Gaia to Aveiro
By train 73 km
We took a walk down to the port and toured the market. Since it was not market day there were only a few fish, fruit and vegetable stalls. The 2.5 kilometre round trip walk gave a good leg cardio workout. Steep hill. Lots of different patterns and colour of tiles in narrow streets.
We said our goodbyes last night and this morning as our group dispersed. Kim and John took a taxi with us to the train station where we waited in line for tickets. Eliane found us there when she arrived from Porto. Eliane flew into Porto yesterday from Roanne.
The train to Aveiro was quite full but quick: about 50 minutes. Only 3.15 euros for what was considered to be the slow train. Six times more if we wanted a fast train. We are not in a hurry.
We walked to our hotels from the train station, less than two kilometres. Once we had our directions working with google maps we were much more confident a out where we were going. Eliane twisted an ankle on the cobblestone streets. This type of walkway is pretty with designs but hard on ankles!
What a beautiful town! I love looking at the architecture of each place. Besides lots of colourful azulejos (tiles), there are many unique carvings decorating buildings and several bronze statues. We had a simple lunch of teas and sandwiches at an outdoor tea shop. I loved the combo of goat cheese, apple, walnut and lettuce. I had tea from the Azores. Brian still had beer.
We went for a boat ride in the canals in a moliceiro (a traditional canal boat used for moving salt from the salt marshes. There is a slightly bigger boat with shorter stern that was used for hauling seaweed. Now both types of boats only haul tourists. There are twenty-five boats motoring around the canals showing off the sights. There were only three of us on our tour and it was given in French which worked well for Eliane and me. Brian understands most of what is said. The guide pointed out the locks that only open at high tide so that these natural canals can be kept at the same level. They were pretty small locks compared to the ones we were in this past week.
After a brief rest in our room we went to the craft beer pub half a block from our fabulous hotel. There are 140 different beers available. John and Kim showed up there after a walk around town. John thought there might be enough beers to try for a couple of days.
We asked the proprietor where the locals dine and he suggested a few places, one of which was the restaurant under our hotel. He did tell us that he owned it but that truly it was good food. He was on his way to dine there with his wife and children. The hotel, OC Salon Charm is owned by his mother in-law. A family affair! The hotel was built in the forties and was purchased three years ago. It is a charming hostel that also has private rooms and beautiful furniture and decor. It is also close to the centre of everything.
We were totally satisfied with our wonderful dinner in the restaurant below. Only Eliane had cod as the rest of us have had plenty of cod lately. Our salmon, beef and pork dinners were all delicious. We declined dessert. I know our fellow kayakers will find that hard to believe.
Kim and John walked the two blocks to their hotel. I convinced Brian to go for a ten minute walk to start the digestion process.