Friday, 15 June 2012

Art Nouveau treasure trove

Day 53 - 14.06.12 Aveiro

We left Furadouro mid-morning and the roads were pretty quiet, perhaps we’ve finally found the best time to drive in Portugal?!  Our spot in Aveiro is a long thin car park alongside the river.  It’s free, close to town and already has a few other campers around.

After some lunch we head into Aveiro and are wowed by what we find.  It’s a very beautiful little city brimming with some of the most amazing examples of Art Nouveau architecture we’ve ever seen.  We’re both huge Art Nouveau fans so this city is a fantastic find!  Again as you’d expect some of the buildings aren’t as well looked after as we’d hope but those that are, are just phenomenal.

The rivers running through the city are full of pretty painted boats ferrying tourists and school kids on tours.  The water seems to give the city a nice relaxed feeling and everywhere feels pleasantly un-touristy.  We have a very enjoyable wander around the city, spotting all manner of beautiful buildings. 

We head to the main park with its fountains, flowers and palm trees.  There’s a real rainforest feeling about the place, making it a lot of fun to explore.  Sadly though they are in the process of doing a lot of renovation work, which spoils it a little but no doubt when they’re finished the park will be amazing.

There’s also a handy shopping centre in town which has a large supermarket so we can stock up on food.  Frustratingly Portugal is an expensive country, more akin in price to France than Spain.  We’d hoped from what we’d heard that it may even be cheaper than Spain but that was definitely wrong.  It’s such a shame we didn’t know in advance else we’d have stocked up in Spain!

After dinner back at the van we enjoy another walk around the centre of town enjoying the quiet streets and dusky light.  We discover that one of the nicest buildings we’d found is actually an Art Nouveau museum, definitely one to visit tomorrow!  Having been a little worried that Porto and Lisbon may be the only cities we fall for in Portugal, I’m so pleased we found this wonderful little place.    

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