am well pleased".

All photos shot close to our home in May 2009, Porto, Portugal.


Friday, 22 May 2009

Black and white

The Arrabida bridge, Porto, Portugal.

21th of May, 2009.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Beiras fortified villages

Remains of Pinhel Castle. Maria Manuela has 94 years and showed me the village.

Beiras is an eastern province of Portugal, close to the Spanish border. From the beginning of the XIIth century the region was covered with a vast network of fortified villages. Pinhel is one of them. Pinhel castle, often known as a Falcon City stands on a hill overlooking the Portugese-Spanish border.

The region is rather poor and under-populated. Very nice white and rose wines ( called Entrevinhas ) are locally produced there.

Monday, 18th of May 2009.


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Birthday roses

A rose is a perennial flower shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species and comes in a variety of colors.

Friday, 15 May 2009

In the valley of Tamega river

Located at the top of the mountain, almost 1000 meters above sea level, church of Nossa Senhora de Graça is overlooking the Tamega river valley.

A vast piece of Northern Portugal with Alvão Mountains to the south and the montaneous border with Spain to the north can be seen from there.

Nossa Senhora de Graça church.

On the early afternoon, after visiting the church we drove down to reach Valley of Tamega. The valley is a part of Minho Vinho Verde Denominated Region. Minho with diversity of its soils, Atlantic-influenced humid climate with mild temperatures and various combinations of grape varieties, produces a very wide range of dry, mostly white, naturally sparkling wines. Most of them are very young wines and vinhos verdes are made from grapes with a low sugar content, so aging is not required to finish them.

Vinhos Verdes are light, full of sun and perfect for sharing with friends and family while enjoying light meals in the early afternoon on the hot day.

Down in the Tamega valley grows a Loureiro vine. Close to town of Mondim we visited a small local vinho verde producer: Quinta de Fundo.


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Sunset ..... not again !

Oh gosh, I´ve been doing it again: photographing the sunsets !

I admit I´m monotonous with my latest pics but I can´t help it. All the sunsets are so beautiful and unique that I simply can´t stop photographing them.

So here it is: just another sunset. This one was taken yesterday, on Monday 12th May 2009.

I promise: next time it will be different since I'm definitely not the straight-laced and narrow-minded type.

The delta of Douro river filled with a dying sun light.

Model: NIKON D80
Date/time: 2009-04-12 20:46:40
Shutter speed: 2 sec
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
ND G 0.4
F-stop: f/16

ISO: 160
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 12 mm
Lens: 10.0-20.0 mm
Exp -0.3
Remote control.


Sunday, 10 May 2009


The Japanese word "teppanyaki" means to cook on a iron plate. The Restaurant Sumo in Vila Nova de Gaia is our place of choice as far as Japanese food is concerned. Beautifully located on the bank of Douro river, filled with a lot of natural light, with panoramic views over the old city of Porto, the restaurant serves good food always with a type of "food performance" demonstrated by chefs.

Haru ice cream filled crepes "food performance" when crepes are set on fire.

Saturday, 09.05.2009

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Our garden colours in early May

From the top left:

Tulbaghia Violacea called a "wild garlic",
red Radish or Raphanus sativus,
just beginning to flower - red Hibiscus Sabdariffa,
red Bottlebrush flower ( Callistemon ),
yellow Roses
and blue small flowers of Salvia Officinalis.

All pictures taken on the same day, May 6th, 2009.


Friday, 8 May 2009

After 10 years - first Yucca flower in our garden

We planted our
Yucca tree 10 years ago. It was a small, about 40 cm high, plant. Now it has over 3 meters of height. And this year, for the first time, a bright mass of white flowers protruded from a center stalk within the plant. Flowers !

Our species probably belong to Yucca mixtecana family.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Good wine - good time. This Wednesday wine tasting.

A nice bottle of Romeira Reserva 2004 from Palmela region ( 15/20 ), a red Quinta do Corujao Reserva 2003 from Dão region ( 15/20 ) and my personal best: Leo d´Honra 2003 single grape Castelão variety from Palmela region ( 16/20 ), the best wine from Dona Ermelinda producer you can get.

Today was a good day—the kind that sets me in a very good mood.
In the early afternoon we had a nice walk to Vini Portugal promotional space located in the Porto´s old city center.
We love this place. First because of Miss Tania Oliveira. She talks about Portuguese wines with such a passion and knowledge that it leaves an excellent impression on all the visitors.
And of course there are wines. Some very good Portuguese wines.

This time we did some Dão and Palmela
regions wine tasting. It was such a nice and relaxing time.

At the end we had a taste of sweet, so good and honey smelling Moscatel from Palmela region.

Wednesday, 06th of May, 2009.


Two skies - two oceans.

The sunset over the mouth of Douro river, Portugal.

Date/time: 2009-05-03 20:36:19
Shutter speed: 0,5 sec
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
F-stop: f/22
ISO: 100
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 18 mm
Lens: 10.0-20.0 mm
Exp -0.3 Remote control. Tripod.
ND 0,6
5600 K.


Monday, 4 May 2009

First Passion Flower this year

Last weekend brought us a surprise: the first flower of Passiflora careulea in our garden this year. Passion Flower acquired its name from the first descriptions of its flowers supplied in the XVII-th century by Spanish priests from South America.

It´s an absolutely wonderful flower: colorful, made of so many tiny but three-dimensional structures and very symmetrical, proving that the mathematics is The King of all the sciences. Passiflora is also a naturally grown medicinal herb, approved in the treatment of insomnia and nervousness.

Model: NIKON D80
Date/time: 2009-02-02
ISO: 250
Flash: Did not fire
Lens: 50 mm