With the permission of my neighbors the Portuguese’s, I am going to dare to speak to you about a town of his country, which is on the North border with Spain: Valença do Minho.
As its own name indicates, it is just in one of the banks of the River Miño (Minho in portuguese). We can reach it for the highway that joins Vigo, O Porriño, Tui – Valença do Minho (highway A55), from Spain, or for the freeway IP1 that joins Oporto with the North of Portugal.
But I recommend to you other forms: to come in train or for the local roads. The best is the one that crosses from Spain for the Puente Internacional (International Bridge, you can see the location www.lomography.com/magazine/locations/2008/12/15/puente-internacional-from-portugal-to-spain)
Also, if we make it like that, we meet straight ahead the fortress wall that surrounds the old city. It is a question of a defensive construction, and the people is dominated by the fortitude of two towers and double wall, of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries. It is preserved perfectly, and the people that is in his interior, supports the whole delight, with his narrow and twisted streets, his stones small houses with white walls, …: it seems that the time has stopped here!
Valença was of extreme importance during the course of the Middle Age, innumerable times besieged by the Spanish neighbor, being the same way a place of step of Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known in English as The Way of St James.
The people is distributed between cobbled narrow streets that breathe history, where a famous and crowded commerce exists, for example of handmade products with diverse small and typical shops of traditional commerce, standing out works in gold, linen, ceramics and wicker.
Precisely one of the Portuguese customs that more like to us, the Spanish, (in addition to the good meal, of course, …), it is that they keep on celebrating the weekly markets, where we can find sweets, plants, furniture, clothes, …: a lot of things!
Although it is only to walk, the pother of these fairs is exciting …
Inside the fortitude, during every day of the week, we can find also the articles about the fair: it is almost impossible to be a Spanish home (Galician, principally) that it does not have in his house any wooden furniture, a few towels or rags for the kitchen bought in these ancient and well preserved markets of the Portuguese border.
Perhaps this is the reason for which we are considered to be good neighbors…