Pictures of holidays in portugal

July 1, 2008

Gerês national park

Filed under: Braga — ronaldo7 @ 5:56 pm
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Sierra at Peneda National Park

The Peneda-Gerês National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês), also known simply as Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal (although many Natural Parks, Protected Landscapes and Reserves exist across the nation). It is located in the Norte region, in the northwest of Portugal.

The park was created on May 8, 1971 due to its national and international scientific interest, with the aim to protect the soil, water, flora, fauna, and landscape, while preserving its value to the existent human and natural resources. Education and tourism

The park comprises a ridge of mountains, Peneda, Amarela, and Gerês. These form a barrier between the sea shore plains to its west and the plateaus to the east. The highest peaks are Nevosa (1,545 m) and Altar dos Cabrões (1,538 m) located at the border with Spain, so this mountains continue into Spain where they are known as Xurés.

Vilarinho da Furnas, village and damAn important feature of the landscape is the constant presence of water. Brooks and waterfalls are common at every mountain slope and the park is crossed by several rivers, namely: Cávado, Lima, Homem, Rabagão, Castro Laboreiro and Arado. There are dams across most of these: Alto Rabagão, Paradela, Caniçada, Vilarinho da Furnas, Lindoso.

The park’s mountains formed between 380 and 280 million years ago, from the Devonian to the Permian Period. The mountain tops are dominated by granitic rocks, the oldest of them, at Amarela, date from 310 million years ago. Veins of minerals of tin, tungsten, molybdenum, and gold are present and were mined at the now closed mines of Carris and Borrageiro. Mostly at the northwest extremity, at Castro Laboreiro, there are outcrops of schist and quartz.

Some valleys show signs of glacier influence due to the glaciations in the Pleistocene Epoch.

The valleys have an exuberant display of vegetation. The most common are several oak species (Pedunculate oak, Pyrenean oak, Portuguese oak, and others), Portugal laurels, Holly, strawberry trees, and birches; also, next to rivers, yews and silver birches. Some woods, such as Albergaria and Cabril, are notably well preserved.

Moving towards the mountain tops the vegetation gets scarcer, both because of the harsher climate and the increased human pressure since the middle of the 20th century. Here plentiful heath, gorse, broom and juniper can be found.

There are endemic species of lily and fern.

Maize is the main agricultural product.

The Gerês’ fauna is not as prolific as the flora is, possibly due to a greater negative effect from human presence. Bears disappeared from the region in the 17th century and the extinct Pyrenean Ibex, locally known as Gerês Goat, was last seen in the 1890s.

However, many species find at Gerês one of their last harbours not only in Portugal but in the whole Iberian Peninsula. Wolves and Golden Eagles, seen as a threat to livestock, were almost eradicated due to hunting. They have been protected by law since the end of the 20th century.

Some other, relatively numerous, wild species include mammals such as Roe Deers, Wild Boars, otters, Wild Cats, Beech and Pine Martens, and squirrels; birds such as Red Kites, Common Buzzards, Eagle Owls, falcons, and Whinchats; reptiles such as vipers, Water Snakes, and Schreiber’s Green Lizards; and amphibians such as newts, salamanders and Disc-Tongued Frogs.

Worthy of mention are the Garrano, a breed of small horses. They mostly live in the wild but, since they are also bred, they have no significant fear of humans.

Two domestic animals also deserve being noted. The Barrosão Ox, a very rustic cattle once used in agriculture as labour force, is nowadays damous because is amazing meat quality; as is also the Castro Laboreiro dog, a sheapear big dog.

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April 14, 2008

Braga – Roman Ruins

Filed under: Braga — ronaldo7 @ 12:33 pm
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Roman Ruins - Baths. Braga, Portugal

Roman Ruins – Baths. Located in a restaurant!!! “Frigideiras do Cantinho” In Braga, Portugal

April 6, 2008

Braga – Bom Jesus

Filed under: Braga — ronaldo7 @ 10:15 am
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Braga is the oldest archdiocese and one of the major Portugal cities. Braga is also the center of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Minho with a population of 798,137 one of the fastest growing urban areas in the European Union. Under the Roman Empire, as Bracara Augusta, it was capital of the province Gallaecia. The urban area extends from the (river) Cavado to the (river) Este. Braga is serviced by regional and fast trains to Porto and Lisbon. The city of Oporto (Porto) is about 53 km. In this picture a view from “Bom Jesus do Monte”

Photo de Ahron de Leeuw more Braga Pictures

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